jun14 Australian Manufacturing Technology
Your Industry. Your Magazine.
Medical: Gaining an edge PAGE 34
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Volume 14 Number 05 JUNE 2014 ISSN 1832-6080
MEDICAL Additive manufacturing and medical devices 3D-printed first to treat sleep apnoea Deep-hole drills guarantee quality 3D printing – Saving time, money, and lives Medical devices and collaboration
38 39 40 42 44
CUTTING TOOLS Machining of orthopaedic components Widia – Taking efficiency to the extreme Meeting the needs of the mould and die industry
50 52 54
FORMING & FABRICATION Why abrasive waterjets? Can I make this form in my machine? Profound-radius bending – a different animal Schuler press to build Soyuz rockets
58 59 60 61
SOFTWARE Sharing the vision with Brad Jones Racing Building the supply chain of the future Closing the gaps
62 66 67
COMPRESSORS Drawing on the right tools to streamline processes
MOTORS & DRIVES Driving cleaner water for NE Victoria Siemens motors installed at Sunshine Sugar
From the CEO From the Industry From the AMWU
10 12 14
Industry News Government News Tech News Product News
16 24 26 27
One on One Innes Willox – Chief Executive, Ai Group
AMTIL FORUM Forum Lean: Fear and loathing in Lean Forum OHS: Budgeting for Workplace Health and Safety Forum Strategies: Outlook for complex manufacturers Forum Finance: High hopes in export markets
72 73 74 75
Manufacturing History – A look back in time
AMTIL INSIDE The latest news from AMTIL
jun14 AustrAliAn MAnufActuring technology
your industry. your Magazine.
Medical: Gaining an edge PAGE 34
.Medical .Cutting Tools
.Motors & Drives .Forming & Fabrication .Software
AMT JUNE 2014
Medical devices – gaining a global edge Australian medical devices technology manufacturers are exporting their technology and products globally. These innovative companies are calling on the government to do more to support a sector that could represent the future of manufacturing in this country.
Automating structural steel fabrication Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) has released the Metaltek XB1200 – a ten-axis structural steel fabrication cutting system designed with the aim of slashing production times, material-handling and manual labour.
Cover The Australian medical technology industry had a turnover of approximately $10bn in 2012, generated by over 500 companies. Page 34
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A mental health check for manufacturers Most of the dialogue around manufacturing these days focuses overwhelmingly on the big picture, on broad trends and challenges affecting the entire industry – be it the strong dollar, overseas competition, or most recently, the Federal Budget. This preoccupation with the top-level issues is so pervasive, it’s easily forgotten that this is an industry comprised of individual people, each with their own individual problems. And while the big issues that hit manufacturing as a whole also hit its workers, those individuals also face myriad other trials, in areas such as family, finances, and health – physical, and mental. So it’s welcome news to read about the launch of Heads Up, a national campaign aimed at encouraging Australia’s business leaders to take action on mental health. Run by non-profit organisation beyondblue in conjunction with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance, the Heads Up campaign comes in tandem with a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which reveals the impact of employees’ mental health conditions on businesses in terms of productivity, participation and compensation claims. The PwC report reveals that mental health conditions impose significant costs to organisations. Using the prevalence rates of mental health conditions across various industries, the cost to Australian workplaces was found to be at least $10.9bn annually. This comprises $4.7bn in absenteeism, $6.1bn in presenteeism (being at work, but not being productive) and $146m in compensation claims a year. Moreover, these are conservative estimates, overlooking other factors arising from poor mental health, such as high staff turnover. They also omit numerous intangible ways a mentally healthy workplace benefits all employees, such as improved morale.
Sales Manager Anne Samuelsson email@example.com Publications Co-ordinator Gabriele Richter firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Shane Infanti email@example.com Designer Franco Schena firstname.lastname@example.org Prepress & Print Printgraphics Australia AMT Magazine is printed using FSC mix of paper from responsible sources FSC© C007821 Contact Details AMT Magazine AMTIL Suite 1, 673 Boronia Rd Wantirna VIC 3152 AUSTRALIA T 03 9800 3666 F 03 9800 3436 E email@example.com W www.amtil.com.au
However, PwC concluded that by taking effective action to create a mentally healthy workplace, organisations can – on average – expect a 2.3-fold positive return on investment (RoI). In other words, for every dollar spent on implementing appropriate action, the organisation stands to gain $2.30 on average. The figure of 2.3 was reached by investigating the cost of introducing seven mental health initiatives, such as worksite physical activity programs and resilience training, and measuring their impact on absenteeism, presenteeism and compensation claims.
It gets even better for manufacturing businesses, where the average return rises to $3.50 for every $1 invested in effective workplace mental health strategies.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman says: “Employers who are mindful of their employees’ wellbeing and introduce supporting policies promote greater worker satisfaction and deliver enormous productivity improvements, making it a truly win-win situation. Too many business leaders, however, still don’t know how to help people who may be struggling with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.” beyondblue acknowledges that some initiatives will not be suitable for all organisations – it would not, for example, be viable for a small business to implement mental health training, because the cost and effort would outweigh the benefits. Nonetheless, any business can reap significant returns by taking the appropriate actions. The question is: what are the right actions to take?
© Australian Manufacturing Technology (AMT). All rights reserved. AMT Magazine may not be copied or reproduced in whole or part thereof without written permission from the publisher. Contained specifications and claims are those supplied by the manufacturer (contributor) The opinions expressed within AMT Magazine from editorial staff, contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of AMTIL. The publisher reserves the right to amend the listed editorial features published in the AMT Magazine Media Kit for content or production purposes. AMT Magazine is dedicated to Australia’s machining, tooling and sheet-metal working industries and is published monthly. Subscription to AMT Magazine (and other benefits) is available through AMTIL Associate Membership at $165 (inc GST) per annum. Contact AMTIL on 03 9800 3666 for further information.
The Heads Up campaign aims to answer that question. Its centrepiece is a website where business leaders can learn how to make their workplace more mentally healthy, and in turn more profitable. In mid-June, an action plan will be unveiled on the website to allow businesses to create mental health programs tailor-made for implementation in their workplaces. Find out more at www.headsup.org.au.
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AMT JUNE 2014
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Australian Technology Competition goes from strength to strength There is so much editorial this time of year on the budget and people’s view on the effect it will have. There is also lingering debate over the impact the automotive closures will have on our manufacturing future. I am going to refrain from comment in this column as I have noted these issues in my AMTIL Inside column on page 78. I’d like to focus some attention on a good news story. The Australian Technologies Competition closed recently with a record number of entries and I felt it was worthwhile highlighting the competition and some of the achievements of recent years as we very often don’t get to hear Australian success stories. Now in its fourth year, the Australian Technology Competition seeks to find, mentor and develop Australia’s best SME technology companies that have a strong focus on improving efficiency, resource use and competitiveness. The Competition is an initiative of the Department of Industry and has helped many of its past entrants turn good ideas and technologies into great businesses and employers. There were 228 entries into the Competition this year, representing a 50% increase on the 2013 competition. All of these SMEs have the common characteristics of having great ideas, showing initiative, being innovative and developing intellectual property. As our manufacturing sector continues to evolve in the coming years, these companies will be future of our industry. The Competition, however, is more than just an award ceremony. Through the judging process, all entrants have access to specialist advisors and grants programs. The top 30 companies, those that reach the semi-final stage, also have the opportunity to participate in an intensive Business Accelerator Program which provides expert mentors, connections to financial investors and international markets. Many of the finalists participate in focused trade missions, usually led by members of the Federal Government’s Supplier Advocate Program. In my opinion this is a key benefit of the Competition as it brings together programs such as the Supplier Advocates Program, Enterprise Connect and Austrade to mention
AMT JUNE 2014
Over the years, there have been many success stories. Last year, the finalists participated in a trade mission to Hong Kong, China and Singapore and identified over $150m in project opportunities. One participant, Raygen Resources, recently announced a $60m deal in Shanghai to commercialise its world-leading concentrating solar technology. The technology uses mirrors to concentrate light onto PV cells to generate solar heat which is then combined with a compressed air energy storage system to provide clean, green power. The 2012 Competition winner, enlighten Australia Pty Ltd, based in Artarmon, developed a LED lighting solution that reduces energy use by up to 93%. The development of their smart LED Safety Tube
and Chamaeleon multi-function light has resulted in a 600% growth in the business over the past two years. The company has been involved in many retrofit installations including the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, NAB House and many local council buildings. One case study at the 32 story Hyde Park Towers in Sydney’s CBD, achieved energy savings of 93% and a half year return on investment. These are just two examples of where the Competition, with its Accelerator Program, has helped companies develop the strategy for making a great technology into a great business. AMTIL is pleased to be a Partner Organisation for the Competition and look forward to promoting more success stories into the future. The Top 30 Companies will meet for two days on 25-26 June for an intensive mentoring program and the winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony on 16 September at the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. More details can be found at www. austechcomp.com or email john.obrien@ auscleantech.com.au
The bIgger pIcTure In A sMALLer pAcKAge For further information call Anne Samuelsson on 03 9800 3666, mobile on 0400 115 525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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a few and also provides entrants with access to funding mechanisms such as the CRC Program, R&D Tax Concession and the Export Market Development Grant Program. These connections are vitally important. In isolation, each program has its merit. Putting them all together, the participating SMEs have every chance of a successful transition to commercialisation.
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Positive measures in Budget, but risks as well The challenge for the Federal Government’s first Budget was how well it put in place measures that boost productivity, lift confidence and stimulate growth. While it made some decisive steps to put the budget on a firm long-term footing, it also carries short-term risks given the weak state of the economy. The targeted surplus on fiscal balance in 2017-18 is welcome, as too is the 1.5% cut to the company tax rate from 1 July 2015, which will boost business investment and assist in the much-needed recapitalisation of the non-mining sectors of the economy. Of course, these incentives will be negated for the larger businesses which will have to pay the new Paid Parental Leave levy. The commitment to new infrastructure projects – even though most of the $6.6bn announced was already known prior to Budget night – is welcome. Properly managed and prioritised, this spending can assist in raising productivity while absorbing some of the capacity that will be released as major mining projects wind up. The clear role for privatesector financing of infrastructure through the asset recycling initiative is particularly welcome. The Government’s proposals to rein in spending growth and to reintroduce fuel tax indexation are difficult measures spread across all sections of the community – including businesses. The ‘Budget Repair Levy’, which will take the top marginal income tax to 49% for the next three years, is a risky and inefficient way to raise additional revenue. It will detract not only from discretionary consumer spending and therefore business income, but it will also dampen incentives to save and invest at a time when we need to lift investment by Australian businesses. A radical overhaul is proposed for programs aimed at business innovation and business capability development, in the new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme. Particularly in the context of what the Government has called an ‘extraordinary period of transition’, this overhaul will require very close consultation with business and will need to be complemented by strong initiatives in the National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda to be released later in the year. Many businesses will be deeply concerned to ensure that the very best features of existing industry programs are retained and improved in the design of the new initiatives. These include Enterprise Connect; the backing for innovation (unfortunately reduced as a result of the changes to the Research & Development Tax Incentive); automotive industry transition programs; and the important roles played by Commercialisation Australia. The proposed focus on advice rather than grants is both prudent and welcome. The cuts to research funding for the CSIRO and the DSTO will be of considerable concern to many businesses. This should be matched by refocusing public-sector research with a clear orientation on building successful links with business. Positively, the additional funding for the Export Market Development Grant scheme and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation are steps in the right direction. Australian workplaces need a strong supply of the right skills in the right place at the right time. This is especially true if we are to deliver on the challenging infrastructure
AMT JUNE 2014
Proposals to rein in spending growth and to reintroduce fuel tax indexation are difficult measures spread across all sections of the community – including businesses. programs announced in this Budget. Never before has it been so important to develop entry-level skills, especially important trade and technical skills, but we also need to up skill our existing workforce. Skills are a much-needed productivity enabler. The development of the Industry Skills Fund promises to de-clutter and improve the flexibility of training arrangements putting industry at the fore. We are, however, concerned with the cessation of the longstanding Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program. Currently, over four million working Australians do not have adequate literacy and numeracy skills for the modern economy. We must ensure that developing these vital skills does not lose priority. In the roll-up of other programs into this one streamlined and potentially more efficient fund, it is important that priorities are not diluted. The Trade Support Loans Scheme is a positive step, enabling apprentices to access financial support over the course of their apprenticeship. We particularly commend the completion incentive built into the loan structure. The cessation of the Tools for Your Trade Allowance may detract from this initiative. Further reform of apprenticeship arrangements putting employers in the driving seat are welcome. Moves to deregulate higher education, with the removal of fee caps and the opening up of the bachelor and sub-degree markets to a broader range of providers, including private universities and vocational colleges is also a positive. This should further help bolster international education, though vigilance will be required on quality. Adjustment of the HELP loan threshold is a sensible measure. Ai Group members will welcome the net migration target of 190,000 for 2014-15 and the continued emphasis on skilled migration – which is so fundamental to the dynamism of the domestic economy. Ai Group will be working to ensure the Government consults closely with industry on the newly announced or revised business programs. We will also arguing for flexibility from the government and changes to any measures that fail in the goal to boost productivity, lift confidence and stimulate growth.
AMWU Paul Bastian – National Secretary Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Budget leaves manufacturing off course and flying blind The first Coalition Budget could be looked at as streamlining the assistance that the Government gives to the manufacturing industry and training, but if it were a Joint Strike Fighter, one of its wings would be extra sleek while the other had been ripped off. Despite Budget bravado from Treasurer Joe Hockey about cutting red tape and bureaucracy, he has hollowed out eight successful industry programs and replaced them with one – the Entrepreneur’s Infrastructure Program. What this program actually does remains to be seen. In addition, he’s almost halved sector funding from $971m to $484m across five years, which will cut the chances of Australian businesses getting work on major projects, pull support away from innovative SMEs, and doom many auto parts makers trying to survive by diversifying into new products. It’s a similar story in research and in skills training – for every small gain there’s a larger measure of pain and unfortunately manufacturing bears more than its fair share. This Budget is a ‘silent killer’ in that the corrosive effects of the industry cuts will seep through the system gradually. Unlike the fees for GP visits or the petrol tax slug, you won’t see these cuts on the TV news or on news websites. It will be small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises that are exposed, quietly left to sink or swim, the cut in the company tax rate welcomed by peak industry bodies too late to help many of their members. Specialised programs including Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia and Innovation Investment Funds were not ‘red tape’, they did not duplicate each other, and throwing in a paltry $50m in a Manufacturing Transition Grants Scheme just won’t cut it. Offering $20,000 per firm won’t be enough to help small and medium-sized enterprises to fund business plans based on innovation in their difficult formative years as they seek new markets. This is a Budget that reveals a Government that does not see the important role of manufacturing in a growing, modern Australian economy and has no vision for a co-ordinated strategy to foster it. If you still doubt that, put aside the positive news of the subsidy for employers who hire new workers aged over 50, and consider what Hockey is doing to tomorrow’s skilled manufacturing workers. Some good news for older workers belies a huge hit to trainees and young people – already the largest group of unemployed workers. Yet the Abbott Government’s response is to cut $524m in skills programs as well as strip first-year apprentices of their Tools For Your Trade allowance, worth $8000, then expect them to take out a Trade Support Loan of up to $20,000 to buy those tools and try to live on a wage often below minimum standards. This is scrapping a $1bn incentive project to equip workers and offering them a $439m loan program. If any one of those apprentices aged under 30 loses their job, indeed if any manufacturing worker of a young age is in a company that fails, they will be denied unemployment benefits for six months. The reality is that without savings or family support, some workers may find themselves out on the street, unable to pay rent, unable to access healthcare and robbed of a decent life by this Government. Support for stripping back TAFE funding across conservative governments is a co-ordinated program of outsourcing training to a massive array of private providers, as we have already seen in Victoria and NSW. More than $1bn through ten programs will be cut back to just $476m over five years, doled out by one Industry Skills Fund,
AMT JUNE 2014
This Budget is a ‘silent killer’ in that the corrosive effects of the industry cuts will seep through the system gradually.
in which employers have the biggest influence. Even the Ai Group, a cheerleader standing to benefit from this arrangement, is wary of how skills standards can be maintained under a splintered training arrangement that lacks effective monitoring. The AMWU joins the Ai Group in its criticism of the axing of the longstanding Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program, vital for productivity and safety when we have four million workers from a non-English speaking background on the job. Vital links between industry and researchers will be de-funded through the scaling back of the previous Government’s $500m Industry Innovation Precincts, while the CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organsiation’s budgets are to be slashed by $139m over four years, just when they are most needed to contribute to industry innovation. It is likely to hinder the Advanced Manufacturing CRC and severely handicap a new Manufacturing Industry Innovation CRC even before it gets off the ground. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s gesture for a $5.5m PM’s Science Prize will seem like a bitter joke to the underpaid, under-resourced scientists in the running. It shows this Government just does not understand how prosperity and jobs are built. The cutting of essential research drives at the heart of Australia’s ability to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector as it reels from the closures of Ford, GM Holden and Toyota. The Automotive Transition Scheme will be entirely cut from 2018 but it will be the $200m suddenly cut from auto industry support over the next two financial years that may see Ford, GM and Toyota accelerate shutdowns and redundancies. Hockey’s hostility towards the major auto-makers will fall on their 10,000 workers but also leaves components makers hanging by the thread of a pathetic $155m package to Victoria and South Australia. The Government also passed up the opportunity to provide a glimmer of light to the defence shipbuilding industry, refusing to confirm any new navy ship projects when it knows 3800 jobs at BAE Systems and Forgacs are on the line in coming months. This was despite a huge investment in defence materials and construction projects. If this Government has the confidence to invest $12.4bn in new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, where Australia has a bigger input than any nation outside the US, it should be able to spare the funding to keep our high-end maritime defence manufacturing viable. To stay afloat, naval shipbuilding doesn’t require a huge investment but it does require a strategic investment into a rolling build. It requires vision. But Hockey’s first Budget shows this Government has bailed out from its responsibility to charter a cogent course for manufacturing, leaving businesses and their workers to fly blind.
Australian PMI: Manufacturing falls sharply in April The Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) from the AiGroup in April recorded its lowest reading since July 2013, with the latest seasonally adjusted index dropping 3.1 points to 44.8 (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity). New orders dropped 10.5 points to 41.8 while manufacturing production also slowed with a fall of 6.6 points to 42.6. Reflecting these difficult trading conditions, manufacturing employment contracted at a faster pace in April (down 1.4 points to 43.6 points). Conditions remain extremely difficult in the sector’s export markets, with the exports sub-index remaining at around 30 points this month.
rubber products (56.8 points), non-metallic minerals (58.5 points), and smaller wood and paper products (51.7 points) sub-sectors all expanded too, although their pace of expansion slowed notably this month. The large metal products and machinery and equipment subsectors contracted again in April (three month moving averages), with the metal products sub-sector continuing a decline dating from September 2010.
“The sharp fall in manufacturing activity in April highlights the ongoing weakness in the sector and the parts of the economy that are linked with manufacturing,” said Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox. “The softness in manufacturing also highlights the risks facing the broader economy and bolsters the risks of a contractionary budget that further slows activity by raising taxes or excessively cutting back on public sector demand.”
Manufacturing selling prices continued to contract - albeit at a slower pace (46.1) - and while wages and input prices only lifted moderately, the pressures on manufacturers’ margins intensified further.
Across the manufacturing sub-sectors, four expanded and four contracted in April. The very large food and beverages sub-sector expanded again this month (up 1.8 points to 55.2 points, three month moving average). The petroleum, coal, chemicals and
“The immediate outlook for the sector worsened with respondents to the Australian PMI survey citing a lack of new orders even after allowing for the usual run of seasonal holidays in April,” added Willox. “Manufacturers also pointed to the renewed strength in the Australian dollar and the intensification of import competition to the detriment of sales of locally made products.”
Australia loses ground on cost-competitiveness Australia has dropped to last place among the world’s top 25 manufacturing countries, according to a new survey of manufacturing cost competitiveness from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). BCG’s Global Manufacturing Cost-Competitiveness Index tracks changes in production costs – encompassing wages, productivity growth, energy costs, and currency exchange rates – over the past decade in the world’s 25 largest goods-exporting nations. The report revealed that manufacturing cost competitiveness around the world has changed dramatically since 2004, overturning many longstanding perceptions of low-cost and high-cost nations. The BCG found that Brazil is now one of the highest-cost manufacturing countries, while the UK is the cheapest location in western Europe. Mexico now has lower manufacturing costs than China, while costs in much of eastern Europe are basically at parity with the US. Australia’s ranking fell to 25th, from 19th place ten years ago, with the highest manufacturing-cost structure of the 25 – around 30% higher than that of the US. The 10 countries with the lowest manufacturing costs, according to the index, include a mix of nations from around the world. Six of the 10 are in Asia, while several others are in North America and eastern Europe. The findings have implications for both companies and governments as they consider their manufacturing options. Cost competitiveness is becoming increasingly important as organisations around the world rethink their manufacturing networks and as governments recognize the economic importance of a stable manufacturing base. Several countries that have lost ground since 2004 risk becoming even less cost-competitive if current wage and productivity trends continue. “Many companies are making manufacturing investment decisions on the basis of a decades-old worldview that is sorely out of date,” said Harold L Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the analysis. “They still see North America and western Europe as high-cost, and Latin America, eastern Europe, and most of Asia – especially China – as low-cost. In reality, there are now high- and low-cost countries in nearly every region of the world.”
AMT JUNE 2014
BCG recommends that companies reassess their global production and sourcing footprints in light of today’s cost structures and trends. Manufacturers need to look beyond wages and take into account total costs, including differences in productivity and hidden costs. “When companies build new manufacturing capacity, they are typically placing bets for 25 years or more,” said Sirkin. “They must carefully consider how relative cost structures have changed—and how they are likely to evolve in the future.”
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META and VCAMM launch Carbon Fibre Hub META, a collaborative network of high-potential manufacturing businesses and researchers, and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (VCAMM) have announced a new partnership to foster innovation, collaboration and engagement. The new Carbon Fibre Hub will enable members to share expertise and knowledge in order to grow and increase the efficiency and competitiveness of Australia’s manufacturing industry globally. The partnership between META and VCAMM will foster innovation, collaboration and engagement for the manufacturing industry.
“We have some exciting innovation planned for our furnaces that we believe will benefit the entire carbon fibre industry,” added Richard Simpson, Managing Director, Furnace Engineering. “We are expecting that our engagement and contribution with the Carbon Fibre Hub will assist us in realising this potential.”
“The new Carbon Fibre Hub will make Australia’s carbon fibre composite industry world-class by bringing together Australia’s leading companies working in carbon fibre composites,” said Zoran Angelkovski, Managing Director, META. “The engagement of our members with those of VCAMM will encourage cross industry engagement leading to new commercial partnerships which will enable them to compete on the global stage.”
Carbon fibre composites have transformed the way that products from aeroplanes to sporting goods are designed and manufactured. The Carbon Fibre Hub’s strategy and project plans will focus on improving the adoption of carbon fibre composite technology into other sectors that are cost sensitive and curing cycle time dependent.
Operated by VCAMM with ongoing support from META, the hub will feature a core team of manufacturing industry participants, comprised of META members representing each major area of the carbon fibre value chain. Start-up members include representatives from organisations including DowAksa, Deakin University, CST Composites, Bruck Textiles, Furnace Engineering and Quickstep Technologies. This core team will have responsibility for the development of the overall strategy for the hub, attracting new participants and scoping collaborative projects. The hub will facilitate industry collaboration by nurturing new technologies, encouraging foreign direct investment, expanding export opportunities and enabling the sharing of knowledge to allow manufacturers to diversify into new sectors. “In a high-tech complex industry such as ours, collaboration is vital for Australia to take its place in the global market,” said Adriano Di Pietro, Research and Development Manager, Quickstep. “The META Carbon Fibre Hub will help Quickstep strengthen supplier and partner relationships to build capability within the composites value chain.”
To help meet these industry challenges, VCAMM and Deakin University – with Victorian and Federal Government support – have established Carbon Nexus, a globally unique carbon fibre research and development facility. Carbon Nexus offers an effective platform for reducing the energy consumption during the manufacturing process; work is underway to achieve significant savings on the line with further projects possible together with hub members. Based in Geelong, Victoria, Carbon Nexus will play a pivotal role in establishing Australia as a research leader in carbon fibre development, attracting major transportation, mining and other industrial companies to the region. The Carbon Fibre Hub will further develop this work by providing an opportunity for Australian businesses to adapt quickly to international needs and capitalise on significant export opportunities. The Carbon Fibre Hub will also explore how to diversify into non-traditional carbon fibre sectors with significant local potential such as mining and construction. “We are excited to join forces with META in the development of the Carbon Fibre Hub because it will afford META members, the knowledge and learning needed to improve their capabilities and global competitiveness in this new century of manufacturing,” said Brad Dunstan, CEO, VCAMM Limited.
Australian Synchrotron celebrates 20,000 research partnerships Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has congratulated the Australian Synchrotron for reaching the milestone of partnering with more than 20,000 researchers to support a wide variety of Australian industries. The facility, located in Clayton, in southeast Melbourne, is a source of highly intense light, ranging from infrared to hard x-rays, and is the largest stand-alone piece of scientific infrastructure in the southern hemisphere. Minister Macfarlane recently visited the science facility to receive a briefing from leading scientists on the current areas of research and the latest medical and industry partnerships, including in relation to the value of agricultural research to the Australian economy, as well as seeing first-hand some of the practical applications of their work. “Australia has a great track record of pioneering breakthrough technologies that make a real difference to people’s lives,
AMT JUNE 2014
and the Synchrotron is an important part of that,” said Macfarlane. “The Australian Synchrotron is playing an important role in domestic research that also has international applications and I congratulate its staff on the important contribution they are making to the country.”
The Synchrotron is one of the three campuses of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), alongside the OPAL research reactor and the Centre for Accelerator Science in southern Sydney, and a medical cyclotron in inner Sydney Camperdown.
Strong turnout for NMW 2014 The leading lights of Australian manufacturing were gathered in Sydney last month for National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2014. According to NMW organiser Reed Exhibitions, the event – held at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park from 13-16 May – opened on a solid note, with steady visitor numbers continuing throughout the week, with many pre-registering to attend. Many exhibitors reported good quality leads, with those in attendance including representatives from high-quality companies, including BAE Systems, Thales Australia and Resmed. In addition to the showcase of new and innovative technologies in the main exhibition, NMW 2014 saw industry experts focusing on strategies for industry growth. Through features such as the R&D Hub, NMW provided a full program of events that promoted cross-industry connections. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb provided the opening keynote address in the R&D Hub, urging the industry to make better use of the intellectual property (IP) being developed by research providers, citing examples that show that Australia can “innovate by instinct”. “NMW brings together such a range of innovative products and services – from amazing 3D printing to robotics technologies – under one roof,” said NMW Exhibition Director, Anthony Reed. “Add to that NMW 2014’s packed program of industry experts sharing ideas, achievements and strategies and the result is an event that that is making a difference to industry’s capacity to manufacture a vibrant future.”
