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Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

A fiber laser cutting system, a matching automation solution, and innovative software enable companies to increase their productivity while simultaneously saving energy. The Haslach Group, based in the Allgäu region in Germany, shows how this can be done.

Twice the output for the cutting process with the same electricity consumption – fiber lasers are considerably more efficient than CO2 lasers. This saves resources while simultaneously increasing output. And this is why the transition was an obvious step for the Haslach Group: “We want to be able to fulfil our customers’ increasing demand and we have found a reliable partner with Bystronic,” says Managing Director Marita Haslach-Dann.

In order to meet the growing demand while simultaneously saving resources, two ByStar Fiber 4020 fiber laser cutting systems have been in operation in the Haslach Group’s production halls since December 2018. Each equipped with a laser output of six kilowatts, they can cut metal sheets up to a size of four by two meters – ideal for Haslach, a medium-sized company well-known for its ability to process large-format metal sheets.

Wide Range Of Applications

On the outside, the ByStar Fiber 4020 stands out thanks to its attractive design. On the inside, there is patented laser technology: a cutting head developed by Bystronic that precisely adapts the focal point of the laser beam to match the sheet thickness and material. This enables the fiber laser cutting system to consistently achieve the optimal processing quality in spite of varying sheet metal thicknesses and materials.

The ByStar Fiber 4020 cuts up to 30 millimeter thick steel and guarantees clean cutting edges in a wide range of sheet metal qualities. This makes it possible to cut intricate contours in the best possible quality. Complex geometries can also be implemented with ease. Moreover, the range of applications is broader in comparison to CO2 laser cutting machines: The new systems can handle a wide variety of sheet thicknesses and an extensive range of materials, including non-ferrous metals, such as brass and copper. The Haslach Group benefits from this added flexibility, because many of its customers have very specific requirements.

Customised Automation Solution

In order to ensure the rapid loading and unloading of the fast machines, the Haslach Group uses a matching automation solution on both of its fiber laser cutting systems: the ByTrans Cross 4020. “An ideal match,” Marita Haslach-Dann explains. “The automation helps us to work more ergonomically and to increase our throughput. This enables us to produce efficiently.” In spite of the fully automated material supply, operators can manually feed in sheets whenever required.

The inflow and outflow of materials is connected to a high-bay warehouse. The Haslach Group had specified an automated warehouse system, but only one supplier was able to meet their specific demands: “Bystronic rapidly implemented a customised solution for us,” Marita Haslach-Dann says. It was the overall package of cutting systems, automation, software, and service that convinced her.

Software Brings Transparency To Manufacturing

Cutting plans are created using the Bystronic BySoft 7 software, where programmers work in a 3D CAD environment. The 3D models provide a tangible idea of the parts that are to be produced. The BySoft 7 software automatically selects the best possible cutting technology and helps optimise cutting processes. It also ensures optimal use of the raw sheets based on the highly sophisticated nesting of parts.

Thanks to the touch screen, operators always maintain an overview: Production and machine data are retrieved in real time. Operation is so user-friendly that one employee can supervise several machines at the same time. “With the previous systems, we had one operator for every machine,” says Marita Haslach-Dann. The staff have been assigned to new tasks because the high cutting speed of the ByStar Fiber 4020 results in the output of more cut parts that require sorting.

In order to ensure all employees have an overview of the production process, the Haslach Group also relies on planning software from Bystronic, the Plant Manager. The programmer is enthusiastic: “We can always see at what capacity the machines are running,” he explains. “This allows us to flexibly coordinate individual steps of the workflow to accommodate short-term change requests.” Virtually real-time access to all the relevant production and machine data makes it possible to adapt production processes to be able to accept last-minute customer orders.

Doubled Productivity

Programming and planning software has transformed production into a digitally networked manufacturing landscape. Employees can constantly monitor the flow of information and quickly implement plans. “Our path from the incoming order to the end product has become faster and more efficient,” Marita Haslach-Dann explains. The Haslach Group’s head of the cutting department confirms this: “We have successfully increased productivity by 50 to 60 percent when processing thin sheet metal.” The results are impressive: The perfect cutting edges satisfy even the most demanding customers.

