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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Join Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson on 16 April 2020 for a webinaron how 5G will support Industry 4.0 deployments.
Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs, Smart Factory, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, Erik Josefsson, Vice President, Head of Advanced Industries, Ericsson and Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Project Manager, Smart Factory, Ericsson, will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector. The event will be moderated by Brett Brune, Editor in Chief of Smart Manufacturing magazine.
Ignacio Blanco, Product Marketing Manager, Smart Factory Solutions Hexagon, says: “Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data with reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks. As a result, manufacturers will be able to connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
The webinar will be sponsored by Digital Engineering, a leading German-language construction and engineering trade magazine; Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), one of the most authoritative metalworking magazines in the region; Smart Manufacturing, a principal industry voice in the United States and The Manufacturer, a major UK publication that provides news and promotes best practice in the manufacturing industry.
5G and Industry 4.0 in a nutshell
Smart Wireless Manufacturing
Strategic business-driven decisions
IoT and Industry connectivity
Register to join the webinar on 16 April 2020 at a choice of different times.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is offering a range of free offline licensing and remote access options designed to enable efficient home working for manufacturing professionals facing new productivity challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Home working options will be provided for Hexagon’s production software and metrology software offerings, as well as the MSC Software range of CAE solutions, at least until 30 June 2020. Manufacturers running metrology equipment in factories can remotely monitor and analyse how key assets are performing for free with HxGN SFx | Asset Management. Users will also have access to additional online learning resources.
“The purpose of our smart manufacturing solutions is to improve quality and productivity and this challenge is especially acute during this time of extensive home working” said Paolo Guglielmini, President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “So, to support the industries we serve, we’re offering special access to our software and learning tools for both current customers and non-customers who can benefit from our technology.”
“Like many businesses in the manufacturing sector, we have many employees working from home at the moment and we appreciate that giving them the right tools to work remotely is essential to their wellbeing and success. By offering learning and remote working solutions I hope we can contribute to maintaining productivity and quality while keeping employees in manufacturing safe.”
Details on how to access the home working packages can be found at www.hexagonmi.com/wahs. The offering will include:
Extension of licences for work-from-home support or alternative access options for MSC Software CAE solutions
Licence move, remote access or additional temporary home office licences for Hexagon’s CAD CAM software
Free offline licences of the latest versions of PC-DMIS and other leading metrology software
Free remote machine monitoring via the HxGN SFx | Asset Management asset performance management solution
Free access to online learning for Hexagon’s metrology and MSC Software solutions
Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson, in media partnership with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), will be holding a webinar on 16 April 2020 on how 5G supports Industry 4.0 deployments.
Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data for our customers.
Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Industrial Ecosystem Manager, and Erik Josefsson, Vice President and Head of Advanced Industries at Ericsson, and Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector.
Sachin Mathur says: “We’re excited to be partnering with Ericsson on helping our customers create manufacturing operations that are smarter, more flexible and more productive. Digital transformation depends on secure data exchange. With reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks our customers can connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
A greater focus on energy efficiency and an accelerating shift towards electrification brings new engineering challenges that require increased use of simulation tools earlier in the design lifecycle. Romax Technology brings more than 30 years of experience in electromechanical simulation and multi-physics design optimisation.
The cloud-enabled MBSE (model-based systems engineering) platform, Romax Nexus, provides a complete workflow for designing, simulating and delivering the next generation of energy efficient drive and power generation systems, enabling engineers to collaborate and optimise electrical and mechanical design simultaneously. By simulating the operation of the entire system – engine, gears, bearings and housings – the efficiency of automobile, aerospace and wind turbine powertrains can be optimised, and the battery range of electric vehicles can be increased.
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is the battle against climate change and the need to reduce GHG emissions. The acquisition of Romax Technology enables us to meet the growing need for electrification, providing our customers with integrated tools that empower engineering teams to develop the next generation of energy-efficient electric vehicles,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén.
“Electrification is a growing trend in automotive and aerospace but also presents new opportunities for Hexagon in the development of renewable energy systems.”
