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Euroblech 2020: TRUMPF Presents Online Trade Fair And Customer Events In Ditzingen

Euroblech 2020: TRUMPF Presents Online Trade Fair And Customer Events In Ditzingen

German high-tech company TRUMPF will be presenting a whole series of new developments in sheet-metal fabrication this fall. From October 27 to 30, the company will be showcasing a range of new machines, software and services at Euroblech’s online Digital Innovation Summit 2020.

TRUMPF’s website already features a variety of new connectivity solutions for cutting, bending, punching and welding, including systems for production planning and control, sheet-metal part sorting and manufacturing logistics. But sheet-metal fabricators will soon be able to gain even more insights into connected manufacturing by paying a visit to Ditzingen.

“We’ll be using our own new manufacturing facility to demonstrate how fabricators can make parts of any shape or size while boosting their efficiency by up to 30 percent. Our plant will produce parts faster and more affordably because the whole process is connected – from order to finished part. We’re determined to pass on that expertise to our customers,” says Reinhold Gross, managing director of sales and services at the Machine Tools business division.

Customer events at the new sheet-metal manufacturing facility in Ditzingen will be restricted to a limited number of participants and comply with current coronavirus regulations in order to keep customers and employees safe at all times.

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Face-To-Face With A Master Bender

Face-To-Face With A Master Bender

Brian Smith, president, and KC Lesch, COO, at Albina Co. Inc. discuss the reasons why they selected DAVI Promau for their steel bending, rolling and fabrication processes.

Albina Co. Inc. is a family owned business servicing the steel industry since 1939. Located in Portland, Oregon, they serve all United States and Canada. Steel bending, steel rolling and steel fabrication are their bread and butter, since they curve structural steel members, various sizes of round pipe and HSS material, and plates.

With a big angle roll (MCP) and a 3 roll variable axis plate roll (MAV) purchased in the last two years, Albina started partnering with DAVI. This led us to the chance of talking with Brian Smith, president, and KC Lesch, COO, at Albina.

For starters, Brian told us about the history of the company and the recent rolling needs. “Our first angle rolls were homemade and started us on our 81-year adventure as a bending company. After many years, when we started rolling plate, our equipment allowed us to bend small and medium sized material. Last year, then, we decided to take the leap and go into the large plate rolling market and purchased a DAVI MAV, allowing us to bend 64 mm x 3 mt wide plates,” he said.

Then, he explained which criteria they use when they select a new rolling machine. Being downtime a schedule and reputation killer, quality is the first feature, since the equipment must be dependable and operational 24/7, as well as it needs to be innovative in some way. Secondly, an unmatched customer support—that is, they look for a company wanting to team up and having longevity in the industry. Moreover, easy access to spare parts and tooling and, last but not least, price (reasonable and within budget).

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LVD Introduces Strippit PL Punch-Laser Combination Machine

LVD Introduces Strippit PL Punch-Laser Combination Machine

LVD Company nv introduces the Strippit PL Punch-Laser combination, a machine that combines the punching and forming advantages of the Strippit PX or V Series punch press with the speed and versatility of fiber laser cutting to complete multiple processes on a single machine, answering the need for flexible manufacturing. Three punch-laser models are available: the single-head style Strippit PX 1530-L and Strippit V 1530-L in thick- and thin-turret configurations.

Combined Advantages

Small batches, short lead times, increasingly complex parts drive the need for flexible manufacturing. Strippit PL offers two technologies in one machine for more versatility than single-process equipment. Strippit PL can laser cut intricate shapes and process materials up to 10 mm, efficiently punch holes up to 6.35 mm, produce forms and bends up to 90 mm in length and up to 75 mm high on the Strippit PX 1530-L.

Combination technology offers complete part processing. The punch press handles high-speed punching and forming operations. The fiber laser delivers high-quality cutting of outer contours, intricate inner contours and can be used for material etching.

The combination of technologies eliminates processes, can improve part quality, reduces production time and material handling, and lowers the cost per part in both small lot sizes and high production runs.

