News from the Organisers
EuroBLECH 2016: Platform for smart sheet metal processing
Stand reservation for the 24th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2016, is now in full swing at the organisers’ offices of Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
“As the leading international trade exhibition for the sheet metal working industry, the coming show will be a platform for interlinked sheet metal working production. The Internet of Things, or Industry 4.0 as it is called when it refers to manufacturing production, poses big challenges for the sheet metal working industry and raises a multitude of questions. We are currently experiencing a revolutionary development in industry production and for manufacturers and suppliers of machines and systems, it is vital to be actively participating in this development. The exchange of expertise with users and the build-up of networks play a significant role for smart production, as the increased use of automation and software requires customised solutions that fit precisely into each individual networked fabrication plant”, explains Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
“Manufacturers of machines, IT systems and tools for sheet metal working have to position themselves now, in order to rank first as a provider of expertise and innovation for this new era of industry production. EuroBLECH 2016 thus offers a unique opportunity to be involved in designing the future of sheet metal working”, says Nicola Hamann.
EuroBLECH 2016 will take place from 25 – 29 October 2016 at the Exhibition Grounds in Hanover, Germany.
Review of EuroBLECH 2014
Cutting-edge technology, business on a global scale and a positive mood throughout – this is how EuroBLECH 2014 can be summarised. With 1,573 exhibitors from 38 countries on a net exhibition space of 86,500m2 and 59,618 trade visitors from 105 countries the show could, once again, emphasize its status as the leading technology showcase and international industry barometer for the sheet metal working sector.
EuroBLECH 2014 ended with a 5% growth in exhibitor numbers and a 3% growth in floor space compared to the previous event, and recorded a constant number of visitors. The exhibition was, once again, more international: 52% of exhibitors and 37% of visitors were from outside Germany. There was a substantial gain in visitors from Europe and North America. The quality of the visitors was excellent, with a high quota of visitors from top management and with decision-making capacity. Every second visitor came to the show with the definite intention of investing. The high percentage of first time visitors (48%) demonstrates that EuroBLECH is highly attractive for a new generation of management.
The large majority of exhibitors either fully or largely reached their target groups. Major target markets were the EU-countries, particularly Germany, other European countries, Asia and North America. EuroBLECH 2014 received excellent feedback from exhibitors and visitors for the show overall, its organisation, its marketing and the venue. More than two thirds of exhibitors intend to return to EuroBLECH 2016. Reservation of stand space for the next EuroBLECH has now begun.
To get an impression of the last show there are pictures and videos available on the EuroBLECH exhibition website.
EuroBLECH Website in new responsive Design
The revamped show website www.euroblech.com offers detailed information about the international event, such as an exhibition profile, facts and figures about the show, details for stand bookings, an interactive floor plan as well as video footage and photos from the previous event. With its modern responsive design the new show website is user-friendly for desktop and mobile use.
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The next AsiaBLECH, Exhibition for Sheet Metal Working, will take place from 11 – 13 May 2016 at the Suzhou International Expo Center in China.
AsiaBLECH News, the new online newsletter, regularly informs you about the upcoming AsiaBLECH as well as the latest trends of the sheet metal working industry with a special focus on Asia. In-depth reports are provided and give foreign investors insights into the Asian market in relevant sectors for the sheet metal working industry. Keep your finger on the pulse and join our mailing list!
EuroBLECH 2014: Exhibitor brochure now available
EuroBLECH 2016 – 24th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition – will take place from 25 - 29 October 2016 at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds in Germany. The exhibitor brochure for EuroBLECH 2016 is now available in three languages and can be ordered via the exhibition website.
Stand reservations for 2016 have begun
Pre-booking for stands at EuroBLECH 2016 have now begun. The exhibition will again occupy eight halls at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds – halls 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 27. In order to secure stand space within the relevant technology sector, companies interested in exhibiting are advised to make a stand reservation as soon as possible.
