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Hypertherm Introduces New Consumable Kits For XPR Cutting Systems

Hypertherm Introduces New Consumable Kits For XPR Cutting Systems

Hypertherm is shipping consumable kits for its XPR X-Definition Plasma systems. These new consumable starter kits are available with or without a torch for mild steel and non-ferrous cutting applications. The kits include a variety of consumables to allow for cutting at different amperages, using all of the gas process types supported by the XPR170 and XPR300 systems.

The consumables contain several patent pending technologies to improve consumable life and cut quality. Examples include Cool nozzle and Arc response technology, the latter of which protects consumables from the negative impact of ramp down errors, a regular occurrence in real-life cutting. By reducing the impact of ramp down errors, XPR consumables can last up to three times longer than those on older generation systems.

In addition, XPR consumables are designed with ease of use in mind. An EasyConnect feature allows operators to quickly plug the torch lead into the torch connect console without the use of tools, while a patent pending QuickLock electrode delivers easy quarter turn tightening to further reduce setup time. Another new design feature is a quick-change torch that enables an operator to rapidly change torches with just one hand.

“Whether you are cutting mild steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, these new starter kits will make it easy for XPR customers to get all of the consumables they need in one convenient kit,” said Martin Geheran, product manager for plasma torches and consumables. “We think customers will also enjoy the convenience of the kits that come with a torch as it will give them the option of having a second torch, or even multiple torches, pre-loaded with consumables for even faster change-outs.”

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MASI Soars With Hypertherm’s X-Definition Plasma System

MASI Soars With Hypertherm’s X-Definition Plasma System

Air travel has come a long way since the days of the Wright Brothers. Raising standards for aviation safety is a paramount concern globally with more than 100,000 flights taking to the sky daily, and proper servicing and maintenance play a critical role in ensuring the safety of crew and passengers. One such company that makes certain proper servicing equipment and maintenance facility on aircrafts can be carried out smoothly is Muhibbah Airline Support Industries Sdn. Bhd. (MASI).

Headquartered in Selangor, Malaysia, MASI manufactures a variety of products for the aviation services sector, including maintenance docking systems, aerobridges, and aircraft parking guidance systems. A subsidiary of Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd., the first company in Malaysia to achieve ISO 9002 certification in the construction sector, MASI places strong emphasis on quality and safety in every aspect of its operations.

A Versatile And Efficient Solution For Quality Production

MASI’s strength lies in the design and construction of a full range of aircraft maintenance docking systems. These systems are specialised platforms positioned around the aircraft to allow maintenance personnel to access all areas of an aircraft, providing an efficient and safe working environment. An effective aircraft maintenance docking system enables the maintenance team to perform their jobs better, which then assures people of aircraft functions and safety.

The team at MASI had a good grasp of the aviation industry’s needs, and its innovative systems featured state-of-the art functions. To bring them to fruition, the company found the need to invest in a cutting technology that is capable of producing high-quality cut parts at fast speeds, yet require little or no post-production processes. The company decided on Hypertherm’s X-definition plasma cutting system, the XPR300, which would allow them to boost production processes significantly without compromising on quality.

The XPR300 features the latest X-Definition plasma technology which improves its ability to tackle high-precision applications, surpassing the expectations of modern plasma cutting systems to produce high-quality cuts in the most cost-efficient manner on a myriad of metal types and thicknesses. In addition, the system boasts of Hypertherm’s True Hole technology that provides MASI with the ability to easily fabricate bolt ready holes down to a diameter-to-thickness ratio of 1:1. These advanced features of the XPR300 system addressed MASI’s requirements of a cutting solution that could handle a variety of plate thickness (ranging from 4 mm to 40 mm) and various types of shape and hole cutting, leading to improved consumable life, and reduction in production times and wastage in materials. This has allowed MASI to register between 10 to 20 percent in cost-savings – depending on material thickness.

Apart from the cutting-edge features on the XPR300, MASI was also won over by Hypertherm’s high level of service standards. From the early stages of decision-making through to after-sales assistance, the Hypertherm team offered timely response and their full support to address MASI’s every concern. Edward Wong, Technical Manager at MASI, shared, “The XPR300 system has proven to be stable and reliable so far – allowing us to improve our productivity and quality, and we expect that it will also eventually help us to reduce the manpower required in the production of parts for the various systems and equipment.”

