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Morf3D Announces New State-of-the-Art Headquarters With SLM Solutions’ Machines.

Morf3D Announces New State-of-the-Art Headquarters with SLM Solutions’ Machines.

SLM Solutions’ Outfits Morf3D’s 9000 square-foot Applied Digital Manufacturing Centre (ADMC) with Two SLM® 500s and the NXG XII 600.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


Morf3D, a subsidiary of Nikon Corporation, helps clients realize the potential of additive manufacturing in a new age of aerospace innovation. SLM Solutions is an integrated solutions provider and metal additive manufacturing partner. The cooperation underscores both SLM Solution’s and Morf3D’s commitment to further advance the industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing(AM) technology as well as to streamline and accelerate serial production lines across the globe. Such industry partnerships aim to significantly scale AM production repeatability and quality to new heights.

The mission of Morf3D’s new headquarters is to leverage partner networks that will transform supply chain norms and develop the industry’s first certified production system to accelerate the industrialisation of Digital Manufacturing. The addition of the 2 SLM® 500s and the NXG XII 600 will support Morf3D’s goal of ramping up a global production setup while improving production lead time, order flexibility, cost efficiency, and quality.

SLM®500 is the best performing, most efficient system in its class, and it is designed to ensure operator safety and lower overall operational costs. The first quad-laser metal system on the market, SLM®500 can integrate lasers independently or in parallel to increase build rates by 90% over twin laser configuration. NXG XII 600 on the other hand, is an industry gamechanger equipped with 12 1KW lasers, making it the fastest commercial machine on the market. It’s designed to be used in serial production for high-volume applications as well as for printing large parts. It’s capable of printing at speeds 20x faster than that of a single laser system and 5x faster than a 4-laser machine. Enabling acceleration in AM at every angle, the NXG XII 600 is the modern day “da vinci”, crafting masterpieces at serial production scale.

“Our partnership with SLM Solutions dramatically shifts the landscape of serial production enabling our customers to achieve unmatched levels of quality and performance,” comments Ivan Madera, CEO of Morf3D. “The NXG XII 600 platform is an engineering marvel that addresses many aspects of a production-ready system. Our goal is to accelerate the qualification process by collaborating on new application development and part certification within the aerospace, space, and defense market.”  

Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the partnership, citing the increase in efficiency and productivity as the key benefits for all partners. “Adding the NXG Xll 600 to Morf3D’s SLM Solutions’ machines to the ADMC bolsters the collective digital manufacturing ecosystem, helping to improve production speed, quality, and automation.”

Next to the supply of machines, SLM Solutions will also offer on-site support in the form of education, training, and consulting.  All of ADMC’s research and development partners will also have access to collective training, meeting, and gathering spaces for customer events and business development efforts. Sam O’Leary, adds: “We are united in our customer-first approach, which reflects the training and education we provide to all of our partners.”

The machines will be delivered to Morf3D’s new state-of-the-art headquarters, in Long Beach, California, in 2022. This partnership strengthens the international impact of Additive Manufacturing solutions.

Find out more about their innovations and digital solutions: Morf3D, SLM Solutions.

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Cobots Continue To Gain Interest For Flexible Automation, Tipping The Market Over US$600 Million In 2021

Cobots Continue To Gain Interest For Flexible Automation, Tipping The Market Over US$600 Million In 2021

Despite the challenges facing the wider manufacturing industry during the coronavirus pandemic, collaborative robots continue to attract attention and investment, due to their ease of use, redeployability, and convenience to end-users who struggle to afford more traditional forms of automation.

According to a new report from global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, the cobot market is set to grow substantially over the coming decade. The market had a global valuation of US$475 million in 2020, which will expand to US$600 million in 2021 and US$8 billion in 2030, with a projected CAGR of 32.5 percent.

“The most direct benefit of cobots is not in their ability to collaborate with humans”, said Rian Whitton, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Rather, it is in their relative ease of use, improved interface, and the ability of end-users to redeploy them for different tasks”. This has made cobots popular with small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) which value flexibility and incremental automation where the maintenance cost is not prohibitive.

Universal Robots is currently the dominant player in the market, with 50 percent of the total shipments and posting US$219 revenue for 2020, but challengers like FANUC, ABB, and others are beginning to catch up after initially lagging in the space. They have done this by improving user interface and the usability of their systems

“The barriers between cobots and standard industrial robots are beginning to breakdown, as many vendors are experimenting with dual-mode robots that can have a cobot and industrial mode. What is more, cobots are beginning to develop heavier payloads, in line with evolving regulations” said Whitton. ABI Research projects that cobots are going to significantly expand the potential for automation for SMEs, while also enabling large vendors to develop a more flexible production line based on movable platforms and no need for fencing. The major industrial automation vendors will enjoy a greater share of the market as they utilise their existing partnerships and pour more resources into new cobot products.

