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Joint venture for “press shop of the future”
Canton, Michigan, September 5, 2018 – Porsche and Schuler announce plans to build an innovative press shop together for the car factory of the future. Representatives of both companies signed the contract on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 for the foundation of a corresponding joint venture. The European Commission has already green-lighted the joint undertaking. Approval from further anti-trust authorities is still pending. The objective of this Schuler and Porsche joint venture is to create what is termed the “Smart Press Shop” as part of a networked Industry 4.0 approach. The new press shop’s pioneering technologies will enable the highly flexible production of complex car body parts, where the focus will be on aluminum body panels and small batch production.
“Porsche wants to use the joint venture to lay the foundations for the future of sports car manufacturing,” says Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG. “We plan to exploit future technologies and innovations in order to make our processes even more efficient. By dovetailing design, development, car body planning, toolmaking and production within the Porsche Group, we can significantly influence the quality of our sports cars.”
Schuler CEO Domenico Iacovelli stated, “Porsche and Schuler will be using a press shop that sets new standards in two respects – in terms of manufacturing performance, as well as the digital networking and readability of data streams along the entire production process. Not only Porsche will benefit from this major step forward, but ultimately other manufacturers as well.”
The systematic further development of process know-how in the field of metalforming will be achieved in part by the end-to-end networking of production data and the use of machine learning. Porsche and Schuler aim to set new standards in the field of predictive maintenance and intelligent production control.
The joint venture will utilize Schuler’s new Servo 20 Technology. It raises maximum output from 18 to 20 strokes per minute while reducing energy consumption per stroke and per part. A newly developed die-changing concept makes it possible to produce small batch sizes with a high degree of economic efficiency. Further features of the new line include an optimized servo drive in the downstream presses plus a reduced footprint.
The joint venture will operate as an independent company (GmbH & Co. KG) held in equal proportions by Schuler AG and Porsche. Each of the two companies will invest a double-digit million Euro amount in the joint venture. Over 100 highly skilled jobs are to be created. The location of the new company has not been finally decided yet. However, its location is expected to minimize logistics distances for car body parts – thus significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
For further information on Schuler Inc., North America, please contact:
Jeferson Valerio, Director of Sales
7145 Commerce Blvd.
Canton, MI 48187 USA
About the Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
Schuler is the world market leader in metal forming technology. The company supplies presses, automation solutions, dies, process know-how, and services for the entire metalworking industry and lightweight automotive design. Customers include automobile manufacturers and suppliers as well as companies from the forging, household appliances, packaging, energy, and electronics industries. Schuler is the leading supplier of minting presses and supplies system solutions for aerospace, rail transport, and large pipe manufacturing. In 2017, Schuler posted sales of € 1,233 million. Following the acquisition of toolmaker AWEBA and a majority stake in Chinese press manufacturing company Yadon, Schuler employs around 6,600 members of staff in 40 countries. The Austrian ANDRITZ Group holds a majority share in Schuler.Continue reading
Centrisys/CNP, Kenosha, Wisconsin, is proud to announce that Hiroko Yoshida, R&D Director, was recently selected as one of Water & Wastes Digest (WWD) top young professionals in the water and wastewater industry.
The impressive WWD award is given to up-and-coming professionals in the water and wastewater industry who are talented and passionate professionals under 40 years old. These individuals must not only excel in their professional lives, but also give back to their community and hold worldly attitudes and views about the industry’s importance and necessity around the globe.
“I’m very excited to have won this award and love being part of such an innovative company,” Yoshida says. “It’s satisfying to start a project at the lab scale and see it progress into a full installation with great results.”
Yoshida previously accepted an invitation to the White House to attend the U.S. EPA Nutrient Recycling Challenge conference and was named one of the top four winners at the event. She notes one of her professional accomplishments as being part of the team was to bring the first full scale AirPrex® installation to the U.S.
She holds a B.S. in environmental studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Master of Science in water resource management and civil and environmental engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in environmental engineering, Technical University of Denmark.
Yoshida specializes in solids handling and hopes to contribute to the advancement of the industry as it relates to that specialty. She has worked at Centrisys/CNP for over three years and is currently leading a pilot test program for CalPrex™, Centrisys/CNPs newest phosphorus recovery technology. Yoshida is involved with data analysis and process optimization. She says that the technology may be used in both municipal and industrial applications. “CalPrex is a lot more involved than normal,” Yoshida says. “Everyone is working night and day on this pilot — we’re excited to show what it can do.”
Yoshida stresses the importance of Centrisys/CNP as a whole. “Everyone in the company works so hard to bring these great innovations,” she says. “It’s not a win for just me; it’s a win for the team. I’m just looking forward to learning more!”
