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Frost & Sullivan: Welding Vendors Focusing On New Technologies And Energy Efficiency

Frost & Sullivan: Welding Vendors Focusing On New Technologies And Energy Efficiency

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Newer Welding Techniques to Enable Growth in the Digital Age, reports that increasing competition in the global welding equipment and consumables market has led manufacturers to focus on energy efficiency, operational excellence and reducing maintenance costs. Amid the uncertain economic conditions caused by COVID-19, the industry is forecast to reach $21.74 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 1.3 percent. Growth is driven by opportunities from developing regions where infrastructure building, the introduction of new welding technologies, and automation are top priorities.

“Several new developments in welding technologies and materials are emerging due to an increased focus on energy efficiency from vendors and end-users. Advancements such as the ability to monitor and regulate the weld temperature while in the process are generating highly efficient outputs and better quality. These innovations will reduce operational tasks, improve energy management and extend electrode life,” said Krishnan Ramanathan, Industry Manager, Industrial Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

Digital transformation is gaining traction in Australia and Singapore as their communications infrastructure is upgraded. This digitalisation is expected to propel the welding market as other countries modernise. China, India, and Brazil are also vital for welding equipment and consumables suppliers as they have high energy and infrastructure requirements. However, the development rate is likely to be gradual as economies recover from the impact of COVID-19.

“IIoT is a major trend affecting equipment manufacturers as end-users continue to emphasise on improving their plant maintenance and curb operational expenditure (OPEX),” Ramanathan said. “With the global economy currently experiencing a dynamic environment, manufacturers are striving to improve operational efficiency in their existing plants and are keen to cut down the maintenance and operational costs due to unexpected failure and asset downtime. Realising that the future of manufacturing is likely to be driven by IIoT, companies today are turning their focus toward data ownership, security, and integration with existing infrastructure, with an intent to achieve returns on their investment in these solutions.”

Welding equipment manufacturers should explore these strategic recommendations to increase growth opportunities:

  • Collaborate with technology providers to enhance capabilities and meet varying end-user requirements. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and consumables will result in higher-quality welds and cost-savings for end users.
  • Expand the business approach by offering the option to rent welding equipment to reduce capital expenditure.
  • Continue working with traditional channel partners due to their wide reach while exploring alternative distribution and servicing options.
  • Focus on the Middle East, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia regions as these will witness a surge in demand due to increased urbanisation.

 

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FMI: ‘Energy Efficiency’— The Key Marketing Touchpoint Of Bandsaw Machines Market Players

FMI: ‘Energy Efficiency’— the Key Marketing Touchpoint of Bandsaw Machines Market Players

Worldwide sales of bandsaw machines is estimated to total ~ 200 thousand units in 2019, with an estimated increase of ~ three percent year over year, according to the recent research study. The bandsaw machines market is set for an unwavering growth through 2029, primarily driven by growing focus on effective cutting technologies that promise high functionality for varying applications. However, limitations in terms of producing perfectly-shaped curved edges continues to threaten the relevance, thereby adding new uncertainties to the near-term outlook of bandsaw machines.

Industrial technologies are currently experiencing a seismic shift from the conventional technologies to bandsaw machines. The primary reason behind this trend reversal is an ever-increasing demand for flexibility during cutting applications that comes from the end users, which will further help them serve requirements of their customers in a much more efficient way.

The study analyst opines that there are signs of a majority of the industries moving towards ‘energy efficiency’, which marks positive beginnings for the adoption of bandsaw machines market during the assessment period. The global bandsaw machines market reflects a fair degree of fragmentation, with a handful of market players accounting for approximately 29-31 percent revenue share. However, the mid-level and emerging players will command for a major chunk of overall market share i.e. 69-71 percent, and will remain focused toward extending their sphere of influence via affordable products with ‘best-in-class’ features.

To align with end user proclivity for high-quality bandsaw machines that bring down operational and maintenance costs, manufacturers are placing emphasis on use of high-cost components and working toward reduction of blade changeover downtimes. According to the study analyst, the market players are also shifting their strategic focus toward the development of differentiated and customised bandsaw machines that are suited to varying end-user needs and requirements.

According to the report analysis, fully-automatic machines accounted for more than 1/3rd of the bandsaw machines sales in 2018, with a tough competition by semi-automatic bandsaw machines. Though end-users will remain biased toward bandsaw machines with horizontal orientation, the ones with vertical orientation will witness exponential demand through 2029. While the former offers benefits of easy mobility and transportation, the latter offers better visibility on account of the enhanced accessibility. Automotive and transportation will continue to account for a significant pie of the overall market revenues in 2018, standing firmly as the largest end-user of bandsaw machines.

The dynamic growth of economies in East Asia is imparting newer dimensions for the regional industrial paradigms, thereby presenting promising opportunities for the manufacturers of industrial equipment. Following a sustained period of growth, East Asian countries such as China and Japan are achieving technological parity with the western countries, which makes them no less of gold mines for bandsaw machines market players to reap profits from.

Online Channel: The New Pacemaker for Sustained Revenue Growth

With ‘online’ emerging as the new synonym of ‘convenience’ and ‘flexible purchasing’, manufacturers are investing in online sales channels to gain maximum ROI. The growth of online sales is the consequence of dramatic shifts in purchase habits of end users, who seek high-quality bandsaw machines available at the best of prices. The growing number of well-informed customers are calling for reliable information on the product integrity, which also works in favor of online channels that include detailed product descriptions for the consumers’ reference.