 

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Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon And Plex Systems Announce Partnership To Deliver Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, and Plex Systems, the leader in cloud-delivered smart manufacturing solutions, has announced a new strategic partnership.  The global partnership will enable Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Plex to co-sell Plex MES to Hexagon manufacturing customers, helping them to take control of the plant floor through full visibility and connectivity and realise the promise of Industry 4.0.

“There’s no question that more connected, data-driven approaches to manufacturing are central to bringing better products to market faster and more cost-effectively with confidence.” said Paolo Guglielmini, president of the Manufacturing Intelligence division at Hexagon.

“Plex brings valuable experience to our customers, and its impressive open MES solution augments our technologies offering a path to ramp up shop floor efficiency by bringing together data from siloed processes to solve manufacturing problems faster and more collaboratively.”

Hexagon and Plex share a common vision for smart manufacturing, offering manufacturers an incremental path to achieve greater automation and Industry 4.0 adoption. Using Plex’s robust Manufacturing Execution System (MES) with integrated quality control, Hexagon customers will be able to augment their workflows by streaming quality measurements, engineering data and other manufacturing information into Plex’s MES creating a digital system of record in real-time.  Manufacturers will benefit from enhanced visibility and control over their inventory and manufacturing processes, while gaining deeper insight, traceability and opportunities for continuous innovation by combining Plex and Hexagon’s digital solutions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Hexagon, an organisation that is just as dedicated to delivering smart manufacturing solutions as we are and with a global scale,” said Bill Berutti, CEO at Plex. “Smart manufacturing isn’t something that will happen years down the road … it’s real, it’s imperative and it’s happening now.”

Hexagon and Plex will partner in opportunities, initially in Europe and India, where Hexagon prospects and customers have MES needs. The combination of Hexagon and Plex for these manufacturers provides a fully digitalised solution from plant measurement and metrology to managing end-to-end production.

“Smart manufacturers are seeking continuous product and process improvements to ensure that quality is measured, enforced and managed in a closed-loop across design, production and inspection,” said Reid Paquin, research director, at IDC. “This new partnership will enable manufacturers to do just that and on a global level.”

 

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Automation! More Than Just Hardware

Automation! More Than Just Hardware

Flexibility and efficiency are becoming crucial requirements for the industry. Salvagnini explains the impact of automation at each step of the production process. 

Rapid industrial developments of recent years continue to set tough challenges. Because industry has changed: flexibility and efficiency are crucial requirements for managing increasingly smaller batches, rapid item turnover rate and tight lead times. And it is precisely in this context that automation is attracting more and more attention.

Flexible Automation

Flexible automation means transforming packs of sheet metal into a wide variety of products, in a lean environment and with no intervention by the operator, in a progressive production process, using proprietary punching, cutting, bending and panel bending technology. Automation therefore has an impact on three successive levels:

  • the first level is that of the individual production phase, which horizontally exploits the potential of extremely high-performing, autonomous and intelligent systems;
  • the second level is that of activities with low added value, which typically occur upstream and downstream of these individual systems, with preparatory and/or connection functions; 
  • the third level is that of the process which, where appropriately organised, benefits exponentially from the sum of advantages offered by the previous two levels.

In practice, the result of an automated, organised process can exceed the sum of the benefits obtained in each individual activity and by eliminating any redundant intermediate activities. How? Let’s take a detailed look at the production process.

Optimising Individual Production Phases

We have already mentioned the progressive shift from a make-to-stock strategy, with large batches, towards a lean, make-to-order, just-in-time strategy based on medium and small batches and an increasingly variable production mix. And the industrial scenario is moving increasingly towards a substantial reduction in work-in-progress, eliminating the intermediate storage of semi-finished parts.

To respond to this variability and uncertainty, the market is looking more and more to flexible production systems. Being competitive today does not merely mean having fast single part production: the challenge lies in production efficiency, the ability to move from one production code to the next with the shortest re-tooling time, whatever the geometric and mechanical characteristics of the metal sheet and the type and number of jobs. Flexible systems are a decisive factor for managing production today, but also for improving quality and reducing lead times and scrap.

