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Pressure-tight encapsulated enclosures ensure safety

Explosive atmospheres are found in many sectors of industry. They require special precautions and protection systems in order to guarantee the safe use of electrical equipment. ROSE Systemtechnik’s pressure-tight encapsulated Ex d enclosures provide an optimal solution for Ex protection.


Nurullah Palamut, in charge of explosion-protected products at the ROSE Systemtechnik company, says: “Encapsulation of non-certified components and equipment for use in potentially explosive areas is a great challenge, primarily for the processing industry.” Within the European Union, the requirements for the safe use of electrical devices in potentially explosive areas are strictly regulated by the ATEX directive. In order to ensure maximum safety in operation, it is necessary to follow extensive national and international guidelines, regulations and standards. “By making use of pressure-tight encapsulation inside an enclosure in the ignition protection category Ex d, components or small devices which represent a potential source of ignition can be made suitable for use in potentially explosive areas,” Palamut goes on to explain.

Ex d enclosures for an extremely wide range of uses

ROSE Systemtechnik supplies enclosures with pressure-tight encapsulation in different sizes and versions for use in various groups of gases and temperature ranges. This allows the enclosure experts from Porta Westfalica in Germany to offer industry a wide range of solutions for the safe and secure encapsulation of electrical equipment.

Whether as an ordinary distribution box for energy, sensor signals or for complex control systems – ROSE Systemtechnik’s Ex d enclosures cover the widest range of demands in the industrial sector. The enclosures in the TBE, EJB, GUB and IJB series comply with ingress protection IP 66 in accordance with DIN EN 60529, which means that they are dust-tight and protected against penetration by water.

In particular, ROSE’s Ex d enclosures are used in the processing industry, for example by oil and gas, chemicals and pharmaceutical companies, and they are also found in measurement and instrumentation applications. In its Ex d range, the company also offers both stainless steel and aluminium enclosures. Depending on the version, customer-specific modifications or surface improvements are also available, for example viewing windows or lacquering. On request, ROSE also manufactures special enclosures and carries out complete mechanical processing and the mounting of the products.

Stirring the imagination of electric car OEMs

As sales of hybrid and all-electric cars continue to gain momentum, UK-based PTG Heavy Industries is busy applying its considerable knowledge of friction stir welding to help automotive OEMs address some of the challenges associated with the manufacture of electric-powered vehicles.

Powerstir friction stir welding, from PTG Heavy Industries.

“Longer battery life and reduced vehicle weight through the greater use of plastics and aluminium panels, are well known objectives for electric car makers,” comments PTG Heavy Industries’ Applications Manager, Peter Jowett. “However, the development of electric cars has brought other less-well-known challenges for vehicle manufacturers,” he continues. “For example, how do they fabricate lightweight, robust and aesthetically sealed battery housings efficiently – particularly when the heat generated by traditional welding techniques could so easily damage the highly sensitive electrical components that the housings contain? With our considerable expertise in friction stir welding, we are providing automotive OEMs with highly viable manufacturing solutions for battery housings, solutions which involve no surface finishing and remove the risk of heat damage to delicate components.”

Working with magnesium alloys

As manufacturers of the world-acclaimed Powerstir range of friction stir welders, PTG Heavy Industries is an acknowledged leader in this innovative means of jointing metals. Working with magnesium alloys of 3mm – 5mm in thickness, and to tolerances of typically 50 microns, the company is currently assisting automotive OEMs in the production of vehicle battery trays, associated electronics boxes and coolant units, by using its 2D friction stir welding techniques.

Using industry standard CNC systems, fitted with PTG Powerstir friction stir welding software, data-logging and multi-axis interpolation, 2D welding can be carried out on accurate tool paths, together with force control to create consistent welded seams.

Superior high-strength joints

“Our work to-date, involving the production of automotive battery enclosures using friction stir welding techniques, is exciting and is providing novel opportunities for vehicle design engineers to achieve both light weight and structural rigidity in electronics units that benefit from superior high-strength welded joints,” adds Peter Jowett.

