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Bystronic’s Johan Elster: Get Ready For The Upturn

Bystronic’s Johan Elster: Get Ready for the Upturn

Johan Elster of Bystronic Group discussed the impact of COVID-19 in the overall metalworking industry, what manufacturers learned amid this pandemic, and whether the industry is already seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Bystronic is one of the leading providers of sheet metal processing technologies, focusing on the automation of the complete material and data flow of the cutting and bending process chain. Its portfolio includes laser cutting systems, press brakes, and associated automation and software solutions. 

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Johan Elster, President Business Unit Markets, Bystronic Group discussed the impact of COVID-19 in the overall metalworking industry, what manufacturers learned amid this pandemic, and whether the industry is already seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

OVER THE PAST YEAR, HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC IMPACTED THE OVERALL METALWORKING INDUSTRY?

JOHAN ELSTER (JE): The impact was certainly there, but we were not hit as hard as, for example, the tourism, the airline business, or restaurants. It affected us about as much as it affected many other industrial businesses. A big problem was that a lot of materials produced in China no longer arrived worldwide, so the supply chain was interrupted. This also affected our customers who, therefore, had to stop their production. They were forced to look for local suppliers at short notice. In the meantime, this has calmed down in recent months because China is able produce again.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD MANUFACTURERS HAVE IMPLEMENTED BY NOW AS THEY RESUME PRODUCTION?

JE: Everyone should generally have a plan B. For instance, everyone should have a dual-supplier concept so that it can be switched to local suppliers if necessary. On the other hand, digitization has generally begun. Maybe, the world should have pushed ahead with it a bit earlier, because the technology was already available.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY TRANSFORMING AMID THIS GLOBAL ISSUE?

JE: Man gets used to many things and always learns to live with them. Of course, something has changed in general, but it was especially severe in the industry. We are currently experiencing the effects that we saw already before the lockdowns: smaller and smaller batch sizes, automation, increasing digitalization—also for our customers, low-cost products from China… These are the trends we are currently seeing.

WHAT OTHER ISSUES HAVE YOU SEEN IMPACTING THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY, PARTICULARLY IN ASEAN? IS THE US-CHINA TRADE WAR STILL RELEVANT?

JE: The China-U.S. trade war is not necessarily relevant in the rest of Asia. After the boom in 2018, the global economy has been in a steady decline—and that has nothing to do with this trade war. The recession would have happened anyway. China recovered relatively fast after the pandemic. Today, the industry there is practically at the same level as before, but the punitive tariffs of the U.S. are still effective. This has a significant impact on the country, but not on ASEAN countries.

PLEASE DESCRIBE THE STATE OF THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY IN SOME OF YOUR MARKETS IN ASEAN AMID THIS PANDEMIC.

JE: In Malaysia, for example, we see a trend towards automation. This was not the case two or three years ago. In Indonesia or Thailand, however, this is not the case yet. But in the ASEAN region, too, Chinese manufacturers with their lower-priced products are increasingly coming into play. There are many small companies in the ASEAN region that have the opportunity to invest now in such low-cost machines, which was not the case before. The initial investment is often a big obstacle for young and small companies, so this obstacle is naturally decreasing now.

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Understanding Dished End Manufacturing

Understanding Dished End Manufacturing

Andrea Comparin of Faccin Group explains the dishing and flanging processes. 

Nowadays, there are hundreds of manufacturers of tanks, silos, pressure vessels, truck tanks, and metal rolls components around the world. Nearly all these companies need to produce or source dished ends of various types, sizes, and specifications to finalize their products.

However, an essential part, the dished end, is manufactured by a reduced number of suppliers and therefore dished end production has become a very profitable business and a craft that companies are carrying on and preserving generation after generation.

Several types and different sizes of dished ends needed in the industry today are produced using different methods each with a different level of complexity. These methods include hot and cold forming, deep drawing, spinning, as well as the forming of heads in crown and petal segments.

