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       |   06/05/2018    |   260
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  • Human-robot interaction is a key to unlock the potential of …


       |   06/05/2018    |   292
    Human-robot interaction is a key to unlock the potential of …

    Advances in human-robot interaction, enabled by graphics displays, artificial intelligence and sensors, are ushering in a new generation of service robots that are easy to programme and intuitive to use. In Munich, from 19 to 22 June, 2018, automatica will demonstrate how state-of-the-art products and systems - from flexible, collaborative robot tools to smart warehouses and humanoids - place people at the heart of their design, enabling not only better assistance and collaboration but also reduced costs. “We don’t have a magic solution, but we’ve improved a lot,” says Francesco Ferro, CEO of PAL Robotics, the Barcelona-based pioneer of humanoid robots. “When we made our first biped robot in 2004, we needed at least five engineers to use it. Now, a client can turn it on and control it themselves. In the future, we will only have to speak with the robot and it will complete a task.” Their robots are already used for entertainment and in healthcare. The company is 18 months into a retail pilot with a robot that autonomously navigates aisles full of shoppers to provide an exhaustive, daily, 3D inventory. It’s something few retailers can currently achieve, but this kind of data is invaluable for optimized decision making, explains Ferro. Retailers are also taking advantage of highly adaptable mobile robots to provide in-store guidance and information for customers. Equipped with a dazzling array of features, including multi-modal controls with reassuring feedback in the form of expressions, lights and sounds, the Care-o-Bot 4, is now marketed by Unity Robotics, a Fraunhofer IPA spin-off. The robot’s award-winning design can already be seen hard at work at the German electronics store, Saturn Ingolstadt, helping customers find products and summoning staff when human assistance is needed. A core technology for industrial and service robotics The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) work programme identifies human-robot interaction (HRI) as one of four core robotics technologies, to which it is pledging project funding of EUR 66 million for 2018-20. “Human-machine interaction or HRI is considered key for both industrial and service robotics,” says Martin Haegele, Head of Robot and Assistive Systems at Fraunhofer IPA. “The robot is a part of a scenario operated by professional end-users and service companies, in agriculture, healthcare and rehabilitation, logistics, security and retail. Most of these applications share one common feature, they operate without a safety fence. Exposed to everyday environments, robots have to meet safety standards, they have to be operated safely and intuitively, so obviously HRI is the most important feature.” For logistics, increasingly safe and effective interaction between robots and humans holds the promise of highly-flexible warehouses, the focus of H2020 funded project, SafeLog. With sensors embedded in their mandatory safety vests, human workers can be easily located by the system, while augmented reality assists them in a variety of roles, providing picking, navigating and maintenance information. Improving capabilities for robots, empowering businesses The drivers behind safe, dependable human-robot interaction are artificial intelligence, machine learning models and sensors, such as the illuminating artificial skin, developed by TUM's Institute for Cognitive Systems to react to proximity. Europe leads innovation to embody intelligence into mechanical robots. The objective is to make machines that are sensitive enough to not only avoid poten­tially harm­ful con­tact, but so they can even be gui­ded with a feath­er. “An area that I find really exciting is how to simplify teaching tasks to robots,” says Samuel Bouchard, CEO of Robotiq, Canadian manufacturers of collaborative robot tools. “Right now, we’re still using very low-level instructions. It requires a lot of expertise. If robots can have a higher level of abstraction, it’s going to be much easier to collaborate. The challenge is to put more intelligence into the different components.” The company’s goal is to empower businesses by showing them how to install robots by themselves, thus helping them to overcome workforce challenges, including a shrinking labour pool. “Obviously, the real goal is that we need to collaborate seamlessly,” says Bouchard. The service robotics area at automatica 2018 boasts an unparalleled array of HRI technologies, being developed to provide safe, economical, flexible automation solutions; to safeguard the jobs of older employees and to allow controls and even emotional quality of experience to be tailored to the user, and leading to one of the most significant technical step changes in robotics.