Centrisys Corporation is a U.S.A. manufacturer of dewatering centrifuges and sludge thickeners, as well as complete dewatering systems for municipal and industrial wastewater. The company’s focus is centrifuge equipment, including the award winning sludge thickener THK series. Centrisys provides global service, repair and parts for all brands of centrifuges. CNP – Technology Water and Biosolids Corporation designs and supplies nutrient recovery and biosolids treatment optimization systems. CNP’s key technologies are: AirPrex® and CalPrex™, phosphorus recovery technologies recovery technology, and PONDUS, a Thermo-Chemical Hydrolysis Process (TCHP). CNP is a division of Centrisys Corporation.
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Major machine tool builder offers their customer an entry-level, compact machine that works a 440-pound steel workpiece into a rock bit with better tool life, higher degree of accuracy and overall production efficiencies through partnership with Siemens
DMG MORI manufactures a wide variety of conventional chip-cutting machining centers for OEMs and production job shops serving the demanding oil-and-gas industry. Inherent in this market are several factors that lobby for great care and planning in the machining process. Typically, components produced for the oil-and-gas field are very large, very heavy and often have complex contours, making the machining time long and the tool life short. The DMU 50, although an entry-level 5-axis machining center from DMG MORI, is a compact unit that features considerable strength, as the following example will detail. “It is a David handles Goliath type of story,” says Matthias Leinberger, the business development director for Siemens PLM (Product Lifecycle Management).
On one recent application, DMG MORI was challenged with a 440-pound, 8” diameter x 8” high workpiece made from 1045 grade steel and being machined into a rock bit for oil field exploration. The customer further presented the builder with the need for fast changeover to produce the part from various metal materials, with all the attendant tool changes and workpiece setup variances present. The customer, a major upstream oil industry supplier, was trying to decide if the better path for this product was a single block of steel or a near net casting being machined. Both high-speed roughing and then very precise 5-axis machining were required in this small footprint machine, which had been selected by the customer due to specific plant capacity utilization concerns, plus their desire for a flexible, reasonably priced and highly cost-effective machine tool.
The machine builder turned to its longtime business partner, Siemens, for assistance. By offering a total package of CAD-CAM-CNC hardware, software and engineering services, Siemens was able to help the machine builder substantially improve every aspect of part production, including reduction of design-to-part protocols, machining time, tool life, surface finish, dimensional accuracies and overall production efficiencies. This scenario was particularly applicable in this case, as the production runs were anticipated to be low with short lead times.
Starting from the CAD file, the Siemens PLM team ran the program through its NX CAM process, eliminating the set-ups through full 5-axis operation. The User Defined Events (UDEs) feature inside the NX program allows simple check boxes for triggering post-processors references for coolant pressure, spindle speed settings and more. This avoids manual programming and, as a result, reduced the program transition time from as long as two days to approximately 30 minutes.
Once the program was ready for the CNC, the features of that control allowed a more streamlined simulation of the actual cutting path. The 3D quick set compressor feature provides a parametric itemized data file for all path motions, thereby eliminating collision and ensuring the optimum tool path, in conjunction with the NC kernel and PLC on the machine tool. As Siemens technical applications center manager Randy Pearson observes, “This feature is a huge time saver for our customer, as the test ball and probe in the spindle mechanism can be run at any point in the cycle, testing the actual machine kinematics at any time. The procedure can also be automated to run on the table at prescribed time intervals.”
The high-speed machining feature is highlighted here by Cycle 800, which is a static plane transformation that allows a 5-axis machine to define a rotated working plane in space. It is commonly known in the trade as 3+2 programming. The cycle converts the actual workpiece zero and tool offsets to refer to the rotated surface. Of note here, the cycle accommodates particular machine kinematics and positions the physical axes normal to the working plane. This is referenced as TRAORI or transformation orientation.
Meanwhile, Sinumerik Operate, the CNC’s easy-to-use, graphical user interface on the machine allows the operator to perform a variety of integrated tool management and information management functions, all transportable on a USB or network connection.
In the simulation, the loading and fixturing of the workpiece is performed virtually in the NX CAM program, which also calculates a consistent chip load, critical in these large material removal applications. The simulation further verifies the tool length at all cutting sections and the program is finalized for the machine to begin.
In production, this process also yielded a substantial improvement in tool life on this very heavy part over the 3-¾hour cycle time, according to DMG National Product Manager, Luke Ivaska. “With the combination of the NX CAM software, plus the CNC on the machine and all it could do, we had some initial challenges, as most software programs are purpose-built CAM packages that allow quick and easy use by anyone. They have significant limitations; however, as the software drives the tool path and the operator has very little control. With NX and Sinumerik CNC, we have a lot more input on the creation of the tool path. I have yet to find a problem I could not solve with NX.”
