It will be Milan to welcome the next edition of EMO, the world machine tool exhibition, alternately hosted in Italy and Germany and considered as the leading trade show for the operators of the world manufacturing industry.
Promoted by CECIMO, the European Association of Machine Tool Industries, EMO MILANO 2021 will take place at fieramilano Rho from 4 to 9 October.
Undisputed leader in the scenario of the exhibitions regarding the sector, EMO represents the articulated world of metalworking in the best way, combining vision and innovation, as proven by the data of the previous Italian edition (EMO MILANO 2015), hosting 1,600 exhibiting companies, on an exhibit area of 120,000 sq. m. and registering over 155,000 visits of operators coming from 120 countries.
Metal forming and metal cutting machine tools, production systems, enabling technologies, solutions for interconnected and digital factories and additive manufacturing will be among the products and solutions spotlighted at EMO MILANO 2021, which will transform fieramilano Rho into the biggest digital factory ever set up within an exhibition fairground.
The international origin of exhibitors is the highlight of EMO MILANO, (in 2015 foreign exhibitors were 68 percent of the total). This international presence will appeal to visitors from any part of the world, who have always considered EMO as an unmissable opportunity for technical-professional updating and for observing the technological trends characterising the production of the future.
In this sense, EMO is an exhibition event capable, like no other, of interpreting the industrial “spirit of the age” and, at the same time, of presenting the most futuristic technologies for the development and wellbeing of society, to such an extent that it can be considered the place that showcases “the magic world of metalworking” – as highlighted in the slogan chosen for EMO MILANO 2021.
Dongdong Tao, executive director and general manager of Behringer (Shenyang) Machinery Co. Ltd, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about the company’s presence in Asia, opportunities in the market, and their latest technology innovations. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
With Behringer’s servomotor and ball spindle down-feed technology, you can get a very accurate movement of the saw frame, and you can cut into the material with a constant speed.
Behringer GmbH is one of the biggest names in bandsaws and circular saws worldwide. Celebrating its 100th year this year, the company—now run by Rolf and Christian Behringer, the grandchildren of founder August Behringer—mainly has three production bases: one in Kirchardt, Germany, the headquarters, which produces bandsaws; one in the southern part of Stuttgart, which is a circular saw manufacturer; and the third production base in France, which is a joint venture between Behringer and Vernet.
Most of the machines that Behringer produces are exported to over 80 countries. Behringer has sales and service subsidiaries in the United States, France, China, and the United Kingdom, and over 30 agencies worldwide.
At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 trade fair, Dongdong Tao, executive director and general manager of Behringer (Shenyang) Machinery Co. Ltd, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about the company’s presence in Asia, opportunities and challenges in the market, and their latest technology innovations.
Tell us something about yourself and your role in the company.
Dongdong Tao (DT): I am responsible for the China market. Behringer has a subsidiary in China, but it is not a factory – I mean, it has no production; we do sales, service and technical support for the Chinese market. Sometimes, we also provide technical support to Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
What opportunities are you seeing in the Asian market?
DT: Behringer is one of the leading companies in sawing technology worldwide. However, its traditional markets are Europe and the United States—about 80 percent of its orders are from these regions. And then, the rest of the world accounts for only about 20 percent. Asia is also in this 20%—it is not a big share of the whole market, but I believe it should be the future of Behringer on the international market.
Considering the rapid economic development in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Singapore, and the fast-catching markets of Malaysia and the Philippines should be among the future markets for Behringer.
Are there any particular industry or industries you are seeing strong growth?
DT: The sawing machine is a universal machine tool. Our markets include those related to metal cutting. For example, steel makers, the automotive industry, or the aircraft industry require hard materials; it should be the right job for Behringer. If you need high efficiency and high accuracy, these are the advantages of Behringer.
What are some of Behringer’s sawing technologies being highlighted at the show?
DT: One of our highlights for this exhibition is the new model HBE 560A Performance. HBE Performance is a relatively new series, which was launched only about two years ago. We have different models under this series. This new model completes the cutting range of the HBE series from 560mm to 1m.
The special advantage in technology in this series is the down-feed design of ball spindle and servo-motor.
When you look at the market now, most bandsaws you will see use hydraulic down-feed. The spindle and servo design is mostly used in high-rank products, but now we use it in our regular sawing machines series.
What is the advantage of this?
DT: With this servo-motor and ball spindle down-feed, you can get a very accurate movement of the saw frame, and you can cut into the material with a constant speed. It is very positive to protect the teeth of saw blade from damage. But with hydraulic down-feed, there’s always some vibration, which results in a reduced blade lifetime. What is more, you can’t get the right cutting efficiency.
With this new design, you can significantly increase your performance. But the price of the machine is similar to previous hydraulic models. The same price, but at a higher accuracy and higher efficiency, this will be attractive for customers.
