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Simulation Irons Out Metal Binder Jetting Defects To Enable Mass-Production AM

Simulation Irons Out Metal Binder Jetting Defects To Enable Mass-Production AM

Simufact, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has introduced metal binder jetting (MBJ) simulation, that is enabling manufacturers to predict and prevent the distortion that sintering processes will have on parts at the design stage for the first time. The new simulation tool marks a significant step forward for additive manufacturing because it helps manufacturers achieve the quality they require while exploiting the unique benefits MBJ offers for volume production.

Metal binder jetting is an emerging additive manufacturing technology that has several key advantages over common powder bed fusion processes; high volumes of parts can be printed with minimal spacing; no support structures are needed, and larger lot sizes are possible. It has the potential to replace low-volume, high-cost metal injection moulding for everything from automotive and aircraft parts to medical applications. Because high resolution is possible, it could also reduce the cost and lead times for production of complex and lightweight metallic parts such as gears or turbine wheels.

However, early adopters can expect a steep learning curve to learn how to achieve the quality they need to exploit these benefits. One key challenge has been predicting changes during the sintering process. A part can shrink as much as 35 percent and the simple shrinkage models used for other processes cannot predict distortion during the post-build sintering process. Until now, costly physical trials were required to perfect the printing of each part, preventing many manufacturers realising the low cost and flexibility MBJ offers.

Made available to existing Simufact Additive customers in August, the new tool extends its capabilities for MBJ processes. Manufacturers can predict the shrinkage caused by factors such as the thermal strain, friction, and gravity during sintering without specialist simulation knowledge. By compensating for these changes, parts can be 3D Printed as they are designed, and production teams can significantly reduce the proportion of parts that must be scrapped or re-processed. Sintering-induced mechanical stress is also predicted before print, indicating where defects might occur. Manufacturers can use this information to make changes earlier in their product development and reduce the need for costly redesign.

Designed for busy manufacturing professionals, the tool can automate the model setup, preparing the CAD or CAE file for manufacturing simulation and simulations can also be automated through Python scripts. To validate the sintering compensation and increase confidence in quality, the optimised geometry from the MBJ tool can be immediately compared to both the initial design (CAD) geometry and a metrology scan of a manufactured part within user interface.

“We are pleased to introduce the first solution for simulating metal binder jetting sintering process to the market so that manufacturers can take advantage of this important new method. We know customers see metal binder jetting as a pivotal technology for manufacturing, particularly where there’s a need to need to produce intricate parts at high volumes like the automotive industry.

This development was only possible through close collaboration between our manufacturing and printer equipment partners and our highly experienced research & development department,” said Dr. Gabriel McBain, Senior Director Product Management, Simufact & FTI.

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July/August 2020 Issue Of APMEN Magazine Is Now Available

July/August 2020 Issue Of APMEN Magazine Is Now Available

The July/August 2020 issue of Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) magazine features the latest developments happening in the world of metalworking, including new tool materials, the right spindle repair, CFRP tools, intelligent punching heads, CMM with mass technology, and the trend towards smart, automated manufacturing, and more.

Another feature in this issue is a collection of insights from industry leaders regarding their outlook for the rest of the year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—what to expect, what the business landscape could be like, what they are doing to navigate these challenges. Hear what key executives from Bystronic, igus, Siemens ASEAN, VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, and Mastercam have to say.

Read the July/August 2020 issue of APMEN magazine, now on our virtual newsstand, and available for delivery in your e-mailbox by subscribing here.

 

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Manufacturing Industry In A Post-Pandemic World

Manufacturing Industry In A Post-Pandemic World

Now that markets are slowly opening up and manufacturing activities are gradually restarting, many are wondering how the manufacturing industry would look like, what the new requirements will be—for customers and suppliers alike—and what the manufacturing industry should do in this ‘new normal’. In this Outlook special, six industry leaders share their thoughts on what to expect, and how to navigate through the challenges in a post-pandemic environment.