In the CNC, the Sinumerik Operate affords the end user’s operator and manufacturing engineering personnel full access to a variety of conditions in production, including all roughing and finishing data in plain text, plus all 5-axis transformation orientation data logged for restart after any interruption and manual restart.
Easy-to-use probing for work offsets is another advantage the builder and their customer enjoy with the CNC used on this machine. The operator is guided graphically for setting the workpiece zero, for example, while the tool length is automatically included in the calculation. With the Operate system, the difference between the position value in the machine coordinate system and workpiece coordinate system is saved in the active zero offset.
The variable streamline operation of the machine tool combines here with an interpolated vector to produce a smoother finish in the machining of the intricate rock bit surfaces in a single tool path. The machine seamlessly transitions from square-to-round machining and then the extreme angle paths needed to accurately machine the internal surfaces. A single bit portion of the program is automatically captured, so a step-and-repeat program can be built-up. The simulation of each bit cutting path was done on both the NX CAM and the CNC programs. It is literally like working with a “Digital Twin” of the machine.
This vectored program, it should be noted, is transportable to any machine with comparable results, according to Randy Pearson and PLM director of business development Matthias Leinberger, who comments, “Precisely because the machine kinematics are knowable, this program, once created, can be transferred onto multiple machines within the same facility or run by shops around the world, all tied together by the control, so there is total continuity between the operations, the data capture protocol and feedback received for production analysis.” Randy Pearson further noted that, in this application, the customer’s desire to change the materials used on successive runs could be easily accommodated by the control, owing to its ability for on-the-fly adjustments, based on the orientation of the tool tip to the workpiece.
This project was accomplished, using CELOS® onboard the DMG MORI machine. CELOS facilitates the total interaction between operator and machine, in this application, as it has numerous apps to enable instant call-up of actual conditions, full data comparison through a link to CAD and CAM products, plus full interface to the customer company’s ERP system for logging and analysis, with in-process remote adjustments achievable. In the case of this oil-and-gas customer, interactive communication to a global production network is also provided, which allow the customer to run parallel production of different rock bits at locations around the world, with seamless data tracking and full production analysis.
For more information on this story, please contact:
Siemens Industry, Inc.
For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To watch a video of this line in operation, please visit https://youtu.be/xA1hyv6A7HsContinue reading
Myriad ways to boost productivity, enhance shopfloor flexibility and preserve data security…
all on the market today for machine shops of many sizes
by Ramona Schindler, Siemens Industry, Inc.
With the machine tool industry in flux currently, as it seeks to find its way into the digital world, the entire process chain necessitates the integration of suppliers who can respond to the needs of the industry. The situation has very little “history” and so large end-customers and machine shops of all sizes are seeking assistance from their suppliers, while the machine tool builders are likewise seeking to partner with hardware, software, communications and controls suppliers to bring the most needed machine types to market.
Within this scenario, the large manufacturers focus on the “big picture” as they link their production departments, often located in different cities or even countries throughout the supply chain, while the small contract manufacturer with a dozen local customers wonders how this drive to the digital factory will impact their world— and it will. The good news is they can already utilize the IT, apps and communication devices onboard many of today’s advanced machine tools and the rapidly emerging skill sets of new workers in the machine tool industry to develop and implement the three basic levels of machine shop operations.
These levels comprise the communications hardware and protocols at the machine, the integration of inline machine production and the data resident in the cloud, which can be used today in many ways to boost productivity through automated analytics of the shopfloor’s utilization; to enhance shopfloor flexibility through optimized methods of production; and to preserve data security by state-of-the-art software solutions. In essence, the capture and manipulation of such data drives the productivity of a small shop or large production department in quite similar ways. The concept of your manufacturing seen as an eco-system, with information and control capabilities at all levels, can drive that “factory of the future” and, the good news, it can do so today.
From the CNC on your machines, whether they are number three in a mold shop or three hundred at a transmission plant, you can extract the pre-analytics that can be used to feed existing apps or to develop the most beneficial apps to suit your production scheme and workflow. The beauty of the app, whether you create your own, have a third-party integrator develop it or use existing solutions, is that it provides the hierarchy of information to your operator, line supervisor, plant operations personnel or global IT department in a similar manner. This scalability offers immediate benefit to manufacturers of all sizes and it does so, right now. For example, machine tool users can quickly and easily configure a CNC machine’s connections and ascertain its program status and operating mode. This will lead to increased manufacturing productivity, reliability and availability of the machine.
Cloud-based systems always raise the question of security issues, as the data flow in real time at high-speed and can be made accessible to many levels of information managers and operations personnel. It is critical that a thorough assessment of the access to that data precede the development of any communications protocol.
Digitalization is not necessarily a costly undertaking. First steps can be quickly implemented on the shopfloor, for example, through the use of small PCs like Raspberry Pi. Likewise, for the machine tool builder, the development of “digital twin” engineering, where a machine is fully designed, commissioned and test run in a virtual environment, is rapidly changing the playing field in this industry.
