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Siemens Workplace Distancing Solution Helps Manage ‘Next Normal’ Manufacturing

Siemens Workplace Distancing Solution Helps Manage ‘Next Normal’ Manufacturing

Manufacturers are facing new challenges as they look to restart or maintain operations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As preparations are made for the “next normal”, manufacturers must consider additional dimensions of employee safety, including the establishment of production environments and workflows that address physical distancing requirements.

Combining proven hardware and software, Siemens has created a new solution that enables companies to quickly and efficiently model how employees interact with each other, the production line and plant design. The new solution also enables organisations to build an end-to-end digital twin, in order to simulate worker safety, iterate on and optimise workspace layouts and validate safety and efficiency measures to help future-proof production lines.

With Siemens’ SIMATIC Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS), companies can continuously measure distances between workers, provide real time visual feedback to employees regarding their spacing from others and create a log of all movements and interactions over time. In this way, the Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS continuously facilitates safe distancing while providing numerous additional benefits.

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[WATCH] Siemens Discusses Initiatives, Outlook Amid COVID-19

Combining Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS with a digital twin of the actual manufacturing environment permits companies to model and simulate how employees interact with the equipment and each other, enabling them to iterate and optimise safety and productivity in the short term, and validate a redesign of the entire operation before more costly physical changes are made.

“We are helping our customers create a safe work environment, which is extremely important as they look to produce efficiently and reliably under unprecedented circumstances,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software. “The combination of real time distancing management and digital simulations will help companies maintain safe work environments today and make educated decisions about ongoing and long-term optimisation.”

In order to implement this solution, Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS transponders are embedded in badges which are worn as personal protective equipment by all employees. RTLS receivers placed throughout the operation can then continuously track and record workforce movement. When two employees are in a risk scenario (e.g., less than six feet apart), their badges will display a warning, alerting them to their distancing situation. The data collected over time can be analysed to identify “hot spots” where risk scenarios occur frequently. Such situations become easily actionable via the digital twin, which is provided by Siemens’ Tecnomatix Process Simulate and Plant Simulation software. Utilising the collected data, new manufacturing layouts or workflows can be simulated until one is determined to provide the desired outcomes, which can then be implemented in the physical operation.

Beyond this, manufacturers can add traceability to the solution through Siemens’ on-premise solutions or an application such as Siemens’ Trusted Traceability Application on MindSphere, the cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens, which helps enable rapid, comprehensive contact analysis in the unfortunate event of an actual workplace illness. All movement and contact with the affected employee can be visualised, enabling rapid notification of those who came into close contact and selective (rather than site-wide) deep cleaning of exposed physical environments.

“Siemens is providing a powerful, rapidly deployable solution that helps manufacturers take control of their operations and achieve better safety, productivity and cost outcomes today and in the post-Covid era,” said Raj Batra, President of Digital Industries for Siemens USA. “Our solution consists of proven technologies that can begin delivering results for most manufacturers in one to two weeks.”

 

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Stringent Emission Norms Fuelling Growth Of Global EV Sales

Stringent Emission Norms Fuelling Growth Of Global EV Sales

The COVID-19 uncertainty will globally dent electric vehicle (EV) sales, which are estimated to stand somewhere between ±9 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 under three different scenarios—gradual containment, severe pandemic, and global emergency—according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. But as the market recovers, which is probably after June in the best-case prospect, it is predicted to experience healthy growth. In an optimistic scenario, EVs are estimated to grow by 8.6 percent year-on-year (YoY), registering 2.5 million unit sales (battery electric vehicles plus plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) globally in 2020.

“EV sales will be driven by the implementation of stringent emission norms across countries and global policies favouring the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs),” said Prajyot Sathe, Automotive and Transportation Industry Manager at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, non-monetary or tax incentives are likely to be more attractive for buyers as countries with the highest EV penetration ratio such as Norway and the Netherlands offer these rather than cash incentives.”

According to Sathe, if BEVs are pushed by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on new energy vehicle (NEV) credit mandates, China is set to remain the market leader with a 48.3 percent share. Europe, on the other hand, is expected to have the highest YoY growth of over 10%, mainly driven by availability of models, reduced delivery times and compliance push.

READ: COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

READ: Thailand To Lead In EV Battery Manufacturing And Assembly

To tap into the growth prospects exposed by EV, market participants should focus on the following:

  • The introduction of new models will help OEMs increase the percent penetration of EVs.
  • A huge number of recyclers and dismantlers will come into play as the first phase of batteries will be available for second life or recycling.
  • Charging as a service is an emerging trend. Hence, partnerships will be necessary for traditional participants to compete with start-ups.
  • Capitalising on existing expertise will help component manufacturers sustain the transformation of the industry.

