TRUMPF has opened a new smart factory at its headquarters in Ditzingen. The new facility is already producing sheet metal parts for the company’s machine tools. Designed as a fully connected manufacturing environment, the smart factory also serves as a demonstration center – a place where SMEs and other businesses can see for themselves how efficient sheet metal fabrication works.
“We have 30 machines connected to each other in our new smart factory. Connectivity helps reduce scrap rates and processing time as well as boosting efficiency. Nowhere else in the world offers our particular mix of problem-solving skills for sheet metal fabrication,” says Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chief Executive Officer Machine Tools at TRUMPF.
The smart factory is divided into three production halls that cover a total of 5,000 square meters. Along with Chicago in the U.S. and Taicang in China, Ditzingen has become the third TRUMPF location to have a fully connected manufacturing facility. The company now has a smart factory in each of the world’s major regions, highlighting its determination to get closer to its customers.
Assistance systems for day-to-day work
Connectivity in the new smart factory extends not only to cutting, bending and welding machines, but also to large-scale storage systems and automated guided vehicles. The whole connected manufacturing environment is managed from the control center. This is where all the key performance indicators from the production process are collected in real time – from initial order to finished product.
“The best way to improve the efficiency of a sheet-metal production line is to focus on the steps that occur upstream and downstream from the actual machining of the part. Connecting up production processes and machines gives sheet metal fabricators a decisive competitive edge – especially in our age of decreasing batch sizes, faster response times and increasingly complex parts,” says Prokop.
Workers in the new smart factory are supported by assistance systems. With the help of TRUMPF’s manufacturing execution system software TruTops Fab, they can monitor the entire manufacturing process from wherever they are using a tablet, smartphone or smart watch.
Solution provider for end-to-end production
TRUMPF’s smart factory meets the company’s in-house manufacturing requirements. But it also serves as a demonstration center for sheet metal fabricators from Germany and across Europe, showing them how to boost the efficiency of cutting, bending, punching and welding in a real production environment. From SMEs to large corporations, companies of all sizes can discover new solutions for connected manufacturing. For example, small businesses can significantly boost their efficiency by opting for entry-level solutions such as an AI-based part removal assistant. TRUMPF’s smart factory offers the perfect example of how to connect up manufacturing step-by-step in logistics and other areas. Larger companies with more machinery can learn how to set up semi-autonomous manufacturing by studying the smart factory’s seamless integration of punching, bending, lasers and storage systems.
Solution provider with partners
TRUMPF aims to continue building its reputation as a solution provider for end-to-end production – and that means building partnerships. The modern factory transport units that carry materials to and from the various machine tools are made by one of these partners, Jungheinrich, while the storage systems come from STOPA. The smart factory also includes a levelling and deburring machine from ARKU and an inspection machine from InspecVision.
The first EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit is taking place online from 27 – 30 October 2020, providing a much-anticipated trade and networking event for the global sheet metal working community, which has been impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
The EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit is a four-day online trading, networking and webinar event for professionals from the entire sheet metal working technology chain. Visitors can virtually meet relevant exhibitors, watch informative product presentations and follow webinars on current industry trends, followed by live Q&A Sessions. Similar to a live event there are several options for visitors to get in touch with exhibitors: drop their business card at the virtual stand, pre-book meetings with exhibitors or instantly contact exhibitors as they browse the virtual stand.
The opening times of the online event are from 27 – 30 October 2020, from 8am to 4pm GMT. Visitors can participate for free and the platform is now open for registration and pre-booking of meetings.
Discover latest technological innovations: Presentation Theatre and Product Showcases
Visitors can discover the latest innovations, presented in the Virtual Presentation Theatre by selected EuroBLECH exhibitors. Each exhibitor presentation lasts around 15 minutes and will demonstrate their latest product innovations and technologies, followed by a live Q&A session. Companies presenting their latest developments are Bystronic Laser, Lantek, Lumentum, Mazak, Prima Power, Salvagnini and TRUMPF Group. In addition, Virtual Product Showcases create a virtual stand experience and allow visitors to explore new products and services of EuroBLECH exhibitors in more detail.