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Gripping And Clamping Solutions For Process Automation

Gripping and Clamping Solutions for Process Automation

In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Vincent Teo, general manager of Schunk, talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Schunk is one of the leading providers of clamping technology and gripping systems worldwide. Founded in 1945 by Friedrich Schunk as a mechanical workshop, the company has grown to become what it is today under the leadership of his son, Heinz-Dieter Schunk. The company is now under the leadership of siblings Henrik A. Schunk and Kristina I. Schunk, the company founder’s grandchildren.

Schunk has more than 3,500 employees in nine production facilities and 34 subsidiaries as well as distribution partners in more than 50 countries. With more than 11,000 standard components, the company offers the world’s largest range of clamping technology and gripping systems from a single source. In particular, Schunk has 2,550 grippers—the broadest range of standard gripper components on the market—and its portfolio comprises more than 4,000 components.

Based in Singapore, Vincent Teo is the general manager of Schunk, where he is responsible for the Southeast Asia market, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Teo talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. He also talks about the trends shaping the clamping and gripping market, and his outlook for the industry.

APMEN: What is your company’s ‘sweet spot’?

Vincent Teo: Schunk understands the needs of manufacturing companies, which have assembly, handling and machining processes. Our products can apply in multiple manufacturing sectors.

APMEN: What sort of challenges are your customers facing?

Teo: Today, businesses face the challenge of getting skilled workers—and staff retention for many industries is becoming a struggle. This is even more severe for countries such as Singapore, which depends on foreign workers. If automation can help reduce these problems and improve work conditions, then more high-value jobs can be created.

APMEN: How is your company helping your customers address their problems?

Teo: We work together closely with our partners such as robot manufacturers and system integrators, and we aim to reach out to more customers to help them see the benefits of automation.

APMEN: What forces do you see driving the industry?

Teo: Collaborative robots, or cobots, have revolutionized many applications that were impossible to think of over a century ago. Less complicated programming equates to less man-hour training, making it cheaper for businesses to adopt robotics. This is game changer, and Schunk is working with the major players in this new era of robotics.

APMEN: What opportunities you are seeing in the Asia market for robotic clamping industry?

Teo: The trend towards automated loading on machining by robots is picking up in recent years. The company is well-positioned to support this growing demand with immediate solutions.

APMEN: What about the challenges in the region? How do you see the trade war between China and the US affecting the manufacturing industry?

Teo: There has been increased investments towards Asia. This is a good problem, where we see customers valuing more our solutions to help them to increase their productivity and capture more businesses.

APMEN: What are the latest developments in robotic clamping/gripping?

Teo: We constantly develop new products in anticipation of the needs of our customers. One example is our latest product, the VERO S NSE3 clamping module, which improves set-up time and has a repeatability accuracy of <0.005mm.

APMEN: How do you position yourself in this industry? What sets you and your solutions apart from the competition?

Teo: Schunk is a unique company, having clamping technology (CT) and gripping systems (GS) solutions. With more than 11,000 standard products, no other company has a comparable scale and size across the range of products. With integrated solutions for both, we provide our customers the best opportunity to automate their processes.

APMEN: What advice would you give your customers when it comes to choosing the correct robot clamping/gripping solution?

Teo: For the machining industry, some customers often invested in clamping solutions and realized later that they need to automate their processes. When they started to review, they will realize that their investments may not be future proof. This may further discourage them towards the automation idea. Our comprehensive CT products allow our customers to later upgrade with our GS products, as both offers seamless integration.

APMEN: The trend is toward smarter factories now, with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, etc. Where does Schunk come in in this environment?

Teo: Schunk sees the need to embrace new technologies. iTENDO, our intelligent hydraulic expansion toolholder for real-time process control, records the process directly on the tool, and transmits the data wirelessly to a receiving unit in the machine room for constant evaluation within the closed control loop. With iTENDO—the first intelligent toolholder on the market—Schunk is setting a milestone when it comes to digitalization in the metal cutting industry.

APMEN: What is your outlook for the robotic clamping/gripping industry in the next 12 to 18 months?

Teo: We understands our partners’ and customers’ needs. For gripping, we have come out recently with new products to address the growing demand for collaborative robot (cobots). For clamping, our latest NSE-A3 138 is specifically designed for automated machine loading. It has a pull down force up to 28kN with integrated bluff off function and media transfer units.

 

 

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How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity

How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity

More and more metalworking companies are now relying on integrated automation in their production. And the same thing is happening when it comes to sawing technology. Article by KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.