This study outlines key opportunities in the bandsaw machines market and unveils that the market would grow at a value CAGR of ~ four percent during the forecast period.

These insights are based on a report on Bandsaw Machines Market by Future Market Insights.

 

Read more:

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Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

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

APMEN: What trends are shaping the metal cutting industry?

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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How To Increase Energy Efficiency With Machine Tools

How To Increase Energy Efficiency With Machine Tools

Machine tools include numerous motors and auxiliary components. Energy consumption varies significantly during operations. From the process itself to individual component power consumption, savings potential can be evaluated and measures defined for more efficient energy use. Article by Grainger.

One area of potential savings comes from the machine tool base load, which consumes energy even in nonproductive phases. The base load is determined substantially by the machine’s auxiliary components. Besides use of energy-efficient motors in these components, many opportunities for reducing the base load can be found. Some energy consumers, for example, can be switched off by the machine control during non-productive phases.

Scrap inevitably increases energy consumption per good part. Manufacturing with accuracy from the very first part can therefore be decisive for energy efficiency. Machine designs with balanced thermal behaviour and precise position measuring technology have a distinct advantage here.

Energy Demand During Milling

Power requirements of a milling process fall into the following consumer groups:

  • Cooling lubricant processing
  • Compressed air generation
  • Electrically powered milling-machine auxiliary components
  • CNC control package with main spindle and feed-axis motors

Proportionally calculated energy for lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning must be added to these groups. Milling process energy demand depends primarily on the size of the milling machine and the machining task.

Dry machining has great potential for improved energy and resource efficiency. In many milling applications, however, doing without cooling lubricant increases scrap rate and, therefore, raises mean energy consumption as well.

Compressed air is required for minimum spindle lubrication, tool changing, and work piece cleaning. Small quantities are required as sealing air. Mean compressed air power changes only slightly across production readiness, roughing, and finishing.

Machine electricity consumers include the CNC control with main spindle and feed-axis motors, as well as numerous auxiliary components, including the pallet changer and cooling, hydraulics and automation systems.

Drive Component Efficiency

Spindle and feed-axis motors are among the central components of a machine tool. Drive-component energy efficiency depends on the ratio of delivered power to consumed power. The network of drives converts consumed electrical energy to delivered mechanical power. Drive network components include a power supply module, drive modules, motors and mechanical components. Data on efficiency typically refer to the rated power. For other rated values, individual component efficiency can vary significantly. Supply modules and drive modules can attain efficiency values of more than 95 percent.

Comparing power consumption during rough-face and circular-pocket milling reveals that feed drives consume only a small share of the CNC’s total power usage. On the other hand, spindle selection can significantly affect energy consumption. If a spindle drive operates far below its rated power, the drive’s intrinsic losses increase in proportion, with negative effects on the energy balance. If the spindle limits the maximum possible metal removal rate, the milling process inevitably takes longer. The result: energy efficiency decreases due to the base load generated by the auxiliary components. Potential also exists for more efficient design of milling processes through consideration of spindle-motor efficiency, for example by using synchronous instead of asynchronous motors.

Regenerative Supply Modules

Every drive’s acceleration requires a braking process in return. Energy from the drives’ moving masses is largely reconverted to electrical energy. In a non-regenerative supply module, kinetic energy released by braking is converted to heat by the braking resistors. A regenerative supply module returns this energy to the power grid. However, the path required for returning the energy and the necessary components for smoothing the grid power generate losses even when the drives have no power requirement. Power loss increases slightly even when power is not being regenerated. Thus, a regenerative supply module operates more efficiently than a non-regenerative module when the regenerated energy more than compensates the higher power loss. Machine operation therefore determines what type supply module to employ.

Tool change frequency also impacts this decision. In one example, a milling operation at 15 kW is interrupted cyclically by a tool change. Starting the spindle requires peak power of approximately 60 kW. A regenerative supply module returns 48 kW to grid power. High metal-cutting power requirements mean that the mean-input power sinks the more frequently the milling process is interrupted by tool changes.

A regenerative supply module works more efficiently as soon as the time interval between two tool changes is less than 100 seconds (equals 0.6 tool changes per minute). In processes with many tool changes per minute, a regenerative supply module often proves to be the better choice. During contour milling with infrequent tool changes, the advantages are on the side of the non-regenerative system.

Deactivation Of Auxiliary Components

In the ready condition, energy use of several consumer groups is only slightly reduced. Therefore, these nonproductive phases must be kept as brief as possible. With machining centres for smaller production batches, energy consumption can be significantly reduced by the selective deactivation of auxiliary components. Beyond this, potential savings result from the use of energy efficient pumps in the coolant and lubricant circuit.

However, consistent switch-off of auxiliary components – such as hydraulics and spindle cooling – or of the compressed-air supply can also have a deleterious effect. If sudden removal of waste heat from auxiliary components, or of temperature-stabilising media, leads to thermal displacement in the machine frame, scrap can result. Selective auxiliary component switch-off therefore functions best on machines with little inclination to thermal displacement.

CNCs can be the central control unit for machine tool energy management, taking advantage of special PLC functions for linking events in the production process (such as NC stop) with outputs for controlling auxiliary components. Delay times can be assigned to events so that, for example, motors can be locked and disconnected from current after standstill. Functions for deactivating various auxiliary devices, axes, light in the working space, etc., can be generated on this basis. These basic functions are the responsibility of the machine tool builder. For users, it is helpful to adapt energy management to specific usage habits.

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