Bystronic

Norbert Seo
Senior Vice President, Market Division Asia & Australia
Bystronic

We are yet to see the breadth and depth of the impact of COVID-19.  Economies are slowly opening, but there is an overhung of the second wave.  We are still in a quagmire of uncertainties, but after more than six months of descent, data shows that we are seeing recovery slowly play out.   

Recently, we see a changing outlook wherein business owners are deciding to invest in new machines in order to have full control of their manufacturing processes and minimize reliance on third party providers.  

Additionally, we are anticipating a shift from worker-dense shop floors into automated processing wherein production continues unhampered while lightly manned/operated.  Coronavirus has advanced the need for automation in factories.

We are living a new normal.  Companies who are most agile and able to adapt will eventually thrive in these new circumstances and I am determined that this will be the case for Bystronic. 

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Lim Boon Choon
SVP Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Korea, ASEAN, Pacific, India

 

The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the important role of technology in helping people and companies rapidly adapt to fast-changing and unforeseen circumstances. Most of us have personal experience of relying heavily on cloud-based communications and data transfer during lockdown to continue collaborating and doing business remotely. At Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, for example, we moved swiftly to provide our customers with the online support, training and software they needed to remain productive as they adopted new work practices driven by the need for social distancing, as well as changes to supply and demand within their industries. 

As manufacturing operations pick up again around the world, there is a clear desire among a growing number of our customers to accelerate their automation and digitalisation journey. Workplaces may look very different post-COVID-19, both on and off the shop floor. Among the changes we’re discussing with customers is a shift from on-premise systems to secure, automated, cloud-based systems that facilitate remote data analysis and exchange. 

At the same time the economic situation means manufacturers have to weigh up any capital expenditure plans extremely carefully. Technology will play a key role in helping companies remain competitive during challenging times, but businesses are only ready to invest in automation solutions if they demonstrate a clear business benefit and can deliver results quickly. The other message we’re hearing is the importance of providing open, scalable technology systems that give our customers the flexibility to evolve in line with new market requiremets. 

igus

Haecker Carsten
Head of Asia Pacific 
igus

Optimism for the year 2020 was surrounding our thoughts before the global COVID-19 impact brought several businesses to a standstill, selectively today fighting for survival. Optimism and motivation are what drives igus in the post-COVID-19 environments.

No doubt, the crisis has also impacted our global business outlook and order intake across various industries. However, it has taught us very valuable lessons and generated ample opportunities. The crisis will not end globalization. Rather, it will lead to the questioning of some of its assumptions. In particular, it highlights the need for shorter supply chains in critical areas and the relocation of some activities closer to ‘home’.

We learned from the crisis that the supply chain can be disrupted at any time. Now, we are learning that for other critical resources like pre-materials for medical supply, we also need to stockpile in case there is a cut in supply. This was demonstrated when we witnessed the global shortage of surgical masks and other medical essentials that were taken for granted during normal times. We have learned how vulnerable they are, how concentrated the supply capacity is, and how critical these products can be. Globalization will continue because it is of common interest.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis has been accelerating the push to invest in new, labour-substituting technologies. Here, in particular, 3D printing technologies, cobot support, and factory automation with smart condition monitoring will see an accelerated demand to reduce dependency on humans.

igus motion plastics products are today used in several of these applications and will continue to play a major part in all motion and moving energy demand. We accelerated product development, we managed to change our way of working, we adapted quickly to changing needs, and we never stopped investing in growth, be it space or technology.

Our online tools are readily available and our products can be completely configured via our homepage and delivered within 24 hours. Our virtual booth, showcasing our latest 2020 innovations is online and the team is ready to welcome you. Any crisis generates opportunities—we are convinced to manage this for our customers!

Mastercam/CNC Software Inc.

Ben Mund
Senior Market Analyst
Mastercam/CNC Software Inc.