What is your outlook for the next year?
DT: Actually, there are some negative air about the global economy at the moment. During my visit to Germany, I also heard this kind of feelings from my colleagues, and they are all worrying about the next financial crisis. It hasn’t really happened.
But in this climate, it is typical for people or customers to hold off on making decisions on new investments; everything has slowed down. This is certainly a negative factor for the development of our global economy.
In Asia, I think we are also reading about this kind of topic, but it is not as critical as in Europe.
Dr. Wilfried Schaefer at VDW speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about the technology trends shaping the global metalworking industry. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Dr. Wilfried Schäfer
Dr. Wilfried Schaefer, Managing Director of German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW – Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken e.V.), speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News on the sidelines of the EMO Hannover 2019 event in Germany, where he discussed the technology trends shaping the global metalworking industry.
Tell us about VDW and its goals and mission.
Dr. Wilfried Schaefer (WS): The German Machine Tool Builders’ Association has about 265 member companies, which is 90-95% of the German production chain for machine tools. We are a service organisation supporting our members, which are more or less small and medium size companies—they don’t have so many departments which do general activities, so we support them in statistics and market research, we support them in technical means, and we run research projects. We are very strong in standardisation in all fields of relevance for our industry.
On the other side, we are a trade show organiser. We are also supporting our companies outside of European marketing activities, running technology symposia, things like these. And in addition, we have founded a youth organisation in 2009, which is an independent legal body, but is managed by us. The target of this is to support vocational training—so, writing content for teachers, trainers and companies, and upgrading the content in the field of digital technologies—because not only in the academia level but also on the level of vocational training, people must understand what digitalisation is all about, where it comes from, what it means, and so on.
What technology or manufacturing challenges have you seen or are you seeing in the metalworking industry?
WS: We have a continuous technology development in all aspects of this value chain—the machines, tooling, measurement devices—which is a continuous ongoing improvement by the individual companies, so there is no specific trend in these product categories. Overall, we are all talking about the topic of digitisation—I think this is the major topic for not only the machine tool business but for quite a number of companies in the field of intelligent tooling, intelligent clamping, controller business, measurement devices where the data come from, and also the machinery.
Are there new technology applications that have emerged over the past year or two?
WS: Besides the topic of digitisation, you mainly see that everybody is trying to optimise his processes in various terms, so increasing productivity and cost reduction for the customer. Another aspect is new software-driven solutions for automation. This is a strong activity.
What can you say about 3d printing, specifically metal 3d printing? how do you see that impacting the metalworking industry?
WS: Maybe different from what you could have read from the past years, when people are saying that the car will be printed in the future. We do not agree on this. 3D printing is an interesting technology, offering new possibilities in complex structures for example; it covers a specific need or a specific solution that is easier to achieve than with classical production means. But it is one additional technology besides all the others. That’s our thinking. It has to be integrated in the value chain, which is in some cases, on industrial perspective, different from rapid prototyping.
It is not so easy to integrate 3D printing in the whole chain of product design, production with 3D printing, post-production with cutting, because you cannot assemble a metal 3D printed piece; you need post processes.
Where does Industry 4.0 fit and what opportunities and risks does it bring to the machine tool industry?
WS: Industry 4.0 is not all about machines being connected. Machines have been controlled digitally for many years, as we have a controller; and machines have been connected in flexible systems also for years now. Industry 4.0, in addition to what we do today—you have MES systems to get data out of your system, these are available five or eight years ago (since five to eight years?) —enables us to get new volumes of data that may give you additional information to better control the machine and the process, to predict situations in the machine or the process. This will offer machine tool builders the opportunity to, out of his knowhow of the machine system and of the process, develop new functionalities which are supporting the needs of the customer.
What is the importance of the umati standard for the metalworking industry?
WS: Industry 4.0 is possible to be realised already. You take a machine with a controller, then you connect it to the cloud, and you get all the data. The problem is that this connectivity between a machine system and a software or cloud system or platform is usually proprietary. You have a data connectivity with Siemens, one with Fanuc, one for Microsoft Cloud, and so on. In each and every connection you make, of course, the customer tells you what he wants. It needs additional effort. With umati, we want to realise a standard that will enable you to plug and play machines to the cloud—the machine talks umati, and the cloud understands umati.
What do you think will ensure the success of umati?
WS: Two major aspects are needed. First of all, the controller people and the platform people will offer OPC-UA server and OPC-UA client structures so that you can upload umati easily and connect. This is important and I think we are on the right track. At least on the side of the controller business, around 80 to 90 percent of the capacity of controller producers are within the umati project.
