skip to Main Content
Shorter Cutting Times Even When Cutting Tougher Alloys

Shorter Cutting Times Even When Cutting Tougher Alloys

In light an increasing number of high-volume orders, a metal handler in the oil and gas industry decided to build a new facility to expand its capacity–and to broaden its sawing technology with the help of KASTO. 

After experiencing several difficult years, the oil and gas industry is now on the upswing again. The Howat Group also benefits from this development: Located in Barnsley in the UK, the company is a supplier of special metals for this demanding industry. The product range comprises various nickel and aluminium alloys as well as numerous steel and stainless steels. The materials are used, for example, on offshore drilling platforms or in pipeline construction – at sites where they are exposed to extreme temperatures, high pressure, and heavy corrosion.

The Howat Group opened its new facility in Dearne Valley at the end of 2018. This facility provides 60,000 square metres of space, among other things, for a large sawing plant: A total of 14 automatic saws from the German manufacturer KASTO ensure fast and accurate cuts. Some of which have been in service since the 1990s and still cut as accurately as they did when first used.

Expanding Sawing Technology

To cope with an increasing number of high-volume orders, in the course of constructing the new facility, the company also decided to expand its sawing technology. Some of the existing models were retrofitted to update them to the current technology. In addition, the company invested in the KASTOwin pro AC 5.6, which is a high-performance bandsaw optimised for the use with bimetallic and carbide blades. Therefore, it is suitable to cut alloys such as tough nickel, titanium and stainless steel with diameters of up to 560 millimetres as well as for cutting low-alloy steels.

Howat’s operations director Emma Parkinson commented, “We have four dedicated carbide cutting bandsaws on site which include KASTOtec AC5s and now the KASTOwin pro, which is even more economical. They are ideal for cutting our Inconel materials.”

Particularly for the processing of these nickel alloys, the company wanted to become more efficient and therefore decided to acquire this new machine. Parkinson explains the decision, “I am quite familiar with the benefits of the KASTO saws since I have worked with this manufacturer during my previous employment.”

Easy Blade Change Saves Tool Costs

The remainder of the sawing plant, which comprises sawing with a cutting range of up to 800 millimetres, is intended mainly for the operation using bimetal blades – however, now and then carbide blades are used as well. 

“The advantage of the KASTOwin pro is that we can use either type of blade economically,” explained Parkinson. “Whenever the material to be cut permits, we change to bimetal to extend the life of the expensive carbide blades.” Changing the blades is quick and easy – and since Howat frequently produces large batch sizes, the time spent on processing is virtually no concern.

Furthermore, KASTOwin pro excels with its high productivity.  Depending on the type of blade, cutting times can be reduced by 50 percent and more. A frequency-controlled eleven kW motor drive provides plenty of capacity for the use of carbide blades. The cutting speed is infinitely adjustable from twelve to 150 metres per minute. The electro-mechanical feed system can be controlled using two ball screw spindles, each with a servo drive for precise, infinitely variable control. This system provides exact results and minimises material waste. The saw features a retraction unit for lifting the blade from the material when the saw head moves back to protect the cutting surface and the bandsaw blade. This minimises tool wear.

 

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

 

Addressing Challenges In Wind Tower Manufacturing

Addressing Challenges In Wind Tower Manufacturing

How will the wind industry cope with its monumental growth and what are the challenges ahead? Here, Faccin Group shares its wide range of solutions for wind tower manufacturers.  

Faccin Group continues to create valuable content for its customers and public, driving growth of the wind industry. On 8 April 2021, the group broadcasted an engaging webinar focused on the Wind Energy Industry and the challenges laying ahead. Attended by hundreds, the event looked at understanding how the wind industry will cope with the monumental growth and the hype that has been created around this renewable source of energy for the future.

During this event hosted by Javier Lanfranchi, key players of the industry together with the members of Faccin Group’s Wind Energy Division, Andrea Comparin, Diego Morbini and Rafael Soto, shared their views on the future of the market, particularly on the challenges related to the construction of ever bigger, taller and heavier towers, the extreme tolerances required, the diameters of the monopiles, the thicknesses to be rolled and the solutions provided by the manufacturers of machinery and how the tower producers should prepare for it.