 

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5G Integration In IIoT Systems Accelerates Industry 4.0 In The Wake Of Pandemic

5G Integration In IIoT Systems Accelerates Industry 4.0 In The Wake Of Pandemic

The integration of 5G in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems will accelerate the realization of Industry 4.0 with high-speed, low-latency, and large-volume data transfer. This, according to latest research from market analyst Frost & Sullivan. In its report, Frost said while the application of 5G-enabled IIoT is currently limited to quality inspections, supply chain management, and generic machine control, key system manufacturers are actively exploring other areas in industrial operations where the benefits of 5G connectivity can be leveraged for process optimization and increased automation.

“Incorporating 5G in IIoT devices will enable low latency, increase data throughput, and reduce operation time, thus leading to improved overall process productivity,” said Mogana Tashiani, Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Research Analyst. “Apart from enhancing the automation of industrial operations and control, 5G-enabled IIoT devices can also minimize the complexity of supply chain networks and warehouse management, helping businesses to efficiently operate in dynamic business environments.

“5G will play a key role in ensuring the sustainability of businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The low latency will aid in managing the high traffic to e-commerce by improving network accessibility at a faster pace, accelerating online purchases and order placements. Furthermore, 5G-integrated IIoT devices have the potential to disrupt traditional on-site job functions through remote working and virtual meetings. COVID-19 has led to a massive shift to remote working to maintain business operations on par with on-site job operations.”

The automotive manufacturing industry is one of the key sectors that can leverage the growth opportunities from 5G’s integration into IIoT. 5G facilitates data transfer among AI algorithms, sensors, and mechanical parts to navigate self-driving or autonomous vehicles.

In addition, 5G-enabled vehicles establish a connected system in which real-time data transferring and receiving can be achieved conveniently and effectively. Apart from vehicle-to-vehicle communication, interaction with traffic system is possible with 5G technology, which enables data transmission beforehand to achieve practical navigation for certain road conditions.

 

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Seco Tools Acquires QCT’s Cutting Tool Division

Seco Tools Acquires QCT’s Cutting Tool Division

Seco Tools has completed the acquisition of the cutting tool division of Quimmco Centro Tecnológico (QCT), a subsidiary of the Quimmco Group. The cutting tool division acquired from QCT has three locations in Mexico to support customers and is a leading solid carbide tooling manufacturer, specializing in custom products and reconditioning.

“With this acquisition we build an even stronger foundation in North America for our round tools business. Giving us additional capabilities within the fast-growing area of round tools,” says Fredrik Vejgården, President of Seco Tools, AB.

The cutting tool division acquired from QCT will continue to serve its present customers and begin serving Seco customers directly after closing. As of June 1, they have become a wholly owned part of Seco Tools Mexico and will discontinue use of the QCT name.

“This is a great complement to our product and service portfolio in North America and enables Seco to serve the growing demand for solid carbide tools in Mexico,” says Rob Keenan, President, Seco North America. “The demand for high performance tooling solutions in Mexico is increasing, especially in the aerospace and automotive segments and the QCT acquisition positions us to meet that demand by being close to customers with engineering and production capabilities.”

 

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ASEAN Vehicle Sales Down 19% In Q1 2020

ASEAN Vehicle Sales Down 19% In Q1 2020

Sales of new vehicles in Southeast Asia’s six largest markets combined are estimated to have declined by over 19% to 700,528 units in the first quarter of 2020, according to market analyst firm GlobalData.

“The ASEAN vehicle market largely shrugged off the threat of COVID-19 in the first two months of the year. However, the crisis severely dented vehicle demand in the region from March,” says David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData.

“Several markets of the region turned down sharply in the first quarter as lockdowns shuttered dealerships and manufacturing plants across southeast Asia. Thailand saw first quarter sales down 24% as its economy reeled under the impact of much-reduced travel and tourism. Malaysia Q1 vehicle sales were down by 26% and Vietnam saw a slump of almost 32%.”

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The worst of the crisis is expected to be in the second quarter of 2020, before economic lockdowns begin to be eased this month and in June.

Leggett continues, “Although 2020 is seeing a setback for the automotive sector in ASEAN markets, long-term prospects for the region remain very strong. GlobalData’s analysis points to strong indicators for long-term demand as motorisation rates rise with high economic growth—especially in Indonesia with its increasingly transportation hungry population of 273 million. Its market of around 1 million new vehicles a year is forecast to double to 2 million vehicles a year by the end of this decade.

