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Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

To support their goal of manufacturing quality parts, Toyota Industries Corporation and Siemens have cooperated to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict product abnormalities in aluminium die casting, a key process in automotive air conditioning compressor production.

The development is one of the world’s first to use defect prediction AI for die casting. It improves quality and productivity by utilising the AI application in Industrial Edge, the Siemens edge computing platform for industry. The initiative is an innovative example of digital transformation in manufacturing, and Toyota Industries Corporation aims to use it to further evolve their technology and incorporate it into their production plants in Japan and overseas. Siemens hopes that more businesses in the manufacturing industry will adopt their digitalisation and automation solutions such as Industrial Edge.

Aluminium die casting is a high-speed moulding process in which molten aluminium is shot into a die at high pressure. It is ideal for the accurate manufacture of metal cast parts that demand high dimensional precision, and therefore is often used for automotive parts that require high quality and reliability.  The die casting process is challenging to manage due to a range of constantly changing production conditions such as variations in the molten aluminium temperature or the injection rate. Success relies on the judgement of experienced workers, and sometimes the parts require secondary processing to handle abnormalities and maintain high quality standards.

During development, the two companies used a Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controller to gather big data totaling approximately 40,000 data points per die casting shot at the model line and then analysed the data using AI technology. They succeeded in preventing defects and improving quality by monitoring the production status in real time and automatically predicting equipment abnormalities that lead to quality issues. The production data is processed by the defect prediction AI on Industrial Edge, enabling instant analysis of the data on production conditions at the time of a shot and assessment of the part quality immediately after the casting. This series of AI technologies boosts productivity, improves quality, and transforms how operators work

“Digital transformation is a game changer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Toyota Industries Corporation in this revolutionary endeavor and to work together to forge the future,” says Rainer Brehm, CEO of Factory Automation, Siemens AG. “We will continue to develop and provide solutions for industries incorporating the latest technologies and to contribute to optimised and sustainable manufacturing.”

 

 

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Thailand BOI Accelerates Investment For Digital Adoption

Thailand BOI Accelerates Investment For Digital Adoption

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved a series of measures to accelerate investments, particularly in target industries and to encourage business to adopt digital technologies.

“The package to promote large scale projects was designed to boost investment in the post-Covid-19 period,” Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, said after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.

“As for the digital technology adoption measure, they complement the sets of productivity improvement measures we have been implementing continuously to promote increased efficiency and productivity, and ensure companies are ready to seize the business opportunities arising from the upcoming economic recovery.”

Under the measures to accelerate investment in target industries, projects with realised investments of at least 1 billion baht (USD33 million) within 12 months from the promotion certificate issuance, will be eligible for an additional 50 percent corporate income tax (CIT) deduction for a period of 5 years, on top of the standard five to eight years CIT exemption, Ms Duangjai said. Qualified projects must submit applications from January 4, 2021 to the last working day of 2021.

Existing businesses of all sizes applying for investment under the digital technology adoption program in systems and activities such as software integration, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning or big data analytics by the end of 2022, will, if approved, be granted a 50 percent corporate income tax exemption for three years on their existing businesses.

“We expect to see faster adoption of digital technologies including cloud computing through this incentive scheme,” Ms Duangjai said. To further promote investments in Thailand’s ten Special Economic Zones (SEZ), all located in border areas, the BOI approved the extension of the application period, to the end of 2022, for the special incentive scheme for SEZs that has been implemented over the past several years.

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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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Putting A Plant On Autopilot

Putting A Plant On Autopilot

Automating certain processes not only ensures consistency of control, but also enables processes to operate smoothly in the absence of human operators, right around the clock. Find out more about Advanced Process Control (APC) in this article by ABB.

Today’s steel manufacturer is facing a number of challenges that range from safeguarding competitiveness to meeting changing customer needs with flexibility and speed. These require steel plants to maximise operating performance, while maintaining quality and yield, and controlling maintenance and inventory levels. 