On the other side, of course, it is necessary that the machine tool producers all over the world agree on this standard because it cannot be a German or European standard; because then we will have a European standard, a US standard, and an Asian standard—then again, this will be kind of proprietary because then, some customers would use this one, others would use another one, and still others would use a third one. Therefore, it is important that on a wide, broad base, umati will be realised and integrated in all (their) projects.
What technology developments should manufacturers look out for in the next year?
WS: We have to mention digitisation, because as people talk about Industry 4.0 for quite some time now, you really have a feeling that it has been on the shop floor and has already been integrated. But there is still a lot to do, and a lot of possibilities to take; and these possibilities are different depending on whether you are a component producer, or tool producer, or you are a machine tool builder; it has to fit in the strategies. That’s why I do not see an overall answer to this.
On the other hand, aside from digitisation, there is a transformation happening in the automotive industry. Therefore, those companies who are delivering solutions into the automotive industry have to really look at this and make sure that they adapt their production solutions to the upcoming needs of the customers.
What are the opportunities for growth that you are seeing in Southeast Asia?
WS: They are continuously developing; asking for more sophisticated production solutions. This is also driven by—which is different from country to country—the strategies of the governments supporting industry clusters and industry sectors. In those areas, we see a lot of development in automotive supply, like in Thailand; we see similar developments in electronics production in Vietnam, for example; and so on.
There are different strategies and different developments in these countries; but overall, there is the continuous growth of industrial production.
What is your outlook for the metalworking next year?
WS: The problem is that it is difficult to predict at the moment, because we have influencing factors that are out of, let’s say, classical possibilities to predict future developments. Of course, we usually have some 10-year cycles, but it’s always a question of how strong these cycles are; and what the influencing factors are. At the moment, a very strong influencing factor besides enough capacity is the free-trade problem that we have. This free trade problem, or trade war, whatever you will call them, is between the two largest consuming markets—China and the US. And these consuming markets are consuming production technologies themselves, so this, and other countries as well, are influencing the investment situation overall.
We have to wait until some politicians have, let’s say, better strategies than the current ones. In Europe we have a similar situation with the Brexit, we have a similar situation with the sanctions in Russia, so there’s a lot of political uncertainty, which is influencing our sector. This is one aspect.
The other aspect is the overall transformation of mobility. Currently there is some uncertainty as to how to invest and what to invest in depending on the strategy of the drive solutions–maybe just pure battery, maybe fuel cell, or it might be something else. If these strategies become clearer, then investments—because new car models have to be produced—are going to come up again.
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.
From its humble establishment in 1952, ISCAR has grown to become one of the biggest tool manufacturers in the world, operating in more than 50 countries and having over 50 global subsidiaries. Based in Israel, the company—a part of the IMC Group—provides innovative cutting tools for the metalworking industry.
At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 event in Germany, Erich Timons, CTO of ISCAR Germany GmbH, the second biggest subsidiary of ISCAR worldwide, speaks with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about tooling trends and challenges, and how ISCAR is helping their customers improve their productivity.
What are the biggest tooling challenges for your customers?
Erich Timons (ET): Our customers are always asking for more productivity; how they can produce as quickly as possible. They are also concerned with how they can make their manufacturing process safer and more efficient.
Where does ISCAR come in? How are you helping your customers in their manufacturing challenges?
ET: What we do is analyse the company’s processes. What we like to do is not just to look for one tool, but to build up a new and complete process—finding out how we can save time by increasing the speed or the feed, or using a combination of tools, to reduce the number of total tools and to make the production faster.
What industries are driving the tool market right now?
ET: Germany is driven by the automotive industry. Overall in Europe, I think it is nearly the same. Fifty percent of our total revenue comes from the automotive industry, so we are highly driven by the changes in the automotive sector. Having said that, we see that automotive customers are going to be even more flexible because they must deal with a wide variety of engines right now, unlike in the past where we had only one kind. Some automotive OEMs in Germany even have four of five different engines that they are producing in one line—therefore our tooling needs to be more flexible than in the past.
Asia is quite similar to Europe. Looking at markets like China, for example, you will see a big automotive industry. Volkswagen, for instance, had opened a lot of subsidiaries and a lot of plants in China; and we are working really closely with them. I think this is one of our biggest advantages, because we are in close contact with our partners in China.
Meanwhile, Thailand is a big and growing market; the same as Vietnam, which is also growing. We also see the Philippines as a potential market. We are really strong in South Korea, not only with ISCAR but another IMC partner, Taegutec, where we have a big production unit there. Overall, we are supporting all of Asia from Germany.
As much as you want the tools to be long lasting, you still have to sell a lot of it. how do you manage that compromise, ensuring tool life but selling more?
