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TRUMPF Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Vietnam

TRUMPF Discusses Opportunities For Growth In Vietnam

At the recent MTA Vietnam 2019 trade show in Ho Chi Minh City, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) spoke with Patrick Kemnitz, General Director of TRUMPF Vietnam and Head of Business Development for Southeast Asia, and Edward Yuen, General Manager for Singapore and Vietnam, about the trends shaping the metalworking industry in the region, challenges and opportunities for growth. They also provided their insights on where the Southeast Asian market is headed in the next years.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU SEEING IN VIETNAM?

Patrick Kemnitz (PK): Vietnam is a strong and steadily growing market, with a GDP of around five to seven percent. Vietnamese companies have been getting more and more jobs from foreign markets, especially with the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

This is the current situation. But in the long run, we see huge potential in the Vietnamese market. Its huge population of labour entering the workforce is also a very high potential for growth.

In almost all industries where sheet metal products are needed, such as furniture, elevators, construction, automotive, bicycle, there is an opportunity for doing these metal products locally instead of importing them. So, the increasing localisation of all the industries is a very high potential for businesses.

Edward Yuen (EY): The market now is driven by infrastructure development. You see a lot of construction happening all over Vietnam. Tall buildings, highways, bridges are built—for all these infrastructures, sheet metal works are required. Also due to the tariff issue between China and the United States, you will see a lot of these industries basically restructuring their businesses instead of putting all their eggs in one basket, and some of the international companies investing strongly in Vietnam.

ARE YOU SEEING ANY CHALLENGES IN THE MARKET?

PK: For our customers, one of their challenges is having skilled workforce for their factories.

Therefore, education needs to be tackled: Vietnam needs to have the right education on future technologies. In line with this, we are working with educational organizations like universities and technical colleges to support them with technical input from the industry as investing in people is important for future growth of the whole country.

There are other issues, but I think the opportunities are bigger than these challenges. There is also the opportunity brought by Industry 4.0 and smart factory. This is our theme in this exhibition, ‘Your Smart Factory’, which is about how we can help our customers make the first steps in the direction of a connected production process and to provide all the advantages of having a smart factory. This is really a process that will require a step by step approach. And now is the time for our customers and the industry in Vietnam, because many new factories are being set up here. They are not just expanding their existing factories, but also building new ones. If you have these greenfield projects, you have the opportunity to plan really well from scratch.

HOW IS TRUMPF ADDRESSING THE WIDE SPECTRUM OF MANUFACTURING LEVELS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA?

PK: We established our product portfolio in such a way that we have a solution for customers from all levels. For instance, our entry level machines are strategically positioned to help customers grow their manufacturing process. We also have machines which allows our customers to upgrade into a combination machine to extend their production. And on the very high-end sector we offer fully automated machines and storage systems.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT THREE TO FIVE YEARS?

PK: Three to five years in Vietnam, or maybe Southeast Asia in general, is a long horizon. At the moment we mainly still have a positive outlook for the economy. Of course, there are signs that the global economy is slowing down, especially in the machinery industry, but so far these still might be part of the cyclical developments over time. Here in Vietnam, there is positive development. Mostly, all the industries that are relevant for sheet metal production are growing, so we are quite positive for our customers, that they can develop their business in a very positive way as there is still a lot of space to grow. In this environment, we consider TRUMPF as an enabler of this growth.

EY: For Southeast Asia, I think there are good prospects for the next three to five years. The continuing trade war between the United States and China which is not going to end soon are driving a lot of companies to move to Southeast Asia. Whatever products that you are now manufacturing in China and if you have to export it to the USA, you want to avoid getting entangle into this tariff game. Now we see lots of job-shops in Vietnam are loading up with jobs that are shifted over from plants in China. Going forward I believe more manufacturing companies in China will slow their expansion there and instead build up their expansion in SEA instead. In a way you don’t want to put all your eggs into one basket. The other impetus, the cost of manufacturing in those big northern Asian countries are not getting any cheaper and it only makes sense to capitalise on the cheaper labour force; huge available cheaper land and better infrastructure of SEA to grow a business.

 

Check out these articles:

AMendate Acquisition Helps Hexagon Minimise Time-to-Print for Additive Manufacturing

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

Trumpf Steps Up Expansion Of Smart Factory Solutions

 

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The Role Of IoT Technology In The Metal Fabricating Industry

The Role of IoT Technology in the Metal Fabricating Industry

Ultimately, the metalworking industry needs differentiation and tools to help stakeholders to level up their products and services for customers. Here’s how. Article by Helen Masters, INFOR.

Singapore’s government, led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has in recent years identified four technology sectors that Singapore needs to build on; one of which is Internet of Things (IoT). For a small country with a population of just 5.64 million, Singapore has truly transformed itself into a hotbed for technology and innovation, becoming a magnet for foreign companies with regional headquarters and being an example for the rest of Southeast Asia.

With IoT technology, metal fabrication companies based in Singapore are in a position to once again lead the rest of the region with value-add to customers and streamline processes. But will adding condition-tracking sensors to equipment be enough? Is IoT technology the cure-all for tight margins, escalating customer demands, volatile pricing, and aggressive competition? Well, that depends.

The Background in a Snapshot

IoT has been generating buzz that spikes then ebbs, like the tides. Grandiose projections for potential economic impact create optimistic swells. Media pundits herald IoT technology as the key driver behind waves of digitalization. But, then, mixed feedback pops up. Some early adopters realize their tidal waves of data need to be aggregated and analyzed further in order to have practical applications. Data overload is a common issue to resolve.

