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Tenova Deploys ABB Automation And Drives Systems For New Tinning Line Plant In Southeast Asia

Tenova Deploys ABB Automation And Drives Systems For New Tinning Line Plant In Southeast Asia

ABB contract success in the Philippines metals industry continues to pave the way for productive cooperation with Tenova in the region

Global metals plant solutions provider, Tenova, has selected ABB to supply and install a comprehensive drives and automation package for Southeast Asia tinplate manufacturer, Perstima, at its new electrolytic tinning and tin free steel line in Malvar, Philippines. The new solutions will be operational in June 2021.

Project scope includes the ABB Ability System 800xA DCS (Distributed Control System), which integrates control, electrical and communication systems for optimal visibility into all processes for stable production and the efficient use of raw materials and energy, plus the compact, high-performance AC800 PEC controller, with control desks and posts.

In addition, ABB will supply its Collaborative Production Management for Metals solution to optimise all aspects of process and production planning, asset monitoring and manufacturing execution. ABB’s state-of-the-art ACS880 low voltage multidrives and motor control center (MCC) switchgear complete the package.

When installation and commissioning is complete, Perstima will benefit from a compact, fully integrated, easy-to-use control, automation and drives system designed for flexibility, durability and optimal productivity.

“ABB was the logical choice to equip Perstima’s new electrolytic tinning lines with proven technology for accurate line speed and tension control,” said Stefano Marelli, Global Sales Southeast Asia, Tenova. “ABB’s solutions matched perfectly with their requirements and will provide Perstima with a robust drives and automation system which can be expanded as the plant develops.”

“Discussions with ABB throughout the implementation phase have been hugely productive, quickly understanding Perstima’s desire for adaptability and customised set-up for ease of operation,” said Giuseppe Zanzi, Sales and Marketing Manager, Tenova. “We look forward to moving into the installation and commissioning stages in 2021, knowing we’ll have ABB support throughout.”

“This is another successful cooperation with Tenova in Southeast Asia, following projects in Indonesia, and Vietnam,” said Shailendra Dubey, Hub Industry Lead, Metals. “This is also our first involvement with Perstima, so gaining their trust and approval is a major milestone for us, and we look forward to a productive working relationship both with this customer and in the region as a whole.”

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Top 5 Articles In 2020: Industry 4.0, Metal Cutting & Metrology

Top 5 Articles In 2020: Industry 4.0, Metal Cutting & Metrology

As we move into 2021, lets take a look back at the most popular Industry 4.0, Metal Cutting and Metrology articles in 2020:

Industry 4.0/Automation

  1. Empowering Manufacturing Transformation

Through its suite of advanced and leading-edge technologies, Siemens not only helps companies digitalise to meet the needs of the new economy, but also empowers them to carry out smart innovations to succeed in the Industry 4.0 era.

  1. Industrial Robots VS Cobots—Which Is Right For You?

Industrial robots have offered benefits to many organisations ever since it was first introduced, but collaborative robots (cobots) have been a game-changing force recently. Article by Darrell Adams, Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania, Universal Robots.

  1. Industry 5.0: The Future Of Manufacturing In 2035

The Factory of 2035 will look vastly different than the factory of today. Ever since the first Industrial Revolution when mechanisation, water, and steam power started to automate work previously carried out manually, more work has been taken on by machines. Each technological advancement – from computers and robotics to the Internet – has brought about additional automation. Advancement in technologies will remain significant, but the trend of “human touch” will also be in demand in Factory of 2035.

  1. Key Factors to Consider When Selecting the Proper Gripper

There are various operational characteristics that must be considered before an educated—and successful—gripper choice can be made. Article by Gary Labadie, Destaco.

  1. Airbus Commits To Continued Automation Of Its Manufacturing Line

Airbus has acquired industrial automation company, MTM Robotics which deepens Airbus’ commitment to expanding advanced robotics capabilities within its manufacturing processes.

 

Metal Cutting

  1. Adapting Cutting Tools To Changing Trends

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Jacob Harpaz, ISCAR CEO, IMC President and Chairman of the Board, discusses the current trends in the metalworking tool industry, and how the company is helping their customers address their manufacturing challenges.