The number of connected machines is increasing exponentially and this is not simply engineering adornment, it is a necessary function for any manufacturer. Being able to quickly determine the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and conduct practical, beneficial predictive maintenance actions on your machines will contribute greatly to the production and profitability of your operation.
The management of today’s manufacturing shops and production departments have the challenge to become aware of all these available technologies and chart a course for their implementation. This is not a “someday” scenario; it is a vital journey for shops of all sizes, if they want to remain competitive in today’s changing market.
My last advice, look at digitalization as an umbrella for the secure shielding of smart data, not just big data. IIOT is the essential connectivity for all the elements of data on machine performance, materials flow, operations efficiency and ultimately your overall productivity.
It’s an exciting time in our business.Continue reading
Siemens Factory Automation seeks to open market for its embedded and panel PC products in healthcare segment, including x-ray, analyzer, imaging and diagnostic equipment plus data acquisition to patient and hospital records; domestically sold product now assembled in Lebanon, Ohio
At the recent Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) show held on February 6-8 in Anaheim, California, the PC-based Automation Marketing Manager from Siemens Digital Factory Division, Thorsten Julich, announced at the booth that the company plans to develop the medical equipment market for its box, panels and rack PC products. In addition, Julich noted the suite of products targeted for use in the North American market are being assembled at the Siemens facility in Lebanon, Ohio, thereby shortening lead times significantly, up to 40%, for the OEM machine builders and system integrators.
“As time to market for new product development continues to shorten in the industrial PC market, while the life cycle of such products has become longer,” Julich noted, “it is critical that Siemens bring its embedded box and panel products to market in a more efficient manner.” He also observed the drive to upgrade systems from older technologies at all levels of the healthcare industry is moving quickly, as the market trends toward a digital and cloud-based environment with customized apps to enable more immediate and network-wide system of record-keeping.
Commenting on the Lebanon, Ohio facility, Thorsten Julich noted the in-house development of Siemens IPC technology for this market segment will include both software and motherboard manufacturing. Complementing the PC product offerings, rugged handheld units with Windows 7 or 10 compatibility, will be offered for technician ease-of-use and connectivity to cloud-based systems.
Single- and multi-touch panel PCs will be offered in 7”-22” displays in the company’s Nanobox/Nanopanel and Microbox/Micropanel designs.
Julich concluded, “Because our IPC range has full interface capabilities with SCADA software plus the medical grade tablets offer full compatibility with networking solutions in the digital world, we believe the company is well positioned to enter this medical equipment market with a very substantial and sustainable suite of products and services.” He also mused the Lebanon, Ohio facility would give Siemens something of a “home field advantage” in the market.
To learn more about the event and products, please visit: usa.siemens.com/ipc or contact Siemens via email at email@example.com.
Siemens Digital Factory (DF) offers a comprehensive portfolio of seamlessly integrated hardware, software and technology-based services in order to support manufacturing companies worldwide in enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of their manufacturing processes and reducing the time to market of their products.
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Siemens Factory Automation gathers its team, Solution Partners and End User community for four days of learning and fun
From February 19-22, 2018, at the Riverwalk Westin in San Antonio, Texas, approximately 130 people gathered for four days of product presentations, emerging technology discussions and a market trend outlook at the Siemens Factory Automation SCADA/IPC Days 2018. Members of the Siemens management, sales and support team joined their Solution Partners and a diverse assortment of end user companies from various market segments to review new product offerings in the IPC segment of the Siemens portfolio, plus a number of new platforms in the SCADA segment. The event was hosted by the product marketing teams for Factory Automation, based in Norcross, Georgia.
Following a welcome session on the first evening, a series of presentations were made on day two to the entire group by Siemens management and technical thought leaders, covering the digital factory strategy and the company’s forward-thinking move to Digitalization, the current theme for the Siemens marketing message across its entire industrial platform. Key speakers were Kevin Lewis, Russell Barnes, Thorsten Julich, Bernd Raithel, Michael Steigberger, Bernd Staufer and Tom Elswick. The primary message takeaway for the group was that Digitalization will hallmark the factory of the future and SCADA will be the “digital doorway for data” in that rapid evolutionary process, as it impacts all industries, both discrete and process.
There were also presentations on cloud computing and edge computing, the constituent elements of the Digitalization trend, comprising both hardware and software elements. This discussion led directly into the program’s introduction of various new thin client IPC product offerings and the latest version of SIMATIC WinCC SCADA systems.
In addition to the technical presentations and market overviews, a very interesting end user application was detailed by end user Derek Thoma of Hop Valley Brewing, a Miller/Coors company. Thoma spoke on the marked improvements in production and product quality tracking made possible by the advanced IPC and HMI provided by Siemens, in addition to the SCADA software for process monitoring and management.