As more and more projects move through proof-of-concept stages, it becomes clear that deploying an IoT plan is not as simple as flipping a switch. Often, several solutions are required in order to achieve the specific results desired. There is, though, one factor common to all successful initiatives: a foundational strategy and plan for data consumption must be in place to avoid data overload. Analytics with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) separates programs with marginal results from ones with game-changing, differentiating outcomes.

How Do Metal Fabricators Avoid Common Mistakes?

When designing programs to leverage IoT technologies, metal fabricators should focus on applications which will bring measurable impact on the bottom line. Because of the industry’s ultra-thin margins, any tactic which helps to control costs and boost productivity will be of value. Those incremental gains, though, may not be enough to be true attention-getters for customers.

Fabricators wanting to differentiate their business from the onslaught of competitors will need to aim for bigger, better, more unique gains in order to impress the highly demanding B2B customer.

Five Tips for Achieving Differentiation Through IoT

  1. Offer Servitisation. If you are a fabricator of industrial components or equipment, offering a product as a service is one of the most dramatic ways to use IoT technology. Thanks to data generated from sensors, you can monitor customer inventory levels at their location, consumption rates of your products, project needed demand, and provide a continuous as-needed supply. This service will help your customers optimize their inventory levels while building a relationship of trust.
  2. Productise Data. Data generated from sensors provides valuable insight about the way in which components are functioning in the field, how assets are performing, ways to improve field conditions, and lifecycle phases of fabricated parts and components. This data can be packaged and offered to customers. It can be a value-add service or a new revenue stream.
  3. Engage Customers. IoT technology can be used to capture and share insights with customers. IoT connectivity and sensor-generated data up-levels the ability to collaborate on component design, test results, and co-monitor fabricated parts through test stages. Even though you may be miles or continents away from you customer, the ability to collect, aggregate, analyze and share condition-based data from anywhere, brings you closer to your customers– when and where they are making decisions.
  4. Manage Volatility. IoT technology can help you monitor the location of delivery trucks, service fleets, shipments of raw materials, and inventory levels in your warehouse—or your customers. Fast changing stock conditions can be monitored in real-time, so timely decisions can be made about shifting inventory between warehouses or re-routing trucks as needed. This agility can be a marketable differentiator.
  5. Extend Asset Lifecycle. Sensors embedded in shop floor assets can be used to collect data about the physical condition of assets, like temperature and vibration, monitoring for early warning signs of maintenance requirements. Staying proactive and maintaining high-value assets properly can enable companies to extend their lifecycle, eliminate unplanned downtime, and improve productivity. This can ultimately improve the accuracy of capacity planning, on-time delivery to customers, and cashflow.

Getting Started

Each of these differentiating tips requires advanced IoT software, including cloud computing, a data lake for aggregating and storing large volumes of data, and analytics for drawing consumable insights from the data. Solutions need to tightly integrate and adhere to modern security protocols. Working with a solution provider or deployment consultant will help you leverage the benefits of experience.

As IoT technology is still relatively new, your internal IT teams will appreciate the help of professionals who are familiar with the complexities of IoT deployment. These experts can help you avoid common pitfalls and overcome any possible roadblocks that arise.

Ultimately, metal fabricators need differentiation and tools to help them level-up their products and service for customers. IoT technology can provide important abilities and help you leverage technology for insight.

But, to truly be effective and reap differentiating-level benefits, metal fabricators need to go beyond the basics. Involve experts to help plan the strategy. Set goals using advanced applications, such as the five listed here, to stand out from the competition. Most importantly, get started now.

 

Check out there articles:

Importance Of Process Control

Smart Data in the Metalworking Industry

Increasing Productivity And Quality Gains Through Digitalisation

Predictive Maintenance and Machine Learning Will Revolutionise Reliability

Adapting Cutting Tools To Changing Trends

 

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EMO Hannover 2019 Provides Clarity In Uncertain Times

EMO Hannover 2019 Provides Clarity In Uncertain Times

https://www.equipment-news.com/makino-strengthens-presence-in-vietnam-with-new-technology-centre/

Trade Fair Builds On Successful Previous Event

EMO Hannover 2019 closed its doors following a six-day run. From 16 to 21 September, round about 117,000 production specialists from 150 countries convened at the world’s leading tradeshow for the metalworking industry. “This EMO Hannover 2019 built on the success of our boom year in 2017,” reported EMO General Commissioner Carl Martin Welcker.

He continued: “In the context of subdued economic expectations over the past several months, the moderate decline in attendance has to be viewed as a success. We are particularly delighted at the further increase in the percentage of foreign attendees.”

The mood in the halls was positive, with many exhibitors pleasantly surprised at the high volume of visitor traffic at their stands. “EMO Hannover has once again proved solid as a rock, providing clarity for the further development of production technology, even in uncertain times,” Welcker added.

Its trademarks included a strong international character, a high caliber of visitors and exhibitors, and an amazing wealth of innovations and new products, he stressed. As the world’s leading metalworking fair, it was the “place to be”.

Mixed Mood – Investment-Readiness Bodes Well For Post-Show Business

Exhibitors with a broad customer base were satisfied with the run of the fair. In the words of Dr. Wolfgang Heuring, CEO of the Erlangen-based Motion Control Business Unit at Siemens: “The level of visitor interest at our stand this year was incredible. We are delighted at the way things have gone.” Other firms with a stronger focus on the passenger car industry seemed to be less upbeat about the situation.

“Firms are clearly more reluctant to commit themselves, given the general uncertainty over where the market is heading,” remarked Dr. Christian Lang, CEO of Liebherr-Verzahntechnik in Kempten. “But our discussions with customers at our stand have still been substantive and very promising for the future,” he added.

While some exhibitors spoke of a historic paradigm shift in the automotive industry, which still needed to be mastered, other exhibitors reported successfully negotiating business deals with automakers during the fair.