As developers of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, we talked with shops directly as the impact of COVID-19 began taking hold. Our global manufacturing community generally sees the post-pandemic process in three stages: assessment, refinement, and expansion.

The ‘assessment’ stage moved very quickly. Shops stopped most major (and even minor) expenditures, evaluated what business they could maintain, and worked with their partners as things started to go on hold.

Many shops we speak with have moved past assessment into the ‘refinement’ phase. This is where shops say they expect many lasting changes as they aggressively re-evaluate their processes. Examples include deeper looks into their machine and software capabilities to maximize existing investments, training up staff, and refining jobs they maintain during the crisis to ensure they are as efficient as possible when new work starts coming in.

When the ‘expansion’ phase begins, it is likely the efficiency and creativity shops built up during the crisis will mean smarter capital expenditures, broader skillsets, boosted productivity and more business flexibility. These are certainly lessons we as a company have also learned as we work with our manufacturing community to help prepare shops for the next steps.

Siemens ASEAN

Dr. Thai-Lai Pham
CEO
Siemens ASEAN

COVID-19 has given Industry 4.0 a booster jab—proving the necessity of innovation and digitalization. It has also brought down the resistance to change and collaborate, reduced the fear of new technologies, and accelerated the adoption of digital technologies.

For Siemens, our investment in digitalization in the last few years have allowed us to be in a position to contribute to the community during this crisis:

  1. In March, Siemens opened the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network for hospitals and health organizations worldwide. This digital platform brings together suppliers and customers in the field of additive manufacturing to help print spare parts for medical devices.
  2. In Singapore, we helped a hotel group to build isolation rooms for guests tested positive for COVID-19. Our team supported with HVAC optimization, ensuring proper circulation of air to avoid any risks of virus-spread.

Both of these instances would probably have taken more time to plan and execute in the past. But the COVID-19 situation forced us to expedite the process.

Moving forward, I’d expect more businesses to examine their operational set-up, explore areas that urgently require improvement, and embrace digitalization to reshape their manufacturing and supply chains to be more productive, competitive, resilient and sustainable.

VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

Dr Wilfried Schäfer
Managing Director 
VDW

In 2019, the ten-year boom phase in the global machine tool industry had already come to an end. That was long before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Expectations for the development of the machine tool industry were characterized by a sharp drop in international demand for 2020. A decrease in production of 18 percent was forecast for Germany. 

From today’s perspective, this will not be sufficient. However, due to the uniqueness of the crisis, it is currently not possible to foresee which result the industry will obtain at the end of the current year. The companies are now working intensively to learn their lessons from the crisis and prepare for a new start.

The machine tool manufacturers, for example, are systematically pushing ahead with digitization internally in their own production and in cooperation with their customers. Now that travel has been restricted nationwide, it has proven to be very advantageous for a company to access its installed machine base online. That could be necessary, for example, to ensure service and maintenance or to install software updates. With the universal interface umati, manufacturers can also offer their customers added value in order to optimize their production. umati now stands for machine communication in the entire mechanical and plant engineering sector and is meeting with great interest worldwide.

COVID-19 has also shown that the organisation of a resilient production is important in order to ensure the company’s own ability to deliver. After supply chains were interrupted worldwide when more and more countries went into lockdown, the establishment of robust supply structures is becoming increasingly important. This applies both to the supply of intermediate products and components and the ability to manufacture certain core components in-house.

Finally, customer contact has been interrupted by the cancellation or postponement of many trade fairs worldwide. Trade fair organizers, trade journal publishers from our industry and individual companies quickly made an effort to offer alternatives. The VDW was one of them. With the METAV Web Sessions in mid-June, we succeeded in offering exhibitors a platform that, at least, allowed them to make virtual contact with their customers. These formats will be further developed in the future.

These are just three examples of several areas that will change. They have not to be reinvented but, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, they are increasingly gaining momentum. 

