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Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Hendrie Viktor, Regional Director at ZEISS Southeast Asia regarding current trends in the manufacturing and metrology industry.

1) Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry in Asia?

In an attempt to soften the effects of globalisation, productivity and quality gain drives are most evident. Competing with neighbouring companies are no longer enough to secure one’s business interests. Through globalisation and commoditisation to some degree, the bar on price and quality has been raised exponentially. As a result, some manufacturing industries were adversely affected by consolidation. In my opinion, Asia in particular has been subjected to this harshly but responded well over the past decade—a great example are the quality gains on “Made in China” over the last few years. The relentless expectations on price competitiveness and quality standards has reached a point where traditional, incremental cost and quality gains are no longer enough and reaping the benefits of smart manufacturing or industry 4.0 is crucial.

2) To keep up with these manufacturing trends, what are the newest developments or technological advancements in ZEISS’s metrology solutions?

We address our customer’s ever-increasing productivity and quality requirements through solutions that enable manufacturers to inspect or measure faster and more frequently than before. Gone are the days of random sampling in a quality lab. In-process inspection and shop floor metrology have brought significant time savings and quality gains. Multi-purpose measuring instruments have replaced the need for multiple set-up’s, and workflow solutions have brought insights into manufacturing processes and quality that were previously unseen.

ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions has been and still is at the forefront of the inspection and dimensional metrology transformation and plan to keep it this way moving forward. We continue to make significant investments, at least 10 percent of our revenue, into R&D annually in order to continue to deliver market-shaping innovations.

3) With increasing digitalisation of the manufacturing sector, what are the main challenges faced by the metrology industry?

Firstly, the sudden shift can be overwhelming and we’ve seen countless processes being digitalised for the sake of it—with huge amounts of digital data being collected, but not put to good use. Determining where, when and how frequently digital data needs to be collected as well as how it will be put to valuable use is crucial but it remains a great challenge for many since skill shortages in the field of digitalisation exists. There is also data and platform incompatibility, or rather standardisation hurdles to overcome as suppliers mostly develop their own Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms. Lastly, data handling and security still deters many companies from taking that leap.

4) How do you think these challenges can be overcome?

Relevant education and continued learning will go a long way towards addressing hesitation and will help ensure digitalisation efforts pay off. I see the need for industry and universities or technical schools to work hand in hand. That will stimulate the need for faster adoption. Alliances between machine manufacturers can address platform and standardisation issues to unlock IIoT benefits. Such an example can be seen in the recently founded ADAMOS alliance, of which ZEISS is a founding member of.

5) Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next five to 10 years?

With the pace of today’s change, it would be difficult to even predict this with some degree of certainty. I think the value-add from productivity and quality gains through digitalisation and new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing is going to be tremendous that consolidation is going to happen on a much broader scale. I see low volume, high mix through flexible manufacturing becoming a norm and thus bringing manufacturing closer to the end user, further reducing non-value-added costs. This will call for a very different approach to metrology.

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Vietnam Supports Domestic Automotive Manufacturing

Vietnam Supports Domestic Automotive Manufacturing

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that development of the domestic automobile industry is necessary to achieve a self-reliant economy, during a meeting to discuss development of the country’s automotive sector. PM Phuc states that the government aims to increase localisation rate in automotive manufacturing and apply modern technologies during manufacturing processes as the industry moves towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Currently, more than 90 percent of car accessories and parts are supplied by foreign companies. The low localisation ratio and tax policies have resulted in high car prices which have hindered the development of the automotive industry. However, given the increase in income demographic and infrastructural improvements, the demand for cars are expected to rise. In fact, the automobile market is predicted to grow by 10 percent in 2019.

As such, the government will continue to revise institutional framework and work on favourable, long-term policies for automobile manufacturers and enable more local enterprises to participate in the automobile production chain.

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New Demands, New Solutions

New Demands, New Solutions

New tool holding products mirror modern metalworking demands. Article by Andrei Petrilin, Technical Manager, Rotating Tools, ISCAR.