Salvagnini has been designing, producing and selling flexible systems for sheet metal working for over fifty years, and flexible automation has always been part of the company’s DNA. Its solutions are targeted to increase the efficiency of a specific production phase. This includes the panel bender—a machine which more than any other represents the spirit of the Group, precisely because it combines cutting-edge technology with productivity, autonomy, and flexibility. With universal bending tools, it requires no re-tooling, and machines the whole range of thicknesses and materials, adapting automatically to the size and geometry of the part to be produced, in cycle, without machine downtimes or manual re-tooling. 

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Addressing CMM Challenges With Automated Quality Control

Addressing CMM Challenges With Automated Quality Control

Creaform introduces a different approach to quality control—automated 3D scanning solutions, which eliminates the limitations of traditional CMM. 

In today’s hypercompetitive market, manufacturing companies face a multitude of challenges on their production lines. Many of those are connected to the quality control process, which aims to ensure the quality of the products being manufactured and sent out to the clients. 

A solution often brought forward to tackle this task is the use of a coordinate measurement machine (CMM). However, traditional CMMs come with their own set of issues such as delays in productivity, difficulties in recruitment and challenges in measuring complex parts, to name a few. And in such a high-speed environment, the smallest productivity slowdowns, added expenses or simple mistakes can take its financial toll on a business, and can translate into loss of contracts and customers’ trust. 

How to Detect Assembly Problems Earlier, Reduce Scrap and Down Time

While traditional CMM can be very precise, its complexity of use and limited speed can delay important information-based decisions. As only a few experts and professionals can execute these tasks and the measurements are taken outside the production line, it can create significant delays in applying corrective measures, which can generate scraps and down time. 

A different approach to quality control aims at addressing these specific challenges—automated 3D scanning solutions. 

Is Automation an Option to Increase Productivity?

Over the past few years, global manufacturing industries have come up with increasingly complex parts and assembly designs to address hypercompetitive markets. However, the diversity of such intricate components requires more advanced quality control processes.

What causes bottlenecks?

Too often, quality control inspections are performed in a room isolated from the production floor where temperature and humidity variations and vibrations are limited. Quality control experts must take samples from the production floor to the quality control lab to perform dimensional inspection with a traditional CMM. These part movements have several major negative impacts. For one, it requires a considerable amount of time and effort to move the parts back and forth from the production line to the lab, often creating unmanageable bottlenecks at the various measurement stations and extended delays in decision-making.

Inspection on the production line

To mitigate these issues and along with the increasing implementation of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are requiring that quality control inspections be conducted right on, or very near the production line to maximise efficiency and streamline communication throughout their entire manufacturing processes. 

As a result, there has never been a greater need to perform dimensional inspections within the production cycle using automated near-line or in-line metrology solutions. 

However, if inspections are carried out on production lines, the inspection pace must follow the production pace to avoid affecting productivity. A stop of production due to inspection bottlenecks cost a lot of money. Therefore, the return on investment of an automated quality control solution is very high.

Solution: Automated 3D scanning

Thanks to new technology and advances in science, manufacturers are using next-generation 3D scanning solutions with unprecedented data acquisition speeds of up to 1.5M measurements/second and faster mesh generations. A mix of high-performance cameras and computer components helps to increase data acquisition and processing speeds. In other words, 3D scanning measuring machines provide a solution that can scan parts continuously, faster than ever. Scanners can even adjust their settings during the scan process to optimise surface acquisition according to different textures and colors. This is a major enhancement since we can scan shiny black and matte white surfaces on the same part.

Increasing Automated Inspection Productivity

By using automated 3D scanners, quality control teams can perform more inspections per hour. Problems, defects, and irregularities can be detected earlier for immediate or future actions. In addition, equipment maintenance and corrective measures in the manufacturing process can be identified and planned ahead. With the possibility to be connected directly with production databases, the information can be automatically synchronised to save even more time.

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168 Motion Plastics Innovations From The Home Office

168 Motion Plastics Innovations From The Home Office

In a difficult environment, more innovations than last year – from the integrated robot drive up to the ball bearing with 21 times the service life

igus increases the pace of innovation despite the pandemic: high investments in digitalisation, logistics and remote consulting increased online sales by 30 per cent in 2020 and mitigated the decline in sales by 4.8 per cent. The motion plastics specialist is also breaking new ground in terms of sustainability and product innovation, and will be presenting more innovations than ever before with 168 tribo-polymer products in spring 2021.