EuroBLECH 2016 covers the entire sheet metal working technology chain: Sheet metal, semi-finished and finished products, handling, separation, forming, flexible sheet metal working, tube/section working, processing of hybrid structures, joining/welding, surface technology, tool technology, machine elements, process control and quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CIM applications, factory equipment, environment protection, recycling and R&D.
The required floor space can now be provisionally reserved on the exhibition website; the official deadline is 30 September 2015.
Online marketing services for exhibitors
Exhibitors at EuroBLECH 2016 have access to online marketing packages in order to promote their participation before, during and after the show. All registered exhibitors can choose between three online marketing packages: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Optional extras: Upload of company’s video to the EuroBLECH website or a website banner ad in the EuroBLECH Bulletin.
The Silver Package is mandatory and offers: Detailed company profile including link to own social media profile, ability to post job vacancies online and on-site, content management facility to edit your text in up to five languages, two entries in the category search function of the exhibitor list on the EuroBLECH website, direct contact link.
In addition to the services offered in the Silver Package, the Gold Package offers: Online Press Box and up to four entries in the category search function of the exhibitor list on the EuroBLECH website.
In addition to the services offered in both the Silver and Gold Packages, the Platinum Package (limited availability) offers: Website banner (from May 2016), uploading of company video and unlimited entries in the category search function of the exhibitor list on the EuroBLECH website.
Further information about the online marketing packages are available on the organiser's website.
Industry and Technology News
Schuler: The New Generation in Hot Stamping
In the press hardening method, parts are heated to 930 degrees Celsius and then simultaneously cooled and hardened in the subsequent forming process. This gives them their extremely high rigidity. At the Waghäusel site, Schuler presented its new PCHflex technology, a further development of the “Pressure Controlled Hardening” process. It allows a flexible and economical production of hot stamped parts with high output performance and consistently high quality – combined with maximum process reliability and availability.
“More performance pays off,” says Schuler Managing Director Dr. Martin Habert. “In this way, costs and energy consumption per part are reduced.” PCHflex uses the fastest hydraulic presses with Dynamic Force Control and RingValve technology. With four parts per stroke (4-out mode), up to four million parts per year can be produced on one line.
By controlling pressure during hardening, the necessary press force can be distributed evenly over the part. The flexible bed cushion ensures – within the part and distributed over several parts – a uniformly high contact pressure, resulting in faster cooling. This ensures a reliable and optimized metallurgical transformation process. Moreover, the cooling time is only half that of conventional methods, while productivity and part quality are increased.
At the same time, with PCHflex, automobile manufacturers and suppliers are more independent of die and material fluctuations for process reasons; different manufacturing tolerances and sheet thicknesses can be compensated more easily. This reduces scrap as well as downtime and idle losses that would otherwise occur due to the reworking of dies, for instance.
The new PCHflex technology also has the benefit that existing conventional press hardening dies can be used on these lines. And conversely, dies designed for PCHflex technology can be used on conventional lines.
A US car manufacturer has placed an order with Schuler for four production lines to manufacture lightweight parts using PCHflex technology. In addition, options have been agreed for four further lines. “As a systems supplier, Schuler will not only be providing hydraulic presses and automation equipment, but also the roller hearth ovens and dies,” explains Dr. Martin Habert, Head of Schuler’s Hydraulic Division. “Our employees will also be helping launch production in the first few months.”
Picture: The new PCHflex technology also has the benefit that conventional press hardening dies can be used on these lines.
TRUMPF: Laser welding for sheet metal parts
The new TruLaser Robot 5020 Basic Edition, built by TRUMPF, is especially tailored to those making their debut in laser welding for sheet metal. It is less expensive than its big sister TruLaser Robot 5020 and it requires less floor space. In spite of this, it produces seams with excellent surface quality and high-strength, narrow and deep seams in every conceivable shape. The compact and affordable robot system has six axes and welds mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum at sheet thicknesses up to four millimeters in the best and highly reproducible quality. Parts measuring up to 1,200 x 800 x 600 millimeters can easily be worked. The rotate and tilt positioner makes for superb productivity and a high utilization rate. It permits complete 3D processing of the parts while ensuring good accessibility.