  1. 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.

  1. Efficient Machine Tooling

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Dr Christian Kober, Senior Vice President Asia at Hoffmann regarding current trends in machine tooling.

  1. Milling Cast and Steel Parts More Cost-Effectively

Dr. Wolfgang Baumann of Mapal explains the benefits of their latest radial insert milling range.

  1. ISCAR CTO Stresses On Productivity Improvement

Erich Timons, CTO of ISCAR Germany GmbH, speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about tooling trends and challenges, and how the industry should move forward by improving productivity. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

 

Metrology

  1. Ensuring High Precision

Ingun Prüfmittelbau GmbH relies on the high-precion SwissNano technology to ensure success in the world of test and measurement. Article by Tornos.

  1. Hexagon Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Philippine Metrology Market

Taveesak Srisuntisuk of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence speaks about the metalworking trends and opportunities for growth in the Philippines. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

  1. Importance Of Process Control

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr Lim Boon Choon, President of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, APAC, regarding current trends in metrology.

  1. E-mobility, Additive Manufacturing Driving Growth in Metrology Sector

Daesuk Chung of ZEISS sat down with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News to talk about the latest technology and manufacturing trends driving the metrology sector. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

  1. Renishaw Shares Outlook On Vietnam And Philippines

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Steve Bell of Renishaw Singapore provides his insights into and outlook for the Vietnam and Philippine metalworking industry.

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

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ITAP 2019: Driving Success Stories With I4.0 Action Insights

VDW Discusses Trends Shaping Metalworking Industry

Rise Of Digital Trends In Southeast Asia

 

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Whether Simple Or Complex: Motor Control Systems For Manufacturing Automation

Whether Simple or Complex: Motor Control Systems for Manufacturing Automation

New motor control systems from igus ensure a speedy start-up of linear and rotational systems.

Setting up control systems to drive axes is usually time-consuming and can require software programming knowledge. To help manufacturers address this issue, igus has developed two new cost-effective and easy-to-operate control systems so that users—from all areas of industry—can quickly start up their motorised drylin E drive axes. The D3 dryve controls simple linear or rotational axes with DC motors without any software or a PC. For more complex travels such as with multi-axis robots or delta robots, igus offers the D1 dryve, which is a control system for stepper motors, DC motors and EC/BLDC motors. The motor control system can be modified live or simply operated via a web browser.

Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M are fields calling for real products and solutions that promote factory digitalisation and automation. With its low-cost automation range, igus offers myriad solutions for a variety of applications. In its drylin product range, igus has been offering lubrication-free linear axes with matching stepper and DC motors for several years. From low-cost solutions, for very simple movements, to rails made of stainless steel, igus offers a large diversity of options to suit any application requirement.

Depending on the process, the customer is supplied with the axis or linear robot that will best meet their requirements. With drylin E, users can deploy the already-configured lubrication-free linear or rotational axes, which are ready-to-install and can be motorised in different installation sizes as a single axis, or a linear robot structure in the case of format and height adjustment systems or pick-and-place applications. For easy control and operation of the axes, igus’ D3 dryve offers a motor control system for simple movement and the D1 dryve a motor control system for more complex tasks. This allows a variety of tasks to be automated without the need for advanced programming.

D3 dryve: Quickly Set, Directly Automated

The D3 control system was developed to perform simple tasks quickly and cost-effectively. The control system is designed for all standard DC motors.

“When developing the D3 dryve, we mainly focused on enabling a simple, user-friendly start-up for anyone,” explains Rene Erdmann, Head of Business Unit drylin E Drive Technology.

No licences or software are needed for installation of the control system as all functions have been integrated into the device directly. Simply connect the control system to a 24V power supply and set the operating mode, end-position switch-off, and the motor current by means of DiP switches. The speed can be adjusted with an integrated rotary controller. Current-limiting is done by means of a screwdriver with another controller. Once made, the settings are permanently stored. 

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The Best Manufacturing Technology Trends From 2020

The Best Manufacturing Technology Trends From 2020

Trend is generally defined in one of two ways. Firstly, it might refer to a general direction in which something is heading or developing. Alternatively, it might be seen as synonym for fashion. Here, John Young, APAC director at automation parts supplier EU Automation, looks at some of the key manufacturing trends from 2020 and assesses which of these are mostly likely to play a more prominent role in 2021 and beyond.