The conclusion was that preparation, readiness and investment were key ways to stay ahead of the competition in this industry and the exponential growth that is expected not only in onshore wind power but also offshore, with the expansion of the Asian and the US markets. And rolling hundreds of steel cans of bigger diameters and thicker walls with very strict tolerances, was an important point highlighted during the webinar. 

In this regard, Faccin Group contributed with its expertise based on hundreds of Wind Tower Automation systems installed around the world and covering a wide range of solutions for the rolling of monopiles, especially offshore wind projects, automation systems to produce hundreds of cans for sections and onshore towers and innovative machinery for the serial fabrication of door frames and flanges.

Rolling Power for Offshore Wind Tower Foundations

Faccin specialises in manufacturing machines for wind power and specifically for wind towers foundations such as monopiles, jackets and tripods, together with their transition pieces.

Offshore wind tower foundations made by heavy duty thicknesses up to 4,2m wide, 150mm thick and 12m diameters, require strong, powerful bending machines capable of achieving tight tolerances of roundness and performing the job 24/7.

Faccin has supplied top players of Offshore Foundations with its optimised HAV machines, 3-roll with Variable Geometry, ideal for rolling and calibrating cylindrical and conical shapes. 

In addition, the 4-roll models 4HEL and 4HEP, are the ideal machines when high productivity is required by the wind tower manufacturers, also in their optimised heavier versions for the construction of thick cones and cans for monopiles, jackets and TPs.

Plate rolls are delivered nowadays as a unique system together with the advanced handling devices that consist of top supports, side supports, feeding tables for plate alignment and clamping system for tack welding preparation.

Powerful CNCs and special automation systems for rolling and calibration have been developed together with customers and optimised by Faccin R&D in the last 30 years.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

Check these articles out:

Precise Measurement Technology Directly On The Shop Floor

Growing Possibilities Of 3D Printing In The Aerospace Industry

GE Completes US$1.65B Acquisition Of Wind-Power Manufacturer

AMEXCI And SLM Solutions Strengthen Partnership To Accelerate Industrialisation Of Metal AM

Tube Bending & Cutting In One Step

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

 

 

Automation! More Than Just Hardware

Automation! More Than Just Hardware

Flexibility and efficiency are becoming crucial requirements for the industry. Salvagnini explains the impact of automation at each step of the production process. 

Rapid industrial developments of recent years continue to set tough challenges. Because industry has changed: flexibility and efficiency are crucial requirements for managing increasingly smaller batches, rapid item turnover rate and tight lead times. And it is precisely in this context that automation is attracting more and more attention.

Flexible Automation

Flexible automation means transforming packs of sheet metal into a wide variety of products, in a lean environment and with no intervention by the operator, in a progressive production process, using proprietary punching, cutting, bending and panel bending technology. Automation therefore has an impact on three successive levels:

  • the first level is that of the individual production phase, which horizontally exploits the potential of extremely high-performing, autonomous and intelligent systems;
  • the second level is that of activities with low added value, which typically occur upstream and downstream of these individual systems, with preparatory and/or connection functions; 
  • the third level is that of the process which, where appropriately organised, benefits exponentially from the sum of advantages offered by the previous two levels.

In practice, the result of an automated, organised process can exceed the sum of the benefits obtained in each individual activity and by eliminating any redundant intermediate activities. How? Let’s take a detailed look at the production process.

Optimising Individual Production Phases

We have already mentioned the progressive shift from a make-to-stock strategy, with large batches, towards a lean, make-to-order, just-in-time strategy based on medium and small batches and an increasingly variable production mix. And the industrial scenario is moving increasingly towards a substantial reduction in work-in-progress, eliminating the intermediate storage of semi-finished parts.