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Hexagon Unveils Enhanced Quality Solutions To Drive The Autonomous Future Of CMMs

Hexagon Unveils Enhanced Quality Solutions To Drive The Autonomous Future Of CMMs

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released several technologies that enable manufacturers to enhance quality processes, coordinate measuring machine (CMM) capabilities, and inspection efficiency.

As the demand for greater levels of inspection automation increase globally, Hexagon’s solutions deliver a number of smart options that help CMM operators shift focus from manual, repetitive work to more value-added tasks, all while maintaining quality throughput.

TEMPO enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

TEMPO enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

EYE-D enables production-level users to operate CMMs with ease by automatically recognising a workpiece, aligning it, and executing the right inspection routine. TEMPO, the automated CMM part loading and unloading system, enables lights-out manufacturing, allowing organisations to run entire inspection shifts unmanned.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing, enabling operators to quickly access metrology software in a handheld tablet-format from anywhere around the CMM, avoiding the need to switch between computer and jogbox. Included in the solutions is a wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE, enabling users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing.

The Digital Control Center (dCC) offers unprecedented levels of usability in CMM interfacing.

“The journey to greater manufacturing automation doesn’t necessarily require a single, costly transformation of technologies and processes. At Hexagon, we are creating solutions that enable manufacturers to make incremental changes that deliver cumulative productivity gains,” said Ingo Lindner, Director Product Line Management Bridge CMMs, Manufacturing Intelligence division, Hexagon.

A wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE enables users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

A wireless version of Hexagon’s CMM environmental monitoring tool PULSE enables users to receive remote notifications of any significant changes in vibrations, humidity, air pressure, and crash notifications.

“Hexagon’s new productivity-enhancing CMM technologies are the first step for manufacturers on the transformation journey towards the smart factory and greater inspection autonomy. Whether manufacturers are looking to increase throughput, reduce measurement cycles, or drive more efficient workflows, these solutions offer options to increase quality professionals’ confidence that they are making manufacturing smarter.”

PULSE and EYE-D are now available for the NAFTA, EMEA and APAC regions, with TEMPO and dCC coming later in the year.

 

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Hexagon Brings Asset Performance Management Solution To Laser Tracker Portfolio

Hexagon Brings Asset Performance Management Solution To Laser Tracker Portfolio

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released a new system software for Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 and AT930 systems. The update, which delivers notable usability improvements to current and future users, is available immediately and allows for integration of these systems within the HxGN SFx | Asset Management platform. New systems shipping with this update will also benefit from a renewed hardware branding concept aligned with the graphic redesign of the Absolute Tracker system software.

SFx Asset Management allows for complete fleet management of manufacturing inspection systems, including remote monitoring based on real-time data streaming. With a centralised, user-friendly dashboard that’s easy to access and use, the platform delivers an accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing, whether on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. The integration of the flagship Absolute Tracker systems within this platform will give users an easy way to oversee and increase the productivity of their advanced tracker-based large-volume and automated inspection and production setups.

Alongside this system software release, all AT960 and AT930 are now rated with ISO 10360-10 compliant system specifications. The ISO 10360-10 standard has been developed to allow users to make reliable comparisons between laser tracker systems and will soon represent the industry standard for evaluating laser tracker accuracy performance.

“Metrologists from Hexagon’s Absolute Tracker research and development team in Switzerland provided expert technical input to the ISO committee as this standard for evaluating laser tracker accuracy was developed,” says Matthias Saure, Absolute Tracker Product Manager, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Soon users will be able to call on this as a reliable measure for comparing the performance of various trackers – something that has been much needed in the world of laser trackers – and we’re very proud to be able to say that the Absolute Tracker is the first laser tracker system to get onboard with what will very soon be an industry standard.”

The new system software update also delivers a number of new upgrades to the usability of the AT960 and AT930 systems. These include newly modifiable motor parameters to allow customised protection against vibration effects as well as improved functionality of the integrated Overview Camera, which will now offer picture quality at three times the previous resolution and multiple zoom levels. Changes also allow for control of some power and connectivity configuration functions direct from the AT Controller with no PC connected.