More and more metalworking companies are now relying on integrated automation in their production. And the same thing is happening when it comes to sawing technology. The use of industrial robots offers great potential for handling the sawn sections: The mechanical helpers can take on numerous tasks, from picking to deburring, weighing, centring and marking to sorting and stacking. This provides more flexibility and performance in production, better working conditions and significantly lower operating costs.

Across all sectors, the demands placed on metalworking companies are steadily increasing: They must have a high production flexibility from batch size one to large-scale production, process more and more different materials and dimensions—in excellent quality and at the lowest possible cost. Those who want to be permanently successful in the ever tougher international competition must organise all their production processes in a variable and efficient, but also efficient way.

Countless Uses for Robots

Sawing technology plays a key role in metal processing and offers many opportunities for optimisation. More and more operators of sawing systems are intelligently linking their work processes and automating them with robot support. The benefits are obvious: Industrial robots are fast, reliable and precise, and if necessary, they can work 24 hours a day without human intervention. They don’t get tired or fall ill, and they can handle a wide range of tasks when equipped with the necessary tools. “Our robots help us with a number of handling and conveying tasks and efficiently perform many machining steps,” says Volker Bühler, group manager for robotics at the sawing and storage technology specialist KASTO.

Automation starts right with material feeding. The material to be cut is conveyed to the machine by means of suitable equipment, for example roller conveyors or magazines, thus sparing workers the effort of lifting and carrying, and reducing the risk of injuries. Depending on how it is equipped, the sawing machine itself can also run attended. Material is fed to it automatically, and an intelligent machine control system sets all parameters, such as cutting length and cutting speed, based on the job data. State-of-the-art production saws can thus carry out a variety of jobs in sequence, with different materials and diameters, and operate autonomously for long periods.

Removal, Machining, Stacking—Automatic from Start to Finish

Industrial robots also have considerable potential when it comes to handling and processing finished cut parts. For example, they can remove them from the machine, thus relieving workers of this repetitive task. When equipped with appropriate tools, robots can also perform tasks like deburring, chamfering, marking, centring or measuring workpieces. Cut parts can be weighed, sorted by size or job, and stacked on pallets or placed in containers. The parts can also be transferred directly to a driverless transport system. “For complex processes involving various work steps, we also use combinations of different robots and clamping devices,” explains Bühler.

When large quantities of material are sawed with only a few different component geometries, it is relatively easy to automate the downstream processes. The situation is different with custom sawing involving diverse materials and dimensions.

“The greater the variety, the harder it is to cover all the possibilities,” says Bühler. The choice of robot tools is an important factor. A robot must be able to deal with all the objects it encounters while using as few aids as possible. This reduces procurement costs, minimises idle times and increases productivity. Users have a choice of mechanical, magnetic or vacuum-operated grippers. The grippers should be as compact as possible to give the robot easy access to the cut parts.

Sawing Technology on Course to Industry 4.0

With the help of the right components, sawing can be combined with other automated operations to create complex, highly integrated systems that are seamlessly connected in a continuous material flow. This includes upstream storage as well as downstream handling and processing. For example, KASTO implements combined storage and sawing systems for its customers in which all storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes are completely automated—from storage of the raw material to retrieval of the cut parts. The control software can be linked to existing ERP systems like SAP for greater transparency and efficiency. Sawing can be integrated with other processes like turning or milling in digitised, self-configured production systems such as envisioned in Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative.

Automated sawing technology offers significant advantages to users. Many processes can run unattended and much faster, which increases productivity and reduces the need for personnel. It is easier to make up the difference when employees are ill, and robots can keep working even during breaks or after shifts. The result is lower personnel costs and greater flexibility in terms of capacity utilisation.

Companies can react more easily to order peaks and dramatically reduce idle times. This can make a big difference economically.

“We’ve calculated that, depending on the shift model, an investment in an industrial robot with a machine like our KASTOvariospeed saw pays for itself in less than a year,” says Bühler. “When you consider that systems like this are used for more than ten years on average, users can reduce their operating costs for a very long time.”

Benefits for Both Users and Customers

Robot technology also helps to improve working conditions. It relieves employees of heavy, tiring and monotonous tasks. The risk of accidents and injuries is reduced. Moreover, the cut parts are of better quality, because robots machine them with equal precision, sort them reliably and stack them neatly. This provides benefits not only for operators of automatic sawing facilities, but also for their customers.