To respond to this variability and uncertainty, the market is looking more and more to flexible production systems. Being competitive today does not merely mean having fast single part production: the challenge lies in production efficiency, the ability to move from one production code to the next with the shortest re-tooling time, whatever the geometric and mechanical characteristics of the metal sheet and the type and number of jobs. Flexible systems are a decisive factor for managing production today, but also for improving quality and reducing lead times and scrap.

Salvagnini has been designing, producing and selling flexible systems for sheet metal working for over fifty years, and flexible automation has always been part of the company’s DNA. Its solutions are targeted to increase the efficiency of a specific production phase. This includes the panel bender—a machine which more than any other represents the spirit of the Group, precisely because it combines cutting-edge technology with productivity, autonomy, and flexibility. With universal bending tools, it requires no re-tooling, and machines the whole range of thicknesses and materials, adapting automatically to the size and geometry of the part to be produced, in cycle, without machine downtimes or manual re-tooling. 

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

Check these articles out:

Addressing CMM Challenges With Automated Quality Control

TRUMPF Unveils New New 3D printer To Help Fabricators Move Into Mass Production

First Trading Day As Bystronic On SIX Swiss Exchange

FARO Announces Two New Global Sustainability Goals to Advance ESG Efforts

Creating Predictable, Productive Processes With Industrial AM

Industry 4.0 Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

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

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Automation On Demand

Automation On Demand

Bystronic’s Bendikt Kreisel describes the benefits of a fully automatic bending cell in today’s sheet metal processing. 

Not long ago, automation was associated only with repetitive tasks. High and consistent quality as well as reliability over very long periods are decisive factors that ensure the profitability of automation in production environments. However, more complex jobs that require a high degree of customisation in the manufacturing process are still often performed manually. This is currently a widespread approach in the sheet metal processing sector.

Our industry has experienced a major transformation over the past five years–indeed, one could say it has been forced to transform. Increasing price pressure in the markets and the lack of skilled personnel are just two of the reasons for this, in addition to increasingly dynamic and uncertain business environments.

Automation Backlog

However, the unique advantages and disadvantages of manual processing by a human operator and automated manufacturing cannot be dismissed. Every decision in favor of or against automating a process is a balancing act involving many production-relevant variables. Besides productivity and quality, flexibility is another undeniable competitive advantage of any supplier in the manufacturing industry, especially in view of increasingly dynamic business environments. 

This is a dilemma that has led to a backlog of automation, especially in the sheet metal processing industry. However, when users do not wish to accept any compromises in terms of flexibility, productivity, and consistent high quality, the demands on the machines increase.

Intelligent Technology Solution

Bystronic’s Mobile Bending Cell addresses these demands and implements them by applying intelligent technology. The users’ requirements are particularly wide-ranging when it comes to bending technology. Being able to bend parts with extremely complex geometries in small batches while simultaneously being capable of handling the high-volume processing of simple geometries is a major challenge that many companies are currently facing. Also known as automation on demand, the Mobile Bending Cell is capable of overcoming these challenges—ensuring high flexibility as well as high quality and productivity. 

This is achieved by means of the Mobile Bending Robot, which can be positioned in front of the press brake or detached to allow manual operation. Thanks to an intelligent and fully automated measuring system, the robot references itself in front of the press brake without requiring manual intervention. Laser sensors measure the precise position of the robot relative to the press brake and it is referenced accordingly. This allows the press brake to be converted from manual bending to fully automated bending in less than ten minutes. The relative position of the press brake to the Mobile Bending Robot is determined so accurately that the need for manual calibration is completely eliminated. 

Once individual parts have been bent automatically, the process can be repeated without adjustments once the press brake and the Mobile Bending Robot have been connected. Depending on the requirements, the system can either be operated completely manually or fully automatically.

However, the “marriage” of press brake and Mobile Bending Robot is not the only critical factor for an efficient production process. The preparation of the parts that are to be bent is another process that incurs costs in every production run. For the automation on demand concept to really pay off, the process of programming the robot automation needs to be innovative and fast. 