  • Valves for Chinese-American manufacturer


       |   13/04/2018    |   280
    Valves for Chinese-American manufacturer

    Rheinmetall subsidiary books order for on-road trucks Through its group subsidiary Pierburg, Rheinmetall Automotive AG has been awarded by a Chinese-American engine manufacturer an order with a life-time volume worth over €71 million. The Beijing-based manufacturer has ordered electronically controlled back-pressure valves for truck engines of 12 and 13 Liters displacement. These valves play a part in the chain of mechatronic emission-control components and specifically in applications designed to address today's strict exhaust standards. Developed by group-subsidiary Pierburg, the valves will be going into production as from 2019. True to the principle of "local for local", the production site is Pierburg GmbH's Chinese plant in Kunshan specifically set up for supplying the Chinese market. These back-press exhaust-gas valves perform a variety of emission-control functions on today's engines. They increase the necessary pressure gradient for improved exhaust-gas recirculation rates, they handle thermal management for the SCR system, and they can assist in regenerating diesel particle filters. Also and as required, they are used for noise optimization on the exhaust system and assisting the engine braking function.

  • New building makes space for further progress


       |   13/04/2018    |   289
    New building makes space for further progress

    transfluid drives prototyping and the manufacture of automation systems further forward Advanced ideas require development space in order to optimise tube machining processes through the introduction of perfectly suited solutions. This already applies to prototyping, and of course to fully automated complex production systems. This is why the solution finders from transfluid have now further extended their production area by an additional 1000 square metres, to a new total floor area of 7000 square metres. "This investment was an obvious one to make, since it enables us to improve further our customer-facing development and high-tech production facilities", explains Stefanie Flaeper, the transfluid CEO. "In particular for our t motion automation systems product sector, we now have much more resource available in terms of physical space, not just in relation to assembly work but also for test runs and commissioning runs. There is now also scope for implementing pre-series for our customers to further guarantee and evaluate our production process before the plant is shipped. Prototyping from cutting and bending through to end forming The additional space and latitude afforded by this new-build also stands to benefit the in-hour Prototyping department at transfluid. "To protect changed processes, we have been offering our customers intensive prototyping for many years. This for example applies to projects where, in the past, tube connections need to be welded or solded, and where these parts were then to be replaced by geometric end formingoperations", explains Stefanie Flaeper. "In such cases, components frequently need to be tested and installed prior to any final changeover. On this, we work very closely with our customers". More space for prototyping in the new transfluid halls. © transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH This building modification has equipped the Prototyping department with three times as much floor space as before. Here, machines are available to tackle the full range of reshaping processes, for diameters of 4 to 70 mm diameter. Also, in order to perform complete processes, there is a chipless orbitalcutting system here as well as corresponding CNC bending technology. "If all steps can be performed here, our customers are then much better able to gain an overview of the processes involved, which gives them a great deal more peace of mind", states Stefanie Flaeper. During the extension work, a high-bay store for spare parts was installed. This provides quick turnarounds for service, which in turn makes the production operations of transfluid systems more dependable. These new facilities have provided transfluid with the space now and into the future for new and advanced solutions. The company presented these at the Tube 2018 trade fair, in Hall 5 on Stand G34.