Here to stay (at home)

By forcing businesses to facilitate remote working during lockdowns, the pandemic has encouraged a cultural shift. As the vaccine rolls out in 2021, don’t expect companies to return to previous levels of onsite working. Aided by digital technologies, manufacturing has experienced some of the benefits of remote working and greater flexibility.

Teleoperation can take many forms, but one interesting growth area in 2020 has been remote controlled vehicles in industrial settings. For example, a forklift truck can be equipped with cameras and sensors and controlled remotely by a driver working at the desk from home.

A helping robotic hand

Robot installations continue but the key growth area has been collaborative robots, or cobots. In comparison with more traditional industrial robots, cobots are smaller and are designed to be used safely alongside human workers. The uptake of this technology in metalworking and the automobile sector looks set to continue. Ford, for example, now uses cobots to install shock absorbers, freeing up human workers for more strategic tasks.

Much of this trend is in fact being driven by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The size and startup costs of industrial robots shut out these companies from taking advantage of this area of automation. Cobots are small enough to be deployed in factories where space is at a premium and they require less initial investment, allowing businesses to increase their investment incrementally.

Smart learning about your suppliers

In a year where global values chains have faced unprecedented uncertainty, those companies that were quickest to embrace digital technologies in their supply chain management have braved the storm more readily.

Machine learning algorithms and their use in predictive maintenance is not an entirely new phenomenon, but its application continues to grow. As a supplier of automation parts, one growth area that has stood out for me is the use of machine learning algorithms to analyze supplier behavior, predicting when to expect a part from a supplier based on past patterns. This can improve inventory management and cash flow.

Let’s get personal

Increasing customization is being driven from both demand and supply side forces. On the demand side, customer behavior is showing preferences for greater levels of customization and personalization. The shift toward products-as-a-service business models and the ability to access and analyze large volumes of data about customer behavior is allowing manufacturers to understand this demand better.

On the supply side, there are many technological innovations that are allowing nimble manufacturers to incorporate greater customization. For example, ABB has implemented a manufacturing facility that revolves around cells of automation, in contrast to the traditional, linear production line. Instead, robots move from station to station for higher levels of customization.

Intelligence on the edge

Edge computing involves locating computer processing of data as close to the source of the data as possible. According to research by Gartner, around ten percent of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside of traditional centralized data centers or the cloud. It is estimated that this figure will rise to 75 per cent by the middle of this decade.

Deployed intelligently as part of a blended or hybrid data architecture, edge computing can enhance predictive maintenance capabilities. For example, smart sensors deployed on industrial motors and pumps can enhance monitoring in real-time, alerting plant managers when it is time to contact a reliable parts supplier like EU Automation.  By locating the AI in the sensor itself, manufacturers save on cloud subscription services, enhance their cyber security and protect their operations from power outages.

5G rolls out and rolls on

5G is being rolled out, but its full potential will continue to roll on as it enables more and more manufacturers to transition to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things. 5G, one hundred times faster than 4G, is not just a trend in itself, but a key enabler of many other technological innovations and something that will profoundly impact manufacturing over the next decade.

Here in Singapore, an interesting early application is a project involving IBM, Samsung Electronics, Singaporean telecommunications company M1 and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority. The collaboration is designed to pilot 5G manufacturing use cases, as part of the country’s Smart Nation Initiative.

To give just one example from this project, 5G is facilitating the use of augmented reality (AR) for factory field engineers carrying out preventative maintenance. Without the speed of 5G, these engineers would lose hours of productivity in downloading the right AR model or require several technicians on site to resolve and issue that could be tackled remotely.

Fashion trends come and go but some trends are here to stay. 2020 has seen the increasing use of many technological innovations in manufacturing that will become increasingly prominent over the next few years. From 5G to cobots, companies large and small across the APAC region are leading the world in their adoption of Industry 4.0 and automation technology.