ET: Sometimes, what I tell the customer is that we are providing a long tool life, but at the end, you have to break a tool to make some money. Besides productivity on the machine, we also see a big change in the tool setup. This is a big issue in a lot of companies—they have to invest a lot of time in making the tool setup. The reason for this is to not only to see what happens inside the machine, but also to ensure that the customer can make changes easily with the inserts or the drill, for example. So, it is really important to make the setup not too complicated.
What are some of your product highlights at the show?
ET: ISCAR is well known in parting because our roots come from this application. We have a brand-new tool here, the MULTIFGRIP. Parting is still the bottleneck in the production, so with this tool, the customer can go each feed they want in parting. With this tool, we can also measure the forces and the vibration, you can connect it to the machine, and you can adapt the influence of the feed and the speed to have a production without any vibration at all.
What is your strategy towards Industry 4.0?
ET: There are different ways to support Industry 4.0. First of all, we have an app, ISCAR World, which includes many features. For example, you can go to the electronic catalogue and build a 3D model of the assembly of the tools to use in your CAM system. You can have a recommendation on the cutting speed and feed for your application by using the ITA (ISCAR Tool Advisor). With Industry 4.0, it is not only the hardware but also the digital twin of the tool. That is one point.
Another Tool is our MATRIX System. MATRIX is not only a vending machine. Its connected to any ERP System at our customer and help to balance inventories to an optimum ratio.
With these solutions including intelligent tools we support our customers in all areas of their production.
Industry 4.0 is not one feature—it is everything working together, from the beginning until the end of production.
What is your outlook for the metalworking industry over the next year?
ET: In the automotive side, we will see a lot of changes within five to 10 years because everybody is talking about e-mobility. But I think we also have to look on new materials, as well as develop tools that are more user friendly. We also have to look for production and productivity improvement, as well as flexibility. There are a lot of things we have to cover. It will also be very interesting to see the development of Industry 4.0. Overall, it will be a challenge.
Do you have any final comments?
ET: I am very excited to see what will happen at EMO because we’ve seen a slowdown in the industry. Everybody is looking at the negative trends, but I am looking to the positive side, because I believe the metalworking industry is not going to die. Don’t look at the bad side. I think this is the year of positive things, because now, the customers have time to evaluate their production. Now is the time to be really agile, to be fast and flexible, and to look how to improve.
Don’t wait for the industry to get better; now is the time to start improving your production.
In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Uwe-Armin Ruttkamp of Siemens Digital Industries talked about how digitalisation is helping machine builders and users, the utilisation of data to improve manufacturing processes, as well as how umati will help push the metalworking industry forward. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
One of the highlights of Siemens’ booth at EMO Hannover 2019 is the latest generation of its Sinumerik One, the first digital native CNC aimed at driving the digital transformation in the machine tool industry. Siemens has also extended its Industrial Edge offerings for Sinumerik Edge to include more new applications to help machine tool users improve workpiece and process quality, increase machine availability, and further optimise machine processes.
With Sinumerik One, machine tool manufacturers can virtually map their entire development processes, significantly reducing the product development phase and time to market for new machines. This helps machine builders significantly reduce the duration of actual commissioning. Its virtual model opens up new possibilities for manufacturers and operators—machine concepts and functions can be discussed even before real hardware is available.
Sinumerik One enables machine users the programming of workpieces in the virtual environment and the setup and operation of machines completely on the PC. Employee training can also be carried out using the digital twin instead of the actual machine. These hardware and software innovations help machine builders and operators speed up processing steps significantly.
In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Uwe-Armin Ruttkamp, Head of Machine Tool Systems, Motion Control Business Unit, Siemens Digital Industries, talked more about the benefits of these new technologies and how digitalisation is helping machine builders and users. He also discussed the utilisation of data to improve manufacturing processes, as well as how umati will help push the metalworking industry forward.
When we look at the current potential for these technologies and all that they involve, are they more suited to advanced markets such as Europe or the US?
Uwe-Armin Ruttkamp (UR): I wouldn’t say so. You have all kinds of industries also in Asian countries. Not everything is low-cost and price-driven; they are also technology driven, especially aerospace, automotive industries, or the upcoming additive manufacturing.
So, there’s a lot of technologies driving the industries. In addition to this, labour is not staying on this low-cost level—in Asian countries, people want to earn more money as well—so saving time, and saving cost by saving time, is also an issue for Asian countries.
How does this technology play out in the smart factory concept?
UR: It plays perfectly into that concept, because with our Digital Enterprise (DE) Portfolio we offer a holistic end-to-end solution including industrial software and automation that allows the use of a seamless value chain. This value chain consists of five steps for the machine user, and five steps for the machine builder. If you build a machine, you start with a concept, mechanics, you go to electrical design, you go to engineering, you go to commissioning, and sometimes, it also needs service.
For the machine user, there are also several steps needed to build a part. Get the machine on the shop floor, create a part, build the part, check it for quality, and ship it. And this complete concept is the basis for running a smart factory.