In addition, companies need to find ways of retaining expert human knowledge accumulated over many years, after the experts themselves come towards the end of their working lives. In this regard, automating certain processes not only ensures consistency of control, but also enables processes to operate smoothly in the absence of human operators, right around the clock. 

Advanced Process Control (APC) using model predictions is one of the ways to run the processes on autopilot mode with minimum intervention from operators. 

Advanced Process Control

The concept of APC, and the ways in which it can be tailored to industry specific processes – given the right level of knowledge and expertise – offers a great potential for a metals industry seeking solutions that provide tangible and guaranteed returns. Today, APC is fundamental to the success of certain processes within many industries and is increasingly being applied today in steel production. 

Although it is technically advanced and not without complexities, APC can be considered simply as the autopilot for driving the plant to an optimum state around the clock. Using a plant model and objective functions, it can predict system behaviour some steps into the future – put simply, it produces a digital twin of any process and predicts the way it will act. 

Based on this predictive functionality, APC is able to automatically adjust operational set points to ensure peak plant performance and productivity. Its ability to make frequent, small changes, avoids large corrections or over-compensation for changes in conditions, creating a stable process, before steadily and smoothly moving to and maintaining an optimal operating state. In this way, APC is able to enhance quality, raise throughput and reduce energy use.

APC is already used in a variety of industries to facilitate operational change, offering significant ROI. In the cement industry, for example, APC has been used to optimise both horizontal and vertical grinding circuits to improve productivity. Given the similar process and equipment used across both the cement and metals industries, such examples offer practical insight into the sort of savings APC could offer to steel producers in their own grinding processes.

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Renishaw Joins Project To Automate Additive Manufacturing Post-Processing

Renishaw Joins Project To Automate Additive Manufacturing Post-Processing

Renishaw is collaborating with UK start-up business Additive Automations, as part of a project to automate metal additive manufacturing (AM) post-processing, which involves using collaborative robots (cobots) to perform support structure removal. The project could reduce the average cost per part by 25 percent, furthering AM’s potential as a cost-effective option for large volume production lines.

Renishaw provided four examples of AM builds, so the start-up could demonstrate its support structure removal system. The four AM parts were designed for medical, oil and gas, automotive and mechanical engineering applications.

The project, named Separation of Additive-Layer Supports by Automation (SALSA), aims to use robotics and deep learning to digitalise some of the few remaining manual processes left in AM. Cobots were chosen for their high payload-to-size ratio and integrated force sensors, which collect data to determine the geometry of AM parts. Software then analyses the data, using digital twin technology. The output is then used to determine where the support structures are so that they can be removed using an end-effector tool.

“Automating support removal and finishing in AM completely changes the economics when scaling up AM, and for the first time makes it feasible for manufacturers around the world to adopt this technology in rapid production,” explained Robert Bush. “The digitalisation of AM also comes with an increase in quality, traceability and repeatability. Given that on average almost two thirds of post-processing costs are from finishing and support structure removal, we believe automation can reduce costs by an average of 25 per cent per part.”

“Improvements in post-processing could bring AM to the forefront of new applications in medical and aerospace applications,” explained Bryan Austin, Director of AM Sales at Renishaw. “An automated manufacturing process could make AM adoption more appealing to manufacturers operating large volume production lines.”

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Digital Transformation In A Time Of Crisis

Digital Transformation in a Time of Crisis

As COVID-19 strikes, all companies in various sectors are facing a huge challenge of sustaining their businesses. People are being forced to make hard decision on whether to close their doors or digitally innovate even further. Article by Makino.

COVID-19 has paved the way for digital transformation as businesses shift operations to cope with office closures, restricted movement and supply interruption.

Digital transformation has always made sense but adoption has been slowed as people deal with some of the overwhelming concepts around Industry 4.0, the sheer size of the task, and struggle to figure out where the value is coming from and where they can find the “digital dividend”. 

Now, the needs are compelling and urgent and those that fail to transform will likely be left behind and risk becoming irrelevant and uncompetitive.