  • Same time - even more tubes


       |   13/04/2018    |   297
    Same time - even more tubes

    RSA cutting systems GmbH at Tube and wire 2018 RSA cutting systems GmbH will be there – the global manufacturer of sawing machines, saw peripherals, chamfering systems, deburring machines and sawing and brushing tools will be presenting its wide range of solutions on a 250 m² stand (Hall 6, Stand D 25) at Tube & Wire 2018, the world's largest trade fair for the tube and tube processing industry which will be held at the Messe Düssel-dorf trade fair ground from 16 to 20 April 2018. RSA Managing Director Thomas Berg sums up the main focuses for the trade fair: “The highlight of RSA's appearance at the trade fair will be the RASACUT MXS sawing centre, which has undergone signifi-cant improvements. Alongside other developments, it boasts a brilliant new clamping concept which enables it to process four tubes at the same time instead of three. The RASACUT SH-150-2 sawing centre has a number of new features including a fully automatic feed and adjustment system, making the universal saw faster, more versatile and more user-friendly than ever before.” RSA will also be giving live demonstrations of various innovative machines and solutions for saw-ing and deburring and will be appearing at the Tube Innovation Net-work stand (Hall 6, Stand E 22) as well. At this stand, visitors will be able to use a 3D touch model to find out about all of the partners and solutions involved in the network, which covers the entire process chain of tube production and processing. Quadruple-cut saw for huge volumes of parts If you are looking to further reduce unit costs in the context of tube machining and you need to process particularly large volumes of parts, the RASACUT MXS sawing centre is the ideal choice. The trade fair in Düsseldorf will be the first opportunity to see its new clamping concept which is capable of processing four rather than three tubes at the same time. “Compared to the usual single cut, the output is in-creased by up to 25% to 14,000 parts/h,” says Thomas Berg. The RASACUT MXS automatically feeds four rods in a diameter range of 6 to 20 mm from the upstream bundle loader and saws them with excep-tional levels of precision. Individual rods can be sawn in a diameter range of up to 50 mm. The rods are sawn to the set lengths with a tolerance of +/-0.1 mm. The fully electric, hydraulic-free, high-performance sawing centre can be connected to downstream peripherals for deburring, length meas-urement, washing, drying or chamfering at any time. The RASACUT MXS can be seen in conjunction with a bundle loader for automatic material feeding. Crucially with this system, the rods can be changed over without adding to the non-productive time at all. Saws all kinds of tubes and profiles at top speed With its ability to saw both thin- and thick-walled tubes as well as solid materials with a diameter of 15 to 150 mm at a particularly fast pace – and thus do the work of multiple band saws on its own – the RASACUT SH 150-2 sawing centre has always been the ideal choice for single and (as an option) double rods. Now it is more universal, flexible, convenient and cost-effective than ever before! The sawing centre now has a special feed system which will be presented for the first time at the trade fair and which eliminates the time-consuming and laborious process of loading each magazine compartment manu-ally – as has been standard practice on the market up to now. A special, fully automated flat magazine now allows all kinds of tubes and profiles to be fed into the individual magazine compartments au-tomatically. Round and profile materials are placed on a feeding line by means of an automatic loading system and fed into the relevant magazine compartments via a lifting mechanism. The sawing centre settings can then be adjusted automatically to suit the material in question, completely eliminating any time-consuming manual adjust-ment work. “This makes the RASACUT SH 150-2 sawing centre a truly universal saw without any restrictions, as well as significantly speed-ing up its processes,” comments RSA Managing Director Thomas Berg. Umfassendes Säge- und Entgrat-Maschinenprogramm in voller Aktion Neben den beiden Messeneuheiten zeigt RSA einen repräsentativen Ausschnitt seiner vielen Maschinen und Lösungen für das rationelle Sägen und Entgraten von Rohren und Profilen. Ebenso robuste wie zuverlässige, manuell bedienbare Metallkreissägemaschinen und Entgrater für die metallverarbeitende Industrie, für das Handwerk und insbesondere auch für den Metallbau sind bereits seit gut 50 Jahren eine Domäne von Häberle. Die Maschinen werden überall dort eingesetzt, wo höchste Präzision und Qualität gefordert und wo individuelle Anforderungen der Anwender passgenau zu erfüllen sind. Daneben zeigt RSA einige spezielle Lösungen zum Entgraten von Rohren und Profilen aus Aluminium, Stahl und Edelstahl. Darunter die Entgratmaschine RASAMAT für Einzelstücke und Kleinserien, mit der sich beispielsweise komplizierteste Aluminiumprofile in 2 bis 3 s von innen und außen entgraten lassen. Für das schnelle Entgraten von gebogenen Rohren, komplexen Profil-formen und Werkstücken mit hohem Gewicht oder starken Graten, aus Stahl oder Edelstahl gleichermaßen, eignet sich die Entgratmaschine TURNAMAT. Mit ihren Hochleistungsbürsten kann sie die Werkstücke innen und außen gleichzeitig entgraten sowie Schnittkantenverrunden – ohne manuelles Drehen der Werkstücke und in der Regel in weniger als 3 s! Entgratmaschinen RASATOP bearbeiten die Schnittkanten der Rohre und Profile mit Innen- und Außensenkern. Sie ermöglichen ein kostengünstiges, sicheres und einwandfreies Entgraten von Rundrohren und Rundstäben aus Stahl, Edelstahl, NE-Metallen, Aluminium und Kunststoffen, wobei verschiedene Spindeldrehzahlen möglich sind. Darüber hinaus zeigt RSA Industriebürsten für den Einsatz auf handgeführten und statischen Antrieben sowie Hartmetall- und HSS-E-Sägeblätter RASABLADE aus eigener Herstellung. Alle auf dem RSA-Messestand gezeigten Maschinen sind dort bereit zu realen Tests. Darüber hinaus können Vorführtermine vor Ort vereinbart werden. Tube Innovation Network: Volle Prozessbreite – nur ein An-sprechpartner Die 13 Partner des Tube Innovation Network stellen sich in der Halle 6, Stand E 22 mithilfe eines Touchscreen-3D-Modells eingehend mit ihrem Leistungsspektrum vor. Damit können die Messebesucher die Partner und deren Arbeitsbereiche selbst erkunden. Darüber hinaus werden auf dem Stand alle weitergehenden Fragen gerne beantwortet und Kontakte vermittelt. Das Tube Innovation Network deckt die gesamte Prozesskette der Rohrherstellung und -verarbeitung ab. Dazu zählen die Bereiche Schweißnahtvorbereitung, Profilieren und Laserbearbeitung ebenso wie Beizen, Richten, Prüfen, und Inline-Messen bzw. Messen sowie Sägen, Biegen, Entgraten, Transportieren, Lagerlogistik, Kühl-und Schmierfluide. Besonderheit ist, dass nur ein Network-Partner ganzheitlich die jeweilige Bearbeitungsaufgabe plant und realisiert – auch wenn sie komplex ist und vielfältige Prozessschritte erfordert.