In general, tool holding (tooling) equipment has not undergone any fundamental changes for a long time. Although there have been some notable advances such as the introduction of quick-change tooling in the 1970’s and the appearance of modular systems using polygon taper coupling and systems based on  HSK adaptation for high rotational speed in the 1990’s, tooling development seems to fit quite firmly into the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” category.

Toolholders act as an interface between cutting tool and machine, and they should both ensure proper clamping of the cutting tool and also be suitable for mounting in the fitted spindle or tool changer magazine of a machine tool. The metalworking industry has compulsory standards to strictly specify the matching surfaces for both these purposes. These standards define a wide range of existing tooling systems to meet different manufacturer requirements: simple holders for manual tool changing for conventional machines with hand control, precise high-grade-balanced adaptors for high-speed machining centres. This variety of tool holding arrangements provides the manufacturer with multifold options for effective tool holding, depending on production targets and available machinery. This is mainly why tool holders reached a certain level of excellence that did not require groundbreaking changes.

Today, modern tooling is evolving along with metalworking industry developments in the world of Industry 4.0 and its impact on state-of the-art manufacturing and new technological horizons. Manufacturing digitisation also plays an important part in the development of new tooling features.

Advances in high speed machining (HSM) exemplify the cause and effect of these changes. Implementation of new technologies in this important field has necessitated a new level of tool balancing to ensure tool holder performance and reliability in a significantly expanded range of rotational speeds, with the objective of improving strength, rigidity, accuracy and other technical parameters of the traditionally designed tool holders. High-efficiency milling of difficult-to-cut aerospace materials, like titanium alloys, have increased demands for durable tool holders working in hard conditions.

The effect of these developments can be observed by noting ISCAR’s introduction of a range of tool holding solutions. As one of the largest cutting tool manufacturers in the world, ISCAR is recognised as a strong supporter of constant product innovation.

Today the company offers a rich choice of arbors, holders, adaptors, blocks, thermal and power chucks etc. for effective tool clamping. Following industry demands, performance parameters for these parts have been tightened up significantly. For example, SHRINKIN thermal shrink chucks with HSK 100 shanks now feature G2.5 balance quality and a residual unbalance of less than 1.0 g/mm (.00139 oz/in) at 20,000 rpm, MAXIN 32 power chucks ensure clamping torque up to 1,760 N/m (1,300 lbf/ft), and FINEFIT radial and angular alignment tool holders for high speed reamers maintain radial and axial runout adjustment to 0.001 mm (.00004 in).

Clamping And Cooling

ISCAR recently launched a series of new tooling families that provide an effective pinpointed coolant supply. In many cases, like machining titanium or exotic high temperature superalloys (HTSA), which are common for the aerospace industry, cooling is a critical factor of success.

X-STREAM SHRINKIN is a family of thermal shrink chucks with coolant jet channels along the shank bore. The family utilises a patented design for holding tools with shank, made from cemented carbide, steel or high-speed steel (HSS). The new chucks combine the advantages of high-precision heat shrink clamping with coolant flow, directed to cutting edges. X-STREAM SHRINKIN has already shown excellent performance in milling aerospace parts, particularly titanium blades and blisks (bladed discs), and especially in high speed milling. In machining deep cavities, the efficient cooling provided by the new chucks substantially improves chip evacuation and diminishes chip re-cutting.

Turning

In turning, ISCAR has developed a new concept for high pressure coolant (HPC) supply for VDI DIN 69880 quick-change adaptation systems, intended for turning machine tools. The JETCUT concept is based on bottom-fed HPC channels and provides coolant supply internally through the tool and externally through the flange. The resulting cooling effect significantly improves performance in turning, grooving and parting applications.