Technology Partner

In 1978, Strippit brought punch-laser technology to sheet metal fabrication. Today, a combination machine is more practical than ever because of advances in laser cutting and punching technology.

The solid-state fiber laser has minimal components, offers high cutting speed, and low-maintenance costs making cutting operations faster, more accurate and cost-effective. Strippit PL is offered with a 3 kW or 4 kW fiber laser source.

The Strippit PX single-head 20-ton punch press can punch, form, bend and tap, forming flanges up to 75 mm high, countersinking and scribing with top productivity. Twenty indexable tool stations hold any size tool, up to a maximum tool diameter of 90 mm.

The Strippit V thick-turret model features a versatile 48-station turret. The Strippit V thin-turret configuration has a 40-station turret. Both 30-ton machines are equipped with four programmable 88.9 mm indexable stations and are designed to handle high tonnage applications.

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Aurecon To Design A Shared Facility In Singapore To Support Offshore Module And Equipment Fabrication Activities

Aurecon To Design A Shared Facility In Singapore To Support Offshore Module And Equipment Fabrication Activities

Singapore is a regional hub for offshore and marine companies which require state-of-the-art marine facilities. To further strengthen their offshore and marine-leading position, JTC Corporation intends to construct the Offshore Marine Centre 2 along Singapore’s Tuas Western Coast. Aurecon has been appointed to conduct the feasibility study and conceptual layout design for the shared facility that will support offshore module and equipment fabrication, as well as associated activities. These include:

  • construction and assembly of topside modules and offshore structures
  • manufacture of oilfield equipment such as wellheads, manifolds and pipelines
  • fabrication of mooring equipment like anchors and winches
  • rig conversion, modification or maintenance, repair and overhaul activities
  • fabrication of offshore renewable energy structures
  • offshore project logistics

Offshore Marine Centre 2 will complement the existing Offshore Marine Centre with higher specifications, including heavier floor loading and a deeper draft, to support the fabrication and assembly of larger offshore modules and equipment.

Aurecon has applied its engineering skills to Offshore Marine Centre 2 so that it can accommodate larger vessels and integration-type activities for more complex and heavier topside process modules The challenge in the conceptual layout design stage was balancing the industry demand with the engineering design and financial investment. It’s important that Offshore Marine Centre 2 is a competitive, relevant and accessible facility so its clients can access the waterfront infrastructure well into the future.

The waterfront infrastructure will be a heavy-duty platform to accommodate the vessels of offshore and marine companies in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. With a site size of approximately 7.5 hectares, Aurecon explored, planned and developed conceptual layouts to maximise the placement of facilities within the project site.

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Fibre Lasers: Making Their Mark

Fibre Lasers: Making their Mark

As fibre laser technology continues to advance and as the installation base of systems grows across the globe, there is more on the horizon as manufacturers continue to strengthen its capabilities. Article by LVD.

Machine gantry plays a role in high cutting dynamics.

In the past 10 years, fibre lasers have made a significant impact on the sheet metal fabrication industry. Today, the fibre laser is the most sought-after solid-state laser and is where most laser development work is happening. In global industrial revenues for 2019, sales of fibre lasers far surpassed those of CO2, disc, diode and other lasers. Fibre laser revenues (51 percent) represented about half the total industrial laser revenues in 2019 (Industrial Laser Solutions, January 2020)

No doubt, fibre laser technology has experienced widespread acceptance in the sheet metal cutting sector and a number of factors have powered its growth. Initially best suited for cutting thin sheet metal at high speeds, today the scope and capability of fibre lasers is so much more. 

More power and control

Features like an automatic nozzle changer adds to the efficiency of fibre lasers.

High-powered fibre lasers—6-, 8-, 10-kW—have changed the playing field. While high-powered lasers have existed for more than a decade, it is only within the last four years that laser head technology has caught up, allowing manufacturers to expand the scope of materials and thicknesses that can be cut. As a result, a fibre laser cutting machine with 10-kW source can cut 6 mm mild steel at 12,000 mm/min. Even more impressive is the increase in speed when cutting stainless steel and aluminium.

