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Powder Ageing And Additive Manufacturing

Powder Ageing And Additive Manufacturing

In additive manufacturing, powder ageing is defined as the change of powder properties and pick-up of certain elements across multiple process cycles.

Article by EOS.

In the additive manufacturing (AM) of titanium alloys through laser powder bed fusion (LPBF), rapid oxidation takes place in the metal melt pool and the spatters created by the process. Additionally, the laser-powder interaction in repeated process cycles can change the powder properties, such as particle size and powder density. As these effects accumulate, a phenomenon known as powder ageing, they influence the final part properties, setting an upper limit for the powder reuse cycles. The aim of the present study was to investigate the criticality of powder ageing in the LPBF process with EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 powder using statistical analysis and an evaluation of analysis method accuracies. The mechanisms of powder ageing were linked to the ageing effects in the solid parts.

Based on the results, it was concluded that the Ti-6Al-4V ELI powder exhibited moderate ageing behaviour, causing only mild shifting in the final part properties over 22 powder reuse cycles. Despite approaching maximum limits of certain elements of the Ti-6Al-4V ELI composition, the mechanical property requirements defined in the material standard remained fulfilled throughout the experiment.

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Brose Turns To SLS 3D Printing To Produce End-Use Car Parts

Brose Turns To SLS 3D Printing To Produce End-Use Car Parts

Every other new vehicle worldwide is equipped with at least one Brose product, including various mechatronic components and systems, such as seat structures, door components, and various electric motors and drives.

Article by Formlabs.

As one of Germany’s most innovative companies, Brose is in an excellent position to integrate additive manufacturing (AM) into their products and manufacturing workflow. They use various AM technologies for prototyping, tools, and fixtures, and their next objective is to go into serial production. The latest addition to their printing fleet, the Fuse 1, the first benchtop industrial selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer from Formlabs, is one of the tools that will support them on this path.

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GlobalData Predicts Future Robotics Unicorns

GlobalData Predicts Future Robotics Unicorns

Right from healthcare, customer service, security patrols, and education & entertainment, startups are offering robotics-enabled solutions ranging from last-mile delivery to industrial automation. Against this backdrop, the Unicorn Prediction Model of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, has released a list of 50 robotics startups that have the potential to become unicorns (valuation > US$1bn).

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media

“Unicorn” is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion. The term was first popularized by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, California.

Apoorva Bajaj, Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData, says: “Advances in AI have enabled the development of robots, allowing them to become highly complex products rather than being the stand-alone, fixed-function machines they used to be. With the expansion of the roles that robots can perform, deep-pocketed venture capital (VC) firms are attracted to invest in the high-growth opportunity.”

GlobalData’s recent report, Future Robotics Unicorns – 09 September 2021, in Q2 2021, Asia-Pacific accounted for over 44% of VC deal volume valued at a total of US$ 2.7bn, followed by North America (primarily the US.) accounting for 31% of the total deal volume. Some of the robotics startups in GlobalData’s list of potential unicorns include Gecko Robotics, Covariant, Superpedestrian, and Sphero.

Gecko Robotics builds and operates robots to automate infrastructure inspections across power, gas, oil, and manufacturing industries. Gecko’s software portal allows clients to review all their assets in 3D, ensuring a holistic view of the equipment and prioritizing areas that needs urgent attention. 

Covariant designed a universal AI to enable robots to see, reason, and act in the real world. Based on research in deep imitation learning, deep reinforcement learning and meta-learning, the company has built Covariant Brain, a universal AI for robots that can be applied to any use case or customer environment.

Superpedestrian is a US-based transportation robotics company that develops technologies for micro-electric vehicles to optimize safety, reliability, and performance. Recently, it acquired micromobility-safety startup Navmatic and launched an active safety system, Pedestrian Defense.

Sphero builds smartphone-controlled robots by combining robotic and digital technology into immersive entertainment experiences. Sphero robots allow kids to learn fundamental STEM concepts through play-based learning and educational STEAM activities.