The TruLaser Robot 5020 Basic Edition is available in two reasonable models. Those who order the complete system, including the laser source, receive the machine with a TruDiode direct diode laser. With its 40 percent efficiency, users benefit not only from the reduced entry price for the system, but in addition from low operating costs. And the user also saves on floor space, since this solution requires far less space.
If the company already owns a punching and laser cutting machine or a 2D laser unit incorporating the TruDisk solid-state laser, then a second variation is possible. The laser can power an additional unit integrated into its laser network, for instance the TruLaser Robot 5020 Basic Edition. This reduces by up to 50 percent the investment costs when entering the field of laser welding and ensures ideal utilization of the beam source. The TruDisk switches in just milliseconds from the punch laser or the laser cutting machine to the robot welding cell. In this way set-up or tool changing times at the cutting unit can be utilized efficiently for laser welding.
Those to make this step and invest in the TruLaser Robot 5020 Basic Edition will be moving up to a fully new quality class in sheet metal processing. This starts with the superior seam quality. Heat conduction welding, in particular, produces seams with outstanding surface quality. This makes it possible to weld visible seams without any retouching work at all. And since less heat enters the part during laser welding, there is almost no distortion. This also eliminates the need for subsequent leveling of the sheet.
Another advantage of this technique is the high strength of the welded seam. Deep penetration welding scores here because this procedure generates narrow, deep, high-strength seams. In addition, they make for a better bond than conventional seams. In tension testing at materials inspection laboratories, the latter invariably come apart at or near the seam while the laser-welded seam holds tight. In fact, the specimens fail in the material being welded. This shows that the tensile strength of a laser-welded seam is not only higher than that of a conventionally welded seam. It is actually higher than the material being bonded.
In terms of flexibility and speed, as well, the laser is more than convincing. Especially during deep penetration welding, the laser reaches a speed of up to five meters per minute. In addition, it can handle every conceivable kind of joint and every geometry – even if the area being welded is accessible only from one side. Lap seams, a hidden T-joint, and even materials of differing thicknesses can be welded with the laser. This opens a wealth of new options for part design.
Picture: The new TruLaser Robot 5020 Basic Edition by TRUMPF is tailored especially to making a start in laser welding for sheet metal.
Photo: TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG
Hypertherm expands robotic capabilities with purchase of Jabez Technologies, creators of Robotmaster Software
Jabez Technologies, creators of software to simplify complex robotic programming, is joining Hypertherm, manufacturer of plasma, waterjet, and laser cutting systems, to make it easier for companies to utilize robots for manufacturing applications.
Simple offline programming is a key barrier to the wider utilization of robotics in manufacturing. Hypertherm and Jabez believe combining Hypertherm’s cutting expertise with Jabez’s skilled engineering and support staff will make it easier for robotic programmers and integrators to achieve optimal results. At the same time, Jabez can enhance its support for a wide variety of robotic programming applications, including those beyond cutting, by leveraging Hypertherm’s global infrastructure and strong engineering community.
“A growing trend toward lean and flexible manufacturing is resulting in the expanded use of robotics in our served industries. Manufacturers realize that robots are increasingly critical to producing higher quality products at a lower cost, and to achieving the speed and flexibility needed to remain competitive,” Evan Smith, Hypertherm’s President and CEO commented. “Adding Jabez to the Hypertherm team will enable Hypertherm to bring even greater value to our robotic customers, and at the same time provide Jabez with the support and resources to achieve its wider vision, which we share.”
Hypertherm is not making any major changes to Jabez’s operations, leadership structure, or distribution channels. Chahe Bakmazjian, founder and president of the privately held company, will continue to lead his team as part of Hypertherm’s newly established Robotic Software group. Jabez’s current offices in the Montreal area will remain intact, with no consolidations or reductions planned. Support for non-Hypertherm cutting systems, non-cutting applications and previously planned investments in engineering and support resources will continue. In addition, Jabez Associates will receive all Hypertherm benefits, including profit sharing and full participation in the company’s employee stock value plan. The transaction was structured as a purchase of substantially all assets of Jabez Technologies. Financial terms are undisclosed.