Another common method is called dishing and flanging, a technique that provides manufacturers with the flexibility, high productivity, and quality of the end product required in today’s competitive market. A dishing and flanging line can form heads of any shape, be it flat, conical, standard, torispherical, semielliptical, or ellipsoidal. Material thicknesses range from 5 to 60 mm in the cold condition and up to 80 mm in the hot condition; diameters range from less than 1 m up to more than 8 m. All this explains how versatile the production with a dishing and flanging line can be.

The dishing and flanging occur in two sequential operations that each require specific machinery: the dishing of the blank and the forming of the plate edge. 

The Dishing of Polycentric Ends

After the plate has been cut to size in a circular shape (using a circular shear, laser, plasma, or other method), the resulting dish is formed under a press that, with multiple hits distributed over the entire surface, will crown the plate.

In order to make different types of dished ends and different diameters, a dishing press must be equipped with a set of dies shaped with different radii. The dishing process is rather slow. It generally requires several hours depending on the plate dimensions and the material. This procedure can be automated with the use of a numerically controlled manipulator. It is possible to find presses with CNCs that can handle more than 10 axes and run automatically for hours.

Besides the automation, another important factor in the dishing process is the speed. A double-speed press can greatly increase the production output.

A dishing press makes continual hits to the workpiece. This means that the structure of a dishing press is subject to material fatigue; therefore, a cost-saving designed press may have a short life, showing the first cracks in the structure in a short time. Presses with an “HPT design” can resist fatigue better. The design comprises a structure made by four main parts: top beam, bottom beam, and two uprights. The two beams are connected to the uprights with the use of hydraulic pretension tie rods. These tie rods are prepared to resist better the continuous stress, in comparison to seam welding or bolts, by giving more elasticity to the structure.

Hydroforming is a smart solution for series production of several shapes of dished ends.

Hydroforming is a smart solution for series production of several shapes of dished ends.

A particular type of dished end is widely used by the manufacturers of truck tanks: the polycentric dished end. These dished ends, often made of aluminium or stainless steel, are normally made with thin plates up to a maximum of 6 mm. This thickness allows the forming of polycentric dished ends using a technique called hydroforming.

A hydroforming press uses high-pressure water against the sheet to form the dished end, which will take the shape of the holding die. Hydroforming has several advantages:

  • The speed of production. A dished end can be dished in a few minutes instead of a few hours.
  • The quality of the surface finishing. It is considerably higher because the forming occurs with water pressure, instead of steel dies.
  • The ease of manufacturing. There is no need for manipulators or die changes.
  • Flexibility to form other shapes. By using the same press, and by quickly changing the die, elliptical, circular, oval, and complex shapes can be formed as well.
  • A hydroforming press, together with a precise CNC measuring laser for dished-end depth control and an efficient plate handling system, is the most productive technique for manufacturing oval and polycentric dished ends for truck tanks.

The Flanging Process

The operation that follows dishing is the forming of the edge, which will allow the dished end to be welded to the tank body to support the pressure inside. During the flanging operation, the plate edge is formed with a flanging roll moving against and with the radius of the shaping roll. The two rolls turn and bend the material at the desired radius. This operation may cause lamination of the plate. The best-quality machines should be powerful enough to do the flanging in a minimum number of passes, causing minimum thinning of the dished end and thus, reducing material waste.

During the flanging operation, the plate edge is formed with a flanging roll moving against and with the radius of the shaping roll.

During the flanging operation, the plate edge is formed with a flanging roll moving against and with the radius of the shaping roll.

The minimization of thinning is one of the biggest challenges for flanging operators, because there are very strict tolerances with respect to the dished end, especially when the tanks have high pressures inside. Less thinning of the plate means a more profitable production for producers, because they do not need to use thicker plates to guarantee the minimum thicknesses.

To reduce the lamination, it is important to have a machine with the correct geometry, enough power in the rotation, and good control of the movements of the flanging roll. Modern machines should be equipped with a pressure control that helps the operator by preventing the squeezing of the plate. With an efficient gap control CNC, these machines allow even unexperienced operators to execute the flanging with the minimum number of passes.