A wet coolant can act as an excellent tool in a radically different field: increasing the rotational speed of a tool. ISCAR’s SPINJET family of coolant-driven high speed compact spindles for small diameter tools is a type of “booster” for upgrading existing machines to high speed performers . The SPINJET spindles are recommended for tools up to 7 mm (.275 in) in diameter, however the optimal diameter range is 0.5-4 mm (.020-.157 in). The “booster” demonstrates a highly impressive output: depending on pressure and coolant flow rate, the spindles maintain a rotational speed of up to 55,000 rpm. The versatile SPINJET products have been successfully integrated in tooling solutions for milling, drilling, thread milling, engraving, chamfering, deburring and even fine radial grinding.

Reaming

In reaming, floating chucks are used in high-precision hole making to correct any misalignment between the central axes of a reamer and a hole. Precise alignment is essential for optimal performance and hole accuracy. To this end, ISCAR added a new design of GFIS floating chucks for high speed reamers to the ER COLLET chuck family. The new chuck is unlike any other floating system in the market, due to the integration of a unique technology that ensures the system remains completely rigid until it reaches a steady state of reaming.

Matrix

The Industry 4.0 concept of data-driven smart manufacturing has had a direct impact on the entire chain of production, including the seemingly conservative field of tool holding. In a smart factory, production systems perform under the conditions of real-time mutual information exchange. ISCAR’s modern tool holders incorporate holes for RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips, which can be mounted according to customer request.  ISCAR’s MATRIX intelligent computerized tool storage unit reads the RFID chips and receives all necessary identification data from the tool holder.

These selected examples characterize the development of tool holding products. Despite a “conservative reputation”, the latest tool holding product innovations both reflect and reinforce the trends of metalworking today and beyond.

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Smart Sensors Are Bringing About A Paradigm Shift In Production

Smart Sensors Are Bringing About A Paradigm Shift In Production

The smart factory employs smart sensors to intelligently detect and process data to improve productivity. Article by Michael Kaspar, Product Manager For Photoelectric Sensors & Fibres, Sick.

Sensors that monitor themselves; workstations in which sensors and actuators coordinate their own sequences and functions; production structures with autonomous units that manage and optimise themselves – the emergence of the smart factory means a paradigm shift in the implementation of production and intralogistics processes.

Industry 4.0 and the smart factory of the future are already with us. The development is being driven by best possible flexibility, transparency, and availability in production and logistics, with human-machine collaboration and the optimisation of the deployment of resources also playing a part. With Smart Sensor Solutions, we are offering a network-enabled portfolio of sensors that is future-ready and supports both these requirements and the remote execution of automation functions (Smart Tasks).

The intelligence and communication capabilities offered by Smart Sensor Solutions mine rich seams of potential for enhancing machine productivity. A variety of parameter settings can be visualised, tested, and optimised even as early as the integration and initial commissioning phases. Various sensor parameter sets can also be stored in the automation system for specific jobs, formats, or configurations, ready to be loaded to the sensor during live operation without any loss of time.

Machines and systems that are affected by frequent changes in products (eg: different package sizes or batches) in particular benefit from this function, which facilitates rapid and reliable conversion. The flexible and simultaneous use of any number of sensors directly from the control system thanks to the ability to download parameters such as sensing distance, hysteresis, or switching threshold saves time, prevents errors, and can be documented at any point.

When a Smart Sensor indicates the presence or imminent threat of a malfunction to the automation system, a replacement can be made quickly. Once the replacement sensor has been connected, it is tested and confirmed by the automation system. After this, the last valid application-specific data from the predecessor sensor is automatically transmitted directly to the new sensor. As no other manual settings are necessary, the machine can be restarted after only minimum downtime.

Self-Diagnostics For Predictive Maintenance

Automation engineering components in a production setting or in intralogistics systems are permanently exposed to environmental influences such as dust, cardboard dust, moisture, or vibrations. As well as being specified for the harshest of application conditions in terms of their mechanical. electrical, and optical components, with their self-monitoring functions, our sensors improve the performance and availability of machines even when operating at high capacity and throughput. To detect faults in good time, the diagnostics data can be used in analysis tools either close to the machine or based on the Cloud, and faults can also be avoided altogether with predictive maintenance. Service intervals can be optimised pro-cyclically; a scheduled machine standstill can be used to clean or maintain a sensor, for example.