Advancements in cutting head design have made it possible to change the spot size of the laser giving greater flexibility and optimised cutting speeds over a wider variety of material thicknesses. Modern fibre lasers use a variable beam collimator or “zoom focus” cutting head, which allows the focal point to be expanded when cutting thicker materials and decreased for cutting thinner materials. In this way the density of energy, cutting speeds and piercing times are optimised for each material thickness. A significant challenge when cutting thick mild steel is to create a fast and stable piercing process. The machine-controlled focus adjustment (zoom focus) optimises the piercing process by enhancing piercing stability and quality.

High cutting dynamics

Modern cutting head.

With the use of higher power sources and zoom focus technology, cutting speeds have increased dramatically. A fibre laser can achieve up to 5G acceleration. But leveraging more power and high cutting dynamics is only possible in a machine designed for the job. Basically, if the machine can’t maintain the exact position of the tip of the cutting head at maximum speed and acceleration, the cutting process must be slowed down for parts to keep their desired shape. 

The machine frame plays a key role in keeping the cutting head in position at maximum speeds and so is critical to a fibre laser’s cutting dynamics. An extremely rigid frame can ‘contain’ the inertia of the high-speed movement of the cutting head and gantry making it possible to take advantage of higher levels of power. In a machine without such a solid structure, the frame is not able to ‘contain’ the deflection of the frame, which can cause problems with accuracy and shorten machine life. 

The machine gantry which holds the cutting head carriage should also be a rigid construction to prevent flexing. 

A fibre laser cutting machine that combines both an extremely rigid frame and gantry can maintain high acceleration even while cutting.

Improved efficiencies

Reduced maintenance and operating costs are attractive features of fibre laser technology. The wall-plug efficiency (WPE) of the laser source, which is the ratio of power into the source versus power out at the head for cutting, is a core part of these costs. Latest generation fibre laser sources have pushed WPE from 25 percent to over 40 percent. In comparison, the WPE for CO2 lasers is 10 percent and the WPE for disc lasers stands at approximately 25 percent.

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LVD Launches Virtual Tech Summit For Metal Fabricators

LVD Launches Virtual Tech Summit For Metal Fabricators

LVD introduces its Virtual Tech Summit webinars for metal fabricators. The Virtual Tech Summit provides a platform for LVD technology experts, sheet metalworking companies, technology users and industry professionals to connect in a live, interactive, online setting to learn about the latest technologies, share experiences, discuss trends and solutions. The first Virtual Tech Summit will launch in June 2020 for sheet metalworking companies in The Netherlands and Belgium. Virtual Tech Summits in other regions will follow shortly thereafter.

The Virtual Tech Summit is an educational event and is offered at no cost. For more information, contact LVD at [email protected].

Making a Difference: Metalworking Companies Help the World Fight COVID-19

Every day, manufacturing impacts our lives and our world economy. In these unprecedented times, in the face of a global pandemic, manufacturing is as critical as ever. Sheet metal fabricators around the world – OEMs and subcontractors, firms large and small – are using their resources, skills and manufacturing know-how to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Manufacturing companies, including our industry of sheet metalworking fabricators, are hard at work producing products so urgently needed now.  We recognise and support LVD customers who are making a difference in this effort, and we’re proud to share some of their stories.

The German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) in Selangor, Malaysia, is a hub for advanced skills training. GMI has been quick to respond to its country’s need for personal protective equipment, producing PPE face shields which it distributed to the Ministry of Health in Malaysia for front-line workers fighting the pandemic. GMI also used its ingenuity and onsite fabrication equipment to manufacture special “aerosol booths” used to disinfect hands, cutting transparent plexiglass panels on their LVD laser cutting machinery. This video highlights their work.