Strong Asian Presence At EMO Hannover

As the flagship fair for its sector of industry, EMO Hannover has a strong international profile. More than half of all attendees came from abroad, split almost evenly between other European countries and overseas. A 20 percent growth in attendance from overseas in comparison with the 2017 event was particularly impressive. This included a high percentage of Asian guests, who accounted for almost one third of visitors from abroad, with China, Japan, Taiwan and India heading the rankings.

“The highly international makeup of EMO visitors, particularly from Asia, resulted in a busy and extremely global atmosphere at our stand,” said Dr. Stefan Brand, CEO of Vollmer Werke in Biberach. This trend was clearly related to a higher number of Asian exhibitors at this year’s event, who encouraged their customers to visit them in Hannover. Other countries with strong representation at the event included Italy, Poland, Sweden, Russia and Turkey.

Digitalisation And Automation Gathering Momentum

“This year’s EMO once again generated fresh momentum for innovations,” reported Lothar Horn, Managing Director of Paul Horn GmbH in Tübingen. As an innovations platform for production technology, EMO is expected to chart the trends for the years ahead, and once again the mission was successful. The EMO motto “Smart technologies driving tomorrow’s production” accurately reflected the key issues facing the industry today.

“Our many discussions with customers at EMO 2019 in Hannover revealed that a focus on the holistic process chain, including digital services, creates the relevant added value for customers,” said Christian Thönes, Chairman of the Executive Board at Bielefeld-based DMG Mori AG. This feeling was shared across all exhibitor segments.

“The positive visitor response to our cloud-based simulation tools and monitoring system as an Industry 4.0 application was striking,” commented Marie-Sophie Maier-Wember, CEO of Haas Schleifmaschinen GmbH in Trossingen. And the buzzwords of IoT platforms, apps, digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI), edge and cloud computing were omnipresent at the fair.

This all served to highlight just how much has changed since the most recent event two years ago. Particularly in Hall 9, the domains of research and practice came together. This blend of research and industry attracted large visitor numbers from around the world.

“We have made many new contacts, and the ideas garnered from talking to all these people will hopefully feed into future research projects,” commented Prof. Berend Denkena, President of the Academic Association for Production Technology (WGP) and head of the Institute for Production Technology and Machine Tools (IFW). “One clear conclusion from all this is that digitalisation and automation will chart our path into the future, you can see that right here at EMO Hannover,” he added.

This year’s EMO also featured the first AI applications in the Start-up area and at the stands of the relevant trailblasing companies. Along with the strong interest in AI and machine learning, visitors’ appetite for future visions was reflected in the accompanying events and forums, where the topics included not only AI, but also additive processes, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), 5G and not least OPC UA or umati, the new standard interface between machine tools and overarching IT systems.

The standout attraction consisted of the big umati showcase, which included 110 machines from 70 international firms and partners, demonstrating for the first time that the universal interface between machines and IT systems can function across all product types. According to umati project manager Dr. Alexander Broos, “the response to umati among our partners and customers has been huge. This display at EMO has successfully launched us on the market. Our next commission on returning home is to deliver the OPC UA Companion Specification at the earliest possible date.”

EMO Hannover 2019 Opens Window To Future

“Against all expectations, we can wrap up EMO Hannover 2019 on a positive note. The fair is attractive for the entire international production technology community and has confirmed there is still demand for capital investment in the marketplace. In spite of all the political turmoil, this trade fair has revealed that industry is actively addressing the challenges of the future and is determined to make its contribution as a problem solver,” concluded EMO general commissioner Carl Martin Welcker.

 

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER ARTICLES

EMO Hannover 2019: Global Machine Tool Community Paving The Way For Industry 4.0
EMO 2019: Mobile Hybrid Machining For The Tool And Die Industry
KASTO To Showcase Sawing, Storage Technology Innovations At EMO 2019
Big Presence For Taiwan At EMO 2019
Makino Strengthens Presence In Vietnam With New Technology Centre

 

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The Recipe For Centennial Success

The Recipe For Centennial Success

Ahmad Alshidiq speaks with Martin Reichenecker (Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Spokesman of the Board) and Borries Schϋler (Chief Product Management and Engineering Officer) from The Hoffmann Group on the company’s recipe for standing strong for 100 years.

Martin Reichenecker (Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and Spokesman of the Board)

Borries Schϋler (Chief Product Management and Engineering Officer)

The Hoffmann Group is a leading system partner for quality tools, combining trading with manufacturing and service expertise. It supports over 135,000 customers with supply capability, assured quality and enhanced productivity in meeting all their needs for machining tooling, clamping, measuring, grinding, as well as workstations and storage and personal protective equipment.

This year, the headquarters based in Munich is celebrating its centenary with excellent prospects. In 2018, the Hoffmann SE with its subsidiaries achieved record sales of more than EUR1 billion, the number of employees grew to more than 3,000 and the company is continuing to grow organically. Hoffmann SE develops and steers the corporate strategy and orientation of the entire Hoffmann Group together with its long-standing partner companies. In 2018 the Hoffmann Group comprising Hoffmann SE and its partners generated a turnover of more than EUR1.4 billion and employed approximately 3,700 people.

100 years in the industry is a significant milestone. What has Hoffman done right to be an industry leader for such a long time?

Martin Reichenecker [MR]: For 100 years, we’ve been flexible with our offerings and products. Today, we are the number one in Europe in quality tools, cutting tools, hand tools, metrology, etc. I think what has brought the company success is we are always focussing on the clients´needs, trying things and learning fast. We’ve been pioneer in some fields of tools distribution. We had our first printed catalogue in back in 1936 and in 1998 we established the first web shop in the industry. There has always been a good combination of traditional, well used and modern aspects (in our offerings) which helped the company to reach a revenue of more than EUR1 billion in 2018. We are also serving many different industries, not just any particular one.