Real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness. Here’s how the metalworking sector, through advances in metrology solutions, can create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
In today’s business climate, it is of paramount importance to reach consistently high levels of productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness.
For this reason, metalworking companies are harnessing new data-driven technologies to enhance and automate their design, production and inspection processes. And the change is taking place beyond sectors that are traditionally highly sensitive to quality, such as aerospace and automotive.
As today’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and their associated sensors and software become much faster and more sophisticated at collecting and exchanging accurate inspection data, real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness.
Many manufacturers have already equipped their CMMs with multisensor technology that allows them to perform contact and optical non-contact inspection interchangeably, while quickly and efficiently capturing data that can be checked for accuracy against original CAD data.
Measurement data collection and analysis is supported by the Q-DAS statistical analysis software, which can be used to visualise measurement data in real-time and monitor them statistically. Q-DAS’s statistical process control (SPC) function systematically informs the CMM operator of any violations of SPC alarm criteria, enabling operators to take corrective action in the manufacturing process before generating expensive scrap. At the same time the software’s high flexibility allows users to adapt the recording and visualisation of data to specific tasks.
Using Real-time Analysis to Improve Performance
But now, manufacturers are going a step further to increase their productivity by addressing the challenges of improving machine utilisation, throughput and uptime. This is leading them to adopt asset management solutions, such as the HxGN SFx Asset Management software, to monitor the status of one or several CMMs in real-time. The growing use of asset management software is partly due to greater automation, which requires operators and managers to keep a close check on the performance of unattended machines. By using asset management to efficiently monitor the status of CMMs remotely, manufacturers can maximise machine usage.
Asset management can help the metalworking sector raise productivity across multiple applications, such as the measurement of rotor or stator lamination stacks. Rotor or stator lamination stacks are composed of individual electrical steel laminations and are typically inspected in pallets using image-processing (vision) sensors. Hexagon’s OPTIV multisensor and optical CMMs come equipped with a vision sensor as a standard and are commonly used to simplify the measurement of large or palletised flat parts such as rotor or stator laminations close to the shop floor. Equipped with handle workpiece palletising, the Hexagon OPTIV enables a fast and automated inspection process, even for large batches of small serial parts such as clutch discs and fine-blanked parts.
Because speed and accuracy are of the essence when inspecting rotor or stator lamination stacks, operators often need to manage multiple CMMs that are running pallet measurement routines unattended.
The OPTIV’s extended measurement range enables prepared interchangeable pallets to be supplied semi-automatically by a palletising robot, reducing standstill times and increasing inspection throughput.
Hexagon’s Inspect software, meanwhile, makes it simple for operators to set up one pallet and then prepare and launch the next on a separate CMM. Asset management software offers a simple dashboard view of machine availability, which allows operators to save additional time by identifying which CMM has spare capacity.
The right asset management tool also helps manufacturers optimise maintenance schedules and plan for a more efficient use of manufacturing resources. As a result, quality departments can shift from managing assets as a cost centre to creating value by optimising equipment profitability.
If, for example, a manufacturer needs to increase production to fulfil new orders for a customer, information from asset management systems makes it easy to identify where spare inspection capacity lies either locally or at another site.
Raising Your Equipment’s Overall Effectiveness
Successful asset management, however, depends on having instant access to actionable insights. Notifications about the performance and status of metrology assets, for example, need to be available in real-time. And all alerts should be readily customisable so that operators and managers receive the information that is pertinent to their role and in a format that is easy to access, understand and use.
For this reason, Hexagon has ensured its HxGN SFx Asset Management platform provides a simple, accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing via a centralised, user-friendly dashboard. It works equally well whether the machines being monitored are on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. And in addition to a having a dashboard view of each CMM’s uptime and downtime, it’s possible for operators to see how each machine is being used, all while working remotely on a mobile phone or a PC.