Australian Made names new Chairman The Australian Made Campaign has announced the appointment of Glenn Cooper AM, Executive Chairman of South Australian icon Coopers Brewery, as its new Chairman. Allyn Beard, Marketing Director of Sydney-based mattress manufacturer AH Beard, was elected as Deputy Chairman, and Neil Summerson, who recently completed a five-year term as Chairman of the Bank of Queensland, was re-elected as treasurer. “Australian Made welcomes Mr Cooper to the position and we look forward to his leadership in directing this very important campaign to help businesses promote their genuine Aussie products both locally and internationally,” said Australian Made Campaign’s Chief Executive, Ian Harrison. Cooper has served on the Australian Made Campaign Board of Directors for seven years and has a wealth of experience in a range of positions, including as the former Chairman of the Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Convention and Tourism Authority, as well as a former member of the Australian Logistics Council. “I am very passionate about local manufacturing and look forward to working with my Board colleagues and the team at AMCL over the next few years to lift the profile of this important campaign even further,” said Cooper. “The famous Aussie Made logo is a very valuable tool for Australian consumers and businesses - our job is to spread that message.” The Australian Made Campaign is directed by a national board consisting of ten directors who in turn are elected by the Australian Business community from the Australian Chamber of Commerce Network and the National Farmers’ Federation. Cooper said that the Campaign owed an enormous debt of gratitude to outgoing Chairman David Gray for his four years as Chairman and even longer term as Deputy. “It is not easy being chair of a national board out of Perth, where travel alone takes up so much time, but David did this with boundless commitment and enthusiasm,” said Cooper. “He was a great Chairman and ambassador for the Australian Made logo and therefore all the products carrying it.”
3D printing expo set for Melbourne Melbourne will play host to the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo on 9-10 July.
The two-day seminar will bring together the brightest speakers in the industry and progressive exhibitions from the organisations that are helping move the 3D printing revolution forward. Keynoter speakers will include Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates and Milan Brandt of RMIT University. The event will also feature a Maker Summit & Pavilion, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the growing number of ways that 3D printing can be utilised. Whether you’re an additive manufacturing veteran or it’s still all entirely new to you, don’t miss the chance to stake your claim in the 3D printing business boom. For more information, visit www.inside3dprinting.com.
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Manufacturing The Australian Australia welcomes launches Innovation EEO repeal Challenge Manufacturing Australia (MA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to repeal the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program as part of its commitment to cutting unnecessary regulation.
The Australian has launched its 2014 Innovation Challenge, aimed at uncovering and fostering local and professional innovations created by Australians working in a variety of fields including universities, companies, or even backyard sheds.
MA Executive Director Ben Eade said the programme had passed its use-by date and was doing nothing to improve energy efficiency, despite costing manufacturers millions of dollars to administer.
Individuals or groups can enter either one of five professional categories or one of two support categories. The winner of each category wins $5000 toward further development, commercialisation or adoption of their innovation with an overall winner taking home an additional $25,000.
“With energy costs rising, Australia’s large manufacturers are already doing everything they can to improve energy efficiency and keep their bills down for commercial reasons.” said Eade. “EEO is not driving further energy efficiency. Instead, it is driving up red tape and compliance burden for manufacturers, with some companies paying up to half a million dollars in administrative costs.” Eade said he was encouraged by the Federal Government’s focus on relieving the red tape and regulatory burden on Australian industry, and urged the government to do more. “Rather than asking what should governments do to help manufacturers, often we should be asking what should governments stop doing in order to help Australian manufacturers,” he said. “Inefficient, costly and ineffective regulations stunt productivity and impede growth in our largest manufacturing companies. “Removing red tape costs like those associated with EEO allows companies to instead invest in hiring or up-skilling people, improving equipment or growing their business.” “It’s time to roll back the regulations that impede Australian manufacturers, and strengthen the regulations that help Australian manufacturers compete internationally.”
The categories for 2014 are: • Manufacturing, Construction and Infrastructure. • Environment, Agriculture and Food. • Community Services: Health, Education and Public Services. • Minerals and Energy. • Information Communications Technology (ICT). • Backyard innovation. • Young innovators (student category). “Innovation is all about how we maintain our prosperity as a country, and our community’s quality of life,” said competition judge and former CSIRO deputy chairman Dr Terry Cutler. “The moment we stop innovating, we start going backwards as a country. This Challenge invites our innovators to step forward and show what they can do for us. There is no one identikit model for an innovator: they come from our schools, our hospitals, our universities, our research agencies, our workplaces and, yes, even our garages and backyard sheds!” As well as the chance to win prize money to help their innovation to commercialisation or adoption, finalists will also be profiled in The Australian. Entries close on Monday 14 July. For more information or to enter, visit www.theaustralian.com.au/innovationchallenge.
Book now for Vic Hall of Fame dinner Places are still available for the 2014 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, in Melbourne on Monday 16 June. The Manufacturing Hall of Fame was established in 2001 and over the past 13 years, the awards have celebrated 131 innovative companies, added 26 recipients to the Honour Roll, and recognised 10 Young Manufacturers of the Year. The theme of the 2014 Manufacturing Hall of Fame is ‘Transformative Manufacturing’, which increases productivity and site capacity whilst significantly reducing process time and energy use. Industry leaders will be gather at this year’s Gala Dinner to recognise the awardwinning companies and individuals. The black tie event will provide those attending with the opportunity to network with industry peers, and host clients, staff and suppliers, as excellence in Victorian manufacturing is celebrated. Venue: Palladium at Crown Melbourne, Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Melbourne.
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Building a globally competitive economy Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry The Abbott Government is setting a new direction for industry policy focussed on new jobs, new investments and making Australian industry more competitive. The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. Building on our nation’s successes and providing the right framework to encourage the next wave of entrepreneurship and investment in the industries of the future is at the heart of the Government’s industry policy. The Government has committed more than $1.4bn to generate jobs and skill Australia’s workforce, assist small and medium-sized businesses to become more competitive and successfully expand into new markets. Our new policy direction will kick start the productivity and competitiveness of businesses, and provide structural and strategic support enabling businesses to back themselves and carve their place in a changing global market. Industry policy will no longer be an overlapping plethora of small grants and entitlements. This new approach is based on setting the right economic environment by reducing red tape, equipping businesses with key market information and the opportunity to expand or export, and reigniting the Australian spirit of entrepreneurship. The Government is investing $484.2m in a new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme and a Single Business Service to deliver it. The new programme will bring research and business together to develop and commercialise home-grown ideas and equip small to medium enterprises with the management and business skills to lead change and expansion.
A $476m investment in the Industry Skills Fund will put a new focus on delivering the skills being directly sought by employers, to bridge the gap between training and employment. The vocational training space will be greatly simplified, replacing the confusing and bureaucratic network of current arrangements. The fund will complement the Trade Support Loans scheme which will offer loans of up to $20,000 over the life of an apprenticeship. The Government is also committed to transitioning traditional manufacturing businesses to areas of growth, through the $50m Manufacturing Transition Grants Programme. This Budget initiative will commence on 1 July 2014 and will assist manufacturers to shift to higher value and growth markets. More than $161m is being invested in key science and research projects that will secure the ongoing operation of vital assets, like the OPAL research reactor and new CSIRO research vessel, as well as promoting the benefits of science across the community. This Budget also includes strategic investments of more than $125m in resources and energy to support these sectors that are vital to the national economy. This commitment includes a $100m incentive to encourage more mineral discoveries. The above funding is in addition to the $155m Growth Fund to help industry transition from car manufacturing to new jobs in sectors of the future. Our new industry approach builds on our strengths by improving productivity, rewarding entrepreneurship and giving companies the structural support to back themselves. The Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long-term challenges before us.
Another black day for auto workers Senator Kim Carr Shadow Minister For Higher Education, Research, Innovation And Industry This budget spells devastation for the 150 firms in the automotive components sector and for 200,000 automotive workers and their families. Proposed cuts to the Automotive Transformation Scheme, in addition to the $500m cuts announced as part of the Mid-Year Economic And Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), will relegate nearly a quarter of a million Australians, and their families, to the unemployment scrapheap. In the Budget papers, the Government states it will save $618.5m over eight years by terminating the Automotive Transformation Scheme from 1 January 2018. However, this is misleading, as total cuts to this program would total over $900m and includes cuts long before the scheduled closures of manufacturing operations for Ford, Holden and Toyota. Legislation securing the funding provided security to the industry for investment through to the end of the decade. Automotive companies had a right to expect that Government’s commitment, made in the Parliament through legislation, would be honoured. This includes nearly 150 component manufacturers in the supply chain and raises the question of sovereign risk.
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Instead, having goaded the Australian car manufacturers into shutting down their operations, the Government has now added insult to injury by cutting short or slashing programs designed to help create new jobs and assist companies in the automotive supply chain. The Government’s paltry $100m for the so-called Growth Fund, and an extra $50m for the Manufacturing Transition Grants Program, in no way offset the hundreds of millions slashed from auto assistance. On top of all this, the Government has slashed $1bn in skills and training programs, including the National Workforce Development Fund, the Workplace English Language and Literary Program and the Alternative Pathways Program. Adding insult to injury, the Government has slashed $4.1m in funding set aside for workers affected by the decision of Ford Australia to end local manufacturing operations in October 2016. Labor condemns the callous disregard of a government that is determined not only to destroy an industry, but to provide no viable alternative for workers who are losing their jobs. This is a social catastrophe of the Government’s own creation – a budget for wealthy people with complete disregard for ordinary Australians – and a continuation of the Abbott Government’s pattern of deceit.
$155m jobs fund to support automotive workers The Federal Government will establish a $155m Growth Fund to generate jobs for employees and supply-chain businesses in Victoria and South Australia affected by the closure of local automotive manufacturing operations. The Fund has been established to help industry adjust to the end of car manufacturing in Australia by 2017 with the departure of Ford, Holden and Toyota. In a statement, the Government said it is committed to doing what it can to ensure that employees move from one good job to a better job when they leave those companies. The Growth Fund is part of the Government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda. The Growth Fund includes: • A $30m Skills and Training Programme to assist automotive employees to have their skills recognised and provide training for new jobs while they are still employed. • A $15m boost to the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Programme to provide careers advice and assist automotive employees to secure new jobs. • A $20m Automotive Diversification Programme to assist automotive supply chain firms capable of diversifying to enter new markets. • A $60m Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme to accelerate private sector investment in highvalue non-automotive manufacturing sectors in Victoria and South Australia.
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• A $30m Regional Infrastructure Programme to support investment in non-manufacturing opportunities in affected regions. The Government also plans to make continued infrastructure investments in Victoria and South Australia aimed at improving roads in order to lift productivity, boost competiveness and drive economic growth. The Government has already committed to funding for the full East West Link project in Victoria, and the North-South Road corridor in Adelaide. The Government said it is moving quickly to deliver assistance for affected employees and businesses and putting in place a longterm national plan for change and growth. The National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, to be released later this year, will focus on initiatives to promote national competitiveness and productivity including: • Economy-wide measures to boost the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing and lower the costs of doing business, such as options to reduce the costs of energy and regulation on Australian businesses. • Options to encourage innovation, including employee share schemes, support for research and development, and commercialising good ideas. • Options to accelerate the development of productivityenhancing infrastructure.
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Germany: Automated assembly of aircraft wings
US: Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes
Even today, aircraft wings are still assembled manually; but this process could soon be automated thanks to a novel snake-like robot capable of tightening bolts in even the most difficult-to-access cavities of the wing structure. Conventional industrial robots are too inflexible to pass through narrow openings. Researchers are working on an automation solution based on articulated robot arms. The robot is equipped with articulated arms consisting of eight seriesconnected elements which allow them to be rotated or inclined within a very narrow radius in order to reach the furthest extremities of the wingbox cavities. A very small motor is integrated in each of the eight sections of the robot arm, which together are capable of generating a very high torque of up to 500 Newton-meters.
Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers have developed a design structure for composite materials that is more impact-resistant and tougher than the standard used in airplanes. The force created by the impact of the mantis shrimp’s club is more than 1000 times its own weight. Also, the acceleration of the club creates cavitation, meaning it shears the water, literally boiling it, forming cavitation bubbles that implode, yielding a secondary impact on the mantis shrimp’s prey. The helicoidal samples, in general, displayed a significant increase (15-20%) in residual strength after impact compared to the quasi-isotropic samples.
US: Regenerating plastic Researchers have developed materials that not only heal, but regenerate. Until now self-repairing materials could only bond tiny microscopic cracks. These materials fill in large cracks and holes by regrowing material. Such self-repair capabilities would be a boon not only for commercial goods (a mangled car bumper that repairs itself within minutes) – but also for parts and products that are difficult to replace or repair. Using specially formulated fibers that disintegrate, the researchers can create materials with networks of capillaries inspired by biological circulatory systems. Two adjoining, parallel capillaries are filled with regenerative chemicals that flow out when damage occurs. The two liquids mix to form a gel, which spans the gap caused by damage, filling in cracks and holes. Then the gel hardens into a strong polymer, restoring the plastic’s mechanical strength. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Australia: “Botox of plastic” to freeze power costs A new material that prevents plastic from ageing has been developed – offering large environmental and cost savings for the energy industry. When applied to plastic lining, this ‘botox for plastic’ can clean up exhaust gases from power plants much more effectively than existing methods. This cleanup accounts for 40% of the world’s energy use each year. Compact materials known as Metallic Organic Frameworks encompass the surface area of a football field in just one gram. The density of the MOFs acts like a shot of botox and freezes the larger holey structures in place for an entire year. This makes a lining with larger holes a viable option for industry, allowing them to complete separation processes at 50 times the speed. CSIRO
Germany: Ceramic screws – corrosion and heat resistant Most screws are made of steel, but high temperatures or acidic environments take their toll on this stable material. The alternative is ceramic screws. Researchers can now accurately predict their stress resistance. Ceramic screws can withstand temperatures over 1000degC, while their metallic counterparts soften at around 500degC. Until now, screw manufacturers did not know exactly what load they could support. By using a screw test rig and simulations, researchers have now been able to conduct these tests by optimising the manufacturing process so that such cracks no longer occur in any of the numerous process steps. The researchers have also used the test rig to test the stress resistance of ceramic screws manufactured in their own laboratories. Their load-bearing capacity exceeds that of their steel counterparts by between 30 and 35%. Fraunhofer
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University of California, Riverside
USA: Harder ceramic for armour windows Armour windows must provide protection yet possess a high degree of transparency. Scientists have developed a method to fabricate nanocrystalline spinel that is 50% harder than the current spinel armour materials used in military vehicles, demonstrating that the hardness of transparent ceramics can be increased simply by reducing the grain size to 28 nanometers. The team is the first to succeed in making this harder spinel through their development of the Enhanced High Pressure Sintering (EHPS) approach. The reduced density in other researchers work is caused by voids that cannot be removed during processing, which can reduce hardness, fracture resistance and transparency. By increasing the hardness of spinel even further, NRL researchers can make a material harder than sapphire and possibly replace sapphire windows with windows made out of nanocrystalline spinel. Beyond armor windows, there could be other potential uses (stronger office windows, smartphones and tablets screens, military/ civilian vehicles, space vehicles, extraterrestrial rovers etc.) Naval Research Laboratory
USA: Concrete that’s nearly maintenance-free A recently-developed cement composite developed by a civil engineering student has a high degree of durability, water resistance and malleability – plus such a high level of “crack control” that the researchers estimate it has a service life of 120 years or more. It is “superhydrophobic” – ie water just beads up and repels rather than pooling. Additives in the hybrid change the concrete on a molecular level when the pavement hardens, creating a spiky surface that, although microscopic, causes the water to bead and roll off. The Second advantage is malleability: Super-strong unwoven polyvinyl alcohol fibers are mixed into and bond with the concrete. When cracks begin, the fibers keep them from becoming larger tears. This hybrid concrete is called a Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC): University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Australia: Potential solar output accurately measured Researchers have developed an algorithm that can be used to simulate the hour-by-hour power output of both photovoltaic and concentrated solar thermal power systems for any location in the south-west corner of Australia. The model is simple enough to run inside a web-browser by the general public and could be tailored to other regions around the world. The algorithm was developed through a series of calculations using seasonal rainfall patterns and the three solar radiation components; leading to estimates of daily and hourly cloudiness across the region WA Science Network
TaeguTec adds Life+ grades Extending the life of inserts that perform under the stress of higher cutting conditions is of the utmost importance for TaeguTec. To further this goal, the tooling company has launched the Life+ grades for steel machining. The upgraded TT8115, TT8125 and TT8135 grades with new cuttingedge coating technology significantly outperform current grades, offering an ideal upgrade to TaeguTecâ€™s highly popular GoldRush line. The Life+ new grades have excellent wear resistance while remaining stable in high-feed and speed machining conditions, making them an ideal choice for professional and amateur machinists who aim to achieve excellent surface roughness while minimising build-up-edges. By emphasising productivity, the new coating guarantees longer tool life under higher cutting conditions than the alternatives currently available. The improved coating surface treatment technology prevents chipping even in interrupted cutting on a wide range of applications, and simplifies both the process of predicting a toolâ€™s life and automated machining. Specifically under alloy steel and high hardness material machining, where high temperature and pressure are a challenge, the special coating technology efficiently mitigates the impact to achieve higher productivity over conventional cutting tool grades. After extensive internal and field testing in real world machining conditions, the newly upgraded TT8115, TT8125 and TT8135 increased tool life by as much as 120% on a variety of machining conditions and types of alloy steel and high-hardness materials. The most impressive result from real-world tests happened during the strenuous conditions of interrupted cutting on an alloy steel automotive part, where the feed rate was 0.15mm/rev and a speed rate of 250 metres/min. In this test, the Life+ TT8125 graded tool life exceeded its competitors by 120%. In another test, the life of a tool treated with the Life+ TT8125 was increased by 100% while machining cast metal at speeds of 310m/ min and a feed rate of 0.3mm/rev. During the machining of a gear ring made from bearing steel, the internal turning procedure recorded a 66% increase in tool life, which equated to a 13% increase in productivity, while also using the Life+ TT8125 grade. By increasing the cutting speed to 160 metres/min while keeping the feed rate at 0.35mm/rev and a depth of cut of 1 mm, the Life+ TT8125 grade recorded an increase of 33% in tool life and a productivity increase of 22%. www.taegutec.com
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Romer Absolute Arm at Bombardier Transportation Bombardier Transportation constructs trams for municipalities all over the world, including Australia, to satisfy the increasing demand for public transport. It ensures each tram is constructed to the required standards using mobile 3D measuring systems, available in Australia through Hi-Tech Metrology. Trams have been made at Bombardier’s factory in Bautzen, Germany, since 1896. The issues to be addressed in the development and construction of modern trams stand in remarkable contrast to those in the pioneering times of public transport. Design, environmental compatibility and safety feature highly in every tender for new trams. Low-floor construction and quiet operation are only two of the qualities demanded of contemporary cars. Urban transport operators are interested in high reliability, minimum maintenance and low energy use. In the production of their trams, Bombardier places great emphasis on accuracy. However, the long operating life of a vehicle and hence its competitive edge depend on the quality of the individual parts and how they are put together. Peter Haase, who is responsible for inspection provision at the Bautzen works, has opted for a portable co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) solution for his 3D measurement tasks, in the form of the Romer Absolute Arm. With its 4-metre measurement volume, the Romer arm reaches every relevant point on the fixture. Incoming parts have to undergo a stringent examination, above all during first article inspection in preparation for the introduction of a new product series. “We define a number of measurement points, which we then compare with the design data,” says Haase. “If we find the part is outside the tolerances, we are in a position to intervene at the earliest possible stage in the manufacture of the part and eliminate the defect from the production process.” The Romer measuring arms at Bombardier, which have measurement ranges of 3.5m and 4m, make even large parts easy to inspect. A Romer Absolute Arm is also used to measure assembly fixtures at Bombardier. Without having to be moved from its position in the middle of the assembly fixture, the measuring arm can quickly provide precise information showing where the fixture has to be adjusted.
“When you are standing in the middle of the fixture, the absolute encoders on the Romer arm are superb, because you don’t have to reference them,” says Haase. Thanks to these encoders, the measurement technicians can dispense with the initialisation of every movement axis, a task that was always required with previous measuring arms. This saves time and effort. “In addition to the Romer Absolute Arm, we also use a Leica Absolute Tracker at our works,” says Haase. “The Tracker comes into its own mainly with very large fixtures. We value the mobility and reliability of both systems.” www.hitechmetrology.com.au
Alfex CNC launches Epilog Laser giveaway To celebrate being selected as the exclusive distributor of Epilog Laser products in Australia, Alfex CNC is launching a laser giveaway. The giveaway is only open to current Epilog Laser customers in Australia, and the grand prize is a 40-watt Epilog Mini 24 Laser system valued at $24,000. “What better way to help grow and expand our customers’ businesses than by supplying them with a brand new laser?” said Christian Buhagiar, Business Development Manager of Alfex CNC Australia. “We’re so excited to be the exclusive Epilog Laser representatives in Australia, so we thought this would be a fun and exciting way to introduce ourselves to customers and let them know we’re here to support them and their Epilog Laser systems.” Alfex CNC, the leading provider of CNC and laser equipment in Australia, was recently named
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the exclusive representative for Epilog Laser in the country. The company will continue providing top-quality Epilog Laser products and engraving consumables to both new and existing Epilog Laser customers. Under the competition rules, the contest is open to current Epilog Laser owners/operators in Australia only. Current Epilog Laser customers in Australia must register their equipment using the form at: bit.ly/1j4nwC8. Entry forms must be completed in its entirety by 31 December 2014, with the winner to be announced on 2 January, 2015. For more information or to register your laser system for the giveaway, contact Alfex CNC. www.alfexcnc.com.au
AquaTec 7000 – The philosophy of grinding Having the right peripheral products is as crucial as the choice of machine tool when it comes to grinding large workpieces. Where others quit, the art of grinding starts for Titus Traber. His company, Traber Precision Grinding, uses a Kehren Ri 8-4 grinding machine to grind workpieces with a diameter of 1,300mm and weighing 1.5 tons, to an accuracy of just a few microns. In 2009 Traber began looking for a new manufacturer of water-soluble products to improve the machine’s efficiency. The results were mixed, until Michael Heinkel from oelheld offered a new solution. oelheld AquaTec 7000 water-soluble grinding concentrate was added to the machine, and the trials throughout were very successful. “The fully synthetic AquaTec 7000 offers much longer service life than other water soluble products,” said Heinkel. “We are grinding almost all available material, like cast iron, steel, stainless steel, hardened materials and brass. Different processes are possible such as inside diameter, outside diameter, radius, curves and jig grinding. There is no machine downtime and nearly no cleaning is required.” Heinkel also confirmed that during a visit at the end of October the pH value remained very stable at almost at the same level as at the start of the trials six months earlier. “We have no problems at all, no smell and the service of oelheld GmbH is excellent,” says Titus Traber. “Therefore we will run our whole production with products of oelheld. This includes two centralised filtration systems with 5.000 and 7.500 litres.” “Innovative fluid management, stringent product development and quality assurance are the key to the success of our products,” says Dr Manfred Storr, managing director of oelheld. The company has integrated human technology in its company philosophy. With regards to the AquaTec product range, this means fewer emissions and no heavy metals. The AquaTec range offers long service life and has been successfully tested regarding skin irritation. Water-soluble metalworking fluids present a number of wellknown disadvantages, such as corrosion in the machines and on the work pieces, sticky residues in the machines, low tool life, and fungus and bacteria development. For Dr Storr and his research and development department, this had been the motivation to break new ground and develop new products that would make such problems a thing of the past. With the AquaTec product line, represented in Australia by Camco Cutting Tools International, they believe they have devised a solution to most of these problems, elevating processes and reducing ongoing costs at the same time.
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AMT JUNE 2014
DMG MORI – Turning concept to reality A company born out of a passion for auto culture, Hypertune has invested in DMG MORI’s mill turn technology as it seeks to keep ahead of the competition. Based in Ingleburn, NSW, Hypertune has grown from a small tuning business into a leader in the manufacture of performance parts for the global market, and now exports to over 20 countries worldwide, including Japan and the USA. With the company’s continuing expansion, Hypertune saw the need for a new machine to keep up with demand and to continue producing and improving their already high-quality products. The decision was taken to look into the option of a mill turn machine. “We were only utilising the company’s CNC lathe for a few hours per month and the vast majority of our work was completed using a vertical machining centre,” explains Hypertune Managing Director Mark Bissett. “The mill turn option came up as an alternative to our current process.” After examining the options available, Bissett turned to DMG MORI, investing in an NTX2000SZ/1500 multi-axis mill-turn centre. “It’s not really a lathe,” says Bissett. “The NTX machine, for us at least, is more of a five-axis machining centre with the added bonus that we can turn on the same machine.” With a wide selection of machining centres available for Hypertune to choose from, the fact that the NTX machine is used as a machining centre rather than a lathe means machine construction and rigidity was a major advantage and drawing point for Bissett. “The NTX’s design is very similar to a horizontal machining centre. The octagonal ram offers a true 250mm Y axis travel coupled to a universal B axis head offering +/- 120 degree travel means there is pretty much nothing we can’t do on this machine. It’s all about reduction of setups and increasing productivity without having to increase our market price.” Hypertune is constantly improving processes to maintain a competitive advantage both in the factory and on the track. “We design using Solid Edge and program the NTX with ESPRIT, the software package supplied by DMG MORI. The fact that the machine comes with a seat of ESPRIT and a certified post processor is a real advantage as I was able to program the machine prior to it arriving on the floor.”
Hypertune Managing Director Mark Bissett.
The Hypertune-equipped Tilton Interiors EVO on track with the Red Bull RB7 F1 car.
The NTX2000SZ/1500 features a Capto C6 tool spindle, a 76-tool ATC and a ten-station bottom turret for multi-processing. It is fitted with a ten-inch main spindle and an eight-inch second spindle, though it can be fitted with different workholding to suit many applications. “This type of flexible machine is the future for many manufacturers making high value, high accuracy components for local and export markets,” stated Paul McDermott, National Sales Manager for DMG MORI Australia. www.dmgmori.com
Mapal – Hydraulics-free machining Two different tool concepts are generally used in practice for the machining of camshaft and crankshaft bearing bores. One machining variant involves the use of fine boring tools, employing the Mapal principle with indexable blades and guide pads arranged around the circumference, with which the ribs of the bearing journals are machined in turn. Optimum coaxiality and diameter tolerances are guaranteed over two to three ribs. The second machining variant involves a line boring bar, which machines all the ribs simultaneously and is therefore comparatively quicker. With this variant, however, the workpiece first has to be lifted in the clamping device by means of a hydraulic system in order to allow the tool to enter the premachined bearing journal and carry out the machining. After machining, the workpiece then has to be lowered again. This variant has now been further developed by Mapal and raised to a new level of cost-effectiveness. Line boring bars with blade compensation significantly boost productivity. In order to make machining with line boring bars more cost-effective, the Mapal specialists have developed a line boring bar with retractable and compensatory blades, making a significant step forward towards the hydraulics-free machine. The lifting of the workpiece and the often hydraulically controlled periphery required for this can be eliminated with the new technology – and the very high demands on dimensional, position, form and surface tolerances can be met even more effectively.
AMT JUNE 2014
The line boring bar enters the bearing journal to be machined centrically, after which systems like Mapal ToolTronic or coolant pressure-controlled mechanical actuating tools control an internal drawbar, which positions the finely adjustable blades mounted in cartridges according to the requirements of the machining operation. The cartridges can be positioned around the circumference. It is thus possible to combine roughing and finishing and even additional chamfering operations in one line boring bar, thus significantly reducing machining times and costs. www.mapal.com.au
Epicor unveils latest ERP upgrade Epicor has unveiled the latest version of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, for the next generation of ERP users. Inspired by the needs of today’s tech-aware workforce, Epicor ERP version 10 is a blend of rich global functionality built on agile technology. It is designed to eliminate complexity to make ERP easier to use, more collaborative and more responsive than ever before, while supporting today’s business imperatives: social collaboration, deployment flexibility, accelerated performance and broad device accessibility. Epicor ERP version 10 introduces a number of new applications and technologies aimed at transforming the way companies operate. Based on the five principles of: collaboration, choice, responsiveness, simplicity and mobility, Epicor ERP version 10 is designed to help organisations work better internally and externally, leveraging knowledge and experience, and systems connected together throughout the supply chain.
