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A Company At The Heart Of The Car Industry

A Company At The Heart Of The Car Industry

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.

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KASTO: The Intuitive Way To The Right Storage Space

KASTO: The Intuitive Way To The Right Storage Space

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.


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Blechexpo/Schweisstec 2019 Concludes With Record-Breaking Dimensions

Blechexpo/Schweisstec 2019 Concludes With Record-Breaking Dimensions

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 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.


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Bystronic On Flexible Automation

Bystronic On Flexible Automation

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.

Norbert Seo

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.


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FTI Releases FormingSuite 2019 Feature Pack 1 For Sheet Metal Applications

FTI Releases FormingSuite 2019 Feature Pack 1 For Sheet Metal Applications

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.”



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Lamiera 2019 Closes On Strong Note

Lamiera 2019 Closes On Strong Note

The 2019 edition of Lamiera, the international exhibition for sheet metal forming, cutting and processing machines, automation and technologies related to the metalworking industry, was attended by 26,197 visitors, registering an 11 percent growth compared to the 2017 edition, and hosted 518 exhibitors, up by six percent compared to the previous event.

Covering a total exhibition area of over 50,000sqm—25 percent more than the 2017 event—Lamiera 2019, which took place at Fiera Milano Rho from May 15–18, presented a wide overview of automation systems, robotics, welding and technologies linked with the digital world, organised in the New Innovation Areas (Robot Planet, FabbricaFutura and Saldatech), which were added to the usual Innovation Areas, Fastener Industry, Ecocoatech and Blech Italy Service.

Amongst the highlights of this year’s event was the LAMIALAMIERA, developed with the support of the Lombardy Region. Set up in Hall 18, LAMIALAMIERA hosted a comprehensive programme of 40 exhibitor meetings spread throughout the four-day event. Moreover, LAMIERA honoured Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years after his demise, with the special show “Italians like us, excellence becomes identity” set up in the exhibition area, and awarded the medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. This special exhibition featured a presentation of some drawing reproductions of metal forming machine tools and automation systems developed by da Vinci, highlighting the close parallelism between his projects and the modern technologies being exhibited in the halls.

“We are very satisfied with the outcome of this edition of LAMIERA that closed with increased figures with regard to square metre of exhibit area, exhibiting companies and visiting operators,” said Massimo Carboniero, president of Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre, the event organiser.

“Milan is confirmed as the most suitable location, the only one in Italy capable of hosting such an important event, which we hope will keep growing and improving. For this reason, based on the achieved results, we are already working on the definition of the next edition, which will be held at Fiera Milano Rho from March 17–20, 2021,” Alfredo Mariotti, general manager of Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre, said.


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ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions Launches New Thailand Facility

ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions Launches New Thailand Facility

Anca Sheet Metal Solutions has launched its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Thailand. The company offers a comprehensive set of service in the metal fabrication industry. “The business has grown significantly over the last couple of years as we gained customers in the automotive, food processing, construction and aerospace industries. We have invested in new equipment and refurbished the building to meet this growing market demand,” said Frank Holzer, ANCA Sheet Metal Solutions General Manager.

“We have taken a dynamic approach, using vibrant colours and punchy angles, to ensure we stand out immediately in the sheet metal and fabrication industry.  Having a strong brand is one of the most effective business tools you can have, and I am confident that with our new identity we will see great success. We pride ourselves on our service, quality and global network servicing customers across the world,” he continued.

The new facilities boast:

•     Qualified manufacturing engineers
•     Laser cutting
•     Waterjet cutting
•     Folding and forming equipment
•     Welding and painting
•     Assembly and testing
•     A lean manufacturing approach


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Global Metal Stamping Market Forecast

Global Metal Stamping Market Forecast

According to Research And Markets, the global metal stamping market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9 percent from 2018 to reach USD 289.2 billion by 2023. Contributing factors for this growth include rising urbanisation and industrialisation, growth of the automotive industry, increasing demands from the aerospace and aviation industry and a rise in technological advancements. To add to this trend, the increased adoption of sheet metal across manufacturing industries and the blooming of metal stamping facilities has further supported the metal stamping market. However, the emergence of plastics and composite materials have also hindered market growth.

Blanking processes currently hold a huge market share and this can be attributed to the popularity of the technique among the automotive, aerospace and aviation and consumer electronics sector as this is a process that can mass produce precise and superior quality metal work pieces in large volumes at low costs. Similarly, the application of metal stamping in the automotive industry is highly popular, especially in China and India as both countries are experiencing rapid technological advancements and possess a large number of automotive metal stamping companies.

