Industry News

Software-centric Automation Transforms Consumer-Packaged Goods and Logistics Operations

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, today released version 21.1 of EcoStruxure™ Automation Expert, its software-centric universal automation system. Adoption of the new technology is proving immediately beneficial for consumer-packaged goods, pharmaceutical and logistics enterprises.

Step-change advancements

“EcoStruxure Automation Expert v21.1 is an important milestone in our journey to help manufacturers achieve the step-change advancements possible with a digital-first approach to industrial automation,” said Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President, Next Generation Automation, Schneider Electric. “Today’s operations need to react quickly to fluctuating market and environmental dynamics and rapidly mitigate potential risks. By separating the hardware and software lifecycles, EcoStruxure Automation Expert enables automation applications to be built using asset-centric, portable, proven-in-use software components, independent of the underlying hardware infrastructure. This software-centric approach delivers unprecedented cost and performance gains and frees engineers to innovate by automating low-value work and eliminating task duplication across tools.”

GEA is one of the largest technology suppliers for food processing and a wide range of other industries. The company focuses on technologies, components, and sustainable solutions for sophisticated production processes in diverse end-user markets where time to market and agility is essential. EcoStruxure Automation Expert greatly simplifies the integration between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) creating new agility for GEA and its customers.

“Bringing IT and OT together is our vision at GEA, and EcoStruxure Automation Expert is helping us deliver what we promise to our customers,” said Matthias Wiemann, Head of Automation and Controls – Automation Separation, GEA. “Working together on these projects with Schneider Electric and EcoStruxure Automation Expert provides us with the faster time-to-market and flexibility that critical industries like food and beverage and pharmaceuticals need.”

Master Systèmes, an industrial automation system integrator and Schneider Electric Master Alliance partner, is using EcoStruxure Automation Expert to increase the agility and flexibility of one of its cosmetic customer plants.

“EcoStruxure Automation Expert allows us to modernize legacy automation systems to an Industry 4.0 solution in a managed, low risk and agile way,” said Maurice Re, director of automation, Master Systèmes. “This is a game-changer for us. EcoStruxure Automation Expert’s advanced engineering tools will help us reduce the time to develop an application and supports easy integration of IT technologies, including predictive maintenance. This translates into faster time to market with an easier to maintain solution for our customers.”

Schneider Electric is also implementing EcoStruxure Automation Expert in its own Smart Distribution Center in Shanghai, China to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Because the software is decoupled from the hardware, modifying the conveying line to adapt as flow requirements change is easier and more cost-effective. With EcoStruxure Automation Expert, identifying the root cause of failure and troubleshooting is four times faster. And with 45% less products on the error line, throughput is increased by 5.3%.

“EcoStruxure Automation Expert provides a smooth integration of third-party software so now we can seamlessly adapt our operations by reconfiguring our processes to increase throughput,” said Mourad Tamoud, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Schneider Electric. “Having a holistic view across the full system using one single point of reference increases our maintenance efficiency through faster failure identification and response in our Shanghai Smart Distribution Center.”

Next-generation technology

Among other advancements, EcoStruxure Automation Expert V21.1 includes: enhanced cybersecurity, diagnostics, discovery and commissioning features, and expanded libraries and language support.

In addition, improved integration with AVEVA System Platform ensures EcoStruxure Automation Expert customers can take advantage of AVEVA’s market leading software for supervisory, enterprise SCADA, MES, and IIoT applications with minimal engineering overhead. One study showed the EcoStruxure Automation Expert and AVEVA combination reduced engineering efforts by over 50%.

Universal automation

As the most sustainable corporation in the world and a global manufacturer with an end-to-end network of Smart Factories and Smart Distribution Centers, Schneider Electric is on a mission to make industries of the future eco-efficient, agile, and resilient through open, software-centric industrial automation. With the newest release of EcoStruxure Automation Expert, Schneider Electric urges manufacturing and process industries to embrace the benefits of universal automation, sustainability, and digitalization to boost global economic recovery through next generation industrial automation.

Universal automation is the world of plug and produce automation software components enabled by the IEC61499 standard.

“EcoStruxure Automation Expert is changing the game for industrial automation and demonstrates Schneider Electric’s commitment to universal automation,” said Jadot. “We continue to invite industrial developers everywhere to create their own software components and solutions based on the IEC61499 standard, which can easily interoperate with EcoStruxure Automation Expert.”

