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AUTOMATION UPDATE

WWW.AUTOMATION-UPDATE.CO.UK

September 2016


AUTOMATION UPDATE Editorial Assistant Ellen Tayler 01843 580 460 ellen@automation-update.co.uk Publishing Director Tony Little 01843 580 460 tony@automation-update.co.uk Sales Director Tim Johnston 01843 448 443 tim@automation-update.co.uk Advertising Exec Jamie Simmons 01843 580 460 jamie@automation-update.co.uk

Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on new products and services to our ever Progressing industry.

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We are exhibiting at The PPMA show 2016. Come and visit us at stand J44.


News

Innovation by Automation – the three pillars

As the trends towards digitalisation and the mobile information society gather momentum, consumers are demanding more information about the origin and content of the products they buy. Furthermore, they expect products, information and services to be increasingly targeted and personalised. Smart factories, with efficient and fully connected supply chains, are critical to manufacturing innovation. The concepts developed within the Industry 4.0 and IoT framework, the fourth industrial revolution, are now finding practical implementation amongst manufacturing industries, and are facilitating new production methods, intelligent process optimisation, and higher machine utilisation and production yields. In support of this progression towards the connected, transparent, smart and collaborative factory, machine and supply chain, Omron’s ‘Innovation by Automation’ philosophy is based on three key pillars: •

Integrated Automation

Intelligent Automation

Interactive Automation

Interactive Automation – harmonious interaction between humans and machines The use of robots in production lines is increasing significantly, even outside traditional application areas. With a rising demand for customised (personalised) products, requirements for flexibility in automation are also growing. In application areas where the flexibility and cognitive skills of humans are wanted, but the strength, accuracy and electronic data recording and reporting of robots are also required; a new generation of collaborative robots is emerging. The connected factory and personalised production For a connected factory, sourcing all automation equipment from a supplier such as Omron simplifies the network infrastructure. However, Omron also supports an open partner network with a standardised interface and connectivity architecture to allow other products to be specified.

Integrated Automation – integration through advanced control Any fully automated plant requires synchronous control of all machines and devices. Advanced integration of logic, motion, safety, robotics together with database connectivity all using open networks and communications protocols greatly assist this process. Omron’s integrated automation platform, Sysmac, provides the performance and functionality needed for a wide range of installations, from simple machines to complete manufacturing cells. It features a simple, uniform architecture, based on: •

EtherNet/IP for connecting to the local and wider operational environments

EtherCAT for communication

IO-Link for integration of components

deterministic,

machine controllers provides an integrated SQL-database interface, where all collected data can be evaluated in a secure, fast and simple way. And with remote monitoring functionality, all performance and process parameters are accessible from any desired location.

fast

Manufacturing flexibility allows for smaller and smaller batch numbers to be produced. The personalisation of individual products and services is the ultimate goal and a good example of an innovation by automation concept. Individual customer requests are turned into individual production batch orders, each individually manufactured and packaged.

machine

Intelligent Automation – turning factory floor data into high-value information Data collected from all relevant machine elements, including product quality inspection data, provides the base for intelligent analysis and visualisation of machine and process performance. Omron’s new generation of 04 - Automation Update September 2016

Omron’s innovation by automation philosophy is central to the evolution of the smart factory


50% FASTER POUCH CODING WITH NEW RF1-V+ Rotech, the Hertfordshire designer of end-to-end coding and feeding systems, is using The PPMA Total Show as the launch-pad for a new offline coder dedicated to pouches. A customer-driven development of the RF1-V, the new RF1-V+ offers a 50% improvement in speed through design innovations including a shingling infeed and extended reservoir capacity. “The focus of our R&D is to increase throughput speeds and drive down cost. The aim of this project was to significantly increase the speed at which difficult-tofeed pouches with reclosable zippers can be coded. It was all about achieving better efficiency and utilisation by engineering an offline coder that is capable of running continuously without any stopping and starting,” says Richard Pether, director at Rotech.

printed pouch neatly onto another stack for collection. Whilst this represents an ideal solution for operations looking to print up to 40 pouches per minute, some of Rotech’s larger customers wanted to be able to achieve faster speeds. Drawing on its feeding system expertise, Rotech has engineered the RF1-V+, an offline overprinting system that is capable of coding up to 60 pouches, with a maximum width of 375mm, per minute.

Rotech has achieved this 50% improvement in speed by incorporating a shingling conveyor into the infeed, which in turn enables the hopper that supplies the system with unmarked pouches to be The stand-up pouch is one of the fastest enlarged to hold up to 300 pouches at a growing flexible packaging formats for time. a wide variety of end-use applications, but is not always easy to code online, as The shingling conveyor makes the infeed of unmarked pouches more efficient, as Richard explains: it eliminates the time taken for a vacuum “Pouches that are formed, filled and sealed arm to dip down below the level of the online are straightforward enough to code conveyor, pick the pouch and lift it onto prior to filling, but when using pre-made the coding conveyor. Pouches no longer pouches or trying to code onto filled packs, have to be lifted from a stack below - they online coding becomes problematic. In are presented at a level with the coding these situations, an offline coding system conveyor, so that all the vacuum arm has is preferable from both an efficiency and a to do is lift each pouch, push it forward code quality perspective, as pouches can and release it onto the coding conveyor. be printed offline before they are filled, and brought to the production line ready The addition of a shingling step also printed. Coding the pouch in its flat form allows an operator to keep the reservoir of results in a consistently clear, perfectly unmarked pouches replenished whilst the positioned code. This is why more and machine is running, enabling continuous more companies are coming to us in operation until a batch has been printed. search of offline pouch coding solutions.” “The pouches shingle out along the Most offline coders use friction feeding, conveyor, which helps loading at the back but because this technology is designed end as well as picking off the front end,” to feed packs or pouches of a uniform explains Richard. thickness, accommodating a resealing mechanism often means it cannot do the It also means that the hopper can be considerably larger than on a stack-tojob accurately. stack system, on which the speed is In developing its RF1-V offline pouch limited by the number of pouches that can coder, Rotech assuaged this issue by stacked in the hopper without overflowing. using vacuum pick and place technology When pouches feature a reclosable to pick a pouch from a stack, place it onto zipper, the number of pouches to a stack a conveyor for printing, and transfer the is reduced. There is no such limitation with The RF1-V+ stand-alone overprinting system enables pouches to be coded off-line before they are filled, at speeds of up to 60 per minute