In a lot of these steps, Sinumerik One brings great benefits. For example, in machine engineering, people in the offices can engineer the machine. You don’t need to have a test rack next to your desk, and you don’t need to go to the shop floor to test the applications. You can do it all in the virtual world. That’s one perfect example of an Industry 4.0 application that people will get from our Sinumerik One concept.
How do you see digital twins being implemented by customers in Asia?
UR: I see a lot of customers thinking about it. We talk to many customers, including those in Asia. We, for example, are customers of our customers. We have factories ourselves. And we only buy machines where we can get a digital twin beforehand. We make it a prerequisite for purchasing a machine, that it comes with a digital twin. And I believe in future many other users are going to do the same. The benefits are huge. You can train the people, who are going to operate the machine, before the machine is even delivered. And even more, you can also do the run-ins, do the first test of the programs, and know the cycle time of the production, before the machine is delivered.
Does siemens have a benchmark so that when machine users’ data are analysed, they will determine whether they are doing okay or they are falling short?
UR: We offer from our service department a digitalisation check. Together with our customers we examine their factories and give them advise what digitalisation measures are in place to get to another productivity level. It’s a consulting approach not a benchmark.
More and more people are talking about the lights out factory. how are you helping customers go into that level of manufacturing?
UR: Lights out factories are not new. When you go into an automotive factory, for example they produce the same part over and over, it is relatively an automated production. So, what they have done, of course, is to use a CAD/CAM chain, which, out from the design of the piece, create the program to build the piece, download it into the machine, and run it. Of course, this is something we support with our DE portfolio. You can put a program into the machine remotely, and then run it automatically. But of course, it requires in-feed of the materials and taking out the material and the pieces produced. But then again, you need automation, and the complete tool chain and software, like NX for example, or TeamCenter, to have a data backbone for all the production information about the part. But there are other companies focusing on job shops, so they produce many different parts every day according to customer specifications. For them it does not make sense run a fully automated line. So, a lights-out factory for them is not possible.
One of the highlights of emo 2019 is umati. How are you supporting this initiative?
UR: We support it 100 percent. We are part of the initiative and helped it to get to the point where we are today. At Siemens our solution to serve a universal interface for machine tools is based on our industrial edge concept. Edge computing is the perfect solution for this. For example, one wants to have a central dashboard, which shows the amount of cooling liquid used per hour. Cooling liquid per hour is not stored as one piece of information in all the machines in the same way. You need to have some sort of programming that knows where that data is stored in the machine and sends it out in a uniform way. Our Siemens industrial edge concept is perfectly suited for this, because OPC-UA is built into our edge devices. This allows the machines to communicate the data provided based on OPC-UA, and the user can program a little piece of code into it to acquire the data out of the machine.
The specifications for umati is still being finalised. during its early development, what were the challenges that you experienced, and are they still a challenge now?
UR: From a technical perspective, it’s not difficult, because it is OPC-UA, and it is a definition of data. It is basically a companion stem based on OPC-UA. The difficult part was to get an agreement among all parties which data they want to support, or which use cases they want to support. Once umati defines which piece of information has to be programmed, it’s done. It’s relatively simple.
EMO Hannover 2019 closed its doors following a six-day run. From 16 to 21 September, round about 117,000 production specialists from 150 countries convened at the world’s leading tradeshow for the metalworking industry. “This EMO Hannover 2019 built on the success of our boom year in 2017,” reported EMO General Commissioner Carl Martin Welcker.
He continued: “In the context of subdued economic expectations over the past several months, the moderate decline in attendance has to be viewed as a success. We are particularly delighted at the further increase in the percentage of foreign attendees.”
The mood in the halls was positive, with many exhibitors pleasantly surprised at the high volume of visitor traffic at their stands. “EMO Hannover has once again proved solid as a rock, providing clarity for the further development of production technology, even in uncertain times,” Welcker added.
Its trademarks included a strong international character, a high caliber of visitors and exhibitors, and an amazing wealth of innovations and new products, he stressed. As the world’s leading metalworking fair, it was the “place to be”.
Mixed Mood – Investment-Readiness Bodes Well For Post-Show Business
Exhibitors with a broad customer base were satisfied with the run of the fair. In the words of Dr. Wolfgang Heuring, CEO of the Erlangen-based Motion Control Business Unit at Siemens: “The level of visitor interest at our stand this year was incredible. We are delighted at the way things have gone.” Other firms with a stronger focus on the passenger car industry seemed to be less upbeat about the situation.
“Firms are clearly more reluctant to commit themselves, given the general uncertainty over where the market is heading,” remarked Dr. Christian Lang, CEO of Liebherr-Verzahntechnik in Kempten. “But our discussions with customers at our stand have still been substantive and very promising for the future,” he added.