During that evening, the entire group enjoyed a genuine Texas BBQ and a good time was had by all.
Day three began with a review of new IPC products and emerging technologies on the horizon from Siemens, followed by more intense product and software breakout workshops, tagged the Wisdom Series by the event coordinators.
Finally, day four offered direct consultation from the Siemens product specialists gathered at the event, including the Solutions Partners, who represent the system integrator community at Siemens, as they bring the products, application engineering, installation and service, plus related data gathering and process control products to the process industries. In addition, those interested in becoming a WinCC Specialist were offered the opportunity to take their certification test during the event.
Guest instructors were present during the workshop sessions to discuss such topics as Automation for Networks, Using WinCC to Build a Toolbox, Batch Tracking Made Easier with WinCC Archives, Mindsphere and Cybersecurity, and the Industrial PC of tomorrow. Rapidly developing MindApps for performance optimization on all types of industrial manufacturing and process machines were also discussed in detail, as Siemens seeks to assist its customer base and machine builders alike to gather, process, analyze and apply relevant data. Such data allow better process control and KPI development, plus have positive uses for machine liability, insurance, warranty and even energy saving calculations.
To learn more about the event and products, please visit: usa.siemens.com/automation
Siemens Digital Factory (DF) offers a comprehensive portfolio of seamlessly integrated hardware, software and technology-based services in order to support manufacturing companies worldwide in enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of their manufacturing processes and reducing the time to market of their products.
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.Continue reading
Elmhurst, IL –Adams Magnetic Products, Co., a leading supplier of permanent magnets, rare earth magnets, flexible magnets and magnetic assemblies has appointed Michael Devine as Senior Applications Engineer in its Elmhurst facility. Mr. Devine will provide direct engineering support to Adams’ customer base as well as sales and production support, primarily focusing on permanent and electromagnetic circuit design. He will also be responsible for evaluating current and potential magnet applications against industry benchmarks, to better meet the needs of Adams customers.
“Michael’s vast experience in magnetics and exposure to numerous applications in the industry will help to develop our customers’ designs in a very effective and efficient manner” explains Director of Technology, Tony Hull. “Michael’s passion to assist others with solutions will undoubtedly strengthen the company and benefit our customers.”
Before joining Adams, Devine served as Senior Applications Engineer at Dexter Magnetic Technologies, where he interacted with customers from aerospace, defense, petrochemical, medical, semiconductor, research universities and government facilities regarding magnetic design. He is an active and contributing member of several industry associations, has published over 20 technical papers and presented at numerous technical conferences in the magnetics industry.
Devine holds an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, IA, and a B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He is a certified project management professional and is proficient in several magnetic modeling software programs.
“Adams has a great reputation in the industry,” says Devine. “I’m looking forward to expanding Adams’ role in the many markets it successfully serves.”
Established in 1950, Adams Magnetic Products Co. sets the standard for designing and manufacturing innovative magnetic products and assemblies. One of the oldest U.S. companies in the industry, its staff draws from a depth of engineering, fabricating, coating, testing, sourcing, handling, and distributing expertise managing inventory and delivery to coincide with customers’ production cycles and schedules. Adams has the capabilities to produce magnets of virtually any shape and size and is ITAR registered and ISO 9001:2008 Certified.
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Machine builder develops fully automated die handling system with 15,000-pound capacity to load and unload presses with staging tables for continuous production; die change time reduced from two hours to ten minutes
Beckwood Corporation in Fenton, Missouri (St. Louis) is a leading manufacturer of custom hydraulic presses, automation systems and the Triform line of precision forming equipment. While their machinery serves a variety of industries and applications, they excel at developing robust aerospace forming technologies engineered for accuracy and repeatability. In detailing the sophistication of their machine designs for this challenging market segment, their website includes something of a company mantra, “It IS rocket science.”
One customer, a metalform fabricator and producer of various components for the commercial and military aircraft sectors, brought Beckwood their challenge. The company was seeking a turnkey package consisting of two 1400-ton hydraulic presses and two automated stamping die handling systems to load and unload the presses more efficiently than the conventional forklift and manual labor-intensive system this customer was currently utilizing. The presses and quick die change (QDC) workcells would be used to form a variety of parts in relatively low volumes, so the system to be designed needed a more automated die handling system. In addition, a 42”-diameter deep draw sheet hydroforming press with staging table was needed. Such a press would be the largest of its kind in the world, once produced.
A critical part of the challenge involved the need for a QDC system with 15,000-pound capacity to feed each 1400-ton press. As Beckwood’s lead electrical engineer John Harte explains, “We conducted a thorough review with all our local die cart suppliers and all passed on the bid, citing too many obstacles on that large a load. So, as we often do, we decided to design, engineer and build the system ourselves.” The presses each had a footprint approximately 30’ square, and the QDC would need to service the presses with T-table staging devices, allowing the next die to be prepped and ready to insert upon completion of the previous run cycle.