A good flanging machine should also feature controls that always allow the best contact of the rolls with the plate. This includes the ability to tilt the flanging and shaping rolls. The electric and hydraulic units make the difference between a good-quality and a low-quality flanging machine. The hydraulic unit must allow the movements to be proportional and simultaneous; it is of major importance, for example, to have simultaneous, fast movement of the carriage that holds the dished end to the rest of the axis.

Dished ends can be flanged with or without a centre hole. Depending on this, the flanging machine can have a different configuration: with or without a closed structure. A flanging machine for dished ends without a centre hole has a closed structure that permits the blocking of the disc with two clamping cylinders. For these flanging machines to have a smooth movement of the carriage, no matter how high the clamping force is, they must be equipped with the latest generation of friction-free technology that consists of ball rails for the carriage movement and ball screws for the precise positioning.

Once the dished end is formed, manufacturers must match tolerances for circumference and depth. Flanging machines can be equipped with machining arms to chamfer the edge of the plate and adjust the dished end height. The most advanced machines have a sophisticated system for measuring the dished end circumference to make it easier for the operator to deliver a perfect product.

Dishing and flanging machines are machines with many important technical aspects that should be properly evaluated. Selecting the right machine and tools needed can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business.

Please watch Faccin Group’s exclusive webinar below, which talks about tanks and pressure vessels heads.

In this webinar, Javier Lanfranchi, Senior Sales Manager of Faccin Group, sits down with Industrial Machinery for Metal Forming Expert, Rino Boldrini, to showcase how the vertical production has been a key factor in the success of the group and to discuss the highly technological range of options available for the tanks & pressure vessels head manufacturers.

 

For more information, visit www.faccin.com and www.boldrini.com.

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SPI Lasers To Rebrand Under TRUMPF Banner

SPI Lasers To Rebrand Under TRUMPF Banner

TRUMPF has announced a close business cooperation between TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH and SPI Lasers UK Ltd., which are both wholly owned subsidiaries of the TRUMPF Group. TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH will combine the business operations of SPI Lasers UK Ltd. to bring advantages in industrial applications via both disk and fiber technology and enhance customer service offerings. As of the 1st July SPI Lasers products will begin to be available via the TRUMPF sales channels.

Customers benefit

SPI Lasers UK Ltd. has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the TRUMPF Group since 2008, quickly establishing themselves within the group as experts in the field of fiber laser design and manufacture. With fiber lasers becoming important laser sources for material processing, both companies agree that “joining forces and integrating SPI Lasers into TRUMPF is a sensible move for both companies and, more importantly one that will be extremely beneficial for our customers”.

This value-enhancing step ensures that SPI customers will benefit not just from high quality fiber laser products but also first-class standards of customer service. In addition, both companies are expecting synergy effects and an improved cost structure, e.g. in R&D.

The relevant steps are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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Fibre Laser Or CO2 Laser—Which Will Prevail?

Fibre Laser or CO2 Laser—Which Will Prevail?

Many processes in the sheet metal industry are developing rapidly. Laser cutting, for example. In this interview, Johan Elster, Bystronic’s Head of Business Unit Markets, explains where the journey is headed.

Johan Elster

Nowadays, sheet metal is cut using both fibre lasers and CO2 lasers. how will these two technologies develop?

Johan Elster (JE): Over the past few years, the fibre laser has experienced massive technological advances. We launched our first cutting system with fibre laser technology in 2010. Since then, the output power has grown six-fold. Our current top-of-the-line model, the ByStar Fiber, has an output of twelve kilowatts. This progress has also resulted in a massive expansion in the range of applications. Initially, fibre laser technology was suitable only for thin sheet metal; but today, fibre lasers can be used to cut sheet metal thicknesses of 40 mm and beyond.

READ: Laser Cutting In An 8-metre Format

For a long time, thick sheet metal was considered the domain of CO2 lasers. is this no longer true?

JE: The CO2 laser still possesses good characteristics for the cutting of thick sheet steel. It also allows good results to be achieved in terms of the price per part. Nevertheless, its market share has decreased significantly in recent years; today our sales of CO2 systems are almost negligible.

