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Behringer Talks Asia Market, Latest Sawing Technology

Behringer Talks Asia Market, Latest Sawing Technology

Dongdong Tao, executive director and general manager of Behringer (Shenyang) Machinery Co. Ltd, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about the company’s presence in Asia, opportunities in the market, and their latest technology innovations. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

With Behringer's servomotor and ball spindle down-feed technology, you can get a very accurate movement of the saw frame, and you can cut into the material with a constant speed.

With Behringer’s servomotor and ball spindle down-feed technology, you can get a very accurate movement of the saw frame, and you can cut into the material with a constant speed.

Behringer GmbH is one of the biggest names in bandsaws and circular saws worldwide. Celebrating its 100th year this year, the company—now run by Rolf and Christian Behringer, the grandchildren of founder August Behringer—mainly has three production bases: one in Kirchardt, Germany, the headquarters, which produces bandsaws; one in the southern part of Stuttgart, which is a circular saw manufacturer; and the third production base in France, which is a joint venture between Behringer and Vernet.

Most of the machines that Behringer produces are exported to over 80 countries. Behringer has sales and service subsidiaries in the United States, France, China, and the United Kingdom, and over 30 agencies worldwide.

At the recent EMO Hannover 2019 trade fair, Dongdong Tao, executive director and general manager of Behringer (Shenyang) Machinery Co. Ltd, speaks to Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News about the company’s presence in Asia, opportunities and challenges in the market, and their latest technology innovations.

Tell us something about yourself and your role in the company.

Dongdong Tao (DT): I am responsible for the China market. Behringer has a subsidiary in China, but it is not a factory – I mean, it has no production; we do sales, service and technical support for the Chinese market. Sometimes, we also provide technical support to Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

What opportunities are you seeing in the Asian market?

DT: Behringer is one of the leading companies in sawing technology worldwide. However, its traditional markets are Europe and the United States—about 80 percent of its orders are from these regions. And then, the rest of the world accounts for only about 20 percent. Asia is also in this 20%—it is not a big share of the whole market, but I believe it should be the future of Behringer on the international market.

Considering the rapid economic development in countries such as China, Vietnam, and Singapore, and the fast-catching markets of Malaysia and the Philippines should be among the future markets for Behringer.

Are there any particular industry or industries you are seeing strong growth?

DT: The sawing machine is a universal machine tool. Our markets include those related to metal cutting. For example, steel makers, the automotive industry, or the aircraft industry require hard materials; it should be the right job for Behringer. If you need high efficiency and high accuracy, these are the advantages of Behringer.

Behringer Talks Asia Market, Latest Sawing TechnologyWhat are some of Behringer’s sawing technologies being highlighted at the show?

DT: One of our highlights for this exhibition is the new model HBE 560A Performance. HBE Performance is a relatively new series, which was launched only about two years ago. We have different models under this series. This new model completes the cutting range of the HBE series from 560mm to 1m.

The special advantage in technology in this series is the down-feed design of ball spindle and servo-motor.

When you look at the market now, most bandsaws you will see use hydraulic down-feed. The spindle and servo design is mostly used in high-rank products, but now we use it in our regular sawing machines series.

What is the advantage of this?

DT: With this servo-motor and ball spindle down-feed, you can get a very accurate movement of the saw frame, and you can cut into the material with a constant speed. It is very positive to protect the teeth of saw blade from damage. But with hydraulic down-feed, there’s always some vibration, which results in a reduced blade lifetime. What is more, you can’t get the right cutting efficiency.

With this new design, you can significantly increase your performance. But the price of the machine is similar to previous hydraulic models. The same price, but at a higher accuracy and higher efficiency, this will be attractive for customers.

What is your outlook for the next year?

DT: Actually, there are some negative air about the global economy at the moment. During my visit to Germany, I also heard this kind of feelings from my colleagues, and they are all worrying about the next financial crisis. It hasn’t really happened.

But in this climate, it is typical for people or customers to hold off on making decisions on new investments; everything has slowed down. This is certainly a negative factor for the development of our global economy.

In Asia, I think we are also reading about this kind of topic, but it is not as critical as in Europe.

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Increasing Integration Of Storage And Sawing Technology

Increasing Integration Of Storage And Sawing Technology

Automation, networking and robotics are rapidly gaining ground in metalworking—especially in storage and sawing technology. Storage systems and sawing machines are increasingly being integrated into a uniformly controlled material flow in which all processes between incoming and outgoing goods are fully automated – from the storage of the long goods raw material to the dispatch of the palletised finished parts. This enables users to make their production processes much more flexible and efficient, improve working conditions and significantly reduce operating costs.

Whether they are in the steel trade, the automotive and supplier industry or in mechanical and plant engineering, metalworking companies across all industries have been facing increasing demands for years. Customers expect ever greater production flexibility, from batch size one to mass production. The 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.

