In collaboration with Netherlands-Thai Chambers of Commerce (NTCC), KUKA is hosting a webinar as part of the NTCC Industry 4.0 series: “Embracing Robotic Applications in Boosting Economic Performance within APeC” on Wednesday 30 September 2020 from 16:00 – 17:15 (ICT).
This sharing session will emphasise on Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing, Market Intelligence for Robotics and Trends for APeC countries, including case studies, opportunities and challenges. Guest speakers include; Mr. Alan Fam, Chief Regional Officer of KUKA Robotics – APeC, Mr. Neoh Sin Joo, Regional Sales Director of KUKA Robotics – APeC, and Mr. Tawiwat Reongpunyaroj, Chief Executive Officer of KUKA Thailand & Vietnam.
Date: Wednesday 30 September 2020
Time: 16:00 – 17:15 (ICT)
Platform: Zoom (webinar link will be sent to you after registration is completed.)
Simufact, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has introduced metal binder jetting (MBJ) simulation, that is enabling manufacturers to predict and prevent the distortion that sintering processes will have on parts at the design stage for the first time. The new simulation tool marks a significant step forward for additive manufacturing because it helps manufacturers achieve the quality they require while exploiting the unique benefits MBJ offers for volume production.
Metal binder jetting is an emerging additive manufacturing technology that has several key advantages over common powder bed fusion processes; high volumes of parts can be printed with minimal spacing; no support structures are needed, and larger lot sizes are possible. It has the potential to replace low-volume, high-cost metal injection moulding for everything from automotive and aircraft parts to medical applications. Because high resolution is possible, it could also reduce the cost and lead times for production of complex and lightweight metallic parts such as gears or turbine wheels.
However, early adopters can expect a steep learning curve to learn how to achieve the quality they need to exploit these benefits. One key challenge has been predicting changes during the sintering process. A part can shrink as much as 35 percent and the simple shrinkage models used for other processes cannot predict distortion during the post-build sintering process. Until now, costly physical trials were required to perfect the printing of each part, preventing many manufacturers realising the low cost and flexibility MBJ offers.
Made available to existing Simufact Additive customers in August, the new tool extends its capabilities for MBJ processes. Manufacturers can predict the shrinkage caused by factors such as the thermal strain, friction, and gravity during sintering without specialist simulation knowledge. By compensating for these changes, parts can be 3D Printed as they are designed, and production teams can significantly reduce the proportion of parts that must be scrapped or re-processed. Sintering-induced mechanical stress is also predicted before print, indicating where defects might occur. Manufacturers can use this information to make changes earlier in their product development and reduce the need for costly redesign.
Designed for busy manufacturing professionals, the tool can automate the model setup, preparing the CAD or CAE file for manufacturing simulation and simulations can also be automated through Python scripts. To validate the sintering compensation and increase confidence in quality, the optimised geometry from the MBJ tool can be immediately compared to both the initial design (CAD) geometry and a metrology scan of a manufactured part within user interface.
“We are pleased to introduce the first solution for simulating metal binder jetting sintering process to the market so that manufacturers can take advantage of this important new method. We know customers see metal binder jetting as a pivotal technology for manufacturing, particularly where there’s a need to need to produce intricate parts at high volumes like the automotive industry.
This development was only possible through close collaboration between our manufacturing and printer equipment partners and our highly experienced research & development department,” said Dr. Gabriel McBain, Senior Director Product Management, Simufact & FTI.
It’s said that life is a marathon, not a sprint. For automotive manufacturers, longer lasting tooling solutions are integral to more profitable production—but, often, manufacturers see little reason to change their existing tool set-up. In this article, James Thorpe, global product manager at Sandvik Coromant, explains why the benefits of longer-lasting tools shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly for reducing costs-per-part or increasing overall output.
Unpredictable tool life is one of the biggest threats in mass automotive production, particularly as its operations are so highly-automated and use some of the world’s most advanced robotics and automation systems. Downtime is time-consuming, disrupts production and is also expensive, so it goes without saying that tool failures should be avoided at all costs.