With the degree of automation involved, Beckwood worked with the customer’s engineering staff to devise a workcell concept comprised of two 4-post presses, each with a QDC system including a cart, rack and T-table with 15,000-pound load capacity. Each press would be over 33’ in height and positioned in a 10’ deep pit.
As the customer was a longtime user of Siemens motion control and HMI, they specified this supplier for the project. Harte connected with Derek Eastep, his account manager for Siemens, and the product list for the project began to take shape. Various drives, PLCs, displays and motion controllers were specified. The latter was a critical component, as the motion controller was required to operate all press movements, as well as the motor starters, QDC integration, light curtains that protect the workcell and operators plus area scanners that maintain the integrated safety condition monitoring on the entire cell.
The system logic and data logging setup was to be done by the customer, who had considerable experience with Siemens controls, with the Beckwood team integrating the QDC and overall cell management.
The QDC operates in tandem with the two presses, using four 15HP motors to drive the lead screws on this massive die handling system. They are electrically geared through the onboard Siemens PLC to move the ram and shuttle. Additional motors and drives on the feed tables allow the next die to be positioned during press operation. When a press cycle is completed, the air bags on the feed tables lift the next die for positioning onto the QDC, then a shuttle inserts the die inside the press, with all motion controlled by the PLC. These T-tables and the QDC were designed, engineered, built and tested by Beckwood at their factory prior to shipment and installation at the customer’s facility. Both Beckwood and Siemens personnel were active in the commissioning of the entire system.
The PLC is a Siemens S7-1515—a robust controller that integrates function control, safety and condition display in a single module with Profinet protocol for bus communication. Through the TIA Portal and Step 7 software provided by Siemens, the end user can customize the operation of the devices remotely, integrating multiple part files and related safety commands in one controller. This “library” feature allows the end user, as they run a variety of parts during a shift, for example, to use one software package to program quickly and more efficiently. Likewise, the safety switches on the entire system are programmed through this secure and redundant safety back-up software through the TIA Portal.
All motor movements on the twin four-post presses are controlled with Siemens drive technology. In operation, the Beckwood presses with the QDC systems are expected to reduce die setup and changeover from approximately two hours to ten minutes.
As Derek Eastep from Siemens notes, “Because the end user was a longtime customer, we performed the application engineering with Beckwood and their customer, fully confident that the system would be set up and running in a relatively short time, as all parties had good familiarity with our protocols.” Harte adds, “We used the Selector, Sizer and Starter engineering tools from Siemens to spec and then commission the drives, which saved us a substantial amount of time. It made our lives a lot easier,” he muses.
The two 1400-ton presses in the workcells are Beckwood’s robust four-post frame style with replaceable, graphite-impregnated bronze bushings and solid chrome-plated posts to ensure precision ram guidance. Designed to form parts with challenging geometries in low-volume, high-mix production environments, the 42” Triform deep draw sheet hydroforming press will be the largest press of its kind in the world.
Josh Dixon, director of sales & marketing at Beckwood, says in the company video, “We hate the word ‘no’.” The success of this unique and first-of-kind press and QDC workcell, built by Beckwood with the help of its controls supplier Siemens, bears out that statement.
Due to the versatile nature of Beckwood’s “built to order” business model, their machines are engineered to serve a variety of industries. Beckwood’s extensive experience serving so many industries provides a unique vantage point that customers find incredibly valuable. They are often able to recommend process improvements that customers may have never known or considered, revolutionizing their manufacturing operations. Beyond metal forming, the company also manufactures presses used to form rubber, plastic, composites and other material substrates. The business started in 1976 and is today led by company president Jeff Debus.
For more information on this story, please contact:
889 Horan Drive
Fenton, MO 63026-2405
About Siemens USA
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.Continue reading
Permanent corrosion protection is more effective and less expensive than standard heavy-zinc galvanize
A leading coil coater and manufacturer of proprietary coating chemistries has recently introduced InterCoat®ChemGuard, a new type of corrosion protection for galvanized steel.
InterCoat®ChemGuard uses a new type of coating technology that utilizes covalent bonds and enhances the effectiveness of zinc and substantially improves corrosion protection on galvanized steel. Standard practice to protect metal from corrosion for approximately the last 70 years has been to coat it with zinc. Heavier zinc coatings have normally been applied to provide longer protection. This was the industry standard practice, until now.