Last year, the turnover of the motion plastics specialist igus fell by 4.8 per cent to 727 million euros in the wake of the Corona crisis. The company is optimistic for the current year, thanks to a significant increase in incoming orders. In addition, the pandemic period has led to a surge in innovation when working from home. The result is 168 new products, product extensions and digital offers this spring, more than ever before. igus will be giving a first preview at the Hannover Messe Digital Edition. The company will also be presenting all its spring news at its own physical-virtual trade show. It has just been awarded the “iF Design Award” and will be completely renewed for visitors from 5th May.

ReBeL accelerates cost-effective automation

After two years of development, the ReBeL, a new robot drive element, can be seen at the igus exhibition. Customers can construct their own robot arms quickly and cost-effectively from the modular kit. The core of the ReBeL is a greatly improved plastic gearbox. An integrated BLDC electric motor with power electronics can be connected to various controls. In addition, a suitable low-cost control system from igus is available free of charge as a download, so that the automation can be simulated in advance. In the field of “large” industrial robotics, igus is launching the TRX energy supply system, a solution that rethinks the subject of robot hose packs. The energy supply system twists, lengthens and shortens in a spiral, and cables are inserted in the form of a spiral. This enables a weight saving of 83 per cent on the 3rd axis, in less than half the space.

Dry-operating ball bearings with 21 times the service life

igus will also be presenting news in all areas of lubrication-free and maintenance-free bearing technology. In the case of ball bearings, the engineers at igus achieved a breakthrough in service life. In the application cases of low loads and high speeds, this was increased by a factor of 21. “What used to last a month now lasts almost two years”, explains Lena Woelke, the Development Manager for xiros ball bearings. Applications are found especially in fans or centrifuges

Plastic becomes a sustainable resource

How these lubrication-free plastic products not only have less impact on the environment during use, but are also produced in a CO2 neutral manner and recycled afterwards is part of the igus mission. The new factory building currently under construction will be climate neutral from the outset, and this will apply to the entire igus factory by 2025. To further reduce emissions, igus invests in modern technologies, for example, in extraction systems and filters; injection moulding machines that save up to 40 per cent energy and are barely audible have been purchased in large numbers. In addition to mechanical recycling in the chainge product range, igus also relies on new types of chemical recycling. Thus, igus increased its investment in Mura Technology to 5 million euros. Mura’s HydroPRS technology converts plastic waste back into oil. Investments increased by 29 per cent overall in 2020.

Investments in digitalisation and capacities bring customers forward

A significant part of the investments went into online shops and online tools. All webshops were renewed and made more informative for customers. New online tools for the configuration and calculation of gears, rollers, linear modules and stepper motors are accessible on the Internet free of charge and without registration. At the same time, igus expanded its stock at every location in the world. In addition to the USA with 23,000 individual parts and Europe with 88,000, 21,000 parts are now available in China in 24 to 48 hours and are assembled by igus in millions of models. The offer of easy online configuration and ordering together with the short delivery time was welcomed by many customers. Online sales increased by 30 per cent worldwide. The early expansion of machine and raw material warehouse capacities from the 3rd quarter of 2020 still ensures fast delivery times in the phase of a rapid economic recovery now.

Change as a duty and an opportunity

“Politics, technology, mobility, entertainment, climate and health – the world is changing rapidly at the moment”, says igus CEO Frank Blase. “We want to be active shapers. So I am proud of the igus colleagues for how they have applied themselves, changed and improved during these times.” The teams have been working predominantly from home since 13th March 2020. The offer for a self-determined quota of home office days with few rules and precise measurability is provided by igus until the end of 2022. At the same time, the company is experimenting with new work spaces and forms of on-site collaboration. “For our industry, the fact that everything is changing, absolutely everything, means everyone is making new products, and everyone needs new machines. This can trigger an enormous boom for our customers and us in the next few years.”

 

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Automation On Demand

Automation On Demand

Bystronic’s Bendikt Kreisel describes the benefits of a fully automatic bending cell in today’s sheet metal processing. 

Not long ago, automation was associated only with repetitive tasks. High and consistent quality as well as reliability over very long periods are decisive factors that ensure the profitability of automation in production environments. However, more complex jobs that require a high degree of customisation in the manufacturing process are still often performed manually. This is currently a widespread approach in the sheet metal processing sector.

Our industry has experienced a major transformation over the past five years–indeed, one could say it has been forced to transform. Increasing price pressure in the markets and the lack of skilled personnel are just two of the reasons for this, in addition to increasingly dynamic and uncertain business environments.