Proven weld quality

Since their launch, Powerstir machines have attracted considerable interest from organisations seeking an innovative way of creating superior high-strength welded joints. Used primarily for jointing aluminium, magnesium, copper, titanium, steel, lead and zinc, the Powerstir friction stir welding process provides a clean, highly aesthetic alternative to traditional welding. It delivers proven weld quality, excellent mechanical properties, virtually no porosity and the opportunity for reduced wall thickness in many applications.

About Powerstir friction stir welding

Patented by TWI (The Welding Institute), friction stir welding is a unique and innovative means of jointing metals. The process combines frictional heat with precisely controlled forging pressure to produce extremely high-strength joints that are virtually defect free. Friction stir welding transforms the parent metal from a solid to a plasticised state. This occurs during a process that involves mechanically stirring the materials together to form a high-integrity, full-penetration welded joint.

Powerstir applications include:

  • Heat sinks and electronics enclosures
  • Locomotive train and carriage panels (aluminium)
  • Aircraft fuselage and avionics development
  • Truck bodies, caravans and space frames
  • Boat and ship panel sections
  • Flat and cylindrical fuel tanks and bulk liquid containers
  • Aluminium bridge sections, architectural structures and frames
  • Pipelines and heat exchangers
  • Electrical motor housings

PTG. The first name in precision

Incorporating the brands of Binns & Berry, Crawford Swift, Holroyd and Holroyd Precision Rotors, Precision Technologies Group (PTG) has established itself at the forefront of high precision machine tool design, build and supply. The PTG range includes heavy duty lathes, deep hole drilling machines, friction stir welding machines, ultra precision grinding machines for rotor, thread and gear operations; rotor milling machines and special purpose machine tools for the manufacture of precision components. Industrial sectors served range from aerospace, medical and mould tool & die to marine, power generation, mining, oil & gas, steel, high end and heavy automotive. PTG Heavy Industries works closely with The Welding Institute (TWI).

Welcome to the Smart Press Shop

Many operators have already wished that their system could tell them exactly what the problem is. In the age of the Industrial Internet, machines that communicate are no longer something to aspire to in the future. At the EuroBLECH trade fair, to be held in Hanover at the end of October, Schuler’s “Smart Press Shop” concept will be demonstrating how networking solutions in forming technology can increase not only process reliability, but also cost-effectiveness in production.


In a modern servo press line from Schuler, around 30 industrial PCs are networked with one another. This is the only way to ensure a high level of productivity and safe part transport from one press station to the next. Single presses, laser blanking lines, and various automation components also already have the necessary interfaces for comprehensive networking.

The necessary interfaces are already available
What is the maximum speed at which a specific sheet metal can be formed? Forming simulation provides valuable information for the virtual optimization of the entire system. To stay with the example of a servo press line: long before the tool sets are clamped into place, the virtual model of the system produces one part after another.

By simulating the entire system, including all press stages and automation components, the time needed for part transport is minimized. Schuler offers tools for optimizing output, helping to reduce the time required for commissioning considerably. The customer can also get information on the energy required for production.
Optimization based on simulation

The systems provide data measured by sensors installed at numerous points, for example to monitor the press force. By drawing the right conclusions from this information, this area also has huge potential. If the press force progression deviates from a particular pattern, this indicates irregularities in the process. These solutions gather important information that can be used to maintain the line, thereby preventing damage to the machine and tool.

If it becomes apparent that not everything is running smoothly, the service engineer can connect to the customer’s system online. In nine out of ten cases, problems can already be solved remotely through the Schuler Remote Service. Condition-based maintenance can therefore help save a lot of money.

Many of these examples are already common practice at Schuler. “Schuler has the key advantage of having equipped press plants throughout the world for decades, from the decoiler through to the automatic racking system”, says Chief Technical Officer Dr. Stephan Arnold. “This experience helps enormously when it comes to developing intelligent functions for the ‘Smart Press Shop’ and the press plant of the future.”

Warm / Hot Forming Lubricants Improve your heading process!

Among a wide range of lubricants dedicated to the requirements of Cold Heading Machinery, CONDAT will present on Fastener Fair Italy show new solutions to provide high duty lubrication with optimum safety and budget.

