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Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to watch our clients react to the virus and adjust their businesses accordingly. As all our clients are manufacturing enterprises, they’ve needed to adjust their production scenario. Several innovative clients have gone from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 shifts to achieve proper social distancing with no decline in the output. Most clients have returned to work in the office, as of this writing. Three clients have radically increased their ad spending, with one quoting me my own line, “Smaller pie, bigger slice.” He remembered 2009, all too well. The big difference here, of course, is that the current slowdown has absolutely NOTHING to do with economics.Continue reading
By Maureen Lepke
All industries are feeling the effects of Coronavirus. Manufacturing and industrial companies are not an exception. So what can you do in a time where trade shows are cancelled, everyone is working from home and trying to find new ways to get their company’s message out? The answer is social media. Social media is a low-cost, yet valuable marketing tool that allows your company to talk to your customers every day throughout the month.
What’s the benefit of having an agency do your social media for you? We have a full-time social media director here at the agency and we are strictly industrial so we understand your world. We are consistently posting 5 days a week. Social media is usually the first thing that slows down when a company gets busy. It becomes an afterthought when social media should be a critical part of your marketing strategy.Continue reading
Longtime tooling authority Preben Hansen to lead new company
Heimatec Inc., a market leader in live tooling for the North American machine tool industry, announced today that it will become part of a new corporation, Platinum Tooling Technologies, Inc. The announcement was made by the longtime president of Heimatec, Inc., Preben Hansen, who will lead the new company as its president and COO, holding a majority stake in its ownership. Mr. Hansen is a 30-year veteran and recognized authority in the machine tool industry for tooling and its applications.
“I’d been pondering this move for some time and, after considerable discussions with Heimatec GmbH, Tecnicrafts Industries, Henninger GmbH, and other principals we represent, it seemed time to make this decision and move forward with the new company,” said Hansen, speaking from the Heimatec North American headquarters in Prospect Heights, Illinois, just outside Chicago.
Hansen continues, “The new company will enable us to serve our existing and new market opportunities in a more pro-active fashion.” He cited the recent expansion of the Chicagoland facility, with added office and warehouse space, allowing more staff to be hired and greater inventories to be carried on all lines to be represented by the new company. The Heimatec products will continue to be our main focus but we are fully committed to the growth and success of Tecnicrafts and our other product lines.
Other developments in the works, Hansen states, include additional lines of machine tool accessories and related machine components. Heimatec Inc. has been adding various other brand names to its roster over the years, most recently the very successful guide bushing and collet line from the global supplier Tecnicrafts Industries. Tecnicrafts manufacture products made specifically for the Swiss machine tool market. Platinum Tooling will make a further investment to this line with extensive inventory and the purchase and installation of a grinding machine. Bringing this process “in house” will improve delivery times and strengthen market position.
Additional personnel and sales representative firms are being sought to augment the existing team, Hansen notes. “Nothing will change in our interaction with current customers, reps and distributors. We’ll be enhancing our capabilities, however, with more application engineering, service technicians and staff dedicated to the specific tooling lines we represent. In that way, our value proposition and overall service package to the industry will rise to new heights.”
A new website has been developed for Platinum Tooling Technologies, Inc., as well, www.platinumtooling.com.
For more information on all these developments, please contact:Continue reading
Andreas Maier products now offered by live tooling importer
Heimatec Inc., the North American importer of precision live tools, angle heads and multi-spindle drill heads, announces immediate availability of marking and cleaning tools from its European partner Andreas Maier, under the AMF brand. The announcement was made by the president of Heimatec Inc., Preben Hansen. “This development brings additional products to our current customers and responds to the market needs for quality marking and cleaning tools for workpieces in CNC machining,” he observed.
AMF marking tools are used for the permanent marking of workpieces made from all types of metal and thermoplastic substrates. They are typically mounted in Toolholders for use in the spindle of a CNC machine tool. Marking surfaces is achieved by a combination process of pressure and material displacement. These tools can function with or without rotation and usually without height adjustment on the spindle, resulting in a high-speed, highly efficient marking process and no degradation of the substrate. Very thin material as well as cylindrical workpieces can be easily marked, using AMF tools. Cost savings are said to be substantial, compared to conventional marking or labeling. Key design feature of the AMF marking tool is its needle, which achieves the surface marking with clarity and at high speed.