About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.

We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, endpoint to cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries.

We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

Discover Life Is On

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ThruWave 3Dmm Wave Imaging Named Best New Product Innovation, 2021 MHI Innovation Awards

Seattle, WA – April 14, 2021 – ThruWave announces their 3D millimeter wave (mmWave) Imaging was named Best New Product Innovation 2021 from the Material Handling Institute as part of their annual MHI  Innovation Awards.  

ThruWave is pioneering 3D mmWave imaging for industry with a groundbreaking new sensing technology that  allows their customers to detect objects inside closed packages. ThruWave applies millimeter wave technology  to “see” through plastic, cardboard, packaging material and even walls at high speeds.  

“We entered ThruWave’s solution into the awards knowing that we have something truly unique and  groundbreaking. It is not a common occurrence these days for new sensing technology to be developed and  commercialized,” explains Pieter Krynauw, CEO of ThruWave. “We are providing, for the first time ever, a  human-safe and cost-efficient way for manufacturers, material handling and logistics operators to see inside of  sealed containers that can allow them to drive down operational cost, improve safety AND improve quality.” 

ThruWave’s new 3D mmWave sensing technology can solve problems that previously could not be solved  without manual human intervention or through the usage of expensive and potentially health hazardous x-ray  equipment, making it either impractical or cost prohibitive in many supply chain applications. In some cases  cameras are deployed today, but current camera technology is limited by only being able to see the surface of  packages (not inside OR behind them) and are greatly exposed in dusty and low/no light conditions.  

“Our new sensing and imaging solution provides transformative technology to identify and reduce operational  cost and carbon footprint, improve quality control, safety and security as well as increase efficiency of capital  investments in automation,” explains Pieter Krynauw, CEO of ThruWave. “ThruWave is bringing to the table an  un-matched solution that will change sensing in the supply chain forever.” 

ThruWave’s 3D mmWave imaging solution is an easy and quick retrofit to existing conveyors or materials  handling systems and can operate as a standalone system or a fully integrated solution exchanging data with  WMS’s, WES’s and/or Control Systems. 

ThruWave is introducing their 3D mmWave imaging solution for material handling, manufacturing, logistics and  supply chain during ProMatDX including live sessions including a product demonstration and an educational  seminar titled, “Make Invisible Waste Visible: Optimize Shipping and Storage Costs with Real-Time 3D  Imaging”. Visitors to DX.PromatShow.com can live-chat in sessions during April 12-16, with on-demand viewing  access starting on April 19.

About ThruWave  

Based in Seattle, Washington, ThruWave makes the invisible visible with human-safe3D millimeter wave  imaging. Our groundbreaking millimeter wave imaging technology is the only high-throughput, human-safe  approach for seeing through opaque materials like corrugated boxes and plastic totes to automatically  dimension, count, and detect anomalies on the items inside. ThruWave sensors and software analytics are an  easy retrofit for existing conveyor and robotic material handling systems, enabling supply chain and logistics  customers to measure and improve their inbound and outbound item handling. For more information, visit  http://www.thruwave.com.

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Ultimate versatility: Affolter unveils gear hobbing machine AF160

  • The Swiss family enterprise Affolter Group (www.affoltergroup.ch), a world technology leader in gear hobbing, introduces its most versatile machine to date: the AF160.
  • The 8-axis CNC gear hobbing machine handles a broad range of applications to produce different kind of gears and worm screws with a module of up to 2mm. It is ideal for manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, aircraft, gearbox, medical and robotics industries.
  • The state-of-the-art digital CNC Control Pegasus is user-friendly, ensures extremely fast regulation and integrates IoT. Various automation solutions facilitate flexible manufacturing of small series or high volumes with an autonomy of 12 to 24 hours.

Switzerland (April 8, 2021) – Precision, productivity, flexibility: The experts of the Swiss family enterprise Affolter Group (www.affoltergroup.ch), a world technology leader in high-precision gear hobbing solutions, introduce their newest machine: The AF160 is the most versatile Affolter gear hobbing machine to date. “The AF160 is designed for high precision manufacturers that need versatility and maximum efficiency,” explains Vincent Affolter, Managing Director of Affolter Group. “With eight axes, a state-of-the-art digital CNC control, a variety of automation solutions and a maximum module of 2mm, it is ideal for manufacturers in industries such as automotive, aerospace, aircraft, gearbox, medical or robotics.”