The Future Of MASI And Hypertherm

On MASI’s plans to further improve their processes, Mr. Wong added that the company is looking to purchase more cutting machines, and also plans to explore more advanced solutions such as robotic plasma beam cutting lines. “Judging from the results we’ve seen so far, we’re optimistic that Hypertherm’s advanced cutting solutions will support our endeavour to improve the agility and profitability of our business. We also look forward to satisfying our customers with consistent and quality products that will allow their maintenance teams to perform their tasks well and ensure safe functioning of aircrafts,” added Mr. Wong.

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Hypertherm Introduces XPR Rotational Torch Sleeves For Bevel And Robotic Cutting Applications

Hypertherm Introduces XPR Rotational Torch Sleeves For Bevel and Robotic Cutting Applications

Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, is introducing three new torch sleeves for XPR plasma cutting torches and lead sets. The sleeves allow the torch and lead sets to remain axially fixed while the torch holding device rotates 360 degrees in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. This capability greatly enhances torch lead life in high-flex applications.

The new sleeves—available in short, medium, and extended lengths—are ideal for bevel or 3D/robotic cutting applications when using either an XPR170 or XPR300 X-Definition Plasma system. The sleeves include several engineering advances. An outside diameter of 76 mm (3”), allows for an increased wall thickness and eliminates compression caused by clamping. Pre-sealed, high precision bearings reduce axial play by 90 percent and radial play by 81 percent. This keeps out dirt and other particulates associated with plasma cutting and greatly extends the life of the sleeve and lead system.

When used with Hypertherm’s specialised robotic/bevel lead sets, the rotational sleeve will afford customers an especially robust industrial solution in applications requiring frequent rotational flexing when cutting with an XPR170 and XPR300, the only two X-Definition capable systems in the world. A combination of engineering advances and refined high definition plasma processes help X-Definition class plasma deliver unmatched plasma cut quality on mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Laboratory testing shows ISO-9013 Range 2 cut quality on thin mild steel and extended ISO Range 3 cuts on thicker metals.

Both X-Definition systems contain patent-pending processes like Vented Water Injection (VWI), plasma dampening, and Cool Nozzle technologies for squarer cut edges, markedly less angularity, and excellent surface finish on non-ferrous metals like aluminum and stainless steel. At the same time, the systems cut faster and use power more efficiently than earlier Hypertherm systems like the HyPerformance HPR260XD.

“Hypertherm is constantly working to advance the capability of our products by devoting extensive resources to research and development. By listening and incorporating feedback from our partners and customers, we are able to deliver products like our X-Definition Plasma and these new torch sleeves that help customers increase the efficiency of their cutting operation,” said Phil Parker, product manager for Hypertherm’s heavy industrial plasma products.

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Market Outlook 2019: An Insight Into This Year’s Industry Megatrends

Market Outlook 2019: An Insight Into This Year’s Industry Megatrends

In 2018, we witnessed the rise of Southeast Asia’s manufacturing industry as the Trade War pressured manufacturers into shifting production from China to Southeast Asia. A trend that is expected to continue on in 2019 as Southeast Asia continues to develop its manufacturing capabilities and uncertainties over a US-China truce continue to loom. Through this market outlook series, eight industry leaders share their thoughts on how the regional market will grow and develop in 2019 amidst the changing economic background and the increased presence of disruptive and intelligent technologies. 

  

Armin Kasper

Vice President, Asia-Pacific Area, MAPAL

2018 was a successful year for MAPAL and the company grew once again although growth in the Chinese market, which had previously been strong, flattened somewhat in the last quarter of 2018 due to factors such as punitive tariffs. For 2019, we have set a goal of generating a turnover of €650 million, and this will be achieved through free trade, the development of country specific expansions, the enhancement of digital capabilities and electric mobility machining capabilities.