AMF cleaning tools are used for the cleaning of workpieces, tooling and the interior of CNC machines. They are typically clamped in Toolholders and mounted directly onto the machine spindle. Using through spindle coolant or compressed air, the cleaning tool removes swarf and other debris from workpieces, clamping tools, rotary tables and other fixtures before the next workpiece blank is loaded. The machine spindle can remain stationary or in slow rotation mode during the cleaning process. Models are available in horizontal or vertical styles to suit the machine spindle configuration and feature adjustable jet nozzles for precise cleaning and coolant or compressed air conservation. Kits can be furnished complete with tools, gauge and all fastening hardware or sold separately.
These new products from Heimatec Inc. are available immediately and are described in the literature available on request or at the company website.
For further information and literature on this new product line, please contact:
Heimatec Inc. in Prospect Heights, IL, near Chicago, serves its growing North American customer base with an extensive inventory of machine tool accessories. Its experienced staff is dedicated to providing the most innovative tooling and technology. Heimatec serves the auto, aero, medical, woodworking, composites and other industries, as well as an ever-increasing number of machine tool OEMs worldwide, through its network of manufacturers’ representatives.Continue reading
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
by Maureen Lepke
Over the past few years, social media has become increasingly mainstream in our daily lives. As of September 2017, Facebook has approximately 2.07 billion monthly users according to Facebook Stats. Twitter, on the other hand, had an average of 328 million monthly users as of the first quarter of 2017 as seen in a Forbes article. Lastly, an article from Fortune claims that LinkedIn has 500 million users as of April 2017.
While social media initially rose to popularity with teenagers as the main users, older generations have since adapted to these changing times and have incorporated social media into not only their personal lives but also into their professional lives.
More recently, businesses have realized the immense potential of having a social media presence. No longer is social media solely for interacting with friends and playing games; today, it’s opened the doors to vast possibilities for brand recognition among businesses and consumers.
In the manufacturing and industrial markets, social media can be extremely beneficial as companies in these industries rely on monthly trade publications for advertising and sharing product news with their specific audience in the hopes of generating leads. While this continues to be important to create brand awareness, social media can lend a helping hand. By using social media, a company can easily promote their brand the other 30 days out of the month.
Social media is the perfect outlet to not only promote your brand and share exciting company news but to also share breaking news and relevant topics that pertain to your company’s industry. This allows your business to become a wealthy source of information and lends a great deal of credibility to your company within the industry.
Among those benefits is the added bonus of being able to connect with a very specific, pinpointed target market that is already interested in your industry and therefore will be a possible lead. Communication is key when it comes to any business and marketing strategy. Social media is a medium of communication that lets a business interact with consumers in ways that companies have never been able to before.
The future of social media for businesses looks bright as there are plenty of ways to reach your audience and stay relevant in the minds of the consumers. It’s important to stay up-to-date as social media and technology are constantly changing and improving.
Are you “following” the social media movement? It’s about time! See what social media can do for your company. Reach out to us today for more information or with questions on how social media can have a beneficial impact on your company. We’re here to help increase your brand awareness.Continue reading
WHEN I WAS A BOY…
That’s how one of my favorite high school teachers started out many a lecture. Father Cochran taught me logic at the all-boys Catholic prep school I attended. From him, I learned Aristotle and Aquinas in Greek and Latin, plus all the modern thinking of the day. His opening set the tone, namely, encouraging us to keep all things in perspective and never forget the lessons of our youth, no matter what changed along the way.
My point? In today’s ad agency, we have technologies galore that didn’t exist just 43 years ago, when I was a…fledgling copy boy at my first ad agency, writing display classified ads on a “modern” electric typewriter for the agency that handled the American Grease Stick Company, maker of products such as SqueakEase, DoorEase and LockEase. Thrilling, I can hear you say.
Today, we offer clients social media, website development with full back-end tracking, augmented reality to enhance trade show and online experiences, Google ad word programs that capture people seeking their products and equipment, then put an ad in view online through retargeting with back-end tracking protocols, highly complex interactive blasts and conferencing options for training and press events, plus the very cool (is that still a multi-meaning adjective?) technology of mobile attraction, whereby we put a message from our client on every phone in a zip code or x-mile radius of a trade show venue. People come up to the booth and say “show me,” whereupon I smile knowingly at the client and say, “Told ya it would work!” And it does. Call me and I’ll tell you how. (Actually, one of the young guns here will do that.)Continue reading