The AF160 can process parts with an outside diameter of up to 60mm and a length of 250mm. The machining length is between 110 and 180mm. The eight axes – all of them independent – make the AF160 the most flexible Affolter machine to date. It can produce straight gears, helical gears, straight bevel gears, face gears, straight or helical crowned gears, worm screws, worm wheels, cylkro gears, and internal gears. Power skiving, the milling of worms and shafts, as well as chamfering is possible, too. Vincent Affolter: “The AF160 enables manufacturers to produce an impressive variety of high precision gears, worm screws and worm wheels on the same, compact machine.” The footprint of the machine is only 4m². Including the loader AF72 it is a little more than 6m².

Not only a machine. A solution!

With the AF160, Affolter does not only introduce a groundbreaking new gear cutting   machine. “We think of it as a solution, not a machine – a solution that meets the needs of our customers. Thanks to the new CNC Control, various automation systems and peripherals, and the versatility of the AF160, we can offer maximum productivity for high-precision manufacturers in a very broad range of applications,” emphasizes Vincent Affolter.

Intuitive CNC Control

The engineers of Affolter Group cooperated with Beckhoff Automation to launch the brand-new CNC Control Pegasus. The high processing power ensures extremely fast regulation. “It controls all machine axes as well as a multitude of peripherals for various options and automations,” says Mr. Affolter. Programming is simple, intuitive, and user-friendly with a 19-inch touch screen. The new CNC Control integrates IoT. Data can be shared on the cloud, streamlining after-sales service and preventive maintenance, and therefore minimizing downtimes. Software updates can be done remotely.

Automation boosts productivity

Depending on the application and production processes, manufacturers need automation solutions to facilitate an autonomous operation for 12 to 24 hours. Affolter provides a range of such automation solutions: The universal multi-axes part loading and unloading system AF72 was especially designed for the AF160. It features a double gripper system for parallel loading and unloading and offers different methods of feeding based on the volume, product, and application. The AF160 can also be equipped with the deburring unit AF54, integrating the deburring process into the gear production. Different clamping systems provide for added versatility. Customizable coolant systems and chip extraction conveyors are available as well.

AF160 Technical Characteristics

  • 8 axis CNC
  • Max. module              2.00 m / 12.7 DP
  • Max. cutting length     110-180 mm / 4.33-7.08 in.
  • Max. part diameter     60 mm / 2.36 in.
  • Spindle rotation B      9’000-16’000 rpm
  • Spindle rotation C-C’ 5’000-12’000 rpm
  • Dimensions LxWxH   1’500×2’010×2’650mm
  • Weight                        3’900 kg / 8.598 lb

About Affolter Group: Tradition meets innovation: The Affolter Group is a family enterprise and world technology leader in high-precision gear hobbing solution with more than 160 employees around the globe. The highly specialized company was founded in 1919 by Louis Affolter in Malleray, Switzerland. The more than 100-year history of the Affolter Group was filled with technological innovations. Today, the fourth generation leads the family enterprise.  The Affolter Group operates worldwide with a broad network of distributors. For more information, please visit: www.affoltergroup.ch

Media Contact:

Bernhard Hagen

Hagen PR

www.hagenpr.com

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Haizol, the job shop of the future

Changing buyer demands have led to a changing supply chain, with a firm focus on customer demand. 

What does the job shop of the future look like? Digitalization and the increased demand for an on-demand one click service for custom manufacturing bring online platforms and marketplaces to the forefront of the industry. 

What comes with this? Firstly, it will centre on transparency. The increase in consumer knowledge worldwide through the internet and more readily accessible information forms has meant that the more people know, the more they want to know. Today’s supply chain and manufacturing industry in general is feeling the effects of this increased consumer knowledge. As a result, these platforms are built with transparency, with a clear order system where projects can be tracked in real time. 

Buyers are looking for more transparency when purchasing, they favour an easily accessible and transparent ordering system where orders can be tracked from start to finish. Supply chain visibility will improve a chance of a buyer purchasing and re-purchasing. Haizol integrates data into their supply chain, and utilizes visibility tools such as integrating digital connections between people, machines, and facilities. This has enabled data to be captured by these connections, together with sophisticated analysis and real-time responses which improve visibility. This ultimately results in a more agile supply chain which can manage demands of made to order projects. 