InterCoat®ChemGuard, instead, reacts with the zinc to form a permanent, covalent bond on the surface of the metal. The product is applied over a light layer of zinc, which reacts with the zinc to dramatically improve its corrosion protection properties. The bond which is formed at the molecular level cannot be washed or worn off. This is different and more effective than the typical barrier coating. This revolutionary process allows bending, stamping, post-painting and even shearing, while providing self-healing characteristics that help protect newly exposed zinc that naturally occurs during secondary processing.
InterCoat®ChemGuard is a major development for any user looking to extend the corrosion resistance of galvanized steel. The product is RoHS compliant and continues to protect during stamping, roll forming, shearing and is weldable. With a low coefficient of friction, it actually enhances these processes. InterCoat®ChemGuard is designed to be applied on the galvanize line or, for custom formulas, by the original coil coater and developer of this unique compound.
InterCoat®ChemGuard offers significant cost savings because it allows for lighter zinc to form the bond. It is not necessary to apply heavy zinc; it reduces the need for zinc coatings heavier than G30, in many applications on the market today. The product also eliminates the need for temporary corrosion protection coatings, often used in shipping and materials storage, including hexavalent chrome, a known carcinogen, making it more environmentally friendly for all building, architectural, transportation and consumer appliance applications.
It is applicable to many industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, electrical conduit, wall studs, furniture, fixtures, appliances, outdoor and highway railing, agricultural, lawn and garden and other products using galvanize.
For more information on this product, please visit the website at: www.lowerzinc.com
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The demands for prototype, tool and mold making are increasing. Only those who can supply high quality output, quickly and flexibly, can succeed against the powerful competition worldwide. Zimmermann is responding to this trend with the new FZU. This 5-axis gantry milling machine is not only extremely compact but, thanks to its thermo-symmetrical design and accuracy, it also provides the ideal entry point to the Zimmermann machine line with maximum productivity. Plastics, casting resins such as Ureol and aluminum are particularly suitable for machining. “This development will enable us to close the gap in the lower weight class,” states Frieder Gänzle, General Manager and Partner at Zimmermann in Germany.
“The basic expectations, which prototype, tool and mold makers need to meet today, have not necessarily changed over the years, they have simply grown,” sums up Frieder Gänzle. Customers in the automobile industry, he notes, especially expect components with almost perfect surface finishes and ever higher accuracies. Manufacturers introduce new models or variants to the market at ever shorter intervals. Whereas prototype, tool and mold makers could previously plan in the longer term, they must respond today to inquiries considerably faster.
“We cultivate a very special relationship with prototype, tool and mold makers,” says Gänzle. “Together, we have evolved consistently in recent years. We are very appreciative of our strong business in this sector.” Zimmermann is continuously exchanging technology information with its user base. In discussions, it has become clear that this sector requires powerful, compact machines with maximum productivity and open time. And, importantly, Zimmermann must offer an attractive price/performance ratio, while meeting all these requirements. “We have evolved even further towards heavy-duty cutting, over the years,” reports Gänzle. “As a result, even the smallest machine in our portfolio, the FZ33 compact, has become more popular. We have continuously pushed it upwards from a technological point of view.” Its focus is on aluminum cutting, but steel can also be machined. This enables Zimmermann to offer customers a very efficient, flexible and space-saving machine, while the corresponding design improvements have also had an effect on the price. “The requirement we were presented was for an entry-level model which rounds off our program at the lower price point,” explains Gänzle. The result is the FZU, a 5-axis gantry milling machine which is optimized for weight and stability.
Pre-assembled machine concept
In contrast to the established FZ33 and other machines that Zimmermann offers today, the company is taking a different path with the FZU. “We can narrow down the special features of this gantry machine to three main characteristics,” describes Gänzle. The first point: “We are following the trend towards modern manufacturing machines and designing them as space-saving, pre-assembled units.” This means Zimmermann assembles the machines in-house and can then transport them to the customer by truck or ship without having to dismantle them. Onsite, they are ready for use in a very short commissioning time; erection and start-up require minimum effort. For the customer, this means quickly available machines which can be installed without constructing foundations. “In the design, we have kept to the usual transport sizes. At the same time, the new FZU achieves a remarkable working range for its size,” explains Gänzle.
It is important to match the machine to the required dynamics. Adverse environmental conditions and long machine running times necessarily give rise to thermal expansion effects. In spite of the customers’ increased accuracy requirements, the machine must always achieve outstanding surface finishes. The Zimmermann engineers have therefore designed the FZU gantry machine to be thermo-symmetrical. This means that the milling spindle, guides and other accuracy-determining components are arranged so that their heating is either compensated or they can expand in uncritical directions. “This is the second important characteristic,” emphasizes Gänzle. The base frame consists of a steel welded construction which forms a continuous U-shape. The machine gantry’s centrally guided Z-slide has an octagonal section – and not a rectangular one like comparable machines – which makes it particularly stable. Thanks to its design, it therefore has impressive rigidity for its size. “With a weight of approximately 35 tons, a length of 3,500mm, width of 7,500mm and a height of just under 5,000 mm, we have been able to build a light and compact machine,” says Gänzle.