Also from Malaysia comes an innovative disinfection tunnel. Toyomi Engineering Sdn Bhd, a part of the MSM Group of companies, designed and produced the Disinfection V-Tunnel which is suitable for factories, schools, offices, hotels, health facilities and retail spaces. The tunnel offers head-to-toe disinfection in a contactless process. As you walk through the tunnel, a chemical-free sodium hypochlorite solution, which is safe to the skin, is administered as a disinfectant mist and ultraviolet lamps provide additional disinfection against harmful microbes. The tunnel also features an optional hand sanitizer.  Watch the video of this product at use in a supermarket.

 

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Leading The Wind Energy Industry Development

Leading the Wind Energy Industry Development

With over 250 installations worldwide and approximately 60 percent of the overall wind energy rolling machines market share, DAVI is a key player in the global wind energy industry development. Article by Dario Mulazzani, DAVI-Promau.

The wind energy sector has been experiencing a solid growth in the recent years, with a total installed capacity increasing over threefold in the 2010-2018 period, passing from 185 GW to 600 GW. While the on-shore wind Industry reached its maturity and it is expected to keep delivering a steady 45-50 GW of additional capacity each year, the off-shore wind sector is surging.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) the off-shore installations should account for over 20% of the total added yearly capacity by 2023, reaching a total capacity of 63 GW, compared to 23 GW in 2018.

The main drivers could be summarized as follows:

  • The off-shore installation allows for the deployment of larger turbines (both in terms of capacity and physical size), mostly due to constraints related to on-shore transportation of the relevant heavy and expansive equipment. A wind farm comprised of larger turbine will necessarily require lower CAPEX & OPEX per installed capacity, hence decreasing the Project LCOE.
  • Off-shore winds tend to be steadier and have higher average speeds. This means that more energy can be generated during the year compared to a similar on-shore installation.
  • Coastal areas typically have high energy needs, with both population and industry concentrated in major coastal cities.

However, compared to on-shore installations, building off-shore farms presents several technical difficulties. In particular, it is very challenging to provide large and very large turbines (nowadays reaching up to 12MW) with a solid anchoring to the seabed.

According to the Norwegian Energy Partners Global Off-shore Report 2018, off-shore foundations accounts for approximately 14% of the total Project LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) in Europe. This figure is likely to be even higher in other markets where seismicity forces the developers to design heavier foundations, (such as for countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean—the so-called Ring of Fire). The same report states that the towers contribute for approximately 4% of the aforementioned LCOE.

It is, hence, likely to assume that in certain markets, foundations and towers combined would account for approximately 20% of the total Project LCOE. This is why reducing the cost of such heavy equipment becomes of critical importance.

Leading the Wind Energy Market

Both towers and foundations are comprised of large plates rolled into cans and cones. Such workpieces are then welded together in large sections which, in the case of pin-piles or monopile foundations, can reach up to 100 m. With plates thicknesses often exceeding 140 mm, increasingly large diameters (>12 m) and very strict dimensional tolerance requirements, the fabrication of off-shore foundations is certainly the most challenging and time consuming rolling operation. 

Fabricators are, therefore, in need of a technology partner able to deliver high performance and reliable rolling machines capable of sustaining the demanding serial production characteristics of this industry by increasing rolling accuracy, output and operator safety while decreasing downtimes, floor-to-floor processing time and manpower requirements.

With its cutting edge technology developed by working with the most accredited towers and foundations manufacturers as well as project developers, DAVI is one of the leading players in the wind energy industry, having over 250 installations worldwide and approximately 60 percent of the overall wind energy rolling machines market share.

With over 50 years’ experience delivering high quality 3- and 4-roll rolling machines, DAVI’s R&D team has developed high value patents deployed in its unique product lines specifically designed for the wind energy industry. The company also has developed a proprietary wind energy control system capable of providing full automation as required by the Industry 4.0 standards.

Through its high productivity lines, DAVI introduced to the market innovative CNC-controlled features such as the possibility of executing exacts first pre-bending at the beginning of the rolling process, thanks to the patented infeed lifting conveyor. By lifting together with the bending rolls, the conveyor supports the plate while pre-bending, completely eliminating the distortions that would otherwise occur due to counter bending forces generated by the plate’s own weight. 