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Streamlined for multiple devices and expanded deployment choices – on-premise, cloud or managed service – Epicor ERP version 10 delivers a consistent experience in a single solution. A new intuitive user interface is designed from the ground up to work with touchscreen devices. Customers are already live and running their businesses on Epicor ERP version 10 today. Netherlands-based Boers & Co FineMetalworking Group was the first customer to go live with the new software, implementing it from the shopfloor to finance. “With Epicor ERP version 10 we can see the advantages of the new user interface,” said Jos Greeve, ICT Manager at Boers. “It makes everything simpler and easier to use. Epicor ERP version 10 will change the way we work and the computers we use. The new menus allow employees to adapt the solution to the way they want to work.” Epicor ERP version 10 embodies the evolution to a fully socialised system of engagement, offering an extensive collaboration and personalisation environment through Epicor Social Enterprise. Consumer-grade search-anywhere capabilities enable users to do cross-company searches, drill down into live information, and call and return data from any application in context. Epicor Social Enterprise users can efficiently handle information overload through activity stream management, following application data or people alerts on an ad-hoc basis.
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At the foundation of Epicor ERP version 10 is the powerful nextgeneration Epicor ICE 3 Business Architecture, which drives increased performance, scalability, interoperability and ease of use, while reducing cost and complexity. Companies gain a technology platform that can support them as they conduct business – on any device, anytime, anywhere. It is designed to support growth and expansion into new markets, encouraging companies to connect with their customers, partners, employees and products in innovative new ways. “We received great support from Epicor and our partner Macroscoop during implementation,” adds Greeve. “It only took us an evening to go live – from 9.00pm to 10.00pm, we completed the conversions, installations - everything.” www.epicor.com
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AMT JUNE 2014
Rosebank – Focused on innovation and excellence Based in Melbourne’s outer suburb of Bayswater, Rosebank Engineering Australia exemplifies everything excellent in Australian engineering. Rosebank provides full system-level engineering-based MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services, as well as manufacturing high-precision components, for the defence and aerospace industry. Servicing such customers as the Australian Department of Defence, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Boeing Defence Australia, UTC Aerospace Systems and BAE Systems, the company operates under the most demanding quality assurance programs, with regular ongoing audits. With expertise in flight control, environmental control, undercarriage and fuel systems, Rosebank achieves high levels of component reliability and affordability through innovative engineering applications and high levels of expertise encompassing aeronautics, mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics, materials and processing. Machining capabilities include milling, turning, boring, gun-drilling, grinding, honing and shot and flap peening, performed to the highest quality standards on well maintained, modern machines operated by experienced machinists. Okuma Australia is assisting Rosebank in maintaining its competitive edge with up-to-the minute technology and after-sales service. The latest plant to be commissioned is the Okuma Millac 800VH, a highly sophisticated modern five-axis multi-plane machining centre, combining high speed with high rigidity, secured by a box-type bed and rectangular wide sliding surface. Large ball screws and rigid supports with pre-tension provide stability and accuracy, while multi-face machining capability allows for the machining of highly complex workpieces in a single set-up. Reducing the set-up time is a rotary two-pallet automatic pallet changer system as standard. The Millac 800VH features a pallet measuring 800mm by 800mm, with X-, Y- and Z- axes each measuring 1020mm. With an A-axis (head) range of -30 to +120 degrees and a C-axis (table) capable of 360 degrees, it is ideal for machining large components (up to 1000mm by 1000mm by 1000mm) to an accuracy of 0.001mm. Boasting a spindle speed of 10,000rpm with a tool magazine equipped to hold up to 80 tools, the Millac 800VH is suitable for all roughing and
finishing operations for complex shapes in both ferrous and nonferrous components. Additional functions include Okuma’s 3D OPS CNC System, an on-board automatic gauging system, a Collision Avoidance System (CAS), a pallet-changer for quick set-ups and a Renishaw probe system, This latest multi-faceted machine joins a number of other Okuma models on the floor at Rosebank, which features a broad range of machines for turning, gun-drilling, grinding, honing, shot- and flappeening and electroplating, along with equipment for non-destructive testing. Rosebank Engineering Australia has undoubtedly the technology, infrastructure and expertise, exceptional logistics and technical solutions to stand out as a remarkable Australian engineering company with Swiss precision. www.rosebank-eng.com.au www.okumaaustralia.com.au
New Edgecam release integrates Adveon tool library With the release of its latest version, Edgecam has become the first CAD/CAM software to integrate with the Adveon tool library from Sandvik Coromant. Adveon integration provides customers with a single source of data for multiple CNC systems. The library allows the rapid building of tooling databases and ensures automatic access to 3D CAD models for accurate simulation and visualisation. The engineer’s input is reduced, improving both consistency and quality of data.
assures the accuracy of the geometrical information. Customers can develop their own libraries, quickly build tool assemblies and see immediate results in 2D and 3D. The tool assemblies created are automatically transferred/exported to Edgecam readily available for programming of parts.
“Pressure to reduce time from design to production combined with the ever-increasing complexity of tools makes rapid access to accurate and current tool data more critical than ever,” says Klas Forsström, president of Sandvik Coromant. “Companies can no longer afford to rely on manual data entry and operators need a single tool library that can manage tools from multiple manufacturers. Adveon has been designed from the ‘ground up’ to address these challenges.”
Adveon will be distributed free of charge with Edgecam for 2014. Adveon can also be purchased as a standalone system from G-Zerofive until such time that the software is made readily available from other CAM suppliers.
By offering a standardised methodology for cutting tool suppliers to deliver digital tool data to customers, Adveon simplifies the speed of CAD/CAM programming. Support for the ISO 13399 cutting tool data standard allows selection of tools from any supplier and
AMT JUNE 2014
“Integration of the Adveon tool library into the market-leading Edgecam CAD/CAM system will help customers boost productivity and security, especially in three- to five-axis manufacturing operations,” says Andrew Scott, General Manager of G-Zerofive. “Adveon will be included in all new Edgecam licences and will provide a single tool library for multiple applications.” www.gzerofive.com www.sandvik.coromant.com/au
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Australian manufacturers of medical devices technology are exporting their products globally. These companies are at the cutting edge of innovation, and they’re calling on Government to do more to support a sector that could represent the future of manufacturing in this country. By Carole Goldsmith.
Admedus’ manufacturing facility in Malaga, north of Perth.
The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) published the 2013 fact book Medical Technology in Australia: Key Facts and Figures in 2013. The report analyses the Australian medical technology industry, which includes medical devices, diagnostics and medical imaging equipment. These therapeutic goods are all regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The fact book revealed that the Australian medical technology industry had a turnover of approximately $10bn in 2012, generated by over 500 companies who employed more than 19,000 people. The industry was responsible for 41,292 medical devices being listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in 2013. Globally the medical technology market was valued at US$325bn in 2011. AusBiotech represents 3000 members in the life sciences sphere, including therapeutics, food technology, agricultural, environmental and industrial sectors. Medical technology (devices and diagnostics) also make up a large proportion of AusBiotech’s members. “Among AusBiotech’s membership there are around 50 hightechnology medical devices manufacturers and hundreds more that produce simpler devices,” says AusBiotech’s Chief Operating Officer, Glenn Cross Cross highlights two AusBiotech members, Admedus and Universal Biosensors, who are innovators and global leaders in their field.
Admedus – Engineering implantable tissue Diversified healthcare group Admedus is expanding operations with its recent acquisition of an established manufacturing site in Malaga, northern Perth. With a fully operational infrastructure, this facility will
AMT JUNE 2014
Manufacturing CardioCel from Admedus’ ADAPT Technology.
CardioCel is a breakthrough treatment for cardiovascular defects.
support Admedus’ global marketing of CardioCel, a breakthrough new treatment for the repair and reconstruction of cardiovascular defects such as congenital heart disease. It will also generate an additional 12 production jobs for the company, bringing the total number of employees to 55, some of whom are based in EU and the USA. Currently Admedus is using the Ray and Bill Dobney Cell & Tissue Therapies WA (CTTWA) bio-therapeutic manufacturing facility at the Royal Perth Hospital to undertake small-scale production. The manufacturing of CardioCel is undertaken in clean rooms, with CTTWA licenced by the TGA to undertake core tissue and cell therapy work. “CardioCel is the first of a suite of implantable tissues that our scientists are developing from our patented ADAPT tissue engineering process,” says Admedus Chief Operating Officer, Dr Julian Chick. “Now on the market in the EU and USA for congenital heart disease and cardiovascular repair in adults and children, CardioCel to date has shown no calcification or other complications. Admedus received an $1.9m Commercialisation Australia grant in 2013 to assist with R&D during the development of CardioCel and the process of getting FDA approval. All patients from the Phase II study who have been followed up through the extension study continue to show no signs of calcification or no required follow up surgeries, after three to six years. The company anticipates continued data from the ongoing monitoring of these patients. “The first patient implanted in the Phase II study had a complex cardiac reconstruction using CardioCel when they were only three weeks old,” adds Dr Chick. “The patient who is now six years of age, has no detectable calcification (using electrocardiograph imagery) in the implant. The literature indicates that other products on the market typically show detectable macro-calcification – or calcium build-up on body tissues – within a six-to-12-month period of cardiac reconstruction.” Tissue engineering is the creation of an implantable tissue used to support or replace a diseased or injured body part. Admedus scientists have developed a technique that completely re-engineers xenograft tissue (a graft of tissue taken from a donor from one species and grafted into a recipient within another species). Harvested bovine tissue is initially used, and then during the manufacturing process, all bovine remnants are removed. The tissue is then stripped of all intracellular contents, which when exposed to the ADAPT process, produces a bio-prosthetic scaffold. The resulting bio-implant bears no resemblance to its origins and has none of its previous characteristics. Once implanted, tissue produced by the ADAPT process has no cytotoxicity and studies indicate it becomes repopulated with the patient’s own cells.
Each 4cm-by-4cm sized CardioCel tissue is produced and stored in a jar with sterilisation solution. During cardiac reconstructive surgery, the surgeon removes the tissue from the jar, cuts it to the required size and stiches it to the patient’s heart. “At full capacity we estimate that the new manufacturing site will produce over 100,000 units per year within five years,” says Dr Chick. “In Europe alone, there are approximately 100,000 cardiovascular surgical procedures in adults and children, in which our tissue patch could be successfully applied.” Admedus scientists are also working with Professor Ian Frazer – widely known for his work on the development of Gardasil, the first prophylactic cervical cancer vaccine – on the development of therapeutic vaccines that combat infectious diseases and cancers, such as the herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus. “These programs are currently in clinical development with a recently reported positive outcome from the Phase I clinical trial,” says Dr Chick.
Universal Biosensors – partnering with global leaders Medical diagnostics company Universal Biosensors (UBI) focuses on the research, development and manufacture of diagnostic test systems for point-of-care (POC) professional and home use. The UBI group, which is incorporated in both Australia and the USA, has been very successful in partnering with international health leaders in product R&D and global distribution. A biosensor is a device that collects data about a biological or physiological process or parameter such as blood glucose testing and blood coagulation. UBI’s first product, a blood glucose monitoring device, is being commercialised globally by LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company. A second range of products for the point-of-care coagulation testing market is in development with partner Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. Located in Rowville, east of Melbourne, UBI employs around 80 people. With an ISO-13485-accredited facility and quality system in place, the company’s state-of- the art manufacturing operation is able to produce a variety of biosensors on a large commercial scale. ISO-13485 is an international standard specifically for the design and manufacture of medical devices. UBI CEO Paul Wright describes the company’s manufacturing site: “Our facilities are unique, and we designed the biosensor technology and manufacturing process together. The biosensors have to be lowcost and reliable, as millions need to be produced and used every day. The optimal way to produce these sensors was to create a custombuilt and highly automated manufacturing process. Continued next page AMT JUNE 2014
Universal Biosensors CEO Paul Wright. Universal Biosensors’ manufacturing facility was purpose-built for production of its biosensor technology. Continued from previous page Universal Biosensors’ headquarters in Rowville.
“With an automated process generating high-value product, I consider it highly sustainable for us to manufacture in Australia.” The company established its first global strategic partnership, with LifeScan, soon after UBI was founded in 2001. The two companies worked together over a number of years to develop the blood glucose testing product. LifeScan’s One Touch Verio, which uses UBI’s innovative opposing electrode technology to measure blood glucose, is now sold across Europe, North America and Asia. “Upon receiving the first regulatory approval in 2009, J&J paid our company US$16m,” says Wright. “Since then, sales of the One Touch Verio have been growing strongly relative to the market, and every time one of these strips is sold, our company receives roughly one US cent. Considering that each year, around 17bn glucose tests are sold globally, this represents a good opportunity for UBI.” Wright explains how his company’s devices work: “A biosensor, which resembles a plastic strip, is inserted into a hand held meter. Then a tiny drop of blood is placed on the biosensor and slips between the electrodes. The meter applies a voltage to the blood sample and looks at the signal that comes back. It then converts the signal to a number, which is the blood glucose level. A person with diabetes knows how to interpret and respond to these results and can manage their own glucose level”. Following on from its successful blood glucose testing, UBI has adapted its electrochemical biosensors to measure Prothrombin Time (PT/INR), a test used to monitor the effect of the blood-thinning anticoagulant warfarin. In 2012, UBI signed a long term supply and manufacturing agreement with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to exclusively
manufacture three test strips for the point-of-care coagulation market. The first product to be launched, a PT/INR test, is expected to be on the market by the end of 2014. Siemens will register, market and sell the three point-of-care coagulation tests globally. According to UBI, the POC coagulation monitoring market is estimated to be around US$1bn globally. UBI has also signed a non-exclusive licence agreement with Australian company SpeeDx for access to its proprietary MNAzyme, a selective method of detecting sequences of human DNA or RNA, the genetic material of an organism. Wright explains that the vision for this project is to create technology for rapid, low-cost molecular testing. “The aim is that these tests would be simple to use, cost-effective and only take minutes, rather than the hours typically required for molecular tests today. The POC diagnostics market is valued at more than US$15bn worldwide and is expected to grow at around 10% annually. “UBI anticipates continued growth in this area due to an ageing population and increasing chronic disease, as well as the need for more timely diagnosis and medical intervention to reduce overall healthcare costs.”
Supporting a sector
LifeScan’s One Touch Verio uses Universal Biosensors’ opposing electrode technology to measure blood glucose.
AMT JUNE 2014
The Biotechnology Industry Position 2013 Survey, conducted by AusBiotech with global consultancy Grant Thornton, revealed that AusIndustry’s R&D Tax Incentive reform has been well received by the biotechnology and medical devices industry. However, respondents were concerned that tax incentives phase out as the product is developed or as the intellectual property (IP) reaches commercialisation. They want the R&D tax incentive extended to manufacturing. Several countries now offer manufacturing tax incentives, including Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.
“We have had an excellent R&D Tax Incentive,” says Cross. “The medical devices manufacturers have been lobbying the federal government to bring in an innovative tax incentive to keep manufacturing in Australia. This incentive was an election promise by the Coalition government, but as yet, it has not been implemented.” Both MTTA and AusBiotech have representatives on a TGA committee aimed at getting more medical devices listed on the ARTG. The TGA’s guidelines for the industry require independent third-party assessment bodies to verify that medical technology manufacturers have correctly applied and documented appropriate conformity assessment procedures for their devices. If this has been done correctly, then the assessor will issue the required certification, after which the manufacturer can apply for listing with the TGA. “The major issue with the third-party assessment is that we need more third-party organisations to provide faster assessment for medical devices registration,” says Cross. Cross adds that early-stage funding is also an issue. Many medical devices companies spend a large part of their time pursuing government and private sector funding. Meawhile, AusBiotech welcomed Austrade’s three-year funding program, starting last year, to develop ongoing relationships with Chinese medical devices companies. However, the organisation has expressed concern for a round of cuts for biotechnology in the 2014 Federal Budget, including measures to reduce the R&D Tax Incentive and abolish the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) and Commercialisation Australia (CA). The Budget included the intention to save $620m over four years by reducing the rate of the R&D Tax Incentive by 1.5 percentage points. Consistent with the Government’s commitment to cut the company tax rate from 1 July 2015, the relative value of the Incentive will be preserved by reducing the rates of the refundable and non-refundable offsets by 1.5 percentage points, effective from 1 July 2014.
AusBiotech Chief Operating Officer Glenn Cross.
In its 2014-15 Federal Budget Brief (page 15), Deloitte advises that: “Although this matches the proposed cut in the company income tax rate to 28.5% from 1 July 2015, the R&D Tax Incentive cut will occur one year earlier from 1 July 2014, when the refundable R&D tax offset will be set at 43.5% and the non-refundable tax offset set at 38.5%.” The sweetener in the Budget was a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), projected to reach $20bn by 2020. AusBiotech welcomed the MRFF in principle as a great investment for Australia’s future. However, the measure is to be funded by various other health savings. AusBiotech reports that support for research is only helpful if the translational pipeline to commercialisation is ‘open’. Australia has had lacklustre performance in its ability to translate its world-class research into products of benefit to the community, a point that AusBiotech has been advocating for some time. Given the support for commercialisation that has been removed in this Budget, has that translational pipeline just got narrower? www.ausbiotech.org www.mtaa.org.au www.tga.gov.au www.admedus.com/au www.universalbiosensors.com
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AMT JUNE 2014
Additive manufacturing and medical devices – A natural fit Additive manufacturing capabilities align well with the needs of the medical device segment, enhancing product customisation and enabling efficient, cost-effective production and delivery. By Glenn H Snyder, Mark J Cotteleer & Ben Kotek. The medical technology (medtech) industry has been a leader in the use of additive manufacturing (AM), also known as ‘3D printing’. In 2012, medical applications accounted for 16.4% of the total systemrelated revenue for the AM market worldwide. A key reason for this is that AM capabilities align well with the needs of medtech’s medical device segment. For example, the medical device segment serves a broad, geographically distributed population of service providers that in turn serves an even larger end market of healthcare consumers. Many medical devices, such as hearing aids, dental crowns, and surgical implants, are relatively small in size and therefore suitable for the production envelope sizes available through common AM systems. Furthermore, these products are value-dense – that is, they combine relatively high value with relatively small physical volume – and the high level of customisation available with AM makes this technology well suited for custom-fitting products to individual patients, an important factor in clinical efficacy. The medtech industry is also relatively well funded, which gives it the resources to invest in new technologies. Given the strong alignment of AM capabilities with the medical device segment’s needs, and the medtech industry’s ability to support investment in new technologies, it is perhaps no surprise that AM has made substantial inroads with healthcare practitioners and service providers.
Limitations and opportunities AM offers medical device companies many opportunities to improve performance, drive innovation, and pursue growth. However, certain factors may slow the adoption of AM in this sector.
• Increased regulation – Over the past five years, the regulatory environment surrounding AM products has evolved. Controversial applications of AM – such as 3D-printed guns – have increased regulatory scrutiny of AM-created products. Within the medical device segment, the regulatory process to approve new device classes and new manufacturing processes is lengthy. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other global governing bodies may take 7-10 years to approve a new product and allow it to go to market.
AMT JUNE 2014
Dental models created using a ProJet 3D printer.
3D-printed hearing aid shells, manufactured by Danish company Widex.
• Structural strength – The structural strength of materials used in AM also presents an area of ongoing development. Because the AM production process typically occurs “layer by layer,” end products are known to have good strength on the X and Y planes but are feared to lack equivalent strength on the Z plane. While the layer-by-layer process has proven strong enough for many applications, concern remains that products created with AM could be less structurally sound than those produced with traditional manufacturing.
As AM continues to proliferate, there will be a greater need for structured, comprehensive training and skills development.
Looking forward AM is anticipated to have a significant impact on the medtech industry – in particular, the medical device sector. Adoption of AM is likely to increase as more firms come to appreciate its potential benefits across their supply chains and products. The decision of which tactical path to follow in adopting AM depends largely on a company’s value drivers and strategic goals.
• Speed and size – Currently, it can take hours to produce even relatively small objects using AM. Although the printing process can be shortened by adjusting product thickness and size, this may decrease the end product’s surface and finish quality. While a few days to print a prototype is an improvement over traditional manufacturing methods, the AM process may need to be accelerated before local practitioners see fit to adopt it.
Industry participants should closely monitor the evolution of business models based on the deployment of AM technologies. The possibility of rapid change in key markets— as has occurred with devices such as hearing aids and dental crowns—is real. Additionally, medical device firms should begin to develop a long-term strategy surrounding AM. Although not all companies will want to make substantial strategic investments at this time, leaders should consider devoting attention to where the industry and the individual segments they serve are moving. In some cases, a “wait and see” strategy may be appropriate.
• Talent shortage – The rise of AM will drive a greater need for training and development of skill sets specific to AM operation. Skills will be required in: computer-aided design (CAD); building, operating, and maintaining AM machines; raw material development; and supply chain and project management. Because AM is a relatively new technology, most of the training around AM operation is currently offered on the job instead of in formal training sessions.
This article is based on an extract from ‘3D opportunity in medical technology’, a report by Deloitte University Press. Copyright © 2013 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. www.dupress.com bit.ly/1m0T3s0
As the advantages AM can offer over traditional supply chain and production methods become more evident, companies in the medical device sector will likely become more open to the use of AM. The constant need to innovate and grow will give medical device companies the impetus to continue to explore and adopt AM technologies.
3D-printed first to treat sleep apnoea A new 3D-printed device is set to end the suffering for thousands of sleep apnoea patients.
The 3D printed device has a ‘duckbill’ that extends from the mouth like a whistle.
Sleep apnoea occurs when the air passage in the throat becomes blocked during sleep and causes people to stoping breathing. In severe cases, people can suffer hundreds of events per night. An estimated one million Australians suffer from the disorder, which can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks and diabetes. This number is expected to increase due to growing obesity levels and an aging population. The existing treatments for sleep apnoea include devices that push the lower jaw forward to open up the airway. In more severe cases, patients wear a face mask, which creates a continuous flow of air can be used. Using a 3D scanner to map a patient’s mouth, CSIRO researchers and Australian dental company Oventus can now print a mouthpiece that prevents dangerous pauses in breath during sleep. Printed from titanium and coated with a medical grade plastic, the breakthrough mouthpiece is customised for each patient. The device has a ‘duckbill’, which extends from the mouth like a whistle and divides into two separate airways. It allows air to flow through to the back of the throat, avoiding obstructions from the nose, the back of the mouth and tongue. CSIRO’s 3D printing expert, John Barnes, said the technology is opening new doors for treatments of a range of medical issues globally. “When Oventus came to CSIRO with this idea, we were really excited. The possibilities of 3D printing are endless and the fact that we can now design and print a completely customised mouthpiece for patients is revolutionary,” said Barnes. “It’s
an exciting prospect for people suffering from the debilitating disorder and the design offers significant benefits which cannot be achieved with more traditional manufacturing techniques.” According to Oventus CEO Neil Anderson, the key to the new 3D treatment lies in the design. “This new device is tailored to an individual’s mouth using a 3D scan and is used only on the top teeth which make it more compact and far more comfortable,” Anderson said. “The new 3D printed mouthpiece bypasses all obstructions by having airways that deliver air to the back of the throat, and it will also stop patients from snoring.” The device is expected to be available to patients next year. CSIRO’s additive manufacturing facility, Lab 22, is currently being used to manufacture a range of prototype products including biomedical implants, automotive, aerospace and defence parts for Australian industry. www.csiro.au www.oventus.com.au
Printed from titanium and coated with a medical grade plastic, the mouthpiece is customised for each patient. AMT JUNE 2014
Deep-hole drills guarantee quality Stainless steel threaded sleeves are key components of the bone cement syringes that are used for hip replacement implants. To optimise the manufacture of these sleeves, Möller Medical opted for deep-hole drills from Walter. Drilling the sleeves led to better results than when bright-drawn tubes were used. Nowadays, hip replacement implantations are routine procedures in the operating theatre. However, with patients becoming older and older, surgeons are increasingly having to deal with already weakened bone structures – many patients suffer from osteoporosis. Nonetheless, a robust bone substance is required to ensure that the implants can be firmly held in place. The medical profession has long known about the method of using bone cement to stabilise weakened bone substance in osteoporosis patients. If the implants are not sufficiently stable, there is the option to stabilise the bones using a special cement comparable with Plexiglas (PMMA). Without this technique, it would not be possible to insert joint implants for patients and for them to regain their mobility. The bone cement is applied to the inside of the previously inserted implant using a special syringe, via a cannula. In the operating theatre, the procedure can be monitored and controlled using live X-ray images. The cement is injected with millimetre precision, and this process requires exact and adjustable equipment. German medical technology company Möller Medical specialises in producing these cannulae to order. Based in Fulda, Möller was founded in 1949. Today it employs about 200 staff with an annual turnover of approximately €20m. The company attributes its success to a dual strategy of operating as both a brand business and an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The OEM side of the business produces items such as liquid-handling systems, hardware for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), peristalic pumps, special cannulae and dental components. The brand business operates mainly in the areas of blood transfusion, neurosurgery/spinal surgery and aesthetics.
Accuracy is essential An essential feature of the bone cement syringes is the ability to precisely adjust them so that the correct volume of cement can reach the intended site. For this, the surgeon varies the length of the cannula, which can be read on the scale of a threaded sleeve with a double-action thread. This sleeve is therefore one of the most important components of the syringe. Austenitic stainless steel 1.4301 (X5CrNi18-10) is used as the material. This is a material which, thanks to its resistance against organic and inorganic acids, is frequently used for surgical instruments. The outer diameter of the sleeve is 7.8mm, while the inner diameter, through which the cannula will eventually be guided, is 5.1 mm. Möller manufactured the first threaded sleeves from pipe material. However, pipes are rarely delivered exactly straight, and imprecise dimensions and shapes must always be taken into account. The company’s turning shop processes source material that is three metres long for bar feeders. At this length, even slight bends result in significant ‘knocking’. The machine operators are left with no alternative but to reduce the speed. Moreover, that’s not the only problem. “We had to use a reaming tool to extensively rework the inner diameter in order to offset curves,” explains Jürgen Legutke, Machining Team Leader at Möller. “The surface requirements for the inside of the threaded sleeve are not very high; it is glued to the cannula but a straight hole is absolutely necessary. All in all, this resulted in extremely long
Threaded sleeves for bone cement syringes
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Möller drills the threaded sleeves on a Spinner TTC 300 twin turretturning centre.
part production times and, consequently, high manufacturing costs for us.” Moreover, the delivery time for the stainless steel tubes with the required dimensions could be up to eight months. This meant either additional expenses for unplanned inventory or, in some cases, bottlenecks in the delivery of the finished products. This was an unacceptable situation. “We therefore decided to use deep-hole drills to manufacture the sleeves,” continues Legutke. “Solid material is available at short notice and is also more cost-effective.”
Precise deep-hole drilling The length of the pre-finished sleeves is 88.5mm. The blanks that are to be drilled are approximately 107.5mm in length to ensure that they can be securely clamped for the thread cutting using a collet. “Drilling the sleeve is currently the deepest drilling process for us,” adds Legutke. When searching for an appropriate tool, Möller opted for the X-treme D12 solid carbide drill from Walter’s Titex brand. Walter supplies these drills in less common diameter sizes, such as the required diameter of 5.1mm. “This was important for us,” says Legutke. “We wanted to never have to rely on special tools.” The machining takes place on a Spinner TTC 300 twin turret-turning centre. This machine, which is equipped with a main and counter spindle along with two turrets, allows the sleeves to be machined from both sides so that the holes meet in the middle. The precision that is required for this process is not a problem for these tools, because a pilot drill with a larger point angle is used first. The pilot hole ensures that the spot drilling is carried out at one specific point, which is a prerequisite for the precise plunging of the deep-hole drill.
Left to right: Wolfgang Taube of Walter with Jürgen Legutke and Christian Kleinsteuber of Möller Medical.