Virtual meetings with exhibitors
The matchmaking functionality is now available to arrange pre-booked meetings, with all meetings taking place from 27 – 30 October live on the EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit platform. Arranging for a meeting is very easy and intuitive, with no third-party software required. Visitors simply login, fill in their profile with their interests and can then start searching for exhibitors to send out meeting invites.
EuroBLECH goes DIGITAL: The Webinar Programme
A daily programme of webinars by industry experts provides an opportunity to gain useful insights into the latest market developments as well as technical expertise concerning new industry applications and solutions. Key players from the industry as well as trade bodies provide exclusive insights into latest technologies and case studies on subjects such as Digitalisation, Forming and Separation Technology, Automation and Process Optimisation.
German high-tech company TRUMPF will be presenting a whole series of new developments in sheet-metal fabrication this fall. From October 27 to 30, the company will be showcasing a range of new machines, software and services at Euroblech’s online Digital Innovation Summit 2020.
TRUMPF’s website already features a variety of new connectivity solutions for cutting, bending, punching and welding, including systems for production planning and control, sheet-metal part sorting and manufacturing logistics. But sheet-metal fabricators will soon be able to gain even more insights into connected manufacturing by paying a visit to Ditzingen.
“We’ll be using our own new manufacturing facility to demonstrate how fabricators can make parts of any shape or size while boosting their efficiency by up to 30 percent. Our plant will produce parts faster and more affordably because the whole process is connected – from order to finished part. We’re determined to pass on that expertise to our customers,” says Reinhold Gross, managing director of sales and services at the Machine Tools business division.
Customer events at the new sheet-metal manufacturing facility in Ditzingen will be restricted to a limited number of participants and comply with current coronavirus regulations in order to keep customers and employees safe at all times.
TRUMPF and the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA have formed a research alliance that is set to to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for connected manufacturing on an industrial scale. Running until 2025, ten employees from TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA are involved in the project, which will receive some two million euros of funding spread over the next five years.
“TRUMPF’s mission is to further extend its AI leadership in sheet-metal fabrication. To that end, we have already started investing in the kind of future technologies that will drive major efficiency gains within our company and boost our competitiveness,” says Thomas Schneider, managing director of development at TRUMPF Machine Tools.
Five years have passed since TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA joined forces to work on smart factory topics, and the two partners will be continuing to pursue these existing projects within the framework of their new research alliance.
“TRUMPF has been working with us on connected manufacturing for years because they share our view that Industry 4.0 developments represent a major opportunity. Everything depends on what happens over the next few years – so these are exciting times! We expect the coronavirus pandemic to act as a kind of catalyst: those who are well prepared will be perfectly placed to exploit the huge opportunities that lie ahead. Soon we’ll see whether we have laid the right foundations for the future in our joint projects,” says Professor Thomas Bauernhansl, director of Fraunhofer IPA.
Future projects aim to make AI explainable
One of the goals TRUMPF and Fraunhofer IPA hope to achieve over the next five years is to develop solutions for better data quality in manufacturing. This reflects the crucial importance of high-quality data when it comes to achieving efficiency gains with AI. To address this need, the two partners will be increasing their research activities in the field of explainable artificial intelligence, or XAI. Their goal is to make the operation of neural networks interpretable. New findings in this area are of great benefit to sheet-metal fabricators. The results of this kind of data analysis can boost the quality of manufacturing, save time and cut costs.
EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit to take place in October 2020
Mack Brooks Exhibitions has announced the postponement of EuroBLECH, which was scheduled to take place at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds in Germany from 27 to 30 October 2020. The new dates for the next EuroBLECH, 26th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, are 9 -12 March 2021. This decision was taken after extensive conversations with all exhibitors and partners over recent weeks and months who have expressed their preference not to hold the show in October, in light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Uncertainties around travel restrictions in order to maintain the truly international character of the EuroBLECH event were also a concern to many participants.