Having real-time insight into CMM performance not only enables operators and managers to schedule work efficiently and respond immediately to operator errors. They can also use data analysis to understand and manage the productivity of their assets over the long term and to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) either for a single CMM or for several CMMs, across multiple sites and over various periods of time. OEE is calculated using data for quality, which is based on a CMM’s success in completing measurement processes during the scheduled time, performance and availability. Gaining a thorough understanding of a CMM’s OEE makes it easier for manufacturers to reduce spending on maintenance while achieving better overall performance and efficiency.
Getting the Right Data with Versatile, Multisensor Systems
Any analysis is only as good as the data it relies on, which is why Hexagon is investing in ensuring all its systems deliver accurate, real-time, relevant data to where it is most needed. The HxGN SFx Asset Management solution is an important part of this strategy, but it is not the only element.
When it comes to inspection, the choice of CMM, sensors and supporting software for a given application clearly plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and quantity of data that manufacturers gather, and at what speed.
Multisensor CMMs have grown popular because of their versatility when capturing data at the varying levels of detail and speed required by different applications and materials.
Having the Vision to Improve Processes
Vision sensors remain a key inspection tool in the metalworking sector because they are adept at quickly and automatically measuring large volumes of intricate metal parts. Designed to capture surface detail swiftly, vision systems are particularly useful when dealing with high production rates.
A vision sensor with a high-resolution digital CMOS colour camera and a programmable motorised zoom lens, for example, can offer variable illumination in the form of a coaxial LED top light, LED back light and multi-segment LED ring light to provide high contrast illumination of complex surfaces and edges, all while quickly capturing data that informs the entire manufacturing process. Hexagon further enhanced vision sensor speed and performances when it launched a Large Field Of View vision sensor for its OPTIV CMMs. The new vision sensor provided a field of view that is approximately four times larger than the standard vision sensor on today’s OPTIV CMMs.
When it comes to using multisensor systems to measure metal workpieces, Hexagon’s OPTIV Dual Z helps increases batch measurement throughput by enabling optical and tactile sensors operating in restricted measuring volumes to automatically reach more measuring positions within a single measurement cycle.
Whether a manufacturer’s applications best suit a vision sensor, a laser sensor or a touch probe, Hexagon is focused on providing data-based solutions that easily integrate with existing and future systems to create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy.
Manufacturers’ analogue business processes are being converted into digital-focused “web shops,” based on the leading sheet metal software, RADAN.
RADAN’s German reseller, 3D Concepts, who are renowned for their innovative CAD/CAM solutions, have worked with a number of their customers to analyse the digital change philosophy of Industry 4.0, and developed individual concepts.
Thomas Menholz, from 3D Concepts, says digital building blocks such as CAD/CAM, MES, MRP and ERP can all come together in SQL-based systems to form data-driven Smart factories. “Every company needs to find its own unique path on the basis of a dedicated digitalisation strategy.
“An important aspect of the digital trend is the introduction of a web shop for the procurement of sheet metal parts, where customers can request components online, be provided with an offer, and place the order. Web shops operate autonomously, and are accessible 24 hours a day.”
As an increasing number of products are being developed in 3D CAD systems, web shops are based on 3D sheet metal parts provided in STEP and other similar files, along with 2D cuts from files such as DXF format. “The digital twin is created as a forerunner to the real product which comes later. Also, it’s likely that 3D data will replace 2D data in future, and that will simplify the processing without the need for further queries.
“At the moment, additional queries prevent seamless process handling, which is why this paradigm shift is very welcome for many suppliers and contract manufacturers in the sheet metal industry.”
3D Concepts has recently implemented a web shop for Trio Metall und Design GmbH, in Luhe-Wildenau. Trio is a contract producer of sheet metal components, providing a complete service from consulting, designing and planning, through to manufacturing ‘ready-for-assembly’ components, ranging from single parts and small runs, to large quantities. Using latest laser technology, they also work with non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass and titanium.
The digital strategy began early last year, focused around digitising internal processes and creating a web shop, Trionline 24, for the procurement of sheet metal parts. “At the same time, we linked these new processes to their existing ERP system, and controlled their new laser machine tools with RADAN.”