A Walter Xtreme D12 drill drilling a threaded sleeve.
“We recommend pilot drilling for drilling depths from 12xD and highprecision requirements,” explains Wolfgang Taube, from Technical Advice and Sales at Walter. “As a result of this procedure, the drills have optimal initial guidance. An optimised point geometry and four lands further ensure that the tools do not pass each other.”
says Kleinsteuber. “Furthermore, it lubricates many exposed moving parts of the machine and has a longer service life because it does not have the problem of germ formation.”
The technology used in the spot drilling impressed the team at Möller immediately, who quickly agreed to a test drilling. The process worked straight-away. The drilling process to a depth of 12xD lasted only 16 seconds without pecking, while the counter-drilling from the other side lasted another 15 seconds.
The hole formed by the drill is exactly concentric, so after the drilling and threading, a mill can be used to level off the sleeves on both sides along their entire length, as required. This results in a width across flats of 6mm. The remaining wall thickness of the sleeves is then just 0.45mm. “If the drills were to pass each other, we would be able to see this through deformations on this surface; but there simply are no deformations,” confirms Kleinsteuber.
To ensure that the internally cooled tools remain at the optimum operating temperature and to rinse the swarf safely from the hole, the user worked together with the machine manufacturer to install a highpressure system for cutting oil. Möller uses cutting oil for lubrication and cooling in many processes. Christian Kleinsteuber, Shift Manager for Programmers, is responsible for machines and processes.
As a precautionary measure, the machine operator replaces the drill after 500 components, before any noticeable signs of wear appear. As a result, in batch sizes of approximately 2000 pieces and an annual quantity of 6000, only very few tool changes are required. The user then passes used drills on to Walter’s Reconditioning Service for refurbishment of the tools.
“With stainless steel, cutting oil creates better surfaces than emulsion,”
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www.objective3d.com.au AMT JUNE 2014
3D printing – Saving time, money, and lives Additive manufacturing saves more than just time and money – it is also helping to save lives, as the medical industry embraces the diverse benefits of 3D printing. 3D printing technologies and materials are helping surgeons to practise surgeries beforehand, allowing guides to be instantly printed to correctly align medical implants, and in conjunction with 3D scanning of actual patients delivering more accurate prosthetics. It is being used to produce interesting, interactive medical teaching aids, and in a plethora of research and development applications.
Hemosep – slashing costs Developed by BrightWake in the UK, the Hemosep is a new blood transfusion machine that is changing the way surgeons operate. Instead of giving someone donated blood (often in short supply), it actually collects and cleans the patient’s own blood to be reused, right there during surgery. The Hemosep includes many parts, and prototyping them on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D printer allowed the design team at Brightwake to quickly make iterative changes (instead of waiting weeks for replacements) and adapt the machine to the stressful environment of the operating room. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) was used to printed prototype Hemosep parts in sturdy ABS plastic for testing before the final product was produced in metal. “The production of medical devices demands extremely accurate parts, capable of enduring the stress of functional and safety tests,” said Steve Cotton, Brightwake’s Director of Research and Development. “Previously we had to outsource the production of these parts which took around three weeks per part. Now we’re 3D printing superiorstrength parts overnight, cutting our prototyping costs by 96% and saving more than $1800 for each 3D printed model.” While still undergoing clinical testing, the Hemosep is already proving invaluable. Heart patient Julie Penoyer, a Jehovah’s Witness, had requested not to receive donated blood products. By capturing her blood to putting it back, this device was the perfect solution for her.
Realistic modelling Creating realistic models as surgical guides for planning complex medical procedures is one of the most life-changing applications of 3D printing. One of the greatest proponents of 3D-printed biomedical models is the Centre for Biomedical Technology Integration (CBMTI), affiliated with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Models created on their Objet500 Connex and Objet Eden350 inhouse PolyJet 3D printers begin as 2D data from CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging, which is then 3D printed to convey precise biological information that aids the surgeons attending each individual patient. Models are created for teaching in three dimensions, as well as for creating guides during surgery to ensure correct placements of items such as stents. “Creating custom medical implants used to be an extensive and painstaking process,” explains Yuwaraj Kumar Balakrishnan, Operations Manager of CBMTI. “To closely mimic human organs, the process can sometimes take up to a few weeks, which proved to be a slow and costly method. Stratasys 3D printers are the ideal platform for innovation. We have gone from moulding titanium plates for cranial implants to being able to create biomodels with pathology from actual patient imaging data.”
ScriptPro – early adopter ScriptPro, a manufacturer of automated pill-dispensing systems for pharmacies, was an early adopter of direct digital manufacturing (DDM), employing the process long before it became a more widespread technique. ScriptPro uses a Fortus 3D Production System to manufacture selected parts for the pill-dispensing systems. Automating the vial-filling process allows pharmacists to spend more time counselling patients, reducing prescription wait times
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A 3D-printed saline probe.
A 3D-printed probe used to determine the depth of wounds.
and improving customer satisfaction for the pharmacy. The system communicates with the pharmacy computer to fill, label, and deliver up to 150 prescriptions per hour. One of the challenges in designing and manufacturing the robotic dispenser was the large variety of bottle sizes available to pharmacies. Although most pharmacies use just a few sizes for the majority of their pills, they may select from several manufacturers’ products, which means that ScriptPro’s machines must support a variety of vial types and be customised for each pharmacy. The Fortus production system employs FDM to produce each bezel, which is manufactured to precise tolerances to accept only one vial size. “Once we were through with the prototyping stage, we immediately began to use the Fortus system for DDM of the bezel,” says Bill Thomas, Vice-President – Manufacturing for ScriptPro. “Not only were the tolerances in line, but there was little to no required postproduction work, like sanding or painting. We produce the vial bezels, wash them, and install them on the machines.” Although ScriptPro had limitations due to the cabinet size, the bezel was easily designed to fit the space available. It was also designed to be extra-rugged, to prevent a person from forcing the wrong size vial into the bezel. So far, 56 vial types are supported by ScriptPro. “Since we don’t know which bezel will be needed for which machine until it is ordered, using FDM for DDM has saved us the cost of producing stock, and it can produce parts within a day or two,” says Thomas. Although the per-part cost is higher with DDM, the elimination of machining and tooling results in significant overall savings. Based on ScriptPro’s median annual machine production volume, it estimates that bezel production would cost $5100 more with DDM, but the elimination of tooling would save approximately $30,000, for a net savings of $24,900. Moreover, the company can easily adapt to other vial manufacturers’ products within a minimum amount of time. “We had a savings of about $30,000 on engineering time and tooling for the bezel alone,” says Thomas. “Add in the other parts, and the machine paid for itself within months of our purchase.” www.o3dprinting.com.au
Every manufacturer would like to improve profitability. Yet failing to expose mental health as a workplace issue costs Australian business about $10.9 billion a year. So, one of the easiest ways to lift productivity is by improving the mental wellbeing of your staff. It’s just smart business. Go to headsup.org.au to learn how to create a mentally healthy workplace. PwC 2014, ‘A mentally healthy workplace: Return on Investment Analysis’
Medical devices and collaboration The field of medical devices is regularly cited as an area of great potential for Australian manufacturers following the demise of car-making in this country. However, success in the sector often requires collaboration, both among companies, and between companies and research bodies. How can that interaction be facilitated? By William Poole. Situated on the grounds of the former Mitsubishi car-plant in southern Adelaide, Tonsley, is a 61-hectare site currently being redeveloped into an industry, education and residential precinct. The South Australian Government’s plan is for Tonsley to become a centre for innovation and collaboration, supporting business cluster development and initiatives, and boosting knowledge transfer between industry and research bodies. Although building work is still ongoing, Tonsley is already open for business, with collaboration initiatives beginning to take shape. Recently, the new TAFE SA campus at Tonsley provided the venue for a panel discussion on medical devices, organised by Brand South Australia. The panel comprised three people who have already been closely involved in collaborative efforts in this area: Professor Karen Reynolds, Director of the Medical Device Research Institute, Flinders University; Grant Tinney, CEO of Precise Advanced Manufacturing Group; and Warren Ortmann, CEO of Signostics. Let’s start with an overview of what each of you are working on at the moment. Karen Reynolds: Well, I’m a professor of biomedical engineering at Flinders University. I head up a group of people with a keen interest in applying technology to medicine and health. We do what traditional academic people do – we do a lot of research, get traditional grant funding, and develop new techniques and technologies and new medical devices. I’ve been very keen over the last few years to make sure that’s not being done in isolation from the real world. So we’ve been pushing hard to improve relationships with the real stakeholders: first of all industry - which can take these devices and actually get them into use; and secondly the clinical community, who can tell us what the problems are and come up with ideas, but also test and evaluate them. We put a program together about five years ago called the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), which tries to facilitate those relationships and kickstart projects as collaborations between those groups. It’s proved quite successfully that there is willingness on all sides to engage, and by doing that, we can put medical device development through much more successfully. Grant Tinney: Over the last 10 years we’ve been focused on reducing our exposure to automotive. We were 90% automotive-focused from 1971 to 2004. The main reason to get away was automotive’s general
Professor Karen Reynolds, Director of the Medical Device Research Institute, Flinders University.
decline, not just locally but in terms of opportunities internationally. That was our focus from 2004 to 2009. We started off as a mouldand-die manufacturer and transitioned to advanced manufacturing, including automation and precision machining. From 2010 onwards we looked at transitioning the business again, towards assisting people to commercialise their intellectual property (IP). The last couple of years have been focussed on commercialising our own IP as well. We’ve got our own medical IP that we’re working on, in three different areas. We’ve also got a couple of naval projects, some defence IP, and we’ve got two projects in the mining sector. Warren Ortmann: Signostics started in 2005, and it basically manufactures and distributes handheld ultrasound devices. Our device is basically a visual display and a probe, and I’d say it’s revolutionary. There’s only one other company out there in the same space as us, and that’s GE. We’re an Adelaide-based company, we’ve raised about $26m, $22m from private investors and the other $4m from Commercialisation Australia grants, which has helped the company get to the position we’re in now. We’ve been selling this product since February last year, and we’ve signed a contract with Konica Minolta to distribute OEM products under the Konica Minolta brand through Japan, China, India and the USA, and in the future Canada, Mexico and Brazil. The company is getting to the point where we’re looking for the next evolution in medical devices. We know Karen and her team well, and therefore Tonsley is an opportunity for us. Why is medical devices being highlighted as an area of opportunity after the decline of automotive manufacturing? GT: I’ll be honest and say medical devices is not the sole focus of our business; at this moment it’s got 25% of group revenues, across five different business groups. But it’s certainly featuring highly in our future growth plans, we see tremendous opportunity for growth in that area. That’s why we formed a public company as a joint venture with Ellex last year. We’d collaborated previously, they were a customer of ours, we then formalised that agreement as a 50-50 business to promote and develop commercial IP in the medical space. We see it as very important going forward.
Warren Ortmann, CEO of Signostics.
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One of Adelaide’s strengths is we’ve got a lot of high-quality universities, and also companies that are growing in that space, like Signostics. We’ve also got a lot of people who will be moving away from the automotive industry in the next couple of years. Those people have very strong project management, analytical and business
Medical not to get all those linkages co-located, but to build a headquarters for a cluster here. We’ve got research, we’ve got industry, with that we’ll get innovation. All the elements are here. How do you operate successfully in this sector when costs here are so high? WO: At the moment, cost is irrelevant for me. We have a new product on the market, and with a new device like ours, the economics work – I can tell you that even if my product costs halved, I probably wouldn’t change my price. At the same time, we’re getting that product made in Australia. If you look at Australian manufacturing, we need to concentrate on high value-add, low volume – I think that’s the key. GT: From our company’s point of view, going forward it’s all about innovation, and trying to pick products that aren’t “me-too”. We try to avoid developing our own IP in any area that isn’t best-in-class or hasn’t got an innovative component that makes it so important for a client to have, whether it’s a medical product, or otherwise. Signostics manufactures a revolutionary new range of handheld ultrasound devices.
management skills that will flow on to other sectors – medical devices will be one of them. We’re currently recruiting people in that space. We have a lot of automotive-trained staff across different business sectors now. It’s just a natural fit that medical devices will grow. KR: The medical device industry is growing rapidly. I guess the drivers are things like an ageing population, increasing expectations of a better quality of life, and the Asian market, and Australia’s well placed to go into Asia. And South Australia is well set; we’ve got all the ingredients. We’ve got the research capacity here, we’ve got lots of small companies operating in the space, we’ve got fantastic health and medical research. This is where Tonsley offers an opportunity, maybe
KR: That’s one of the advantages of the medical device industry: it is highly innovative, niche products, but it’s generally not constrained hugely by price. If you have a much cheaper pacemaker, doctors won’t necessarily buy one. I think the fact that they are high-value-add, short-run, niche products, that’s where the medical device industry counters that problem. How important is clustering in building on opportunities? KR: The problem with the medical device space is that the vast majority of the companies are very small. They can’t achieve what they want to achieve in isolation, without really big battles. But if we can get them clustering together, they can grow in scale and scope by sharing things like manufacturing facilities and distribution channels and all those things. My group at Flinders are moving down to Tonsley at the end of the year, so it’s absolutely imperative for me that we make Tonsley work as a hub and a thriving community in the health technology and medical devices space. Contiued next page
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Grant Tinney, CEO of Precise Advanced Manufacturing Group.
Ellex Precise is a joint venture established to promote and develop commercial IP in the medical space.
Contiued from previous page
I have this vision of medical device companies and researchers working side by side, so it’s not just about having laboratory facilities. The social interaction is equally valid: to be able to have a cup of coffee and really enforce those relationships. The definition of a cluster is a group of likeminded companies in a similar physical location, but it has to be so much more. It’s not just that you’re co-located, it’s the fact you’re actually working together. Getting that interaction is the first challenge for us at Tonsley, but it’s already happening. As Warren says, we work closely together, we work closely with Grant. There’s a lot of activity happening. To actually formalise that and have a location where we can all bump into each other is a fantastic opportunity. WO: Certainly from Signostics’ point of view, it’s about having a relationship with researchers. Where industry and researchers connect you’re able to guide commercial outcomes sooner. So having that interaction is going to be an important element to us. This cluster in Tonsley is about formalising informal activity. It’s not going to start by just throwing people together. You’re only going to get out of Tonsley what you put in. GT: I’ve been involved in many networks and clusters over the years. I toured the country back in the 1990s helping other companies learn to cluster and network under the Government’s Business Networks Program. We had vertical networks as well as horizontal clusters of similar types of companies, and both have worked. All the clusters we’ve been involved with to date have had finite lifetimes for a particular project or a set of opportunities. We’re very keen to be part of what’s going at Tonsley. We’re already doing business with Karen and with Warren, and Tonsley is just going to accelerate that. We’re now trying to commercialise medical IP, and we see a tremendous advantage in bringing together a lot of creativity, a lot of people with similar interests and goals, and collectively working on projects and maximising capability and capacity. Is clustering becoming more natural for this sector? Is it difficult getting small companies to share information and work together? GT: I think people see the success. My experience with the companies I’ve been involved with since the 1990s is that people will come together to develop an opportunity or commercialise a product or get into a market – in our case we’ve used it to get into two export markets. Other people see that it’s working and it’s successful, and see that then as an opportunity to help them with their business. Success breeds success. KR: I think the ones who do recognise the benefits of engaging with other groups – whether it’s a university or another company – are the ones who’ve had the most success. The ones who are a little bit insular and don’t want to engage and don’t talk, they may still have success but it’s a hell of a lot harder and the risks are a lot bigger. The other thing about this particular space is it is very broad and the products
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tend to be quite niche, so it’s easy to find other companies who aren’t direct competitors. You may have a product that’s similar or you may be aiming at the same end-user – gastroenterology for example – so you can share information about gastroenterology without necessarily competing with anybody on your own product. You have all these opportunities to share and collaborate without necessarily directly competing. WO: Certainly, being a small company, we have to build a company based on collaboration. We don’t have the critical mass. We don’t have the capability to finance big prototyping equipment, whereas universities can. We have to collaborate in order to grow, it’s as simple as that. What are the difficulties in successfully creating clusters? GT: Having been involved in vertical as well as horizontal clusters, the hardest ones are horizontal, where you’re coming together with similar companies. We were involved in a cluster that involved people that competed consistently in the local market. What made it successful, and it ran for about seven years, was the fact that we brought together companies to compete successfully in the US. We put together enough critical mass as five companies to employ a Business Development Manager based States-side to go out and pursue opportunities for us as a collective group. But it was very difficult, I’ll make no bones about it. There was a lot of arguments to start with, stealing employees and poaching and that sort of stuff. Much easier was a vertical network, where we, a tooling company, teamed together with an electronics company, a product design company and a graphic design company to pursue opportunities in Malaysia. We ended up setting up an office in Kuala Lumpur, and that represented roughly 40% of our group’s turnover for roughly four years. It was very successful for us and the other partners. But it was much easier because there was no competitive tension locally. KR: The one thing that Australia seems to get slammed about is the ability to take the IP and the invention that’s going on and actually get it out into reality. There is a big issue between universities and industry working together. We’re driven by different motivations and rewards and everything else. But there’s a lot of knowledge and IP in there – the problem is how to get it out. That’s why a few years ago I took a step back. I’d been inventing things in my laboratory, and they were just sitting in a cupboard, and I thought there’s got to be a better way. I put together the MDPP to really try to get those collaborations happening earlier. The one thing it’s proven to me is that people are willing to engage from both sides – industry is willing to work with the universities, and universities are willing to engage with industry. We’ve put a model together that has proved it works. But I have to say it’s relatively unusual, and that’s where we really need to push it forward. www.tonsley.com www.brandsouthaustralia.com.au www.flinders.edu.au/mdri www.mdpp.org.au www.precise-amg.com.au www.signostics.com.au
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One on one
Following a career ranging across journalism, industry and public service, Innes Willox has for the last two years been the Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group). AMT: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to your current role. Innes Willox: I began my working career as a journalist, where I worked for The Age newspaper, including as Chief of Staff before moving to Canberra as the Chief Political Correspondent in the Canberra Parliamentary Press Gallery. After leaving the newsroom I held a number of private sector roles including Manager of Global Public Affairs for Singapore Airlines based in Singapore. From 2004 to 2006 I was the Chief of Staff to
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the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. Following this role, I served as the Australian Consul General to Los Angeles from 2006 to 2008, representing wide-ranging Australian interests on the west coast of the United States, including in the areas of trade, finance, culture, biotechnology, environment and energy sectors. I joined Ai Group in 2008 as Director, International and Government Relations, where I played a key role in all the policy and advocacy areas for business. I became Chief Executive in May 2012.
AMT: What are the Ai Group’s current objectives, and how do measure your success? IW: Above all, we aim to provide valuable services to our members, with a major focus on workplace relations, workforce training and other areas of business improvement. I am immensely proud of the skills and the dedication of our staff and the work they do for our members. We measure our member satisfaction and we keep our fingers on the pulse of our members by getting out on the road and meeting with them and listening to their needs. We constantly strive to improve what we do and the way we do it. We also put a lot of effort into policy research and advocacy on behalf of our members. Earlier this year we presented the Federal Government with a Ten Point Plan setting out the key policy steps that are required to lift our economic growth and resilience. As we’ve been saying for some time, rebalancing the economy is needed as the mining investment boom wanes. This means a renewed focus on new drivers of growth to ensure the economy is positioned to manage our heightened exposures to commodity prices, global capital markets and increased concentration of our export markets. This includes efforts to: get federal and state budgets back on a secure footing by the end of the decade; lift investment in infrastructure; remove blockages to flexibility in workplace relations; and get energy markets, renewables policy and emissions reduction policies right to reduce business costs now and over the longer term. We are already making some good progress on a number of these fronts. Following ongoing calls from business for greater workplace flexibility, the Government is undertaking a review of certain aspects of the Fair Work Act. We would, however, like to see action on these changes before the next federal election. Infrastructure has been getting more focus by the Federal Government – including the second Sydney airport announcement – and at a state level including the transport announcements recently unveiled in the Victorian Budget. Improving our energy markets, especially gas, is a big priority for business. Many of our members are struggling to get access to longterm and affordable gas contracts. We absolutely need to develop more unconventional gas to avert the risk of a disastrous mismatch between lagging supply and surging LNG-driven demand. Recent research by AGL confirms both that the whole East Coast market is tight and that the East Coast faces acute supply shortages unless urgent action is taken. Production is an essential part of the answer. But even if every proposed well goes ahead, prices will still rise steeply. We also need strong pro-competitive reform to ensure more gas benefits consumers – a true gas market is still a work in progress, and more transparency and competition is needed. And there should be a thorough national interest assessment to ensure supply adequacy before any future LNG export proposal is approved. AMT: What might an ordinary day in your job entail? IW: My days can vary a great deal. I would generally have several meetings with our executive staff and senior managers and I try to touch base with the rest of our team too. Both when I am in my home town of Melbourne and when I am traveling around the around the country, I will meet with members, listen to their concerns and their advice. I will generally have a meeting or two with politicians and other policy makers about the big issues affecting business and the economy and work on strategies to improve productivity and lift competitiveness. Amongst all of this, there are generally a few media interviews and the more-than-occasional speech to deliver. AMT: What do you regard as Australian manufacturing’s greatest strengths? IW: While the Australian Industry Group has a broad membership across a wide range of industries, I am passionate about Australian manufacturing. There is no question that manufacturing has been under enormous pressures. But when I think about the extraordinary array of forces that have been at work over the past decade, I am full of admiration for the resilience and resourcefulness of our manufacturers. Think of the domestic impacts of China’s rise to rival the US as an
industrial super-power; think of the strength of the Australian dollar; think of the extent of our energy price rises; and think of how our record on relative unit labour costs have been among the worst in the developed world. In the face of all of this, our manufacturers still employ over 900,000 people; they export and invest in research and development and they make up the fourth largest sector of the Australian economy. Our very best manufacturers are truly world-class. Think of Amcor, Resmed, Cochlear and RØDE Microphones for instance – and there are plenty more. The strengths are varied but thinking and acting globally; innovating; collaborating; and getting your staff involved in the dream seem to be common features of our most successful manufacturers. AMT: What do you see as the biggest challenges for the sector? IW: It’s no secret that manufacturing is going through a period of transition. It’s a much-needed transition which has become more urgent with the wind-down of the automotive sector. The end of auto will have a significant impact on the sector with the challenge to both support those companies in the auto supply chain and also in the reskilling of those displaced by change. Manufacturing in Australia is not dying and it certainly isn’t dead. There are thousands of success stories around the country. Ontera Modular Carpets is a Sydney-based manufacturer and they’re doing brilliantly. They have been around for about 25 years and have over 100 employees. Their core business is making carpet tiles for commercial markets such as offices, aged care facilities, and educational institutions. Due to their innovative processes, they have just about halved the amount of water and energy they require to manufacture their carpet tiles and they recycle over 50% of what they produce. Of course, Ontera is not an isolated example. Governments have important roles in boosting innovation by domestic manufacturers. They can remove some of the barriers that make it so difficult for businesses to partner with the smarts in our universities and in CSIRO. Governments can encourage businesses to broaden their horizons – for example, while it is still only small-scale, the Enterprise Connect program does a great job helping businesses develop new strategies for success. Assisting business develop the skills of their workforces should also be a government priority. AMT: And what are the real opportunities out there for manufacturers in Australia? IW: Being smart and innovating is the key for manufacturers to grow and proposer. And this starts with the leaders of the business but extends to the whole team. There are plenty of opportunities: we have a wealthy domestic market; we have a very rapidly growing market in the countries to our north and north-west; we have excellent engineering capabilities and we have very strong science and research capabilities. Bringing these together – much more than we currently do - and tapping into different markets and developing trade options is where the future growth opportunities lie. That is why programs like the Export Development Grants Scheme (EMDG) and the work of Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) have been so critical for many small and medium-sized manufacturers to make the leap into international markets or explore production offshore. I don’t want to single out particular sectors but there are clearly very strong opportunities in food and beverages; in mining equipment; transport equipment; scientific and medical devices; pharmaceuticals; other health products and cosmetics for instance. AMT: Where do you see the future of manufacturing in this country? IW: There are thousands of manufacturing companies working away developing new designs, new products, new production processes and looking for new markets and new ways to access them. Very often this means discovering a niche area, getting to know the market and using that knowledge to inform and refine the product development. It may be an over-used word, but they are innovative. They know that Australia cannot compete on costs but that we must rely on our www.aigroup.com.au smarts.
AMT JUNE 2014
Tooling developments enhance machining of orthopaedic components Medical components manufacturers face quality standards sometimes greater than for aerospace or nuclear parts, while under pressure to maximise productivity and minimise costs. Tooling manufacturers are helping them meet these demands, with milling tools custom-engineered for machining complex orthopaedic replacement components. By Teun van Asten MSc., Engineer Marketing Services Solid Milling, Seco Tools. Demand for replacement and reconstructive parts for the human body is growing rapidly, with sales exceeding US$25.2bn worldwide. More than 50% of that total consists of knee and hip components, with five major medical OEMs taking almost 90% of the business.
Seco’s Jabro Premier Finisher.
Two trends are driving the growth in orthopaedic implants. First, the world’s population is staying alive longer. The fastest growing age group, at about 3.5% a year, is those 65 years and above. Coincidentally, the average age for knee surgery is 65. The other trend is the growing number of persons who are overweight or obese. Approximately 1.57bn of the world’s 7.2bn people are overweight, and 0.53bn are classed as clinically obese . Excess weight increases the likelihood of osteoarthritis, a major reason for joint replacement.
UHMWPE is relatively soft and therefore generates low cutting forces, but surface roughness requirements of 0.1µm Ra demand that bearing inserts be machined with sharp, top-quality finishing tools. Under its Jabro brand, Seco developed the Premier Finish solid end mill to meet the specific requirements of a leading global medical OEM. Machine this part takes six steps.
Typically, a total knee replacement consists of three subcomponents: the femoral component; the tibial tray; and the tibial or bearing insert, which fits between and cushions the other parts. The bearing insert usually is produced from UHMWPE (ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene), whereas the femoral component and tibial tray are in most cases produced from cobalt chrome (Co-Cr) alloy or in some cases a titanium alloy. These alloys are strong, hard, biocompatible materials with high stiffness and abrasiveness when machined.
Overcoming condyle contour machining difficulties
Machining knee replacement components Machining femoral components entails both grinding and milling. The challenge is achieving a burr-free profile with superior surface finish while minimising the need for manual polishing, and at the same time maximising productivity and tool life. For these tough operations, Seco has developed specially designed tapered ball nose cutters and modified Jabro JHP770 high-performance cutters, with differential flute spacing to minimise vibration. Among the machining methods employed are corner plunging, periphery machining, box roughing and finishing, cam finishing and box blend machining. The femoral component has rounded contours that mimic the condyle bone formation at the end of the femur. The shape has traditionally been produced via grinding, but that operation can generate high temperatures that may distort the part. Seco has developed tools and performed tests to replace the grinding process with milling. A large medical OEM performed trials
AMT JUNE 2014
achieve a superior finish on the base where the tibial insert is seated, a new Seco multiflute cutter with special wiper geometry was applied during base finishing. The tool has produced Ra values of below 0.1µm. During wall finish and chamfer operations, Seco implemented a combined wall finish/chamfer cutter. The combination of finish and chamfer tools provides a controlled way of mechanical edge profiling (MEP) and prevents secondary burrs, while eliminating manual rework and reducing tool costs.
with the tools, finishing a cast Co-Cr femoral component with a copy milling strategy that employed a special solid carbide Jabro ball end mill. The result was cycle time reductions of up to 11 minutes per part, 50% less time than the grinding method. Tool life exceeded 12 hours, enabling one cutter to machine more than 80 parts. Excellent control of radial depth of cut on a five-axis milling machine contributed to the extended tool life. In four-axis applications without such control, tool life reached 6-8 hours. The change from grinding to milling also eliminated the possibility of scrap parts due to distortion. Machining the Co-Cr tibial tray also presents challenges in terms of surface finish and productivity. In addition, the part has rightangle locking details that must be produced burr-free. Machining the part can take up to seven separate machining operations. To
The condyle shape of both the femoral component and the bearing insert can be difficult to machine. Previous to the development of the Premier Finish endmills, condyle surfaces were machined using polished HSS form cutters or conventional solid carbide tools. Both methods have several disadvantages. Form tools often create visible cusps, especially when the machine tool control is not quick enough to generate a smooth cutting path. Moreover, the zero rake angle and low helix angle of the HSS cutters make it harder to achieve appropriate surface results. However, conventional carbide tools allow only product forms with a radius, and not all radii can be generated due to design limits of the cutter body. When the tooling’s shortcomings made the required surface roughness unachievable, additional less-reliable operations such as manual polishing or soda blasting were necessary. Those operations were unpredictable in terms of time, costs and quality. To overcome these problems, the Jabro Premier Finisher design is based on concave and convex sections either tangent or connected with a straight line. Compared to mould-and-die tools, the profile tolerances of the tools are quite generous. However, the manufacturing of these cutters requires special care regarding cutting-edge geometry and the overlap between concave and convex shapes, areas where the contour
Cutting Tools Parts of a replacement knee.