Development Of Country Specific Expansions

For the companies under MAPAL Group in Southeast Asia, two new regional branches will be established in Indonesia where we are seeking to build a regional presence. While in the case of Malaysia, the country recently became our Southeast Asia production hub and has been equipped with a dedicated manufacturing facility. Additionally, we are actively investing in Malaysia and expansion is set to continue in Thailand too, where a new facility was established in 2017.

Enhancement Of Digital Capabilities

Digitalisation is a pressing issue globally, and in the face of increasing demands for efficient data management systems, we have identified this trend as a potential growth area. That was why we will be using 2019 to make further refinements to c-Com and to showcase the SaaS solution to interested parties as an open cloud platform for efficient data management.

MAPAL’s new tool management 4.0 is also based on c-Com. The interconnectivity that tool management 4.0 offers means that data can be provided consistently to all those involved – manufacturing, procurement, planning, tool managers and suppliers. That makes the overall process more efficient and digitalises tool management.

We also see great potential in our re-tooling service. Customers use this when they are setting up a new manufacturing facility for a part or re-tooling existing machinery to manufacture a new part, or when optimisations need to be made while production is running.

Electric Mobility Machining Capabilities

Alongside digitalisation, another significant trend at the moment is electric mobility and we have a diverse array of innovative machining solutions available for manufacturing the various parts within the different electric drives. The importance of the automotive industry is growing all the time, as is the number of vehicles being produced with electric drives.

 

Carsten Haecker

Head of igus Asia Pacific, igus Singapore Pte Ltd

The Asia Pacific region will remain as the growth driver for us in 2019 but we may see regional differences in development. This is due to uncertainties related to tariffs and trade, Brexit discussions and regional tensions may cause some interruption on a global scale. However, in terms of long term sustainability, the opportunities in Asia far outweigh the challenges and we will continue to invest into new markets or expand existing manufacturing facilities.

Combining Digitalisation With Industrial Development

The world is changing faster than ever before, new trends are coming up and past solutions may disappear. Artificial intelligence, complete process automation, remote monitoring of machine performance, intelligent robotics and driverless vehicles are some of the trends in which we see a potential in. The clear objective for us moving forward is to concretely implement automated processes that range from online configuration to digitally supported manufacturing for all product categories. This is a difficult path to take because ready-made solutions usually cannot be bought but have to be developed individually.

Additionally, IoT continues to drive development. And igus as an early adopter, has developed the intelligent cable, energy chain and linear guide which are able to monitor their own condition during use and open up new possibilities of predictive maintenance.

Additive Manufacturing And Low Cost Robotics

Additive manufacturing would be another key trend to mention, with 3D or SLS printing being good examples of the technology. Also, low cost robotics are another trend to watch out for in 2019 and the igus robolink modular robotic system is an example of this.

 

Israel Gonzalez

Asia Pacific Regional Director, Hypertherm

2018 marked Hypertherm’s 50th year and we have grown from a manufacturer of plasma systems to a global provider of cutting solutions. Moving forward, our continued investment in research and development is part of our efforts to bring more breakthrough technologies to the market, such as the recently released X-definition class plasma system.

In 2019, Asia Pacific will continue to be a promising region for the industry due to rapid population and economic growth, industrialization and business-friendly measures introduced by governments. Besides the major markets in Oceania and Japan, the rapidly growing industrial manufacturing sector in India and Southeast Asia are also expected to contribute significantly to the region’s economic growth.

Change In Business Models In The Metal Cutting Industry

The metal cutting industry will shift from a demand driven model to a more competition driven model, where the key driver is automation and customers are increasingly looking to reduce reliance on labour. In fact, automation will continue to be the biggest development in the metal cutting industry as manufacturers in the region continue to balance technology with capacity and competitive demands.

Industry 4.0 Innovations

IIoT will continue to shape the manufacturing industry in 2019. Rising technologies such as machines, robots and other equipment on a production floor will be able to communicate with each other and gather data in the cloud for analysis. And with the data, a manufacturer will have greater insights which allows for predictive analysis to occur. This aligns to the shift in the industry from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.

In the future, fluctuating raw material prices will also impact the industry and transformations within the manufacturing sector will also be further propelled by the rapid evolution of technology. To achieve growth targets in the coming year, manufacturers will increasingly see the need to prioritize investments in technology that will enable them to improve their business agility.