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Pulsed Micro Arc Welding For Coil Terminations Increases Line Throughput

Pulsed Micro Arc Welding for Coil Terminations Increases Line Throughput

Coils with multiple termination points can be welded at one automation station. Article by James Tod, Amada Miyachi UK.

Pulse micro arc welding is a good choice for coil termination applications, especially as coils are getting smaller and smaller. Other processes do not lend themselves as well for these applications. For example, it can be difficult for lasers to target the pins, while resistance welding is not practical due to electrode size, and soldering involves potentially hazardous fluxes. Multiple output pulsed arc welders are available that offer great automation layout flexibility and increase production line throughput.

Pulse Micro Arc Welding Basics

Pulse micro arc welding is a zero-contact process in which an electrical arc is struck between an electrode and target component. The arc generates very high and concentrated energy density, which results in high local temperatures that can be used for welding. Sophisticated closed loop power supplies are used to establish and maintain the arc under precisely controlled electrical conditions.

The micro arc coil termination process requires wire to be wound onto the pin in a uniform fashion and density. The welding process is accomplished by heating the pin and encapsulating the wire in the molten pin material. The wound pin is positioned close to a welding electrode and an arc struck between the pin and the electrode.

Operators profile the energy and current within the arc in terms of rate of rise, period of peak, and downward cooling to control the rate at which the pin begins to melt back. The process of melting the pin back creates a molten ball that causes the wire and its insulation to melt simultaneously, thus welding the wire to the pin.

Material Type is Critical to the Process

With micro arc welding, the materials must flow together based on the heat generated by the welding arc and the surface tension of the materials. Any contamination can cause the materials to fail to fuse with one another.

Wire insulation is critical because it must be broken down by the heat in the weld before the materials can fuse with one another. In the process, the pin is heated directly and the wire indirectly; if the wire insulation remains intact during the weld, the pin will be melted but the wire will not. Pulsed micro arc termination welding works best with wire insulation rated for temperatures of 180 deg C or lower.

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LVD Introduces Robotic Bending System Featuring Automated Tool Changing Press Brake

LVD Introduces Robotic Bending System Featuring Automated Tool Changing Press Brake

LVD introduces Ulti-Form, a new robotic bending system featuring an automated tool changing press brake. Ulti-Form follows the success of LVD’s Dyna-Cell robotic bending cell and takes automated bending technology a step further by incorporating an automated tool changing press brake to keep bending productivity at its peak, handling both small batches and long production runs efficiently with minimal changeover time. Ulti-Form delivers high productivity bending with unattended operation.

TOOLCELL-INSPIRED DESIGN

Ulti-Form features a 135-ton press brake designed using the ToolCell platform, LVD’s top-rated automated tool changing press brake, integrated with an industrial robot. The press brake houses a built-in tooling warehouse and uses a gripper mechanism in the machine’s backgauge fingers to quickly and efficiently change tools. The press brake and robot work together in synergy to keep changeover time to a minimum. As the robot picks the first workpiece from the input stack and centers it, the press brake completes the tool change. Ulti-Form handles parts from 50 x 100 mm up to 1200 x 800 mm weighing up to 15 kgs.

NO ROBOT TEACHING

Ulti-Form is automation that’s easy to use with a fast “art to part” process thanks to LVD’s powerful programming wizard. Programming of both the press brake and robot is handled offline and no robot teaching is required. CADMAN-B software automatically calculates the optimal bend program. The robot software imports all bending data and automatically calculates all gripper positions taking into account the gripper force, collision detection and robot reachability. It generates the fastest collision-free path for the robot across the complete bending operation. The system’s database contains all the setup information needed for the press brake and robot so that Ulti-Form is quickly readied for production.

AUTO-ADAPTING GRIPPER

The Ulti-Form robot gripper is an auto-adapting design engineered by LVD (patent pending). It has the flexibility to accommodate a number of part geometries, automatically adjusting to the workpiece size. This allows a series of different part geometries to be processed without the need for a gripper change, keeping production continuous and uninterrupted.

QUALITY ASSURANCE

Equipped with LVD’s Easy-Form Laser adaptive bending system, Ulti-Form offers automation with a quality guarantee. Real-time in-process adaptive bending technology adds advanced process stability to robotic press brake bending. The Easy-Form Laser system adapts to material variations, including sheet thickness, strain hardening and grain direction, automatically compensating for any changes to ensure consistently accurate bending results.