Imperfections in the workpiece material can result in tool wear.
starts or ends with a small contour radii, and considerations regarding the tools’ largest diameter. Manufacturing must be controlled to avoid sudden changes in the pressure of the toolgrinding wheel or generation of excessive heat, which may produce areas on the cutting edge that are not sharp enough for the required operation, resulting in a shearing instead of a cutting action. Clean cutting is essential in producing fine finishes in the UHMWPE workpiece.
Seco has refined the manufacturing grinding operations for Premier Finish tools and eliminated problem areas to produce a constant rake over the whole cutting length with a cutting edge radius of around 5µm. Premier Finish tools can be applied at 100200 metres/min, dependent on the quality of the CNC control. Generally, with better systems, higher feed rates are possible. The feed per flute per revolution is normally between 0.004-0.006 of the cutter diameter: for example, 0.02-0.10mm/flute for a 20mmdiameter cutter. To productively and profitably fulfil the burgeoning demand for high-precision orthopaedic components and other medical parts, manufacturers of the parts must take
advantage of every opportunity to enhance their production technology. A key contributor is tooling technology, such as that provided by Seco, for medical component milling operations. Sophisticated tools, of course, command a higher price than the basic tools of the past. For example, Premier Finish tools are eight times as expensive as the ball nose cutters formerly used to machine UHMWPE. However, given the features of the cutters and their capabilities in regard to quality, productivity and consistency, as well as the fact that they can reduce cost per part by up to five times, investment in the right cutters is a truly worthwhile strategy. www.secotools.com
WEAPON OF CHOICE Sutton Tools’ Blue Bullet drills leave the competition for dead by drilling more holes, more precisely and more easily into tough ferrous materials such as stainless steel, high tensile and alloy steels. The Magnetite (Fe3O4) iron oxide surface finish helps to hold the cutting oil, which prevents chip build-up and provides extraordinary resistance to friction and heat. The result is superior precision, a longer drilling life and less downtime, every time. Drilling into ferrous materials? Make Sutton Tools’ Blue Bullet your weapon of choice. Contact Sutton Tools 1800 335 350 email@example.com
AMT JUNE 2014
Widia – Taking efficiency to the extreme For milling, drilling, or tapping, Widia’s Vari family of tools deliver high performance and real economy. Extreme challenges are daily fare for job shops. To address the unique needs of job shop customers and the distributors who serve them, the VariMill, VariDrill, and VariTap are specifically engineered to be versatile, easy to choose, easy to use, and deliver superior results in a wide range of applications and materials.
to-medium job shops and maintenance areas. Widia VariDrill also offers the broadest portfolio of standard drill configurations available on the market. The VariDrill portfolio features 3xD, 5xD non-coolant, and 3xD, 5xD and 8xD coolant-through lengths in a diameter range from 1.0mm to 20.0mm.
The VariMill, VariDrill, and VariTap are desgined to conform to Widia’s theme of “Extreme Challenges, Extreme Results”. These tools are specifically engineered to address the needs of the end-user, providing a versatile tool that is capable of attacking a varying range of applications and work materials with high-performance results.
Custom performance, standard product line Following the success of Widia’s VariMill I and VariMill II end mills, the new VariMill II ER offers the superior performance of its predecessors, providing the ability to rough and finish with one tool in slotting, ramping, and plunging operations. VariMill II ER solid carbide end mills are engineered with eccentric relief (ER) for greater edge strength, higher feeds, and higher metal removal rates.
“The job-shop mentality is tackling multiple small-lot assignments under tight deadlines,” says Dr Tilo Krieg, Director – Holemaking and Solid Endmilling Products at Widia. “Their expertise and reputations depend on performance, often having to exceed past results while leaving enough margin to make money. They know they have to have tools that work.”
Features include a unique design with unequally spaced flutes, a proprietary core shape and end geometry, and a coating that enables extremely heavy cuts and exceptional tool life while virtually eliminating tool chatter. VariMill II ER is especially effective in roughing and semi-finishing applications in titanium, stainless steels, high-temp alloys, nickel- and carbon-based alloys, and is the first off-the-shelf tool to offer Safe-Lock by Haimer, which greatly reduces pull-out risk. Due to its success as a popular and effective custom solution, Widia now is making the VariMill II ER end mill available as an option in its standard product portfolio, available in diameters from 10.00m to 25.0mm.
While Widia’s VariMill, VariDrill, and VariTap deliver convenience and results for the customer, the concept behind the Vari portfolio was conceived with the Widia distributor in mind. When armed with the Vari family of tools, Widia distributors can meet a variety of unique customer needs and applications with one drilling, milling, and tapping product line. The portfolio is designed to cover every diameter, length/ diameter ratio, and coolant option that the end user might need. Therefore, a limited amount of Vari tooling stock can address a wide variety of customer needs. By reducing the need for custom or specific drills, mills or taps, Widia distributors are able to streamline their on-hand inventory without sacrificing their ability to respond quickly to a customer’s unique tooling needs. Simply put, Vari tools from Widia are designed to offer a complete package of high-performance tooling solutions that can get the job done: use VariDrill to drill the hole, VariMill to complete the surface finish of the workpiece, and VariTap to finish the job. From its advanced point geometry, designed to reduce chipping on the cutting edge, to its “marginless” design, resulting in noticeably less friction, the Widia VariDrill is a new multi-application drill engineered
Field tests confirm that the Widia VariTap delivers the best of both worlds: superior tapping performance in multiple work materials without sacrificing part quality or tool life. Drawing on more than 140 years of application experience, Widia has a VariTap for all tapping conditions.
to provide extended tool life across a wide range of materials, including steels, stainless steels, cast irons, non-ferrous materials, and high-temperature alloys. Its unique design positions the VariDrill as the perfect solution for multipurpose drilling operations in small-
VariTap’s design engineering includes a proprietary spiral point geometry that lowers tapping torque, extending tool life while efficiently driving chips forward in through holes. Optimised spiral flute geometry aids chip evacuation, reducing bird-nesting in blind holes. VariTap also can be used with all styles of tap holders including: tension/ compression holders, rigid holders, and synchronous tap holders. www.widia.com
“The job-shop mentality is tackling multiple small-lot assignments under tight deadlines. Their expertise and reputations depend on performance, often having to exceed past results while leaving enough margin to make money. They know they have to have tools that work.” 52 |
AMT JUNE 2014
We’re excited about our new square shoulder mill. Providing a true 90 degree wall, Square T4-08 has the ideal balance of high performance and cost effectiveness. You’ll discover that the new cutter design gets rid of more metal, faster, for most cast iron and steel applications.
YOUR NEWEST SQUARE SHOULDER MILLING SOLUTION
Meeting the needs of the mould and die industry Comprising two tool ranges—for machining pre-heat-treated and post-heat-treated metals— Sutton Tools’ Harmony DUO endMills are ideal for the mould and die industry. Harmony DUO endmills are purpose-designed to optimise the machining of tool-grade steels and alloys. They are specifically designed to improve machining performance in the mould and die sector, but their features also make them ideal for a range of applications across the automotive industry. To meet the precise requirements of a mould, several different types of milling operation are typically required, including roughing, cavity milling, pocket milling, profiling, ramping, slotting and finishing. Few endmills are designed to accomplish all of these processes, but Harmony DUO provides the solution, with clever tool design and a simplified choice of two tool ranges. The DUO name relates to the two ranges in the Harmony DUO line-up as well as its duel-stepped core. The two ranges are: Harmony DUO NH, for machining pre-heat treated metals up to a hardness of 48 HRc; and Harmony DUO VH for machining post-heat treated metals up to a hardness rating of 63 HRc. While many manufacturers may only typically require an endmill to machine metals in the softer state, the inclusion of a range for hardened steels and alloys means that most of the industry’s mould and die milling requirements can be met through the Harmony DUO family. The dual-stepped core design encompasses rigid construction of the thickened core section to deliver enhanced tool stability and minimised vibration during the machining process, while the deeper flute profile towards the front of the endmill provides excellent chip-evacuation properties. These features optimise performance to maximise both tool life and cutting accuracy.
Customised coatings While the base material for all Harmony DUO endmills utilise an ultra-fine grade of micro-grain carbide – which offers the best wear resistance for high-performance milling applications – the coating technology and geometry differs between the tools designed to work softer grades and those designed to machine heat-treated metals. In spite of using an advanced micro-grain carbide base material, heat build-up during machining operations can result in damage to the tool unless a suitably advanced coating is applied to act as a thermal barrier between the workpiece material and the drill substrate.
Sutton Tools employs a multi-layer Balzers Oerlikon Alcrona coating of AlCrN – designed to enhance the characteristics of carbide tools – for endmills in the Harmony DUO NH range (which are suitable for machining steels up to 48 HRc). The outstanding oxidation resistance and hot hardness that this coating delivers contributes to the stability at the severely loaded cutting edges, while improving the toughness of the multi-layer structure to significantly reduce the possibility of cracking. For Harmony DUO VH endmills (designed for hardened steels up to 63 HRc), Sutton Tools uses a Balzers Oerlikon Aldura coating, comprising bi-layered AlCrN and TiAlN. Aldura combines the excellent adhesion, thermal barrier and strength properties of TiAlN, with the superior hot hardness, oxidation resistance and thermal barrier properties of an AlCrN-based nano-crystalline top coating. This top coating dramatically limits the possibility of oxidisation in the TiAlN coating layer, thereby increasing the maximum service temperature that the combined coating can withstand compared with that of a standalone TiAlN coating.
Premium performance Both variants of the tool feature a 50-degree helix, which provides an ideal geometry – along with the deeper flute profile – for chip evacuation. However, the shape of the cutting edge itself is different, with a positive rake utilised for materials up to 48 HRc, and a negative rake for hardened materials up to 63 HRc to optimise cutting performance across the different grades. Extensive testing indicates that the unequal 50-degree helix reduces the harmonic build-up in the workpiece to deliver a smooth operation with suppressed ‘chatter’ across a broad spectrum of milling operations. The design of the outer-corner end-teeth geometry contributes a crucial element to the Harmony DUO Endmill’s performance, incorporating 45-degree corner-chamfering edge-protection as well as the gash grind of the end-teeth blending to the outer corner. This really provides additional strength to the endmill and helps to ensure that the cutting edges are not prone to cracking, especially during semi-roughing and roughing-type milling applications. The post-grind treatment of the edges comprises polishing before and after the application of the coating. This has been fine-tuned to deliver the best results for a broad spectrum of milling operations with the range of tool-steel and alloy materials for which these tools have been designed. As part of the rigorous development process, Sutton Tools has conducted a series of exacting internal benchmarking tests to compare the performance of its Harmony DUO endmill against a leading rival brand under identical operating conditions. The results of these tests indicate that Harmony DUO delivers comparable or better performance than the competition. Furthermore, with measurably less vibration exhibited, longer tool life can be expected.
Harmony DUO is available in diameters from 6mm to 16mm in 2mm step sizes, plus a 20mm size. Each series is available in a choice of corner radius or square end, with a recessed neck for extra reach.
AMT JUNE 2014
A multi-layer Alcrona coating of AlCrN optimises the machining of softer steels, while an Aldura coating, comprising bi-layered AlCrN and TiAlN provides superior hot-hardness and oxidation resistance for milling hardened tool-grade steels and alloys.
Extensive testing indicates that the unequal 50-degree helix reduces the harmonic build up in the workpiece, to deliver a smooth operation with suppressed â€˜chatterâ€™ across a broad spectrum of milling operations.
Where many competing products require a different tool for each type of operation, the Harmony DUO endmill has been designed to achieve multiple operations from the one tool. This design functionality reduces the downtime associated with moving the workpiece from one machine to another, and also considerably reduces the cost to the end user in terms of investing in various types of endmills.
For both the series designed for softer steels and the series designed for hardened steels, Harmony DUO is available in a choice of corner radius or square end, in diameters from 6mm to 16mm in 2mm step sizes, plus a 20mm size. Furthermore, all endmills in the family feature a recessed neck for extra reach. The minimised vibration experienced by the Harmony DUO endmill not only leads to longer tool life, but it also corresponds to faster feed rates. Productivity is further enhanced by the inherent ability of the Harmony DUO endmill to be used for a number of different milling operations, including roughing, cavity milling, pocket milling, profiling, ramping, slotting and finishing.
Sutton Tools has worked extensively with industry to ensure its Harmony DUO endmill design meets the specific needs of the mould and die industry â€“ features that also make it ideal for automotive applications. Harmony DUO endmills offer performance that exceeds the industryleading endmills designed for these industries, while end users can also enjoy a significantly improved performance/price ratio. www.sutton.com.au
AMT JUNE 2014
Forming & Fabrication
Automating structural steel fabrication Advanced Robotic Technology (ART) has released the Metaltek XB1200 – a ten-axis structural steel fabrication cutting system designed with the aim of slashing production times, material-handling and manual labour. By Barbara Schulz. As budgets continue to get tighter, customers of structural steel fabrication shops are getting more cost-conscious, and it is unlikely they will pay more for work. As a result, shops are looking for ways to reduce costs by leveraging the latest technology and Lean manufacturing concepts to gain an advantage. Reduced labour costs and less material-handling through automation, combined with increased output, will take fabrication shops’ productivity to higher levels. ART created the Metaltek XB series specifically to meet these conditions. “We developed the Metaltek XB series to answer the need for fully automated structural steel processing in one machine,” explains David White, Director of ART. “To eliminate as much manual labour as possible, we included full material-handling, and all functions are automated and simple to operate. The whole machine is designed to reduce labour and double handling, while increasing productivity and profits.”
Four-sided plasma processing With a footprint of 3750mm by 3600mm, the Metaltek XB series offers full four-sided plasma processing, advanced CNC robotics and high-definition plasma cutting, featuring a control interface and userfriendly software developed in-house. Moreover, three-axis materialhandling conveyor systems and cross-transfer conveyors for loading and unloading eliminate a large percentage of the lifting, flipping and moving of steel members between machines. The machine is suitable for hot- and cold-rolled structural steel profiles, including RHS, SHS, UB, UC, PFC, TFC, EA and UA, with maximum beam cross sections of 1,260mm by 600mm. All copes, mitres, square cuts, slots and holes can be cut automatically. Full bevel weld preps can be applied to all surfaces, including underneath. Plasma etch marking is also a standard feature for part numbers, welding instructions, alignment marks and so on. Furthermore, ART’s ProfileShop V4 touchscreen controller combines ease of use with advanced features to automate all cutting settings, resulting in optimum cut quality. The advanced CNC reads industrystandard DSTV and DXF drawing files, supporting software packages such as Tekla, StruCad, AutoCad and many more.
Laser-like cuts at high speeds Advancements in high-definition plasma cutting have long enabled structural steel fabricators to use the technology in their shops. ART uses HyPerformance technology by Hypertherm, which, when combined with ART’s machine motion control systems and software, takes plasma cutting to a whole new level. Hypertherm’s True Hole technology uses a specific combination of cutting parameters optimised for steel applications. The end result shows an improvement in the shape of the hole of up to 50%. At the same time, taper and dings are virtually eliminated on holes with an equal diameter to thickness ratio.
The Metaltek XB1200 features a Hypertherm HPR260XD plasma power system, which gives precision at impressive speeds.
AMT JUNE 2014
“Hypertherm’s True Hole cutting technology produces significantly better hole quality than what could previously be achieved using plasma, narrowing the gap with laser,” says White. “This is delivered automatically without operator intervention, to produce unmatched plasma hole quality that can now rival high dollar laser systems.” The Metaltek XB1200 features a Hypertherm HPR260XD plasma power system, which gives precision at impressive speeds, while extending consumables life beyond competing plasma systems. Automatic surface tracking along with the ART 3D motion controller ensure accurate pierce and cut heights. The bevel torch head can achieve up to +/-50 degrees on all faces; ART recommends a maximum cutting bevel of 45 degrees.
Automation saves time and money Moving long, heavy structural members around is difficult and costly and adds no value to the product. As a result, transfer and handling have to be kept to a minimum, as structural steel fabricators realise that it doesn’t make sense to pay people for the non-value-add activity of handling beams. ART’s Metaltek XB features a CNC-controlled three-axis in-feed and out-feed roller conveyor system, an integrated automatic hitch-feed mechanism, as well as CNC cross-transfer drag conveyors for loading and unloading. The drawbridge is able to extend 2.5m into the cutting envelope to support the material, clamp and draw for hitch-feeding, and roll out the finished part. The drawbridge feed and synchronised rollers are both servo controlled to ensure highly-precise material feeding. The CNC controller can also automatically feed the next piece of material from the cross-feeds onto the in-feed roller conveyor for automatic cutting. Inside the cell work area, the machine automatically senses material dimensions, and an extra-articulated robotic arm performs the desired cuts, even underneath the beam. In conjunction with the gantry system, the arm achieves unparalleled reach. www.advancedrobotic.com www.metaltekcnc.com
ART’s ProfileShop V4 touchscreen controller combines ease of use with advanced features.
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Forming & Fabrication
Why abrasive waterjets? Abrasive waterjets continue to be the fastest-growing segments in the machine tool industry, with companies listing versatility and cost of operation among the biggest reasons they have added the capabilities of an abrasive waterjet to the processes they use. By Patrick Turpin. The versatility of abrasive waterjets means that they are being used widely by machine shops for everything from aerospace and medical applications, to consumer products and even mining equipment. Companies have turned to abrasive waterjets as a means for cutting 2D shapes quickly and with a degree of precision of as much as a fortieth of a millimetre. Over the last 40 years, abrasive waterjets have evolved from a twodimensional tool for rough-cutting thin aluminium to a tool that can make 3D cuts in everything from hardened tool steel to hardened alloys such as Invar, Inconel and Hastelloy. Today abrasive waterjets are used to cut material up to 300mm thick with an accuracy of 0.2mm. Because abrasive waterjets employ a cold cutting process, they do not alter the hardness of materials that have already been heat-treated. Consequently, material can be heat-treated first and then cut to size. This differs significantly from processes like laser- and plasma-cutting, where extreme heat will recast the edges, meaning that the geometries have to be cut oversized and a secondary process is necessary to remove the recast edge. In addition to cutting metal, todayâ€™s abrasive waterjets are used to pierce and cut laminated materials such as carbonfibre, G-10, and even aluminium composite panels (ACP). Moreover, without any tooling changes, they can also be used to cut reflective materials such as copper and even mirrors. High-precision abrasive waterjets are used in the precision machining of heat exchanger holes; they are used to machine intricate shapes while eliminating the need for secondary processing; and with available accessories, they can machine weld prep bevels and counter-sink holes. Besides high-precision abrasive waterjets, many companies also offer a less expensive, lower-precision model that can be used to cut complex mosaics out of stone or to rough-cut 2D shapes for secondary machining on CNCs. A higher-precision abrasive waterjet can be programmed to cut holes as small as two millimetres in 32mm-thick mild steel in less than one minute, with tapers less than 25 microns from top to bottom.
Reducing costs In addition to their versatility, the cost of operating abrasive waterjets has come down significantly over the years.
AMT JUNE 2014
Above all, it is the material savings that drives many machine shops to invest in the technology. Alloys such as Invar, Inconel, Hastelloy and titanium are so expensive that machine shops need to make every effort to minimise scrap. Part-nesting and elimination of chips means that the solid skeleton material can be stored for use on future projects. Even materials such as carbonfibre and Kevlar, which are expensive in their raw state, can be machined on abrasive waterjets quickly while minimising material waste. As far as the reduced cost of operation goes, the single biggest consumable for an abrasive waterjet is the abrasive. The most common abrasive is garnet, which is available in two forms: alluvial, which is dredged from rivers; or hard rock, which is mined from the earth. The cost per kilogram of abrasive has significantly decreased over the years as new sources for garnet have opened in India and China. The combined cost of the abrasive and shipping charges can still represent 50% of the total cost of operation. However, the cost of other consumables (such as seals and orifices) has also decreased. The introduction of the direct drive pump in the 1990s, as well as the introduction of diamond orifices and Roctec 500 mixing tubes, has lowered the hourly cost of operation (and perhaps more importantly, these items have also improved the reliability of the process). For example, direct drive pumps are 25% to 30% more energy-efficient than the comparably sized intensifier pumps. Todayâ€™s diamond orifices not only last 10 to 15 times longer than the traditional sapphire orifice, but their improved alignment translates into longer-lasting mixing tube life as well. Energy-efficient pumps also mean that abrasive waterjets can be used in light-to-medium industrial complexes where incoming power is limited, which reduces the overhead costs for small businesses. The labour cost of running the machine can also be lower than other processes. Intelligent monitoring systems built into the software allow operators to run the waterjet while doing other operations in the shop, such as tapping holes or welding. Finally, abrasive waterjets require little to no special tooling, almost eliminating the cost of tooling entirely. Patrick Turpin is the Asia Sales Manager at OMAX Corporation. www.omax.com.
Forming & Fabrication
Can I make this form in my machine? Rather than asking if a tool can be designed and manufactured to make a particular form, the question should be: “Is it possible to make that particular form in my machine?” According to Wilson Tool, the success is usually determined by the limits of the machine, the design of the form and the material the form is to be put in. These three things, along with the tool design requirements (a result of the various forms or form types), influence your ability to successfully create the desired forms in the desired material in your machine. Most forms made are form-up designs, but many of the theories are transferable to formdown designs as well. To determine if a form is possible in your machine, the following must be identified:
• Machine’s feed-clearance, which is machine-dependent. It is the distance from the top of a standard pierce die to the bottom of the upper turret. • Workspace (the area in the machine where all the work will be done). • What needs to fit into this workspace, including: material thickness; form height; and the die add-on or travel that the die must perform to make the form. By way of example, consider a job where the feed-clearance is 20mm. It will necessary to reserve some of that distance so that the
So how can one determine what is the tallest emboss one could make in the machine? It can be calculated by setting the equation’s value for Additional Free Space to zero and then do the math. You should also understand that maximizing a condition often results in specialized tooling. For the emboss we are setting the die add-on is equal to the form height because it is a simple 1:1 ratio. sheet can move freely within the workspace as well as ensure the form strips from the forming die. Wilson Tool suggests subtracting 1.5mm from the feed-clearance and using the result as the workspace. In this example, that would leave 18.5mm. The job is a simple emboss, which can have a 1:1 relationship with the form, though this is not true for many other forms. Therefore, to make a 0.25mm tall emboss in 18-gauge material using a Vipros 357 machine, the calculation below shows there is plenty of room to perform the task in question. Feed Clearance (20mm) − Safety Clearance (1.5mm) – Material Thickness (1.22mm) − Form Height (6.35mm) − Die Add-On (6.35mm) = Additional Free Space (4.6mm).
Feed Clearance. − Safety Clearance − Material Thickness − Form Height − Die Add-On = 0 Feed Clearance. − Safety Clearance − Material Thickness − Form Height – Form Height = 0 Feed Clearance. − Safety Clearance − Material Thickness = 2 x Form Height (Feed Clearance. − Safety Clearance − Material Thickness) /2 = Maximum Form Height The ability to create a form is very dependent on your machine and your material. Knowing your machine along with its abilities and constraints will get you started on the right foot. www.tooltech.com.au
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AMT JUNE 2014
Forming & Fabrication
Profound-radius bending – a different animal Large or profound-radius bends are those in which the inside bend radius exceeds eight times the material thickness, but is still too small to move to the plate roll. At this point, a press brake operator has to change his mindset before proceeding. This is not a typical bending job. By Steve Benson. Large or profound-radius bends are those in which the inside bend radius exceeds eight times the material thickness, but is still too small to move to the plate roll. At that point, press brake operation becomes a different animal. To begin with, you must account for a dramatic amount of springback. Springback occurs in bending as the material tries to return to its original flat position. This is caused by the difference between tensile forces on the bend’s outside surface, where the material is being expanded, and the compressive forces on the bend’s inside surface. As the tensile forces are greater than compressive forces, the material will pull back. In bends with inside radii closer to the material thickness, springback is only a few degrees. With large bend radii, though, springback can even be 60 degrees, especially in newer highstrength steels (see Fig 1).
Multibreakage Precision-ground relieved dies allow the punch to bend the workpiece to the desired angle, but they don’t eliminate another element that is more pronounced in profoundradius bending: multibreakage. This is the leading radius that precedes the punch radius when the bend angle exceeds 90 degrees complementary. The greater the bend angle, the smaller the leading radius (see Fig 4). Fig 4
except to manually force the angle through brute force from one or more operators—a very inconsistent proposition at best. The operator could have used a channel die, but these dies often weren’t deep enough to allow the punch to penetrate into the die space to bend the material to the required angle.
Some tooling relief Precision-ground tooling offered something new: the relieved die. In this tool, the offending portions of the die are removed (see Fig 3).
Springback challenges There are several ways to deal with these large springback amounts, starting with standard, time-honored tooling. Before the advent of precision-ground tooling, most press brake tooling was either a dedicated tool set for coining or bottoming (for example, a 135-degree die and a 45-degree punch, which was used to form a 45-degreecomplementary bend); a straight-up 90-degree V die; or a channel or acute tool. This was before the 1980s, a time when “air forming” had yet to be defined. When it came to the punches for largeradius bends, they were (and still are) usually made in-house from large-diameter barstock or thick-walled tubing. This led to a major problem: The dies were 90 degrees, and the round punches had an angle of 90 degrees, with one-quarter of the punch circumference contacting the workpiece during forming. When the operator attempted to form the material, it was merely held in place at the points where the die, punch, and material interacted (see Fig 2). This meant that there was no way to deal with the springback
It is possible to calculate the required punch diameter to achieve the desired bend radius, but this is difficult at best and generally requires several tests to achieve the desired result. And as we all know, if you have the wrong radius, you have an incorrect bend deduction; and with an incorrect bend deduction, the part isn’t being made to the print.
AMT JUNE 2014
The die has something else that older tools didn’t: varying die angles. Included die angles decrease with size: 90 degrees, then 88, 85, 78, 73, before moving into the acute realm of 45 and 30 degrees. Nowadays some dies are even offered with angles in between. Once upon a time, you couldn’t order an 89-degree tool off-the-shelf, but now you can. Different die angles help push the material around the punch to compensate for springback. The larger the radius, the more material makes up that radius and the greater the springback. Because of clearance from the removed material in a relieved die, as well as the change of die angle, the punch can penetrate deep into the die space. Meanwhile, the top portion of the die (which isn’t relieved), near the die shoulders, pushes the material around the punch in the early portion of the forming process.