In some instances, manufacturers set the tool change interval to less than the maximum tool life. This approach is normally preferred because material variations in automotive components are minimal. It follows that the tool changes should be predictable, and safer, than trying to extend the tool life to manufacture a few more components.
For Sandvik Coromant’s specialists, the key to longer tool life is not limited to the amount of time a tool spends in use, but also the drill design itself. This approach led to the development of the CoroDrill 860 with enhanced -GM geometry, a new design solid carbide drill that’s optimized for a wide range of materials and applications, across all industry sectors.
For the CoroDrill 860-GM, Sandvik Coromant applied its machine tooling and metal cutting expertise to develop a new grade, a unique fine-grained carbide substrate known as X1BM. The fine-grained carbide is imbued with increased hardness while maintaining toughness.
Furthermore, the drill is tip-coated with a multi-layer physical vapor deposition (PVD) thin film coating. This is key to improving the drill’s productivity and delivering a consistent tool life across a variety of materials. The result is a tool with excellent stability, machining security and improved tool life when machining cast iron, steel, stainless steel, hardened steels and non-ferrous metals.
Assessing Tool Life
A better way to assess tool life is by measuring the amount of material removed. To aid productivity, the CoroDrill 860-GM has an innovative, polished flute design that improves the evacuation of chips and yields greater hole quality. This also helps to reduce heat build-up in the tool, and further benefits are high core strength and reduced cutting forces while drilling.
The 860-GM forms part of Sandvik Coromant’s CoroDrill range of solid carbide drills. They are designed not only for optimized performance but also versatility, which means they can be deployed in a variety of applications and materials across multiple industries.
This includes use with the following material groups: ISO-P, the largest material group in metal cutting that ranges from unalloyed to high-alloyed material; ISO-M that includes difficult-to-cut stainless steels, austenitic steels and duplex steels; ISO-K grey, nodular and compacted graphite cast iron; ISO-H steels with a Rockwell hardness of between 45-65 HRc; and ISO-N for softer, non-ferrous materials such as aluminium, copper and brass.
As mentioned, the CoroDrill 860-GM has an enhanced design, but what exactly does this entail? Much of this relates to the design of the drill itself that includes an advanced optimized point and flute geometry, reinforced core and corner chamfers, edge preparation to remove cutting edge micro defects, and a double margin to enhance drilling stability. The drill’s point is also designed with refined clearance angles and improved surface quality.
Overall, these design features stabilise the drill, reduce entry and exit burr and improve the hole tolerance, finish and straightness. The drill also gives stable wear progression and delivers excellent hole accuracy.
With “Walter Innotime”, Walter is introducing the world’s first digital design wizard for accelerating the consulting and ordering process.
Engineers in Walter Engineering are working with a new digital wizard: Walter Innotime. This web application links existing Walter systems to the Engineering Kompetenz of Walter employees. Based on a 3D model of the component drag-and-drop uploaded to the Walter website by the customer, Walter Innotime analyses which cutting operations are required and suggests to the engineer dealing with the enquiry (in future versions, directly to the customer) the appropriate machining tools with cutting data and prices from the Walter portfolio. This digital search at component level is currently unique in the market.
The engineer checks the proposal and optimises it, if necessary, according to the customer’s needs. As a result, the design process for complex enquiries is fast-tracked considerably – and the customer receives the most economical tailored tooling solution and a valid quote in the shortest time. Walter field service employees and engineers benefit from the preliminary work done by the system: in the physical design and the development of the optimum machining strategy for the customer component. “For our engineers and technical distributors, but primarily for our customers, Walter Innotime represents a milestone.
We deliberate intensively over the component and can deal with enquiries so much faster – for our customers, that’s something directly tangible,” explains Dr. Michael Hepp, Vice President Digital Business at Walter. “By combining the Engineering Kompetenz of our employees with the virtual intelligence of our software systems, we can assist our customers in quickly and easily finding, purchasing and employing the most economical tooling solution for them. In future, our customers will have to do nothing more than upload their 3D component – quick and easy.”