Transformation in Manufacturing Industry

To create an ecosystem that is digitally enabled, one must have the ability to model a disruption in real-time, the agility to respond to that disruption, and the resilience to cope with whatever the world has to throw at it. 

This is demanded not only by the manufacturers, but also by their customers, inventors, creditors, and insurers. As a result, an extensive digitisation of the shop floor, including its integration with all the other systems, is becoming essential rather than nice to have. It provides the necessary first layer of high-quality data, upon which another layer of insight generation, decision support, and control of production processes—all in real time—must be superimposed. Such systems must become an order of magnitude better than what exists today.

Digital Transformation with Makino

Makino has been actively moving towards the trend of digitalisation. Its facility is designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality products and sophisticated precision engineering capabilities by adopting Industry 4.0 and the principles of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Despite transforming the facility into a Smart Factory, Makino also acts as a partner which helps their customers to drive them and motivates them towards transformation.

Retool Your Business Processes to Compete in the Global Die/Mould Market

Common practice and misconceptions can lead mould, tool and die owners to conclude that automation offers few benefits to their businesses due to the demands for tight tolerances and one-off or small runs of complex 3D shapes. In today’s competitive global marketplace, with pressures to improve quality and pricing without increasing investment in machines or labour, the time is right to consider taking a production approach.

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Frost & Sullivan Reveals 9 Emerging Trends Reshaping Industries Post COVID-19

Frost & Sullivan Reveals 9 Emerging Trends Reshaping Industries Post COVID-19

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, The Reshaping of Industries Caused by COVID-19, encompasses nine key trends that will emerge from industries reshaping as a response to COVID-19. With the pandemic’s negative impact on the global economy, immediate action is critical. Technology leaders must assess the emerging opportunities resulting from COVID-19 and provide technological innovations to build company, society, and consumer resilience.

“From transformative MegaTrends to geopolitical chaos, there are several factors making it increasingly difficult to grow,” said Murali Krishnan, Visionary Innovation Group Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “In the near term, companies should focus on diversifying supply chains and leveraging new opportunities arising from changing customer demands. In the long term, it is important to internally adapt to new technologies that support workplace and operational continuity to have a smoother transformation during recovery.”

Chaitanya Habib, Visionary Innovation Group Research Analystadded: “The shift in focus on cost optimisation and on avoiding further production losses post-COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of automation and industrial robots across various industries. As a result, the global industrial robotics market is expected to grow from $44.6 billion in 2020 to $73 billion in the next five years, with increasing FDA approval and patent activity.”

The nine key trends across industries that will emerge as a result of COVID-19 are:

  1. Connected Living:The increased adoption of contactless surfaces post-pandemic will power the home automation and security markets. Systems encompassing voice activation technology will become increasingly popular among consumers.
  2. Connected Work: Reformed connected work scenarios will accentuate the need for “cloud everything.” New subscription-based models will witness a growing demand for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
  3. Digital Health: Digital health driven by telemedicine and robotic care will become the new standard of care delivery. Standardisation of service across the care continuum will require more service and technology providers.
  4. Geopolitical Balance: Countries should work together to keep trade flowing and ensure the supply of essential products, sending a signal of confidence to the global economy.
  5. Human Augmentation: The behavioral analytics market is expected to reach $3 billion in revenue in 2030, up from $230 million in 2019. Post-COVID-19, behavioral data will be used to enhance healthcare systems, financial services, and cybersecurity.
  6. Lights-out Operations: Autonomous “lights-out” operations will propel the demand for remote asset management solutions, and service providers will focus on data management strategies and data-driven business models.
  7. Smart Cities: Smart cities will create significant business opportunities with a market value of $2.46 trillion by 2025. Smart cities will prioritise more digitalised services and a strong data analytics infrastructure, leading to increased spending on technology.
  8. Supply Chain Optimisation: The supply chain industry is creating radical innovations with augmented reality, virtual reality, advanced robotics, real-time inventory tracking, and exploring how 3D printing could completely disrupt the supply chain in the next 10 years.
  9. Technology Advancements: Pandemic preparedness will speed up the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and accelerate AI innovation. Beyond specific disease management, post-pandemic economies also will rely on AI and machine learning (ML) tools to expedite digital transformation across key business initiatives.