The answer lies in forcing the material against the punch radius. This can be accomplished by adding a spring-loaded steel bar in the bottom of the die—but this is expensive and time-consuming, especially as these tools are through-hardened to 70-75 Rockwell C. You probably want to avoid this cost, unless part production has very large volumes. Alternatively, you can place a urethane pad in the bottom of the die. Urethane acts like a solid hydraulic: force something into it, and it pushes back with equal force on all surfaces that the urethane contacts (see Fig 5). You will need a urethane pad, shaped to fit into a die (triangular for V dies), and long enough to exceed the bend length. These pads usually have a low durometer rating, a measure of the urethane’s hardness; 60 often is a good choice. You can purchase these pads off-the-shelf, or you can make your own. A quick trip to your local hobby shop for the base and catalyst, and you’re on your way. Find some way to temporally seal the end of your die, gently mix the base and catalyst, and pour it into the die until it’s about a third full. In a matter of minutes, you have a urethane pad. Note that off-the-shelf pads are extruded and
Forming & Fabrication have better quality and consistency. If this is not an option, you may want to try something as simple as a high-pressure water hose that’s cut to fit at the bottom of the die. Push the material into the rubber hose, the rubber hose pushes back, and the material will take on the radius of the punch. In some situations you can replace a wide V die with a retainer box. The retainer box constrains the pad in the same way the V die does, except here the pad volume becomes a factor, as well as the loss of the air channel under the pad. Air channels allow the punch to penetrate deeper into the pad without needing excessive tonnage. The air channels are created with deflection bars of various sizes. The larger the bar, the larger the air channel—but note that this applies only to standard retainer boxes. As the material is forced into the pad, the pad material on either side of the punch will push up and out of the retainer box, forcing the material around the punch and causing the material to take on the punch radius. The pad itself must be at least 10 times the volume of the penetrating punch radius and material. If the urethane pad volume is too small, the pad will develop hysteresis. This buildup of internal heat within the urethane pad will cause it to disintegrate—obviously, not a good thing. Whether you form into a large-width V die with or without some form of backup or pad, your bend deduction should be based on the achieved radius of the bend. As in all circumstances, the radius will relax some once the forming pressure is released. The effect should be nominal, though it may need to be taken into consideration in some cases.
Schuler press to build Soyuz rockets They take astronauts and tourists to the International Space Station (ISS), supply them with oxygen, food and spare parts, and fire satellites into space: the “Soyuz” rockets built by TsSKB-Progress. They have already been launched from cosmodromes like Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Plesetsk in Russia and Kourou in French Guiana some 1900 times – and following the explosion of the US space shuttle Columbia in 2003, they were temporarily the only connection with the ISS. The Russian state-owned company now plans to produce its launch vehicles on a Schuler press as of 2015. Pre-acceptance for the hydraulic line with a press force of 2600 tons has already been completed, with delivery set for the end of May. The triple-action press will be used, for example, to produce aluminium tank lids. These must be extremely robust to withstand the extreme loads – especially during takeoff. The blank holder above and bed cushion below each provide 600 tons of press force. “With bed dimensions of five by six metres, the line is one of the largest hydraulic presses we’ve ever built,” says Dr Martin
Habert, Managing Director of Schuler. Carrier rockets are steadily increasing in size in order to transport ever greater payloads into space. This has led to a growth in the size of components used to assemble the rockets – and the lines on which they are produced, representing a significant challenge for Schuler in engineering the press. The logistics involved are also impressive: the individual line components must not exceed 160 or 170 tons in weight to ensure they can still be safely transported by road, with the longest part of the journey made by river and sea: via the Rhine, North Sea, Baltic Sea and finally the Volga. Nonetheless, Schuler’s experts have many decades of experience in producing such large-scale equipment. As Dr Habert says: “There were good reasons for TsSKBProgress to choose us.” www.schulergroup.com
Profound-radius bending boils down to these two points: First, the larger the radius you have as compared to the material thickness, the greater the springback. Second, you need to factor in multibreakage—the radius that forms prior to the primary radius. If you account for both of these concepts, the different animal of profound-radius bending will become a lot more manageable. Reprinted courtesy of The Fabricator. www.thefabricator.com Fig 5
TsSKB-Progress plans to produce parts for the Soyuz launch vehicles on a Schuler hydraulic press.
Image courtesy of Schuler
AMT JUNE 2014
Sharing the vision with Brad Jones Racing After the purchase of a new mill turn centre, Brad Jones Racing, which runs Team BOC, Lockwood Racing and Team ADVAM/GB in the V8 Supercar Championship, needed the right software to design and develop vital componentry. This led to a partnership with G-Zerofive and the acquisition of Edgecam CAD/CAM software. The Brad Jones Racing (BJR) fabrication workshop, located in Albury, NSW, looks much the same as any other. The components produced here, however, will be tested in the extreme environment of a V8 Supercar – in the full glare of the sporting spotlight. In motorsport, the more components that can be produced in-house, the better it is for cost and quality control. Hundreds of fabricated components reside in each of the three V8 Supercars built by BJR for the V8 Supercar Championship. “We produce in excess of 500 components for each car” says David Moris-Fontes, production manager at BJR. “We produce all machined parts that are used for the chassis build, specialised tooling, composite moulds and equipment for the operation of the race team as well as modifications made to components that are purchased.” Late last year, with the team on the ascendancy in the Championship, the decision was made to purchase a new Okuma Multus B300W II mill turn centre. The search was then on for the best computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software to maximise the capabilities of the new equipment – essentially to design and develop the best possible componentry. “Initially an Okuma sales representative got us in contact with G-Zerofive to obtain more information about the Edgecam service and support that is available to suit our business model,” says MorisFontes. Andrew Scott, General Manager of G-Zerofive, sole distributors of Edgecam and NCSimul verification and simulation software in Australia, takes up the story. “Dave contacted us, we did a demonstration and offered a trial version to him. In a matter of days he was able to quite competently get around the software and was impressed by the ease of use the software offered and the advanced functionality available but with minimal user input. We struck up a deal and the sponsorship was formulated.” Motorsport is an unforgiving environment. With new parts needing to be designed or developed quickly and efficiently, BJR needed a software package that could handle anything the team threw at it. “Component manufacture in motorsport differs greatly from that of other production environments,” explains Moris-Fontes. “The components are primarily prototypes and are manufactured in small quantities due to rapid development changes. Therefore the efficiency of the software is very important to reduce programming times for rapid manufacture of many different components. BJR could not efficiently manufacture many of the complex components that are used on the race cars without the use of Edgecam software.” Initially limited to the new mill turn centre, the Edgecam software will soon be rolled out to operate on the existing mill and lathe. “The variety of Components machined for the cars range from small to large and simple to complex,” says Scott. “Edgecam has an ability to handle all types of components, from simple 2.5D to complex five-
axis turn-mill programming of components, as well as the automation benefits that Edgecam Workflow offers using the semi-automated and fully automated machining strategies developed by BJR, allowing setup with stock, fixtures, feature recognition, and finally the automated application of strategies to be applied to components. The time taken from loading the 3D model and applying stock fixtures to generation of CNC G-code can be achieved in minutes.” To get the best out of the software, Moris-Fontes is in regular contact with Scott and the G-Zerofive team. With two new Edgecam software releases every year, the partnership is by its very nature one built on co-operation and information-sharing. “David is always trying to push harder,” says Scott. “As Edgecam is a very large system, there is ongoing training and support provided by G-Zerofive as required and requested by David to automate and improve processes across the board.” The intense demands of the motorsport environment mean that components are designed, developed and produced at breakneck speed, but the need for perfection in the manufacturing process is vital in such a high-stress environment. For Scott, motorsport is the ideal environment to develop the CAD/CAM software. “Motorsport is critical to the development of the software, as the variety of components being machined can really show the true capability of a CAM system, from the various machine tool configuration support options, to the demand of fast turnaround times achieved through automation, to the advanced capability needed for machining very complex parts,” says Scott. “In motorsport there is always the need to improve processes and chasing seconds, as with elsewhere in manufacturing. Software such as Edgecam is always developing new ways and strategies to save companies programming time, no matter what the industry.” Motorsport will always be at the forefront of technological development. The pressures of winning and losing are so great that any tiny advantage is seized upon and teams are constantly looking for ways to provide an advantage over the rest of the competition. CAD/CAM software is one area that will see significant technological development over the coming years. “Direct CAD/CAM integration at the machining centre, with full automation of machine programming and minimal if any user input, is the area of development,” explains Moris-Fontes.
AMT JUNE 2014
Direct integration and the ability to ‘talk’ the same production language across multiple platforms offer huge advantages to racing teams who are constantly searching for quicker and more efficient component manufacturing. “We are in the age of information and the rate that information needs to be conveyed between platforms in a manufacturing shop is vital,” says Scott. “Having information available at your fingertips anywhere anytime is critical to whether a business is competitive or not. Edgecam is in constant development to enable the flow of information across all platforms. Capable CAM systems are becoming a more and more imperative part of a business, instead of just being a piece of software on a computer in the corner of a workshop that can program parts that cannot be programmed at the machine.” With BJR in a position to challenge for the V8 Supercar Championship, in-house component manufacturing will remain vital to the team. The team’s partnership with G-Zerofive will become ever more critical to its success on the track. “The partnership has been great for our work here at BJR,” says Moris-Fontes. “It’s extremely powerful software with a broad range of functionality and flexibility in the one package, ease of use, simple and direct data input and instruction.” “The benefits we get from partnering with a team like Brad Jones Racing is that BJR is always pushing the boundaries, due to the competitive nature of V8 Supercar racing,” reflects Scott. “As a company G-Zerofive is a part of the BJR process in terms of offering CAD/CAM software that is capable of programming the various components required by the cars, and delivering ongoing support to improve their manufacturing processes, so they can concentrate more on the racing and less on the manufacturing. “We at G-Zerofive are proud to be a part of a team that shares our vision for pushing hard and getting the best possible results.” www.gzerofive.com www.bradjonesracing.com.au
AMT JUNE 2014
Computational mechanics – new kid on the engineering block A relatively newcomer as engineering disciplines go, computational mechanics is still growing, changing the landscape of the profession, and revolutionising the way complex engineering problems are approached. For example, successful salvage operations on the stricken cruise ship Costa-Concordia last year were in part due to computational mechanics – systems designed by Australian engineers. Its intricate processes have been used widely in the development of everything from biomedical devices to landmark structures like the famous 2008 Beijing Olympics swimming venue, referred to as the WaterCube.
keynote speaker Dr Andrew Sims from Resmed, who spoke of the role of computational mechanics in producing the next generation of products that the company is planning.
So what is this new kid on the engineering block? Professor Qing Li, computational biomedical expert and co-chair of the conference, explains.
The conference was supported by several key businesses and industry bodies, including the Australian Association for Computational Mechanics, the International Association on Computational Mechanics, and the Australian arm of Strand7, a company that specialises in computational mechanics.
“The process of computational mechanics begins with development of a mathematical model of a physical phenomenon,” says Professor Li. “Using physics to formalise a complete system it generally involves expressing a natural or engineering system in terms of partial differential equations. These equations are then converted into forms suitable for digital computation.” Fundamentally computational mechanics has three pillars: mathematics, computer science and mechanics. It allows engineers and scientists to understand very sophisticated systems with a large range of spatial and temporal scales, from macro down to micro and nano levels. “In my area of expertise, computer-assisted modelling can be applied to simulate interaction of living tissues with prosthetic therapy,” adds Professor Li. “Models generated for analysis by surgical teams assist in determining the best treatment for patients. “Surgical strategies can be simulated and possible short or long term outcomes can be predicted by computational mechanics approaches before a single step in the actual surgery is taken. Its effectiveness in solving real-world problems and its ability to provide deeper understandings of natural phenomena and engineered systems is what makes it so exciting.”
Meeting of minds Late last year the University of Sydney hosted the inaugural Australasian Conference for Computational Mechanics. The regional conference was the first of its kind, offering a unique opportunity for early career researchers and young students – the future leaders in the field – to meet and share their ideas with industry representatives. The conference was attended by more than 180 local and international experts, including Professor Roger Tanner, a world-renowned rheologist and Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and the
“An interesting aspect of the range of topics discussed at the conference was the high proportion of papers in biomedical, materials and civil/geotechnical engineering,” comments Professor Li.
In his opening address, Professor Grant Steven, conference chair and honorary University of Sydney lecturer said computational mechanics has had a profound impact on science and technology over the past three decades, altering the entire approach to engineering problems. “The discipline now plays a pivotal role in the analysis, development and design of new manufacturing techniques, communications, transportation and biomedical technologies,” said Professor Steven, who is also a director of Strand7. “Nowadays no product is taken to market without major computational mechanics simulation of a ‘day in its life’. “Cars, aircraft, toothbrushes, even designer label shoes are tested for their strength and durability. All this is done by simulating the physics of a product, the laws of nature so to speak, via computer simulations.”
A maturing discipline From its emergence in the 1960s the discipline has matured and now dominates the engineering process. One notable example is the design and development of the WaterCube for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was inspired by the shape of an array of soap bubbles. The Australian branch of Strand7 played a pivotal role in the construction of the swimming venue, the structure of which is highly repetitive and constructible while appearing very random and organic. “A comprehensive 3D structural model was created and imported directly into Strand7,” explains Professor Steven. “The Strand7 model comprised 24,000 beam elements with 12,000 nodes. There were 750,000 beam loads in 55 basic load cases, which were considered in 200 load combinations. The beam loads were derived from wind and snow pressure loads, which were applied to the external translucent cladding and in turn transmitted to the structural members.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics swimming venue, the WaterCube
AMT JUNE 2014
Professors Qing Li and Grant Steven at the Computational Mechanics Conference.
â€œA significant aspect of the analysis was the seismic design. Strand7 offers many tools for the seismic analysis of structures including equivalent static, spectral response and linear- and nonlinear-time history analysis.â€? Optimisation of the structural design was also required to ensure that the weight of the building could be kept to a minimum without sacrificing strength. Through the use of the Strand7 Application Programming Interface (API) the optimisation process was taken to levels never before possible. Each of the 24,000 beam elements, subject to 200 load combinations, was checked at five points against 13 different equations in the Chinese structural code. Every member and node had the potential to be different, which meant that considerable optimisation processing was required. The Strand7 API allows users to interact with Strand7 via an external computer program. This provides the user with the capability to bypass the Strand7 Interactive Environment and to perform specialised functions. The API provides a totally transparent way of interacting with the Strand7 data and repetitive tasks can be easily automated. These powerful features were utilised in the analysis work for the WaterCube. Apart from the global analyses, Strand7 was also used to perform elasto-plastic analysis of the beam connection details within the WaterCube. The accuracy of the results of these nonlinear analyses was confirmed by full scale testing. Computational fluid dynamics, computational thermodynamics, computational electromagnetics, computational solid mechanics are some of the many specialisations within computational mechanics. Its methods are also used to study functional materials, atmospheric changes, ocean currents, surface flow in rivers, subsurface flows in oil reservoirs, the simulation of a supernova or explosion of a star, or geological phenomena such as the movement and evolution of polar ice caps or the tectonic plates. www.sydney.edu.au
Salvage operations on the Costa Concordia CMT Advertisement 13.01.14.indd 1
13/01/2014 4:04:30 PM
AMT JUNE 2014
Building the supply chain of the future In today’s business world, yesterday’s push-based manufacturing philosophies and siloed planning processes are insufficient to manage ongoing demand volatility. By Stuart Rees, Country Manager, JDA Software. The past few years have brought radical changes to supply chain management. The climate in which companies operate is not only more complex due to shorter product life cycles, increasing service demands, price erosion, and global customers with specialised needs. It is also much more uncertain due to supply risks. Manufacturers in Australia are grappling with the challenge of meeting fickle market demand in an uncertain economy without making risky investments in high inventory levels and costly production assets. Creating a truly agile, synchronised supply chain presents significant obstacles. Traditional planning processes have largely been siloed, lacking integrated decision-making across functional areas, as well as any involvement from supplier and channel partners. While individual facilities used to be managed vertically, today’s supply chain extends beyond the any one facility, encompassing a global network of trading partners who collaborate closely in serving the end-consumer’s needs, while also protecting the network’s overall profitability.
between demand, capacity and profitability. Companies with the most effective IBP processes utilise technology solutions to capture and archive assumptions, risks, opportunities and other qualitative information, as well as quantified plans. By understanding what’s behind the latest projections and how they compare to business strategies and goals, company leaders can make better judgements about what actions are required to optimise company performance. The new paradigm for IBP incorporates financial analysis into each key step of the S&OP process – product management review, demand review, supply review, integrated reconciliation and management business review. The role of financial leaders is to evaluate the implications of the company plans and to develop future financial projections that are fully integrated with the new product, demand and supply plans. These projections include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow across the planning horizon.
Imagine a multi-billion dollar company with many planners around the world, each with their own spreadsheet. What happens when one planner misses a row, goes on vacation or pursues another career opportunity? The risk to the business is significant. Manual processes are too slow and rely heavily on individual planners. The business is prone to missed opportunities due to slow response time, low stocks in one place, excess inventory in another, high manufacturing changeover costs, and the inability to consistently align operations to business strategies. Companies that want to be proactive and get ahead, need to reduce the risk of running the business via spreadsheets. Companies without sales & operations planning (S&OP) software spend too much time manipulating data rather than being able to do value-added analysis and scenario planning. This becomes an invisible barrier to higher-level deployments. They tend to be unable to go beyond the capable/problem-solving level of maturity, undermining the S&OP process and the quality of the outcomes. In comparison, companies that have deployed purpose-built S&OP software and have effectively integrated their people, behaviours, processes and technology tend to have more mature processes characterised by problem prevention and strategic deployment. Use of the software allows them to be more efficient and effective in their S&OP process so they can do the analysis and scenario-planning that tends to yield better business results. While S&OP has traditionally focussed on supply-demand balancing, today’s S&OP integrates time-phased revenue, cost and margin plans with a company’s operational plans. This is also increasingly used by executives to ensure operational plans are aligned with strategic goals and priorities. With executives firmly in control and accountable, this revised approach to S&OP – now called Integrated Business Planning (IBP) – is enabling significant improvements in overall business performance. Nonetheless, some companies and their suppliers still cling to outdated processes focused on historical data and near- or midterm operational issues. While organisational change is never easy, continuing with an outdated process is not the answer for companies wanting to stay competitive. Transforming the organisation’s S&OP process can increase supply chain visibility, improve customer service, and ensure a better balance
Finance leadership also provides the critical role of raising awareness of gaps between current projections and the company’s goals and targets. If finance believes that actions are in place to close the gaps, the forum for addressing these concerns is the integrated reconciliation and management business review steps of the S&OP process. It can be challenging to transform traditional siloed planning processes into one fully integrated, synchronised, closed-loop planning process. However, as a number of supply chain leaders are demonstrating, the bottom line benefits are well worth the cultural and organisational changes required. Headquartered in Neubiberg, Germany, Infineon Technologies sets out to re-engineer its end-to-end planning processes and tools. It wanted to create a single integrated, multidimensional sales and operations planning process that promoted global collaboration and enabled the company to respond quickly to market changes. Since completing its IBP rollout, Infineon has reduced its planning effort by more than 30%, and is able to cut the lead time for its volume rolling forecast from four weeks to two weeks. Planning errors have decreased up to 90% and forecast accuracy has also improved. Infineon’s new collaborative planning approach enables the business to be much more agile and responsive. Based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, TE Connectivity designs and manufactures passive electronic products. A key component in its business strategy was the need to improve S&OP processes in each of its business units. However, every division was approaching this from a different perspective, and many were simultaneously managing organisational, process or IT issues. With the JDA IBP solution, the company has benefited from the ability to effectively measure and enhance forecast accuracy with consensus forecasting, enhancing customer service and revenue. TE’s automotive business has increased its ship-to-request performance by 8% year over year, while inventory turns and business revenue have improved. Looking toward the future, there is only one real certainty: uncertainty will continue to prevail. The only way to manage global supply chains profitably in this environment is to understand true market demand as early as possible, then synchronise planning processes and make the right decisions based on that insight. The ability to create a synchronised, agile, pull-based supply chain will separate the leaders from the followers. www.jda.com
AMT JUNE 2014
Closing the gaps There has never been a better time for manufacturers to identify and exploit incremental improvements in business processes and operations. By Jo-Anne Ruhl, General Manager, Infor. Manufacturers need to “close the gap” by finding small, incremental changes and evolutions that can deliver true return on investment (ROI) and improve operations, speed and agility. Software exists to help manufacturers achieve this.
1. Gaps between systems Manufacturers now deploy a bewildering array of applications across operations, logistics, finance, HR, marketing and other departments. The alphabet soup of ERP, SCM, CRM and HCM is familiar to many. Amid this plethora of systems, a common challenge is integration – getting the systems to talk to each other and support the business. A classic example is increased production for a promotion of a given product, fusing customer demand with manufacturing, staffing, logistics and – of course – invoicing. When each function is handled by a different application, costly gaps can arise.
2. Gaps between processes Manufacturers are a classic example of businesses that mix structured and unstructured elements within standard processes. For example, a structured component may be the creation of a purchase order (PO), raising an invoice or issuing a Bill of Materials. These parts of the process are structured by virtue of the technology that creates and issues these documents – with the additional benefits that information is captured, stored and classified, ready for analysis and retrieval. The unstructured part could be the approval of that PO or invoice, typically because such approval may happen via a phone call, email, text message or even Post-It note. Typically these unstructured facets happen at the point of human interaction. Despite the fact that the real decision resides within the unstructured element, it is often incredibly hard to track and record beyond this point. This gap is expensive – a 2012 report by the McKinsey Global Institute found: “The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28% of the working week managing email and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks”. That is a huge loss of productivity. Incorporating innovative social media concepts into a business environment allows employees to capture corporate knowledge, tie ‘human’ communications to automated business processes, and follow news, workflows and content in real-time. All comments, approvals, notes and details are captured in a single place with direct access to the underlying applications to which they pertain. A hypothetical example could be that a sales executive at a manufacturer of disc brakes receives a rush order from a major automotive OEM. He/ she enters this into social media management software and receives an alert that the order will not be fulfilled in the timeframe requested by the customer. Embedded intelligence also shows that the OEM is one of the company’s top three customers. Because this software draws information from multiple applications into a single platform, the Sales Executive is able to directly view the production schedule and see there is a delay in fulfilling the order. Wanting to please a top customer, but not knowing who in the company handles production-scheduling, the Executive shares the purchase order with the production group. By knowing who is assigned to the order, the software alerts the Production Manager directly. The Production Manager sees that scheduled maintenance causing the delay is preventative, and
postpones it till the order is complete. This alerts the Sales Executive who informs the customer the order will be delivered on time. Through this social media management software, the Sales Executive and Production Manager were able to solve a critical business issue, despite not knowing each other, in a matter of minutes. In addition, all actions and interactions were transparent to all users and saved to the original purchase order providing a clear audit trail.
3. Gaps in understanding Silos of information remain a key concern for manufacturers. Individual datasets are useful but integration with other data will always provide further, better insights. This requires powerful analytics and business intelligence, integrated with simple, intuitive methods of displaying the information. Furthermore the analysis and display need to be available anywhere – manufacturing decision-makers are no longer chained to desks. This makes the interface a critical concern. As decision-makers have become accustomed to simple, intuitive apps, they have begun to ask as to why business software cannot look and feel as inviting and easy to use. Software should not only deliver pervasive, in-context business intelligence throughout role-based workflows, it should also enable manufacturers to build customised mobile dashboards that allow employees to take actions on items using mobile devices, in highly visual, easy-to-understand ways. Software should be beautiful, userfriendly, and in line with employee expectations – a better interface means less training and increased productivity. Closing these gaps in understanding, processes and systems will be the hallmark of successful manufacturers in the coming years. Integrated, contextually informed processes that span structured and unstructured facets will be the cornerstone of profitable manufacturing growth. www.infor.com
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Drawing on the right tools to streamline processes Today’s manufacturers must utilise tools that enable competitive advantage by pioneering efficiency when it comes to everyday processes. Sturdy Framac, an Australian-based manufacturer of office furniture, is one of the few companies in the sector withstanding the competitive pressures of cheap imports. As one of Australia’s leading commercial chair manufacturing companies, Sturdy Framac was established in 1968, and currently employs more than 50 staff across facilities in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Up until two decades ago, the company’s entire manufacturing process was manually planned and managed. According to Sturdy Framac’s Financial Controller Bob Downing, the planning and production control department usually took more than a day to calculate the workflow required to deliver an order. “Because fast turn-around was one of our key selling points, we knew we had to move up to the next level to continue to compete,” said Downing. To achieve this, Sturdy Framac decided to automate as much of the manufacturing planning process as possible. Pronto Software, specialists in enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology, mobile and analytics, was selected to provide a customised solution that met the key needs of the business, enabling its continued growth and success in a changing, more fast-paced business climate. “Pronto really understood that we made everything to order in a very tight timeframe,” said Laurie Houston, Sturdy Framac’s Factory Manager. “And they were willing to finetune everything so that it delivered exactly what we were looking for.” Pronto worked with the company to deliver an integrated solution that integrated manufacturing, financials, payroll and customer relationship management (CRM) suites to deliver:
• Automated resource and manufacturing planning. • Instant generation of purchase and manufacturing orders. • Allocation of job schedules to relevant team members. • Integrated invoicing management. • Enhanced customer relationship management. Since initially installing Pronto, the company has continually reinvested and updated to the latest Pronto platforms. With each upgrade, the company has achieved improved return on investment (ROI) while most importantly increasing the speed and efficiency of day-to-day manufacturing processes. “The Pronto Xi Manufacturing module is at the heart of our business,” said Houston. “It gives us complete visibility of all the inputs and outputs. It tells us what materials, machinery and labour are required to produce an order, the optimum sequence of processes and exactly where in the sequence the job is at.” Sturdy Framac’s rapid turnaround times mean the company is particularly vulnerable to unexpected events. Consequently, one of the most important benefits of Pronto’s business management platform was the ability to quickly identify potential problems and resolve issues before they eventuate. “Say a certain fabric we want to upholster chairs with is temporarily unavailable,” said Houston. “Because we can now identify that very early in the process, we can talk to the client about alternatives or negotiate extra time. Our clients really appreciate that.” Downing also believes using the financial and payroll modules have had an excellent impact on invoicing processes, with invoices delivered on the same day that an order is received. “Once an order has been completed, we can have the invoice out the same day,” he said. “We’ve also been able to go from running two stocktakes a year to just one. Perhaps even more importantly, the system has freed up people to perform higher-value roles, really adding to the success of the business.”