 

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Competence Days 2019: New Technologies, New Solutions

Competence Days 2019: New technologies, New Solutions

Bystronic presented its innovations for the sheet metal processing industry at its largest in-house exhibition in Niederönz (Switzerland). A perfect opportunity to chat about new approaches in the fields of laser cutting, bending, automation, and software.

Over a period of two weeks, Bystronic welcomed 1200 guests from more than 50 countries to the Competence Days at its Swiss headquarters in Niederönz. The motto for the event was “World Class Manufacturing”. The event provided an answer to the question of what sheet metal processing could look like in the future. Visitors experienced the most important trends and innovations in the fields of laser cutting, bending, automation, and software up close during live demonstrations and guided tours of Bystronic’s Swiss production halls for laser cutting and automation technologies.

For many customers, looking ahead to the future of their own sheet metal processing operations means: Being able to adapt to decreasing batch sizes and fluctuating order situations. Mastering cost and time pressure by applying the most efficient processes and systems available. And positioning themselves on the competitive global or local markets with leading technologies and manufacturing solutions.

Hardware And Software Open Up New Paths

Thanks to new technologies, metal and sheet metal products can now be manufactured more versatile and profitably than ever before. In addition to the suitable hardware, software solutions are playing an increasingly important role in the sheet metal processing sector. In future, it will not be just the machines, but also the correct software that will determine competitive success. Software packages and digital process solutions help customers to make increasingly complex production processes transparent and profitable. This allows the costs, processing times, and quality of production processes to be optimised to achieve previously unattainable levels.

In a conversation that took place during the event, Bystronic CEO Alex Waser said: “Events such as the Competence Days are an important platform for our visitors to exchange ideas with Bystronic. This allows new ideas to be developed and existing visions to be refined. We talk to our guests about what is bothering them, what solutions Bystronic can develop for them, and what the next step for their production processes could be.”

For job shops, for example, the next step could be a powerful fiber laser with an automated loading and unloading solution to increase productivity. Or a fully automated material and data flow to enable virtually autonomous operation in multiple shifts. “Advanced users and large metal processing companies also think in other dimensions. Here we are talking about end-to-end solutions that cover cutting, bending, material handling, as well as process and data management.

In future, in its role as a supplier of integrated solutions, Bystronic will support users with the planning and implementation of such production landscapes,” Alex Waser explained. “With our experts in the Bystronic Solution Center and with a wide range of technologies, we meet our customers at their current level and help them take the next step.”

Seize Opportunities And Invest

The framework conditions of today’s sheet metal processing companies vary around the globe. And yet it became clear that the international visitors to the Competence Days 2019 also had things in common. Users in Europe, America, and Asia are currently facing the challenge of successfully aligning their manufacturing environments to demanding and unpredictable markets.

“Many of our customers face the question: Wait and see how things develop or invest right now,” Alex Waser explained. “We understand the obstacles. But we also see the opportunities for our customers. Companies that invest in new technologies now and that enhance their production processes can rely on powerful equipment when the next upward trend begins.” And that this upward trend will come is guaranteed. This was the wide consensus among the guests at Bystronic’s Competence Days.

 

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Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Armin Stolzer, Owner & CEO of KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG regarding current trends in the metal cutting industry.

APMEN: What trends are shaping the metal cutting industry?

The current favourable situation in widespread parts of the global economy and in the metalworking sector is leading to many companies increasing their production output. However, for the most part, additional capacity is usually necessary to enable the larger number of orders to be processed on time. More and more users are therefore deciding to automate processes, including in the sawing and storage technology sector. This offers considerable potential and, at the same time, the necessary flexibility to be able to respond to changing requirements.

 

APMEN: How are you helping your customers keep up with these trends?

We help companies to achieve significant improvements in production efficiency while at the same time reducing their costs – two outcomes which in today’s economically challenging climate are in especially great demand. Our sawing machines and storage systems can be easily integrated into a digitalised and automated material flow. We also offer combined sawing and storage systems in which all the storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes are performed fully automatically with the help of industrial robots – from putting the raw material into store through to the picking of the cut parts. With our customised complete systems, metal-processing companies can fully utilise the potential of their production and logistics facilities.

At the software level we also have innovative solutions that are perfectly adapted to industry needs, for example in the form of our well-designed machine control systems and KASTOlogic Warehouse Management System. With KASTOoptisaw, we have developed a cutting optimisation tool which considers various machine parameters as well as the workload. It generates one or more cutting plans that determine the best item sequences. This results in less waste and as few material movements as possible, saving users both time and money.