In this way, the condition monitoring of the sensor has a direct effect on overall machine availability. In addition, our Smart Sensors support the option of visualising operating data and settings for machine operators. With just one look at the HMI terminal, an operator is able to see how the sensor is working currently, which switching thresholds have been configured, and how close the sensor may be to critical tolerance values.

Autonomous Working (almost) Without An Automation System

In the implementation of Industry 4.0, Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS), eg: as intelligent equipment, support remote, responsive, and adaptable production and logistics control. This requires the increased use of sensor information that is available remotely, in order to set up local control circuits for specific situations, for example.

The Smart Sensor Solutions concept is thus an enabling technology for the self-organising factory. Functions can be executed autonomously in interplay with other communication-enabled and intelligent sensors or actuators. When a smart photoelectric proximity sensor detects the presence, direction of movement, and speed of a device, for example, it can send this information directly to an intelligent gripper, which will pick up the part dynamically and reposition it for the next stage of the process. Once this is complete, the automation system simply receives an I/O signal so that the next process step can be started.

However, the automation system is no longer charged with being in direct control of the autonomous detection/gripper function. The example shows how intelligent sensors can work together in an automation network to relieve the load at control level by taking over specific tasks.

Smart Tasks – The Specific Added Value Of Intelligent Sensors

The distribution of intelligent functions – in other words, the shifting of them from automation system to field devices – is a future-ready approach to improve the efficiency and performance of automation networks. Our Smart Sensors offer specific added value that sets them apart from other technologies on the market. Smart Tasks benefit from the option of direct communication between sensors and actuator engineering – without the need to make a detour via an automation system, something that has a significant impact on time in many cases. High-speed counting is a typical function.

Inductive and opto-electronic sensors can be used to detect and check speeds, to detect directions of rotation, or to detect and count objects. Signal evaluation takes place in the sensors; central counter modules are not required. Rather than pulses, speed, velocity, or counter values that can undergo further processing directly are output to the controller. The measurement of time and length is another example of a function that can be executed remotely. Smart Sensors detect and directly report the dimensions of a product, eg: the length, the size of the gaps between single objects, or the speed of a conveyor. All of this happens without any intervention from the central automation system and relieves the load on that central automation system accordingly; in some cases, Smart Sensors can even replace complex automation components. Hardware and programming costs are cut as a result.

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The Smart Future Of Metalworking

The Smart Future Of Metalworking

Digitalisation and networking are rapidly gaining ground in metalworking – and the same trend is also taking place in storage & sawing technologies. Manual and mutually-isolated processes are increasingly giving way to a continuously-controlled, intelligent material flow, in which all the components involved communicate autonomously with each other. KASTO Maschinenbau has various solutions that make metalworking more efficient, more flexible and more cost-efficient in today’s Industry 4.0 era.

In the steel trade, the automotive and supplier industry and in mechanical and plant engineering, metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years now. Customers increasingly want greater manufacturing flexibility, from batch sizes of one item to large-volume production, while variety of materials and sizes is steadily increasing. At the same time, quality standards are rising and there is continuous pressure to cut costs. To hold their own against international competitors, companies need versatile and efficient solutions for a wide variety of production tasks.

Production Can Organise Itself

One solution here is the digitalisation and networking of production and logistics processes – also known as Industry 4.0. In modern metalworking, machines, plants, goods and load carriers are connected via the Internet of Things and can communicate with each other. Intelligent sensor systems provide up-to-date status information in real time. All process-relevant data is recorded and analysed, enabling users to optimise their entire value chain in a decentralised, autonomous and demand-oriented manner. The route from raw material to the finished product becomes shorter, more flexible, resource-saving and cost-efficient – and it starts with storage.