When it comes to metrology, here’s how customers can boost confidence, accelerate delivery timelines, and reduce scrap and rework rates all at once. Article by Jim Cassady and Jutta Mayer, FARO Technologies.
In the world of manufacturing, dimensional control is fundamental to successful part assembly. It determines part-to-part variation, establishes part-to-CAD comparison to check whether specs are met, and ensures proper final fit. Beyond getting part geometries right, however, there are additional reasons for maintaining standards in accordance with design specifications.
Investing in precision equipment for measuring and aligning components helps ensure that everything fits the first time around without any unnecessary rework, saving time, and other resources for a company. Further, more serious consequences such as equipment failure or production delays can be avoided when alignment, measurements, and inspections are conducted properly and at appropriate phases of production.
A ‘Greater’ Need for Precision
For industries such as aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, heavy equipment manufacturing, and many others that handle large components and assemblies, measurement and alignment tasks are a considerable challenge in the overall production process. On the surface, these challenges may not seem too different from what most manufacturers typically encounter. Yet, the difficulties, as well as the consequences of missed specifications, are magnified owing to the size of the objects being built.
Manufacturers that handle large workpieces would candidly share that as product size increases and part geometry grows more complex, it becomes harder for them to perform measurements and inspections accurately. Conventional hand tools such as rules, gauges, calipers, micrometers, squares, and protractors are effective up to a point, but they are also demanding in terms of time and operator skill, often making them prone to human error.
The use of large, fixed coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) in quality labs is impractical as many workpieces cannot be moved to the lab for measurement and inspection. For example, if a ship is dry-docked for a limited time for retrofitting purposes, transporting parts that would fit on a CMM into a quality lab would not be practical. In addition, fixed CMMs are limited in terms of the size of the parts they can inspect and become costly in large working volumes.
Portable 3D Technology to the Rescue
Portable 3D coordinate measurement devices have long become the choice solution among manufacturers for large-volume measurement, as they combine accuracy with flexibility. Compared to conventional hand tools, portable 3D technology offers manufacturers a much higher level of precision, efficiency, and productivity all at once. Unlike fixed CMMs, these solutions require much less capital investment at the onset and are robust enough to perform even in a non-controlled environment, such as on the production floor, in a dry-dock or hangar.
The resulting ability to deploy measurement devices right where the manufacturing process takes place accelerates execution timelines and allows manufacturers to deliver quality products with greater confidence. What this means for large-part manufacturers is that, instead of settling for hand tools or a bulky fixed CMM set-up, they can opt for alternatives that offer the right mix of performance, cost, and flexibility.
The organiser of EuroBLECH, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, has launched a new online event for the international sheet metal working community—the EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit, in order to help the industry pave and shape the way back to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hosted online from 27 – 30 October 2020, it will provide a dedicated virtual marketplace for innovative manufacturing solutions, knowledge transfer and worldwide business contacts in a new online format. At the same time, it conveniently bridges the big wait for the physical EuroBLECH event which has been postponed to March 2021. Visitors can participate for free and register online from the beginning of October.
DISCOVER, CONNECT and LEARN: Virtual summit offers three-in-one experience
The EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit is a four-day online trading, networking and webinar event for professionals from the entire sheet metal working technology chain. Visitors can virtually meet relevant technology suppliers, watch informative product presentations, follow talks and webinars on current industry issues, and ultimately source the best technical solutions for their manufacturing processes.
DISCOVER: Virtual Presentations in the Innovation Theatre, Product Showcases and Exhibitor Directory
The Virtual Presentation Theatre, also known as the Innovation Theatre features 15-minute exhibitor presentations on their latest product innovations and technologies, followed by a live Q&A session. Virtual Product Showcases create a virtual stand experience and allow visitors to explore new products and services in more detail. The Exhibitor Directory offers an easy starting point to browse the full EuroBLECH exhibitor list by name. A simple click leads to further exhibitor information, including product showcases, product videos, contact information, and more.