2EXTRUGLISS cold heading oils_CONDAT

The weight reduction in automotive and aeronautic markets have pushed the fastening industry to use new materials. Titanium, Inconel, stainless and high strength steel are now commonly used but their forming properties are weak. To reach high productivity, it is necessary to warm the wire before the heading process from 250°C up to 900°C.
For technical parts, with forming ratio higher than 70% and massive parts with wire diameter bigger than 20 mm, the internal temperature can easily reach 250°C due to significant material flow. In both cases, the lubricants must be designed to work at very high temperature. From 250°C to 900°C,  Condat offers solutions to improve your process:
•    For Temperature until 250°C
Extrugliss Warm Green oils avoid degreasing issues due to sticky and burned residues which occurred at such temperature. This range, based on renewable chemistry, can be used also for lubrication of your press.
•    For preheated wire until 500°C
Extrudex warm forming lubricants benefit from high thermal stability which enhance lubricity performances. Friendly for operators and safe for the workshop environment as they reduce smokes and mist.
•    For preheated wire until 900°C
Extrudex hot forming oils are specifically designed for aerospace market to work on titanium and nickel alloys. They allow a homogeneous coating on the parts for optimum surface finish and no deposits on dies and punch. These safe lubricants present a very high flash point to reduce the risk of fire.
•    For lubrication of the cold forming machinery
Gliss Warm Green lubricants are specifically formulated to reduce cross contamination issues and keep the long term performances of Condat’s heading oils. Available now from 68 to 220 cst viscosity.

Affolter launches groundbreaking Worm Screw Power Skiving technology

Affolter Technologies SA, the technology and world market leader in micro gear hobbing centers for the watchmaking and micromechanical industries, launches a groundbreaking innovation: Worm Screw Power Skiving (WSPS).

AF110 plus2

“This cutting-edge technology was developed by our engineering experts in an intensive R&D process. Worm Screw Power Skiving allows us to finish a high-precision worm in only 6 seconds. If done by worm hobbing, every piece will take 25 seconds”, explains Managing Director Vincent Affolter. In other words: WSPS makes producers 4 times more efficient. Mr. Affolter: “This will increase the productivity and efficiency of manufacturers in the automotive and aircraft industries considerably.”

Big demand
Many producers in these industries need to manufacture large quantities of high-precision worms. The WSPS technology focuses on small worms with a module of 0.3 to 1.5. “Such worms are used in car seats or trunks, for instance. We see a big demand in the automotive industry, but also in other sectors”, explains Mr. Affolter.

Extremely fast process
The idea behind the new technology: Unlike in worm hobbing, where the hob turns much faster than the workpiece, the Affolter experts inverted the process. “The workpiece turns extremely fast, with 2 new spindles up to 12’000rpm, while the cutter turns much slower. Only highest quality machines like the Affolter AF100 plus and AF110 plus can reach this speed and at the same time provide the necessary stiffness”, states the Managing Director.

AF110 plus: convincing results
Over the course of the recent months, the Affolter engineers redesigned the well-established Gear Line model AF110 to optimize the WSPS process. The result is the brand new Gear Hobbing Machine AF110 plus. The workpiece spindles were successfully remodeled to reach the high speeds needed. The Affolter Marketing and R&D team also focused on completely redesigning the machine. “We integrated a cutting fluid filtration system and a chip disposal solution. This allows us to cope with all the requirements imposed by the workpiece up to module 1.5 and the production of large volumes of chips”, says Mr. Affolter. Additionally, the Affolter engineers and the marketing team improved the ergonomics through a redefinition of the machine base and surrounding as well as the human-machine interface. The very flexible AF110 plus also convinces with a function that allows to operate at reduced speeds with the hood open (Full Safety setup machine mode). Extensive test runs proved very successful, as Vincent Affolter recounts: “We achieved outstanding results processing both steel and brass. The new AF110 plus and the WSPS technology will open completely new opportunities for our customers.”