While some exhibitors spoke of a historic paradigm shift in the automotive industry, which still needed to be mastered, other exhibitors reported successfully negotiating business deals with automakers during the fair.
Strong Asian Presence At EMO Hannover
As the flagship fair for its sector of industry, EMO Hannover has a strong international profile. More than half of all attendees came from abroad, split almost evenly between other European countries and overseas. A 20 percent growth in attendance from overseas in comparison with the 2017 event was particularly impressive. This included a high percentage of Asian guests, who accounted for almost one third of visitors from abroad, with China, Japan, Taiwan and India heading the rankings.
“The highly international makeup of EMO visitors, particularly from Asia, resulted in a busy and extremely global atmosphere at our stand,” said Dr. Stefan Brand, CEO of Vollmer Werke in Biberach. This trend was clearly related to a higher number of Asian exhibitors at this year’s event, who encouraged their customers to visit them in Hannover. Other countries with strong representation at the event included Italy, Poland, Sweden, Russia and Turkey.
Digitalisation And Automation Gathering Momentum
“This year’s EMO once again generated fresh momentum for innovations,” reported Lothar Horn, Managing Director of Paul Horn GmbH in Tübingen. As an innovations platform for production technology, EMO is expected to chart the trends for the years ahead, and once again the mission was successful. The EMO motto “Smart technologies driving tomorrow’s production” accurately reflected the key issues facing the industry today.
“Our many discussions with customers at EMO 2019 in Hannover revealed that a focus on the holistic process chain, including digital services, creates the relevant added value for customers,” said Christian Thönes, Chairman of the Executive Board at Bielefeld-based DMG Mori AG. This feeling was shared across all exhibitor segments.
“The positive visitor response to our cloud-based simulation tools and monitoring system as an Industry 4.0 application was striking,” commented Marie-Sophie Maier-Wember, CEO of Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH in Trossingen. And the buzzwords of IoT platforms, apps, digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI), edge and cloud computing were omnipresent at the fair.
This all served to highlight just how much has changed since the most recent event two years ago. Particularly in Hall 9, the domains of research and practice came together. This blend of research and industry attracted large visitor numbers from around the world.
“We have made many new contacts, and the ideas garnered from talking to all these people will hopefully feed into future research projects,” commented Prof. Berend Denkena, President of the Academic Association for Production Technology (WGP) and head of the Institute for Production Technology and Machine Tools (IFW). “One clear conclusion from all this is that digitalisation and automation will chart our path into the future, you can see that right here at EMO Hannover,” he added.
This year’s EMO also featured the first AI applications in the Start-up area and at the stands of the relevant trailblasing companies. Along with the strong interest in AI and machine learning, visitors’ appetite for future visions was reflected in the accompanying events and forums, where the topics included not only AI, but also additive processes, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), 5G and not least OPC UA or umati, the new standard interface between machine tools and overarching IT systems.
The standout attraction consisted of the big umati showcase, which included 110 machines from 70 international firms and partners, demonstrating for the first time that the universal interface between machines and IT systems can function across all product types. According to umati project manager Dr. Alexander Broos, “the response to umati among our partners and customers has been huge. This display at EMO has successfully launched us on the market. Our next commission on returning home is to deliver the OPC UA Companion Specification at the earliest possible date.”
EMO Hannover 2019 Opens Window To Future
“Against all expectations, we can wrap up EMO Hannover 2019 on a positive note. The fair is attractive for the entire international production technology community and has confirmed there is still demand for capital investment in the marketplace. In spite of all the political turmoil, this trade fair has revealed that industry is actively addressing the challenges of the future and is determined to make its contribution as a problem solver,” concluded EMO general commissioner Carl Martin Welcker.
70 companies from ten countries have connected 110 machines and 28 value-added services at EMO Hannover 2019 via the umati standard interface. “umati is opening up a new chapter in production,” says Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chairman of the VDW (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenhersteller – German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), at the umati press conference on 16 September 2019 in Hanover.
“The interface enables machine tool manufacturers to fulfill another Industry 4.0 promise: the simple, fast and secure exchange of data,” continues Prokop. Creating a connection and providing a uniform language for machines, systems and software are essential prerequisites for reaping the benefits of digitalisation in production. The fact that individual companies no longer have to concern themselves with the correct functioning of the network interconnection represents a tremendous step forward.
umati has also already made a strong impression internationally. Three international consortia from major machine tool manufacturing countries have joined the interface: ProdNet from Switzerland, Edgecross from Japan and NCLink from China. In addition, the machine tool associations from China, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Taiwan as well as the European machine tool association Cecimo are supporting the project.