Today’s metalworking companies are increasingly relying on fully automated storage systems for long goods, instead of the previously widespread floor and cantilever arm storage methods. These automated software-controlled systems have completely convinced users with their significantly higher storage density, fast access times and maximum stock transparency. Moreover, sawing technology – often the first processing station after goods have been removed from storage – is being increasingly carried out with no manpower. Sawing machines can be seamlessly connected to the raw material warehouse and supplied with the required materials using manipulators and conveyor technology. The sawing process itself also runs autonomously if the machine is equipped accordingly, resulting in highly-efficient systems that are seamlessly integrated into a continuous material flow – the intelligent factory.

Automation – From The Raw Material To The Finished Part

KASTO creates combined storage-sawing-robot systems, in which all the storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes are performed fully automatically, from the raw material to the commissioning of the cut parts. Problem-free communication is particularly important, since all the components involved must “speak the same language”. This is achieved by means of integrated control systems and suitable interfaces. With KASTOlogic, for example, the company offers a modular warehouse management system (WMS), which is specially tailored to the requirements of long goods and sheet metal storage. The WMS maps all the processes between goods receipt and dispatch clearly and transparently, ensuring efficient control of the entire material flow – and that includes the warehouse, the associated conveyor technology and the processing machines with their material handling.

The Right Interface For Every System

Thanks to customised interfaces ranging from SAP, Infor and Microsoft Dynamics products to customer-specific software solutions, the WMS KASTOlogic can be easily connected to a higher-level host system within the company, as can individual machine control systems. The resulting uniform communication structure significantly increases transparency and efficiency. Users can easily control all the orders, and the data collected and recorded in the warehouses and sawing machines can be comprehensively analysed and utilised. This enables the continuous tracking of specific goods and workpieces and the uniform utilisation of the machine park with short non-productive times, improved quality control & the enhanced planning of maintenance measures. Even remnant lengths and warehouse stocks can be sustainably optimised with relevant information, significantly reducing production costs.

Robot-Assisted Sawing For Greater Efficiency

The KASTOsort robot link automates production processes upstream and downstream of the sawing process and integrates these into a uniformly-controlled material flow. Industrial robots can not only remove the saw cuts independently, they can also perform many other tasks such as deburring, chamfering, centring, threading, marking, printing, sorting, stacking and picking. This robotic solution can be further integrated with a container management or driverless transport system.

Mobile Application

The use of mobile devices is also gaining ground in industrial production and the KASTOapp displays the status of all the networked machines equipped with the SmartControl, AdvancedControl, ProControl or ExpertControl systems. Users can see the name, machine number and type of each saw at a glance. If a saw is running in automated mode, the app can also access the information stored in its machine control programme. This gives users exact information on all the relevant parameters, like the article, cut length, target and actual quantity, feed rate and cutting speed. If a malfunction occurs, the app displays a graphic visualisation of the relevant error message, enabling users to react quickly and reduce downtimes to a minimum.

VisualAssistance – Remote Maintenance With Augmented Reality

KASTO has a VisualAssistance system, which uses the concept of augmented reality to simplify the remote maintenance of machines and systems. An interactive app for tablets, smartphones and smart glasses lies at the heart of the system – and customers can use it to connect to specialists via video and audio streams. Users and technicians see the same view in real time, greatly facilitating mutual understanding and helping to quickly identify individual plant components and any faults that may occur.

 

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The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

The Future Of Manufacturing Lies In Transparency And Connectivity

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Wong Seng Yeow, Business Development Manager at TRUMPF regarding current trends in the metrology and manufacturing industry.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry?

The manufacturing industry has evolved significantly over time – from steam engines to mass production with electricity, then automation and in recent years Industry 4.0. The latest trend may be described as the digital networking of manufacturing technology with big data and analytics, autonomous robots, Internet of Things, etc. Sometimes known as the fourth industrial revolution, it signifies the combination of traditional industrial practices with digital technology.