“In addition to strong long-term market prospects, the automotive manufacturing industry in the region benefits from relatively low costs, favourable government policies for investment, as well as free trading regimes for vehicles and components.”

 

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Bystronic Building New Experience Centre For Southeast Asia

Bystronic Building New Experience Centre for Southeast Asia

Not far from the capital of South Korea, Bystronic Korea celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for its new Experience Centre. With the new business location, Bystronic Korea is moving closer to its customers and, thanks to the newly created infrastructure, will be able to offer even more comprehensive customer support.

During the ceremony on April 23, which was attended by representatives from the construction company, the architecture firm, and the engineering company, Youngchul Choi, Managing Director of Bystronic Korea Ltd, broke the ground for the new Bystronic Experience Centre. The event was held in the form of a small traditional Korean celebration and in full compliance with the current safety regulations.

The new headquarters of Bystronic Korea is being built at the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) in Songdo-dong, located 50 km from Seoul and 30 km from the Incheon International Airport—making it easily accessible for customers from the entire Southeast Asian region. For Bystronic, the new site is located in a strategically important area, since the economic output of this region accounts for roughly 65 percent of the entire South Korean economy. This makes it the ideal hub from which to provide customer services, since many of Bystronic Korea’s customers are also based there.

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The move to a newly constructed building originally came into consideration because sales in South Korea have increased massively over recent years. The new headquarters will lay the foundations for consistent and sustainable growth. On a floor space of 3,360 m2—roughly three times the size of the previous area—a striking building with a glass façade characteristic of Bystronic is being constructed with an 820 m2 Experience Centre for Korea and the entire Southeast Asian region. Completion is planned for the spring of 2021.

Another reason was the demand for a universal service centre in this region that is so important to Bystronic. Consulting, hotline services, live demonstrations, and software and hardware training courses constitute the core customer services. In addition, the business location will offer sales, maintenance and spare parts. Customers will thus benefit from the comprehensive know-how of the leading technology supplier.

With the opening of the new business location in South Korea, Bystronic will gain an additional centre of expertise where customers can experience the latest manufacturing systems, software applications, and services first-hand.

 

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Schunk Releases Robot Deburring Tool

Schunk Releases Robot Deburring Tool

For the very first time, manual deburring processes can be automated with the robot deburring tool CDB from Schunk, without having to forgo the proven deburring blades. The adjustable-flexibility deburring tool is suitable for robot-assisted deburring of workpieces made of plastic, aluminium, steel, brass, and other materials in a wide variety of geometries.

The CBD can be used for deburring stamped parts, for household and industrial fittings, as well as for plastic or metal components in the automotive or aviation industry. Being able to insert conventional deburring blades that were previously used manually 1:1 into the robot tool makes quick and uncomplicated changeovers from manual to automated operation possible. No change is required to existing know-how when it comes to blades, blade holders and the process.

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The flexible robot tool imitates the manual deburring process, all while maintaining consistently high quality. Positional inaccuracies, workpiece tolerances, and tolerances of the robot are axially compensated by up to 8 mm, and radially by up to ±5.5 deg.

Balancing force can be individually controlled (axially 13–66 N, radially 13–62 N). Therefore, the tool ensures process-reliable deburring results and reduces rejects, and at the same time requires minimum programming effort. The uniform tool mounting ensures short set-up times when exchanging blades, meaning that the deburring tool can be used efficiently for manufacturing small series. Compared to manual deburring, robot-assisted deburring offers a vast range of advantages, including that employees no longer need to endure difficult, dangerous, and lengthy deburring tasks. Moreover, a consistently high quality is also ensured. In automated operations, unmanned deburring is possible around the clock.

 

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New Generation Of Taps For Hardened Steel, Cast Iron Materials

New Generation Of Taps For Hardened Steel, Cast Iron Materials

EMUGE Corp. has launched its A-H family of taps, a new generation of Premium HSS-E and HSSE-PM Taps for hardened steel and cast iron materials. EMUGE has enhanced its H Series of Rekord-A style taps to provide more standard product solutions for threading hardened steel and cast iron material.

The EMUGE A-H family of taps is the best solution for tapping extremely abrasive materials and those materials with elevated hardness levels, such as cast iron, common in the heavy equipment and agricultural vehicle markets. EMUGE A-H Taps are now available with or without coolant through holes and with TiCN coating, or NT nitride surface treatment, for improved tool life.