“Choosing the OPC UA standard as a basis for the development of the interface supports international dissemination. It ensures that umati can be used free of charge worldwide,” explains Prokop. 90 companies are contributing to the standardisation work in the Joint Working Group together with the OPC Foundation. The release of Version 1.0 of the Companion Specification, the next milestone, is planned for the middle of next year.
EMO showcase demonstrating the effectiveness of umati
The showcase at EMO Hannover 2019 demonstrates that the interface is already up and running. Each machine has an OPC UA server which sends the data to a data hub which has been set up especially for the trade fair. There, the software value-added services can access the data via OPC UA clients and show what added value can be generated from the resulting data. How the data is coming together can be experienced via a live dashboard at the umati central information booth (E24) in Hall 9.
umati success will be decided by the market
Whether or not umati is successful will ultimately depend on how customers rate the added value of the interface. For their part, manufacturers must provide this added value in a dependable manner. “For this we need reliable partners who can provide the necessary components such as control architecture and software components. We will achieve this through close cooperation with the control manufacturers and, in future, no doubt also with extensive parts of the supply chain,” says VDW Chairman Prokop.
But until then, the umati working group still has much to do. Version 1.0 will be the starting signal for launching actual products. “In the future, the umati brand should represent a promise: anyone who buys a umati machine and has umati interface software should be able to get the data flowing with no difficulty,” says Prokop.
In order to achieve similarly extensive distribution to that of the USB connector in the consumer goods sector, the VDW is working – in addition to the Companion Specifications – on establishing a binding specification for the configuration of communication parameters, defining minimum requirements for implementation, and developing standardised test procedures to assess performance. Further aims include extending the brand’s global reach, defining binding conditions for its use and setting up a viable organisational structure. “Version 2.0 is already on the horizon because there are many aspects which have not yet been tackled, such as production order management on the machines, or tool management,” concludes the VDW Chairman.
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, opens the world’s leading trade fair for metalworking
Carl Martin Welcker
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, together with Lower Saxony’s First Minister Stephan Weil, Member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom Adel Al-Saleh, Cecimo President Dr. Roland Feichtl and EMO General Commissioner Carl Martin Welcker, is opening the EMO Hannover 2019, the world’s leading trade fair. For six days, Hanover will once again become a Mecca for the international production technology industry. The theme of the event is “Smart technologies driving tomorrow’s production!” and more than 2,200 exhibitors from 48 countries are set to present their innovations for industrial production.
“Digitalisation and networking have been the subject of much discussion over the last few years, but they are now finally being implemented in the production processes,” says Carl Martin Welcker at the opening press conference in Hanover. Factories are becoming smart, machines and tools are becoming intelligent. They communicate with each other and are raising production to new quality levels. Many exhibitors are showcasing offerings for this. There are over 2,000 hits for the term “Industry 4.0” on the EMO website alone.
EMO Hannover presenting solutions to mega issues
Welcker sees major challenges and opportunities arising from the transition of the automotive industry – the sector’s largest customer. “Electrification will not happen overnight. Rather, there will still be many optimised fossil fuel-powered vehicles on the road, either with pure combustion engines or hybrid drives,” he said. The introduction of new drive technologies will undoubtedly lead to changes in individual manufacturing processes. However, the EMO General Commissioner strongly believes that highly differentiated solutions must be found to meet the highly disparate needs of cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, aircraft, marine engines, mobile machines and e-bikes. If we are to achieve the ambitious CO2 climate targets, it is all the more important to redouble our efforts in the search for future drive technologies, and to ensure that the best solution prevails in each case.
Researchers at FEV Consulting have calculated that fully electric vehicles will have a 19 percent share of the global market by 2030. This relates to 118 million new registrations, the overall number of which is not expected to change significantly from the 2017 figure. They also speak of a 64 percent reduction of the added value in the manufacturing process for pure electric drives, and 24 percent higher added value for plug-in hybrids.
In this scenario, any losses in production can potentially be compensated by new requirements. Improvements to the efficiency of the remaining combustion engines and transmission systems in the form of optimised surfaces, the reduction of noise emissions, protection against component wear (which is more intense in hybrids due to the switch from electric to combustion mode at high speeds) and the redesign of braking systems (required due to the high battery weights): all these factors call for new or modified production processes. In addition, there is the installation of rapid charging facilities nationwide. Complex new production systems are also needed for the manufacture of key electrical components such as batteries, traction motors and power electronics.
Sustainability is the basis of the machine tool industry’s business model
Without the use of intelligent technology, it will not ultimately be possible to achieve the ambitious climate protection targets by 2030. In any consideration of such advances, the focus is always on industrial production and thus on machine tools as ‘enablers’. There are demands for lower energy and material consumption levels, higher process efficiency coupled with higher product quality. “In fact, the tool industry is making a major contribution, because its business model is centred squarely on efficiency and waste avoidance,” points out Welcker.