While rolling large-diameter workpieces, the front edge would “close” under its own weight, and adjustment operations would be needed in order to avoid overlapping with the trailing edge. As part of its high productivity line, DAVI’s patented pushers with hooking fingers installed on the lateral supports completely eliminate the risk of overlapping as well as allow for perfect positioning and alignment of the two plate edges at the end of the rolling process in preparation for on-machine tack welding. The two features combined can increase the operation speed by 25 to 30 percent, compared to manual process.

Click here to read the full version of the article in the April 2020 issue of Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News.

 

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Faccin Metal Forming Taking The Middle East By Storm

Faccin Metal Forming Taking the Middle East By Storm

Saudi Arabia, spearheaded by its national oil company Saudi Aramco, has taken the ambitious strategic decision to involve more domestic companies in the development of the country’s infrastructure and as consequence, and important flow of investment in machinery and equipment is taking place. Aramco’s goal is to purchase 75 percent of all their material needs locally by 2021. Currently at 35 percent means they are going to slightly double their purchases from Saudi businesses in the next two years.

Following suit, a large Saudi organisation, one of the first companies Saudi Aramco has worked with, has decided to appoint Faccin to supply them with three 4-rolls plate rolling machines with capacities ranging from 75mm to 125mm plate thickness for their Storage Tank and Process Equipment business sectors. These three new rolling machines have been added to a medium sized plate rolling machine they acquired some time ago.

Furthermore, a Dubai state-owned company, primarily focused on the upstream oil and gas industry has approached Faccin with another order for a new plate rolling machine for its new manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. The investment was driven by the need to enhance the company’s IKTVA (in-Kingdom Total Value Added) and thus ordering a 4-rolls plate rolling machine, a solution that combines power, reliability and precision in an exclusive package.

A UAE based company specialising in oil and gas, petrochemical, power and water, marine and mining industries has also selected the 4-rolls plate rolling machine during expansion of their factory.

The company has successfully hundreds of plate rolling machines installed in the region from medium thick plates to over 300mm plate thickness, covering the needs of each manufacturer and demonstrating demonstrate a prompt service support.

 

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Six Factors That Have Changed Bending Automation

Six Factors That Have Changed Bending Automation

In this article, Steven Lucas of LVD highlights the key factors that have changed bending automation.

Today’s bending automation software has considerable intelligence built in. Depending on the software, the operator can create and simulate 3D-designs.

The landscape has changed for robotic press brake bending. Advances in machine, software and robot technology have made bending automation more practical for a broader range of fabricators across Asia Pacific as they look for ways to optimize workflow, shorten turnaround time and lower their per-piece cost.

Just a decade ago, bending automation meant a significant investment—in the cost of the automation and in the support required to realize an efficient and consistent bending process. Six key factors have changed bending automation:

  1. Offline Programming

Today’s programming software for robotic bending is more powerful and much easier to use than the software of 10 years ago. This has resulted in simplified CAM program preparation, creating robot trajectories, machine setup and operation. Programming a robotic press brake can be handled completely offline with no need to physically teach the machine setup or bending of the first part.  In contrast, in some automated press brake operations, robot teaching required approximately one hour per bend. This eliminates considerable downtime and ensures that the throughput of the bending cell is not interrupted. The software automatically generates the robot’s movement, directing it from one bend to the next to form the part and then to offload or stack the part. The software is able to calculate a complete collision-free path – generating the robot’s trajectory through all positions.

More than programming the robot, software with CAM 3D virtual production simulation capability provides a complete walk through of the robot and press brake functions so the user can check and visually confirm the bending sequence before bending begins. Before a piece of metal is formed, the process is verified, avoiding costly mistakes and material waste.

  1. Flexible Robot Gripper

An example of a bending cell that permits both robot and manual operation for greater flexibility.