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According to Paul Goepfert, Marketing Manager at Pronto Software, mid-market manufacturers are being urged to innovate and adopt practices that provide more value to the supply chain, to ensure that Australian manufacturing keeps pace with international competitors who have invested in innovation such as Sweden, Germany and more recently Brazil. He advises manufacturers to partner with a technology provider that embraces ERP software integrated with business intelligence, in order to help company decision-makers have full visibility of increasingly complex and fast-paced processes across all facets of their business. “In today’s business environment, fast and smart decision-making is key for fostering innovation and competitive advantage,” said Goepfert. “A company’s business management software should be available to staff at all levels of the organisation – from factory floor to financials – with the right information hitting the right hands so effective decisions can be made instantly. Availability of such information must be instant and everywhere, with secure accessibility on mobile devices to ensure organisations stay on the pulse, utilising every available opportunity to maintain competitive advantage. “It’s utilising technology such as this, that will enable local manufacturers to remain competitive against international conglomerates, providing value to customers that rises above the appeal of cheap imports,” added Goepfert. www.sturdy.com.au www.pronto.com.au
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Motors & Drives
Driving cleaner water for NE Victoria During its recent upgrade of two water treatment plants in north-east Victoria, process engineering firm Laurie Curran Water (LCW) turned to SEW-Eurodrive for assistance and advice. The new $5.2m Corryong water treatment plant has significantly improved water quality for Corryong and Cudgewa residents, while the opening of Whitfield’s $2.2m water treatment plant in October 2012 marked a new beginning for a town that previously endured regular water restrictions, water-carting and boil-water notices. Both plants were designed and built by Laurie Curran Water (LCW), which specialises in the Dissolved Air Flotation and Filtration (DAFF) process. “For the Corryong plant we were contracted by the local water authority, North East Water, to design and construct a 3.2-megalitresper-day DAFF water treatment plant for potable water for the towns of Corryong and Cudgewa,” said Jack Timmins, a Process Engineer with LCW. SEW-Eurodrive equipment was used to drive the critical flocculators in the Corryong system. Flocculation is widely employed in the purification of drinking water as well as treatment of sewage, stormwater and other industrial wastewater. “We used SEW geared motors on our vertical inline flocculators,” said Timmins. “The system required two sets of heavy-duty filters, with four flocculators, with each one driven by an SEW geared motor. We also used an SEW geared motor on a thickening mechanism for the washwater treatment.” SEW’s geared motors were equipped with Movimot integrated frequency inverters. The Movimot is a combination of a geared motor locally integrated with a digital frequency inverter in the 0.37kW-4.0kW power range. Despite the frequency inverter being fully integrated, the Movimot only requires slightly more installation space than standard geared motors. Moreover, it can be supplied in all standard versions and mounting positions, with or without a brake, and for three-phase supply voltages of 380V to 500V. “We like to use a decentralised motor control system as opposed to having it in the central computer,” added Timmins. “This allows us to walk up and adjust the speed of the flocculators while looking down into the system.” Each filter is about five metres high, and would normally need two people to set the flocculators up, with one telling the other what is going on. It was the same for the sludge-thickening system, which featured a thickener vessel 3.3 metres high. By using a decentralised system, LCW could fine-tune the system so the speed of the flocculators and thickeners matched the speed used in jar testing. “Normally once it’s done its set, but with different water quality and different jar testing you might need to put different energies in,” said Timmins. “It’s really based on jar testing and water quality at the time.”
The Movimot geared motors have an IP55 enclosure as standard, but are also available within IP65 and IP66 enclosures on request.
The Corryong plant was the first project using SEW products Timmins had been involved with, but LCW has been using the company’s equipment since then. “We have been very pleased with the products, the service and the advice we get from SEW. We worked closely with them regarding torque levels and to ensure the geared motors were not over- or undersized, and that we had the right configuration, the right output shaft to suit our standard paddle design.” The project also included a dual water treatment module, chemical dosing systems for aluminium, caustic soda, polyelectrolyte and gaseous chlorine, a 300-kilolitre washwater tank to accept filtered washwater and DAFF float, and a 2.5-kilolitre sludge storage tank. The Whitfield water treatment plant, in Victoria’s King Valley wine region, was a little different. As well as being smaller at just 150 kilolitres per day with two flocculators, it used a mechanical float-off removal mechanism instead of a sludge thickener. LCW only needed three Movimot drives for the plant. Nonetheless, the company went through the same design issues with SEW, especially on the mechanical floatoff removal mechanism. “There was a lot of work required on the housing and mounting details, and the speed configuration that suits our process,” said Timmins. Major components of the Whitfield water treatment plant included: a 300-kilolitre raw water tank; chemical dosing systems for caustic soda, aluminium chlorohydrate and sodium hypochlorite; a 235-kilolitre clear water tank; and 25-kilolitre washwater tank; and a 15-kilolitre sludge storage tank. Timmins reports that both water treatment plant projects have been very successful. The residents in the areas are now enjoying cleaner, better tasting drinking water, flowing straight from their taps. North East Water has also reportedly been very happy with the plants. “We have had no issues at all working with SEW or with their products,” added Timmins. “Their service was excellent, delivery was always on time, even though we only gave them a couple of weeks’ notice.”
Laurie Curran Water worked closely with SEW-Eurodrive regarding torque levels and to ensure the geared motors were not over- or undersized with the right configuration.
AMT JUNE 2014
Motors & drives
Siemens motors installed at Sunshine Sugar “AC or DC?” was the crucial question when Sunshine Sugar decided to replace the aging centrifugal drive system. Sunshine Sugar manufactures raw sugar from sugar-cane supplied at its mills in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, and also operates the Manildra Harwood Sugar Refinery (MHS) in a 50:50 joint venture with Manildra Group of companies. All of Sunshine Sugar’s raw sugar production is sold to MHS, which has capacity to process all of the raw sugar produced by the three mills. Sunshine Sugar had been relying on a 298kW DC (direct current) centrifugal drive system to power the processing of sugar at its plant. The decision to replace the legacy drive system with a 184kW AC (alternating current) motor-drive combination was not an easy one. When Siemens initially suggested that the plant switch to an AC drivemotor combination, it took some convincing. However, Siemens was determined to prove the value of its unique solution, even flying down a global expert on drives from Germany. Eventually Sunshine Sugar came round, and it has not regretted the decision. Plant Manager Stephen King explained how Siemens supported the company in its decision-making, which ultimately led to the upgrade of the drive system being performed on time and even under budget. “Siemens drew on their 1200 worldwide reference sites with successful centrifuges operated by AC drives,” said King. “They also provided detailed analysis of their success with reducing the size of motors and drives by controlling the switching rate of the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). And they even sent out a global expert on drives from their Sugar Competence Centre in Germany to reassure us that this was the right solution.” Switching from the traditional DC to AC drives allows the size of the motor and drive to be reduced without losing power, and as a result processing becomes significantly more efficient. According to Daraius Battiwalla, Siemens Business Manager – Food & Beverage, the AC system is also more reliable, and requires less maintenance. “The largest centrifugals available can handle 2000kg of sugar in a single charge,” says Battiwalla. “Variable-speed AC drive systems are normally used for the centrifugals because they require very little maintenance. They’re robust, long-lasting, can operate continuously throughout a campaign and offer much better reliability than the variable-speed DC drives.” AC drives are particularly well suited for centrifuges, as they can provide the performance required. The largest centrifuge available can handle 1200kg of massecuite (a suspension of sugar crystals in syrup) in a single charge. Variable-speed AC drive systems also require very little maintenance. They are robust and durable, can operate continuously throughout a campaign, and offer much better reliability than variablespeed DC drives.
After considering all the options, Sunshine chose a Siemens AC drive-motor combination, and it was commissioned and optimised locally by Siemens. Siemens also provided an I/O device to interface to the existing Bailey distributed control system for bidirectional communication. “We were convinced by the 184kW drive system when we learned about the Active Front End technology, which is a standard feature in Sinamics drive systems,” says Brian Jackson, Sunshine Sugar’s senior electrical superintendent. “This allows us to reduce the size of the motor and drive without losing power, achieve harmonics of less than 1%, and consequently reduce our energy costs significantly.” Used as a standard feature in the converters of centrifugal drives, Active Front End technology provides several benefits, including:
• Self-commutated converters with IGBTs and a clean power filter in the input. • Sinusoidal currents and voltages with no mains-typical harmonics, minimising mains pollution on the line side, and removing the need for compensation and filter circuits. • No conduction-through, with active fuse tripping in response to mains undervoltage or failure in generator mode, making the solution especially suitable for weak or unstable systems. • Compensation of mains undervoltages by voltage step-up mode. • High dynamic response. • No mains voltage distortion due to commutating voltage dips. • No effects on mains voltage caused by mains system resonance due to harmonics. The project was originally commissioned, ahead of schedule and under budget, in December 2012. The new AC motor-drive solution has saved Sunshine Sugar more than 40 % in energy consumption. Due to the success of this solution, Sunshine Sugar placed a second order with Siemens to upgrade the drive and motor of a second centrifuge. Jackson has been impressed by the outcome. “Power recordings have confirmed a reduction from 1.7 to 1.0 kWh per ton of massecuite, despite the recording being made prior to optimising the drive,” says Jackson. “So we’re planning to undertake further analysis soon to determine the final savings.” www.siemens.com www.nswsugar.com.au
AMT JUNE 2014
forum – LEAN
Fear and loathing in Lean Have you ever been in a leadership role when your organisation has made the decision to become Lean? What were your thoughts initially? How did you feel? What was the result on your workload? Troy Taylor explores these questions. Undoubtedly becoming Lean offers immense benefits for any organisation, however the Lean journey is both long and arduous and requires considerable development, nurturing and care. It is for this reason that many attempts to become Lean are ended prematurely by the organisation’s Leadership, who misunderstand their part in the journey and are given little or misguided advice on how to best demonstrate their support. It is human nature to seek out safety and security, and anything that challenges or endangers this is seen as a threat and therefore feared. The result is resistance. Lean is about removing waste and creating environments that are constantly and continuously shifting, which unfortunately can be perceived as instability by those working within the organisation driving them to feel insecure and ultimately unsafe. In a Lean system, it is the Leader’s role to develop an environment where those that work within it feel safe and secure despite change being all around. A model which is widely known is the change curve which was originally developed in the 1960’s by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to explain the grieving process, however, today it is most often used to demonstrate and support people in understanding their natural reactions to change. Once we understand this curve we can work on ways to best manage each of the negative forces that we accept will occur. It is recommended that some time is spent upfront of any change initiative to develop a level of familiarisation and therefore comfort in what is to come along with the reasons or NEED for it. This approach is supported by the diamond model of Lean Leadership development which features in Jeffrey Likers recent book “The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership”. Step one in this model is self-development.
Self-Development The first focus for self-development should always be a thorough understanding of the organisational NEED, but, if Lean is chosen as the answer to that NEED, this should be closely followed by building understanding of Lean’s five guiding principles and what they mean to the way the Leaders within the organisation operate: 1. Challenge – Acceptance and admission that the current state has to be improved, regardless of how long it has been established or how long current improvement works have been in place. 2. Genchi Genbutsu – Problem solving cannot be done effectively from behind a desk. Get out of your office and investigate the Gemba. 3. Respect – Accept that those you interact with in the Gemba are more qualified than you to understand their processes and the problems they present on a daily basis. These are the people that make the money for the organisation, without them you would have no job. Your job as
AMT JUNE 2014
a Leader is to ensure that they can complete their work as efficiently and effectively as possible. 4. Kaizen – Develop a “No problems, is a problem” mindset. No improvement is stagnation. 5. Teamwork – There is great power to be realised through collaboration and communication. Once the Lean journey has begun and the change cycle has commenced, it is not long before those same leaders begin to feel overwhelmed. Not only is their world changing, as they find themselves in a place of insecurity and change, but what has been sold as improvement can, in the initial stages, just feel like more work. Paradigm shifts either culturally or practically, like the one required when becoming Lean, do not happen overnight, the process is gradual, taking much time and effort. The workload for these Leaders, in the beginning, will still have them fighting fires, dealing with people issues and hitting all productivity targets, only now they have to also find time to problem solve, practice the five guiding principles, and constantly assess and adjust the system as it is being developed, which; by the way; is an infinite practice.
The management of drowning This introduction of “extra” work needs to be managed, and processes/tools introduced that, once again, create structure, stability and safety, thereby reducing the feeling of drowning and becoming overwhelmed. A Lean management system includes tools which when applied correctly will do just this: 1. Value Stream Mapping – Identifies constraints in the value stream allowing prioritisation and the filtering of Lean efforts in the most critical areas first. 2. Policy deployment – Ensures goal alignment across the organisation (utilising information gleaned from the VSM plus other critical areas of the organisation.) ensuring all work is focussed around agreed outcomes which are value adding from the customers’ perspective. 3. Practical Problem Solving – A standardised and structured method of removing problems at the root cause. 4. Leader Standard Work – Visualises the critical items of work to be completed by Leaders across the organisation. This is then able to be challenged when demands on a Leaders time are deemed unfair or extreme. Troy Taylor has many years of Lean experience both as a practitioner and Lean consultant across many industries including automotive, manufacturing, mining and bio technology. Troy is a Business coach at Chase Performance, an award winning Australian business that has been creating successful business solutions for almost 15 years. Troy can be contacted at troy.taylor@ chaseperformance.com or by calling 0477 428 231.
forum – OHS
Budgeting for Workplace Health and Safety Managing health and safety is an important part of good business management, yet often seen as a ‘cost’ to a business. Although some initiatives require little or no capital expenditure, effective management of WHS does require money to be spent. In this article Jo Kitney explains the importance making good business decisions on budgeting for health and safety. Budgeting for Health and Safety Health and safety legislation is very clear in the requirement to manage hazards and risks and meet obligations. Whilst taking action for health and safety is essential, it’s naive to think employers will spend money on anything that is not justified. Every business manages its health and safety differently - some invest in management, some integrate WHS into quality, environment or wider business management, some go beyond compliance and promote health and wellness, whilst some do very little and then react when accidents happen. Any money spent in a business is an investment and WHS must be treated the same. That’s not to say that money shouldn’t be spent, just that the purpose must be understood and budget allocated accordingly. This is particularly relevant in the competitive economic market for Australian manufacturing. In its simplest form, budgeting means deciding what outcomes are needed, the actions that will be taken and allocating money for this. This ideally happens in an organisation’s business planning and budget cycle and includes costs such as personnel, personal protective equipment, training courses, fire and emergency equipment, servicing of equipment etc. Contingency may also be allocated to deal with issues that may arise
Goals, Targets and Plans Senior management approval of goals and targets is fundamental to ensuring good decision-making, allocation of resource and return on investment. Goals and targets are the ‘must –do’s’ and outcomes needed to ensure WHS obligations and business needs are met. They should address risk areas and provide the base for the WHS Action Plan, which in turn delivers on the goals and targets. From experience, a lack of resources (and the right type of resources) is a common reason for WHS needs not being met.
Resourcing for Health and Safety The decision on whether budget will be provided for WHS may not be clear cut, this may be objective (or ‘above the line’) as well as values based (‘below the line’). Both of these matter, particularly when faced with the challenge of balancing business needs, budgets and personal views and attitudes towards health and safety.
Resourcing to meet obligations A fundamental step in determining a budget for WHS is to understand legal duties and duty holders. Some sections of WHS legislation are common across organisations, such as consultation and communication, and others relevant to a particular business or work activity. A WHS audit or review is a good starting point in determining requirements and the actions and budget needed to meet this.
gaining accreditation for health and safety, positively promoting wellness at work or linking WHS to other parts of the organisation such as people management and planned maintenance. Although this requires some investment, if managed well there can be a good return for the organisation.
Business Cases There are times when a business case is needed to determine best use of money and get management approval. Businesses need to make a profit to survive and business cases are a common way to present information on the costs and gains of taking action. Benefits should be wider than just meeting obligations and whilst a risk assessment provides a good foundation, the business case must include business-oriented information that resonates with managers and decision-makers. Putting a good business case together involves working with others and should be looked at from as many angles as possible. This will inform costs and benefits and add credibility to the information provided. It is fair to say that those who do their homework, identify aims, costs and gains and speak the language of business are more likely to attract resources for WHS initiatives.
Values, Beliefs and Attitudes Meeting WHS obligations is a moral as well as legal obligation; however values and beliefs of decision makers can be the difference between WHS being funded - or not. There can be differences between individuals and between and within organisations, with decisions influenced by how decision makers think and feel. Funding WHS will often mean looking ‘below the line’ at the value base, particularly when requests for funding and business cases are rejected or left unanswered. It can be difficult, but there are times when decisions have to be challenged, to ensure those making decisions are aware of the implications for the organisation as well as themselves. Priorities may change, but values should be constant. Elevating WHS to a value and not just a priority can ensure it is part of the company’s conscience and an intrinsic part of management behaviour and thinking.
External Sources of Funding When looking for budget for WHS it’s worth looking for external sources of funding, such as government grants. These may be specifically for WHS or for building business capability, either way by making useof external funding it can gain attention and support from within the business. Internet searching can identify these types of funding. Jo Kitney is the Managing Director of Kitney Occupational Health and Safety, providing health and safety expertise across a range of industries: www.kitney.com
Going beyond compliance can help move WHS from a ‘have to do’ into the way the business thinks and behaves. This may mean AMT JUNE 2014
forum – STRATEGY
Outlook for complex manufacturers Cincom Systems of Australia has released its second survey of Australian complex manufacturers. Cincom’s biannual “2014 Australian Complex Manufacturing and Enterprise Technology Benchmark Report” is a survey of a segment of the Australian market which is comprised of highly innovative industries that produce and distribute products in the defence, heavy/industrial equipment and medical sectors. The purpose of the survey is to monitor ongoing trends in the industry so that decision-makers can compare their positions in respect to the challenges facing the broader industry group. Compared to the results of the previous survey, it appears that the business outlook for manufacturers is not improving, with a significant shift in the respondents’ views on growth potential. In contrast to other reported business surveys, the growth outlook for complex manufacturers has declined over the past eight months rather than improved. More than a quarter of businesses expect either no growth or negative growth, and nearly half expect growth of only around 5%. The decline in growth expectations of greater than 10% is even more pronounced with only 12% of participants expecting growth of greater than 12% compared to nearly a third in the previous survey. As reflected in the responses, more businesses are now focusing on the issues of business execution in improving the sales and supply-chain process and less on planning.
Top pressures The majority of respondents cited their top business pressure as “growing revenue” closely followed by “containing cost,” which was only 7% behind. This outlook could be attributed to the respondents’ declining growthexpectations. Since the opportunity for business has declined, there is a shift in focus from external,customer-facing improvements to improving the productivity of existing resources and containing costs within the organisation. Of concern is that the internal focus of business to contain costs may mean that opportunities for growth through improved customer engagement processes may be lost.
The outlook for complex manufacturers Complex manufacturers’ products are highly engineered to custom order requirements. These products require deeper functionality than mass-production manufacturing. Strict regulatory compliance and quality control issues, higher costs and demanding worldwide distribution requirements are just a few of the challenges facing highly engineered manufacturers and contributing to the often razor-thin margins of this manufacturing segment. Process improvement, automation and business-issue simplification can greatly improve the complex manufacturer’s entire enterprise. As business complexity increases, the need for an effective ERP system to tie it all together also increases. According to industry experts, ERP and related systems will continue to evolve to suit business needs and will remain highly relevant throughout 2014.
How Is the role of IT changing in complex manufacturing? 3D printing. This is not a new technology, but over the past few years, 3D printing has developed into a real alternative to the traditional casting or machining of parts and now has a real potential to disrupt many of the notions we have about manufacturing and plant operation. Incorporation of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) sales functionality into traditional ERP systems. Advanced configuration guides designed specifically for complex, customised products – coupled with dynamic, real-time pricing calculations tied directly into company financial systems extend traditional core ERP functionality and ensure fast, accurate quotes. CPQ capabilities integrated with ERP functionality provide customers with exactly what they ordered in a more timely manner than with traditional, siloed systems.
The remaining responses were spread broadly across other areas of business operations. “Supply-chain efficiency” actually more than doubled from the previous survey suggesting that improving processes in this area is growing in importance for many businesses over the last year, whereas “Retaining Staff” remains as a lowpressure issue as labour market conditions ease for employers. Other pressures mentioned in the recent survey include shrinking market, marketing, budget, competition from Asia, manufacturing process and exports.
Mobile device use for operations and warehouse functions. Mobile is already in ERP. But what about on the shop floor? More and more, workers are being asked to perform multiple duties that require multiple applications and wide-ranging data access. Together with ERP, mobile devices are maximising the effectiveness of the employee. What’s needed is the ability to manage technologies and systems for various sites by rolling them all into one central location. It is a concern that over a third of companies surveyed have not deployed these systems. In a followup question, nearly 60% of participants said that they have no plans to deploy new IT technologies.
Australia’s changing economy
The full report is available upon request from Cincom.
The Australian economy has experienced some enormous changes over the past year. The high Aussie dollar has been the final blow for many manufacturers, and along with regulatory concerns, has increased the challenges in keeping costs under control. Additionally, in September, Australia elected a coalition government. Currently, the political climate is in flux whilst waiting to see what this will mean to all areas of public policy. However, we do know that despite the above factors, consumer confidence is rising, Interest rates have come down from 3.5% last June to 2.75% with expectations of further cuts before the end of the financial year and the Australian dollar has fallen to around US90 cents, which will relieve pressure on struggling industries.
Cincom Systems provides a range of software solutions for complex businesses including ERP, CRM, Project Supply Chain, Sales and Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Document Generation, Knowledge Configuration and more. Cincom Systems is the only Microsoft Global Strategic Partner for manufacturing. firstname.lastname@example.org www.cincom.com.au
So why do businesses have a general lack of confidence and where does complex manufacturing fit within this changing economy?
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More businesses are now focusing on the issues of business execution in improving the sales and supply-chain process and less on planning.
forum – Finance
High hopes in export markets Aussie manufacturers are looking forward to a bright future in international markets, according to a recent survey. Andrew Watson elaborates. Manufacturers have high hopes when it comes to their exporting activities, with a significant number of businesses already earning some kind of overseas revenue, and many more eyeing further expansion. In our discussions with Australian manufacturers, we see a number of opportunities and challenges for those that may be considering broadening their business horizons by exporting. To explore this further, earlier this year EFIC joined forces with the Export Council of Australia, Austrade and the University of Sydney to conduct the first major export study in Australia for more than 15 years - The Australian International Business Survey (AIBS). The research captured data from more than 1600 Australian exporters, 31% of which were from the manufacturing sector, and sought to understand the international experience of these businesses.
Opportunities abound overseas Australian exporters are clearly taking advantage of overseas opportunities to grow their businesses. The results of the research showed a high level of international involvement, with almost 85% of exporters surveyed earning overseas revenue for three years or more. Significantly, 57% are earning revenue from four or more markets, while just 13% earn revenue from a single foreign country. While exporting is a key aspect of Australia’s international business engagement, Australian businesses are doing more than just exporting. Though 21% say their only form of international activity is in international sales, 60% combine exporting with importing and outsourcing. A further 40% are involved in outward foreign direct investment or offshore production, while 25% are involved in international supply chains or some form of international R&D. Not only are Australian exporters already succeeding overseas, they are also optimistic about the future. 74% indicated that they intend to expand to two or more countries over the next two years, while only 13% reported no plans for further expansion.
Strong focus on developed markets Australian businesses tend to play it safe, sticking to developed markets rather than exploring developing or emerging markets. Unsurprisingly, given Australia’s close relationship, China was identified as the strongest future market opportunity by Australian exporters. Manufacturers named the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as their top three future markets, indicating the continuing importance of advanced economies for Australian companies. Further down the list were India and Indonesia, followed by Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Germany. Local knowledge gaps present a challenge Understanding the business culture in potential new markets is crucial. The survey reflected that even in a globalised world, significant local knowledge gaps are a significant challenge for businesses with international interests. More than half of exporters (59%) stated that a lack of information on local culture, business practice and language were the major barriers to success overseas. Other barriers to international market entry cited by the respondents included:
• Lack of information on local regulation and tariffs (49%) • Customer payment issues (45%) • Tariffs, quotas and import duties (34%)
“Almost 85% of exporters surveyed earned overseas revenue for three years or more.” Access to finance hindering export activity A clear theme from the research was that access to finance continues to be an issue for exporters. Over a third reported that borrowing from financial institutions for international activities is difficult. The difficulty was said to increase when businesses were borrowing from an overseas institution, however it is still high even when approaching Australian institutions. A third of exporters also say that they are seeking additional finance to expand their international business, while among those businesses seeking debt finance, a third have either failed to clinch funding or are still trying to do so. When asked why their business hadn’t expanded into new markets, respondents cited ‘a lack of funds’ as a key reason, behind ‘difficulty finding customers’ and ‘no personal contacts’. Overall, Aussie manufacturers appear to be overwhelmingly positive in terms of their export options and most foresee a profitable future. However, the lack of finance does seem to be the main issue restricting further expansion of international operations. It’s important that businesses research their finance options, and recognise that they may have to look to solutions outside the norm of Australian financial institutions to finance overseas growth.
Bronx International Pty Ltd Australian company Bronx International has developed a global reputation for its specialised galvanising and paint lines, which are used to coat metal sheeting mainly for building products of steel and aluminium companies. Bronx has carved out an export niche in a range of markets across Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. EFIC worked with Bronx to put together a financing package for a US$17.2m contract to design and supply a galvanising line for a Ukrainian customer. An export finance guarantee was provided to support a loan from HSBC in London, to the Ukrainian buyer’s bank, Alfa Bank, which funded the purchase of the galvanising line. Rod Sawyers, Managing Director of Bronx said “EFIC’s support of our project was crucial. In light of the tightening credit conditions and a lower risk tolerance in global financial markets, without EFIC we might not have been able to get the funding we required.”
Andrew Watson is Executive Director, SME, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC). EFIC provides finance and insurance solutions to Australian businesses involved in export, overseas investment and those working in export supply chain projects. If you are an established Australian business looking to expand your business in exports or foreign markets, please visit EFIC. email@example.com ph: 1800 093 724 www.efic.gov.au
• Regulatory issues including operating permits, licenses and foreign company regulation (34%). AMT JUNE 2014
60 YEARS WITH MEN AND MACHINES – PART 44
Machine tools and global warfare Part 3 Necessity is the mother of invention We continue our instalments from the book “60 years with men and machines” - the autobiography of US machinist and author Fred Herbert Colvin (1867-1965). The timeline is 1941 and Fred’s retirement is interrupted by Pearl Harbor which catapulted the US into WWII. Assigned as Consultant to the Contract Distribution Division, Fred’s task was to help locate and organize the small and medium-size plants that could be tooled to make parts or sub-assembles for the guns, planes, tanks, and ships that the larger manufacturers were scheduled to produce. By Fred Colvin Before the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a good deal of isolationist feeling that hampered the US warproduction efforts. But cooperation was immediate from every industrial plant in the country. Perhaps the greatest contribution that I made in my own small way was the knowledge I had accumulated in fifty-odd years of the kind of equipment in various plants throughout the United States, the capacities of machine shops that could cut gears, grind shafting, or machine parts of various shapes and sizes, and how all these plants could be given the necessary data and blueprints to get their quota of parts and sub-assembles produced in a hurry. It was something like the story of the Springfield rifle and munitions in the First World War, only on a vastly enlarged scale. A good part of my time I spent making longdistance telephone calls all over the country, talking with plant owners and superintendents and getting a quick picture of their equipment and facilities. There was no time for leisurely travel and inspection as in the old days. And we had to know where the most modern machine tools for highspeed, quantity production could be procured, even if it meant moving them by the dozen from one shop to another a hundred miles away. The reader will remember the troublesome relation between specifications and practical production that was encountered in the making of rifles and other pieces of ordnance in the First World War (see April and May 2013 editions of AMT). The same sort of trouble threatened to arise in the early days. Designs at first were unnecessarily complicated, and peacetime specifications, drawn up when speed was not the essential factor, were still being followed after Pearl Harbor. Some plants with relatively old equipment were obliged to improvise methods by which their out-of-date machines could be utilized until new and better ones were available. Continental Motors Corporation of Muskegon, Michigan, for example, rejuvenated
beginning. In too many cases the contractors demanded machine tools of a type they would never have any use for, simply in order to augment the equipment of their shops with an admitted eye on postwar expansion. Horizontal boring machines were ordered for work that could readily be performed on a heavy drilling machine, and since the former were hard to get, the work wasn’t done. Toward the middle of February, 1942, the functions of the Contract Distribution Division began to be distributed among other departments, and I would soon be released from my consultantship.
their 1930 machines so expertly that they were able to turn out a surprising number of radial engines for use in tanks long before they obtained their quota of 1942 equipment. Another example of this kind of adaptability was shown by the Hi-Standard Company of New Haven, Connecticut, guided by a genius named Swibilius, who scoured the country for several carloads of used machines and had his plant delivering machine guns in quantity long before the larger and better equipped shops were ready to produce. Another plant revamped its old lathes and drill presses, largely through the use of welded structures and babbit bearings, using automobile transmissions for power drives—and began to deliver propeller shafts to the Joshua Hendy Iron Works for Liberty ships, promptly on schedule. A large number of other shops, however, were still waiting for new machines to be built and delivered, and consequently produced little or no war material in the
At this point a former staff member of the American Machinist, and old friend James D. Mooney, turned up as a lieutenant commander in the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics. Commander Mooney, hearing about the incipient breakup of the Office of Production Management , said to me, “Why don’t you come over to the Navy Department with us, Fred? We have a lot of questions I’m sure you know the answers to.” “Jim,” I replied, “my only knowledge of naval problems stems from the time I used to navigate a rowboat on Lake Wachusett . I remember I had trouble with the oarlocks.” “I’m talking about the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics, Fred. That’s where I’m working now—and you’re supposed to know something about airplane construction, unless somebody ghosted your ‘Aircraft Handbook.’ We’d even take on an old man like you—provided you kept regular hours and didn’t drink on the job.” “Why - you’re almost as old as I am! I’ll take the job , but make sure it’s connected with airplanes and not submarines.” I soon found myself working for the Navy. To be continued…
Sixty Years With Men and Machines - The Autobiography of Fred H Colvin, Master Machinist Original © 1947, McGraw-Hill Publishing, reprinted by Lindsay Publications Inc, 1988, Bradley IL 60915, USA.