To gain access to GlobalData’s latest press releases and expert analysis on developments in your industry, connect with them:

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References of the content:

  1. Quotes are provided by Apoorva Bajaj, Practice Head of Financial Markets at GlobalData
  2. The information is based on GlobalData’s report ‘Future Robotics Unicorns – 09 September 2021′
  3. GlobalData’s Startup Scorecard ranks startups relatively using quantifiable data on three pillars: Investments, Innovation and Market Presence to ensure that it is objective and can be comparatively measured across different sectors and themes.
  4. This press release was written using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts
  5. “Unicorn” Definition: Investopedia, 2021

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UNITED GRINDING Presents A World Premiere At EMO 2021

UNITED GRINDING Presents a World Premiere at EMO 2021

The UNITED GRINDING Group, a manufacturer of precision machines for grinding, eroding, lasering, measuring, and combination machining, is presenting a revolutionary innovation at EMO 2021 in Milan: UNITED GRINDING C.O.R.E. Each of the Group’s brands – MÄGERLE, BLOHM, JUNG, STUDER, SCHAUDT, MIKROSA, WALTER, EWAG and IRPD – will be on hand to see the innovation presented to the public on the first day of the trade fair (October 4, 2021 at noon local time).

No details about C.O.R.E. are being divulged ahead of the official market launch. Stephan Nell, CEO of the UNITED GRINDING Group, is only willing to reveal this much: “We have invested unwaveringly in research and development both before and during the coronavirus pandemic, to secure the future – not just for us, but above all for our customers. And when we talk about the future, it is inseparably linked to digitalization today and with an increasing work simplification in production.” In this connection, C.O.R.E. is intended to put the focus back on people – and in a truly revolutionary way. The brand name says it all: C.O.R.E. – Customer Oriented REvolution.

Experts from each of the Group’s three technology areas – surface and profile grinding, cylindrical grinding, and tool machining – worked within a joint team on this groundbreaking development. “This project reflects our bundled development expertise,” explains Christoph Plüss, CTO of the UNITED GRINDING Group. “Through C.O.R.E., we are laying the foundations for a new generation of machine tools to pave the way into the digital age.” The result is a world-first that encompasses all of the Group’s brands and machine types.

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Outlook 2021

Outlook 2021

Experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along the way to recovery.

The year 2020 had been an extraordinary one, with the COVID-19 pandemic basically putting the global manufacturing industry on a standstill—at least except those essential industries that have scrambled to create medical equipment such as ventilators, and testing kits, as well as personal protective equipment including face masks and face shields.

The pandemic put into spotlight the agility and resiliency needed in every manufacturing industry, as supply chains get stuck and manufacturers are at a loss as to how to obtain their raw materials and parts. 

Nevertheless, the show must go on. And as vaccines are now being developed, it won’t be long until we see light at the end of this tunnel. In this special feature, experts in the metalworking industry provided their outlook for the coming year and their insights on how manufacturers should navigate whatever challenges the industry might still have along our way to recovery.


Simon Côté, Product Manager

The metalworking industry will continue to undergo major transformations in 2021. As customers continue to require more complex and sophisticated parts, it is becoming even more crucial for metalworking firms to implement new strategies and technologies to monitor the quality and compliance of final products—all while accelerating throughput due to demanding timelines.

Click here to read Simon’s outlook! 

Faccin Group

Rino Boldrini, Metal Forming Machine Specialist

There is no doubt 2020 will be remembered by most as a year to forget due to the pandemic and the global uncertainty, but it will also be considered as a starting point by those that were able to adapt to the market challenges by implementing or accelerating innovation-focused plans.

Click here to read what Rino expects this year! 

TRUMPF Asia Pacific

Chong Chee Ter, Managing Director

The outlook for the global economy in 2020 deteriorated significantly primarily due to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, we nevertheless are expecting global GDP growth to return back to the level of 2019.

Click here to read Chee Ter’s insights for 2021! 


Carsten Haecker, Head of Asia Pacific

Metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now—albeit some levelling was and is still visible in the current pandemic.  To hold their own fortress against international competition, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks. One solution is the digitalization and networking of production and logistics processes—the basic technologies surrounding Industry 4.0.

Click here to read Carsten’s outlook! 


Eran Salmon, Executive Head of Research and Development

“Business as Usual” is constantly being redefined at ISCAR to meet the varying needs of global metalworking industries. In such a reality, innovative technologies and business opportunities emerge to meet all the challenges ahead. 

Click here to read Eran’s insights for 2021! 