Currently, the job shop thriving today is one that can move between products with speed and efficiency without incurring big delays and cost drawbacks. The drive to achieve shorter lead times, and from small or almost no queues – aiming for almost immediate production, and quick recognition and correction of defects, is what todays buyer is looking for. 

About Haizol

HAIZOL is China’s leading professional online sourcing service platform for OEM, custom parts and components in Asia. Haizol assists small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises in the procurement of resources, meeting output quotas, and manufacturing of traditional parts and component. 

Our One-stop sourcing & solutions platform offers buyers a complete service from start to finish. From your requirements, we locate the best suppliers, then take care of the whole process from the initial order, to quality and inspection, and shipment.

Our instant quoting technology and extensive network of suppliers has revolutionized the custom manufacturing industry. You can get a quote for your parts in under a minute, giving you on demand access to high quality low cost manufacturing. Whether you are a start-up or a large company, you are able to simply upload your 2D or 3D drawings or picture, to receive a quote for manufacturing immediately.

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Conversational Programming Feature Now Standard on Select Okuma CNC Machines


CHARLOTTE, N.C.Feb. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Okuma America Corporation, a world-leading builder of CNC machine tools, announces that select machines from Okuma’s core product line now come equipped with the Advanced One Touch-Interactive Graphics Function (AOT-IGF), a conversational programming software designed for Okuma’s lathes, machining centers and multitasking machines. AOT enables shops to easily create simple part designs without the need for highly-trained programmers, achieve faster setup times, and increase machine productivity.

Maximize a Machine Tool’s Full Potential

With AOT onboard, a highly-intuitive graphical user interface provides step-by-step instructions that guide operators through the process of selecting material type, tooling, processes, and cutting motions for the desired part design. From there, the system then simulates the cutting process in a 3D graphical view before exporting the NC (numeric control) program. Using AOT to create custom programs allows shops to maximize their machine tool’s full potential, while eliminating concern regarding correct program syntax.

Advantages of Using Advanced One Touch

A key benefit of AOT is that it allows shops to get the most out of their machine tools while avoiding typical manufacturing pitfalls. Specifically, it allows users to:

  • Easily create and edit part designs directly at the machine tool
  • Follow step-by-step instructions to streamline the process of selecting material type, shape, tooling, processes and cutting motions
  • Import 2D drawings straight into AOT using the DXF (drawing exchange format) import function
  • Simulate the cutting process and show a cutting time study
  • Program conversational files and run the NC (numeric control) code
  • Import NC code straight into AOT from CAM (computer-aided machining) systems or other programs
  • Automatically post program notes for future reference
  • Perform a process restart from the conversational file, making it easier to re-run features without knowing specific line numbers to restart from

Shops that do not currently have AOT installed on their machines can give Advanced One Touch a try by downloading a free 60-day trial. The trial version is for use on a PC and will provide an interactive preview of the functionalities and benefits of the software. For more information and to download the free trial visit Okuma’s AOT webpage.

About Okuma America Corporation
Okuma America Corporation is the U.S.-based sales and service affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in CNC (computer numeric control) machine tools.  The company was founded in 1898 in Nagoya, Japan, and is the industry’s only single-source provider of CNC machines, controls, drives, motors, encoders, and spindles, all manufactured by Okuma. The company designs its own CNC controls to integrate seamlessly with each machine tool’s functionality. In 2014 Okuma launched the Okuma App Store, the industry’s only centralized online marketplace for machine tool apps and related content. Along with its extensive distribution network (largest in the Americas), and Partners in THINC network of enhanced manufacturing technologiesOkuma is committed to helping users gain competitive advantages through the open possibilities of machine tools today and into the future. For more information, visit https://www.okuma.com/ or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

SOURCE: Okuma America Corporation

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The Reshoring Initiative, PMA, NTMA, and AMT Launch 4th Annual National Metalworking Reshoring Award

March 23, 2021 (McLean, Va.) — Four leading manufacturing associations have announced the 4th National Metalworking Reshoring Award competition. Companies that have successfully reshored products, parts, or tooling made primarily by metalforming, fabricating, casting, or machining, including additive manufacturing, are invited to apply. The Reshoring Initiative, PMA, NTMA, and AMT are pleased to sponsor this competition.