Automation Backlog

However, the unique advantages and disadvantages of manual processing by a human operator and automated manufacturing cannot be dismissed. Every decision in favor of or against automating a process is a balancing act involving many production-relevant variables. Besides productivity and quality, flexibility is another undeniable competitive advantage of any supplier in the manufacturing industry, especially in view of increasingly dynamic business environments. 

This is a dilemma that has led to a backlog of automation, especially in the sheet metal processing industry. However, when users do not wish to accept any compromises in terms of flexibility, productivity, and consistent high quality, the demands on the machines increase.

Intelligent Technology Solution

Bystronic’s Mobile Bending Cell addresses these demands and implements them by applying intelligent technology. The users’ requirements are particularly wide-ranging when it comes to bending technology. Being able to bend parts with extremely complex geometries in small batches while simultaneously being capable of handling the high-volume processing of simple geometries is a major challenge that many companies are currently facing. Also known as automation on demand, the Mobile Bending Cell is capable of overcoming these challenges—ensuring high flexibility as well as high quality and productivity. 

This is achieved by means of the Mobile Bending Robot, which can be positioned in front of the press brake or detached to allow manual operation. Thanks to an intelligent and fully automated measuring system, the robot references itself in front of the press brake without requiring manual intervention. Laser sensors measure the precise position of the robot relative to the press brake and it is referenced accordingly. This allows the press brake to be converted from manual bending to fully automated bending in less than ten minutes. The relative position of the press brake to the Mobile Bending Robot is determined so accurately that the need for manual calibration is completely eliminated. 

Once individual parts have been bent automatically, the process can be repeated without adjustments once the press brake and the Mobile Bending Robot have been connected. Depending on the requirements, the system can either be operated completely manually or fully automatically.

However, the “marriage” of press brake and Mobile Bending Robot is not the only critical factor for an efficient production process. The preparation of the parts that are to be bent is another process that incurs costs in every production run. For the automation on demand concept to really pay off, the process of programming the robot automation needs to be innovative and fast. 

With the Mobile Bending Cell’s programming system called Robot Manager, the robot’s movements are programmed using algorithms that factor in comprehensive collision models for each relevant application. All that is required is the definition of basic positions and all the other movements are automatically defined by the software. This increases quality and reduces process idle time.

Automatic measurement of the press brake and bending automation system in combination with intelligent robot programming makes the Mobile Bending Cell the ideal solution for bending automation on demand.

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First Trading Day As Bystronic On SIX Swiss Exchange

First Trading Day As Bystronic On SIX Swiss Exchange

At the Annual General Meeting on April 21, 2021, the share-holders of Conzzeta AG (“Conzzeta”) approved the change of name to Bystronic AG (“Bystronic”). The name change is the result of the strategic realignment of the Conzzeta Group. The shares of Bystronic (ticker symbol: BYS) are being traded for the first time on SIX Swiss Exchange.

By pursuing its growth strategy, Bystronic aims to further expand its leading position as high-tech solutions provider for the sheet metal processing industry: New smart factory software solutions meet the growing demand for automation and digital processes and support customers with the networking of their manufacturing processes. The company intends to open up new fields of application, strengthen its position in the individual regions and increase its focus on services. As a result, Bystronic’s market share is to continue to grow organically, by means of strategic partnerships and based on targeted acquisitions.

As already communicated on occasion of the Capital Markets’ Day on November 25, 2020, Bystronic is aiming for an annual organic sales growth of five to eight percent in the medium term (baseline year: 2019). By the end of the strategy period (2025), revenues are thus projected to increase to approximately 1.3 billion Swiss francs. The company has also set itself a profitability target with an EBIT margin in excess of 12 percent. Thanks to a capital-efficient business model, a return on net operating assets in excess of 25 percent is to be achieved. The service business is to grow from 19 percent (2019) to 26 percent of total revenues by 2025.

“Today is a special day for Bystronic and all our employees. I am very proud of the entire Bystronic team and their commitment to implementing our ’Strategy 2025`. We look forward to demonstrating that Bystronic is a modern, sustainably managed and agile company, and we share this moment with our employees, customers, investors, partners, and other stakeholders,” said Alex Waser, CEO of Bystronic.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to sincerely thank the Conzzeta team and all employees involved and congratulate them on the successful completion of our transformation – towards a company with a focus on high-tech solutions for the sheet metal processing industry. We all wish Bystronic a great start and, as a company now listed on SIX, continued success with the implementation of its ambitious growth strategy,”said Ernst Bärtschi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bystronic.