So, fiber lasers are now the preferred solution for many sheet metal processing companies. what is the key to the success of fiber laser technology?

JE: Fibre lasers achieve up to five times higher cutting speeds than CO2 lasers and exhibit three times the energy efficiency. The operating and maintenance costs are also considerably lower. The fibre laser offers highest cutting speeds, an attractive cost-performance ratio, high cutting quality, and increased flexibility.

READ: Bystronic On Flexible Automation

Flexibility as a competitive advantage?

JE: Absolutely. Around 70 to 80 percent of our customers are job shops that do not produce any products of their own. They must be prepared to deal with a broad spectrum of orders. Manufacturing a wide variety of parts at the lowest possible cost and in the desired quality is what their business is all about. Fibre lasers make this possible. The ByStar Fiber cuts stainless steel, aluminium, non-ferrous metals, mild steel—and all of these from the thin to thick range of material.

High-performance fiber lasers are all-rounders; what are the most important criteria when selecting their power output?

JE: The criteria vary from customer to customer. Companies that primarily cut thin sheet metal can usually get by with three, four, or six kilowatts. Users that frequently cut in the medium range, for example mild steel between 6 and 15 mm, and want to use nitrogen as the cutting gas, are optimally served with ten or twelve kilowatts. For large companies, the output of the laser is obviously the most important factor for the efficient processing of large batches. Here, the higher output has a significant effect on both speed and profitability.

READ: The Carefree Package For The Entry Into Bending

What does the higher cutting speed mean for the overall production chain?

JE: In fact, the challenge with the latest generation of fiber lasers is to keep up with the loading and unloading. Hence, as a general rule, it makes sense to combine fiber lasers with an automation system. Our ‘ByTrans Extended’ and ‘ByTrans Cross’ loading and unloading systems take automation to the next level. Many small and medium-sized companies are currently in the process of progressively automating their production processes. We are experiencing an increased demand, in particular for sorting solutions. Nowadays, our customers no longer want to sort manually. For this, we offer our highly flexible BySort solution.

What can customers who want to increase their level of automation expect from Bystronic?

JE: As a general rule, our customers have a great deal of expertise in their core processes. We can help identify customer-specific bottlenecks: For example, we can find out where time is being wasted or where there is potential for improvement. This requires all the processes to be analyzed. We build on this and show what options are available to customers to optimize their production processes. Frequently, our customers are interested in compact cells that combine efficiency and flexibility. Accordingly, our solutions are configurable – not only in terms of hardware, but also with regard to software.

READ: Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

How can companies digitalise their production?

JE: This must be implemented step by step. Nowadays many suppliers offer a range of processes: cutting, bending, welding, etc. Regardless of how many processes are involved, it is possible to digitalize. We can help network our customers’ production environments in a gradual and process-specific manner using suitable software solutions.

What is the role of laser cutting in the context of Industry 4.0?

JE: Laser cutting is just one building block in a smart factory. Intelligent and networked production encompasses all the processes of a sheet metal processing company, in particular also those upstream and downstream of the production process: calculations, the preparation of offers, production planning, etc. A manufacturing execution system (MES) controls the production line. This enables production processes to be optimized fully automatically by comprehensively evaluating the data generated during the individual processes and optimizing the processes for the following orders.

READ: Bystronic Releases Entry Level Solution For Bending

There are hurdles that must be overcome on the path towards networked production—which of these is the most challenging?

JE: Since with regard to interfaces, our industry does not have the kind of standards as those found in the IT world, the integration of a variety of different machines into a networked system is very challenging. As a result, the process flow of each individual customer must be taken into consideration.

Bystronic is the only supplier that also integrates third-party machines. what are the reasons for this decision?

JE: We are convinced: The customer wants to be able to pick and choose the best solutions. In our view, suppliers that only integrate their proprietary products are following an outdated approach. For example, no supplier’s portfolio currently includes paint finishing systems. But it is precisely this process step that many customers also want to integrate. What is more, our customers generally already have machines that they wish to integrate into an overall system. This is why it is clear to us: Optimizing a production environment and achieving a higher level of overall efficiency requires not only expertise, but above all openness.