Premium HSS-E A-H Taps can tap materials up to 48 Rc hardness. Emuge HSSE-PM A-HCUT Taps can tap materials between 44 and 55 Rc hardness and feature a hard, heat resistant, powdered metal substrate for enhanced cutting performance and extended tool life. The new generation of taps with TiCN coating enhance the surface hardness and help increase the tools’ abrasion resistance. A new coolant-fed version with axial coolant holes help aid in chip evacuation.

The new EMUGE A-H family of taps is suitable for short chipping hardened steel and cast iron, and are offered in a Rekord A style for through and blind hole applications. UNC/ UNF thread sizes along with metric and metric fine sizes are available.

 

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Guide Pad Extends Tool Life Of Tungaloy’s Deep Hole Drills

Guide Pad Extends Tool Life Of Tungaloy’s Deep Hole Drills

Tungaloy has released FH3125, a new guide pad grade for its indexable deep hole drill series, including DeepTri-Drill, TRI-FINE, FINE BEAM, and UNIDEX. FH3125 is a new grade specifically developed to enhance the guide pad’s wear resistance in machining various materials.

The dedicated carbide substrate of the grade is designed to reduce guide pad breakage, providing long and predictable tool life in deep hole processes. The corners of both ends of the guide pad are designed to allow smooth entry into the guide bushing or pilot hole to control vibration impact and further decrease the risk of rupture.

Extremely wear resistant and featuring long tool life, the new guide pad grade ensures process reliability in various materials and secures drill entry into the guide bushing or pilot hole—thanks to a smart corner design on both ends.

The FH3125 is available in 13 models.

 

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Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

CNC specialist NUM has launched a new HMI (human-machine interface) software package that features a fully integrated CAM/postprocessor module to further simplify and accelerate the creation of part programs for CNC cutting machines. The software also includes two new real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications, designed to improve cutting accuracy and quality.

Many of the world’s leading manufacturers of water jet, laser and plasma beam cutting machines nowadays choose to base their products on NUM’s CNC systems, in no small part due to the inherent functionality and control flexibility of the company’s Flexium+ platform. Launched in 2012, Flexium+ has acquired an enviable reputation amongst machine manufacturers and end users for its control flexibility and ease of use – and NUM continuously enhances the platform to address users’ changing needs and new cutting machine technology.

The latest version of NUM’s software for CNC cutting machines is the result of significant development work. It embodies Industry 4.0 connectivity principles and features an entirely new HMI, known as NUMcut, which incorporates functionality that previously required separate CAD/CAM postprocessor computing resources.

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Users generally prepare part programs for CNC cutting applications upstream of the machine in the production area, on some form of CAD/CAM system. A key element of this work involves post-processing the resultant ISO file to incorporate machine-specific cutting data. This is a highly iterative procedure, which can lead to interpretation errors and time-consuming resolution of machining issues.

To shorten the path, NUMcut includes a powerful, machine-resident CAM/postprocessor module. The only data that needs to be transferred to the machine prior to commencing cutting operations concerns the geometry of the part and the desired quality of each cut. This data can be derived from virtually any type of CAD/CAM software, running, for example, on a standard PC.

All other necessary data, such as cutting speeds, abrasive quantity as a function of the material to be cut, etc., are calculated by the control system itself. The CAM/postprocessor module utilises a technology database containing all the relevant information needed by the control system in order to automatically generate an executable part program. The values in the database are preloaded by the machine manufacturer, and can be modified or added to by users if necessary – for example, to accommodate new materials.

The database itself – which effectively contains the expertise of the production company – can either be located on individual cutting machines, or stored on a network drive so that it can be accessed by several machines.

The NUMcut HMI displays all files that are available to the machine operator in a clear, unambiguous style. Using the CNC system’s touch-sensitive screen, the operator can determine each successive machine action simply by clicking and dragging icons from the pool of files into a ‘job list’. Both the job that is currently being processed by the machine, and the current position of the cutting tool within the job, are marked graphically. If required, the operator can change the job list while it is being processed to accommodate different production needs, such as express deliveries.

NUMcut also offers two real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications. During water jet cutting, the processing speed needs to be decreased before corners in order to reduce the wake of the cutting jet and thus maintain the cutting quality. Using data from the technology database, NUMcut’s adaptive feed control (AFC) function analyses the path geometry and automatically optimises the cutting speed to best suit the curve radius or corner angle.

Another inherent characteristic of water jet cutting is that the shape of the kerf changes with the cutting conditions, which means that a significant change of gap width can develop, depending on the speed. If this inaccuracy needs to be compensated for, NUMcut offers a variable offset control (VOC) function. This allows the cutting path to be changed automatically, so that the final contour of the part remains true to size despite the changing radius of the cutting jet, thereby maintaining the dimensional accuracy of each cut part.

 

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