 

Terence Oh

Senior Vice President. EOS, Singapore

The additive manufacturing (AM) market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 27 percent between 2018 (USD 1.73 billion) and 2023 (USD 5.66 billion). In fact, AM in Asia Pacific is expected to have the highest CAGR due to the region having the fastest growth for the automotive and printed electronics sectors. This offers more opportunities for AM adoption in the manufacturing industry.

Decentralised, Distributed And Domestic Manufacturing Models

Rising protectionism and trade conflicts will increasingly push global supply chains towards decentralization and regionalization when it comes to manufacturing. And this, coupled with the digitalization of manufacturing and AM will serve as an enabler for distributed manufacturing. Businesses that adopt smart technologies like AM to 3D print parts and components will also be able to reduce production costs, processes, and time through part redesign and integration. This makes domestic manufacturing more practical than importing from abroad.

Continued Innovation And Adoption Of AM Across Industries

AM is reported to have a global economic impact of USD 250 billion by 2025 and the aerospace and defense industry is expected to continue leading AM adoption. Moreover, the global aerospace AM market is reportedly expected to register a CAGR close to 22.3 percent during the forecast period of 2018 to 2023.

In terms of the healthcare industry, AM adoption is expected to increase and with the aging population expected to rise, this trend is set to continue due to an expected increase in demand for personalized healthcare and treatments, as well as customized 3D-printed medical devices. For the automotive industry, AM’s ability to decrease production lead time, increase efficiency in logistics management, and ensure effective use of components/materials will result in its increased adoption. This trend is set to continue and the global automotive 3D printing market is predicted to be valued at over USD 8 billion by 2024. On the other hand, tooling and robotics are also expected to drive AM’s market share in APAC from 2018 to 2023.

 

Douglas Foo

President, Singapore Manufacturing Federation

The manufacturing industry in Asia is polarised into three categories – the “factories of the world”, the factories supplying to “factories of the world”, and the “middleman”, where most manufacturers in Asia are a part of. In Singapore, the industry is undergoing a two-part transformation – digitalisation and servitisation.

Due to Singapore’s relatively high labour cost compared to the region and talent shortage, the industry is also moving up the value chain and exploring the use of AI, IoT, robotics, automation and other digital tools to keep costs low and to increase productivity. Digitalisation itself is expected to quite significantly alter and remake the landscape of the industry.

Digitalisation Of Manufacturing And Supply Chains

To be digitalised is to implement these few technologies – additive manufacturing, AI, advanced manufacturing, blockchain, cloud computing, big data, e-commerce and future technologies (robotics, advanced automation, etc.).

Therefore, as manufacturing becomes increasingly digitalised, supply chain models must also become increasingly digitalised by implementing the above technologies. And this will lead to end-to-end integration. Furthermore, with this evolution of the supply chain model, shorter lead times, increased flexibility through real-time optimisation, increased efficiency and increased transparency and personalisation of services will be observed. A digitalised supply chain model is one in which processes are connected through a sensor network and managed through a central data hub and analytics engine.

Adopting The Right Technologies Amidst Economic Uncertainty

Due to the ongoing trade war, there is a fear that demand and investments will shrink. Protectionist attitude and interest rates are also on the rise. Thus, manufacturers can make use of technologies and innovate their business models to improve their productivity, efficiency and competency in order to overcome the adversities ahead. With the right technologies, the industry may even disrupt and affect other sectors, causing a ripple effect that could accelerate the advancement of businesses embracing Industry 4.0 sooner rather than later.

 

David Chia

Automation Charter Chair, The Singapore Industrial Automation Association Managing Director, Beckhoff

In 2019, at the mass market stage, enterprise digitisation will penetrate deeper into the manufacturing floor. This will cause enterprises to look towards obtaining data from as many machines and sensors as possible, which is a trend that has continued on from past years.

Overcoming The Barriers To Digitalisation

In order to digitalise more effectively, companies have more to gain from standardisation than competition. Currently, Germany is leading the effort to create common industry wide standards and they have done quite well as the VDMA is leading the machine standardisation for Germany. Countries in the ASEAN region may need to follow on their footsteps. Next, governments across the region should also help in funding digitisation initiatives and this is especially important for SMEs.