Growth of the market in Asia Pacific is expected to continue as the region held the largest share of the global metal stamping market in 2017, followed by Europe and North America. This can be attributed to factors such as the displacement of manufacturing from the west to the east, rising regional industrialisation,increased investment inflows and industrial growth across numerous sectors.


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Outlook For Plasma Cutting Machines Market

Outlook For Plasma Cutting Machines Market

According to a report by Credence Research entitled “Plasma Cutting Machines Market- Growth, Future Prospects, and Competitive Landscape, 2018-2026”, the plasma cutting machines market estimated to grow with a CAGR of 5.8 percent during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026. This is because plasma cutting machines are becoming increasingly important cutting tools among other non-conventional machine processes and this can be attributed to its ability to shear through metal sheets and tubing with high thickness, making it highly relevant for the automotive, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and HVAC industries.

Since the conception of plasma cutting, the principal of using hot gas in the form of plasma to cut through heavy metals and alloys has made a transition from simple machines to advance high-definition CNC plasma cutting machines. Furthermore, the introduction of new alloys and the integration of the associated alloys into several end-use applications have further propelled the usage of plasma cutting machines. While the continuous development of machines, introduction of duel flow plasma nozzles (shielded and unshielded) and incorporation of CNC have enhanced the accuracy and quality of outputs from plasma cutting.

Looking towards the future, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the market and developing countries such as China, India, and South Korea are expected to continue improving their manufacturing capabilities to match optimum product quality. The aforementioned countries are also extensively including non-conventional machining processes including plasma cutting machines in their manufacturing facilities and the continued growth of the industrial manufacturing and automotive sector is also expected to bolster Asia Pacific’s stake in the plasma cutting machines market.

Major notable players in the field include AJAN ELEKTRONIK, Automated Cutting Machinery, C&G Systems, ERMAKSAN, Esprit Automation, HACO, Hornet Cutting Systems, Miller Electric Mfg, MultiCam, SICK, SPIRO International, The Lincoln Electric Company, Voortman Steel Machinery and Würth.


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Bystronic: World Class Manufacturing

Bystronic: World Class Manufacturing

With new solutions for sheet metal processing, Bystronic, a leading global provider of high-quality solutions for the sheet metal processing business, takes customers to the top of the competition at the EuroBLECH 2018 in Hanover, Germany.

At the most important sheet metal processing industry event, Bystronic presented comprehensive innovations for all aspects relating to cutting, bending, and automation. In the future, networked manufacturing processes, integrated automation, and digital service solutions will help customers to profoundly optimise the manufacturing of sheet metal products.

Bystronic is systematically refining the vision of “World Class Manufacturing”. This is based on a comprehensive range of new technologies and services with which Bystronic is gearing its users’ process landscape towards networked production. In this way, Bystronic accompanies customers step by step on their path towards the smart factory.

World Class Manufacturing goes far beyond the conventional idea of a machine tool. The focus lies on digitally networked production, which combines the individual processes related to laser cutting and bending to form a network of intelligent components. Users thus achieve a higher degree of flexibility and transparency in their production environment. Both are important prerequisites in order to manufacture products faster, more cost-effectively, and more intelligently than ever before.

Production Line: Fully Automated Laser Cutting

With the Production Line, Bystronic presented its highlight in terms of laser cutting automation. Within this fully automated manufacturing solution, sheet metal parts are pre-processed, cut, transported, and sorted according to orders. The heart of the Production Line is the ByStar Fiber laser cutting system. Powered by a 10kW aggregate, this is where the speed of the entire production process originates.

The ByTrans Cross and BySort loading and unloading automation is connected directly to the fibre laser. It handles the entire material flow between the laser and the integrated storage system. The storage system supplies all the raw metal sheets required for the cutting jobs: steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and non-ferrous metal sheets in thicknesses ranging from 0.8 to 25mm with a maximum overall capacity of 24 tonnes. It also returns finished cut parts and residual sheets to storage.

Bystronic presented a showcase at EuroBLECH to demonstrate a solution that will enable the Production Line to be expanded in the near future. ByFlex, an additional integrated system, drills holes and cuts threads into sheet metal parts prior to the laser cutting process. In addition, a labelling function marks the parts that are to be cut with a code. This allows all the information about the sheet metal parts that are being produced to be scanned in at the downstream processing stations.