Marposs KK Japan and SEA

Marco Zoli

2020 has seen the COVID-19 pandemic act on top of the existing geopolitical factors and on the shift to e-mobility, with the result of accelerating the evolution of the manufacturing environment. The trend of focusing on production resilience is set to continue, resulting in a more localized supply chain and a higher concentration on global players. 

Click here to read what Marco expects for the year! 

Paul Horn GmbH

Lothar Horn, CEO

Despite the restrictions predicted for 2021, most businesses have not stood still. In industries where exhibitions play a major role, it was more a question of how to bring innovations to market—especially with regard to communication. Many of the people I spoke to were initially very excited about the digital possibilities, and certainly rightly so. 

Click here to read Lothar’s outlook for 2021! 

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Boon Choon Lim, President, Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, India

The year 2020 was characterized by virtual work and learning, as individuals and businesses reinvented themselves to maintain productivity. Optimising the digital landscape will continue in 2021, as companies embrace innovation to meet their needs. 

Click here to read what Boon Choon expects in 2021! 

Sandvik Coromant

Rolf Olofsson, Global Product Manager

To stay competitive, manufacturers need to rely more on digitized processes and less manual interaction. To meet the new requirements, we need to continue to drive the development and digitalization of the manufacturing industry. Sandvik Coromant have a unique venture with Microsoft, combining Sandvik Coromant’s expertise in machining with Microsoft’s technical solutions. 

Click here to read Rolf’s insights for 2021! 

Siemens Digital Industries Software

Alex Teo, Managing Director and Vice President for South East Asia

2020 underscored two important pillars of manufacturing: adaptability and resiliency. With COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, manufacturers need to inject their production chain with the agility to pivot and adapt to constantly changing market conditions. 

Click here to read what Alex expects in 2021! 

SLM Solutions Singapore

Gary Tang, Sales Director, Southeast Asia

“Change is the only constant in life” and this is characteristically so for 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Though businesses were disrupted, but in the same fast pace, opportunities arose for additive manufacturing (AM) in the medical frontline, responding quickly to severe restrictions in supply chains and traditional manufacturing bases.

Click here to read Gary’s outlook for 2021! 

Renishaw ASEAN

Steve Bell, General Manager

Unusual times in 2020 have brough significant difficulties in all walks of life, and manufacturing is no exception. The downturn in industrial activity has been evident during these COVID-19 times—mandatory closures, disruptions to the supply chain, and the stringent social distancing regulations imposed a devastating impact worldwide including the ASEAN region.   

Click here to read what Steve expects this year! 

VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Managing Director

The coronavirus pandemic is leaving deep scars in the German and international machine tool industry. For 2020, the VDW expects a decline in production of 30 percent. After economic data and economic indicators showed an upward trend in the third quarter, uncertainty in the economy is currently increasing in view of the second wave of the pandemic.

Click here to read Dr. Wilfried’s outlook for this year! 

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

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

In the wake of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global light vehicle sales in 2020 are now forecast to drop to 69.6 million units, 22 percent lower than in 2019, with risks to the forecast still skewed to the downside, according to IHS Markit.

In Southeast Asia, sales of new vehicles in the region’s six largest markets combined are estimated to have declined by over 19 percent to 700,528 units in the first quarter of 2020, according to GlobalData. Thailand saw first quarter sales down 24 percent as its economy reeled under the impact of much-reduced travel and tourism. Malaysia Q1 vehicle sales were down by 26 percent and Vietnam saw a slump of almost 32 percent.

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 one million new vehicles a year is forecast to double to two 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, according to GlobalData.