Finally, re-training and upskilling the workforce is needed. We are facing shortages in data engineers, data scientists, data analysts in the region and re-training and upskilling is especially important as older manufacturing jobs disappear and newer ones are created in their place.

The Importance Of Data Collection, ML And AR Technologies

On top of sending data over standardised communication protocol, companies will increasingly look towards getting standardised information from each machine type. This so called “information modelling” and is relevant to a production line today as there is hardly a “homogenous” production line containing the same machine model from the same manufacturer.

Another focus for the metalworking and CNC world will be the use of AR technologies. While still a cutting edge technology today, this technology holds a lot of promise from speeding up operators to training, to advancing maintenance work. At the bleeding edge, we are seeing an increasing trend of ML implementation directly on a premise or machine. While this is on early stages, we feel that this would be the internal focus of many bleeding edge suppliers moving forward.

 

Alex Teo

Managing Director and Vice President, Southeast Asia, Siemens PLM Software

The outlook in Asia Pacific continues to be favourable in 2019. With a dynamic economy and an extremely fast-growing internet population, Southeast Asian markets are good options for companies looking to diversify and add to their operations in China. Especially as rising labour costs and increasingly volatile market conditions in China cause more firms to relocate their production in order to spread out risk and gain access to new markets.

The Growth Of Mass Customisation Focused Technologies

The shift towards a knowledge-intensive economy in Southeast Asia is a by-product of the global movement towards a more individualized and personalized consumption economy. Therefore, the region is expected to transit from the age of mass-production, to one of mass-customisation which is a trend that has been highlighted at the ASEAN Summit. Due to this, we are expecting manufacturers to adopt and implement technologies such as cloud-based product lifecycle management solutions, as well as Digital Twin technologies, in order to be able to produce meet the level of rigour and scale that is required for mass-customisation.

The Development Of Disruptive And New Technologies

Disruptive technologies such as robotics, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, scanning technology and smart devices will persist and will be ubiquitous across the product value chain. In the case of additive manufacturing, markets such as Singapore, China and South Korea have already identified it as a growth potential and are actively investing in the technology to create high-end jobs and services.

Additionally, Dyson has also announced plans for its first electric car, to be built in a new automotive manufacturing facility in Singapore that is set for completion in 2020. The selection of Singapore as a site for this facility – which has not seen automotive manufacturing since Ford closed its factory 40 years ago – is a surprise for many. This investment which is part of Dyson’s USD 3.3 billion global investment drive in new technology, is a game changer for the electronics and heavy machinery industries in the region.

 

Ian Roberts

Regional Executive Director, UBM

In 2019, the ASEAN region will remain as an attractive area for investment. The ongoing trade war between China and the USA is creating problems and opportunities within the ASEAN region as although foreign investment companies are starting to relocate their manufacturing plants away from China, countries within ASEAN particularly Vietnam and Indonesia, are benefiting from the relocation of manufacturing plants into their countries.

The Rise Of Indonesia And Vietnam 

Most of UBM’s trade shows have continued to grow, particularly in Vietnam where there are numerous opportunities in both HCM and Hanoi. Currently, the biggest problem for the organisation of events in Vietnam is the size of the venues in both HCM and Hanoi which restricts UBM’s expansion plans. However, this also reinforces Vietnam’s position as UBM’s strongest market since 2018.

In Indonesia, the economic growth in the short term will be modest due to the Rupiah depreciation as we all as the impact of the upcoming presidential elections in April.  This will affect overseas investment as investors take a “wait and see” approach. Thus, investments will be halted for at least the first half of the year. For this reason, Indonesia is expected to rely on domestic consumption and household spending to drive the economy. However in the long term, Indonesia remains a strategic and lucrative market for investors as it continues to offer strong economic fundamentals to spur the growth of the middle class and fuel consumer spending which is a key driver of growth.

Growth Of Smart Factories And Smart Manufacturing In Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s main selling point can no longer be its low wages if it is to remain competitive. Implementation of new technologies are needed to help close the productivity gap. This means factories will need to integrate technologies such as robotics to maximise productivity, minimise human failure and prevent work-related accidents. Aside from that, companies could integrate AI and data analytics to make automation processes more intelligent and to improve efficiency.

