News from the Organisers
Get ready for EuroBLECH 2016
Welcome to the first EuroBLECH Bulletin of 2016! In October this year, it’s time again for the World’s No. 1 Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition. The show will, once again, be the central meeting point for the international sheet metal working industry. A total of 1,400 exhibiting companies from 40 countries have currently secured their stand spaces, indicating that EuroBLECH 2016 will be able to register another exhibitor record.
Today’s production is undergoing major changes: The trend towards digitalisation and integrated, smart manufacturing makes it more important than ever to gain an insight into prevailing technological developments. With product variety increasing and batch sizes decreasing, manufacturing processes in sheet metal working are becoming ever more complex and require highly efficient and flexible solutions. Companies in the industry sector are currently facing an environment of change that requires vital decisions for the long-term adaptation of their production processes.
Therefore, it is crucial to get an overview of the vast number of opportunities that modern sheet metal working technology providers have on offer. EuroBLECH showcases a large variety of tailor-made solutions for optimising production processes and thus benefitting from the latest innovations. As the global business barometer and leading industry platform for the sheet metal working industry, the show presents a comprehensive range of machinery, tools and systems, including enhanced solutions as well as brand new technologies.
The EuroBLECH team at Mack Brooks Exhibitions is looking forward to the upcoming exhibition and to welcoming you at EuroBLECH 2016.
New exhibitor record expected at EuroBLECH 2016
The organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions Ltd, are expecting another exhibitor record for this year’s EuroBLECH: With the hall allocation being well underway, more than 1,400 companies from 40 countries have already secured their stand space at EuroBLECH 2016. The ten major exhibitor countries are Germany, Italy, Turkey, China, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
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, additive manufacturing, surface technology, tool technology, machine elements, process control and quality assurance, CAD/CAM/CIM applications, factory equipment, environment protection, recycling and R&D.
Companies who would like to take part in EuroBLECH 2016 should contact the EuroBLECH team as soon as possible, in order to make a reservation and secure their stand space.
Around the exhibition: The Exhibitor Zone
All registered exhibitors have exclusive access to the exhibitor zone of the EuroBLECH website. The user-friendly navigation guides through all the sections of the well-structured website: It contains comprehensive information on the exhibition, documents for download, as well as details and important facts regarding stand construction, such as freight costs, technical regulations, stand construction services for modular stands and many more.
The Exhibitor Zone is constantly updated and contains important dates, information and newly activated functions. In this section, exhibitors can also activate their booked Marketing Package and create their company information in up to five languages.
Online Marketing Packages 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.
Looking back at EuroBLECH 2014
At EuroBLECH 2016, international exhibitors will present a great variety of innovations, new product ideas and technological advancements. In order to prepare for the show, visit the exhibition website and discover pictures and videos from EuroBLECH 2014. The picture gallery is sorted by exhibition hall and shows a selection of the impressive range of machines, manufacturing processes and technologies the previous exhibition had to offer.
Major topics of the sheet metal working industry, live demonstrations and statements from exhibitors are captured in the videos from EuroBLECH 2014, bringing the previous exhibition back to life. They represent the show in an informative and vivid manner and give you an authentic impression of the unique atmosphere of the show, setting the mood for EuroBLECH 2016.
Always up-to-date with social media
The EuroBLECH 2016 social media network provides you with news about the exhibition: Follow EuroBLECH on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn and keep updated at all times. The official hashtag of the exhibition is #euroblech.
News from the Industry
Servoline from Schuler: Press lines for flexible and efficient manufacturing
The demand for economical mass and serial production on the one hand and smaller lot sizes on the other hand is one of today’s great manufacturing challenges. In reaction to this problem, Schuler is modifying the press lines of the model ‘Servoline’, making them available in different configurations and speeds.
Depending on the manufactured parts and features of the line, the production rate ranges from 12 to 23 strokes per minute. Servoline 12 and 14 cater to customers in need of a medium production volume. Servoline 16, providing advanced technology and performance, is suitable for higher production volumes. Servoline 18 is equipped with the latest technology, delivering the highest production volume and the best performance available for XL-sized equipment.
Servoline 23, an L-sized model, is the world’s fastest press line. It delivers 23 strokes per minute and is more compact than Servoline 18, leading to a higher automation speed. Although the press bed is smaller, it allows for the production of almost all parts which can be manufactured on a press line – from skin panels, engine covers and floor parts to door parts and structural parts.