  • Chemical decontamination of a reactor cooling system


       |   13/04/2018    |   301
    Chemical decontamination of a reactor cooling system

    Trendsetting procedure took four years to develop With the successful decontamination of the reactor cooling system and its subsystems in a German nuclear power plant, Siempelkamp NIS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH has demonstrated a new trendsetting procedure which took four years to develop. The objective of the so-called ASDOC_D-MOD procedure is to detach radioactive con-tamination adhering to the inner system surfaces by adding specifically formulated chemical additives to the reactor cooling system and to subsequently remove them from the system with the help of ion exchangers. This decreases the contamination significantly. With the new procedure the dose rate can be reduced on average by a factor of 85. Thus, the scheduled dismantling of the power plant systems is significantly simplified. With regard to the personnel carrying out the dismantling work, the new procedure focuses in particular on minimizing the exposure to radiation. The ASDOC_D-MOD procedure was used for the current project. This procedure specifically considers materials that, when using conventional decontamination solutions, can be susceptible to corrosion and therefore, it prevents impairment of the functional safety and integrity of the power plant systems included in the decontamination process. The modified ASCDOC_D-MOD procedure was developed and successfully tested at the technical center of Siempelkamp NIS. One of the goals for the procedure was to minimize chemical reactions between the decontamination solution and metallic materials so that a safety-relevant formation of hydrogen wouldn’t occur. For the current project the hydrogen levels stayed below or right at the detection limit. “The development of the procedure was very complex and a highly technical and scientific challenge. We suffered some setbacks until we arrived at the point where we could successfully demonstrate the practical use of it, which to date we have done twice,” says Dr. Aldo Weber, Spokesperson of the Management of Siempelkamp NIS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH.