Trio’s Key Account Manager Christian Weinberg says the web shop automates their quotation preparation, which was time consuming when carried out manually. “We’ve also noticed that larger inquiries, such as for complete welding assemblies, are now sent directly to us via the web shop, which led to us investing in RADAN’s offline quotation module, Radquote, for calculating complete assemblies. This almost halved the time taken in preparing quotes.”
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched Captura, an entry-level optical coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that offers an intuitive and cost-effective solution for multisensor measurement of small to medium parts.
Captura supports measurements using vision sensors, laser sensors and confocal sensors, and is designed to offer good price to performance ratio for the entry-level market. The basic machine is supplied with a vision sensor and can be expanded with additional sensors. The dynamic machine concept offers high positioning accuracy, fast measuring point acquisition, and high-performance vision capturing. Captura CMMs run the Metus metrology software, a Hexagon-developed package for 2.5D multisensor measurement. Metus has its roots Hexagon’s flagship PC-DMIS metrology software, and delivers the highest standard of precision measurement in an easy-to-use software package.
“Multisensor and optical CMMs are ideal for manufacturers who are working with very small or fragile parts, or with materials that can’t be measured with touch probes – for example in the electronics sector,” said Kah Khoon Goh, Business Development Director Asia-Pacific.
“As manufacturing in the Asia-Pacific region diversifies, we’re seeing more manufacturers selecting this kind of system. Together with the user-friendly Metus software, Captura has been designed to meet the specific requirements of entry-level users without compromising on overall performance.”
Taveesak Srisuntisuk of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence speaks about the metalworking trends and opportunities for growth in the Philippines. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, part of Hexagon AB, helps industrial manufacturers develop the disruptive technologies of today and the life-changing products of tomorrow. A leading provider of metrology and manufacturing solutions, Hexagon’s expertise in sensing, thinking and acting—the collection, analysis and active use of measurement data—gives its customers the confidence to increase production speed and accelerate productivity while enhancing product quality.
At the recent PDMEX 2019 event, Taveesak Srisuntisuk, General Manager of the AEC and Pacific Region for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, speaks about the metalworking trends and opportunities for growth in the Philippines.
Tell us about your activities in the Philippines.
Taveesak Srisuntisuk (TS): We are a provider of 3D measuring machines—all kinds of three-dimension measuring machines, not only the traditional CMM that uses tactile probes. We also have vision measuring machine, multisensor measuring machine, portable measuring arms with laser tracker, white light scanner systems, and so on.
We are in the quality control business, but we are more and more getting involved into manufacturing because we also have hardware for the machine tools, software for design, CAD/CAM, and so on. We can see that quality control still has a very good opportunity for improvement here. In other countries, we are already well known when it comes to quality. Quality also can increase productivity—and here, we can see the same direction.
Which industries here are you seeing strong growth?
TS: We have been in the Philippine market for many years. In fact, I have been taking care of the Philippine market since 2010. And yes, we see the market growing, but maybe not as much as its peers in Southeast Asia. There are a variety of industries here—mould and die, electronics, aerospace, and automotive. While we don’t see any specific industry that is growing rapidly at the moment, we can see growth especially in the mould and die, and electronics markets.
With the trade war happening between China and the United States, we are seeing some comments that the Philippines is also getting opportunities from Chinese investments here.
Are you seeing smart factory adoption in the Philippine metalworking industry?
TS: Not a lot of customers are mentioning these things. In Southeast Asia, the countries that talk more about smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0 are Singapore and Malaysia. But we definitely need to speak to the customers, we need to show them that Hexagon is one of the companies that are involved in this trend. All our devices support the smart factory trend.
How do you help customers move toward smarter manufacturing?
TS: We offer our customers smart solutions so that if they decided to do something tomorrow, their processes will be smarter. We always ensure that our software, hardware and products will help customers in transforming their production processes.
Tell us some of the products being highlighted here.