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EuroBLECH Launches Digital Innovation Summit In October 2020

EuroBLECH Launches Digital Innovation Summit In October 2020

The organiser of EuroBLECH, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, has launched a new online event for the international sheet metal working community—the EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit, in order to help the industry pave and shape the way back to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Hosted online from 27 – 30 October 2020, it will provide a dedicated virtual marketplace for innovative manufacturing solutions, knowledge transfer and worldwide business contacts in a new online format. At the same time, it conveniently bridges the big wait for the physical EuroBLECH event which has been postponed to March 2021. Visitors can participate for free and register online from the beginning of October.

DISCOVER, CONNECT and LEARN: Virtual summit offers three-in-one experience

The EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit is a four-day online trading, networking and webinar event for professionals from the entire sheet metal working technology chain. Visitors can virtually meet relevant technology suppliers, watch informative product presentations, follow talks and webinars on current industry issues, and ultimately source the best technical solutions for their manufacturing processes.

DISCOVER: Virtual Presentations in the Innovation Theatre, Product Showcases and Exhibitor Directory

The Virtual Presentation Theatre, also known as the Innovation Theatre features 15-minute exhibitor presentations on their latest product innovations and technologies, followed by a live Q&A session. Virtual Product Showcases create a virtual stand experience and allow visitors to explore new products and services in more detail. The Exhibitor Directory offers an easy starting point to browse the full EuroBLECH exhibitor list by name. A simple click leads to further exhibitor information, including product showcases, product videos, contact information, and more.

CONNECT: Networking and Virtual Meetings with Suppliers

A new matchmaking system powered by the latest AI technology helps suppliers and buyers make smart networking decisions by suggesting relevant people to meet. Participants can tailor their networking activities by requesting and pre-scheduling their meetings before the event. Arranging for a meeting is very easy and intuitive, with no third-party software required.

LEARN: Daily Webinars on the latest industry and technology trends

A daily programme of webinars by industry experts provides an opportunity to gain useful insights into the latest market developments as well as technical expertise concerning new industry applications and solutions. A special series with focus on the sheet metal working industry in key geographical areas offers an in-depth analysis on the current challenges and strategies to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. All webinars feature short presentations, followed by a live Q&A session. Further details on topics and speakers will be published soon.

How the Covid-19 crisis sparks innovation in sheet metal working

The EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit comes at a crucial time when sheet metal production has to deal with the massive impact of the global pandemic and its disruption to industrial production in general. The “new normal” requires companies to adapt to new regulations and restrictions, such as social distancing rules, and to master an increasingly volatile market with sudden drops and surges in demand. All this poses a huge challenge for an industry that traditionally operates with rather long lead times and complex supply chains.

“The key for post-crisis growth is agility, and this includes the knowledge and ability to find the right balance between just-in-time, lean inventory, and resilience”, explains Evelyn Warwick. “The industry will recover, but companies who want to survive and ultimately thrive really need to use the coming months to adapt and strengthen for the future. In fact, this crisis is a big moment for innovation, as barriers that once took years to overcome will become irrelevant within a matter of weeks, opening up new opportunities for those willing to adapt and meet shifting customer needs.”

Industry experts agree that the rise of formerly disruptive forces, in particular digitalisation, robotics and automation, has been significantly accelerated by the current crisis. The survival and long-term success of manufacturers will ultimately depend on how quickly they can deploy this new technology to boost their productivity and ensure full scalability of their operations.

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The Future Of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech On The Horizon

The Future of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech on the Horizon

The future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity—it is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Article by Rahav Madvil, Simulation Product Manager for Siemens Digital Industries Software, and Noam Ribon, Senior Business Consultant at Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Industrial manufacturing as a sector has been an early adopter of robotics and other forms of technological improvements for decades. Robotics have been one of the best options to increase production efficiency for large and often highly repetitive manufacturing processes. But the era of producing large quantities of just a few products with low mix is coming to an end, giving way to increased product personalisation requiring a more flexible production process with less waste than ever before.