 

APMEN: What are the latest technology developments in KASTO’s metal cutting saws and storage systems?

Just recently, we have launched an innovative solution for maintaining our machines and systems remotely: KASTO VisualAssistance. By means of a tablet, smartphone or smart glasses, users can send live videos to KASTO’s service experts and receive visual assistance and information in real time in the event of a fault or maintenance work. Downtimes can be reduced to a minimum, which has a positive effect on the cost balance.

For our automatic bar stock and sheet metal storage systems, we have developed a concept in which excess kinetic energy can be converted into electric current, stored temporarily and then be used flexibly as required. Consumption of electric power can be reduced by as much as 40 percent compared to conventional drive systems and the connected load can even be cut by more than 50 percent. This reduces operating and investment costs and cuts CO2 emissions.

Also, we have comprehensively re-engineered our KASTOtec automatic bandsaws. In doing so, we have clearly focused on the optimum use of carbide metal saw blades. Further innovations relate to the saw feed, the main drive, and a system for automatically adjusting the feed speed. This all contributes to a further increase in sawing performance.

 

APMEN: What sets your solutions apart from competition in the region?

KASTO is the market leader for metal sawing machines, semi-automatic and fully automatic storage systems, as well as automated handling equipment for metal bar stock, sheet metals and parts cut to size. Our portfolio includes high-performance sawing machines that not only enable the user to achieve a supreme cutting quality but also the best cost per cut. Our products feature a high degree of automation and therefore offer the best prerequisites for the megatrends Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things. Besides, we are the only supplier of combined sawing and storage systems and have extensive software know-how. Customers therefore benefit from the full range of equipment for the provisioning, production and distribution of material from a single supplier.

Our products and solutions stand out due to their high level of innovation and ideally fit the requirements of our customers. Top-quality workmanship causes the saws and the storage systems to be particularly rugged and durable. Being a family-owned and -managed company, KASTO stands for quality “Made in Germany”. At the same time, we offer comprehensive and personal service, short response times and expert local advice to all our customers everywhere in the world. In 2015, we opened a subsidiary in Singapore to strengthen our position in the Southeast Asian Market.

 

APMEN: How do you see the metal cutting industry developing in the next year or two?

Connectivity and automation are increasing. Machines, goods, raw materials, load carriers, transport equipment and locations are no longer isolated; they are globally linked and interconnected by means of information networks. Production and logistics are merging, and the integration of processes is increasing. Handling tasks are becoming more and more automated. Digital technology controls the value chain from the producer of raw materials to the final customer. Other important trends include a greater emphasis on safety in materials handling and machine control, which is why we focus in particular on developing effective solutions.

Also, the question of energy efficiency is becoming ever more important. Ultimately, the increased levels of automation mean that users are also taking account of power consumption as a decisive cost factor. The demands placed on machines and systems are therefore not only growing in terms of flexibility, speed and precision, but also at the level of the savings they can bring. To meet these needs, KASTO’s portfolio includes efficient energy recovery and storage methods that allow users to reduce the electricity costs resulting from system operation and, at the same time, to improve the quality of the power supply.

 

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Leveraging Human-Robot Collaboration

Leveraging Human-Robot Collaboration

The industrial automation industry is facing a fundamental change and, according to SCHUNK’s chief innovation officer Prof. Dr. med. Markus Glück, human-robot collaboration in manufacturing is certain to grow dramatically in the coming years. This importance of this trend was reflected in the large turnout for the 4th SCHUNK User and Technology Dialogue on ‘Using HRC Safely in Companies.’ The two-day event featured specialists in automotive, robotics, automation and engineering as well as medium-sized industrial companies from Germany and Europe discussing the applications and opportunities of human-robot collaboration (HRC) and experiencing them up close.

Glück is confident that co-acting, meaning unrestricted interaction with robots, is on the verge of a breakthrough. The main driving forces are ergonomic relief, greater flexibility of work processes, increased efficiency as well as the expansion of logistics, loading, handling and retrofitting.

“It’s all about bringing together the strengths of humans and robots,” said Glück. Combining the speed, power, repeat accuracy and high quality of robotics with the human strengths of perception, improvisation, reaction and adaptation, will create synergy toward maximising automation.