  • Innovations for quality control and process optimization


       |   13/04/2018    |   307
    Innovations for quality control and process optimization

    Measuring, control, inspection, sorting, and analysis systems from an extensive product portfolio The wire 2018 will take place from April 16 to 20, 2018, in Düsseldorf and again, SIKORA will present innovative measuring, control, inspection, sorting, and analysis systems from its extensive product portfolio. On the exhibition booth 9A41, with a space of 200 m² (240 y²) on two levels, visitors can discover the most recent technological innovations for quality control and process optimization for the wire and cable, optical fiber as well as plastics industries. X-ray technology measures diameter, wall thickness, and concentricity for the medium and high voltage cable production A highlight at the SIKORA exhibition booth is the X-RAY 8000 NXT – the worldwide industrial standard for quality assurance of medium, high and extra-high voltage cables in CV lines. It measures the concentricity, wall thickness, diameter, and ovality of up to three layers of XLPE and EPR isolated cables during production. Measuring values for the centering of the injection tools and control are available immediately after the starting of the line. The multi-sensor technology (MST) and two high-speed scanners ensure a reliable online measurement. With each single scan, the MST measures the movement of the cable, compensates vibrations and provides double the number of measurements. Measurement of wall thickness, concentricity, diameter, and ovality in jacketing lines For continuous quality control during the insulation or jacketing of conductors and cables, the X-ray measuring devices X-RAY 6000 as well as X-RAY 6000 PRO are recommended. Both systems precisely provide reliable measuring values regarding diameter, wall thickness, concentricity as well as ovality for a reproducible product quality. Layer thicknesses of any kind of material are measurable. A maximum of productivity is achieved by the automatic control of line speed and extruder rpm. Diameter measurement on the highest level In extrusion lines, the devices of the LASER Series 2000 and LASER Series 6000 are indispensable components for a diameter measurement on the highest level. Furthermore, the classic and high-end devices are used in rewinding lines for the wire drawing. They stand out by their high precision and continuous functionality without calibration or maintenance times. Due to up to 5,000 measurements per second/per axis, the LASER Series 6000 impresses with the highest single value precision for an efficient line control. The integrated lump detector function ensures a detection of irregularities on the product surface of transparent and non-transparent materials. In addition to standard interfaces, the device series provides OPC UA, and therefore, is best equipped for “Industry 4.0”. Safety for every cable production SIKORA offers a complete program of direct current (DC), high frequency (HF) and alternating current (AC) spark testers. Already during the extrusion, the insulation of wires and cables is tested with the high voltage testing devices and possible insulation faults are detected and documented in a timely manner. Further application areas are rewinding lines. For the testing, the dry cable running through the bead chain electrode of the spark tester is exposed to the selected test voltage. Therefore, faults in the insulation are reliably detected. Measurement of concentricity, diameter, and ovality With the CENTERVIEW 8000, SIKORA presents a measuring system for the non-contact, online 8-point-eccentricity, 4-axes-diameter and 8-point-ovality measurement of coax cables, LAN cables as well as automotive and installation cables to the global public. Technical highlights of the CENTERVIEW 8000 are the graphic visualization of measuring values as a scatter plot that shows the distribution of short-term variations as well as the automatic positioning of the gauge head to the cable position for highest reliability. A further feature is the measurement of micro-coax cables with a diameter range from 0.1 to 10 mm (0.004 to 0.4”). Online quality control of optical fibers in the drawing tower By means of a drawing tower model, SIKORA presents live its broad portfolio of measuring systems for quality control of optical fibers at different positions. There will be systems presented for the measurement of the diameter and the position of the naked and coated fiber as well for the determination of the tension. Furthermore, gauge heads are displayed for the measurement of the fiber temperature at the hot position of the drawing process, to determine the fiber temperature for the control of the furnace, and at the cold end, to exactly dose the Helium used for the cooling, and therefore, to save costs. In addition, a gauge head for the measurement of the concentricity of the coating as well as for the detection of lumps on the surface of the coated fiber is exhibited. Online inspection and sorting of XLPE and semiconductor pellets A further highlight at the wire is the PURITY SCANNER for online inspection and sorting of plastic pellets that are used for the insulation of medium, high and extra-high voltage cables as well as onshore and offshore cables. The unique combination of an X-ray camera with an optical camera system is currently the only technology that reliably detects contamination on the