Fortunately, the future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity. It is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Almost all of this promise is built upon a foundation of digital transformation – and the digital twin. Everything from raw material tracking to process optimisations to hardware selection stem from insights gained from the digital twin and a closed-loop optimisation of entire facilities.

The most difficult aspect of any change to operation are the inevitable changes to process—they are expensive twice over, because nothing is being produced and resources are still being consumed. An autonomous transport initiative squarely addresses this, relying on a few, key technologies to make it happen.

The Power of Virtual Commissioning

Creating a comprehensive digital twin of your production process can greatly reduce downtime for new machines, new processes and new products.  Let’s say you need to install a new CNC station. What if the processes for this new machine could be validated before it ever arrived on the production floor by using the digital twin of the production line? Less time could be spent integrating the new component into the overall production lines through line integration as a part of virtual commissioning.  Available today, virtual commissioning is the critical underpinning to an efficient production environment enabling a closed-loop iterative optimisation of the entire facility.

Virtual commissioning is vital, not only for testing software controls, but for adding insight to the efficiency of the controls strategy. It is also essential for embarking on the advanced robotics journey, laying the groundwork for implementing greater process automation and flexibility needed to efficiently implement tomorrow’s manufacturing technologies today.

Simulate Everything Upfront

One of the best options to minimise risk when updating an existing process or making a new one is to simulate the new operations. It nearly eliminates upfront investment in machinery before knowing whether the new process will operate as expected on the shop floor. For new digitalisation efforts, this is where a digital twin should be established for the process. Without a comprehensive study of the actions within a plant new equipment could be under-utilised leading to lost investment.

Just as important is the implementation of IoT devices, that serve to close the loop between the digital twin and the physical processes once the new processes have been initiated. Although these devices are often embedded in new production equipment, but it is important to consider how to best maximise the voluminous data they generate to gain crucial insight into the production process.

Next Generation Programming

Another route to maximising production time even when supporting a high product mix is to expedite the reprogramming of the robotics in use on the factory floor. Without integrated robotic control, updating a robotic arm for a new task can be incredibly time-consuming. It needs to be taken offline, reprogrammed, validated and restarted, for each robot that will handle the new processes.

In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

Siemens Digital Industries Software bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

All that changes by integrating the programmable logic controllers for these robots into the comprehensive digital twin. Much of this process can be streamlined. Does a bolt spacing on a phone need to be shifted slightly to accommodate the latest 5G wireless antenna? If the entire fleet of robots working on that production line could understand the change, that would save many hours across multiple engineering and production teams. Engineers simply need to let the robots know of the change and any differences in manufacturing tolerances can be accounted for with closed loop sensing through visual or force feedback. With force feedback within the robotic arm, any force exerted over a defined threshold can initiate a pause to the robotic arm’s actions and readjust positioning to address the perceived problem.  Instead of shutting them down for reprogramming, all the robots working on the project can adjust independently to subtle changes.

Although this might sound like some futuristic scenario, task-based programming has already been tested in the real world. In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products. Previously, one of the largest hurdles to automating assembly was how to work with flexible components. Traditional robotics rigidly follow predefined movements, so if something were to inadvertently shift, the whole assembly could be destroyed. But by implementing force sensing on the robotic arms, there is an almost intuitive understanding of the parts and how the robot is interacting with the workpiece at its station. If a hole is slightly out of place on a panel, the input from force sensors can help the robot redirect its movement and thread a screw through without complex, preprogrammed instructions for misalignment scenarios.

Optimising Production with Autonomous Robotics

Simulation, virtual commissioning and advanced robotics programming lay the foundation for a fully flexible production floor, but automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) weave it all together and bring it to life. Historically, conveyor belts acted as the material flow paths on a shop floor. They efficiently move product from point A to point B but require semi-static positioning. Even mobile conveyor systems, common in logistics work, take time to move and to ensure a safe path for product.