Meanwhile, first-time projects require a substantial amount of work that should not be underestimated, according to Glück. “The usual amortisation periods of less than two years will be difficult to achieve at the beginning,” he said. He recommended a systematic approach in which the suitability of the HRC application is first assessed based on specific eligibility criteria, such as the programming cost or the ability to implement operator guidance, the cost of integrating the application into the process chain, options for intuitive training, handling and acknowledgment, moderate cycle requirements as well the employees’ relationship with technology.

He also recommended conducting a business assessment that takes into account the costs of robot procurement, commissioning and integration as well as costs for safety precautions and certification. Conversely, however, the assessment must also consider the savings achieved by lowering personnel costs and increasing productivity. Above all, first-time projects should be thoughtfully approached, carefully planned and implemented with less complexity.

The 4th SCHUNK User and Technology Dialogue featured presentations from SCHUNK product manager Benedikt Janssen, who discussed SCHUNK’s options for cobot peripherals; Jochen Vetter, team leader for robot safety at PILZ, who gave an overview of standards-compliant use of HRC as well as reliable measurement of applied forces; Dr. Alfred Hypki, senior engineer at the Department of Production Systems of the Ruhr University Bochum, who presented a standardised questionnaire, which enables fast, objective and reliable assessment of HRC potential in companies; Sebastian Keller, production specialist for the BMW Group at the Leipzig plant, who explained how HRC is successfully employed in day-to-day production; Jens Kotlarski, managing director of Yuanda Robotics in Hanover, Germany, who gave an impressive presentation on the creative potential and dynamism of start-ups in the field of HRC; and Uwe Schmidt, head of the COBOT World division of HLS Ingenieurbüro GmbH in Augsburg, who demonstrated how HRC scenarios can be implemented in the real world.

 

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Smart Factory Market Outlook: US$275.9B By 2026

Smart Factory Market Outlook: US$275.9B By 2026

The smart factory market is expected to reach US$275.89 billion by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data. Smart factory attributes to several fully integrated automation solutions implemented for manufacturing purposes, which help to streamline the material flow during all the methods involved in manufacturing, thus, facilitating the efficient flow of materials across the factory floor.

Easy monitoring, minimization of waste, and acceleration of production are some of the significant benefits of a smart factory. This technology advancement provides enhanced quality, with standardization and reliable products to the customers, within time and at a much economical cost. The emergence of wireless networking technologies is promoting revolutionary improvements in this market along with the growing number of smart factories globally, and also encouraging the use of mobile devices, to observe and manage industrial processes.

From a regional perspective, Asia Pacific accounted for the largest share of the smart factory market—at 29.3%—in 2018.

North America, meanwhile, accounted for the second largest share, with 27.3% of the market. This region is an important market as it consists of some of the most prominent multinational organizations engaging in this market, including the majority of the leading players. The developed R&D in the field of Internet of Things (IoT) for modern and upgraded technologies, as well as the rising demand for enhanced lifestyle, are the two significant factors driving the market in this region. Also, the increasing demand for high-level manufacturing solutions is anticipated to drive the growth of the market in North America.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Industrial robots have evolved as an essential part of the manufacturing industry. The market for industrial robots is expected to grow at a rate of 9.2% during the forecast period.
  • Robotic installation in the US has expanded to a new peak. The driver for this increase in manufacturing industries has been the continuing trend to automate production, to establish the US industries in both native and global markets.
  • The PLM technology is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period. This is mainly attributed to the growing demand for performance and productivity, along with the increasing need for collaboration across the global manufacturing lifecycle.
  • Adoption of end-to-end PLM solutions across new verticals such as infrastructure and construction, power and energy, and consumer goods among others, and increased manufacturing activities in developing economies such as India, China, and South Korea, are some of the driving factors for the growth of the market.

 

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Schunk Investing €85 Million In Expansion Of Production Facilities

Schunk Investing €85 Million in Expansion of Production Facilities

Gripping systems and clamping technology provider Schunk is investing around €85 million in expanding its production facilities in Brackenheim-Hausen, Mengen, and St. Georgen in Germany, and in Morrisville, North Carolina, in the United States.

Around 42,000sqm of total production and administration space is being created, starting with the US plant, where the new buildings were officially handed over recently. In addition to the production area expansion, Schunk Intec USA created a 4,000sqm administrative building, which features a Customer Centre, where users can experience Schunk’s components live and receive additional know-how in technology forums and workshops. The new building was inaugurated in early May with an official ceremony followed by a Family Day. Schunk has invested a total of almost €10 million in the expansion of the site.