CONNECT: Networking and Virtual Meetings with Suppliers
A new matchmaking system powered by the latest AI technology helps suppliers and buyers make smart networking decisions by suggesting relevant people to meet. Participants can tailor their networking activities by requesting and pre-scheduling their meetings before the event. Arranging for a meeting is very easy and intuitive, with no third-party software required.
LEARN: Daily Webinars on the latest industry and technology trends
A daily programme of webinars by industry experts provides an opportunity to gain useful insights into the latest market developments as well as technical expertise concerning new industry applications and solutions. A special series with focus on the sheet metal working industry in key geographical areas offers an in-depth analysis on the current challenges and strategies to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. All webinars feature short presentations, followed by a live Q&A session. Further details on topics and speakers will be published soon.
How the Covid-19 crisis sparks innovation in sheet metal working
The EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit comes at a crucial time when sheet metal production has to deal with the massive impact of the global pandemic and its disruption to industrial production in general. The “new normal” requires companies to adapt to new regulations and restrictions, such as social distancing rules, and to master an increasingly volatile market with sudden drops and surges in demand. All this poses a huge challenge for an industry that traditionally operates with rather long lead times and complex supply chains.
“The key for post-crisis growth is agility, and this includes the knowledge and ability to find the right balance between just-in-time, lean inventory, and resilience”, explains Evelyn Warwick. “The industry will recover, but companies who want to survive and ultimately thrive really need to use the coming months to adapt and strengthen for the future. In fact, this crisis is a big moment for innovation, as barriers that once took years to overcome will become irrelevant within a matter of weeks, opening up new opportunities for those willing to adapt and meet shifting customer needs.”
Industry experts agree that the rise of formerly disruptive forces, in particular digitalisation, robotics and automation, has been significantly accelerated by the current crisis. The survival and long-term success of manufacturers will ultimately depend on how quickly they can deploy this new technology to boost their productivity and ensure full scalability of their operations.
LVD Company nv introduces the Strippit PL Punch-Laser combination, a machine that combines the punching and forming advantages of the Strippit PX or V Series punch press with the speed and versatility of fiber laser cutting to complete multiple processes on a single machine, answering the need for flexible manufacturing. Three punch-laser models are available: the single-head style Strippit PX 1530-L and Strippit V 1530-L in thick- and thin-turret configurations.
Small batches, short lead times, increasingly complex parts drive the need for flexible manufacturing. Strippit PL offers two technologies in one machine for more versatility than single-process equipment. Strippit PL can laser cut intricate shapes and process materials up to 10 mm, efficiently punch holes up to 6.35 mm, produce forms and bends up to 90 mm in length and up to 75 mm high on the Strippit PX 1530-L.
Combination technology offers complete part processing. The punch press handles high-speed punching and forming operations. The fiber laser delivers high-quality cutting of outer contours, intricate inner contours and can be used for material etching.
The combination of technologies eliminates processes, can improve part quality, reduces production time and material handling, and lowers the cost per part in both small lot sizes and high production runs.
In 1978, Strippit brought punch-laser technology to sheet metal fabrication. Today, a combination machine is more practical than ever because of advances in laser cutting and punching technology.
The solid-state fiber laser has minimal components, offers high cutting speed, and low-maintenance costs making cutting operations faster, more accurate and cost-effective. Strippit PL is offered with a 3 kW or 4 kW fiber laser source.
The Strippit PX single-head 20-ton punch press can punch, form, bend and tap, forming flanges up to 75 mm high, countersinking and scribing with top productivity. Twenty indexable tool stations hold any size tool, up to a maximum tool diameter of 90 mm.
The Strippit V thick-turret model features a versatile 48-station turret. The Strippit V thin-turret configuration has a 40-station turret. Both 30-ton machines are equipped with four programmable 88.9 mm indexable stations and are designed to handle high tonnage applications.
igus develops energy supply solution for rotational and linear motion for DMG Mori.