A key driving force for Industry 4.0 applications is the increased transparency and flexibility for the manufacturing industry. In the model of a Smart Factory production line, companies may analyse and respond optimally to fluctuations in production capacity and factory utilisation. Flexible production layouts allow them to deal with increasingly individualised products and reduced batch sizes, coupled with the possibility of reducing costs through increase in the degree of automation and improved efficiency. Another advantage is production stability through the adoption of predictive maintenance. Self-monitoring and regular evaluation of machines helps in preventive maintenance which leads to increased productivity and quality.  In cases of machine breakdowns, remote servicing may be done at significantly lower cost.

In a nutshell, the trend toward Industry 4.0 enables digitally managed product assembly, inventory management, resources management and service maintenance. Ideally, human intervention will be considerably reduced as processes will be largely managed and performed with artificial intelligence.

  1. With increasing digitalisation, how has TRUMPF kept up with these trends to remain competitive?

Amidst challenging business environment, TRUMPF has always managed to rise above its competition by upholding one of the company’s guiding principles “Courage to transform”. From the development of plasma cutters to EUV laser, this notion has played an integral role in empowering the company to take courageous, transformative decisions over the past decades. In the same vein, it sets the right framework for an effective digital transformation.

Over the years, digitalisation has already permeated many areas of our business. An example of this trend is the conceptualisation of TruConnect, TRUMPF Machine Tool’s advanced range of solutions for connected sheet metal fabrication, comprising of hardware, software and services. The suite of products lays the foundation for production facilities to streamline control with minimal human intervention. Within TruConnect, key products such as TruTops Fab software are testaments to TRUMPF’s dedication to commercialise solutions based on its digital ambition. They are our answers to customers’ rising expectations of quality as they struggle with diminishing batch sizes, fast delivery times and low prices.

  1. What are the main challenges faced by this industry in Asia?

Key challenges for digitalisation of the manufacturing industry in Asia include inadequate infrastructural readiness, awareness and knowledge competency.

In mature markets such as Europe, the knowledge and infrastructure required to reap the benefits of technology are present. However, in regions such as Southeast Asia, the extent of adoption of new technologies is limited as information technology infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped in emerging markets such as Myanmar.

Digitalization might still be a foreign topic to some companies as well as the potential advantages that follows, such as achieving operational transparency through data analytics. To the less-informed, digital transformation is a process which translates into unsavoury repercussions such as job displacement.

The unwillingness to embrace digitalisation also stems from the fact that employees are not sufficiently trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge. Without fully appreciating the advantages of digitalisation, decision makers will not be willing to incur cost to train employees with the required skillset means placing additional strain on their tight budgets.

  1. How can they be overcome?

Adoption of Industry 4.0 applications in Asia can be successfully implemented when the government, local companies and key industry leaders such as TRUMPF work together.

On the part of local manufacturing companies, it is first important to implement the digital strategy from top down. Decision makers should proactively analyse the process, tools and benefits of digitalisation. It is also crucial to address the unfounded insecurity of employees who have concerns about being replaced by new technology. In this regard, companies may seize the chance to train its labour force to be digitally-skilled, thereby enabling them to handle higher level processes. With a supportive workforce, companies can achieve a smooth end-to-end integration of their data and operational process.

As a market leader in the manufacturing industry, TRUMPF intends to continue empowering manufacturing companies in their digitalisation journey by offering solutions and services which suit their various needs. For instance, TRUMPF is committed to develop the South East Asian industry by educating manufacturers in the region on digitalisation through the TruConnect solution. Advance production-planning softwares and Smart Factory consultancy services are designed to support customers in their digitalisation journey through a step-by-step approach – first assessing existing manufacturing layout, identifying bottlenecks and challenges, then proposing technology solutions to optimise manufacturing processes and operations. That said, digitalisation should not be perceived as a one-time process but as a continuous transformation which should be sustained.