Speaking about the announcement, Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of Mack Brooks Exhibitions said: “The past months have been challenging, in particular for the sheet metal working industry and its related industry sectors. We have seen a decrease in orders of capital goods and many companies are telling us about their challenges in dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we have recently received authority approval for our Safety and Security concept to hold EuroBLECH in October this year, we have decided to postpone EuroBLECH to Spring 2021”.
As part of a recent series of industry surveys, the participants of EuroBLECH indicated their requirement to network and conduct business in order to pave the way for the recovery of the industry following the Covid-19 pandemic. EuroBLECH will therefore offer a virtual hub for the global sheet metal working industry in October: “Following feedback from our exhibitors and visitors indicating the need to participate in an event, even if not in a physical form, we will organise a Digital Innovation Summit taking place from 27 to 30 October, our planned event slot. This Digital Innovation Summit will provide our exhibitors with a platform to demonstrate their latest machines and solutions and arrange virtual meetings with international visitors. We believe it is our duty to assist the industry through these extraordinary times by offering a market place this year as a platform for innovations and a starting point for the recovery of the industry”, continued Nicola Hamann.
The EuroBLECH Team will communicate closely with customers and partners over the coming weeks and months and thank their exhibitors, partners, suppliers and visitors for their support during this challenging time. Further information on the Digital Innovation Summit containing details on the Online Presentation Theatre for exhibitors, video on demand options and matchmaking facilities, will be available shortly.
The reputation of the Japanese for being hardworking and quality-conscious is not just a cliché. This is proved by the family-run company Daisan Kouki. The job shop processes sheet metal for the automotive industry and relies on technology made in Switzerland. The machines run around the clock—this is the only way to guarantee the highest quality while meeting the ever shorter lead times. We take a glimpse behind the scenes. Article by Stefan Jermann, Bystronic Group.
The ByTrans Extended automation system (on the left) facilitates the loading and unloading of the cutting machines.
Tokyo Central Railway Station. It stands there like an arrow in a taut bow, the rolling legend: the Shinkansen. The interior of the fastest train in the world reflects much of that has made Japan what it is today: a high-tech nation that visitors experience almost like a journey into the future. Everywhere one looks, there is state-of-the-art technology and innovative design. Also inside the Shinkansen. One example of this are the rotating seats, which can be turned against the direction of travel if required.
Travelling to Nagoya with closed eyes, you hardly notice the tremendous speed of more than 320 kilometers per hour. It’s only when you look out of the window that you realize how fast you are actually tearing through the countryside. In addition to technical perfection, the Shinkansen also demonstrates the exeptional service mentality in Japan: Hungry or thirsty travelers need only wait a short while before one of the super-friendly staff comes by to offer snacks.
At the focal point of the automotive industry
The 366 kilometres to Nagoya take virtually no time at all. The journey to the city with a population of 2.5 million, the coal point of the Japanese car industry, takes just one and three-quarter hours. This is where all the major Japanese car manufacturers have their factories: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mazda. Nagoya generates approximately the same gross domestic product (GDP) as all of Norway. The cargo port and the well-developed land routes facilitate smooth logistics; over the years many suppliers have settled in the vicinity of the renowned car manufacturers. One of the companies that produce here is the family enterprise Daisan Kouki.
The company has been firmly in the family for 70 years. “In the 1960s, Daisan Kouki was a pure family business,” says Noriyuki Wakahara, the managing director of the company, which today has 104 employees. The core business of the company founder, his grandfather-in-law, was trading sheet metal. “One day, when a customer asked why we don’t also process sheet metal, we saw the light,” Wakahara recalls.
In 2004, Daisan Kouki, took its first step into the world of sheet metal processing and purchased a 2 kilowatt laser cutting system. In the years that followed, the factory was continuously expanded – among other things to comply with increasingly strict earthquake safety standards.
“We have always attached great value to reliably meeting even the highest quality requirements and have thus made a good name for ourselves on the industry,” says Wakahara. Most of his customers are active in the automotive sector. The parts that Daisan Kouki manufacturers support the production, above all in creating the production chain.