Bending Cell: The Fully Automated Bending Centre

The Bending Cell automatically bends the cut sheet metal parts. For this, Bystronic expands the high-end Xpert Pro press brake with an agile robotics system. A 7-axis robot picks up the sheet metal parts that are to be bent, places them with high precision on the Xpert Pro for bending, and subsequently sorts them according to jobs. The Bending Cell can handle sheet metal parts up to 270kg.

With high precision, the robot also automatically sets up the press brake with the appropriate tools. To achieve this, Bystronic has integrated a tool magazine into the Bending Cell that keeps a range of required bending tools on standby. Thanks to a maximum press capacity of 320 tonnes, the bending automation solution can process a wide range of sheet metal products. The Bending Cell is ideally suited both for the efficient processing of high-volume repetitive jobs and for changing lists of jobs with small batch sizes.

Bystronic MES: Transparency From The Incoming Order To The Finished Part

The Bystronic MES is the navigation system for sheet metal processing. An intelligent software solution that helps users manufacture and ship sheet metal products with precisely defined costs and deadlines. The Bystronic MES determines the ideal path on which sheet metal products are guided through the processing stations for cutting and bending. This optimises throughput times and costs in the sheet metal production chain. And it helps users to perfectly attune all the process steps, machine systems, and workstations within their production environment.

Shop Floor Control System: The Digital Guidance System For Production Lines

In the future, how will users control and monitor production lines in which automated production cells and individual machine systems are networked? With the Shop Floor Control System, Bystronic showcased a newly developed software solution at EuroBLECH. Networked with sheet metal processing stations, the Shop Floor Control System assumes the centralised control function and helps users to always maintain an optimal production flow. The system also provides information about potential bottlenecks or downtimes within the production line. This enables scheduled production times and delivery deadlines to be adhered with a high degree of reliability.

ByStar Fiber: Laser Cutting With 12 Kilowatts

Bystronic projects promising prospects for fibre laser cutting: With 12kW, the high-end ByStar Fiber laser cutting system will soon feature a new performance level. This will boost the profitability and speed of the cutting process right up to sheet thicknesses as high as 30mm. This will provide customers with an almost unbeatable competitive edge in the competition for jobs. In order to optimally integrate the higher laser power into the cutting process, Bystronic has rigorously enhanced the design of the ByStar Fiber’s cutting head. Thus, users always achieve outstanding cutting results in a wide range of materials.

BySmart Fiber: The Fiber Laser For A Flying Start

The new generation of BySmart Fiber is already available now. Bystronic has fundamentally redesigned the entry-level solution for fibre laser cutting and expanded it with numerous features. The result is a versatile cutting system with up to 6kW of laser power and matching automation solutions. Thus, Bystronic is opening up the full potential of fibre laser technology to users in growth industries: high parts output, a broad spectrum of applications, and automation for optimised material handling.

Xpert Pro: Bending Technology For The Highest Demands

With the new Xpert Pro press brake, Bystronic is taking the successful Xpert product line a step further. The Xpert Pro supports demanding users with maximum flexibility and performance for the bending process. A variety of configurations are available for a wide spectrum of bending applications.

Features such as dynamic crowning and the patented pressure reference technology ensure consistently high bending quality on the Xpert Pro. On top of this, the Xpert Pro boasts intelligent assistance functions, such as the material curve generator and the LAMS angle measuring system. These enable users to achieve maximum precision from the very first bent part.

APMEN’s exclusive interview with Norbert Seo, Bystronic’s Senior VP Market Division Asia & Australia. By Ahmad Alshidiq.

What’s new from Bystronic in EuroBLECH 2018…

We have many new features on Industry 4.0. We have the full set of automation solutions with integrated software which allows you to combine automation with intelligent systems to monitor production schedules, machine status as well as to analyse the storage.

Bystronic’s main market in SEA…

Vietnam is our main market in Southeast Asia. We established our new demo centre in Ho Chi Minh last year. We call it the “Experience Center”, where we placed a laser machine and one bending machine. Malaysia market is looking interesting as well and we are looking at investing more in the country, in Thailand as well as Indonesia.

Industry outlook for 2019…

Business perspective is quite uncertain, however, we are looking at the demand of our customers and monitoring closely on where is necessary to expand our products and technologies.

What to expect from Bystronic in 2019…

We are launching a new series of BySmart Fibre from 2kW to 6kW which gives a lot of opportunities to the high-sensitive market. We are also attending seven exhibitions and are having five in-house shows in 2019.



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