 

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Enabling Faster Measurement Of PCBs

Enabling Faster Measurement of PCBs

This manufacturer was able to obtain full flexibility and ease to perform visual inspection on wide varieties of small-batch PCB products with diverse features within the required shorter cycle time. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

Founded in 1999, Shenzhen Xingsen Kuaijie Electronic Co. Ltd is a one-stop solutions provider for printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and other board components for the electronics and semiconductor industries. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, the company has production and operation facilities in Guangzhou, Yixing, Jiangsu and the United Kingdom, and supports more than 4,000 customers around the world.  

As part of its roadmap to become one of the world’s largest rapid manufacturing supplier for PCB products, Xingsen is continuously making significant investments in smart solutions to evolve its capabilities in furthering its design-technical-production-quality ecosystem and interconnectivity between the teams. These investments are making Xingsen one of the market leaders in rapid proofing, mass production and manufacturing services for advanced IC packaging, who can provide one-stop service and support to hugely customized, high-mix small-batch production of high-end IC products.  

The Challenge

To maintain its leadership position in this ever-evolving growth in consumers electronics industry, Xingsen is consistently pushing itself to rethink how it can future-proof its facilities and processes for design, production and inspection.

The need to build greater dynamism and flexibility in its manufacturing facilities has become ever more crucial in ensuring its production is capable of providing quick turnaround for a wide range of PCB products, ranging from single panels, double-layer boards, four-layer boards, six-layer boards, to multi-layer circuit boards. From design and production, to quality inspection, manufacturers need smart solutions to improve their product quality, to compete well in this aggressive industry. In line with this, Xingsen has selected Hexagon’s smart solutions as one of its key pillars in achieving quality with ease and speed, while keeping cost competitive.

Replacing the Traditional Method

The traditional method of inspecting modern PCBs required the operators to capture numerous complex features such as conventional product length and width, positioning and size of miniature holes, line spacing and line width, and width of the upper and lower circuit layer, with multiple inspection equipment.

The complexity of the inspection further increases when the range of projects intensifies, and the set of inspection requirements varies from one to another. The need to switch between multiple measuring equipment was identified to be highly inefficient and error-prone.

With this consideration in mind, Hexagon Optiv Performance 622HA was introduced to allow Xingsen to complete the entire measurement on a single setting, with a single optical measurement equipment, using single metrology inspection program.

Hexagon Optiv Performance 662HA is a high precision composite image measuring instrument capable of achieving a measurement accuracy of 1.0 μm. It is equipped with Hexagon’s 2-step-zoom dual CCD technology, which allow product images to be enlarged and reduced based on the conversion of optical path, without the need of mechanical zooming. 

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Hexagon: Time-Saving And Productivity Enhancements In Latest VISI

Hexagon: Time-Saving And Productivity Enhancements In Latest VISI

A raft of new and enhanced functionality features in VISI 2021 – the latest release of Hexagon’s specialist mould and die CAD/CAM software.

CAD:

CAD analysis benefits from a new function which improves the suite of analysis shading modes. Draft Analysis has been added to the existing Undercut and Accessibility shading, performing an on-the-fly analysis of the draft angle. This uses the same technique as in the undercut mode, but extended to more ranges. The colours and angular value of each range can be changed by simply clicking on the colours or numeric labels on the graphics toolbar.

Repair functions used in the Repair Invalid Faces of Bodies command are now integrated in the Validate command. It is now also possible to zoom in on any potential issues using the Auto Zoom function.

Developments to the CAD Reverse module enhance the Reverse and Casting processes. VISI Product Owner Marco Cattaneo explains that the scanning operation has been improved with the shaded view, giving better and faster feedback.