Here’s a roundup of the latest activities being done by automakers, parts manufacturers, and government units in ASEAN to drive the industry’s market recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive club, Thailand’s automotive production is likely to plunge 37 percent to 1.33 million units this year and could drop even further to 50 percent (to one million units) if the pandemic lasts till June.
    • Proposed measures to boost demand includes: a car trade-in scheme, 50 percent excise tax reduction until the end of the year and a delay in enforcement of Euro 5 emission standards
  • According to MarkLines Data Center, April vehicle sales in Thailand declined by 65 percent YoY to 30,109 units
  • Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd forecasts that demand for pickup trucks and other light commercial vehicles in Thailand is likely to fall 35 percent this year
  • Nissan Thailand has resumed production in its first Thai plant as well as plant 2 (on 1st June)
  • Mercedez-Benz Thailand plans to postpone the launch of the EQC BEV in Thailand to 2021 amid the coronavirus crisis, according to MarketLines, quoting a report from (Thansettakij)
  • Summit Auto Body Industry Co. Ltd (SAB) will continue with its project despite the pandemic, investing THB810 million—mostly for its plant expansion and purchase of new machines. SAB initially targeted THB8.8 billion for its 2020 revenue; but because of COVID-19, it revised down its forecast by 50 percent. (Prachachat Turakij)
  • TAPMA (Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers Association) expects exports of Thailand’s auto parts to drop in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q 2020) following the temporary suspension of car manufacturing plants both in Thailand and overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recovery is expected in Q3 as plants are reopening (Marklines).


  • Gaikindo, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, have reported that Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in April 2020 were 7,871 units, down by 90.7 percent YoY due to the coronavirus, according to MarkLines. January-April sales were down by 28 percent to 244,762 units.
    • In terms of automaker sales in April, Toyota was down by 90.3percent YoY to 2,056 units (26.1 percent market share); Daihatsu was down 91.8 percent to 1,330 units (16.9 percent market share); Honda was down 89.8 percent to 1,183 units (15 percent market share); Suzuki was down 86.4 percent to 1,042 units (13.2 percent market share); and Mitsubishi was down by 89.7 percent to 808 units (10.3 percent market share).
  • The Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs has announced incentives in the form of stimulus, amounting to IDR 70 trillion, for the automotive industry players to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) is set to resume operations this month after it suspended manufacturing operations from May 1 to June 1, 2020.
  • PT Toyota Astra Motor also announced to restart production around the same time, according to VietnamPlus.
  • PT Astra International: Its automotive sales drop by 91.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) in April to 3,807 units, according to data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo).
  • Suzuki Indonesia: Gradually resumed operating the plant starting on May 26, 2020. Before this, Suzuki Indonesia had temporarily suspended factory operations from April 13 to May 22, 2020.


  • According to a report from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), the automotive market suffered a decline of 36 percent over the first four months and only 11,761 units were registered in April 2020
    • Sales of passenger cars decreased by 40 percent, commercial vehicles by 26 percent and specialised vehicles by 16 percent, compared to the previous month.
  • On May 20, the government approved a plan to reduce auto registration fees by 50 percent until the end of the year which could help domestic enterprises recover and stimulate car consumption for domestically-made cars over imports


  • Malaysian Automotive Association: Malaysia recorded just 141 sales of new automobiles in April, down 99.7 percent compared to the same period in 2019 (49,939 units)
    • Estimates point to a plunge to 400,000 this year. Sales for the first four months of the year declined 45 percent to 106,600 autos.


  • The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) expects vehicle sales to decline by at least 20 percent in 2020 amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Earlier, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) expects total vehicle sales to decline by 40 percent. Total automotive sales covering vehicles sold by both CAMPI and AVID reached more than 410,000 units last year.
    • Toyota Motor Corp. restarted production in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Russia, on May 22. Toyota’s vehicle plant in the Philippines, which produces models such as Vios, resumed operations on a single shift on May 18. The six overseas plants where Toyota has not resumed plant operations yet include Indonesia, Brazil, India, Venezuela, Portugal, and Czech Republic.


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Hwacheon On VMCs Vs. HMCs

Hwacheon on VMCs vs. HMCs

Hwacheon Machine Tools Co. Ltd compares and contrasts horizontal machining centres (HMCs) and vertical machining centres (VMCs) and explains the uses of each. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

South Korea-based Hwacheon Machine Tools Co. Ltd is a pioneer in the Korean machine tool industry, and one of the first companies in the world to develop smart operating systems and automation software for CNC machine tools.

Its roots come from a local foundry, where founder Kwon Seung Gwan initially worked as an apprentice mould maker. His grit, determination and attention to quality earned him the confidence and respect of the owner, who eventually entrusted the stewardship of the foundry to Kwon in August 1945. The company was later established on December 20, 1945 and became the foundation of Hwacheon.

Hwacheon uses lines of Horizontal Machining Centers A600 with fast overhead gantry systems in its own automotive part production, where the company manufactures crankshafts and cylinder blocks.