A report by McKinsey & Company has highlighted that Southeast Asia needs to embrace Industry 4.0 to unlock its potential in manufacturing. Through this report, it is stated that disruptive technologies associated with Industry 4.0 would have an impact on productivity on a scale that is similar to the introduction of the steam engine had during the first Industrial Revolution. Globally, if the digital technologies of Industry 4.0 were to be embraced and integrated efficiently, it is forecasted that it could contribute between USD 1.2 trillion and USD 3.7 trillion in business profits. Meanwhile in ASEAN, the impact of Industry 4.0 could see productivity gains of between USD 216 billion to USD 627 billion.

 

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Norbert Seo

Senior Vice President, Market Division Asia & Australia, Bystronic Pte Ltd

2018 was one of the most successful years for Bystronic due to numerous product launches in the gold, silver and bronze segments of the market as well as international business expansions.

In 2019, the economy is uncertain because of market turmoil and currency slumps but sheet metal continues to have a wide application in industries that are set for growth such as the automotive, semiconductor and electronic industries. Additionally, governments across Asia are continuously building and developing infrastructure and new industrial areas which create indirect opportunities for the sheet metal fabrication market.

The Growth Of Automation

The industry is currently in the age of automation. This is because automation allows for shorter lead times, greater accuracy, higher quality and competitive pricing. In the field of laser cutting, automation makes it possible to process not only large series but also small batch sizes, while maintaining the flexibility that users require to always respond to changing order situations.

Implementation Of Networked Production

With automation drastically changing the outlook of the sheet metal industry, Bystronic is systematically driving forward the vision of “World Class Manufacturing”. This is based on a comprehensive range of new products and services with which Bystronic is gearing its users’ process landscape towards networked production. It features innovative solutions that go far beyond the conventional idea of a machine tool. It’s about fusing the individual processes relating to laser cutting and bending into a network of intelligent components.

 

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Hypertherm Adds New Features To Rotary Tube Pro Software With Version Update

Hypertherm Adds New Features To Rotary Tube Pro Software With Version Update

Hypertherm has announced a minor version update of the Rotary Tube Pro software that makes it easier to design and cut tube and pipe parts with no 3D CAD experience required.

The new minor version update includes a number of new features designed to speed the programming process. For example, automatic nesting is now standard, allowing software users to nest multiple quantities of the same part or different parts on stock tube. Users can add parts to the part list and build a stock list for nesting, maintain the seam orientation during nesting, add part spacing, and choose how the software selects stock.

Other new features include the ability to store multiple parts and nests, plus an advanced edit feature that allows uses to manually adjust preferences like the lead size and position, along with cut sequence. The software also includes features that allow users to pin commonly used lead styles to the top of the list for quick access and offers more powerful reports to better track nests and stock usage.

“Instead of moving tube and undertaking multiple steps—measuring, sawing, drilling, etc.—Rotary Tube Pro really streamlines the production process,” explained Tom Stillwell, a project manager for Hypertherm’s CAD/CAM software team. “And though it is already easy to use, the enhancements introduced with this minor update of Rotary Tube Pro make the process of programming and completing jobs even easier than before, giving fabricators and manufacturers the ability to work more efficiently, boost productivity, and reduce operating costs even further.”

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Insights On Why Plasma Is A Potential Viable Alternative To Laser Technologies

Insights On Why Plasma Is A Potential Viable Alternative To Laser Technologies

Laser is renowned for delivering excellent fine feature and hole cutting thanks to its narrow kerf – roughly 0.2 mm to 0.4 mm (008″–.015″) on mild steel with oxygen and even narrower when using nitrogen to cut mild steel up to 25 mm (1″) in thickness. Fibre laser also produces excellent cut angularity and can cut to very tight tolerances, in the range of 0.007″ (0.2 mm).