surface as well as inside of plastic pellets. Contaminated pellets are automatically sorted out. Offline inspection and analysis of pellets, flakes, and films/tapes SIKORA engineers developed the PURITY CONCEPT Systems for small material throughputs and applications where sample testing or an incoming goods inspection is sufficient. These analysis devices are alternatively equipped with X-ray technology, optical cameras or infrared sensors and detect contamination in pellets, flakes, and tapes. For example, the PURITY CONCEPT Systems are used to analyze pellets that have been detected and sorted out by the PURITY SCANNER. Another typical application is the testing of tapes that are used when manufacturing factory joints. The interplay of online and offline inspection and analysis provides an absolute control of the material purity as well as the development of a database to further improve processes and avoid future contamination. Further devices at the SIKORA exhibition booth LUMP 2000: Measuring technology for the detection of lumps and neckdowns in two or three measuring planes with double sensor technology ULTRATEMP 6000: Non-contact temperature measurement of the polyethylene melt CAPACITANCE 2000: Innovative capacitance measurement with multi-zones technology as well as integrated FFT and SRL analysis Display and control systems: Powerful ECOCONTROL 6000, 1000, and 600 processor systems as well as low-cost display and control devices REMOTE 2000 and DISPLAY 2000 Premiere of innovative measuring technologies for online quality control of steel tubes For more than ten years SIKORA has been successfully active in the plastics market. The applied technologies for quality control measure and control online product parameter such as diameter, ovality, wall thickness as well as eccentricity for the highest quality of the end product and optimal process efficiency during the production. The operator’s advantages that result from using SIKORA measuring systems, suggested the proven technologies to be transferred to the steel market. Thus, SIKORA is going to exhibit for the first time a broad portfolio of innovative systems for non-destructive quality control and process optimization during production of steel tubes at its booth 6/J32. Diameter and ovality measurement of steel tubes by means of millimeter waves based radar technology The SIKORA S-WAVE 6000 is based on progressive, high resolution radar technology and represents an innovative alternative to the optical triangulation technology. The advantage of radar technology is that reliable measuring values are generated even under difficult environmental conditions. Therefore, the automotive industry uses in the area of autonomous driving radar technology guaranteeing reliable measuring values under all weather conditions. The S-WAVE 6000 measures online and contactless, simultaneously from several directions the diameter and ovality of steel tubes. In addition, in this way fast rotating steel tubes can be precisely measured. The system requires neither coupling media nor a calibration. The temperature of the tube has no influence on the measurement. Due to the slim design the S-WAVE 6000 can easily be integrated in the production process in arbitrarily large distance to the tube. The S-WAVE 6000 is even able to provide reliable measuring values when the tube moves outside the center of the measuring head. The technology is suitable for blank, rough as well as cold or warm surfaces. Thickness measurement of steel plates by means of millimeter waves technology Radar technology based on millimeter waves additionally convinces with the measurement of the thickness of steel plates. Similar to the optical triangulation method the distances to the steel plates are measured at the top respectively at the bottom. The advantage is that the radar waves are directed over a reflector on the product to be measured, thus the radar transceivers carry out the measurement from a protected position. Dust, steam and even dripping water do not influence the measuring result. For this application as well, surface quality is no issue with the result that blank, rough, cold and warm surfaces are precisely measured. Wall thickness measurement of plastic coated steel tubes by means of X-ray and millimeter waves technologies At the Tube SIKORA also showcases systems for the measurement of plastic coated tubes on the basis of X-ray and millimeter waves technologies. A plastic coating is among others applied at freely installed, underground and under water laid steel tubes for corrosion protection. For the joining of produced tubes compliance with specified dimensions for example for the wall thickness is essential. Therefore, for the measurement of the wall thickness of the plastic coating, SIKORA‘s X-ray based X-RAY 6000 PRO for tubes with a diameter up to 200 mm is used. For larger dimensions the previously described S-WAVE 6000 is used. Both methods are independent from the material of the product to be measured and the temperature, they do not require coupling media and no calibration. Immediately with the online measurement precise measuring values are accessible. These are visualized at the monitor of the processor system ECOCONTROL 6000 and allow the operator, if required, to intervene in the process for optimization. Thus, SIKORA systems are essential components to ensure the highest quality and an efficient process during the manufacturing of plastic coated steel tubes.