 

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EU Automation Celebrates Growth In 2020 Despite Turbulent Global Economy

EU Automation Celebrates Growth In 2020 Despite Turbulent Global Economy

It’s been a record year for automation parts supplier EU Automation, who managed to create new jobs and boost sales despite challenging times.

The company’s team has in fact grown by 14 per cent in 2020 and its global operations have expanded by 45 per cent in the last three years, making it one of Europe’s fastest growing automation parts suppliers. EU Automation has now sold more than a million automation parts worldwide, helping thousands of manufacturers keep their operations up and running.

EU Automation, which has headquarters in Frankfurt and warehouses in the UK, the US and Singapore, is currently servicing 156 countries worldwide in 22 different languages. This, together with the company’s rapid sales and team growth, has recently won it a place on The Sunday Times’s Fast Track 100 list, which celebrates Britain’s fastest growing private companies.

The automation supplier, which supports a wide variety of industries and vertical sectors, provides automation and control parts from all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including ABB, Fanuc, Honeywell, Siemens and many more. It has facilities in four strategic locations — the UK, the US, Germany and Singapore — and boasts a global network of partner suppliers located on all major continents.

This allows the company to ship automation parts globally in record times, helping manufacturers minimise costly downtime when equipment breaks. The reliability of the company has won it several world-renowned customers, among whom are Rolls Royce and Coca-Cola.

EU Automation provides new, reconditioned and obsolete parts and the team specialises in the correct management of legacy equipment. Their corporate philosophy is that obsolete doesn’t means useless or inefficient, and that manufacturers can successfully compete in Industry 4.0 by retrofitting their legacy equipment with obsolete but high-quality components.

This approach benefits manufacturers because it avoids or minimises the costs and complexity of overhauling an entire production line, and reduces the production of e-waste and industrial waste. This philosophy is reiterated in EU Automation’s numerous online learning initiatives, from a dedicated corporate magazine to an automation and manufacturing podcast, gathered into the company’s online Knowledge Hub.

EU Automation focuses on outstanding customer support, with a large team of international sales managers who support customers in their native languages. This allowed the company to achieve the perfect mix of digitalisation and human touch — customers can simply browse the supplier’s extensive database to find the parts they need, but will be assisted by a dedicated account manager in all subsequent phases of the purchasing process.

“We are very proud of how fast the company has grown. In particular, we’re happy to see our global team expand, despite the challenges that we’ve all had to face in 2020,” said Jonathan Wilkins, director of EU Automation. “This is the result of the hard work of our whole team and of the trust and loyalty of our customers.”

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5 Reasons Why Cobots Are A Game-Changer For SME Manufacturers

5 Reasons Why Cobots Are A Game-Changer For SME Manufacturers

For small to mid-sized manufacturers, any gain in productivity can have a huge impact. Automation offers significant advantages, but many small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that robotics is out of their reach. These organisations cannot afford large, complex robots that do not fit within their limited floor space. These complex robots require specialised personnel to program and maintain them, and that is simply too expensive, with a payback period that is too long to justify the investment.

A new generation of collaborative robots (or “cobots”) is changing the game for smaller manufacturers, helping them compete more effectively, offering new opportunities for employees, and even improving worker safety. Darrell Adams, Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania, Universal Robots, shares 5 essential requirements that will put robotics within SME’s reach.

  1. Quick set-up

Setting up a conventional industrial robot can take days or even weeks. These are the time and disruption that SMEs simply cannot afford. When ready to automate, manufacturers or any untrained operator need to be able to unpack the new robot, mount it, and begin programming simple tasks in a matter of hours. Collaborative robot arms, such as those from Universal Robots (UR), weigh as little as 11 kg, and can be set up in less than a day.

  1. Improving the small business culture

Most SMEs operates with 50 to 250 employees, having a shared sense of culture among the small group of employees is important for SMEs. Businesses run best when employees enjoy their assigned jobs, encouraging productivity and efficiency. Having cobots to automate the monotonous and strenuous tasks give employees more freedom to take on better and more exciting roles. SMEs need not worry about releasing these employees as no robots can replace human creativity and critical thinking. Instead, SMEs are elevating employees’ job titles by retraining employees to work alongside robots.