AMT JUNE 2014
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79 AMTIL at NMW 80 Austech is back 82 New AMTIL Members Shane Infanti â€“ Chief Executive Officer AMTIL
Budget implications yet to be determined Whilst the devil is in the detail and still to be released in most cases, I thought it was relevant to point out a number of budget announcements and the impact they may have on AMTIL and our members. Firstly, as a significant Partner Organisation for Enterprise Connect, the future of this program was obviously a major point of interest. AMTIL currently has four Business Advisors and two Technology Knowledge Connect Advisors that are contracted until June 2015. Enterprise Connect will close on 30th June 2014. However, existing Partner Organisation arrangements and contracts will remain in place whilst we transition to the new Entrepreneursâ€™ Infrastructure Programme (EIP). Having been a strong advocate for Enterprise Connect over the past four year, we are very pleased to see many parts of the program transition to the EIP. Details of the EIP are yet to be released but the $486m over 5 years will replace a number of existing programs including Enterprise Connect, Commercialisation Australia, the Innovation Investment Fund, Industry Innovation Councils and Industry Innovation Precincts. These existing programs totaled a commitment of $845m over five years, so a net saving of over $350m has been gained through this transition. Whilst these changes have no immediate impact on AMTIL and our service offering, we will obviously continue to work with our Department contacts to ensure that the detail of the EIP is communicated effectively to industry and every opportunity for our members to benefit from this program is given. The Government will also make further cost savings of $124m over the next five years by abolishing the Clean Technology Investment and Innovation Programs and reduced funding for Cooperative Research Centres. On face value, I cannot argue with these measures although the need for an incentive program for investment in new technology, such as an accelerated depreciation scheme, is absolutely critical to the future of manufacturing in this country and we will continue to push this with our Federal Government. Contrary to recommendations in the Commission of Audit report for it to be abolished, the Government has increased funding for the Export Market Development Grant Program (EMDG) by $50m and this is to be commended. An additional $200m to the Export Finance and Investment Corporation (EFIC) is also a sign that this Government sees the need to assist Australian companies in opening up export markets. AMTIL is an approved body for EMDG and developing opportunities in the global economy is an important service we want to develop in the coming years. One of the important announcements out of the budget that went unnoticed was the $155m Growth Fund to be used to generate jobs of the future for those employees affected by the closure of local automotive manufacturing businesses. There are a number of parts to this but of particular interest to AMTIL is the $30m package to support training for these employees over the next two years in order to enhance their skills and transition them into new job opportunities. I am particularly hot on this announcement. This is a significant sum of money, over the next two years, for specific training in a key industry. I will be following this through to ensure the money is spent with the right intent. Whilst I have only highlighted and commented on a few of the budget considerations, all in all I think a continuous review and streamlining of Government programs relating to industry assistance is a good thing and this budget is no different to the many before it. I encourage any feedback, thoughts or constructive messages to be sent to sinfanti@ amtil.com.au
Successful show for AMTIL at NMW National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2014 took place at the Sydney Showgrounds last month, and AMTIL enjoyed a very successful week exhibiting at the show. “Trade exhibitions are still a vital ingredient in marketing and promoting products & services and this was certainly the case at National Manufacturing Week this year,” said Anne Samuelsson, AMTIL Sales Manager. “The atmosphere around the show was good, and it was great for AMTIL to have been able to take part.” Being at NMW gave AMTIL the opportunity to consolidate its profile in the industry and to demonstrate everything it has to offer Australian manufacturing. Having a stand at the show provided a platform for AMTIL to support its existing members while reaching out to prospective new ones. In the latter respect, the stand was enormously successful, recruiting more than 40 new members over the four days of the exhibition. “It was really good just to be able to talk face-to-face with so many people from across our industry and explain to them all the things AMTIL can offer them and their businesses,” added Samuelsson. “I think the numbers speak for themselves – people soon see how much value there is in becoming an AMTIL member, once we get our message across. “And don’t forget, a lot of existing AMTIL members were at the show, either as exhibitors or just visiting. We were here to support them. We had so many familiar faces dropping by our stand, either to discuss something specific, or simply to just catch up.” For CEO Shane Infanti, this year was different to past years. “The fact that we did not run Austech this year in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week meant the show was a different experience. Obviously not having a major machine tool show alongside it changes the audience appeal but it is still a great forum for showcasing
new products and helping to promote Australian manufacturing, so it’s essential for AMTIL to be participating,” said Infanti. “It was a tremendous opportunity for us to strengthen our existing relationships across the industry, and generate new members. It’s definitely been a worthwhile experience being here.”
Keeping it Simple. One Membership. Many Benefits. New membership packages available. AMTIL membership for companies, individuals and supporters within the precision engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. For more information visit www.amtil.com.au or contact Greg Chalker on 03 9800 3666 or email@example.com
AMT JUNE 2014
Austech is back, better and stronger Austech will be back in Melbourne better and stronger in 2015. Having made the decision not to run our exhibition in Sydney this year, we are looking forward to a huge presence from key suppliers of machine tools and manufacturing technology in Melbourne next year. The fact that we did not run our event this year has led to many industry people being confused as to what it is and when it is on. Something that needs clarification in the marketplace is exactly “What is the Austech exhibition?” So I will attempt to explain… National Manufacturing Week (NMW) and Austech are completely separate and independent shows. NMW is owned and managed by Reed Exhibitions and Austech is owned and managed by AMTIL. We have had an agreement for many years to run our shows next to each other and have a joint registration process so that a visitor that comes to one show can also have immediate access to the other. Whilst both shows are similar in size, I believe we have done such a good job of making it appear they are one show that most visitors would believe that is the case. Without going into detail of our arrangement with Reed Exhibitions, both parties agree that the co-located events in Melbourne will be delineated according to the following product categories: National Manufacturing Week covers product zones including air technology, automation & robotics, electrical, electronics, engineering, health & safety, information technology, materials handling, metals & composites, process control & instrumentation, sustainable manufacturing/ clean technology, welding technology and international country exhibitors such as China and Taiwan. Austech covers metal cutting technology, CNC machine tools, forming & fabrication technology, cutting tools, CAD/CAM software, workholding and tooling, robotics, additive & digital manufacturing, quality & inspection, contract manufacturing and ancillary services (inc finance, training, recruitment). Last year AMTIL made the decision that we are only going to run Austech every two years, in Melbourne. This is in keeping with major international machine tool and manufacturing technology shows that also run on two-year cycles in major cities around the world. This decision was driven and supported by our exhibitors and AMTIL members.
AMT JUNE 2014
The underlying strategy is that, like many countries, the rate of change of technology, costs to exhibit, costs and time to travel and visit a trade show and the return on any investment by either exhibitors or visitors means Australia can only afford to have one major, all-encompassing, manufacturing and machine tool show every two years. That show is set for Melbourne from 26-29 May 2015 and it promises to deliver. In addition to a commitment from the key machine tool suppliers to have a major presence, there are also two relatively new areas of the show that will be greatly expanded. The Manufacturers Pavilion is an opportunity for local Australian manufacturers to showcase their capabilities and engage in supply chain opportunities they may not know about. As well as the potential to market themselves through their exhibit, there are also networking functions, key buyer meetings and an on-the-floor speaking programs with keynote speakers throughout the week. Another growing area is the Additive & Digital Manufacturing Pavilion. AMTIL has a great interest in this enabling technology and is keen to pursue as many opportunities as possible in the coming years. This is a significant area of interest that is evolving quickly into much more than a prototyping technology.
About amtil AMTIL is a non-profit national industry body representing the interests of technology suppliers and technology users in the precision engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors. Based in Melbourne, AMTIL has staff represented in Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Three subscription categories are available and our services reflect the growing demand of our members. Our value proposition is based on promotion & marketing our members products & services, providing knowledge & information and facilitating networking & business opportunities. For more information visit www.amtil.com.au or email gchalker@ amtil.com.au
Round 9 It’s tight at the top Nine rounds of football gone and very little separates teams on the AFL ladder with the same on the AMTIL tipping ladder. A big run from Shane Infanti (call for a drug test), in recent weeks sees him placed in the top five after an average start (unlike his beloved Tigers, who continue to play rubbish football - send the whole club back to the VFL until they get it right!). Big talk has been around the ‘bump’, is it lost to our once admired and feared game? We’re all for protecting the ball player and even more so protecting the head, but can we get some clarity on the rules. Out on the park, one thing all clubs need to be wary of… the Gold Coast Suns. They’re getting bigger, better and they’re coming to get your team. Enjoy until next time. Laurie Sanchez 1 SKN
3 Brendan Smith
4 Daniel Fisher
5 Shane Infanti
6 Jeff Hedger
7 The Axe
9 Aust Mobile Tools
Manufactureres Pavilion proudly owned and operated by AMTIL
Save the Date Back in 2015! 26th – 29th May 2015 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Profiling Australian Business for Australian Opportunity • Australian Manufacturers • Speaker Program • Networking Opportunities For more information visit www.amtil.com.au Austech and the Manufacturers Pavilion are proudly owned and operated by AMTIL. Manufacturers Pavilion is within Austech 2015
New AMTIL Members
3DPrinting.com.au Pty Ltd 429 Newman Road Geebung QLD 4034 Tel: 07 3363 4600 firstname.lastname@example.org www.3dprinting.com.au
Aluminium Applications Victoria 8-10 Dalkeith Drvive Dromana VIC 3936 Tel: 1300 21 21 22 email@example.com www.aluminiumapps.com.au
Amaero Engineering 11 Normanby Road Notting Hill VIC 3168 Tel: 0408 516 900 firstname.lastname@example.org www.amaero.com.au
CGB Precision Products Pty Ltd 94 Voltri Street Mentone VIC 3194 Tel: 03 9584 5311 email@example.com www.cgb.com.au
codebyts PO Box 23 Sutherland NSW 1499 Tel: 0422 904 665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.codebyts.com
Folium 3D 1308/52 Park Street South Melbourne VIC 3205 Tel: 03 9029 4355 email@example.com www.folium3d.com
Glyde Metal Industries 65 Zenith Road Dandenong South VIC 3175 Tel: 03 9791 3402 firstname.lastname@example.org www.glydemetal.com.au
Golf Engineering Unit D20, 1 Campbell Parade Manly Vale NSW 2093 Tel: 02 9948 9400 email@example.com www.golfengineering.com.au
Hibble Industries P/L Cnr Lucca Rd & Ash Avenue WYONG NSW 2259 Tel: 02 4353 1366 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hibble.com.au
Innovative Welding 47 Fitzpatrick Street Revesby NSW 2212 Tel: 02 8708 0200 email@example.com www.innovativewelding.com.au
Jubilee Springs 10 Catamaran Road Ourimbah NSW 2258 Tel: 02 4389 1411 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jubileesprings.com.au
Kavanagh Industries P/L 14 Cooper Sreet Smithfield NSW 2164 Tel: 02 9756 5727 email@example.com www.kavind.com.au
Lincoln Electric 35 Bryant Street Padstow NSW 2211 Tel: 1300 728 720 firstname.lastname@example.org www.3dprinting.com.au
OGIS Engineering 5 Harcourt Parade Rosebery NSW 2018 Tel: 02 9313 3777 email@example.com . www.ogis.com.au
Woodland Metal Spinning P/L 81 Airds Road Minto NSW 2566 Tel: 02 9824 5677 firstname.lastname@example.org www.woodland.net.au
AMT JUNE 2014
ManufactureLink proudly owned and operated by AMTIL
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Weâ€™ve got the link to make it happen. Visit www.manufacturelink.com.au to learn more.
Please Note: It is recommended to contact the exhibition organiser to confirm before attending event
INTERNATIONAL China International Machine Tool & Tools Exhibition (CIMES) China, Beijing 18-22 June 2014 Global machine tool exhibition. Includes the latest metalworking, CNC machines and industrial automation technology. www.cimes.net.cn/en Manufacturing Expo Thailand, Bangkok 19-22 June 2014 Auto and industrial parts manufacturing technology exhibition comprises co-located shows: InterPlas Thailand; InterMold Thailand, Automotive Manufacturing and Assembly Technology. www.manufacturing-expo.com ACMEE 2014 India, Chennai 19-23 June 2014 11th International Machine Tools Exhibition. Includes: CNC Machines, CAD/CAM , cutting/ machine tools and accessories; robotics; welding; material handling. www.acmee.in/about-show.htm M-Tech Japan, Tokyo 25-27 June 2014 Includes bearings, fasteners, mechanical springs, metal and plastic processing technology. www.mtech-tokyo.jp/en MTA Vietnam 2014 Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City 8 - 11 July 2014 International precision engineering, machine tool and metal working exhibition. Co-locating with Metrology Vietnam; ToolTec Vietnam; SubCon Vietnam; Automation Vietnam and WeldTech Vietnam. www.mtavietnam.com EMTE-EASTPO joint event China, Shanghai 14-17 July 2014 EMTE (European Machine Tool Exhibition) and EASTPO (Shanghai International Machine Tool Fair) to be held in even years, from July 2014. www.emte-eastpo.com AMTEX India, New Delhi 25-28 July 2014 Includes: CNC machines; metal forming/cutting tools; milling/grinding/boring machines; welding machines; material handling. www.amtex2014.com CMF /Metal & Weld 2014 Vietnam 30 July – 2 August 2014 www.cmfvietnam.com TAIROS Taiwan, Taipei 31 July – 3 August 2014 Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robot Show. Includes industry & service robots; system integration; sensors; AI; software; automated equipment, processing, testing, welding, www.tiros.org.tw/en
AMT JUNE 2014
Cambodia International Machinery Industrial Fair Cambodia, Diamond Island Convention Centre 15-18 August 2014 Includes metalworking & automation; tools & hardware; Plastics & Rubber; Printing & Packaging; food processing; agriculture; medical equipment; energy & electricity engineering. www.camboexpo.com/CIMIF Euromold Brasil Brazil, Joinville 18-22 August 2014 Fair for Moldmaking and Tooling, Design and Application Development. With its relatively young exhibition, DEMAT GmbH extends its range of exhibitions to five continents. DEMAT formed a joint venture with “Messe Brasil” to present this exhibition, which debuted in 2012 www.brasilmold. IMPE China, Tianjin Binhai International Convention and Exhibition Center 21-24 August 2014 metals processing exhibition in north China’. Includes metal-cutting/EDM, laser machine tools, forging machinery, metal cutting and welding equipment, moulds and sheet metal processing equipment, robotics/ automation,software, testing/measuring instruments. www.chinaimpe.com.cn Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo 26-27 August 2014: Hong Kong 18-19 September 2014: Tokyo 21-23 October 2014: California, Santa Clara A B2B tradeshow for the 3D printing industry. Explores the business applications of 3D printing. Includes keynote presentations, the latest 3D printers and services in action. www.mediabistro.com/inside3dprinting MTT Malaysia Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 26-29 August 2014 Inaugural international machine tools, metalworking technology, precision engineering & tooling exhibition www.mtt-kl.com/2014 Vietnam Manufacturing Expo Vietnam, Hanoi 27-29 August 2014 Includes: machine Tools; Metalworking Technology; Sheet Metalworking Technology ; Welding Technology; software. www.vietnammanufacturingexpo.com Taipei International Mould & Die Industry Fair Taiwan, Taipei 27-30 August 2014 Includes: machining centres, electric discharge machines, wire cutting/milling/grinding/ engraving machines, lathes, cutters, tools, testing equipment, moulds/dies; software. www.odm-dmi.com/en
IMEX India, New Delhi 4-6 September 2014 International machine tools expo. includes machine tools and allied products.(Software, material handling; machining/turning/grinding centres, lathes, drilling/boring/milling machines; sheetmetal equipment) www.imexonline.com IMTS USA, Chicago 8-13 September 2014 One of the largest industrial trade shows in the world www.imts.com Jordan International Industries & Machinery Exhibition Jordan 15-18 September 2014 A leading Sourcing Exhibition in the Levant region. Includes metal working machinery, machine tools, plastic processing, food processing, welding equipment. www.jordanmachineryshow.com METAL Poland, Targi Kielce 16-18 September 2014 International Fair of Technologies for Foundry Includes: melting of casting alloys, Design and production of foundry equipment, moulding and core-making machines, moulding materials, sand, bentonite, binders etc. www.targikielce.pl Korea Metal Week South Korea, 16-19 September 2014 Includes Fastener & Wire Korea, Die Casting & Foundry Korea, Automobile & Machine Parts Korea, Press & Forging Korea, Tube & Pipe Korea, Metal Surface Treatment & Painting Korea, 3D printing Technology Show. www.korea-metal.com AMB Germany, Stuttgart 16-20 September 2014 Leading international metal working exhibition www.messe-stuttgart.de/en/amb MSE2014 Manufacturing Solutions Expo Singapore, Suntec City Convention Centre 8-10 October 2014 www.smfederation.org.sg (click on Calendar/Trade Fairs) Mining and Engineering (M&E) Indonesia Indonesia, Jakarta 29-31 October 2014 Delivers significant opportunities for Australian and international suppliers to enhance their business profile, launch latest technologies and services and network with mining professionals from Indonesia and the surrounding region. www.miningandengineeringindo.com JIMTOF Japan, Tokyo 30 October – 4 November 2014 Leading international machine tool exhibition www.jimtof.org/eng
industry calendar local 2014 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Gala Dinner Palladium at Crown Melbourne 16 June 2014 Celebrate manufacturing excellence with other industry leaders as we recognise this year’s award winning companies and individuals. This black-tie event will provide you with the opportunity to network with industry peers, your clients, staff and suppliers. Tickets: $220 each or $2000 per table of ten (incl. GST & fees) Book online at www.vmhf.com.au Safety in Action Perth: 11-12 June 2014 Sydney: 2-4 September 2014 Includes comprehensive range of safety products and services. www.safetyinaction.net.au Foodpro Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 22-25 June 2014 Showcasing every aspect of the Australasian Food Processing industry. www.foodproexh.com Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo 9-10 July 2014 Melbourne A B2B tradeshow for the 3D printing industry which will explore the business applications of 3D printing through conference sessions, keynote presentations, and the latest 3D printers and services in action. www.mediabistro.com/inside3dprinting Furnitex Melbourne Exhibition Centre 10-13 July 2014 For the furniture & soft furnishings industry. www.furnitex.com.au
Advertiser Index 3D Systems Asia Pacific 8 Acra Machinery 57 AlfexCNC 17 Amada 86,87 AMT Advertising 69 AMT Digital Strip Ad 10 AMTIL Austech 81 AMTIL Manufacturelink 83 AMTIL Membership 82 Anca Motion 63 Applied Machinery Aust. P/L 29 Beyond Blue 43 Complete Machine Tools 65 Compressed Air Australia 19 DMG Mori Seiki 15 Epilog Laser 59 G-Zero five 67 Hare & Forbes 33 Hi-Tech Metrology 39 Industrial Laser 47
Queensland Mining & Engineering Exhibition Mackay Showground 22-24 July 2014 Industrial exhibition for the mining sector. www.queenslandminingexpo.com.au Defence and Industry Conference Adelaide 29-30 July 2014 Will bring together Defence officials and representatives of Defence Industry from across the country and overseas. Industry will be encouraged to discuss all available work for SMEs, not just in the Defence sector, to maximise local business opportunities. dmo. email@example.com www.defenceandindustry.gov.au Cleanscene Sydney Olympic Park 2-4 September 2014 National cleaning and hygiene expo. Co-located with Safety in Action. www.cleansceneshow.com.au
LandForces Asia Pacific 2014 Brisbane 22-25 September 2014 A comprehensive international industry exhibition to showcase land-defence equipment, technology and services for the armies of Australia, Asia and the Pacific region. www.landforces.com.au Mining & Engineering NSW Newcastle Entertainment Centre 8-10 October 2014 The latest products and technologies for the rapidly growing coal mining sector of the Upper Hunter Valley. www.miningandengineeringnsw.com.au Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo Sydney 9-10 October 2014 Innovations in the collection, sorting and processing of waste from the municipal, commercial and construction sectors. www.awre.com.au
Queensland Gas Conference & Exhibition Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre 10-11 September 2014 Brings together international opinion leaders from the global energy market and senior decision-makers from the Australian LNG industry and supporting infrastructure www.queenslandgasconference.com.au
All Energy Australia 2014 Melbourne Convention Centre 15-16 October 2014 an annual, free-to-delegate, business-tobusiness conference and networking forum hosted alongside an exhibition showcasing renewable energy, clean energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency. www.all-energy.com.au
Bulkex Qld, Rockhampton 17-18 September 2014 Latest in bulk handling products, methods and solutions. Includes latest in conveyor systems, thermal imagers, loader innovation, dust collection, stainless steel feeders. www.bulkex.com.au
Sustainability in Business Melbourne Convention Centre 15-16 October 2014 Infdentify fundamentals needed for a company’s sustainable future and how innovation helps to improve profitability and social responsibility reducing impact on the environment. www.australiansustainability.com.au
Iscar 2,3 LMC Laser 21 LS Starrett 25 Machinery Forum 77 Mapal 9 Mapal 55 Millsom Materials Handling 31 MTI Qualos 27 MTI Qualos 45 Multicam FLAP Objective3D 41 OKUMA 7 OSG Asia Pty Ltd 4&5 Realtek OBC Seco Tools 53 Siemens Industry Software 13 Sutton 51 Techni Waterjet 37 Thyssenkrupp 23 Walter 11
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jul14 Australian Manufacturing Technology
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MINING In our main feature we take a look at how manufacturers are exploiting the opportunities emerging from the mining sector. ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION WORKHOLDING MATERIALS HANDLING FINANCE & LAW
AMT JUNE 2014
The new ACIES series of punch and laser combination machines provide unmatched productivity and scratch-free processing of complex sheet metal parts. This innovative series features advanced automation and tool change options to meet virtually any production need. The ACIES series boasts extremely fast hit rates, stable processing, versatile forming and the flexibility of a laser. • Eco-friendly oscillator utilizes energy saving functions which significantly reduce the power consumption • ZR turret – The retractable turret and full flat brush table ensures scratch-free processing • High-speed punching and marking using its unique 30 ton Servo-electric drive system • Independent laser head axis & Quick-change lens and nozzle system • Multiple Purpose Turret (MPT) allows M2.5 to M8 tapping tools to be used within the turret • Large work chute (1270mm x 400mm) & new slug suction unit • TSU – Tool storage options can hold up to 300 punches and 600 dies
Amada’s new ID tooling - The intelligent thing about this system is that it always “knows” the status of all the tools in terms of location, size, shape, angle and stroke rate. This eliminates errors during setup and also automatically adjusts the die height according to the grinding amount
GETTING MORE DONE WITH A COMBO
“You need to have a point of difference.” “I’ve been working on Amada equipment for over 20 years now and the reliability of the Japanesebuilt equipment is outstanding.” Grant Clark, Managing Director, Oxford EME (Aus) Pty Ltd
Reducing the number of secondary operations and completing a part with minimal handling are key to successful manufacturing. Especially for a company like Oxford EME/ Emolior Industries, whose director Grant Clark believes in the importance of the Australian manufacturing industry. “We are strong in our commitment to investing and participating in the local market.” Consequently, Mr Clark has been continuously investing in the latest CNC machinery and automation since 2006, when he acquired Emolior and later Oxford EME. Today OxfordEME is part of the KCare group and have facilities in both Sydney and Perth. The group specialises in the manufacture of equipment for hospitals, medical centres and aged care facilities and is the largest
manufacturer of Healthcare equipment in Australia. Together the group operates six state-of-the-art Amada machines, including turret punches, CNC press brakes and the latest acquisition, an ACIES2512NT combination machine. “We decided to invest in the laser/punch combination machine because it delivers productivity on a small footprint and gives us complete flexibility whether it is small, medium or larger volume runs.” Featuring advanced automation and tool change options, the machine delivers fast hit rates, stable processing, versatile forming, and unlimited shape cutting flexibility. Equipped with an external tool changer and automated options, the unit offers seamless integration of punch and laser processing,
along with automated tool changes and material handling. “The automatic tool changer holds up to 179 tools, so we rarely have to change a tool,” Mr Clark explains the benefits. “Our setup times have considerably decreased because the tool changer prepares tools in the buffer turret while the machine is punching and automatically changes the tools in the turret punch press while laser processing.” “You need to have a point of difference, and if it means you can perform multiple tasks with one machine rather than double handling the part and move it from one machine to the next machine, then there is cost savings and improved lead times and turnaround for your customer.”
Unmanned operation and in-house cutting Lights-out: Managing Director Grant Clark has optioned the machine for future automation and material handling to allow for a faster turnaround and to operate lights-out within the next 12 to 24 months. In-house laser cutting: Bringing previously outsourced laser cutting in-house will save the company time, costs, improve quality and improve delivery times. The investment has already paid off, as 30% of the previously outsourced work is now being cut in-house, reducing lead times from 3 to 4 weeks to 2 to 3 weeks. Additional machine features: power-saving drive system, flexible positioning of the freestanding control unit, maintenance-free servo electric drive, AMNC/PC touch-screen control, extensive cut condition database, quick-change lens and nozzle system, and a tool ID system.
Amada Oceania Pty Ltd Sydney 02 8887 1100 | Unit 7, 16 Lexington Dr., Bella Vista NSW 2153 Melbourne 03 9020 1400 | Unit 1, 3-4 Anzed Court Mulgrave VIC 3170 Perth | Brisbane | www.amada.com.au
alt Re REALTEK - YOUR TECHNOLOGY EDGE Working through the Maze created by men of little vision, our industries have been left with uncompetitive work practices, inefficient services and expensive red tape. This has left us vulnerable, facing strongly focused international competitors. We need to acknowledge that we still have an edge, we still have our ability to create world-leading technologies and processes, finding solutions to our worldâ€™s needs.
Realtek Australia Pty Ltd
Realtek has a depth of knowledge that spans over 3 decades of experience in both traditional and emerging technologies. Stretching from advanced Machine tools to Nano technology, our understanding of equipment and processes gives us an edge in innovation. Whether a start up, seeking research and commercialisation or a company with a product ready for production, Realtek has the technology and experience to get you there.
p +61 3 9457 6377 email@example.com
AMT Magazine June 2014