Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Delcam customer Jaivel programs 50 Bloodhound SSC parts with PowerMILL

International manufacturing technology company, Jaivel, has used Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software to generate programs for the machining of more than fifty parts for the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car project. Bloodhound SSC, which is powered by a combination of a Rolls Royce jet engine and a rocket, aims to set a new world land speed record of 1,000 mph in South Africa next year.

Bloodhound SSC includes more than 50 parts programmed by Jaivel using PowerMill

Staff at Jaivel, which has grown over almost twenty years into an international supplier of technology solutions for advanced manufacturing, are more used to working in the aerospace industry. The company has played a key role in the manufacture of parts for some of the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

However, the company has also a strong background in other sectors including medical, Formula 1 and energy. Managing Director, Vipul Vachhani, explained, “I had worked in the Indian aerospace industry since leaving university so, when I started my own company in 1998, I wanted to continue in that sector. I soon realised that it was much too early to build a business in aerospace in India so diversified into providing design and manufacturing services for other engineering sectors. Equally, I found that using manual programming was limiting the projects we could undertake so, in 2001, I decided to invest in a CAM system. The system that I had used in my previous job was no longer available and PowerMILL seemed to be the only software that offered the same level of flexibility.”

The optimal balance of automation and flexibility still remains the main benefit of using PowerMILL. “PowerMILL incorporates a lot of automation which makes programming faster and the software usually gives the toolpaths we need,” claimed Mr. Vachhani.

PowerMILL has also allowed Jaivel staff to customise the software for common applications. One example uses a combination of Excel and PowerMILL to generate plunge milling routines for complex blisks with limited space between the blades.

By 2004, the business in India was growing well but Mr. Vachhani still had ambitions to expand within the aerospace industry. “The Indian industry remained very small so I decided to open an office in the UK to be closer to aerospace customers there. I choose Mansfield because it was a central location near to Derby, the home of Rolls Royce,” he said.

Jaivel now uses PowerMILL in both the UK and India. More recently, the company has added FeatureCAM to provide programs for turn-mill equipment. Jaivel became involved in the Bloodhound SSC project after being asked to develop programs for one of its customers that was making some parts for the car. Over time, its role expanded to more than fifty components, the most complex being parts for the car’s gear box.

The work on Bloodhound SSC has highlighted another strength of PowerMILL – the quality and flexibility of its post-processors. Involvement with Bloodhound SSC helped Jaivel to raise its profile, initially in the UK but now in India as well. The country’s media is starting to make enquiries since Jaivel is the only Indian company involved with the car. A growing track record of other successful projects is also helping to bring in more business.

As well as producing toolpaths for new components, Jaivel is also being asked to revisit the programs it developed for some of its earlier projects. The demand for year-on-year cost reductions is prompting requests for more efficient tooling or newer strategies to be used. While it is more unusual for the machine tool to be changed, this is now happening in some cases where the original equipment purchased for the project is getting older.


Delcam enhances section measurements in PowerINSPECT inspection software

Delcam has released the 2016 version of its PowerINSPECT inspection software, the world’s leading hardware-independent 3D inspection solution. The new release includes greatly enhanced options for section measurement, more comprehensive collision avoidance, improved point cloud inspection, the ability to add notes to reports, and improved user control of CNC surface inspection routines.

Inspection of sections has been improved in PowerInspect 2016

Section inspection has been improved with easier creation of sections, better visualisation and enhanced reporting. The enhanced options for section editing in PowerINSPECT 2016 include a slider that can be used to move the section through the part with real-time updating of the CAD view. A specific value for the section intersection can still be entered if required.

New graphics options help with visualisation and reporting. In the CAD view, the default option highlights the section cut and displays a semi-transparent representation of the material in the foreground, providing an accurate 3D visualisation of the section in place on the part. During section creation the shading is updated dynamically as the section moves through the model. Alternatively, the near side can be hidden completely, or the complete CAD model can be shown in a solid colour as before.

Once the desired section has been chosen, the inspection path can be generated automatically. The points generated can be edited if necessary. The section can also be viewed and reported as a 2D true view of the section profile that is currently selected.

As with other PowerINSPECT measurements, the results of the section inspection can be viewed as spot confetti, deviation lines or vector lines. The results can be displayed either on their own or as part of a larger inspection sequence.

Automatic collision detection was introduced in PowerINSPECT 2015, with probe paths adjusted automatically when a direct move between inspection features would result in a collision. A new collision-free mode extends this capability by automatically creating links between inspection features as necessary. If a potential collision is detected, the software automatically creates and calculates a new linking path that avoids the obstacle. Collision avoidance is recalculated when the order of the inspection sequences is adjusted in the sequence tree.

Intermediate paths can still be created or updated manually. This is required when the CAD model does not include complete information about the physical reality, for example if clamps or fixtures used to hold the part are not included in the CAD data.

PowerINSPECT 2016 has improved reporting with the ability to include additional user-defined information. New ‘Report Note’ items allow the user to insert additional observations, including text and pictures. As with all other items in the report, the notes can be shown, hidden and re-ordered within the report.

The formatting of labels has also been enhanced, particularly for GD&T items. New options have been added to the dialog for session settings to enable further control of the label display. Furthermore, the label sizes can be edited in the session settings and grid lines can be displayed for clearer reporting.

A number of enhancements have been added for inspections based on point clouds. Firstly, point clouds can be imported from DMT and STL triangle files. Scanning acquisition performance is improved and points can be saved from a point-cloud scan each time there is a pause during the scan. Several point-cloud items can also now be created in a single point-cloud session without having to leave the full-screen acquisition view.

CNC surface inspection has been improved, making it easier to produce consistent results across a batch of components. New surface inspection groups provide better user control of point naming, and the positioning, contents and formatting of report images. It is also possible to reference CNC surface inspection groups directly in RPS alignments.

Finally, there are significant usability improvements for the CAD File Manager. It is now possible to import one or more CAD files by dragging and dropping them into the main graphics window. The highlighting and visualisation of individual objects in CAD models is further improved, making it easier to identify named objects and levels.