Since speed and production rate depend largely on automation, Schuler is applying his ‘Crossbar Feeder’ for the transport of parts in Servoline 23, 18 and 16. Servoline 16 produces at a maximum of 16 strokes per minute, while the maximum production rate of Servoline 14 and 12 is determined by the robots used for automation. The Crossbar robot 4.0, used for Servoline 14, reaches a higher speed than the standard industrial robot of Servoline 12. Furthermore, the line can be optimised ‘live’ while it is operated since speed and movement curves are not predetermined.
Overall, the ServoDirect technology which all Servolines are based on is aimed at offering advantages for setup and maintenance, energy consumption and compatibility. Due to short tool changing times of no more than three minutes, Schuler is looking to increase production flexibility. With a growing range of products, this technology will allow the manufacturing of parts in smaller-sized batches and can help tackle the challenges of today’s production.
Picture: The Servoline 18 delivers highest production volumes with the latest technology and best performance for XL-sized equipment.
Advanced tube bending with ‘t bend’ mandrel bending machine from Transfluid
The new, fully automatic ‘t bend’ mandrel bending machine DB 622-CNC from Transfluid provides advanced technology for tube bending. The innovative system for tube bending comes in a new design: According to Stefanie Flaeper, Managing Director at Transfluid, the compact construction with integrated safety housing allows operation without any separate safety equipment.
With a touch control panel, the fully automated system can be freely programmed – even without specific CNC knowledge. The system allows for the exact bending of round steel tubes with a diameter of 22 x 2.0 mm, stainless steel tubes with 22 x 1.5 mm and of square tubes with a diameter of 16 x 1.5 mm, with bending angles of up to 180 degrees. The machine is equipped with mandrel support, ensuring precise positioning of the mandrel tip. In addition, it is fitted with a radii changer for a twofold change of the processing level. Therefore, it also allows for the processing of a tube with form spanners and spanners taking turns. The maximum change height is approximately 60 mm, the radii difference between the levels is 1.5 x diameter.
The control panel features three individual axes for bending, turning and positioning of length. Once the bending data has been entered, the bending programme is automatically generated and can also be manually optimised during operation. Additionally, it will be possible to split a bending process into several segments to achieve different speeds on one arc, for example. In order to minimise wear and energy consumption, the system automatically synchronises the speeds amongst the servo axes. It was realised in compliance with the latest technical safety regulations and ensures safe and efficient tube bending.
Picture: Mandrel bending machine DB 622-CNC features high performance and a new design.
DFG project to take Hybrid Forging to the next level
In the field of automobile light weighting, the method of ‘Hybrid Forging’ is fuelling high expectations. Up to now, automotive parts are still being forged from one single piece of steel. The massive components this method generates are extremely solid, but also extremely heavy. This is why lightweight methods are constantly modified in order to reduce weight and, as a result, lower fuel consumption of a vehicle.
The project “Hybridschmieden“ (Hybrid Forging) of the German society for science and research, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), is yielding new possibilities: The innovative manufacturing method has been developed in order to shape and merge massive steel components with thin sheet metal in only one manufacturing step. First results from Hybrid Forging could already be achieved: Scientists from the ‘Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH)’, the Hanover Institute for Integrated Production, were able to tightly join a massive steel cylinder with a sheet metal square. They also managed to produce a flange from 1.5 centimetre thick sheet metal and a cylindrical middle component.
Given this progress, the method is going to be modified for the application in the manufacturing of other structural components in future. To that end, the project started into its second round in November 2015 under the title “Hybridschmieden 2” (Hybrid Forging 2): The new goal is the construction of a two-point driver, made mostly from sheet metal. Massive steel is going to be used only for the junctions of the wheel carrier and the chassis frame. In order to make this possible, the IPH engineers planning to construct a tool that can merge sheet metal with massive components during their forming process. With this new manufacturing method, a whole step of the procedure, the merging, can be spared. With Hybrid Forging advancing further, forging companies should be able to produce components in a faster and cheaper way in future.
Picture: Flange manufactured using Hybrid Forging by IPH engineers on behalf of a forging company.
Bystronic: User-friendly bending technology with Xact Smart
Smart Factory for everyone: The new press brake ‘Xact Smart’ by Bystronic introduces newcomers to ‘Smart Bending’ technology. The new press brake is offered as a high-quality package in the medium price range and contains the essential options for first-time users. The system is especially user-friendly and produces bending components at a low cost, thus yielding versatile application possibilities.