Hwacheon uses lines of Horizontal Machining Centers A600 with fast overhead gantry systems in its own automotive part production, where the company manufactures crankshafts and cylinder blocks.

First known as Hwacheon Machine Works, Kwon incorporated Hwacheon Machine Tools Co. Ltd. Designing and building the first lathe machine in Korea, Kwon played a key role empowering Korea’s fledgling manufacturing sector, which was just recovering from the Korean War.

Kwon built on his success later in 1959 with the development of the country’s first direct-coupled belt-driven lathe machine. In 1964, Hwacheon added a feather on its cap with the development of the country’s first gear-driven automatic lathe.

Over the next two decades, Hwacheon focused its energies on R&D. Around this time, the company also established its own manufacturing division. This set the stage for a string of other ‘firsts’ within the South Korean Industry, such as the first NC lathe machine; the first NC milling machine; the first CNC copy milling machine; and the first NC four-axis lathe machine. In 1987, Hwacheon developed the country’s first horizontal machining centre, a multiplex machine tool with automatic tool changer.

The next era saw Hwacheon enjoying steady growth as it shifted its gears towards modern R&D, focusing on using information technology (IT) to reduce manual work. During this period, the company built larger and semi-automated machine tools, including a vertical high-speed machining centre. In 2001, it started its automobile parts business—producing initially up to 30,000 cylinder blocks—with its horizontal machining centre (HMC).

More than 70 years since its founding, Hwacheon has grown to become one of world’s leading CNC machine tool manufacturer with a solid reputation for reliable quality products. Today, the company is a fully integrated machine tool maker offering highly specialised CNC lathes, CNC milling machines, multi-axis machines, and smart machines for a wide spectrum of industries.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking News (APMEN) magazine, Hwacheon’s Klaus Ludwig, managing director of Hwacheon Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, and vice president of Hwacheon Machine Tools Co. Ltd, talks about the current trends shaping the machining industry, and their customers’ challenges and how they are helping them address those issues. He also talks about horizontal machining centres (HMCs) and vertical machining centres (VMCs), the uses of each, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Name one of your company’s key competitive advantages.

Klaus Ludwig, Hwacheon

Klaus Ludwig, Hwacheon

Klaus Ludwig (KL): Strong mechanical design and build. All machines are designed and built in-house. Only components like CNC control, bearing and linear guides are purchased from reputable suppliers in Japan and Germany.

From casting to machining of its spindles—all are manufactured by the company in South Korea.

What challenges are your customers facing?

KL: This very much depends on the area and industry. However, one common obstacle being faced practically everywhere is the lack of qualified and motivated manpower. That’s why automation, even the simplest automation solutions, are increasingly implemented around the world in manufacturing.

How is your company helping your customers address their problems?

KL: Our company offers a number of effective automation solutions for our turning and machining centres. At a higher level, our SMART machines are developed to minimise the effect of human involvements and the potential for errors.

We have started with this technology many years ago. Today, we are the only company that is able to offer a real smart machine—just sending the CAD file to the machine, press four buttons, and the SMART Machine does the rest.

Tell us more about HMC and VMC.

KL: VMCs are mainly standard three-axis machines, where the milling head/spindle is positioned vertically. Such VMCs can be designed in a traditional C-frame design or as double-column machining centres.

Five-axis solutions are available too, such as our M-series or the newer D2 five-axis machining centre. All have their spindle vertically positioned.

Standard VMC are the most sold machining centres in the market. They are generally lower in price compared to an HMC, subject to specification and quality, of course.

Meanwhile, HMCs are, in a basic configuration, 3+1 machining centres. Three-axis linear (X–Y–Z) plus one rotary axis (B-axis) to position the mounted workpiece. The spindle is positioned horizontal, providing the possibility to work on four sides of a workpiece by rotating/positioning the part to the spindle.

There are also full four-axis versions available, where the workpiece mounted on the B-axis can be rotated as an axis and synchronised to the three linear axes.

HMCs are normally used for higher production volumes as they usually have an integrated pallet changer. Also, as materials and parts can be replaced/exchanged while the machine is operating, HMCs provide reduced downtime.

Horizontal Machining Center AF-30 and AF-16 (in the background) with automatic pallet changers.

Horizontal Machining Center AF-30 and AF-16 (in the background) with automatic pallet changers.