 

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Fully Automated Material Flow

Fully Automated Material Flow

A look at how a steel company was able to press ahead with automation and enable unmanned operation in its facility. Article by KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.

Steel is one of the most frequently used materials in industry. Examples are power generation, automotive manufacturing, food production and construction. It is also applied in many different ways and different forms because, as we know, steel is not just steel. Today more than 2,500 standard grades of steel are in use throughout the world, from simple construction steel to special high-quality alloys. These, in turn, are available in a wide range of dimensions and geometries. All of these factors make the steel trade very challenging. Companies that want to succeed in the increasingly competitive international environment must be able to supply their customers at all times with the materials they need, cut to their requirements.

This situation is all too familiar to Weser Stahl. The company has specialised for many years in the sale of hot-rolled and forged steel bars, steel tubes and bright steel. It is part of Westfälische Stahlgesellschaft, an owner-managed group of companies with four locations in Germany. Steel distribution, production of bright steel and material testing are combined here under one roof. Weser Stahl delivers mainly to customers in northern Germany and Scandinavia. The group as a whole sells some 250,000 tonnes of material each year, and Weser Stahl accounts for about 30,000 tonnes.

Increasing Numbers of Orders and Declining Batch Sizes

A large percentage of the company’s products are partially finished. More than half of the items shipped from the storage and production facilities in Stuhr have already been cut to size. The figure is rising, as Dr. Markus Krummenerl, Managing Director of Weser Stahl, points out, “Our customers are outsourcing more and more machining steps in order to save capacity. For this reason we’ve been continually expanding our portfolio in this area in order to fulfil as many of their wishes as possible.”

But this has also led to increasing customisation. “Our order numbers have been rising, while batch sizes have been shrinking. This of course poses a big challenge to us in manufacturing and logistics,” he says.

Weser Stahl relies on state-of-the-art machinery and equipment to meet this challenge. It has a number of band saws and circular saws for cutting various materials to size. These have been supplied for many years by KASTO, a group of companies based in the southern German town of Achern and known for its high-quality, high-performance machines.

“We appreciate KASTO’s ability to provide solutions even when we have special requirements,” says Krummenerl. This is why Weser Stahl also turned to the saw and storage equipment manufacturer when it decided to launch another ambitious project.

Unattended Operation Reduces the Burden on Employees

The goal was to automate the provisioning of the saws so that they could run largely unattended, enabling Weser Stahl to handle the increasing numbers of orders and meet the growing customer demand for partially finished products.

“Another important aspect for us was work safety,” adds Krummenerl. “We wanted to make our employees’ work environment more ergonomic and their daily tasks easier, in this way preventing accidents and injuries.”

Previously, material had been conveyed to the saws by an indoor crane—a laborious and not entirely hazard-free process involving bars and tubes weighing a tonne or more. “We therefore went to KASTO and asked them to suggest some solutions,” he says.

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Google Cloud And Siemens To Cooperate On AI-Based Solutions In Manufacturing

Google Cloud And Siemens To Cooperate On AI-Based Solutions In Manufacturing

Google Cloud and Siemens has announced a new cooperation to optimise factory processes and improve productivity on the shop floor. Siemens intends to integrate Google Cloud’s leading data cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) technologies with its factory automation solutions to help manufacturers innovate for the future.

Data drives today’s industrial processes, but many manufacturers continue to use legacy software and multiple systems to analyse plant information, which is resource-intensive and requires frequent manual updates to ensure accuracy. In addition, while AI projects have been deployed by many companies in “islands” across the plant floor, manufacturers have struggled to implement AI at scale across their global operations.

By combining Google Cloud’s data cloud and AI/MLmachi capabilities with Siemens’ Digital Industries Factory Automation portfolio, manufacturers will be able to harmonise their factory data, run cloud-based AI/ML models on top of that data, and deploy algorithms at the network edge. This enables applications such as visual inspection of products or predicting the wear-and-tear of machines on the assembly line.

Deploying AI to the shop floor and integrating it into automation and the network is a complex task, requiring highly specialised expertise and innovative products such as Siemens Industrial Edge. The goal of the cooperation between Google Cloud and Siemens is to make the deployment of AI in connection with the Industrial Edge—and its management at scale— easier, empowering employees as they work on the plant floor, automating mundane tasks, and improving overall quality.

“The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted. Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI ‘pilot projects’ today – we want to change that,” said Axel Lorenz, VP of Control at Factory Automation of Siemens Digital Industries. “Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game changer for the manufacturing industry.”

 

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