The bending technology is easy to handle: Xact Smart is equipped with the user interface ByVision Bending. Therefore, the entire bending process can be controlled with a 22-inch touch screen. Just a few finger swipes are necessary to initiate the process – the user only needs to load the bending plan and set up the machine.
For a high precision level of air bending, the hydraulic crowning of the Xact Smart detects the exact position and length of bending parts by measuring them. With this sensor technology being directly integrated into ByVision Bending, the system automatically controls the ideal distribution of force. Therefore, there are no more complicated details left for the user to handle during the process.
Picture: Xact Smart enables a fast entry into bending.
Bosch Rexroth: New transfer system ActiveMover increases productivity in short cycle applications
With their new transfer system ‘ActiveMover’, Bosch Rexroth intend to increase productivity in short cycle applications. This is due to the system’s equipment with an up to ten times faster workpiece pallet change. Linear motors with integrated measuring systems position the solid workpiece pallets very precisely. The engines of the in-built, hard-wearing linear motors reach up to 160 newtons, making the system very dynamic.
The workpiece pallets are magnetically coupled, their changing period is between 0.1 and 0.3 seconds long, depending on the size. In practice, this increases the productivity by up to 20 per cent. The workpiece pallets can acquire any position desired, with a high repeatability of +/- 0.01 millimetres. Thanks to the integrated measuring system, any additional indexing is not necessary.
On the straight sections and curved modules, any number of workpiece pallets are applicable and can be controlled separately, with direction, speed, acceleration, position and process sequence being freely programmable by the user. An integrated collision control ensures operational safety. In line with the smart manufacturing trend, ActiveMover communicates with all control panels and automated short cycle applications via ProfiNet or Ethernet I/P. Additionally, the workpiece pallets are prepared for the integration of identification systems.
The workpiece pallets are vertically arranged and can be reached freely from all sides. With their driving force of up to 160 newtons, they can carry a payload of up to ten kilogrammes per workpiece; the maximum width of their carrying plate is 500 millimetres. Pre-drilled holes facilitate the installation of customer-specific workpieces, and with the robust base frame made from painted steel, the integration of workstations and protective enclosures is made easy.
ActiveMover transports even delicate products very gently. Hence, the system caters for a wide spectrum of installation applications in the electronic production, automotive supply industry and medicine technology through to life science. With ActiveMover, Bosch Rexroth is fueling the trend towards flexible, smart manufacturing.
Picture: Transfer system ActiveMover with workpiece changing durations from 0.1 seconds reduces cycle times in short cycle applications.
Photo: Bosch Rexroth
Research project MoPaHyb: Developing a modular production plant for hybrid components
Intrinsic hybrid components, combinations made from fibre-reinforced plastic and metal inlays, bear a vast potential for automotive and airplane construction, as well as in general for the metal working industry. This technology enables further functional integration and achieves an optimised component weight. However, the manufacturing of such components is a challenge for the industry: So far, there are no production plants available which are able to process both fibre composites and metal reinforcements. The huge expenditures have prevented the manufacturing of such products in the past.
For this reason, the research project “MoPaHyb” (German: “modulare Produktionsanlage zur Herstellung hochbelastbarer Hybridbauteile”) is focussing on the development of a modular production plant to enable the economical manufacturing of heavy-duty hybrid components . This shall be achieved by the flexible cross-linking of the single value-adding processing modules and handling modules. For this purpose, twelve companies and institutes have teamed up in a research group, including J. Schmalz GmbH, Siemens AG, Trumpf GmbH & Co. KG and Vitronic Dr.-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH, with Dieffenbacher GmbH Maschinen- und Anlagebau leading the consortium. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA).
The research project is primarily concerned with flexibility: The plant has to be adaptable and easy to configure in order to handle new material combinations, operations and changes to the process chain. Therefore, the project is developing new approaches for controlling a modular production line, from the transfer of virtual products, material and process data, generation of NC planning records and interface communication with the modules, to the recognition of quality characteristics and component-specific process parameters. The first plant is scheduled to start operating by September 2018.
Due to its progressive development and its various possible applications, intrinsic hybridisation yields versatile prospects. An adaptable plant could reduce modification expenses significantly, and therefore would be more durable. This would lower the production cost of hybrid components and raise their market value. In today's dynamic market environment, product life cycles are getting shorter, while product variety is increasing and the number of derivates is growing. Therefore, investments in high-value, complex production methods are becoming more and more significant.
Picture: Project MoPaHyb for the development of a modular, configurable production plant for hybrid components