  • New impetus for the tube and wire industry


       |   13/04/2018    |   303
    New impetus for the tube and wire industry

    SMS group puts digitalization in the spotlight at Tube & wire 2018 We see digitalization and Industry 4.0 as key challenges that are set to profoundly change the tube and wire industry in the years to come. SMS group ( is turning the spotlight on these topics at the Tube & wire trade fair, which will take place in Düsseldorf from April 16th to 20th, 2018. Hall 7a, booth B03/B04, is where SMS group will be looking at how digitalization is changing the whole value-added chain and enabling greater efficiency, higher quality, and more flexibility from a number of different angles. The first impetus arising from digitalization and Industry 4.0 concerns the design and manufacture of machines and components for the production of tube and wire itself. At the fair, SMS group will be demonstrating this using the example of a mill stand for a cold pilger mill, which is made with the aid of additive manufacturing processes. The component geometry of a mill stand, which up to now has been made by machining techniques, was optimized in terms of the stresses generated so that the number of strokes and thus the productivity were enhanced significantly. Further examples of SMS group’s activities in the additive manufacturing growth market, which are to be shown at the fair, are the competence center for 3D printing, which is being built in Mönchengladbach, as well as 3D printed components. They show an enhanced functionality, they weigh less and have shorter delivery periods. The second topic shows the possibilities that digitalization offers for the production process. The aim of the “smart mill” is to use data and the corresponding parameters as a basis for business and process control related decisions. A realistic map of the process with precise measurements is required for the collection of reliable process data. This type of measuring system for tube, pipe, bar, and section mills is to be displayed by SMS group at Tube & wire in cooperation with TBK Automatisierung und Messtechnik GmbH, an SMS group company. The system measures up to 5,000 contours per second with laser light section sensors during the rolling process. Local atypical anomalies on the surface can be detected on the basis of the 3D models, generated by high resolution cross-sectional measure­ments. The direct transfer of the measurement readings to the mill stand control system allows roll setting adjustments to be made during the rolling process and thus saves time and money by directly monitoring the production process. Digitalization is also creating new opportunities for plant service. "Smart Maintenance Solutions" are aimed at enhancing the availability of the plant and the quality of the end products on a long-term basis by combining software solutions. The creation of a digital plant structure will offer maintenance teams centralized access to all the relevant parameters in future. The information required will be provided, for example, by the eDoc electronic parts catalog, the IMMS® (Integrated Maintenance Management System), or the Genius CM® system (Condition Monitoring). What’s more, the link to “smart” training courses will also be presented at the fair using augmented reality. Digital products and platforms round off the range of presentations at Tube & wire 2018. They form the basis for intelligent, digital services, and implement the secure, digital exchange of information between SMS group and its customers. One example is the platform for PQSC® piercer plugs for seamless tube rolling mills, through which you can process orders and check the status of each order 24 hours a day. Not only that, a comment function ensures easy communi­cation, as notes referencing the relevant customer order and SMS group employee can be entered. The option of order-based communication means the whole process is more transparent, change requests are easier to follow, and orders can be split if different delivery times for partial deliveries are required. However it is not just technological boundaries that will be redefined by digitalization. The way we work with customers and other partners will change, with cooperation becoming even closer in future. As the “Leading Partner in the World of Metals” SMS group is getting together with customers to present projects at this fair that highlight this successful cooperation in the areas of new plant construction, revamps, and service.