The robot gripper is a critical component of a robotic system. Gripper designs of the past did not have the flexibility to accommodate the many part geometries of bending. That meant investing in a number of different grippers to handle different part geometries and taking the time for gripper changeover, which could involve multiple changeovers per part.  New gripper designs are much more adaptable. The gripper in Figure 1 is a patent-pending universal design that fits part sizes from 30×100 mm up to 350×500 mm and handles a maximum part weight of 3 kg. This adaptive design enables the user to process a series of different geometries without having to change the gripper. It’s possible to make bends on three different sides of a part without regripping. Use of a universal gripper not only saves on investment cost but also saves costly change over times between grippers, keeping production continuous and uninterrupted.

  1. Capable Industrial Robot

The use of industrial robots worldwide is on the rise. The International Federation of Robotics estimates the supply of robots to be 521,000 units in 2020, more than doubled in just five years. While the automotive and electronics industries are the leading users of robots, the metals industry is a growing application.

Robots themselves have also improved in terms of capacity and reliability. One of the world’s leading robot manufacturers offers more than 100 industrial robots with a payload from 3 kg up to 2.3 tons and maximum reaches up to 4.7 m.

  1. Fast “Art to Part”

This universal gripper (patent-pending design) makes it possible to bend on three different sides of a part without regripping.

Another advance in robotic bending is a faster design to part process. The press brake bending cell in Figure 3 takes 10 min for CAM generation of the bending and robot program, and 10 min for set-up and first part generation—a total of 20 min from “art” to “part.” That’s a result of the tight integration between the press brake and robot, and easy to use, intuitive software.

  1. Better Process Control

Real-time in-process angle measurement technology adds advanced process consistency to robotic press brake bending. An angle monitoring system can adapt the punch position to ensure precise, consistent bending. In the system pictured,

digital information is transmitted in real time to the CNC control unit, which

processes it and immediately adjusts the position of the punch to achieve the

correct angle. The bending process is not interrupted and no production time is lost. This technology allows the machine to adapt to material variations, including sheet thickness, strain hardening and grain direction, automatically compensating for any changes.

  1. More Affordability

In the past, fabricators have tended to “over automate.” Despite advances in function and flexibility, a robotic bending cell still represents a sizable investment. In order to generate a healthy ROI, it’s important to ensure that the ratio of the cost of the automation is not more than twice the cost of the stand-alone machine. Getting this ratio right keeps the direct cost of the part at a sensible level—the direct part cost is not “loaded”—and the user does not need large volumes to make the process cost-effective.

Also, worth considering is the versatility of the system. A bending cell that has the flexibility to operate in stand-alone mode when batch sizes are too small to benefit from robot automation will be more productive and profitable and, therefore, easier to justify. In this scenario, the user can operate the robotic bending cell lights-out overnight or after-hours and during normal business hours, can choose to work in either mode (with the robot or with the robot parked). In the bending cell shown (Figures 5 and 6), programming is handled with 3D bending software so that the same program can be used for bending with the robot or for manual bending.

 

Is Bending Automation Right for You?

What jobs are best for a robot? Surprisingly, it’s a fairly broad range of applications, including high-volume repeat jobs, low-volume jobs that are reoccurring, and jobs that are heavy duty. The flexibility of today’s bending automation technology makes it possible to run a variety of bending jobs profitably.

New bending automation products, such as LVD’s Dyna-Cell, eliminate the need to teach the robot, which greatly simplifies robotic bending. Current bending cell designs are also much more affordable than past models, both in the cost of the press brake and robot and the cost of operation and maintenance of the cell.

In the Asia Pacific region, as manufacturers are encouraged to adopt automation and Industry 4.0 initiatives through government loans and grants, bending automation offers fabricators a way to address issues such as shortage of labour, higher cost of wages and quality control. If you think bending automation may be your solution, it’s best to consult with your equipment supplier.

 

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Plate Roll Technology Addresses Wind Tower Manufacturing Challenges

Plate Roll Technology Addresses Wind Tower Manufacturing Challenges

Here’s how one company addressed the challenges of wind tower manufacturing. Article by Stefano Santoni, DAVI Promau.

MAM Maschinen, part of the ENERCON Group, processes more than 33,000 tons of steel per year. Employing around 300 people, MAM Maschinen is currently one of the most relevant players for the fabrication of heavy-duty components for several industrial sectors, in particular, wind towers and steel bridges.