HYPERTHERM’S invention of high definition class cutting, along with continued advances in torch and consumable technology and the introduction of XD technology in 2008 are responsible for markedly improving the cut capabilities of plasma over the past two decades. And now a new class of plasma cutting, called X-Definition, is further enhancing plasma’s ability to tackle high precision applications. When installed on a high quality cutting machine and equipped with linear ways and elliptical racks, Hypertherm’s new XPR300 plasma system, featuring X-Definition cutting, is capable of maintaining ISO 9013 Class 1 and 2 tolerances and ISO 9013 Range 2 and 3 cut quality.

Furthermore, an XPR300 plasma system can deliver an edge surface finish that is generally smoother than fibre laser in the thicker ranges and has extremely consistent edge quality over the full life of a consumable set.

As plasma kerfs can range from 1.5 mm (0.05″) thickness on very thin metal and up to about 5 mm (0.225″) on 25 mm (1″) thick material at 300 amps, a laser system can actually be the best option if extremely fine feature cutting or small holes (with a less than 1:1 thickness to diameter ratio) are required. But, if high quality perimeter cuts are called for, and tolerances in the range of 0.020″ are acceptable, the higher cut speeds associated with plasma, especially when cutting material thicker than 10 mm (3/8″), could make plasma a better option. At this thickness, for example, a 170-amp plasma X-Definition process would deliver high quality cuts at speeds two times faster than a 4kW fibre laser using oxygen.

In addition, Hypertherm’s invention of the True Hole process for mild steel in 2008 and further refined with the launch of the XPR300 provides users with the ability to easily fabricate bolt ready holes down to a diameter-to-thickness ratio of 1:1.

Another application which may favour plasma is bevel cutting. Especially with the advent of True Bevel technology, it has become much more feasible to cost-effectively bevel cut right on the cutting machine and eliminate secondary operations. And, because cutting bevel angles increases the effective thickness of the plate being cut, plasma can have a significant advantage.

In addition, it is important to consider the initial investment cost associated with an X-Definition plasma system as compared to laser. A complete XPR300 plasma system mounted on a high quality cutting machine and capable of cutting 25 mm (1″) at speeds of more than 1,900 mm/min (75 ipm) would likely cost somewhere between US$175,000 and US$225,000. A comparable laser system can easily cost three to four times more depending on the power level.

Beyond this, plasma is a much more forgiving process when it comes to cutting so called “dirty” steel such as plate with oxidation and other imperfections. It really makes no difference to the plasma arc. This is not true, however, with fibre laser. Lastly, while plasma does require personal safety devices for noise and glare protection, fibre laser systems require the construction of a safety enclosure around the entire system to protect from the potential harm of the fibre laser beam.

Article contributed by Hypertherm.

Hypertherm Launches Venture Capital Arm For Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Hypertherm Launches Venture Capital Arm For Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Hypertherm, has announced the formation of Hypertherm Ventures, a new corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, to foster greater interaction with the technology venture community.

Encompassed by a goal of helping advanced manufacturing deliver positive change to the world, Hypertherm Ventures is seeking partnerships with universities, startups, entrepreneurs, and early stage companies to commercialise advanced manufacturing technologies in strategic interest areas. Those areas include industrial cutting, welding, and thermal processing; robotics and automation; machine learning and augmented intelligence; industrial Internet of Things; additive manufacturing /3D printing and nanotechnology.

“Just as we began 50 years ago with an invention that made plasma cutting commercially viable for the first time ever, we look forward to supporting other entrepreneurs as they work to bring their inventions to life,” said Nathan Pascarella, Hypertherm Ventures’ business development manager. “If you are an entrepreneur or leading an early stage company in advanced manufacturing within our strategic interest areas, Hypertherm Ventures would love to hear more about you and your business.”

Hypertherm believes its experienced leadership team, combined with a wide range of advanced manufacturing process experts proficient in lean, Six-Sigma, and similar methodologies will benefit entrepreneurs and early stage companies. In addition, Hypertherm can support venture partners through its expertise with advanced technology development, engineering, complex supply chain management, global service and distribution networks, as well as a track record of marketing and selling new products.

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EuroBLECH 2018: Hypertherm Launches Two Metal Cutting Innovations

EuroBLECH 2018: Hypertherm Launches Two Metal Cutting Innovations

Hypertherm has introduced two new systems at EuroBLECH 2018. These systems are the XPR170, which joins the XPR300 as the only two X-Definition capable systems in the world and the industry’s first predictive maintenance waterjet pumps, called HyPrecision Predictive, which is capable of substantially reducing maintenance costs and disruptions caused by non-planned service.