  • Customized process for different requirements


       |   13/04/2018    |   280
    Customized process for different requirements

    OTEC has developed several surface finishing processes of threading tools During the manufacturing of metal workpieces very often it is necessary to machine threads. Mainly when the workpieces have to be mounted or assembled to other parts screw connections are unavoidable. Generally, there are two different ways to create threads: cutting (‘taps’) which is the most popular one and forming (‘forming tools’). Thread forming has the advantage that the microstructure is just deformed. In this way the fibre flow is not broken, which is increasing the material strength and extraction force. As different as the processes for thread cutting and thread forming are, as different are the requirements to the tools. During the manufacture of taps, the grinding process creates burrs between the thread profile and the chip flute. Bur-free grinding is simply not possible, so extensive finishing is absolutely essential. If the taps are not deburred, then adverse effects on the geometry of the cutting edge cannot be excluded. What is more, burs on uncoated tools can interfere with the cutting edge during chip removal or break off and damage the cutting edge and thereby considerably reduce tool life, impair the quality of the surface and degrade dimensional stability. Even in the case of thread formers, the conventional production process leaves traces on the tool surface. This results in fine grinding ridges, which have a negative influence on the friction between the tool and the material to be deformed. The ridges also favour the fixing of the material in the forming grooves. OTEC has developed several surface finishing processes of threading tools. In stream finishing machines with pulse drive (Pulsfinish) the tools can be processed reliably, quickly and economically according to the requirements. The principle of pulse finishing system is based on the precisely defined and rapidly repeating relative movement between media and workpiece. Here the clamped workpiece is immersed in the media stream of the rotating drum where it is quickly accelerated to a speed of over 2,000 rpm. Then it is decelerated again and accelerated once more. The differing speeds resulting from the inertia of the media in the drum and the rapid change of workpiece speed give rise to an extremely intense and precisely controllable abrasive effect. Compared to conventional processing methods, several production steps can be saved using the pulse finishing process. Deburring, smoothing and rounding of the edges in one operation enable time and cost savings. A surface which has been treated with the OTEC process also improves the adhesion of the subsequent coatings and extends the tool life. Cutting tools Deburring of taps Taps in general need a deburring process after the tool grinding. With the conventional brushing method, never all burrs can be removed, which affects the later coating negatively. Non-removed burrs break off and create uncoated areas that wear more quickly. In OTEC’s stream finishing machines with pulse drive (Pulsfinish) workpieces can be deburred within several seconds up to some minutes. Defined rounding of taps Cutting edges can be rounded to a defined measurement. By setting the parameters container and workpiece rotation speed as well as the immersion angles the geometry of the taps can be modified in order to match the requested and optimal shape. Forming tools Defined smoothing of forming tools The requirement is mainly to flatten the surface. The main task when machining thread formers is to evenly smoothen the entire tool surface. A smooth surface reduces the formation of material in the forming grooves and reduces the friction between the tool and the material to be deformed. Depending on the requirements, the defined rounding of certain functional edges is also necessary. By using a surface finishing process by OTEC it is possible to match such requirements. Compared to competing processes (e.g. shot blasting) the OTEC process is pricewise very interesting and at the same time quite flexible, as it adapts to different workpiece shapes. By this finishing process, the deformation forces can be reduced by about 60%. The use of the stream finishing machines with pulse drive (Pulsfinish) is giving the possibility to work with high energy and small and abrasive media. The finishing target is achieved in about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of the tap and the requested result. The media used is also smoothing the surface of the tools which is giving advantages in the coating behavior and tool life. The process is very flexible and adapts to every dimension and shape of taps. At the same time, the wearing of the media is low, what makes the process quite economical. In addition stream finishing machines from OTEC are highly economical since a single machine can process a large number of workpieces at the same time, depending on the requirements of the job in hand. Workpieces can be changed quickly with automatic door or even automatically by robot.

  • High clamping forces handled easily


       |   13/04/2018    |   280
    High clamping forces handled easily

    JAKOB power clamping nut series is also available with star- or t-handle as series MCA-S or MCA-T Thus, the tool for the operating hexagon isn’t necessary and the high clamping force can be generated by hand. The power boost is generated via the integrated planetary gear. The automatic switching from preload to power clamping is ensured by the locking mechanism. The very robust design and the self-locking function of the power clamping nuts guarantee a high degree of safety. The nut is made of heat treated steel, with a housing cover made of high tensile aluminum. The power clamping nuts can be used at temperatures from -30 ° C to + 90 ° C.