With the Mobile Bending Cell’s programming system called Robot Manager, the robot’s movements are programmed using algorithms that factor in comprehensive collision models for each relevant application. All that is required is the definition of basic positions and all the other movements are automatically defined by the software. This increases quality and reduces process idle time.

Automatic measurement of the press brake and bending automation system in combination with intelligent robot programming makes the Mobile Bending Cell the ideal solution for bending automation on demand.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

Check these articles out:

Powering Industry 4.0 With Factory Automation

TRUMPF Opens New Smart Factory In Ditzingen

Why You Need to Invest in Laser Cutting Technology

The Carefree Package For The Entry Into Bending

The Fully Automated Production Line

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Powering Industry 4.0 With Factory Automation

Powering Industry 4.0 With Factory Automation

Using automation, businesses can perform processes with limited or no human intervention. By Dario Mulazzani, DAVI Product Manager Automation.

Using automation, Corporations can perform processes with limited or no human intervention. Automation is able to power a range of equipment, which is then able to fulfil a variety of objectives in a wide array of manufacturing environments.

It is so effective because it increases quality, repeatability, output and efficiency by reducing human assistance, thereby dramatically slashing the risk of error and scraps.

What is Factory Automation

Automation in industrial settings uses a centralised control system (typically referred to as Manufacturing Execution System or MES), and vast quantities of data to manage equipment and processes within a manufacturing environment. Businesses are always striving to increase output, productivity and efficiency; automation keeps machinery in a specific measurable and, thus, optimisable state.

Automated production lines consist of workstations and a transfer system that moves an item through numerous production phases, using a variety of different tools to manufacture the intended product. A logic controller (typically referred to as Computer Numerical Controller or CNC) oversees this process by managing the sequence in which the machinery is used and the how long each machine must work on the product. Businesses may use automation infrastructures for manufacturing, refining and the production of individual parts, as well as the assembly of the final product, where necessary.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

Check these articles out:

Hypertherm: Successful Raid Of Counterfeiting Operation In Vietnam

Sandvik Restructuring Its Wire Businesses

Making Steel Sustainable

Going Further In 3D Metrology: SHINING 3D Introduces The FreeScan UE

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

Hyundai Motor And Singtel Collaborate To Advance Singapore’s Smart Mobility Ecosystem And Industry 4.0 Journey

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Bystronic Opens New Subsidiary In Thailand

Bystronic Opens New Subsidiary In Thailand

In the immediate vicinity of the international airport Suvarnabhumi in the east of the Thai capital Bangkok, Bystronic has opened a new office as of March 22, 2021. With the new national company, Bystronic is moving closer to its Thai customers and can provide them with even more direct support with a motivated team.

After a decade of partnership with the local representative, the newly founded Bystronic Thailand Co. Ltd. enables Bystronic to work even more closely with customers in Thailand, to support them even more directly, and to advance into segments that could not be tackled before. The experienced team of engineers has been supporting customers for years. A new and dynamic sales team will further increase the awareness of the Bystronic brand in Thailand.

The company is headed by General Manager Mr. Thitipan Hirunpataya. He was instrumental in setting up the Thai subsidiary, building up the sales and service teams and fine-tuning new operating strategies to meet the needs of the market.

“The integral part of a local office is the direct link to our customers. We get to know their manufacturing needs, we offer solutions, we listen to their feedback and we are able to offer them the best service directly from the manufacturer”, said Thitipan Hirunpataya.

With the opening of the new office in Bangkok, Bystronic will have a further sales and service center in an important region for Bystronic. Sales, service, consulting and hotline services form the core services. In addition, the location will also include software and hardware training as well as spare parts. Customers will thus benefit from the comprehensive know-how of the leading technology provider.

 

Check these articles out:

Sandvik Coromant Expands Digital Machining Division In Southeast Asia And Oceania

Thai Airways To Move Ahead With MRO Project Despite Airbus Dropout

MAPAL Expands Management Board

Automakers In Thailand Want To Invest In Electric Vehicles

Complete Measurement Solution for Consistent Quality Management

GlobalData: Thailand Automotive Production And Domestic Sales To Revive In 2021

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

A Reliable Partner For Your Wind Energy Project

A Reliable Partner for Your Wind Energy Project

Faccin Group’s Eng. Andrea Comparin, Rafael Soto, and Eng. Diego Morbini talk about the company’s Wind Towers Division, how they are helping address the challenges in wind tower manufacturing, and the future for the industry.