Heatmap from simulating AGV and AMR activity on a manufacturing floor.

In contrast, AGVs and AMRs can change their path during transit. This saves time that would have been spent readjusting existing features, this is critical for a flexible production environment. Imagine a production floor, making two distinct version of a product. For version one, the bolts need to be added before the secondary assembly is added, while in version two bolts cannot be added until after the sub-assembly has been mounted. In a static conveyor facility, this could be completed given enough conveyor length and a sorting mechanism. Beyond a couple variations to the production sequence the factory would fill up with conveyor loops that only transport a few products at a time, defeating one of the  main goals of the technology But with a fleet of AGVs or AMRs moving materials and work pieces throughout the facility, products can be rerouted and the sequence reordered to another machine. Or, in the case of highly customised consumer products, components could be routed to the best machine for the task. It can account for how much time is required to switch over to the new process, how many units can it produce compared to other machines, and even the impact of a re-route on other processes on the shop floor.

Reaping the Benefits of Tomorrow’s Robotics Today

Achieving all this requires a highly integrated production process. To guarantee a product is still made correctly during an automated process change, it needs to be simulated beforehand using a digital twin. To certify the product can be made in the new location, the production machine needs to be validated for the task using virtual commissioning. And to ensure the slightly different parts don’t produce errors in the process, the machines themselves need to be flexible to adapt to in real time to changing conditions with AGVs and AMRs.

Properly managing all these variables can have an incredibly positive effect on process performance, in fact it can produce up to a 40 percent improvement in labour productivity, according to a 2020 McKinsey study. Understanding the shop floor is an invaluable proposition and will continue to net savings and improvements through the life of the facility, even making it last longer by reducing maintenance overhead and costs with the improved condition monitoring of extensive IoT and the comprehensive digital twin.

Learn more of how Tecnomatix brings the tools of tomorrow’s factories to the factories of today with Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio with free trials for the Process Simulate and Plant Simulate tools.

 

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Hoffmann Group Connected Tools Accelerating Digitalisation In Tooling

Hoffmann Group Connected Tools Accelerating Digitalisation In Tooling

The new “Hoffmann Group Connected Tools (HCT)” product family Hoffmann Group is driving digitalisation forwards in the field of tooling. The range includes Bluetooth-capable tools which at the push of a button send measured values directly to a PC application such as Excel, a tablet or the newly developed HCT smartphone app. The GARANT IP67 HCT digital caliper with Bluetooth connection has now been launched on the market as the first HCT product. This tool is also available as a depth gauge. The free HCT app is now available for download from the App Store and Google Play.

GARANT Digitaler Messschieber IP67 HCT

The new Hoffmann Group Connected Tools link the analogue and digital tooling worlds without any additional software or dongle. The tools send measurement data via Bluetooth over a range of up to 15 metres and thus make documentation particularly convenient. At the same time they improve quality management because they eliminate errors arising from manual data transmission.

The Hoffmann Group has also developed the HCT smartphone app for users who place a special value on mobile working. The app provides an overview of up to eight HCT tools. It reliably saves newly recorded measurement results and permits the export of the measured data including tool name, measurement date, unit and target value in CSV format for further processing in any PC application such as Excel or Word. The app can also display values both in the metric system and in inches.

The new GARANT IP67 HCT digital caliper not only has sophisticated functions but also features an outstanding design. That was confirmed by the jury of the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2019: The GARANT IP67 digital caliper provides a large LCD display on which the measured values are displayed at an easily legible height of 11.5 millimetres. The measurement system is embedded in a clearly structured stainless steel body sheathed in an ergonomically shaped enclosure with Santoprene coating. This provides the necessary grip for working in dusty, wet or oily environments. After 10 minutes the system automatically switches into power-saving mode. Any slight movement reactivates it and the last measured value and the zero point are displayed. This saves energy. The tool satisfies protection class IP67 and is protected against dust, water, coolant and oil.

 

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