KASTO Maschinenbau has equipped its UNITOWER storage system with a practical new feature. The automatic bar stock and sheet metal storage system is available with an integrated pick-by-light function. Using this solution, the operator is intuitively guided to the required item by means of a light beam. In this way, users can save a significant amount of time in the storage system and avoid mistakes.
The pick-by-light function is particularly helpful in storage systems in which the pallets or cassettes are subdivided into multiple storage compartments. It is integrated in the KASTO storage system’s controller, which tells it which article needs to be stored or retrieved for the relevant job. After the load carrier has been moved to the station, a light dot is projected onto the field of the pallet or cassette where the article can be found. The operator recognises the correct compartment at a glance and is able to store or retrieve the item without error. This saves time and prevents mistakes resulting from incorrect assignments.
The KASTO UNITOWER is available in two different variants: as a version for the storage of long workpieces or for sheet metal, flat products and containers. Cassettes, pallets or supporting frames are used as the load carriers. Depending on the design, each storage space can carry loads of up to five tonnes. The towers accept bar stock from 3,400 to 14,600 mm in length, thus allowing users to access different standard lengths as well as workpiece- or production-optimised special lengths.
The basic version of the UNITOWER has a usable width between 600 and 1,240 mm. This enables the storage system to be ideally matched to the available space. The UNITOWER B model for storing sheet metal and flat products enables lengths between 2,000 and 8,000 mm to be stored. The usable width is between 1,000 and 2,000 mm.
System heights of up to 20 metres can be easily achieved with both variants. With their variable loading height, tower storage systems provide a flexible solution which saves significantly more space and is therefore more economical compared with conventional floor and cantilever arm storage systems. The UNITOWER storage systems are also characterised by their high level of efficiency. The load carriers are handled by a storage and retrieval machine (SRM) with a central crossbeam. Compared with paternoster systems, for example, this has the advantage that it is not necessary to move the entire stock, but only the relevant cassette. Together with the superbly efficient drives, this ensures fast access times and saves energy. KASTO’s advanced conveyor systems and processing machines can also be used to connect storage and retrieval stations fully automatically, ensuring a highly efficient and smooth internal material flow.
As expected, the 14th Blechexpo international trade fair for sheet metal working, together with the 7th Schweisstec international trade fair for joining technology, was an industry highlight and closed successfully with 1498 exhibitors from 36 countries. 41,152 visitors from a total of 113 countries took advantage of the trade fair duo, which in the meantime has grown to 108,000 square metres of exhibition floor space, in order to bring themselves up to date with regard to sheet metal, pipe and profile processing, as well as cutting, joining, forming and welding technologies, from 5-7 November 2019.
Record-Breaking Figures in all Categories – Nine Fully Occupied Halls – More International than Ever
The Blechexpo/Schweisstec trade fair duo broke several records this year: 1498 exhibitors from 36 countries (as opposed to 1339 in 2017) were on hand in Stuttgart. “45 percent of them came from outside of Germany”, sums up Georg Knauer with a satisfied smile. “This year’s Blechexpo/Schweisstec was more international than ever before.”
And it was bigger than ever as well: With a total of 108,000 square metres, roughly 15 percent more exhibition floor space was booked than in 2017. For the first time, Blechexpo/Schweisstec occupied new exhibition hall 10, which enhances the Stuttgart Exhibition Centre with its spacious and modern design.
“For us, this technical event is a leading trade fair of very high significance,” remarked Wolfgang Wiedenmann, deputy sales manager at press manufacturer Andritz Kaiser. Despite the fact that the industry is currently having to deal with noticeable declines in incoming orders for various reasons, Blechexpo/Schweisstec was a well-received and important technology and knowledge platform: where thermal and mechanical processing of sheet metal, pipe and profiles is concerned, as well as processing machines and systems for stamping, bending, bevelling and forming, right on up to peripherals including controllers, software and solutions for handling and quality assurance, this trade fair is a unique marketplace for the industry sector’s current challenges and future issues. As a logical consequence, subject matter covering digitalisation and automation dominated here as well. To an ever-greater extent, emphasis is being placed on modern cutting technologies: alone the issue of laser cutting was presented by 56 exhibitors, and 25 further companies exhibited technologies covering all aspects of high-pressure water-jet cutting.