PT JVC Electronics Indonesia (JEIN), a global leader in electronic and entertainment products, deployed seven units of Universal Robots’ UR3 cobots to increase productivity and achieve consistent quality. The adoption of UR3 lessened the burden on workers to perform menial and repetitive tasks. JEIN witnessed an improvement in production efficiency and stable quality of output. With the move towards automation, employees can be redeployed to other processes and operational costs were reduced by more than USD 80,000 yearly. With cobots working alongside humans, it helps to humanise labour, establishing a better company culture.

  1. Collaborative and safe

Conventional industrial robots require a large, separate enclosure, which adds cost, takes up operational space, and reduces flexibility on the production floor. Management also has to be concerned with the safety risk if someone manages to get inside the enclosure while the robot is activated.

However, small manufacturers cannot afford to dedicate large areas to robotic operation. Today’s collaborative robots can work side-by-side with human workers in complementary operations. For example, the innovative force-sensing technology built into UR robots means the robot stops operating if it comes into contact with a human, and 80 per cent of the thousands of UR robots in operation worldwide work right beside human operators with no safety guarding (upon risk assessment).

4. Flexible deployment for multiple uses

Dedicated industrial robots can limit small and mid-sized manufacturers who often have small production batches and require fast change-overs. In contrast, new collaborative robots are lightweight, space-saving, and easy to redeploy to multiple locations without changing the production layout. With the ability to reuse programs for recurring tasks, they support agile manufacturing processes with minimal set-up time and effort.

  1. Fast payback of your investment

Of course, any automation investment for a small or mid-sized manufacturer must pay for itself as quickly as possible. Universal Robots gives SMEs all the advantages of advanced robotic automation, with none of the traditional added costs associated with robot programming, set up, and dedicated, shielded work cells. With an average payback period as short as twelve months, robotic automation is finally affordable for small and mid-sized manufacturers.

Universal Robots believes that collaborative technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses, regardless of their size. The nominal investment costs can be quickly recovered, such benefits from the latest collaborative technology should be available to all businesses.

By: Darrell Adams, Head of Southeast Asia & Oceania, Universal Robots

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From Users For Users

From Users for Users

Here’s how one company was able to scan large and very heavy parts from all four sides and from above, without having to laboriously move the piece. Article by ZEISS.

When a robot grasps a cylinder block weighing 50 kilos and approaches a saw or milling cutter, any vibration or sliding motion must be avoided. But deviations from target production data make it difficult for the robots to grasp. August Mössner GmbH & Co. KG, which manufactures specialised machinery for the foundry and aluminium industries along with saws for the widest possible variety of materials as well as equipment for the dismantling of nuclear power stations, has found a solution for this problem. As well as tailor-made manipulators for robots manufactured with the aid of the ZEISS T SCAN, the programming of the equipment is optimised with flexible laser scanning.

Christian Kunz (right) and Christian Haase inspect the grippers of a robot. They are to hold heavy motor castings to the processing stations later on, which protrude from the wall on the right.

The two robot arms rigidly stretch their necks into the air, their movements appear frozen. One of them holds a cylinder block in suspension, weighing at least 50 kilos. Only in a few weeks’ time, when the entire plant has been completed, will they start moving and saw off disturbing feeder and sprue systems and mill off casting flashes on engine blocks coming from a foundry. To do this, they heave the parts to saws and milling machines that protrude from the wall and look like giant dentist drills.

Here at August Mössner in Eschach is not where they will be put to work, however, but rather at engine plants of well-known automobile manufacturers. The processing stations are designed and put into trial operation at August Mössner, which has a reputation in the automotive industry for delivering automated production lines with dozens of robots on schedule and perfectly functional.

Deviations of Several Millimetres

Christian Kunz is the Head of Robotics, R&D, at August Mössner. His team plays an important role when it comes to deviations. The 20 employees of his robotics, research and development department are responsible for planning the precise, safe and efficient operation of the processing lines. 