In the spotlight
A prototype of the AF110 plus will be showcased at the trade shows AMB in Stuttgart from 13-17 September and Micronora in Besançon/France from 27-30 September. Furthermore, Affolter will present the WSPS technology at IMTS in Chicago from 12-17 September and 
JIMTOF in Tokyo from 17-22 November.

Miyachi Europe showcases versatile laser welding and resistance welding equipment at Medtec Europe

Amada Miyachi Europe announces that it will highlight a range of laser and resistance welding equipment ideal for the medical industry at Medtec Europe, to be held 12-14 April, 2016, at Messe Stuttgart, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.


On display will be the Jupiter Fiber Laser Welding System, ideal for spot welding surgical tools and seam welding implantable devices, as well as a vacuum chamber module that can be integrated into a pacemaker welding system. Also to be showcased is the Series 320 low force electronic weld head, a resistance spot welding head ideal for medical applications requiring precise position and force control.

The MIYACHI EAPRO Jupiter Fiber Laser Welding System on display is designed for fast, accurate and reliable welding on all kinds of surgical tools and medical devices, including hearing aids, catheters and brachyseeds. The fiber laser’s low power level and high beam quality allows power up to 500W to be fired into 10 or 20 micron cores, resulting in very small weld spots. Depending on the application, the system can also be equipped with several types of lasers and optics to suit the speed and accuracy required for medical applications.

Also on display is a vacuum chamber module specially designed for laser welding packages under vacuum or shielded atmosphere. This shielded atmosphere module for laser welding systems can be integrated into a full-sized glovebox. It is designed to fit inside the next generation of NOVA6 CNC Laser Welding Workstations, which are used for manufacturing pacemaker leads, medical implants, and sensors.

The all-new Series 320 electronic weld heads on display are high precision low force heads designed specifically for applications requiring precise position and force control. The versatile resistance spot welding head has features that meet the process demands of microelectronics manufacturing, including inline and offset opposed electrode configurations and the ability to set displacement limits and use the weld-to-displacement feature to stop the weld precisely during collapse. It is also robust enough to endure industrial requirements and environments.

iComposite 4.0 launched: Schuler leads group project on the economic serial production of fiber-reinforced plastic parts

As the importance of lightweight construction methods continues to rise, the automotive industry is increasingly considering fiber-reinforced plastics (composites). Due to high strength combined with low weight, fiber-reinforced plastics offer lightweight potentials which have not been fully exploited yet. At the moment, however, high resulting component costs, among other things, are preventing the widespread use of such composite parts. The beginning of 2016 saw the launch of iComposite 4.0, a group project led by Schuler aimed at achieving economical serial production of components made of fiber-reinforced plastics through increased resource efficiency.

A self-regulating production line makes it possible to maintain defined characteristics of composite parts.

Due to the high material cost, resource efficiency opens up enormous potential for cost savings. One approach to decreasing the component cost is to reduce the use of materials and processing times in production drastically. The cut-off of semi-finished products is up to 50 percent during manufacturing, for instance. In addition, due to new technologies, there is significant production-related scrap. With the iComposite 4.0 project, cost savings are to be achieved by near net shape, additive production processes (“3D printing”) – in combination with a resin-injection method established in the industry – as well as a networked production system with regulating system intelligence (“Internet of Things”).

The starting point of the networked production system is additive fiber spraying, which is a highly productive process to generate the basic structure of the component. After this, fiber strands are applied very precisely and in accordance with the load profile in order to absorb peak loads in the part and compensate for part variations in the fiber spraying process. During the subsequent injection of resin and shaping in the press, the die’s deflection is deliberately influenced in order to obtain the desired wall thicknesses of the part.

During the subsequent process steps, regulating system intelligence compensates for any fluctuations in the part’s properties in order to minimize scrap. The production history is stored on an RFID chip integrated into the part. This uninterrupted quality monitoring and linking of individual systems along the production line in accordance with Internet of Things methods is ultimately aimed at achieving a zero scrap rate.

In addition to Schuler, partners of the group project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) are the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) at RWTH Aachen, Apodius GmbH, Broetje Automation Composites GmbH, Frimo Sontra GmbH, ID-Systec GmbH, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen, Siemens AG, and Toho Tenax Europe GmbH.