Naturally, TRUMPF also works closely with government agencies such as the Singapore Economic Development Board to develop the market infrastructure and constantly nurture companies in the region.

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

Over the next years, market condition will be increasingly difficult as companies compete not only on price but on efficiency as well. In such a market environment, a company’s success will depend on its courage to transform. As digitalisation allows the creation of new businesses and growth opportunities, a shift in dynamics can be expected as the industry consolidates – only players who are able to successfully digitalise will survive and thrive.

The future of manufacturing lies in transparency and connectivity. For TRUMPF, the majority of sales is still expected to come from machinery, but software and digital services will play an increasingly significant role. With an eye on growing our market share, we will continue to be the leading provider of new digital solutions in the manufacturing industry.

 

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Interview With Andrea Ceretti, CEO At Faccin S.p.A

Interview With Andrea Ceretti, CEO at Faccin S.p.A

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Mr. Andrea Ceretti, CEO at Faccin S.p.A regarding current trends and outlook of the manufacturing and metal forming industry.

  1. Could you provide us with an overview of the current trends regarding the manufacturing industry?

There will be an increase in the demand of metal formed products in the market, but due to the current geopolitical situation, the high volatility will push metal fabricators to be as flexible and as reactive as possible. The metal industry will attempt to standardise as much as possible with measures like industry 4.0 in order to maximise the production capacity of each equipment, to apply energy saving measures and lobby/demand the governments for more tax reforms and incentives to stay competitive and improve the workforce development.

 

  1. With increasing digitalisation, how has Faccin kept up with these trends to remain competitive.

It is our core business to develop top technology to help manufacturers maximise from our machines and we realise industry 4.0 is one of the ways to capitalise on the technology we already provide. Our machines are ready for industry 4.0 thanks to SMART packages that offer features like systems diagnosis, teleservice, management control, drawing imports, rolling and production lot statistics and flexible network solutions between others, helping the manufacturers of today, face the challenges of tomorrow. Indeed, we have started thinking about industry 5.0 as our company attitude.

 

  1. What are the main challenges faced by this industry in Asia

The fluctuations in the market and the struggle to find skilled workers are driving fabricators to replace their old equipment with high quality gear, principally looking for accuracy and automation to increase their production output, which is precisely what our group proposes. We focus in providing metal forming companies with equipment that is of the maximum quality, powerful, cutting-edge and most importantly, accurate.

 

  1. How can they be overcome?

As steel prices increases and the margins grow smaller, accuracy is the answer. We design our machines to offer a return of investment centered on the accuracy of the forming process and avoidance of metal waste, always integrating powerful forefront technology that increases the output cycle and return of investment.

 

  1. Moving forward, where do you think the industry is headed in the next 5 to 10 years?

The metal forming industry in general is subject to the cycles of the market economy like any other industry. In today’s world, these cycles are much shorter than in the past and companies that do not adapt and do not prepare beforehand with the latest technology will struggle when the markets fluctuate. Today, it is emerging regions and their rising demand in energy like Asia that are backing the global growth in the demand for the metal forming industry.

 

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New Mounting Clamps For Cobots

New Mounting Clamps For Cobots

Safety plays a key role when humans and robots work hand in hand in the industry. That is why users of cobots and industrial robots are already using igus’ multi-axis round triflex R e-chains for energy and data supply. To easily attach these energy chains and increase work safety in industry, igus has now developed new plastic mounting clamps. With quick installation, these minimise the risk of injury with their rounded edge design. By igus

In the course of Industry 4.0, the interaction between humans and machines is increasingly becoming the focus of automation. Therefore, collaborative robots will play an increasingly role in the future. Currently, cobots are mainly used as assistants in simple or interacting activities and – in contrast to large and fast industrial robots – work hand in hand with humans. For reliable energy supply to cobots and industrial robots, igus offers the optimal energy chain solution with its triflex R range. In addition to metal clamps, customers can now use new cobot designed clamps to attach the energy chain to the robot arm. The design with rounded edges increases workplace safety by reducing the risk of injury when in contact with the robot. The plastic clamps can be quickly attached to the arm of the robot by a screw connection. The triflex R is simply attached to the clamp by a clip and fixed. The new clamps are suitable for cobots from Universal Robots, TMS and Kuka LBR iiwa robot arms.