Borries Schϋler [BS]: We also employ the right people that grasp Hoffmann’s philosophy in serving our customers.

Any changes Hoffmann has made in this era of Industry 4.0 from what they offer previously?

MR: In 2009, we already had our first wave of digitalisation called 360-degree tooling and provided our customers with electronic tool files across a complete cutting tool assortment. And we also started building data-based solutions for our customers.

What’s your most breakthrough technology and why is it important to the industry?

MR: Two years ago, we launched the high performance drills GARANT Master Steel SPEED and FEED and opened up a new performance class allowing the customer productivity rates. It was not so normal that time. Another technology from Hoffmann is the TPC and the Parabolic Performance Cutting – a further development of ball-nosed slot drilling cutting and also known as barrel milling. These solutions offer customer high productivity.

BS: In August this year, we will be launching our new constant grid dimension. Today, different manufacturers have different grid dimensions for cabinets, work benches, trolleys and so on. And from Hoffmann, you will get all the items in the same grid dimension. This will offer you space for customisation and long-term investment protection, and this is a technical step ahead as it is a complete system. With the GARANT GridLine series, the Hoffmann Group is now the first supplier to offer a completely integrated modular concept in its product range, which includes even the smallest details such as partitioning materials and rigid foam inserts for drawers.

Hoffmann’s own brand GARANT is one of the biggest tool brands in Europe, it is the only brand with which you can completely equip the whole workshop. Customers have given trust to this brand and they know we are delivering everything – whether it is cutting tools, metrology, hand tools, grinding discs or workshop equipment.  With GARANT, you have one brand with the whole portfolio for your mechanical production.

Where do you see the biggest opportunity for Hoffman in the forthcoming years?

MR: Hoffmann became very international in the last 15-20 years, having expanded from countries in all over Europe to North America, and to Asia. We are a young and small player in some markets but the opportunity is huge for us. Product-wise, we still have a lot of ideas on what can be brought into the market. And last but not least, on process optimisation for customers. From application to ordering process, we want to optimise the whole process end-to-end.

What’s your strategy in Southeast Asia?

MR: We learned a lot about the market in the past year, and we discussed and adjusted our approach in the region – much focus is on Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

What is most important in addressing present-day challenges in digital manufacturing?

BS: I would take it a bit wider with digitisation, completely. I think digitalising internal processes can be handled; it’s just a matter of time and how many resources you have. In developing digital business models, you have to have the right people and certain creativity in your staff. For me, the challenge will be when you have a higher transparency of data and team members have to take bigger decisions in a shorter period of time. You have to have the right people who can perform this when time calls for it.

Milestones For The Hoffmann Group

1919 – Josef Hoffmann registered a company in Munich.

1932 – Franz Hoffmann joined his father’s company. He shaped the company for more than 60 years.

1936 – The first catalogue revolutionised the industry.

1973 – The introduction of the GARANT brand turned Hoffmann, the reseller, also into a manufacturer.

1993 – Foundation of the Hoffmann Gruppe, which has been called the Hoffmann Group since 2003.

1995 – First steps over the border: Hoffmann went international.

2000 – Started its online business.

2009 – Opening of Europe´s and the industry´s largest and most efficient logistics centre.

2018 – Further expansion: construction started on the LogisticCity in Nuremberg.

2019 – Hoffmann is preparing for the next 100 years: with digital products and services.

 

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Smart Data In The Metalworking Industry

Smart Data in the Metalworking Industry

The metalworking industry is entering a new era where new forces created by the explosion of data, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), amongst others, are changing the dynamics for manufacturing companies. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

To be successful in this new environment, manufacturers should consider a paradigm shift, focusing on innovation, integration of new technologies, and collaboration with their partners—and even with the competition—to build new solutions and take their production to the next level.

And that’s where key transformative technologies such as big data, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) come in. Industry 4.0—our nascent industrial generation—represents digitalisation across all operational processes. Industrial IoT (IIoT), in particular, describes an integrated system of systems where sensors and actuators provide specific data such as measurements, timing, and equipment status, all connected and visible throughout the enterprise.

In this scenario, we’ll see the convergence of operations technology (OT) in the factory floor with information technology (IT) in the enterprise, all working together towards a single purpose—a more-efficient, profitable and successful manufacturing operation. With IIoT, companies will be able to view real-time data on their manufacturing processes, and compare performance across their plants, or even shifts within their plants. They can also quickly scale their production up or down; manage their energy consumption; and even manage, troubleshoot and fix their processes and plants, even when they are located in different parts of the world.

Data is what’s powering this. Seamless exchange of data between automated machine processes, including manual assembly, and testing, to name a few, provides clear visibility of the operations of this ‘smart factory’.

According to Mariano Kimbara, senior industry analyst for the Industrial Group of Frost & Sullivan, data will be the new value-multiplier for the factory. “Factory owners will strive to network various aspects of a plant, such as tools, assets, material, people, process, and services, on one digital platform. The level of integration and collaboration will offer customers unprecedented information visibility and subsequently generate value from domains that were generative before,” he said.

Making Use Of Data

Data plays a key role in all of these. As metalworking equipment manufacturers produce more and more sophisticated machines, with multiple sensors providing all the necessary data to ensure the health and performance of the machine, measurement, tracking, monitoring, inspection data—users today, on a daily basis, are grappling with more data than they ever did a decade ago.

With Cisco forecasting more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020, it is expected that there will be a deluge of data coming from these connected systems of systems. Which means a mindset shift is required when it comes to deciding what to do and how to leverage these data to improve your manufacturing operations.