TS: Our devices can be integrated into a smart factory environment. We are showcasing our traditional CMMs, we have two CMMs here: one is with the scanning, and the other is with the traditional tactile probe. We have the portable measuring arm, a vision machine, as well as a new product, which we are showcasing here first time—the laser tracker with scanner.
How do you encourage small- and medium-sized job shops to adopt high-end solutions?
TS: Even if they are job shops, they are providing a service to somebody. And they have to ensure that their manufactured parts are good. The trend now is towards digitalization. Even the job shops, they can reduce a lot of work by investing not in high-end systems yet, but in entry level solutions.
However, in this market, you also have multinational companies such as Nidec Philippines, Hyundai Philippines, and so on. These are the companies that we are supporting in many countries as well. So, both customer sides—multinational companies and job shops—we are all supporting here in the Philippines.
What advice would you give customers when it comes to selecting measurement solutions?
TS: For the measuring machine, the most important is the accuracy they need. If they need more than 20 microns, they can use portable arm scanners. If they have a lot of work related to geometry, then maybe a CMM can help them. If there’s a lot of 3D, or CAD/CAM design and so on, a scanner solution would be the best.
We need to know their requirements—only then can we offer the right solutions for them. We have many kinds of 3D measuring machines to offer, but we have to know their applications, what they need, before we can ascertain the correct solutions.
Finally, what is your outlook for the metalworking industry next year?
TS: It’s very difficult to forecast because now, in Southeast Asia, even if we are becoming one community—AEC or ASEAN Economic Community—but we are still competing against each other. The governments are trying to showcase their benefits and bringing the foreign investments in their countries.
I can say that the Philippines is one of the markets we are seeing growth, especially now that the government is becoming more stable, leading to the market becoming more attractive for investments. We just hope that the country will really sustain its good growth.
MSC Software Corporation (MSC), a part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, is one of the leading providers of computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software and services. The company has released the MSC Apex Generative Design, a new design optimisation solution that improves quality through unparalleled automation of design processes with embedded manufacturing knowledge.
MSC Apex Generative Design aims to improve productivity by up to 80 percent compared to classic topology optimisation. The software produces a part design that is ready for additive manufacturing (DfAM) within a few hours—a fraction of time usually required—making reliable additive manufacturing more cost efficient and accessible.
In MSC Apex Generative Design, the designer only needs to specify the boundary conditions and design objective. Multiple lightweight design candidates that explore the possibilities of the design space will be produced that provide optimal stress distribution and minimize weight. This enhances the creative process, so designers have more time to optimise the product’s concept and integrate additional features that add value. The software’s intelligent smoothing technology ensures that every candidate has a perfect finish that is ready for print.
“New design freedoms in additive manufacturing require a new generation of software solutions that take full advantage of the new DfAM possibilities. We make the generative design process smarter by producing design candidates that both satisfy the engineering criteria and look as the designer intended when 3D printed,” said Dr. Thomas Reiher, Director of Generative Design at MSC Software.
Conventional topology optimisation workflows require manual work and multiple tools to achieve production-ready results, which can lead to information loss as data is converted. MSC Apex integrates all relevant steps within one CAE environment to improve productivity with a single user experience from design to additive manufacturing preparation.
The design process is workflow-oriented, providing easy and fast model setup from existing geometries or mesh in common CAD, STL, or MSC Nastran BDF formats. Designers can find optimized design candidates and perform design validation within the same CAE environment, simplifying the work process and reducing design iterations dramatically. The result is a fully integrated, automated optimization process in which compatibility for previous and subsequent operations plays a vital role. This unique capability implies the conversion from the CAE mesh to CAD with no manual reconstruction of geometry, considerably simplifying the work process for designers.
The MSC Apex Generative Design for Additive Manufacturing solution combines print-ready geometries with robust metal (Simufact) and polymer (Digimat) build process simulation from Hexagon’s additive manufacturing portfolio. Designers only generate part designs that can be successfully manufactured using their chosen material and print process to eliminate costly prototyping.