Meanwhile, €40 million are being put into the Competence Centre for Gripping Systems in Brackenheim-Hausen, Germany. The extension covers an area of 22,000sqm and represents a doubling of the existing production area.

Schunk is investing another €30 million in the Competence Centre for Lathe Chuck Technology and Stationary Clamping Systems in Mengen, in the district of Sigmaringen, Germany. Here, 12,000sqm are to be added for production and R&D.

Around €5 million were invested at the St. Georgen site in Black Forest, where the production area was doubled with an increase of 4,200sqm.

“In the coming years, we will experience a boom in automation and digitisation worldwide, and we’ll only be able to handle this by having the right capacities,” said CEO Henrik A. Schunk.

For several years, the company has been successfully focusing on these two trends and concentrating its resources and know-how. Schunk expects high growth rates, especially for mechatronic and increasingly intelligent clamping devices and gripping systems.

The company also recently announced its cooperation with AnotherBrain, one of the world’s leading specialists in artificial intelligence (AI).

 

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Industrial Robotics Market Outlook

Industrial Robotics Market Outlook

The industrial robotics market was valued at US$18.05 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach US$37.75 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.15 percent over the forecast period (2019–2024), according to market analyst Mordor Intelligence. The market has been witnessing a huge demand over the past decade, owing to the rising adoption of smart factory systems, of which these robots play a vital part. The global smart factory market is expected to reach US$388.68 billion by 2024, which provides insights on the scope of the adoption of industrial robots for automation across end-user industries.

In particular, Industry 4.0, the newest industrial revolution, has fuelled the development of new technologies, like collaborative robots and AI-enabled robots, to name a few, and have enabled industries to use robots to streamline many processes, increase efficiency, and eliminate errors. Increased workplace safety and improved production capabilities have further driven industries to invest in robotic systems.

Rising Demand from Automotive Industry

The growing adoption of automation in the automotive manufacturing process and involvement of digitisation and AI are the primary factors driving the demand for industrial robots in the automotive sector.

In 2017, more than 170,000 robots took part in the production process in the European automotive industry. The growing presence of robots and automation in the European automotive industry is expected to fuel the market for industrial robots in the region.

Meanwhile, China has also become both the world’s largest car market and the world’s largest production site for cars, including electric cars, with much growth potential. In Malaysia, there are 27 automotive manufacturing and assembly plants. Overall, the growing automotive industry in Asia is also creating a massive opportunity for the global industrial robotics market.

 

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Lamiera 2019 Closes On Strong Note

Lamiera 2019 Closes On Strong Note

The 2019 edition of Lamiera, the international exhibition for sheet metal forming, cutting and processing machines, automation and technologies related to the metalworking industry, was attended by 26,197 visitors, registering an 11 percent growth compared to the 2017 edition, and hosted 518 exhibitors, up by six percent compared to the previous event.

Covering a total exhibition area of over 50,000sqm—25 percent more than the 2017 event—Lamiera 2019, which took place at Fiera Milano Rho from May 15–18, presented a wide overview of automation systems, robotics, welding and technologies linked with the digital world, organised in the New Innovation Areas (Robot Planet, FabbricaFutura and Saldatech), which were added to the usual Innovation Areas, Fastener Industry, Ecocoatech and Blech Italy Service.

Amongst the highlights of this year’s event was the LAMIALAMIERA, developed with the support of the Lombardy Region. Set up in Hall 18, LAMIALAMIERA hosted a comprehensive programme of 40 exhibitor meetings spread throughout the four-day event. Moreover, LAMIERA honoured Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years after his demise, with the special show “Italians like us, excellence becomes identity” set up in the exhibition area, and awarded the medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. This special exhibition featured a presentation of some drawing reproductions of metal forming machine tools and automation systems developed by da Vinci, highlighting the close parallelism between his projects and the modern technologies being exhibited in the halls.

“We are very satisfied with the outcome of this edition of LAMIERA that closed with increased figures with regard to square metre of exhibit area, exhibiting companies and visiting operators,” said Massimo Carboniero, president of Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre, the event organiser.

“Milan is confirmed as the most suitable location, the only one in Italy capable of hosting such an important event, which we hope will keep growing and improving. For this reason, based on the achieved results, we are already working on the definition of the next edition, which will be held at Fiera Milano Rho from March 17–20, 2021,” Alfredo Mariotti, general manager of Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre, said.

 

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