For installation of the harnessed cables in the energy supply chains and the metal guides, the technicians in Cologne need approximately 2.5 days. (Source: igus GmbH)
After only two years of development time, DMG Mori ushers in a new era of automatic turning machines with the release of the Multisprint series, which support multiple spindles. But, behind its development is igus, which provided a special energy supply solution for both rotational and linear motion.
The ‘readychain’ harnessed energy supply system from igus and the spindle drum were first brought together in April 2017, when many processes and manual procedures were not yet routine and demanded maximum attention from the people involved. Does the 750 kg and almost 2 m wide energy chain system from igus fit into the housing of the machine? Everything was put together in a way that is an absolute innovation in production technology for DMG Mori subsidiary, Gildemeister Italiana.
Upon installation of the readychain and its connection to the spindle drum, the engineers and technicians continued working for a further three months until midsummer 2017 to assemble the machine completely, test it and send it on its travels. Destination: EMO Hannover. Here, the Multisprint was presented as a revolution in mechanical engineering. After all, it is the first machine to combine a multi-spindle automatic lathe with SWISSTYPE technology. And all this with a Y-axis on each spindle position.
Maximum Flexibility Due to New Technology
Due to globalisation and market dynamics, customer requirements for modern turning machines have changed and now demand the following: shortened processing and tooling times, reduced amount of effort needed for process development and integration, and the ability to handle the increasing degree of complexity. Multisprint meets all these challenging requirements. Nozzles for fluid power equipment, implants for dentistry, and shafts for motor vehicle manufacturing are just three examples of complex components that can be made on the high-tech machine. The result is a manufacturing solution for scalable requirements from initial series production to the high-volume production of complex workpieces.
The combination of three types of machine technology enables the customer to engage in completely new forms of production, providing them maximum flexibility for the mass production of components with diameters up to 50 mm.
Heavy Drum Turns with Extreme Precision and Maximum Speed
The heart of the machine is the spindle drum with six spindles for simultaneous machining of several workpieces. The main spindles in the drum have a travel of up to 180 millimetres. The drum moves the workpieces to the tools quickly and very precisely—taking only 0.65 seconds for one of the six spindles to travel to the next position.
For spindles to return to the starting position after machining has been completed in the six stations, the drum must turn 300 deg in reverse. For this, the unit, which weighs over three metric tons, only needs one second. The rods are pushed out of the loader through the drum to get into position for machining.
Aaron Zou, regional director for Asia at Hypertherm, discusses the trends shaping the metal cutting industry, the common industrial cutting challenges, and key considerations in choosing your metal cutting systems.
Aaron Zou, Regional Director for Asia, Hypertherm
Founded in 1968 and headquartered in New Hampshire, United States, Hypertherm designs and manufactures industrial cutting products for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes cutting systems, in addition to CNC motion and height controls, CAM nesting software, robotic software and consumables.
In an interview, Aaron Zou, regional director for Asia at Hypertherm, discusses the trends shaping the metal cutting industry and the common industrial cutting challenges. He also talked about the latest plasma technologies to address those issues as well as the key considerations in choosing metal cutting systems.
WHAT ARE THE TOP TRENDS CURRENTLY SHAPING INDUSTRIAL CUTTING PRACTICES IN THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY?
Aaron Zou (AZ): The current landscape brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of traditional manufacturing practices—forcing manufacturers to leverage on innovations, integrate new technologies to current processes, and to develop new solutions or services to address evolving market needs. This change will continue to be driven by automation and digitalization, where technologies related to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will enable companies to build up smarter production facilities and allow the industry to establish a smart machinery eco-system. By adopting such technologies, businesses can better utilize the ‘down time’ during this pandemic to improve production efficiencies and to implement automated processes, so as to be prepared as normalcy returns and pent-up demand starts picking up.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON INDUSTRIAL CUTTING CHALLENGES?
AZ: Most manufacturers in the metalworking industry are familiar with increasing customer demands for improvements to their parts design, in a bid to achieve higher quality standards. In fact, many have had to deploy a secondary operation, like drilling or grinding, to correct unsatisfactory hole quality after using a plasma system on a CNC machine.