Highlight for the Sheet Metal Working Sector – Process-Oriented, Practical, Forward-Looking
Held once every two years, the Blechexpo/Schweisstec trade fair duo was distinguished once again this year by its strictly practice-oriented concept and was able to cover all aspects affecting the world of sheet metal processing and metalworking, which is now more digitalised and consistently automated than ever before. The Industrieverband Blechumformung (industry association for sheet metal forming) organised a communal booth and was thus able to offer its members the opportunity of presenting themselves in a more comprehensive setting. 16 companies participated. This mutual presence drew attention and formed the basis for an adequate platform for business-related networking.
The trade fair’s topics included trends, innovations and future-proof solutions in the wake of a rapidly changing production environment. For example, modern joining and fastening technologies are becoming increasingly important because many new and hybrid materials can’t be cut or joined by means of thermal processes – as a result, more attention is being focused on mechanical joining technology in the field of lightweight design.
World-Class Supplementary Program Generates Strong Interest
The exhibitor forum in hall 9 was received once again with great interest by the expert visitors. The presentation programme was brimming full all three days, in particular with issues covering all aspects of digitalisation.
This was also the subject of the stahlnews.de/Blechexpo Expert Meet on the evening of the first day of the trade fair. Organiser Hans Diederichs was able to welcome roughly 50 interested parties to the event in keeping with the motto: “The Steel Industry in Times of Globalisation and Industry 4.0”.
Already for the fourth time, the “Blechexpo Award” was awarded to the most innovative exhibits in five different categories. With its MC 125 automatic stamping press, Schuler was the winner in the stamping and forming technology category. Kjellberg Finsterwalde Plasma und Maschinen won in the cutting technology category with its Q 3000 plasma cutting system. The winner in the joining technology category was Trumpf Laser- und Systemtechnik with their TruLaser Station 7000 – a 3D laser welding machine. The award for surface finishing technology went to Q-Fin Quality Finishing Machines for their SER600 Super Edge Rounder (a deburring and edge rounding machine). Last but not least, Cenit was distinguished in the handling and automation category for their cross-manufacturer cutting and joining software, namely Fastsuite Edition 2.
The next Blechexpo/Schweisstec trade fair duo will take place from the 2nd through the 5th of November, 2021.
With products becoming increasingly customised and batch sizes growing ever smaller, manufacturers need flexible and automated solutions that are capable of processing small batch sizes. Here’s how Bystronic is helping them. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Bystronic Group is a leading global provider of high-quality solutions for the sheet metal processing business. The focus lies on the automation of the complete material and data flow of the cutting and bending process chain. Bystronic’s portfolio includes laser cutting systems, press brakes, and associated automation and software solutions. Comprehensive services round off the portfolio.
The company headquarters are located in Niederönz, Switzerland. Additional development and production locations are located in Germany, in Italy, and in China. Bystronic is actively represented by its sales and service subsidiaries in more than 30 countries and has agents in numerous other countries.
In March 2018, Bystronic expanded its existing portfolio of technologies with the acquisition of TTM Laser S.p.A, an Italian company headquartered in Cazzago San Martino, which specialises in the development of 2D and 3D laser systems for the cutting of tubes and profiles and for the welding of large-format metal sheets. TTM Laser’s tube processing technology can be applied to a host of industries, ranging from the need for precision components in steel for makers of furniture and exercise machines, to tubes to help construct the chassis of automobiles and agricultural machinery.
Bystronic completed the integration of TTM Laser into the Group last May 2019. This was marked with the opening of a new Experience Centre and the launch of a new laser cutting system ByTube 130. The 3,200-square-metre Experience Centre includes a modern showroom, in which the newest technologies for tube and profile processing will be presented. TTM Laser’s facility in Cazzago San Martino will now be Competence Centre Tube Processing of the Bystronic Group.