Having all these data from your more sophisticated machines and tooling equipment is good, but the challenge is finding that relevant data that will provide you an actionable intelligence that you can implement to improve your processes.

According to Thomas Jakob of Bosch Software Innovations, this begins with sourcing for data creatively. He said companies can impel a more comprehensive look at information sources by being specific about problems they want to solve or opportunities they want to exploit. This means identifying and connecting the most important data for use in analytics, followed by a clean-up operation to synchronise and merge overlapping data, and then working around the missing information, according to him.

Once the information is in your hands, there are many ways how this will help you in your road to smart manufacturing. First is through preventive and predictive maintenance. Majority of the metalworking machines are now equipped with sensors that collect many different types of data, such as operating time and the conditions of the components and parts. Having these data provides users the knowledge on whether a part is no longer functioning efficiently and therefore needs replacement. Or, if a certain job is more tedious than the previous one, the machine will have to be rested for a slightly longer period than that required of the previous job. These things will help keep your metalworking equipment running efficiently, smoothly, and prevent machine downtime.

According to Bob Gill, general manager for Southeast Asia at ARC Advisory, the proportion of machine tool time actually taken up by cutting metal is generally less than 40 percent and can even be as low as 25 percent. He said that it can be difficult to accurately pinpoint the causes of all that non-productive machining time because most machine shops are performing manual, post-production data collection. In a smart factory, where your machines are constantly releasing production data, you will be able to gain intelligence on the impact of machine stops and tool changes in production, and as such plan more effectively and efficiently to improve machine uptime and utilisation.

Another benefit that you can get out of your smart data is energy usage. Smart machines provide data on their energy usage. Based on this, you will have the information when to ramp up production based on energy demand. Moreover, machines could power down when not in use.

And last but not least, quality control and assurance. With smart data, manufacturers will know whether a particular machine is not performing properly by comparing information about its performance to previous jobs. Or in case there are particular products that are not according to specs, users will be able to trace back where the process ‘faltered’, which resulted to production mistakes.

Industry 4.0 is here—and manufacturing operations can significantly benefit from utilising IIoT, smart data, and analytics. Building the right kind of technologies and expertise to apply them is critical for everyone to be competitive in this new industrial landscape.

 

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Gripping And Clamping Solutions For Process Automation

Gripping and Clamping Solutions for Process Automation

In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Vincent Teo, general manager of Schunk, talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Schunk is one of the leading providers of clamping technology and gripping systems worldwide. Founded in 1945 by Friedrich Schunk as a mechanical workshop, the company has grown to become what it is today under the leadership of his son, Heinz-Dieter Schunk. The company is now under the leadership of siblings Henrik A. Schunk and Kristina I. Schunk, the company founder’s grandchildren.

Schunk has more than 3,500 employees in nine production facilities and 34 subsidiaries as well as distribution partners in more than 50 countries. With more than 11,000 standard components, the company offers the world’s largest range of clamping technology and gripping systems from a single source. In particular, Schunk has 2,550 grippers—the broadest range of standard gripper components on the market—and its portfolio comprises more than 4,000 components.

Based in Singapore, Vincent Teo is the general manager of Schunk, where he is responsible for the Southeast Asia market, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Teo talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. He also talks about the trends shaping the clamping and gripping market, and his outlook for the industry.

APMEN: What is your company’s ‘sweet spot’?

Vincent Teo: Schunk understands the needs of manufacturing companies, which have assembly, handling and machining processes. Our products can apply in multiple manufacturing sectors.

APMEN: What sort of challenges are your customers facing?

Teo: Today, businesses face the challenge of getting skilled workers—and staff retention for many industries is becoming a struggle. This is even more severe for countries such as Singapore, which depends on foreign workers. If automation can help reduce these problems and improve work conditions, then more high-value jobs can be created.

APMEN: How is your company helping your customers address their problems?

Teo: We work together closely with our partners such as robot manufacturers and system integrators, and we aim to reach out to more customers to help them see the benefits of automation.

APMEN: What forces do you see driving the industry?

Teo: Collaborative robots, or cobots, have revolutionized many applications that were impossible to think of over a century ago. Less complicated programming equates to less man-hour training, making it cheaper for businesses to adopt robotics. This is game changer, and Schunk is working with the major players in this new era of robotics.

APMEN: What opportunities you are seeing in the Asia market for robotic clamping industry?

Teo: The trend towards automated loading on machining by robots is picking up in recent years. The company is well-positioned to support this growing demand with immediate solutions.

APMEN: What about the challenges in the region? How do you see the trade war between China and the US affecting the manufacturing industry?

Teo: There has been increased investments towards Asia. This is a good problem, where we see customers valuing more our solutions to help them to increase their productivity and capture more businesses.

APMEN: What are the latest developments in robotic clamping/gripping?

Teo: We constantly develop new products in anticipation of the needs of our customers. One example is our latest product, the VERO S NSE3 clamping module, which improves set-up time and has a repeatability accuracy of <0.005mm.

APMEN: How do you position yourself in this industry? What sets you and your solutions apart from the competition?

Teo: Schunk is a unique company, having clamping technology (CT) and gripping systems (GS) solutions. With more than 11,000 standard products, no other company has a comparable scale and size across the range of products. With integrated solutions for both, we provide our customers the best opportunity to automate their processes.

APMEN: What advice would you give your customers when it comes to choosing the correct robot clamping/gripping solution?

Teo: For the machining industry, some customers often invested in clamping solutions and realized later that they need to automate their processes. When they started to review, they will realize that their investments may not be future proof. This may further discourage them towards the automation idea. Our comprehensive CT products allow our customers to later upgrade with our GS products, as both offers seamless integration.

APMEN: The trend is toward smarter factories now, with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, etc. Where does Schunk come in in this environment?