To be eligible for the award, the reshoring must have been done between Jan. 1, 2013, and May 31, 2021, from outside North America to North America. Reshoring includes work that is produced either in-house or outsourced. A complete definition of “reshoring” is available at https://reshorenow.org/?pageLink=blog-detail&blogLink=definitions-of-reshoring. Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2021. To view award details and enter to win, visit https://www.amtonline.org/article/fourth-national-metalworking-reshoring-award-submission-entry.

“From 2010 to 2020, more than one million jobs were announced as coming to the United States from offshore. This is a tremendous achievement, and we seek to motivate and honor the companies that have made reshoring a reality,” said Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative.

Questions about the National Metalworking Reshoring Award can be directed to Harry Moser at 847-867-1144 or harry.moser@reshorenow.org. For more information on AMT’s efforts on reshoring and supply chain efforts, visit IMTS.com/supplychain.

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How CNC Machining Companies Can Survive And Thrive During The Pandemic

The global Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 changed the world. For many businesses, it brought unforeseen problems and unexpected hazards. The pandemic’s effect was uneven; some industries escaped relatively unscathed (outdoor activities) and some even thrived (online shopping) while others, such as traditional manufacturing, witnessed a serious downturn. 

To survive the pandemic and even find a measure of success in the middle of it, businesses needed to learn how to pivot. This meant finding a new market, or a new product, or a new area of focus that was seeing increased demand during the pandemic. Pivoting an existing business is a tall order; try something too radical, and the burden on the business will be too much. But if you don’t pivot quickly enough, you risk losing out on a chance to keep your business going and even thriving.

CNC machining companies face a similar choice. As the pandemic continues, machine shop owners need to determine where to focus their efforts. Fortunately, while traditional manufacturing – the mainstay of work for most machining hubs and machine shops – suffered a serious setback, other sectors witnessed increased demand for CNC-machined parts.

A setback

By some estimates, reduced manufacturing industry output resulted in over $200 billion lost in 2020, in China, India, Japan, and the US alone. That figure, while serious enough, was much lower than expected at one point during the pandemic. Most countries recovered or are recovering their manufacturing demand quite quickly, a point that bodes well for CNC machining businesses down the road.

Nevertheless, a $200 billion downturn is a serious blow. As factories shut and shops closed, demand from the manufacturing sector for CNC machining services took an expected tumble. However, while manufacturing demand fell, another sector saw a skyrocketing need for CNC services, providing an opportunity for CNC machining to offset losses in one sector with gains elsewhere.

Emerging opportunities

From respirators to advanced laboratory equipment, the demand for high-end healthcare devices exploded. US states spent over $7 billion on a range of medical equipment and devices in spring 2020 alone, a number that was surely spent several times over throughout the course of the year.

Much of that equipment relies on high-end precision machining. Just in the area of vaccine development, the federal government sank over $10 billion into six vaccine candidates. That money was spent to support researchers and the labs in which they worked, equipping those labs with the latest high-end medical research equipment. That equipment, including devices such as centrifuges, might require tolerances as low as 0.0002” in order to achieve the desired accuracy. Creating equipment with such narrow tolerances requires advanced CNC machining centers. 

Successful CNC shops have pivoted to meet that demand. Machining parts to produce advanced medical equipment doesn’t require additional equipment; it’s a simple matter of conforming to certain ISO standards and then acquiring the right contracts.

Machine shops create parts that are especially important for the pharma industry. Centrifuges, cooling towers, dryers, and inspection equipment are all produced with CNC machined parts. That equipment played a vital role in the eventual production of the various Covid-19 vaccines in the latter part of 2020.

Setting the stage for post-pandemic

Moving out of the pandemic, what’s the path forward for machining companies? Companies that have pivoted to provide parts and equipment for the medical and pharma industries are likely to see continued demand. At the same time, traditional manufacturing should see continued growth as countries come out of the pandemic.

This sets the stage for renewed growth in 2021 and beyond, as manufacturing levels slowly climb back to pre-pandemic levels. That growth is expected to take some time, especially as companies try to diversify and keep an eye on the next potential disaster.