The new ByTube 130 is the optimal solution for sheet metal processing companies that want to expand their portfolio to include tube processing, to capture a wider market including automotive and construction industries right through to furniture, machine, and equipment manufacturers. ByTube 130’s automated system reduces the need for manual interventions to a minimum, making the entry into the field of tube processing particularly easy. At the same time, the machine covers a very wide range of requirements: Since 85 percent of the market potential lies in the small tube segment, the ByTube 130 is geared toward the processing of tubes with diameters between 10mm and 130mm. The machine has a loading capacity of 17 kilograms per meter. The 2D cutting head allows a large proportion of customer requests to be processed, since vertical cuts account for 90 percent of the market.
In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Norbert Seo, senior vice president, Market Division Asia & Australia, Member of Group Management, talks about the trends he is seeing in the market, drivers for growth, and how Bystronic is helping customers address their manufacturing challenges. He also provides his insights on the Southeast Asian market, and his outlook for the metalworking industry in the coming year.
What would you say are the key competitive advantages of your company?
Norbert Seo (NS): Bystronic believes on building long-term partnerships with its customers. We believe in commitment and trust, in highest quality, in lifetime support and in local expertise. It’s crucial for our customers that their production never stops. Beside latest technologies and high-end solutions also service is a very important aspect. It is this full package that gives customers peace of mind. And this is what we have in mind when we are offering “Bystronic. Best choice”.
We are supporting our customers where they are today. We are showing them a clear vision, e.g. regarding Smart Factory, and define together with them the next steps for growth, for getting ahead in the competition, for manufacturing metal products smarter and faster than ever before. That’s Bystronic! That’s our commitment to all our customers worldwide.
What are the major drivers of growth for your company?
NS: Bystronic is always innovating, coming up with higher powered laser cutting machines in increasingly larger formats, and coming up with automation systems that helps increase productivity for our customers. As the need for quality cutting and faster turnaround increases, so do the demand for bigger, powerful, more efficient systems.
Please enumerate the top three trends in markets that you are serving, and how do these trends affect your business in terms of product development and/or manufacturing?
NS: For many customers, looking ahead to the future of their own sheet metal processing operations means: being able to adapt to fluctuating order situations; mastering cost and time pressure by applying the most efficient processes and systems available; and, positioning themselves on the competitive global or local markets with leading technologies and manufacturing solutions.
A clear trend in the markets of our customers is that big batches and mass production is getting less and less. Products are getting more customised, and batches are getting smaller and smaller. So, our customers do need solutions to produce small batches in a flexible and automated way. That is a big need, because today they have to do that manually. Therefore, flexible automation will be one of the trends in the future.
Another trend is shorter delivery times. People want their products straightway. Nobody wants to produce for stocks anymore or according to forecast, and this is even more challenging. You have to be fast and you have to be automated. Having said all these points, Bystronic is in the direction where the industry is going. We offer concepts and solutions that are very closely designed to the needs of our customers. We enable customers to fully optimize and automate their operations in multiple shifts, as well as end-to-end solutions that cover cutting, bending, material handling, plus process and data management.
When you talk to your customers, what are the biggest challenges that they usually encounter?
NS: About 80 percent of Bystronic customers in Southeast Asia are job shops, whose focus are on individual machines or automated solutions. What these job shops need is a business reliable technology and service provider that they can easily contact, and who can visit their shops at once. That is why we are focusing on strengthening our local expertise. We are talking with our customers about what is bothering them, what solutions Bystronic can develop for them, and what the next step for their production processes could be.
For job shops, the next step could be a powerful fibre laser with an automated loading and unloading solution to increase productivity. Or a fully automated material and data flow to enable virtually autonomous operation in multiple shifts. Advanced users and large metal processing companies also think in other dimensions. Here, we are talking about end-to-end solutions that cover cutting, bending, material handling, as well as process and data management—so called Smart Factory concepts.
How is your company helping your customers address these challenges issues?