Teo: Schunk sees the need to embrace new technologies. iTENDO, our intelligent hydraulic expansion toolholder for real-time process control, records the process directly on the tool, and transmits the data wirelessly to a receiving unit in the machine room for constant evaluation within the closed control loop. With iTENDO—the first intelligent toolholder on the market—Schunk is setting a milestone when it comes to digitalization in the metal cutting industry.

APMEN: What is your outlook for the robotic clamping/gripping industry in the next 12 to 18 months?

Teo: We understands our partners’ and customers’ needs. For gripping, we have come out recently with new products to address the growing demand for collaborative robot (cobots). For clamping, our latest NSE-A3 138 is specifically designed for automated machine loading. It has a pull down force up to 28kN with integrated bluff off function and media transfer units.

 

 

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MTA Vietnam 2019 Opens New Opportunities For Precision Engineering And Manufacturing Sector In The Industrial Revolution 4.0

MTA Vietnam 2019 Opens New Opportunities For Precision Engineering And Manufacturing Sector In The Industrial Revolution 4.0

Vietnam mechanical industry is predicted to be a potential sector to catch up with the sustainable development of worldwide industry in the fourth industrial revolution. Being along with this industry through years, MTA is supposed to be the Vietnam premier trade event for Precision Engineering, Machine tools and Metalworking. The exhibition is held on July 2nd – 5th, 2019 at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC), promised to display a strong line-up of cutting-edge products together with different interesting additional activities.

Vietnam Mechanical Industry Are Gradually Affirming Its Position In Industrial Revolution 4.0

As Vietnam powers past the first half of 2019, its growth remains stable within the context of slowing global economic growth faced with increasing challenges, contentions and risks. At the end of 1Q19, Vietnam’s GDP growth reached a commendable 6.8 percent, with the industrial and construction sectors contribution at 8.6 percent – the highest rate amongst all key Vietnam industry sectors. The industrial sector looks set to lead GDP growth over the near term as Vietnam has maintained her appeal for foreign direct investment in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

While the world is progressing to the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturing level of Vietnam industry is still at the first stages and limited by new technologies, information, skill and infrastructure. However, if the enterprises know how to take the advantages of opportunities and are facilitated to develop, Vietnam mechanical industry is predicted to be a potential sector to catch up with the sustainable development of worldwide industry in the fourth industrial revolution. Besides, mechanical enterprises should actively renovate their technologies and collaborate with different partners to maximise the efficiency in working. With strong supporting and beneficial policies from the government and associations, the new industrial era would be easier to reach.

MTA Vietnam 2019 – Catching Up With Worldwide Industrial Innovation

MTA Vietnam makes it return as 17th edition and has asserted its position for the last 16 years as the premier precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking exhibition in Vietnam which meets the innovative demands of global tendency. With exhibition area is expanded to Hall A3 and reaches 13,900sqm, the event will showcase a number of industrial products serve for precision engineering, machine tools and metalworking industry provided by different suppliers from around the world. This year’s event attracted more than 514 exhibitors from 22 nations and regions with popular labels such as: Amada, Beijing Jingdiao, Bystronic, Cybertech, Dine Vina, Hypertherm, Hwacheon, Jinan Bodor, Knuth, Mazak, Marposs, Mitsubishi, Muratec, Nikon, Shandong Leiming, Sandvik, Sodick, Renishaw, Takamaz, Trumpf, Van Su Loi, Viet Vu, VPIC Viet Phap, Yamada,… and many others.

MTA Vietnam 2019 honourably welcomes 14 international group pavilions from countries with strong technological development such as: United Kingdom, Taiwan (3), Germany (2), Korea (5), Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Taiwan group pavilion has the biggest exhibition area with over 60 exhibitors attend. Korea is the nation that attracted the most associations with five international group pavilions include more than 50 companies to come and promote their products. Besides, United Kingdom is a brand new international group pavilion which is established for the first time in Vietnam, with supporting from Engineering Industries Association (EIA).

A place to exchange knowledge about science and technology

Technical seminars and conferences are alongside activities which attracted a plenty of visitors at MTA Vietnam. With the topic entitled: “New trends of metal forming technology”, technical seminar is hosted by the organiser: Informa Markets Vietnam and prestigious speakers from top-rated businesses such as: Dr. Ngo Cong Truong, Founder and Professional Director, John&Partners JSC; Mr. Pham Duc Hiep, Sales Manager, Trumpf Vietnam Co., Ltd; Mr. Garry Chuang, Sales General Manager, Bystronic; Mr. Hoang Minh Dong, Manager, Amada Vietnam Co., Ltd and Mr. Naoya Ogawa, Area Manager of ASEAN and Oceania, Murata Machinery Ltd.

Multi Engineering Solution Laboratory – MES LAB has continually accompanied with the seminar series at MTA Vietnam and brings the topic titled: “PRODUCT DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT – PROCESS AND TECHNIQUES TO IMPLEMENT FOR R&D AND INNOVATION TEAM”, conducted by Dr. Tran Anh Tuan (CEO MES LAB) and MES LAB Team. The program is hoped to bring interesting sharings about product design & development process by new technology.

Experiencing our industry 4.0 introducing booth called: “We are Industry 4.0 ready!”

This booth is opened with the aim to introduce products reach industrial 4.0 standard from the exhibitors. With the criterion: “Nine pillars of Technological Advancement that forms the basis for Industry 4.0”: Big Data and Analytics, Autonomous Robots, Simulation, Horizontal and Vertical System Integration, The Industrial Internet of Things, Cybersecurity, The Cloud, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented Reality (Source: Boston Consulting Group 9/4/2015), the products which have one of above standards will be displayed at this special booth. Through short videos and introduction, this is supposed to be a chance for the exhibitors to approach visitors more effectively.