 

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Artificial Intelligence In Bending

Artificial Intelligence In Bending

Manufacturers are now adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to further create value for the customers. But how would AI be applied to sheet metal bending? In this article, Melvin Tham, Regional Technology Expert – Bending, for TRUMPF, explains.

Using conventional press brakes to achieve high accuracy for sheet metal is challenging due mainly to the property of the material, where its elasticity varies according to its composition and grain direction. Therefore, the process would usually take a longer time as it requires more knowledge and skill in order to achieve higher accuracy.

In today’s industrial environment, machines are loaded with functions to ensure that the manufactured parts are precise and consistent with minimal human/operator intervention, and manufacturers are now adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to further create value for the customers. But how would AI be applied to sheet metal bending?

Automatic Set Up

Given the current high-mix, low-volume market demand, the system must be easily set up within minutes to cater for a job change over. Therefore, a self-centring tooling system would be most ideal. With an automatic tool changer, there is no longer a need for alignment as the tools are automatically placed in position and integrated into the machine. It has three to four times more storage capacity than the machine’s bending length, all just to ensure a quick changeover and without the hassle of tool shortage.

Positioning and Angle Accuracy of Part

Since the bending process is now automatic, the quality of the parts has to be checked automatically as well. Such system would require high dynamic functions such as the backgauge. The backgauge with an axis tolerance of ±0.02 mm and the angle sensor tool with tolerance at ±0.5 deg are required to ensure that the part is placed accurately in position and angle tolerance is achieved by an angle checking device.

Sensors of the backagauge are necessary for the identification of the part in position. Without this, the part would not be able to achieve its desired flange length.

An automatic detection of the angle needs to be equipped to determine the correct angle to be achieved for each bend. With Automatic Controlled Bending (ACB), the total completion time to bend, calculate and adjust will take less than a second!

Identification of Parts and Positioning Compensation

The system must be able to detect the correct part to pick up and automatically determine the datum point to compensate positioning error. It is important to define the datum point so that all bending sequence and positioning accuracy can be referenced.

Although a structured stand that pre-fixed the part datum point can be achieved, the best possible solution will be with a high-resolution and precise camera profile detection that is flexible and automatic. This camera device could detect the sheet stack, height and fine profile of the part for single sheet without the need to specifically prepare sheet in a fixed position. With such function, a lot of time is saved from the preparation for defining, picking and loading of parts.

Gripper Technology

The grippers picking up the parts are of critical importance as well. Our grippers are designed with the concept of holding the parts as firmly as a human hand would. The gripper can be used for multiple parts and the suction cups can be pneumatically turned on or off to cater to different profiles and gripping area.

CAM-assisted Offline Programming

Software plays a very important role in automation. It should be able to strategically control all movement offline with intuitive graphical teaching.

In the past, robot movements are codings that are entered line by line in order to perfect a smooth travel path. With advanced software like TruTops Bend Automation, not only are we are able to graphically teach the movement from one point to another, we can also teach the robot to flip, load and unload the part. The software enables us to run a simulation prior to the actual process.

Robotic Movement and Payload

There are many robotic equipment in the market, with some having more than eight axis of movement and payload of more than 1,000 kg! So how do we know which is suitable?

In bending, it is always the working area within the press brake and robotic system. The bigger the working capacity means there is a better flexibility on the type of profile that can be bent.

The longer the trackway of the robot arm, the more parts can be prepared for loading and unloading. This is to ensure that the machine is always filled with part for continuous production and not idling or waiting for parts. There are also possibilities that the finish part can be stacked in cage or drop box.

The higher the payload means a bigger robot arm would be required. When the arm gets too big, there is a minimum distance of limitation due to the kinetic movement, therefore small parts cannot be picked up. Hence, it is important to define the size of the product before the selection of the automatic bending cell. This will make it easier to select the type of press brake and robotic arm for the job.

With all the necessary functions that are in place to ensure the output quality of the parts, the production is all ready for artificial intelligence bending!