The industry would not enjoy such international success if it was not capable of processing ever new materials – such as lightweight construction in the automotive industry – and of establishing more energy-efficient processes by cutting out entire processing steps, e.g. by combining a number of processes in a single machine. Industry 4.0 is currently giving rise to much talk about ‘digital twins’. These allow optimised machines, components and processes to be designed on the computer before any actual materials are used in production. Power generation, whether conventional or regenerative, ultimately requires sophisticated production technology, too. This is crucial if sustainable principles are to be adhered to in the necessary machining of large parts for wind turbines, in combined heat and power generation, or in the laser machining of solar panels. This is at the heart of what the machine tool industry stands for.
Sustainability has always been a key factor in the construction of the machine tools themselves. The machine tool industry fulfilled the EU’s requirements as part of its move towards establishing a circular (closed-loop) economy long ago: energy- and resource-efficient production, long service lives, incentives for refurbishment, updatability of control systems, second and third lives for products. This makes it an ideal example of how to implement recycling management.
Decline in German machine tool production expected in 2019
“EMO Hannover 2019 is taking place in less than ideal economic circumstances,” admits Welcker. After eight strong years for the machine tool industry, global demand for capital goods has been in decline since the fourth quarter of 2018. User demand in all regions of the world declined significantly in the first half of 2019. In the EMO host country of Germany, incoming orders also fell by more than a fifth in the first six months. Therefore VDW (German Machine Toll Builders’ Association) revised the production forecast for Germany to minus two percent.
However, a leading world trade fair such as EMO Hannover can reveal at an early stage the technologies which are likely to attract investment in the future. New offerings arising from digitalisation and the introduction of artificial intelligence, new products made possible through the extensive use of generative processes etc. will open up new dimensions of efficiency and quality in production. Companies should now be getting themselves in shape for the coming years – through strategic realignment, modernisation of production, increased process efficiency. “There are many potential approaches. The solutions will crystallise in the coming days, not least here at EMO Hannover,” says the EMO General Commissioner.
The HAIMER Group will show how modern tool management works with high-quality, process-reliable components, consistent digitalisation and fully automated tool presetting using a robot cell at the upcoming EMO 2019 event in Hanover, Germany.
The HAIMER Group, one of the leaders for tool shrinking and balancing technology, has established itself as a system provider for complete tool management and is taking it step by step into the future. The basis is the high-quality product programme, which ranges from a wide variety of tool holders, shrinking and balancing technology, tool presetting devices to solid carbide tools and sensors. HAIMER bundles all these components in Tool Room solutions, a functional, ergonomic workplace design. A new software that enables the consistent exchange of tool data finally links them to a digital Industry 4.0 system.
HAIMER’s DAC (Data Analyser and Controller) tool management system manages the exchange of target and actual values as well as other tool data between the individual tool room stations and establishes the connection to the corporate network. In combination with RFID data chips, which HAIMER tool holders can be optionally equipped with, or via QR or Data Matrix codes (which can be read out and evaluated by different systems via a scanner), the HAIMER DAC allows a clear identification of the complete tool. Through the network connection, it also provides additional tool data: assembly instructions, article numbers, stock adjustment, and 3D models. In addition, DAC supports the user in the analysis of production data and process optimisation.
Managing Director Andreas Haimer explained, “With the DAC, we want to make digitalisation in tool management feasible for small and medium-sized companies as well.” The concept is therefore scalable from small to large applications, and can flexibly be connected to existing presetting devices as well as various CAD/CAM or control systems.
Another highlight at the HAIMER trade fair stand is a robot cell with which tool presetting can be completely automated. It contains a tool trolley that is equipped with tool holders and tools. On a presetting device Microset VIO linear toolshrink, the tools are custom shrunk and preset. After cooling, the balancing quality of the respective complete tool gets checked. The completely assembled and tested tool is then stored on a second tool trolley and is thus released for use. The complete handling is done by a robot. Haimer pointed out that automation is meaningful and promising only “if the implemented hardware is 100 percent reliable. All of our products are so robust and designed for durability that they ensure maximum process reliability and are suitable for all types of automation.”
HAIMER also focuses on tool (clamping) solutions for turning. With HAIMER Duo-Lock and shrink fit collets for driven tools, the tool change can be realised in a highly accurate and reliable manner in the machine—resulting to reduced set-up times and thus leads to productivity leaps. The shrink fit collet range was extended by sizes ER 11 and ER 32. In order to optimise the tool change for shrink fit collets, a newly designed shrinking device will be presented at EMO Hanover, which masters the heating and cooling of the collets in different lengths easily.
There are also new tool holders for cutting tools, including the BT30 and BT40 tool holders with a face contact, that will contribute to even greater precision and process reliability, especially at high speeds.