Another challenge that manufacturers typically experience is related to bevel profiling—an increasingly difficult job due to advanced automation in welding processes. A common approach is for manufacturers to have their parts cut by plasma systems and later achieve the bevelled edges using secondary processes like grinding, mechanical bevel, or oxyfuel. In some cases, manufacturers were able to achieve bevelling using just their plasma CNC machines. However, this usually involves some constraints such as machine bevel set-up (which can take up to 3 hours) and bevel profile outcomes that do not meet the required design tolerance.
Furthermore, manufacturers have to deal with rising expectations and demand for better customer experience. Product quality is increasingly becoming a given, or a ‘standard’ feature, and customers’ expectations are shifting—valuing the experience delivered over the entire duration of their project life cycle more than they had previously. Businesses will need to redirect their focus from merely selling products and services to creating an exceptional overall customer experience.
HOW DO THE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPED BY HYPERTHERM HELP BUSINESSES OVERCOME THE SAID CHALLENGES?
AZ: Through the expertise of our team and the feedback collected from our users, we were able to develop a range of specific applications to enhance plasma machine usage with Hypertherm’s automated solutions. SureCut technologies like True Hole and True Bevel were developed to remove the need for secondary operations like grinding to produce high quality parts, and to improve production efficiency by reducing set-up time or the need for trial-and-error.
Sandvik and BEAMIT have made several important advances in metal additive manufacturing (AM) over the last six months. Most recently the BEAMIT Group acquired ZARE, meaning that two leading additive manufacturing service bureaus in Europe join forces to become one of the largest independent AM service providers, serving the most demanding industries.
In July 2019, Sandvik acquired a significant stake in leading European-based AM service provider BEAMIT, with the right to further increase its stake over time. BEAMIT is a trusted supplier of advanced metal AM-components to demanding industries, including e.g. aerospace, space, automotive and energy – with a number of relevant quality certifications, such as AS9100 for aerospace and heat treatments NADCAP approval. The company complements Sandvik’s additive manufacturing offer, which includes the widest range of metal powders for AM and leading expertise across the entire AM value chain.
Creating a leading am service provider with more than 100 employees
The merger of BEAMIT and ZARE has created an AM-organisation with more than 100 employees based at five facilities, all located within a 40 km area between Parma and Reggio Emilia in Italy. The new Group also has four commercial offices in France, Germany, the UK and Japan.
BEAMIT and ZARE will continue to operate under their respective brand names, but activities will be consolidated under the BEAMIT Group. Together the service offering encompasses a range of materials, different AM process technologies, post processing methods and critical quality certifications aligned to demanding industries like aerospace, defense and energy.
BEAMIT’s acquisition of ZARE, follows their recent investment in PRES-X, which specialises in AM post-processing. PRES-X is the first company in Europe with the capability to perform high pressure heat treatments on 3D printed production parts, along with other advanced post processing methods like roughness surface smoothening preparation on external and internal surfaces, depowdering etc.
New state-of-the-art powder plant for titanium and nickel-based super alloys
In parallel with the activities within the BEAMIT Group, Sandvik has recently commercialised a new state-of-the-art powder plant for Osprey titanium– and nickel-based super alloys, which means that the company offers the widest range of AM alloys on the market. The new plant already received the prestigious ‘AS9100 Revision D’ certification for deliveries to the aerospace industry – as well as the ‘ISO 13485:2016’ certification for deliveries to the medical segment. Sandvik’s powder production facilities in Neath, UK, has also recently been awarded the ‘AS9100D’ certification for aerospace.
Kristian Egeberg, President of Sandvik Additive Manufacturing, says: “The AM sector is developing fast and there is a need for AM-specialist-partners with the advanced skills and resources required to help industrial customers develop and launch their AM programs. The new AM-constellation consisting of Sandvik and the BEAMIT Group is extremely strong – and will provide our customers with the opportunity to access the complementary and combined power of several leading players, covering the entire AM value chain.”