 

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

 

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Modular Power Package For Demanding Benders

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Top 10 Fast Fab And Metrology Articles For 2019

Top 10 Fast Fab And Metrology Articles For 2019

As we move into 2020, we take a look back at the most popular Fast Fabrication and Metrology articles for 2019. For your enjoyment, here is the list of the top 10 most read Fast fabrication and metrology articles over the past year.

Top Fast Fabrication articles in 2019:

  1. Increasing Integration Of Storage And Sawing Technology
  2. How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity
  3. TRUMPF Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Vietnam
  4. Moving Towards A Smart Machinery Eco-System
  5. One Technology—Many Benefits
  6. Tapping On Additive Manufacturing
  7. LVD Discusses Punching Technology Advancements
  8. Behringer Talks Asia Market, Latest Sawing Technology
  9. Fiber Laser Welding Cuts Costs And Improves Results
  10. Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

Top Metrology articles in 2019:

  1. Why CMMs Are Manufacturing’s Evolutionary Winners
  2. Importance Of Process Control
  3. Renishaw Shares Outlook On Vietnam And Philippines
  4. Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation
  5. Interview With Jun Chie, Vice President & General Manager At Keysight
  6. Marposs Optimistic of the Philippine Metalworking Industry
  7. Optimising Aerospace Parts Manufacturing
  8. The E-Mobility Roadmap: Speeding Up Tool Development With A High-Accuracy CMM
  9. A Look At How 3D Measurement Technology Helps Reduces Total Lead Time
  10. Precision For Guaranteed Stability Using 3D Scanners

 

 

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Sandvik And Renishaw Collaborate To Qualify New AM Materials

NIMS Partners With OMIC To Develop Metrology Standards And Certification

Global Semiconductor Equipment Sales Forecast—2020 Rebound, 2021 Record High

3D Goes Long-Range With The First Scanning Laser Tracker

 

 

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CNC Control For Rolling Machines

CNC Control for Rolling Machines

Today, CNC controlled machines can be found in almost all industries, from small-scale metalwork shops to big manufacturing companies. There is barely any phase of the manufacturing process that is not affected by automated CNC machines. Faccin SPA, a manufacturer of plate rolling equipment, foresaw back in the early 1980’s the need of the metal forming industry to have CNC-controlled rolling machines. Article by Faccin SPA.

After a continuous research and development, the first generation of Faccin-CNC bending rolls reached the metal forming manufacturers and for more than 30 years Faccin has been offering them all the benefits of the most advanced and powerful numerical control developed for bending rolls: the PGS-ULTRA.

The first benefit offered by Faccin’s CNC PGS-Ultra is improved automation for its plate rolls. The operator involvement linked to producing workpieces can be greatly reduced or eliminated. Therefore a CNC-controlled plate roll can run unattended during most of its rolling cycle, freeing the operator to do other tasks. This gives the CNC-controlled machine user other benefits like reduced operator fatigue, less mistakes triggered by human error and a steady and foreseeable rolling time and quality for each piece.

Since the rolling machine will be running under program control, the skill level required of the operator will also be reduced, decreasing the dependability risk of the manufacturing company on a single highly skilled operator.

The CNC PGS-Ultra, built with industrial SIEMENS hardware and a perfected user-friendly graphic interface, is so simple to use that even an inexperienced operator can program the rolling machine to produce simple circular shapes of different diameters and lengths or more complex pieces like polycentric tanks, spirals for ventilators, plates of variable lengths, and many more.

Accurate Rolled Pieces

The second major benefit of the CNC-controlled plate-rolling technology is consistent and accurate rolled pieces. Today’s CNC-controlled machines manufactured by Faccin can claim unbelievable precision and repeatability of rolled pieces. This means that once a program is verified, no matter the quantity, identical rolled pieces can be effortlessly produced with precision and consistency.