With Point Scanning, the shaded point cloud is now shown during the scanning operation, giving the operator an immediate view of what has been correctly scanned, and if anything is missing.

An additional option has been added to automatically create a mesh as a scanning result, which he says is particularly valuable when a quicker, rather than detailed, result is needed.

Enhancements to probing during the Reverse process now detect the correct diameter of the part in relation to the position of the probed points. A Circle/Slot probing feature has been added for probing and designing a circle or slot, giving several options to guarantee the probed element is the correct size and in the correct position.

MOULD – Body to Mould

Additional options to existing commands, along with new items of functionality, make part position management considerably easier.

With Body to Mould, there is a new option to select multiple elements, including solids and surfaces, and move the selected bodies to the mould position. During the part positioning, ‘non-uniform scaling values’ can now be defined by the user, and the system automatically sets the relative shrinkage data in a special Assembly Manager field (Bill of Materials).

With Mould to Body, the system allows multiple element to be selected, including solids and surfaces, and to move the complete mould back into Body position. “This will be valuable for operators using CMM to check tools in the body position. When they select the part to move back, they get an option to select multiple elements to go with the tool back to Body position,” says Marco Cattaneo.

PROGRESS – Part Unfolding

To provide a powerful and complete solution to this new unfolding approach, additional features have been included for flanges and non-linear bends.  The Part Definition feature has been improved, giving better and faster part analysis, identifying the different face types, defining material, and setting linear bends unfolding. Different colours can be set, relating to different neutral fibre values, giving quick identification for unfolded linear bends and fibre value.

A new feature manages flange unfolding on the analysed part, and shows the result in preview mode, so the operator can evaluate the result and set different parameters, while preserving the link with the original part. This automatically recalculates the flanged part, meaning all linked parts can then be rebuilt in reference to a modification on the original.

CAM Simulation

An interface with Hexagon’s G-code simulator, NCSIMUL Advanced comes as a cost option in VISI 2021. Marco Cattaneo explains that NCSIMUL manages the complete machining process from the NC program to the machined part.

 

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Hexagon Enhances Portfolio For CMM With Swift-Fix Chucks

Hexagon Enhances Portfolio For CMM With Swift-Fix Chucks

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched new high-quality chucks to enhance the measurement of cylindrical and rotationally symmetrical parts, one of the most common tasks undertaken on coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

Hexagon’s Swift-Fix Chucks are designed to hold pieces in place with the help of either three or six jaws to ensure the best possible accessibility to the part. The highly accurate, self-centring and repeatable Swift-fix Chucks deploy consistent forces on all jaws and help users achieve the highest levels of precision and quality in the measurement process. A large and easy-to-handle adjustment range mean parts with various diameters can be mounted quickly. Depending on the application, parts can be held on the inner or outer diameter.

All three-jaw chucks contain jaws for inner and outer clamping to ensure the best possible positioning across a full range of applications. Six-jaw chucks are equipped with different position and stop pins, so that the clamping can be flexibly adjusted to changing applications.

Swift-Fix Chucks are manufactured from stainless steel or aluminium with additional ALTEF coating, making them completely resistant to corrosion, wear and scratches. In addition, all clamping jaws are vacuum hardened and polished. Hexagon’s choice of materials and attention to quality mean all chucks are easy to maintain and retain their high levels of precision and repeatability during long term use.

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Large-Scale Metrology For Oil Industry Production

Large-Scale Metrology For Oil Industry Production

Introduction of dedicated metrology tools brings quality and efficiency improvements in large-scale subsea structure construction. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

Situated approximately 15 km south of Singapore in a free-trade-zone on Batam Island, Profab has for 20 years been building a reputation as a leading producer of large-scale parts for the global oil industry. A part of National Oilwell Varco since 2015, the company manufactures everything from subsea structures, turrets and wellhead platforms to mooring systems and pressure vessels.