Faccin S.p.A. is a leading metal forming machine producer that manufactures the widest range of plate rolls, angle rolls, dished head, and special machines. In this feature, Eng. Andrea Comparin, Rafael Soto, and Eng. Diego Morbini, all senior technical sales managers at Faccin Group Wind Towers Division, talk about the company’s Wind Towers Division, how the company is helping address the challenges in wind tower manufacturing, and the future for the wind tower industry.

(From L-R) Eng. Andrea Comparin, Rafael Soto, and Eng. Diego Morbini of Faccin Group Wind Towers Division.

WHY DID FACCIN GROUP CREATE A WIND TOWERS DIVISION?

Eng. Andrea Comparin (AC): Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement goals by 2050 will require a substantial acceleration across sectors and technologies, particularly in onshore and offshore wind power generation. This sector will play a significant role by becoming a prominent energy generation source, achieving an estimated 33 percent of the total production. 

This acceleration is only possible by increasing the wind capacity installation in the next 30 years, which means that the wind power industry will have to be prepared for such a significant growth. This rise of economies of scale will impact the supply chains, which have to be more competitive and technologically advanced. 

The production of wind towers does not escape this reality. Should the towers continue being a tube made of several round cans of ever thicker steel plates, the taller the towers are, then, a fast and precise rolling of these cans is crucial for manufacturers to stay competitive in the years to come.

Faccin Group’s Wind Towers Division has been created with the aim to, first, deeply understand the challenges faced by the manufacturers of wind towers in this market environment; then, interface with the different areas of the group such as R&D, product design and production in the creation of technologically advanced solutions for these challenges; and, finally, to support the customers throughout the whole process of acquisition with just-on-time deliveries, operation coordination, and continuous follow-up of the project, even after completion.  

WHAT CAN FACCIN OFFER TO THE HYPER COMPETITIVE WIND TOWER MANUFACTURING MARKET?

Eng. Diego Morbini (DM): With more than 30,000 units installed worldwide, Faccin is a leader in the development and construction of rolling and bending machines for steel plates. This wealth of knowledge and experience, fully supported by a worldwide network of active distributors, and a division fully dedicated to the wind tower industry, allow Faccin to quickly identify the trends and needs of the industry—which are then applied to designs; and by leveraging its vertically integrated production and cross-sector projects, to supply high-quality, cost-effective products within a short lead-time in this competitive market. This industrial proactivity and capability have earned Faccin the trust of the biggest manufacturers of wind towers worldwide.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

 

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

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

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.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

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

 

Check these articles out:

Siemens on Automotive Manufacturing Trends, E-Vehicles, COVID-19, and VinFast

TRUMPF Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Vietnam

Automation Trends in Metalworking

Top Three Challenges For Taiwan’s Economy In 2019

Growth Opportunities In Singapore’s Precision Engineering Sector

Digital Transformation in a Time of Crisis

 

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

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.

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

 

Check these articles out:

Automation And Digitalisation Pave The Way Forward For Smart Metal Industries

CNC Control for Rolling Machines

Plate Roll Technology Addresses Wind Tower Manufacturing Challenges

Metrology-Grade 3D Measurements Right on the Production Floor

Mühlhoff Starts Production On Large Presses After Fire With Help From Schuler Service

“Smaller Than A Speck Of Dust”: 3D Printing Metal Microstructures

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

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.

 

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

 

Check these articles out:

LVD Offers New Automation Options For Phoenix Large-Format Fiber Lasers

Sustainable Manufacturing Thanks To Fiber Lasers And Automation

Bystronic And IPG Partner To Generate Innovations

Fibre Laser or CO2 Laser—Which Will Prevail?

SPI Lasers Appoints New CEO

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Back To Top