A combination of engineering advances and refined high definition plasma processes help the XPR170 with X-Definition class plasma deliver unmatched plasma cut quality on thin to mid-range thickness metal. The cut quality advances are especially notable on non-ferrous metals like aluminum and stainless steel because of numerous patent-pending processes that create squarer cut edges, markedly less angularity, and excellent surface finish. At the same time, the system cuts faster and uses power more efficiently than earlier generation systems. Consumable life and cut quality over the life of the consumables are also able to benefit from a dramatic boost thanks to patent-pending technology that protects consumables from the negative impact of ramp down errors, helping XPR consumables last up to three times longer.

“We’ve enjoyed changing peoples’ perceptions of plasma since the introduction of the XPR300 with X-Definition plasma a year and a half ago,” said Phil Parker, product Marketing Manager for Hypertherm’s Heavy Industrial line of plasma systems. “Even experienced fabricators are surprised by the precision they are seeing, and we have seen more than a few instances where fabricators have adopted XPR plasma with its lower initial investment cost, instead of laser.”

The company’s new generation of waterjet pumps, called the HyPrecision Predictive, are equipped with features such as Hypertherm’s proven Advanced Intensifier Technology and new patented technologies that adjust for pressure and temperature, oil viscosity, and hydraulic system wear parts, along with technology that enables customers to use seals up to 40 percent longer. In addition to technologies to increase performance and reduce system downtime, HyPrecision Predictive pumps are designed with ease of service in mind. Features such as a color-coded junction box, electrical cable harnesses, quick-disconnect fittings, and an easy access bleed-down valve all make maintenance faster and less expensive. Safety is also considered. A clear window cover lets the operator see the intensifier and attenuator. Optional electrical interlocks prevent unauthorised access and can automatically stop the pump when opened. Finally, Seal Maintenance Technology  helps keep the top deck and shop floor free of oil and water.

“In engineering this system, we worked to really understand the pain points that companies using waterjet face. Without question, the number one issue was surprise system downtime,” explains John Caron, waterjet product Marketing Manager. “Our new HyPrecision Predictive systems are engineered to eliminate that pain point, while delivering increased productivity and performance, improved serviceability and safety, and lower maintenance costs.”

In addition to EuroBLECH, Hypertherm will showcase both systems at this year’s FABTECH which takes place early next month in Atlanta. People interested in learning more can also contact any authorized OEM or visit www.hypertherm.com.

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Hypertherm ProNest 2019

Hypertherm ProNest 2019

Hypertherm has released ProNest 2019, a major version update of its advanced CAD/CAM nesting software for automated cutting.

New features include raster to vector conversion to quickly convert .jpeg and similar images into CAD files for cutting. It offers fly cutting for faster laser cutting on thin material, and the ability to pierce without slowing down or stopping the cutting head. Design2Fab 6 integration allows customers cutting sheet metal can access fittings directly from ProNest. It has drag rotation for faster manual nesting and even better plate utilization, especially when nesting around the contours of larger parts.

Highlights of this release include:

  • Raster to vector for importing static image files and converting to CAD – watch sample video
  • Fly cutting for faster motion in laser cutting applications
  • Design2Fab® 6 integration with ProNest
  • Smart drag for easier manual nesting – watch sample video
  • Ignore leads in cases where the lead size is insignificant and should not affect the spacing between parts
Hypertherm Appoints Shin Han Yi As Exclusive Master Distributor In Taiwan For Powermax Handheld Plasma Systems

Hypertherm Appoints Shin Han Yi as Exclusive Master Distributor in Taiwan for Powermax Handheld Plasma Systems

SINGAPORE: Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of industrial cutting systems and software, is pleased to announce the appointment of Shin Han Yi Co., Ltd. as the exclusive master distributor in Taiwan for its Powermax handheld plasma systems with immediate effect. This partnership is part of Hypertherm’s strategic move to provide better support for customers in Taiwan, and to expand its reach across the Taiwan market.

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