Triflex Energy Chains For A Safe Energy Supply On The Robot

The triflex R range has been specifically developed for sophisticated 6-axis robots in industrial environments. By combining the flexibility of a hose with the stability of an energy chain, the round triflex R ensures reliable cable guidance in multi-axis movements. A ball/socket principle ensures high tensile strength and easy installation of the e-chain. The interior separation is freely selectable. The circular bend radius stop and the high twistability of the e-chain prevent the over-stressing of cables – this system increases the service life and operational reliability of the application. The triflex e-chains are available as a complete package with cobot designed clamps, cables and connectors immediately ready for connection.

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Smart Manufacturing And Industry 4.0 Forum 2019

Smart Manufacturing And Industry 4.0 Forum 2019

The 2nd Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Forum will occur from 24 – 26 April 2019. Based on the theme of “Redefining Manufacturing Excellence: The Dawn of The Smart Factory”, the forum will focus on smart manufacturing and the latest innovations and challenges associated with its implementation. Providing attendees with an insight on how they can incorporate and devise strategic customer-centric manufacturing strategies.

This year, the forum will be located in Singapore, a country that has developed itself as a manufacturing hub in a variety of sectors such as electronics, precision engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and chemicals. This is also in acknowledgement that Singapore is the fourth largest exporter of high-tech goods behind the US, China and Germany and manufacturing is a key engine of the Singapore economy, accounting for 20-25 percent of the country’s GDP. Thus, the country does provide a test bed for manufacturing organizations to leverage on smart manufacturing and the technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution such as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, automation and robotics and 3D printing.

Speakers for the forum include Bob Gill, General Manager Southeast Asia of ARC Advisory Group, Wilson Deng, Chairman of the Singapore Manufacturing Consortium, Alexander Liu, Head, Digital Fabrication and Additive Manufacturing Centre, School of Engineering at Temasek Polytechnic and many others.

Key takeaways for the forum will include:

  • Strategies on how end to end manufacturing capabilities can be optimised.
  • Techniques on the implementation of Industry 4.0 innovations to enable responsive, adaptive and connected manufacturing.
  • Insights on how novel digital and physical capabilities can be unlocked to achieve growth and profitability in times of uncertainty.
  • Solutions on how organisations can transition towards smart manufacturing to remain competitive.

 

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Vietnam Kickstarts Development Of A Series Of National Innovation Centres

Vietnam Kickstarts Development Of A Series Of National Innovation Centres

Vietnam is looking to build a National Innovation Centre (NIC) and Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Chi Dung, has mentioned that this is vital for promoting economic development based on science, technology, and innovation while allowing industries to adapt to the demands of industry 4.0.

Currently, it is intended that for the innovation centre to provide an ecosystem that will serve as a resource hub for companies while providing them with a means of market access for their products. Thus, it is projected that the NIC will be located in the Red River Delta which contributes a quarter of Vietnam’s GDP. Additionally, the government has laid out four focus areas for the centre in the fields of smart manufacturing, digital media, digital games and cybersecurity.  And according to consultants, the NIC will be the first of many innovation centres that will be developed across Vietnam, with each innovation centre expected to possess different focus areas that will serve to promote the overall adoption of technology within the country as well as the creation of new technologies.

As of now, there are numerous innovation centres globally that are aimed at accelerating technology developments such as the ones in Beijing (China), Seoul (South Korea) and CyberSpark at Beer Sheva (Israel). And Vietnam’s entry into this space indicates that global shifts towards the adoption of Industry 4.0 practices is occurring at a heightened pace.

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