More and more users are relying on the automation and intelligent networking of individual workflows in production and logistics. This begins with the storage of the delivered raw material—instead of the previously widespread floor or cantilever storage, companies are increasingly relying on fully automatic long goods storage systems. These automated software-controlled systems have completely convinced users with their significantly higher storage density, fast access times and maximum stock transparency.

Cassettes are usually used as load handling devices for the storage of long goods. A storage and retrieval machine automatically transports these to one or more transfer stations in line with the “goods to the next process” principle. These can be designed differently for the respective requirements, as fixed stations, for example, or in movable form as longitudinal or transverse transfer carriages. Automatic storage and retrieval is not only much faster than by hand, it also protects employees from accidents and injuries as the heavy and bulky goods do not have to be moved manually. Orders are processed at the push of a button via the warehouse control system – or directly via a higher-level ERP system to which the control system is connected via an interface.

The sawing of the articles removed from storage is often the first step in processing or manufacturing. Here too, all processes are increasingly organised without any human participation. The modern KASTO sawing machines can be seamlessly connected to the raw material warehouse by means of manipulators and conveyor technology and are supplied with the required materials. Depending on how it is equipped, the sawing machine can also run by itself. Material is fed to it automatically, and an intelligent machine control system sets all parameters, such as cutting length and cutting speed, based on the job data. State-of-the-art production saws can thus carry out a variety of jobs in succession with different materials and diameters, and operate autonomously for long periods.

Industrial robots also have considerable potential when it comes to handling and processing finished cut parts. Depending on the production cycle, for example they can remove the sawn parts from the machine at maximum speed, so employees no longer have to carry out this repetitive task. In addition, the robots can be used with the appropriate tools to add value for deburring, chamfering, marking, centring, cleaning or measuring and testing the workpieces. The sections can be weighed, sorted by sise or order, and stacked on pallets or in tightly packed containers. For complex processes with different work steps, combinations of several robots and clamping devices can also be realised with KASTO systems. Further connection to driverless transport systems (AGVs) is also common practice nowadays.

Downstream processes are relatively easy to automate with volume saws that process only a few different component geometries. The situation is somewhat different with individualised job saws, however; they have to flexibly process numerous materials and dimensions, and the greater the diversity, the more challenging it is to fully handle all the tasks. For example, the optimal selection of robot tools is important, because the robot should be able to manipulate all the objects to be handled with as few aids as possible. This reduces procurement costs, minimises idle times and increases productivity. Users can choose from mechanical, magnetic or vacuum-driven grippers. The grippers should be as compact as possible to give the robot easy access to the cut parts. KASTO supports users in defining the optimal tools for the upcoming tasks. In regular operation, the robot then independently decides which tool is best suited for the current task. The decision criteria may be the accessibility of the workpiece or the optimisation of the stacking pattern.

Industry 4.0 in Storage and Sawing Technology

With the right components, storage, sawing, automation and robotics technologies can be combined to form decentralised and highly integrated systems that are seamlessly integrated into one continuous material flow. The manufacturer KASTO realises combined storage-sawing-robot systems for its customers, in which all storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes run fully automatically, from the storage of the raw materials to the picking of the sections. The big advantage here is that the entire system functions with a uniform control software, which can be connected to existing ERP systems such as SAP with only one interface. This significantly increases transparency and efficiency. With additional production machines, such as for turning or milling, the storage, sawing and robotic systems can be linked to form a fully digitalised and automatic production system that organises itself decentrally and independently, in line with industry 4.0.

Automation and robotic support offer significant advantages for the user, who can significantly increase productivity with less personnel, since many processes are not only unmanned, but also run much faster. It is easier to compensate for staff absences due to illness, and production simply continues even during breaks or after shifts. The result is lower personnel costs and a high degree of flexibility in terms of capacity utilisation. For example, companies can process order peaks much better and drastically reduce non-productive times. This also quickly becomes noticeable from a profitability point of view.

Working conditions are also improved by the automated technology, because employees are relieved of heavy, tiring and monotonous work, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. The quality of the sawn sections is also enhanced, because the robot processes all the parts uniformly and precisely, sorts them reliably and stacks them cleanly. This ultimately benefits not only the plant operators, but also their customers.

 

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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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Behringer: HBE1060A Performance

Behringer: HBE1060A Performance

Behringer’s HBE1060A Performance covers a wide range of applications such as in steel distribution, machine building, tool making and process reliability during sawing. As compared to hydraulic systems, the HBE1060A Performance servo feed system is able to saw large diameters at slow speeds more efficiently with minimal noise pollution. A feature that is facilitated by the steady feed movement provided by the electrically-powered brush, ball screw spindle and servo motor, which also provides constant chip removal from the bandsaw blade and ensures a stable cutting process. Resulting in a machine with high cutting capacity and blade service life that allows users to efficiently change worn brushes without the requirements for additional tools.

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