This special booth welcomes 22 popular brands such as: 3D Smart, Amada, Bejing Jingdiao, Cybertech, Kita Sensor, Mazak, Nam Sơn, Nikon, Siemens, Trumpf, Woosung, ZWSOFT,… and many others to attend and showcase their products.

Click here to see show photos taken by the APMEN Team.

 

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Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to conduct an interview with Armin Stolzer, Owner & CEO of KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG regarding current trends in the metal cutting industry.

APMEN: What trends are shaping the metal cutting industry?

The current favourable situation in widespread parts of the global economy and in the metalworking sector is leading to many companies increasing their production output. However, for the most part, additional capacity is usually necessary to enable the larger number of orders to be processed on time. More and more users are therefore deciding to automate processes, including in the sawing and storage technology sector. This offers considerable potential and, at the same time, the necessary flexibility to be able to respond to changing requirements.

 

APMEN: How are you helping your customers keep up with these trends?

We help companies to achieve significant improvements in production efficiency while at the same time reducing their costs – two outcomes which in today’s economically challenging climate are in especially great demand. Our sawing machines and storage systems can be easily integrated into a digitalised and automated material flow. We also offer combined sawing and storage systems in which all the storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes are performed fully automatically with the help of industrial robots – from putting the raw material into store through to the picking of the cut parts. With our customised complete systems, metal-processing companies can fully utilise the potential of their production and logistics facilities.

At the software level we also have innovative solutions that are perfectly adapted to industry needs, for example in the form of our well-designed machine control systems and KASTOlogic Warehouse Management System. With KASTOoptisaw, we have developed a cutting optimisation tool which considers various machine parameters as well as the workload. It generates one or more cutting plans that determine the best item sequences. This results in less waste and as few material movements as possible, saving users both time and money.

 

APMEN: What are the latest technology developments in KASTO’s metal cutting saws and storage systems?

Just recently, we have launched an innovative solution for maintaining our machines and systems remotely: KASTO VisualAssistance. By means of a tablet, smartphone or smart glasses, users can send live videos to KASTO’s service experts and receive visual assistance and information in real time in the event of a fault or maintenance work. Downtimes can be reduced to a minimum, which has a positive effect on the cost balance.

For our automatic bar stock and sheet metal storage systems, we have developed a concept in which excess kinetic energy can be converted into electric current, stored temporarily and then be used flexibly as required. Consumption of electric power can be reduced by as much as 40 percent compared to conventional drive systems and the connected load can even be cut by more than 50 percent. This reduces operating and investment costs and cuts CO2 emissions.

Also, we have comprehensively re-engineered our KASTOtec automatic bandsaws. In doing so, we have clearly focused on the optimum use of carbide metal saw blades. Further innovations relate to the saw feed, the main drive, and a system for automatically adjusting the feed speed. This all contributes to a further increase in sawing performance.

 

APMEN: What sets your solutions apart from competition in the region?

KASTO is the market leader for metal sawing machines, semi-automatic and fully automatic storage systems, as well as automated handling equipment for metal bar stock, sheet metals and parts cut to size. Our portfolio includes high-performance sawing machines that not only enable the user to achieve a supreme cutting quality but also the best cost per cut. Our products feature a high degree of automation and therefore offer the best prerequisites for the megatrends Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things. Besides, we are the only supplier of combined sawing and storage systems and have extensive software know-how. Customers therefore benefit from the full range of equipment for the provisioning, production and distribution of material from a single supplier.

Our products and solutions stand out due to their high level of innovation and ideally fit the requirements of our customers. Top-quality workmanship causes the saws and the storage systems to be particularly rugged and durable. Being a family-owned and -managed company, KASTO stands for quality “Made in Germany”. At the same time, we offer comprehensive and personal service, short response times and expert local advice to all our customers everywhere in the world. In 2015, we opened a subsidiary in Singapore to strengthen our position in the Southeast Asian Market.

 

APMEN: How do you see the metal cutting industry developing in the next year or two?

Connectivity and automation are increasing. Machines, goods, raw materials, load carriers, transport equipment and locations are no longer isolated; they are globally linked and interconnected by means of information networks. Production and logistics are merging, and the integration of processes is increasing. Handling tasks are becoming more and more automated. Digital technology controls the value chain from the producer of raw materials to the final customer. Other important trends include a greater emphasis on safety in materials handling and machine control, which is why we focus in particular on developing effective solutions.

Also, the question of energy efficiency is becoming ever more important. Ultimately, the increased levels of automation mean that users are also taking account of power consumption as a decisive cost factor. The demands placed on machines and systems are therefore not only growing in terms of flexibility, speed and precision, but also at the level of the savings they can bring. To meet these needs, KASTO’s portfolio includes efficient energy recovery and storage methods that allow users to reduce the electricity costs resulting from system operation and, at the same time, to improve the quality of the power supply.

 

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Adapting Cutting Tools To Changing Trends

Adapting Cutting Tools To Changing Trends

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Jacob Harpaz, ISCAR CEO, IMC President and Chairman of the Board, discusses the current trends in the metalworking tool industry, and how the company is helping their customers address their manufacturing challenges.

Jacob Harpaz

APMEN: Could you provide us with an overview of the trends that are shaping the metalworking tool industry?

Jacob Harpaz: Developments such as electric vehicles and powertrains in large volumes, additive manufacturing and cyber connectivity will mean significant changes in the style of machining and the materials being used. Workpieces will be produced more commonly at near net shapes for final machining and finishing.