This level of large-scale construction involves a host of complex industrial processes, including rolling, cutting, assembly, welding, cladding and weld overlay, post-weld heat treatment, painting and coating, loadout support, hydrostatic testing, fitting, packing and sea fastening.

Ensuring client projects are completed properly at the first attempt is a core goal at Profab, requiring the employment of the latest technology and equipment and a highly trained team. Their 27,500 square metre workshop was purpose-designed to provide the most efficient fabrication lines by minimising handling interference within the production process. Profab can handle the production of equipment weighing in at up to 4,000 tons, which can be loaded out directly onto barges via a roll-on-roll-off system using self-propelled modular transporter trailers.

Focus on Accuracy

The manufacture of pressure vessels and mooring systems are key areas where accuracy is becoming more and more critical for Profab. A key example of this was in the creation of the Sergipe floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), where precisely measuring the angles, position and length of the umbilical support structure was of great importance, with measurement essential in the reporting and positioning of adaptor plates.

The accuracy requirements for such tasks are at the submillimetre level for the machined parts, which was beyond the capabilities of the quality assurance equipment previously employed in Batam. It was clear that something more was needed to satisfy these requirements.

“We did consider a high-definition surveying system, but with accuracy at just about 2 to 3 mm, such a solution was just not workable for us,” said Rajesh Moehamad, Quality Control Manager at Profab. “Some of our customers require better accuracy than this, even for very big parts.”

After consultation with a Hexagon representative, it was clear that the Leica Absolute Tracker AT403 delivered a range of features and capabilities that perfectly aligned with Profab’s production needs in Batam.

To continue reading this article, which appeared in the April 2020 issue of Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, click here!

 

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Hexagon WORKPLAN 2021: Enhancing Automation In The Sheet Metal Market

Hexagon WORKPLAN 2021: Enhancing Automation In The Sheet Metal Market

Hexagon has launched its WORKPLAN 2021, which enhances automation and flexibility to further cement its integration into the sheet metal market.

“Industry 4.0, or Smart Manufacturing, isn’t just a goal for large manufacturers. We have more and more small companies turning to us, wanting a complete digital chain integrating specifications, and automating production management directly ingrated with their RADAN CAM solution, allowing them to get realtime views of their current workload, business profitability analysis, and full inventory control – all connected to their existing accounting system,” said Product Manager Christophe Mas.

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A solution which was originally dedicated to mould makers, WORKPLAN, from Hexagon’s production software portfolio, has been able to mix a single database with multiple business requirements such as tools, sheet metal, prototyping, and mechanics.

“This means it shares new functions developed specifically for niche markets but which have now become real assets for all customers in many industrial sectors.”

Continuous improvement for sheet metal world

Initially used as a business calculator for sheet metal quotes, RADAN’s quoting module, Radquote, connects seamlessly with WORKPLAN, and now updates projects using referenced components present in a bill of material, optimising the price for the project.

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Activity Basket Group

Enhancements to the activity basket, which was launched in WORKPLAN 2020.0, make it possible to automatically create all baskets for the same project in just a few click, or from a nest with a simple drag and drop. And the activity baskets can now be controlled via the barcode system with specific manufacturing ranges, or via touch screens.

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“This revolutionises the management of time tracking, and promotes automation and flexibility in the workshop. It also simplifies the management of assembly activities, heat treatment and finishing operations.”

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation

A new set of measures has been introduced to guarantee maximum protection for storing  both customer and employee data. “We have also implemented best practice guidelines related to the fundamental rights of GDPR such as consent management, right to be forgotten, right to change, and data portability.”

READ: Hexagon Touch Probe Transforms Thickness Measurement on Machine Tools

The WORKPLAN will continue to integrate into all Hexagon solutions, with more and more projects in preparation, in order to be an increasingly essential part of the full digital chain.

“Our objective is no longer just to propose a production management solution, but to implement the solution dedicated to our customers’ needs, connected to their CAD/CAM tools,” said Christophe Mas.

 

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