“We are excited to join the Hypertherm family. Hypertherm’s vision regarding the future of industrial robotics as well as the cultural alignment between our companies made a perfect and natural fit,” explains Chahe Bakmazjian. “Additionally, we can leverage Hypertherm’s global service, support and logistics resources to better serve our rapidly growing base of robotic integrators and end users to accelerate the growth of Robotmaster.”
Jabez Technologies specializes in simplifying complex robotic programming for 3D shapes, particularly in high-mix manufacturing environments. With the ability to program many different robots across multiple processes, and by providing tools for easy cell setup and configuration, its Robotmaster software delivers the flexibility required to support a wide variety of robotic applications. Built-in simulation tools, on-the-fly calculation capabilities and unique optimization and collision avoidance tools allow programmers to quickly prepare their jobs with confidence.
Newly developed transfluid solution for combined pipe forming
The technical challenges of modern pipe processing are constantly increasing, driven by ever more demanding applications of high grade piping. Just one manufacturing process often does not suffice to perfectly and effectively form pipe ends to suit the requirements. This was made possible only by effective interaction between combined axial and rotary pipe forming techniques. The transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH engineers have developed a new range of their tried and tested combination machines to achieve this. In the course of this, they have set new benchmarks for technology and machine design.
Managing Director Stefanie Flaeper explains more about the improvements and novelties incorporated in transfluid’s ‘new one’: “There are actually five fundamental changes. For a start, our combination machine is now externally more compact. All the drives are electrical and CNC control enables synchronous axial and radial movements. And we have once again made significant improvements to rotary forming techniques. For the first time, these techniques now enable forming of contours virtually independent of the tool. Our machines are furthermore also now CNC controlled and it is possible to very effectively form pipes with bends in excess of 90°.”
These new features of the combination machines now open up additional pipe forming options. The swaging unit can accommodate, for instance, an intermediate chuck, despite the electrical drive. A wide variety of tools may be used for various rotary forming tasks and the machines can also cut chipless – from the inside out and vice versa. Newly introduced CNC technology – as with the transfluid stand-alone rotary forming machines – for the first time also allows contour forming irrespective the tool. With their new combination machine, our South-Westphalian machine builders are now in a position to offer their customers the perfect solution for their pipes and the challenges of a dynamic market.
Picture: Effective interaction between combined axial and rotary pipe forming opens up many options.
Photo: transfluid Maschinenbau GmbH
SSAB introduces a new dimension program for heavy plates
SSAB has broadened its dimension program and maximum plate weight for its heavy thick plates. Plates are now available up to 18 tonnes, which makes processing for a wider range of applications more cost-efficient. All steel grades are available in these new formats according to the respective dimension program.
“We can now offer customers a more complete product portfolio,” says Jenny Brandberg Hurtig, Product Manager at SSAB. “With our heavy thick plates now available in almost double the previously-available size, this means clear savings, especially for steel service centers, as nesting can be more efficient. There is also less scrap in the process. We are also able to serve more customers by offering heavier and longer plates for use in a wider range of applications.”
Steel service centers can improve yield by up to 6-7% by utilizing SSAB’s new heavy thick plates. In some applications, such as rails and cog racks, bigger plates can also mean less welding, which in turn improves safety and efficiency.
Heavy thick plates are available up to 18 tonnes compared to 11 tonnes as was the case previously. Maximum thickness is currently 160mm, while continuous research and development is being done to offer even thicker plates. Maximum width, length and thicknesses for each grade are defined in the dimension programs. Despite their thickness, heavy thick plates have high-quality properties, including consistent properties throughout the thickness.
All steel grades – from high-strength structural, wear-resistant and standard milder steels - manufactured by SSAB are available in these larger formats. The new heavy plate dimensions are already available as regular mill orders.