NS: There is a lot of talk about Industry 4.0. However, customers do not fully understand this concept and do not yet have a precise idea of what they can achieve with this. Our answer to their demands is our vision of the smart factory.
The Smart Factory is a journey. Step by step the customer achieves the highest level of productivity; where all processes from the initial order inquiry to the delivery of the metal sheets, and right through to the shipping of the finished parts are automated and digital connected.
Most of our customers in Southeast Asia have small job shops with one laser and press break. We will guide them in this journey. It is a growth path to achieve more profit and competitiveness. We will provide suitable solutions for cutting, bending, automation and software. And we will definitely help them step-by-step on the path towards it.
What opportunities and trends are you seeing for the metalworking industry in ASEAN in the upcoming years?
NS: There is a very good reason why everyone is talking about Industry 4.0. Bigger companies and job shops are taking small but forward steps towards incorporating diverse and flexible automation systems such as loading, unloading, storage, sorting, tool changing, etc., into their manufacturing processes. It is only a matter of time before late adopters follow suit.
What is your outlook for the metalworking industry in the coming year?
NS: In general, we can see that the market is getting tougher and the reason is price issue. Normally our customers and their end-users are asking for very competitive prices. Aside from a viable machine price, the equipment must also be effective. For example, you have one hour to produce 50 parts, therefore our machine must be able to manufacture 60 or 70 parts compared to our rivals. Producing excellent products is always a challenge. For this, Bystronic provides productive machines that offer stability, speed and highest quality on the market.
Forming Technologies (FTI) has announced the release of the FormingSuite 2019 Feature Pack 1. Designed for sheet metal cost estimators, design engineers, tooling designers, and advanced planning engineers in the automotive, aerospace, consumer product and electronics industries, this feature pack introduces numerous enhancements that ensure the best quality results and performance for all users.
Overall changes to the software’s workbenches and processes allow for Material Utilisation (MUL) and Design for Manufacturability (DFM) concepts to fully be realised. These concepts help customers reduce material waste through virtual tryouts replacing test stampings and addressing formability issues that could threaten the integrity of a part long before the part makes it to the shop floor. New blanking processes in the software allow parts to be nested and created faster, and with much less waste than before, by considering multiple factors in the stamping process. Changes to pilot holes and addendum features integrate real world solutions into the digital process, allowing for increased accuracy, and robust parts and operations.
With this latest release, FormingSuite’s ProcessPlanner module continues to add support for the most specialised processes in sheet metal forming. The Line Die Plan workbench now allows users to detail the process for blanking in multiple operations (for both online and offline blanking). This new capability improves the visual description of the blanking process as well as the die load, die cost, die size and die weight calculations. New options for the calculation of cam costs increase flexibility and provide more precise estimates for custom and standard cams for progressive dies and line dies. Rounding out the changes to this workbench, a new display option in the ProgDie Process summary display shows the die size along with the process layout.
The COSTOPTIMISER module now boasts substantial improvements in nesting solver speed as well as two new display options to show carrier condition and the 3D part along with the layout. Cost Optimisation of nesting layouts now allows users to choose if the part is cropped while maintaining the addendum offset, or if the addendum is cut without affecting the part. This change gives users the tools needed to effectively evaluate material cost savings opportunities on parts formed with addendum. Extending upon FormingSuite’s unique capabilities for introducing and evaluating web and carrier geometry, the pilot hole tool now provides the option of adding material around pilot holes as is common in real world strip designs. This allows engineers to ensure the integrity of their strip layouts in the software and on the shop floor.
Finally, significant updates have been made to trimming in FastIncremental. Automatic mesh refinement during trimming ensures that results of trim operations are precise. Automatic trimming now provides quicker solutions and more accurate results.
“We’re very excited to be announcing our latest release around HxGN LIVE with the focus being on data driven sustainability this year.” Says FTI’s CEO and President Michael Gallagher. “One of the main tenets of our software is to maximise Material Utilisation, which not only saves our customers millions of dollars, but uses data to reduce waste and make the stamping process more sustainable.”