But the devil is in the details. One of these details are the contour parts with which the robots grip the cylinder block. They are as small as a hockey puck, but must be able to grip the casting precisely and hold it in position during processing, against the forces that occur. For this purpose, the contour parts have recesses that fit exactly over the bulges of the castings. However, this is initially not the case.

Kunz holds a contour part to the rough casting of a gearbox-housing, at the point where the robot is later to pick up the component. But no matter how the mechatronic engineer turns and tilts the fitting, the parts do not fit together. “When car manufacturers send us castings, they often deviate from the target design by a few millimetres,” explains Kunz.

This is no wonder, since most of them are so-called start-up parts for new engine types.

The tolerances are still large when series production starts and are not shown in the CAD models of the castings. Kunz and his team have found a solution in which ZEISS T-SCAN is of central importance. Using a hand-held laser scanner, the engineers measure the surface contour of the casting—for example, of an engine block or a transmission housing—and compare the data set generated by this with the target CAD data supplied by the car manufacturer. On the one hand, this serves to document the actual state and on the other hand, the measurement is the basis for adapting the contour parts to the casting and for subsequent programming of the robot. In this way, the engineers can quickly see where there are deviations and can immediately initiate reworking of the contour parts. The contour part is reworked by hand, then scanned and can thus be documented and converted into CAD data.

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Manufacturing Capacity Doubled

Manufacturing Capacity Doubled

British luxury watch manufacturer Bremont made the most of Sandvik Coromant and DMG MORI’s strategic partnership as it introduced a turnkey manufacturing cell to double capacity at its factory.

The NTX 1000, a state-of-the-art 5-axis machining center from DMG MORI, was is equipped with tool packages from Sandvik Coromant.

​​​Luxury watchmaker Bremont Watch Company is a true British manufacturing success story. Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, the company specialises in the manufacture of certified chronometers for the aviation sector. These watches are assembled, as well as shock and quality tested, at the manufacturer’s dedicated headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK. Production of the main components, such as stainless steel backs and casings, takes place just a few minutes’ drive away.

High demand and the launch of six new watch designs meant that Bremont’s production capacity had to be increased. To achieve this, the company purchased an NTX 1000, a state-of-the-art 5-axis machining centre from DMG MORI, which is equipped with tool packages from Sandvik Coromant.

The project was six months in the making, explains Mathew Bates, a machine tool investment specialist from Sandvik Coromant’s UK Machine Tool Solutions team. “From the beginning, the objective was to deliver a ‘right first time’ solution,” explains Bates. “We wanted Bremont to be able to use the new system straight away.”

Close collaboration with application technicians from DMG MORI was needed, with regard to the selection of suitable tools. 

“We knew that we had to produce six new watches,” says Bates. “As soon as the drawings were ready we met with specialists from DMG MORI to compile a list of standard tools and to determine which special tools would be needed.”

Integrated Automation for 24/7 Operation

The DMG MORI NTX 1000 is equipped with a magazine for 38  Coromant Capto tools, with the option of expanding the capacity up to 76 tools. The turn and mill machine is suitable for turning and high-speed milling in five axes, simultaneously. 

Thanks to the bar loader, the machine produces the different stainless steel components around the clock without any operator intervention. 

Everything from a Single Source—Tools, Machine, Automation and Programming

Even before the installation of the machine, Frederick Shortt, application technician at DMG MORI, and his development team created and simulated the numerical control (NC) programs with the Vericut computer-aided manufacture (CAM) system.

“Together with Sandvik Coromant we optimised all programs in such a way that as few tools as possible are needed,” says Shortt.

In other words, Bremont only bought what they really needed. As this all took place before the installation, so Bremont was able to start producing from day one.

“This joint optimisation meant that any teething problems were reduced to a minimum and the investment quickly paid off for Bremont,” explains James Rhys-Davies, Strategic Relations Director, Northern Europe at Sandvik Coromant.

“The call for such turnkey solutions will increase steadily. Although the preliminary costs are sometimes a little higher, the benefits of a fast return on investment (ROI) and maximisation of machine availability make such turnkey production cells a very attractive option, as cost per part is generally much lower.”

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