By 2030 there will be big changes in the automotive sector. The major OEMs are moving away from the internal combustion engine which will mean much less metal removal will be required. There will be wider use of composite materials and the introduction of 3D printing will also mean less metal removal. At ISCAR we are preparing for these changes. Cutting tools will have to adapt to remove less metal but at much faster speeds and feeds.

Industry 4.0’s impact will not just come through sophisticated new technology such as sensors, process monitoring and acquiring machining data, but in the integration of factories and the supply and distribution of consumables used in manufacturing and products leaving the factory.

APMEN: How has ISCAR kept up with these trends?

Harpaz: ISCAR’s motto of “Machining Intelligently” represents the ongoing process of developing new products for increased productivity.  Our aim is to provide our customers with the latest technology to bring down costs.  ISCAR’s strategic philosophy is ongoing R&D that drives our business growth. As soon as we introduce to the market our newest tooling families, another team from the R&D division focuses on designing tools that will compete with these latest tools

ISCAR recently launched its “LOGIQ” cutting tools campaign featuring highly advanced cutting tool solutions for productive, high quality and efficient manufacturing in all sectors.

APMEN: What are the top three challenges that your customers are facing?

Harpaz: First, machining logically and intelligently is closely connected to today’s smart factories and the current cyber age. The cyber revolution is here, and Asian shops should quickly embrace what Industry 4.0 really means. They need to move beyond seeing Industry 4.0 as just a slogan, and this will take open-mindedness.

Next, companies need to maximise efficiency to stay ahead. They should be developing methods to collect, analyse and leverage data and utilising appropriate tools to cut faster or reduce setup, as well as implementing inventory systems that reinforce the aim of 24/7 machining. ISCAR’s “LOGIQ” product range helps to realise these goals.

Third, the ISO 13999 standard affects CAM procedures on production floors all over the world. Producing metal parts productively and profitably requires many technological changes to ensure that the process is followed correctly. To address this challenge, customers need online data such as the information that appears in ISCAR’s electronic catalog, which features assembly options.

APMEN: How are you helping them address these challenges?

Harpaz: ISCAR embraces a business culture that nurtures, strengthens and maintains strong ties with our customers. We aim to improve profitability and productivity for large and small manufacturers alike, facing every challenge as an opportunity to expand our range of solutions through focused R&D, production excellence, and close cooperation with customers to ensure the right product for their needs.

ISCAR introduced a milling tool assemblies option in E-CAT, its comprehensive electronic catalog. This new option represents a highly valuable instrument for the preliminary process in selecting tools at the design and planning stages of machining. Cutting tool data can be gathered accurately and used to create twin representations of the tools. Creating a digital twin representation of a tool assembly based on ISO 13399 facilitates the accurate communication of tool information between software systems. The assemblies are accessible in both 2D and 3D files, and the files can be downloaded directly from E-CAT on the ISCAR website.

Integrating this new function into the user’s CAM software can prevent errors on the shop floor during machining, while the ability to plan multiple tool assemblies saves time and costs in the planning process.

While we always provide the latest technology to machine the part, the productivity advantage of this technology only matters if you have the tool at the right place at the right time.

APMEN: How do you position ISCAR in the metalworking tools market in Asia?

Harpaz: The Asian market is important and presents its own challenges and opportunities; ISCAR welcomes every challenge as an opportunity for continued research and development of effective cutting solutions that match market developments and requirements.

Our commitment to combining innovation with reliability and cost consciousness, together with our wide market knowledge and penetration and a uniquely strong – and global – corporate culture, enables us to stay at the forefront of the industry and to provide our Asian customers with optimal, cost-effective solutions to their needs.

 

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Emirates Steel Accelerates Digital Roadmap And Safeguards Manufacturing Supply Chain With Commvault

Emirates Steel Accelerates Digital Roadmap And Safeguards Manufacturing Supply Chain With Commvault

Commvault has announced that Emirates Steel has implemented Commvault HyperScale to support its digitalisation ambitions and safeguard its manufacturing operations.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Steel is wholly government owned. At full capacity, its 11 plants produce 3.5 million tons of steel products, such as sheets, beams, and reinforced bars, every year for the construction industry. The company’s digitalisation efforts include moving its SAP modules to the cloud through Microsoft public cloud solutions.

“Backup was a challenge with underlying technology scattered across different environments and running on aging Dell hardware,” said Mohammed Azam, IT Infrastructure Head at Emirates Steel “I initially liked Rubrik’s simple interface but realised, at the Commvault GO  event, that Commvault HyperScale proved a more effective solution with an interface that was just as user-friendly but with the critical difference that we installed it easily and it works perfectly across our complex environment.”

Commvault HyperScale and Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery protect 400 terabytes of data hosted across SAP systems, and including SQL databases, email archives, and 20 virtual machines. “Commvault HyperScale is easy to install and use,” said Azam. “Interoperability with both public cloud and on-premises environments means we can make IT investment decisions that boost our competitive advantage without having to worry about backup.”

Two Commvault HyperScale clusters replicate data between the company’s data center and disaster recovery site to provide robust business continuity capabilities. “Commvault gives us confidence that we can recover rapidly from any scenario, including potential ransomware attacks,” said Azam. “We can now restore a critical database in less than 90 minutes compared with three hours previously.”

Commvault also helps accelerate Emirates Steel’s digital roadmap by making it simple to add new services and datasets. “Any disruption to our operational systems and the production of steel would have a national impact. By maximising data availability, we can boost efficiency and safeguard the manufacturing supply chain,” concluded Azam.

“We are proud to expand our longstanding relationship with Emirates Steel by adding our latest HyperScale functionality and flexibility,” said Wael Mustafa, Area Vice President Middle East, South Africa & Turkey at Commvault.  “Our HyperScale solutions are offering increased data availability and business continuation assurance to many of the largest organisations across the region.”

 

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