In line with the trend towards higher efficiency in manufacturing, MAM has been improving its degree of automation as well as internal know-how to provide the highest quality products to their customers with the maximum respect for the environment.

In this framework, MAM Maschinen became in need of a plate roll technology partner that could support their serial and intensive production of wind tower sections. Evaluating different plate roll manufacturers, the company aimed at identifying the optimum technology in terms of performance, repeatability, and reliability to comply with the strict tolerances imposed by the end-users.

“From the initial contact in 2017 to the final purchase, dealing with DAVI has been satisfying in every respect,” says Andreas Kühn, Innovation Leader at MAM Maschinen. “The negotiation with the company was fair and they managed to meet our requirements. Now, we are happy with the machine that is working properly and quick. We are carrying on the foreseen works on our DAVI plate roll that entered our production flow, making it smoother and with no issues caused.”

MAM Maschinen selected a four-roll plate rolling machine with a capacity of 3,000 x 96 mm, equipped with dedicated accessories for the highest level of flexibility. The DAVI machine now constitutes a major fabrication asset to MAM, being utilized to roll wind tower sections as well as other components for the mechanical industry, in general.

 

Leveraging 50 Years of Experience and Know how

With over 50 years of experience in delivering high quality three- and four-roll rolling machines, DAVI’s R&D developed high-value patents deployed in unique product lines specifically designed for the wind energy industry. DAVI also developed a proprietary Wind Energy control system capable of providing full automation as required by the Industry 4.0 standards.

DAVI’s High Productivity Line introduced to the market innovative CNC-controlled features such as the possibility of executing exacts first pre-bending at the beginning of the rolling process, thanks to the patented infeed lifting conveyor. By lifting together with the bending rolls, the conveyor supports the plate while pre-bending, completely eliminating the distortions which would otherwise occur due to counter bending forces generated by the plate own weight.

While rolling large diameter workpieces, the front edge would “close” under its own weight and adjustment operations would be needed in order to avoid overlapping with the trailing edge. As part of the High Productivity Line, DAVI’s patented pushers with hooking fingers installed on the lateral supports completely eliminate the risk of overlapping as well as allow for perfect positioning and alignment of the two plate edges at the end of the rolling process in preparation for on-machine tack welding. The two features combined can increase the operation speed by 25%/30% (compared to manual process).

 

Addressing the Cone Forming Challenge

Cone forming is recognized as the most challenging rolling process. Forcing the plate edges to travel at two different speeds, the process generates high stress on the rolling machine as well as on the plate itself. On a typical wind cone application, it is of paramount importance to protect the integrity of the bevels, which must be realized prior the rolling process (due to high costs involved in beveling the plate after it is formed into a cone or can). For this reason, the state-of-the-art Wind Towers & Foundations cone rolling involves a step-by-step forming process where, at each step, the plate must be repositioned in order to make sure that the cone generatrix overlaps the top roll axis. Depending on accessories installed, this repositioning would both take a very long time, deplete the final workpiece tolerances and potentially put the operators at risk

DAVI responded to the industry needs by introducing a ground-breaking fully automated cone forming system. This is achieved by positioning and guiding the plate while cone forming without damaging the bevels (wide contact surface) for plates up to 100mm. This system allows for a complete cone forming executed by a single operator, with maximum repeatability, highest accuracy and the shortest possible floor-to-floor time (30 percent–50 percent faster compared to manual process).

The whole process—consisting of plate positioning, squaring, pre-bending, rolling and aligning for tack-welding—can be completed in less than 20 minutes, even for high-thickness plates.

“The positive experience we are having with DAVI leads me to believe that, for future needs, we will certainly make contact with them again. The plate roll shows a high quality and an impressive mechanical stability. A relevant aspect we really appreciated about DAVI was the customer support we can receive in our own language, that made the troubleshooting easier and faster. The aftersales care we received from DAVI is really appreciated,” says Kühn.

 

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