Even the process of disruption-proofing the manufacturing sector offers potential opportunities for savvy machining companies. One of the primary focuses of a disruption-proof manufacturing sector is expected to be an emphasis on digital technologies. Those technologies include techniques such as digital twins, virtual blueprints that work to model how a part or tool will work in the real world. 

The technology behind digital twins also integrates well with existing CNC technology. With a digital blueprint, CNC programmers can create G-code programs for new parts more intelligently and easily.

Digital blueprints continued improvement to existing CNC technologies, emerging tech such as 3D printers, and a host of other CNC-related improvements will result in continued opportunities for machining companies to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world. 

About the Author:

Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs is the Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters. He is actively involved in manufacturing processes and regularly contributes his insights for various blogs in CNC machining, 3D printing, rapid tooling, injection molding, metal casting, and manufacturing in general.

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FANUC CNC and Robotics Integration Simplifies Operations

The new feature enables FANUC CNCs to directly program robots through the G-code.      

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – FANUC America, a leading factory automation solutions provider, introduces the next step in complete robotics and CNCs integration for more efficient operations. FANUC CNCs now have the ability to control connected FANUC robots providing machine tending or other assistance through FANUC’s Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization (QSSR). 

More manufacturing operations are taking advantage of adding more robotics to execute repetitive tasks previously manually performed. Advanced automation offers a competitive edge and greater profit margins to shops of all sizes. 

FANUC’s QSSR is a complete package that simplifies the connection of a FANUC robot to a FANUC controlled machine tool. The new QSSR G-code feature allows operators and machine tool builders to program robots easily through the FANUC CNC in ISO standard G-code format. Those unfamiliar with robotic programming language will no longer require additional training or specialists because the programming can be performed with G-codes. A reliance on a separate teach pendant for the robot is also greatly reduced with the capability of robotic programming and operation through the CNC user interface.  

FANUC’s QSSR not only makes connecting a FANUC robot through a high-speed Ethernet cable to a machine tool easy, but also simplifies the setup, programming and operation. The QSSR G-code feature is available on FANUC CNC Series Oi-F, Oi-F Plus, 30i-B and 30i-B Plus

About FANUC America Corporation

FANUC America Corporation is a subsidiary of FANUC CORPORATION in Japan, and provides industry-leading robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation.  FANUC’s innovative technologies and proven expertise help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.  

FANUC embraces a culture of “Service First” which means that customer service is our highest priority.  We are committed to supplying our customers with parts and support for the life of their FANUC products.    

For more information, please call: 888-FANUC-US (888-326-8287) or visit our website: www.fanucamerica.com .  Also, connect with us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.  

FANUC America Corporation PR contact:

Factory Automation: Debra Schug

CNC Strategic Communications Specialist

T: 847.898.5673

E: debra.schug@fanucamerica.com

 

Robotics: Cathy Powell

Public Relations and Communications Manager 

FANUC America Corporation

T: 248-377-7570

E: cathy.powell@fanucamerica.com

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BIG KAISER adds Chip Blower for use with hydraulic and milling chucks

Hoffman Estates, IL – BIG KAISER Precision Tooling, a global leader in high-performance metalworking equipment, has updated its offering of Chip Blowers, which are designed to make removing chips and coolant from parts and machine tables fast, easy and safe. The new Chip Blower has an extended steel shank, from 1.77″ to 2.5″, for added compatibility with hydraulic and milling chucks.

The Chip Blower automates in-machine cleaning of coolant and chips by delivering high-volume air flow with spindle rotation. When not in use, the Chip Blower fits easily into any automatic tool change system for vertical, horizontal or multi-tasking machining centers. The Chip Blower can be used with automatic tool changers and programmed into a machining cycle, helping to improve machine utilization and increase productivity. The Chip Blower complements the solid construction, fixed blade ChipFan.

The Chip Blower is available with three blade length options and has center-through coolant capability for high-pressure washing.

BIG KAISER is a worldwide leader in high-precision tooling systems and solutions for the metalcutting industry that guarantee extreme accuracy and repeatability. Our products are of the utmost quality — manufactured with materials and craftsmanship that enable superior performance. As a member of the BIG DAISHOWA Group (Osaka, Japan), BIG KAISER has grown into a well-recognized global tooling provider, with manufacturing facilities in North America, Switzerland and Japan. In addition, BIG KAISER is the North American representative of Speroni tool measuring machines, Sphinx high performance drills, mptec measuring stands, Tekusa spindle cleaners and the UNILOCK zero point workholding system by Innotool.