How would you differentiate a HMC from VMC? Are there specific applications wherein one is better to use than the other?

KL: Standard VMCs require lower investments for job shops—as such they are more commonly used. They are also easy to use and operate.

VMCs are typically used in two- to three-axis operations. A fourth axis (NC Rotary Table) is optional, available but smaller in sizes. Usually, they come without a pallet changer system, while automation is done by robots. However, VMCs used for mould and die are precision machining centres with higher spindle speeds.

On the other hand, HMCs require higher investment—but they are cost-effective when it comes to mass production. One advantage of an HMC is chip removal—due to the nature of its design, chips easily fall to the chip conveyor. Its multi clamping features offer more economical and efficient production solutions. Their pallet system also provides higher productivity. However, HMCs are rarely used in mould and die. Our H8 however, is being used due to its rigidity, available spindle design and speed, as well as achievable accuracy.

How do you position your machining centre solutions in the market?

KL: Hwacheon has solutions for mass production of automotive parts—the A600 is especially designed for this application. This machine is designed to be used as a line machine, meaning, several machines will be placed next to each other and loaded/unloaded by an overhead Gantry system. To save space, the machine width is very slim; in this way, the point to point distance for the loading system is kept very short.

In fact, we use a line of 10 machines with a fast overhead gantry system in our own automotive part production, where we manufacture crankshafts and cylinder blocks.

For extreme tough material and operations, we have our H6 and H8 HMCs. Their extreme rigidity, highest overall machine weight, and the strongest spindle in the market—at 1,650Nm torque—set them apart from any competitor.

For large, heavy and accurate parts, our AF 16 and AF 30 are providing excellent machining platforms and capacities. Whether oil & gas or machine tool parts, these machines provide excellent performances.

Whether a customer is looking for mass production or for a machine that can handle even the toughest material, Hwacheon has a solution available.

Machining parts on Vertical Machining Center SIRIUS-1350/1750/2500.

Machining parts on Vertical Machining
Center SIRIUS-1350/1750/2500.

What trends do you see as you look out at the metalworking industry in Asia?

KL: Over the past years, the trend has been toward more complex machines and effective automation solutions. Of course, there are still those customers who believe a ‘cheap’ machine and equipment makes them competitive; but the industry in Asia is evolving—and it must evolve from cheap manufacturing to more quality products.

Batch sizes have become smaller, while real mass production is rare. Faster deliveries and cost-effective operations are the key today. And this requires good equipment and machines, as well as higher level of operators—because one operator is able to handle multiple machines. This has become the norm.

Finally, what advice would you give your customers when it comes to their machining processes?

KL: First, look at your current standard first. Can you receive orders for the higher quality parts—which come with higher benefits—or should you decline it? How fast can you switch from one part order to the next? What is your level of scrap? How many set-ups do you need to produce your parts? What makes a manufacturer different from the others? Cheaper machines and equipment or higher level capabilities?

Plan your machine purchase in advance, not only when you have the order to produce and you are forced to buy any available machine in the market. You may finally not get what you need and wanted.

With a few simple questions, a customer can determine their level of competitiveness, and where they should improve or focus their efforts on.

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Sandvik Acquires Stake In Additive Manufacturing Service Provider Beam IT

Sandvik Acquires Stake In Additive Manufacturing Service Provider Beam IT

Sandvik AB has acquired a 30 percent stake in privately owned Italian company Beam IT, a provider of metal additive manufacturing (AM) services and advanced end-use components.

“The investment in Beam IT will complement our existing offer in additive manufacturing. It is also in line with Sandvik’s strategic ambition to become a leading solution provider for the wider component manufacturing industry,” said Lars Bergström, president of Sandvik Machining Solutions.

Beam IT is a trusted supplier of metal AM end-components to demanding industries, including automotive, energy and aerospace, and holds several relevant quality certifications to serve these industries. The company has more than 20 years of experience within additive manufacturing (AM) and has more than 20 powder bed fusion printers installed.

“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 programmes. With this investment we provide our customers with the opportunity to access the complementary and combined power of Sandvik and Beam IT,” said Kristian Egeberg, president of the Additive Manufacturing division in Sandvik.

In 2018, Beam IT generated revenues of about SEK70 million, with its 38 employees. Sandvik has the right to further increase its stake over time. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.



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