In-house head implemented throughout
The third characteristic relates to the new VH10 milling head, which achieves an extremely high power density. “This new development has enabled us to reassess our portfolio,” reports Gänzle. This is because the VH10 head will replace the VH12, which is not a Zimmermann product. Alongside the VH20, VH30 and VH60, the VH10 is now the smallest head in the range. Users will also benefit from the fact that Zimmermann has suitable spare heads in stock and can supply them on request in the event of stoppages, for example, due to a crash. “We strive to respond quickly and provide the customer with optimum support,” emphasizes Gänzle.
Thanks to its slender design, the VH10 spindle head has only minimal interference contours. Compared to the VH12, it achieves almost double the clamping force. This is due to the fact that Zimmermann fits two side cheeks instead of one onto the unit. The VH10 is therefore considerably more stable in operation. In order to minimize throughput times, a powerful 34 kW spindle with a maximum speed of 24,000 rpm is used in the milling head as standard. “The FZU is therefore ideally suitable for the materials typically found in this business sector, such as Ureol, clay and aluminum. In the future, we will also use the new milling head in larger machines on which processers can produce one-to-one models – for example, on our FZ37,” says Gänzle.
Standardized and yet individual
In order to provide a high-quality machine at an attractive price, the designers at Zimmermann have turned their attention to remaining competitive with regard to price through increased component standardization, while at the same time addressing individual customer requirements. As with all machines produced, Zimmermann therefore also relies on a modular system with the FZU. Among other things, this approach enables different size variants and power levels to be produced. There are also numerous equipment options which offer the customer maximum flexibility.
Zimmermann is therefore able to provide a very efficient solution with the new FZU. It is often the little things that give rise to success and customer satisfaction. “We place great importance on details – an aspect which cannot always be measured in the numbers,” explains Gänzle, who cites two examples: “For instance, the machining area is fully clad with stainless steel sheets in order to guarantee maximum resistance to abrasion. The FZU is also the first gantry milling machine to be equipped with our innovative, new NXP 24-inch multitouch controller, which is already used on our FZH horizontal machining center.” Another increasingly important topic is ergonomics. The door is divided asymmetrically to enable components to be easily fed to the machine. A small, easy-to-open door leads into the machining area, while the large door is used for loading. Operators therefore have a relatively large field of view, rapid access to the machining area and ample space for loading – ergonomic advantages which are not to be underestimated. Another detail is that a cabinet has been installed directly in front of the FZU. “This was the idea of one of our designers,” says Gänzle. “The tables, which users in the various plants position in front of the machines to place their accessories and service tools, caught his attention. With our solution, everything which is part of day-to-day operations can be safely stowed close at hand within the machine.” Added to this, there are extraction equipment and special chip management systems. “It is often the simple ideas which make the machine operator’s everyday tasks much easier,” sums up Gänzle.
To provide the best possible support to businesses, Zimmermann concentrates on high-quality and reliable service in close proximity to the customer. After all, this is exactly what characterizes a good relationship between supplier and user. “Customers expect high availability over the entire system lifecycle,” says Gänzle. “We provide comprehensive machine care.” This includes a customer hotline, by means of which users can reach a competent contact person, even outside of normal working hours, as well as a remote diagnosis system that allows a rapid response in an emergency. If mechanical components are defective or malfunction, the machine builder usually guarantees immediate shipment from its factory. In addition, the application engineers work together with the customer to optimize each individual combination of heads, spindles, tools and clamping equipment for the machines. Zimmermann therefore not only sells machines, but also complete solutions. Plans are in process for further upgrades to the stocking and service personnel staff in North America, as well. Zimmermann recently opened a new facility in Wixom, Michigan, near Detroit.
Goal: To be technologically out in front
“We don’t want to be chasing trends; instead, we want to help shape the market,” says Gänzle. “Basically, we therefore aspire not to do the same things as our competitors.” To be technologically out in front, the machine builder never stands still with regards to machine development. The FZU is therefore being continuously optimized – without at the same time losing sight of the price/performance ratio. There appears to be substantial market interest in these machines, according to company research. The initial discussions with users were highly promising. “We are confident of meeting our customers’ requirements with this new development, both in Germany and internationally,” says Gänzle. The statement that the concept of the FZU could be transferred to the other machines in the program underlines how convinced he is of this new solution. Zimmermann will be presenting the machine to a specialist audience at WESTEC 2017, CMTS 2018 AMB in September, 2018. As further indication of emerging market interest, three users have already decided to purchase this new gantry milling machine.
About the company
For more information on this development, please contact the North American headquarters: