EuroBLECH Bulletin

News from the Organisers

EuroBLECH 2016: Investment in new technology is an important competitive factor

This year’s 24th International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, from 25th - 29th October 2016 in Hanover, Germany, is all about smart manufacturing. With increasing levels of digitalisation within the production process, EuroBLECH 2016 presents a wide choice of innovative solutions to improve cost efficiency, flexibility and process stability along the entire sheet metal working technology chain. 1,550 exhibitors from 40 countries will present their latest developments and systems for the new generation of sheet metal working.

“Many exhibiting companies have booked bigger stands this year and there are 20% of new exhibitors at our exhibition. This shows that the overall situation of the sheet metal working industry is very positive. Initiated by new technical developments, such as Industry 4.0, companies are now planning ahead in order to upgrade their production processes and to achieve a competitive advantage. At this year’s EuroBLECH, there will be an above average percentage of new products live on display on bigger stands, and many new companies have joined the show. Thus, the industry sector is highly dynamic and open for a new generation of sheet metal working,” explains Nicola Hamann, Managing Director of the organisers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions.

Recent information regarding the exhibition is available under:

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For the EuroBLECH Community

Ticket Shop now open: Get your entry ticket in advance!

Entrance tickets for EuroBLECH 2016 are now available via our Ticket Shop. Tickets can also be purchased on-site during the exhibition.
Buy tickets in advance and save: A day ticket purchased in pre-sale via the Ticket Shop costs €30 instead of €38 on-site, and a 5-day season ticket costs €50 instead of €58 on-site.

Visitors, who have received an invitation from an exhibitor are advised to activate their tickets via the show website prior to their visit to the exhibition.

Further important information and tips about visiting the show are available in the visitor area of the organisers' website.

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EuroBLECH 2016 Show Preview now available

As the global meeting place of the sheet metal working industry, EuroBLECH offers its audience a comprehensive overview of the prevailing technological trends. From 25 – 29 October 2016, around 1,550 exhibitors from 40 countries will showcase a wide variety of products and services, from conventional systems to high-tech solutions.

The official EuroBLECH 2016 Online Show Preview, with detailed information on many exhibitors and their products, is now available. With this user-friendly online preview, visitors will be able to create and print their personalised Show Preview, with company and product descriptions sorted by hall or category. Additionally, new functions also allow sharing selected entries via social media.

We hope you enjoy browsing the Show Preview!

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Vote for the Winners of “The New Generation of Sheet Metal Working”

The online competition “The New Generation of Sheet Metal Working” will reward five organisations or individuals in the sheet metal working industry for best practice, innovation, excellence and outstanding performance in five categories. Throughout the summer, various companies and individuals from different countries have submitted their entries and are presenting their innovations and cutting-edge projects on the EuroBLECH website.

Now the entire sheet metal working community is invited to select the winners of each category. The online voting has already started and will continue until 30 September 2016. Participation will be rewarded: To thank the voters for their participation, everybody casting a vote will be included in a raffle of 100 entry tickets to EuroBLECH 2016.

Visit the website to view all the entries and cast your vote!

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Sign the EuroBLECH Guestbook

What are you expecting from EuroBLECH 2016? What are your thoughts regarding the recent trends of the industry?
Sign the EuroBLECH Guestbook and share your opinion with the rest of the community!

In the current environment of major changes in industry production (also known as smart manufacturing), connectedness and data exchange along the entire production value chain is gaining increasing importance. In this exciting time, we would like to bring the sheet metal working community closer together to create an interchange of thoughts, experiences and plans for the future. Join the EuroBLECH Community!

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EuroBLECH White Paper available to download

When Industry 4.0 took off in Germany, it rapidly made it to the international headlines. With the digital agenda of the federal government, it received highest political priority. The future of the entire manufacturing industry was affected. But where does Industry 4.0 stand in reality? In fact, a number of medium-sized companies offer interesting solutions. Research made big progress; it helps to re-think a number of processes completely.

Read the first EuroBLECH White Paper focussing on Industry 4.0!

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EuroBLECH Job Board now online

The EuroBLECH website is once again offering a job board that allows specialists in the sheet metal working industry to search for a new professional challenge and to reach employers worldwide.

Job listings are published on the EuroBLECH website. Participation as a job seeker is free of charge. More information is available in the visitor section of the exhibition website.

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Always up-to-date – with Social Media

Would you like to receive the latest news on EuroBLECH 2016? Then follow EuroBLECH via the social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also visit our Social Media Lounge at the show! It will be in hall 16, stand J52. #euroblech

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Visa and travel information

EuroBLECH 2016 visitors who require a letter of invitation for their visa application should contact the relevant foreign representative. For the contact details of the representatives as well as more information on invitation letters please visit the travel pages of the exhibition website.

Hanover, with the world’s largest exhibition grounds, is famous for hosting leading international trade fairs. This friendly, cosmopolitan city has an excellent infrastructure and an efficient transport network in place, ensuring easy access for visitors from all over the world.

This year, there are several travel packages available from Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, and Lufthansa Group Partner Airlines, as well as special offers for visitors from Prague. The Hannover Express also provides one-day return flights from Bergamo. Please visit the EuroBLECH website for further details.

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Grundig Akademie Seminar at EuroBLECH 2016

EuroBLECH 2016 will host the 8th Training Center for Hot Stamping Technology and the 5th PHS Suppliers Forum, which will take place on 26 and 27 October 2016 in the Convention Centre.

The program will consist of selected contributions from key players and experts who have extensive background knowledge in PHS technology.

Further information on the seminar and hands-on training is available on the organiser’s website, where you can also register as a participant.

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“Awards at EuroBLECH” presented by Blechnet and MM Maschinenmarkt

Once again, Vogel Business Media, publishers of the official EuroBLECH Show Daily, will be awarding a prize for the most innovative exhibits at EuroBLECH 2016.

All exhibitors are invited to send in their application for the following seven categories: Metal Forming, Punching, Automation & Handling, Joining, Separating, Surface Finishing and Measuring & Testing.

An expert jury will examine and rate all applications submitted. There will be an official award ceremony at EuroBLECH 2016, presenting the winners and introducing all the nominees’ innovations. The award ceremony will be held on 25 October 2016 at 5pm in the Convention Center.

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For Exhibitors

Visitor Promotion Tools for Exhibitors

For exhibitors of EuroBLECH 2016, a wide range of free online promotional items are available for download via the Exhibitor Zone. These online promotional tools can be instantly customised with the exhibitor's company name and stand details and be downloaded in one click by using the "Download all tools" function. In addition, exhibitors can share their Company Profile page via their Social Media channels.

All exhibitors have access to these tools by logging in to their Exhibitor Zone and then choosing "Visitor Promotion Tools" in the navigation.

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Trumpf: Intelligent scanner optics I-PFO facilitates efficient production processes on the fly

The laser specialist TRUMPF has given the latest generation of its programmable focusing optics (PFO) a clever update: the new I-PFO is a so-called intelligent scanner optics. They no longer merely run their programmed sequences, but communicate continuously and in real time with their most important partner in remote processing on the fly – the industrial robot. The robot continuously transmits its position and movement data to the I-PFO, enabling the latter to recognize their own positions in the working area of the robot cell, so that they know precisely where they need to weld, mark, structure or ablate material on the workpiece.

The new TRUMPF I-PFO forms the laser beam to the tool for a wide variety of processes by adapting the focus diameter, depth of focus, image distance and power density precisely to the desired process. With the aid of two deflection mirrors inside the optics unit, the laser beam can be aimed at all positions on the X and Y axes within the processing area for spot or seam welding, for example. The laser practically scans the working area - hence the name “scanner optics”. A likewise moveable lens focuses the laser beam on the Z axis. Neither the workpiece nor the optics unit must be moved for three-dimensional processing. During processing on the fly, the scanner optics unit sits on a freely moveable manipulator, such as an industrial robot. This greatly enlarges the processing area in all three dimensions. For this purpose, the new I-PFO features focal lengths of 450, 900 and 1200 millimeters. The automobile industry is a typical area of use for the I-PFO, for example for laser welding of doors, seats, hatches and other large body parts.

The new I-PFO demonstrates its intelligence first and foremost by autonomously starting processing whenever the geometry and process technology make it possible to do so. Up to now, implementing remote processes was very expensive and time-consuming. With regard to partners, the I-PFO unit is flexible: the robot-independent system can be combined with TruDisk, TruFiber and TruMicro lasers up to a maximum of eight kilowatts of laser power and is compatible with all industrial robots that are equipped with a real-time interface for path planning. An external control unit is no longer required. The new technology facilitates the interaction of the robot, optics and laser beam source without any additional hardware or software whatsoever. This not only reduces investment costs, but also minimizes the space requirements for the robot cells. Moreover, several I-PFO units can be operated with a single laser, so that the beam source in the production network is optimally utilized.

Picture: I-PFO – the intelligent scanner optics unit knows its position in the working area of the robot cell and autonomously starts remote processing whenever the geometry and process technology make it possible to do so.
Photo: Trumpf

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AP&T launching new generation of Multi Layer Furnace for press hardening

AP&T is now launching a new generation of its Multi Layer Furnace for press hardened vehicle parts. The new generation has been developed on a number of points compared to previously, resulting in improved process stability and availability.

The first generation of AP&T’s Multi Layer Furnace (MLF) was introduced three years ago as a space-efficient, flexible and easily serviced alternative to conventional roller hearth furnaces in press hardening lines. Since then, up to 50 systems with furnaces and related automation have been installed for car part manufacturers in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China. AP&T's development team has been working the entire time in close cooperation with customers to utilize experiences that can help develop the technology.

According to AP&T Product Manager Line Joachim Ullberg, the new generation of MLF was equipped, for example, with a new control unit for more secure power supply, sensors that give better control over heating, a more rigid hatch installation and new, sturdier heating elements. In order to prevent hydrogen brittleness, the furnace was also equipped with dew point control. The result was an optimized solution that meets high demands for process stability and that satisfied the car manufacturers’ CQI-9 standard.

AP&T’s Multi Layer Furnace has many advantages compared to conventional roller hearth furnaces. Firstly, an MLF only needs half of the floor space. Secondly, the parts that are to be heated can be positioned with a great deal of precision, which facilitates, for example, handling during concurrent production of different types of parts. If there is downtime in one of the furnace modules, the others can continue to be used as usual, while a stoppage in a roller hearth furnace means the entire process suffers. Since MLF has only a few moving parts, service and maintenance are simpler and much less expensive to perform, which impacts both availability and maintenance costs. MLF is also designed to cope with the quick development taking place in materials. Coatings with AlSi (aluminum/silicon) are already common, and it is likely to see an increased utilization of zinc in vehicle parts in the future.

The new generation of MLF was a mature and future-proofed solution with process stability, which could handle many different material combinations to achieve a competitive total cost of ownership, said Joachim Ullberg.

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Zeller+Gmelin: Lubricants for sheet metal forming

At EuroBLECH 2016, Zeller+Gmelin presents its range
of lubricants for sheet metal forming. The new Multidraw series does not only score with the automotive industry: Thus, customers, partners and prospective customers can convince themselves of the innovatively advanced range of the lubricant expert. Zeller+Gmelin has developed ground-breaking products, in particular in the area of low-lubricant metal forming in cooperation with partners in the automotive industry. At Zeller+Gmelin’s stand, customers can discover everything about the 2nd generation of low-lubricant sheet metal forming of the Multidraw series, which is used for the chipless forming of automotive parts made of steel for light, medium and difficult degrees of deformation. The variety of application possibilities is emphasised here.

A highlight of the fair is thus the new prelubricant Multidraw PL 61 SE which is primarily suitable for the basic oiling of all steel surfaces from the rolling mill and helps to reduce the zinc abrasion during the forming process of hot-dip galvanised surfaces. In addition, the product has optimal draining-off inhibition, as well as excellent compatibility with all non-coated and coated sheet metal surfaces. The specially developed corrosion protection with forming properties offers an optimal preservation of semi-finished products for storage and transport - even under extreme climatic conditions. Due to its innovative composition, the prelubricant is ideal for chipless forming, such as stretch forming and ironing.
Additional lubrication before forming in the press plant is frequently unnecessary. At the same time, the latest requirements for the specifications of the automotive industry on removability and paint and adhesive impact are taken into account.

In order to not only give the stamping plants a new prelube but a completely customised toolbox for their forming problems, a washing oil specially tailored to Multidraw PL 61 SE was developed with Multidraw KTL N 1 SE as well as a specially tailored spot oiling with MULTIDRAW KTL N 20. Thus the latter is predestined for the chipless forming of
aluminium, steel, galvanised sheet metal and high strength steels of all kinds for medium to difficult degrees of forming. The new Multidraw washing oil KTL N 1 SE, in contrast, is
used in coil and blank washers for cleaning before forming. It is characterised through good forming properties for light to medium degrees of forming.
Multidraw Drylube E 1, a water-free coil coating agent with VDA approval for all metals (steel, galvanised steel, pre-phosphated steel, aluminium and stainless steel), also
belongs to the family of the low-lubricant sheet metal forming. For better use, the hot melt leaves an anti-slip layer on the metal surface after application. The "semi-dry" film
allows high degrees of deformation due to its good flexibility and mechanical properties.

Picture: Rolling mill oiled coils with Multidraw PL 61 SE, the new development of the lowlubricant sheet metal forming of the Multidraw series of the 2nd generation.
Photo: Zeller + Gmelin

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Transfluid develops robot-assisted tube bending system that does not require complex programming

The production of lines for braking systems, air conditioning units and similar devices with a length of 1500mm and tiny diameters of as little as 18mm represents a real challenge when it comes to bending technology, specifically with regard to handling. After all, to be economical, production processes also need to be swift. And precision and quality are factors that are just as important.

As part of a recent project, the team at transfluid developed a tube processing system that involves robot handling of the material and that can bend tubing in lengths of up to 4500mm – 47 bends in a time of circa 140 seconds. Another specification that the team had to meet when developing their solution was that the tubing would be already shaped or fitted with flanges.

The process involves first inserting a bundle of tubes into a feeder which are then individually orientated by symmetrical rotation according to the positioning of the flanges. Each tube is then picked up by one of the two robots and this transfers it to a moveable spanning device with an appropriate high retaining system designed for longer tubing. The spanning device allows the robots to process the tubes on one or even on two sides in parallel. This also speeds up the procedure; the time required for processing each tube, even at this length, is constantly less than an impressive 3 seconds. Both robots have 7 axes with drive systems and can bend right/left.

Another advantage of this transfluid tube bending concept is that isometric data can be uploaded directly online from a CAD system, meaning that complex programming of the robots is not necessary.

Picture: Even already shaped tubing can be processed using the transfluid bending device.
Photo: Transfluid

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SPI Lasers introduces a new generation of Industrial High Power Fiber Lasers

SPI Lasers announced recently that it has commenced manufacturing a new generation of high brightness kilowatt class CW Industrial fiber lasers, with initial launch products ranging in power levels from 500W to 6kW.

This new generation of lasers encompasses a collection of features and functions that have been driven by working closely with customers and suppliers, which are new, unique and economically important. These features, along with the laser performance can be thought of together as “enabling optimisation of laser material processing”. One example of a new feature is termed “Pierce Detection”, which is of immense importance when maximising the efficiency of sheet metal cutting.

The laser collects and analyses light reflected back from the cutting process and provides a PLC compatible control signal that changes state within milli-seconds of the sheet being pierced, thus allowing the cutting machine to begin it’s task in a much shorter time window. Compared to a traditional pre-programmed dwell time for the pierce process, the production run-time saved using this pierce detection technique is considerable and easily accumulates to many minutes per sheet processed.

This new generation of kilowatt CW Industrial fiber lasers from SPI Lasers sits under the ‘QUBE’ product name, which is in turn part of the existing redPOWER brand. QUBE products are available at the following powers: 500W, 1kW, 1.5kW, 3kW, 4.5kW and 6kW. The QUBE lasers require only electrical power and water connection, allowing quick configuration and interfacing to any one of a wide range of laser material processes. The lower power QUBE products (500W to 1.5kW) are available with multi-mode or single mode output fiber and are particularly well suited to optimising metal additive manufacturing processes and other high precision applications.

High volume consumers of kilowatt class CW Industrial fiber lasers – typically machine builders, OEM integrators, robotic systems builders – can procure the performance and control advantages of the new generation QUBE lasers directly. However, SPI Lasers also provides this market segment with a building block style OEM solution, termed PRISM products, under the redPOWER brand. This allows integrators the flexibility to procure and customise their needs, using only the fiber laser elements they need to create their dedicated laser machine tool.

Picture: New generation of Industrial High Power Fiber Lasers
Photo: SPI Lasers

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The data M COPRA® Product Family – Integrated Solution Concept for Roll Formers

The Bavarian company data M Sheet Metal Solutions presents an integrated solution concept for roll forming at EuroBLECH 2016, showcasing innovative soft- and hardware products for roll formers. Among other things, the fully integrated solution concept is demonstrated using the example of a roll formed bumper. All assembly steps including stretch bending can be processed with COPRA® products.

In recent years, data M further refined its product portfolio and especially focused on consistent interconnectedness of the various COPRA® solutions. data M engineers demonstrate how the setup of a new roll formed profile becomes comprehensible with the design software COPRA® RF, the COPRA® RollScanner as well as the roll tool database RLM. With the new feature “AssemblyCheck”, the design will be instantly updated after modification of the forming stations with subsequent scan of the roll tools. The designer will get an overview about the state of the modified tools in mounted condition compared to the initial design. For this purpose, the designed as well as the scanned roll contour will automatically show overlaying in COPRA® RF.

Furthermore, the portable COPRA® ProfileScan Desktop provides accurate measurement of the profile after each station. Consequently, the designers can verify if the profile matches the designed contour after each forming step. With this method, potential deviations can be located immediately and not only after the profile is finished – which involves a tiresome search for the source of error.

The simulation solution COPRA® FEA RF verifies the design and is the only respective software worldwide that handles the roll forming process automatically and thereby provides a transparent user interface. Additionally, pre-built models allow the model processing and calculation to be comparatively fast.

COPRA® FEA RF not only simulates the roll forming process, but also handles the complete production process for modern and complex profiles. Nowadays, pre- and post-operations like stamping, embossing or welding are as important as the roll forming itself. An accurate simulation of the roll formed base profile is eminent for additional calculations like stretch bending, since occurring strains and stresses during roll forming may influence the results significantly.

The simulation module identifies and visualizes possible defects like strip edge waviness or unwanted collisions between the roll and strip edge during the (virtual) forming process. With the results, the new roll design can be instantly implemented and verified. Additionally, the new version COPRA® FEA RF 2017 is equipped with Marc/Mentat 2015 and contains an integrated model browser. Furthermore, data M introduces new import functions: Besides IGES, new formats like STEP and SAT or native formats like e.g. from COPRA® Inventor® can be imported and edited.
Lastly, data M developed a simple model that incorporates station stiffness. Thus, alterations of the roll gap due to forming forces and the respective impact on the profile are already considered.

Picture: Simulation of the roll forming process with COPRA® FEA RF
Photo: DATA M

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Health Protection as Essential Part of Occupational Safety: Efficient extraction and filtration technologies by ULT AG

ULT AG, vendor of extraction and filtration technology for air purification, will exhibit latest and well-proven systems at EuroBLECH 2016.

ULT’s extraction and filtration systems remove airborne pollutants occurring in metal processing, be that laser fumes, soldering fumes, welding fumes, gases or vapours: In addition to a wide range of turnkey products, the company provides customer-specific solutions for a multitude of possible applications.

Visitors will find solutions to protect employees, machines and products from hazardous fumes, dusts and emission particles down to the nano range.

ULT AG develops and produces air purification systems that achieve the highest separation efficiency and filtration degrees in pollutant removal. This is based on the utilization of efficient and modern filtration technology that helps to reduce maintenance and energy costs, and ensures compliance with legal limit values for harmful substances. Users of ULT systems benefit from simple operation at a very low noise level.

ULT AG heavily invests in research and development and co-operates with renowned German research centres and universities. At EuroBLECH 2016, interested parties are invited to catch up on the current state of the latest research results and opportunities for removing future pollutants.

Picture: ULT extraction and filtration systems
Photo: ULT AG

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