For more information, contact BIG KAISER, Hoffman Estates, IL at 224-770-2999, e-mail bigkaiser@us.bigkaiser.com or visit www.us.bigkaiser.com

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Rollomatic Introduces New Model Pinch/Peel Grinding Machine ShapeSmart® NP30 – a workhorse in cylindrical grinding –

Mundelein, February 2021. Rollomatic, a leading machine tool manufacturer based in Le Landeron, Switzerland, maintains its global leadership position in the field of pinch and peel grinding by presenting the ShapeSmart® NP30 which replaces the original NP3+ model. Rollomatic is the original inventor of the pinch/peel grinding methodology and stays in the forefront in developing new models and specific processes related to making these types of machines even more productive.

Pinch grinding offers highest concentricity particularly on long and thin parts. The rough and finish grinding are performed in one pass. This innovative way to grind roughing and finishing simultaneously eliminates a separate process and reduces cycle time. The machine utilizes two different grinding wheels running on separate spindles and positioned on independently-controlled CNC linear slides.

New Features:

  • Both the finish and the roughing station have a separate direct-drive synchronous spindle motor which provides better stock removal, less induced heat, better surface finish and longer wheel life.
  • Redesigned workhead for higher stability during grinding large parts.
  • Switch-over of roughing station from 10˚  to 90˚  within a few minutes.

  • Existing Features:
  • Excellent mirror surface finishes and near-zero TIR for drill margins can be achieved.
  • Repeatable process with tight tolerances and for long-batch production.
  • Both grinding stations are equipped with super-abrasive wheels with different grit sizes. One wheel carries out the rough grinding, while the other wheel is for finish grinding. The grit sizes and bond compositions are carefully selected to optimize the surface finish to be achieved, and find the right balance between minimal wheel wear and best cycle time.
  • A proprietary process that involves multi-pass grinding and pinch finish grinding is used which has been developed over many years of testing.
  • Dimensional tolerances can be maintained over long or short production runs with the help of in-process measurements. and automatic compensation for wheel wear and for changes in ambient temperature.

Typical Applications:

  • Blank preparation for the industrial, orthopedic and dental cutting tool industry
  • Grinding of grip attachments (quick-disconnect) on orthopedic and dental cutting tools
  • Core pins for pipettes in the plastic injection molding industry
  • Precision punches and cold-forming tools
  • Mold components such as gate valve stems, ejector pins, core pins and more
  • Weaponry-related parts such as firing pins and more
  • Precision pins for the electronic, fiber optic and related industries

Both grinding spindles are “synchronous direct-drive spindles” with 19 hp peak each. The most important feature of a synchronous motor is that it provides constant speed during its operation and that the torque curve is highly efficient, as per above graph. The rotational force is not reduced with higher RPM’s. Synchronous motors always run at a speed equal to their synchronous speed, as opposed to asynchronous motors (induction motors) which always have a lag and are therefore less efficient.

On the many test production runs, the following results were achieved:

  • Much quicker set-up times.
  • With the highest achievable material removal rate and a repeatable process on long-batch production grinding, the machine outperforms alternative competitive equipment by more than 40%.
  • Wheel spindle load on the roughing side (synchronous spindle) was no more than 35%. The limiting factor is the wheel wear and not the machine. The machine will always outperform the wheels.
  • The highly efficient synchronous spindles, running at max. 35% power draw or less, do not release any heat into the machine or into the grinding process. This greatly helps with keeping the thermal stability of the machine.
  • Synchronous spindles are much quieter even under load compared with induction motors.
  • An excellent G-ratio can be achieved which is the ratio between the stock removal and the wheel wear volume.
  • TIR less than 1 micron (provided the blanks are straight to the same tolerance).
  • The mirror surface finishes are exceeding the expectations.

Rollomatic provides outstanding service/support from its North American headquarters in Mundelein, IL, and satellite offices in CA, FL, IN, MA. For more information visit: www.RollomaticUSA.com or e-mail solutions@RollomaticUSA.com.

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