A third benefit offered by the CNC-controlled plate rolling machines is flexibility. Since these machines are run from a very “easy-to-use” program, running a different workpiece is as easy as selecting it from a different shape option on the screen. Special and unique options are available in the standard configuration like the possibility to build programs for rolling variable thickness programs, calculation of the plate developed length, cycle time, etc. Once a program has been verified and executed for a production run, it can be easily recalled the next time the workpiece is to be run. This leads to yet another benefit, fast change-over.

Motion Control Feature

Finally yet importantly, a wide range of machine accessories like feeding table, plate centering, lateral and top supports, clamping devices, can be controlled with the CNC PGS-Ultra through an easy-to-use motion control feature that manages 15 programmable directions (axes) allowing the operator to configure all the accessories required in the manufacturing process of high quality rolled plates.

Since programs can be easily loaded on the CNC PGS-Ultra, a very short setup time is required and therefore plate-rolling machines become very easy to set up and run which is imperative with today’s just-in-time production requirements.

Manufacturing companies face today huge challenges, intensified pressure and the need to reduce production time, improve flexibility and increase quality with energy reduction. Faccin is ready for Industry 4.0 thanks to its Smart Package 4.0 that offers features like Systems Diagnosis, Teleservice, Management Control, Drawing Imports, Rolling and Production Lot Statistics and Flexible Network Solutions between others, helping the manufacturers of today, face the challenges of tomorrow.

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Bystronic “TiltPrevention” Solution Optimises Laser Cutting Processes

Bystronic “TiltPrevention” Solution Optimises Laser Cutting Processes

With the “TiltPrevention” assistant function, Bystronic is increasing process reliability in the field of laser cutting. The intelligent function enables users to create cutting sequences that minimise the risk of creating protruding parts in the sheet. This reduces the disruption of cutting processes and downtime caused by cutting head collisions.

Tilted parts are a risk factor during the laser cutting process. They can cause a collision with the cutting head. This results in the disruption of cutting jobs, rejected parts, and in the worst case, costly damage. However, they also impede automated unloading, as the automation system’s grippers have difficulty picking up tilted parts.

Until now, micro-tabs have been a time-intensive method of preventing cut-out parts from tilting. The software positions small connections between the contour of the part that is to be cut and the residual grid in the cutting plan. In this way, parts remain fixed to the surrounding sheet after cutting. One disadvantage of this solution is: The cut parts require reworking in order to remove the traces of the micro-tabs. Another disadvantage: The automated removal of the finished parts is impeded because the micro-tabs make it difficult to remove the parts from the residual sheet.

Another approach is to use software to guide the paths of the cutting head during the cutting process so that, as far as possible, it circumvents risky sections where parts could tilt. However, this solution does not eliminate the root of the problem—parts protrude, still represent a risk, and are difficult for automation systems to cope with.

Algorithm Generates The Ideal Cutting Sequence

With “TiltPrevention”, Bystronic has now developed a new solution. In future, BySoft 7 will use this intelligent assistant function to compile cutting plans in such a manner that parts cannot tilt during the cutting process. This largely eliminates the need for micro-tabs.

How does it work? An algorithm calculates the mechanical behavior of the parts while they are being cut out of the sheet. To achieve this, “TiltPrevention” takes into account a wide range of parameters:  What is the density of the material that is being cut? What is the geometry and weight of the parts that are to be cut? How high is the pressure of the gas that flows out of the cutting head during laser cutting and exerts pressure on the parts? How are the parts positioned on the cutting grate? Are there enough contact points?

Subsequently, “TiltPrevention” recommends lead-in and lead-out points of the laser so that tilting of the parts after cutting is prevented to the greatest possible extent. In addition, the function proposes the best possible route for the cutting head over the metal sheet. This creates an ideal cutting sequence for all parts on the cutting plan. Cutting in such a manner that the cutting head never travels over parts that have already been cut out.

Regardless of the users’ level of experience, “TiltPrevention” supports them with an ideal cutting strategy that can be automatically incorporated into the cutting plan. Users can carry out customised adaptations at any time using the simulation created by “TiltPrevention” —modify the nesting of parts, reposition the lead-in and lead-out points of the parts, and add micro-tabs where required.

 

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