**HEADING HERE**

Stand-up pouches - one of the fastest growing packaging formats the RF1-V+, and the larger capacity hopper translates to faster speeds owing to less downtime for restocking the system. Once printed, the pouches are neatly stacked for collection by an operator, or, if higher speeds are a requirement, Rotech can fit a second shingling conveyor at the outfeed. The RF1-V+ can be fitted with a range of printing technologies, though a thermal transfer printer is generally the preferred option in this application, particularly when late customisation is required. This is due to thermal transfer’s ability to print wide formats with a print width of up to 200mm. If a simple ‘use by’ date is all that is required, an inkjet printer may be adequate. The RF1-V+ will be unveiled at The PPMA Total Show, where visitors will be able to see the first production-ready system on Rotech stand F12.

Automation Update - 05 September 2016


News

Karmelle Ltd

This year Karmelle Ltd will be attending sites to look at each manufacturers equipment our sixth PPMA Trade Show at the NEC in in action, it was decided that Karmelle would be awarded the contract. We have since installation Birmingham.

also purchased a standalone labeller - 200ltr and After the success of last year’s machines including 1000ltr IBC filler and a second 4 head filling line the three head Rotary Capper Karmelle have this currently in production. I have been delighted year decided to bring along three of the best filling, with the equipment and installation and would capping and labelling machines which have been highly recommend any one looking for a system to produced in –house at our workshop in West consider Karmelle.” Yorkshire. At Karmelle Ltd we are experts in our field and we The machines will be up and running over the understand that each client is different, whether it be three days so guests of the show are able to see a start-up business or a multinational organisation. for themselves just how the machines operate and Machines can be made to each individual the Karmelle team will be on hand to answer any specification and includes various industries questions or enquiries with regards to production. including food and drink, pharmaceuticals, The machines will include a selection of fillers, cosmetics, chemicals and oils. All services can be cappers and labellers that will give visitors a clear tailored for. picture of what we are able to produce and the With over 30 years in the industry Karmelle Ltd quality of our machinery. can guide, install and source extra machinery if Many different and varied companies choose necessary as well as providing spare parts for Karmelle as their first choice for packaging machines if future issues arise. solutions due to our bespoke service and team of design experts. One company in particular, Quat- Please don’t hesitate to contact the office for any Chem, chose Karmelle for these exact reasons. enquiries or head down to the PPMA Show and see Steve Brock, Quat-Chem’s Operations Manager, us this September 26-29th. had this to say about the business: Stand H60 “Several companies were approached to give 01484 533 356 quotations on the project, and after visits to several Karmelle.com

06 - Automation Update September 2016


Editor’s Choice

Rittal Automation Sy Commercial Benefits to Panel B

When the directors of Peterborough-based panel builders Pneumatechnique Ltd were looking at ways to improve efficiency and offer better production consistency they turned to Rittal and its automation systems for switchgear construction. Pneumatechnique’s aim was to find ways to lower both overheads and operational costs. One of the main issues the company faced was the underemployment of their highly skilled labour force. This had become obvious during an evaluation of work practices that considered how they were meeting customer demand, and how the company in turn made demands on production as an “internal customer”. “The interesting point is, that in conducting the review, we became commercially aware of the overheads and the opportunity costs inherent in our working practices and where savings could be made,” says Jim Venters, managing director of Pneumatechnique. “There is no advantage in employing a highly qualified workforce to do basic tasks like drilling holes, which is what was happening,” Following a detailed assessment and recommendations made by Rittal’s expert team, the decision was taken by Pneumatechnique to install a Rittal Automation Perforex CNC machine. Rittal’s team was able to advise on both the benefits that would be realised by installing the system, and potential limitations. It was quickly identified that the capital expenditure could clearly be outweighed by the cost savings and the Perforex installation became a “no-brainer” as part of the investment project. Adam Wilson, production manager at Pneumatechnique, advises: “The Perforex System has improved the quality, consistency and speed of our output, which has obviously been hugely beneficial for customers. A project that was taking four hours can now be completed in just 20 minutes and with a better finish!

44|


Editor’s Choice

ystem Delivers Major o Peterborough-based Builders “There are many other benefits too. Quality and consistency is guaranteed and a batch is always the same. Whether it be one panel or 100, we are confident every single one will beidentical. “Specials and one-offs can now be delivered as standard, providing options and flexibility to the customer. And we can now do it all in-house for them in one operation. Our productivity improves the delivery timescale not just to the customer, but to us an internal customer too. “This project has seen a lot of investment not only in money but in time; it has involved a great deal of hard work. The final result is an excellent fit for us and we are now offering customers something they can’t do.” As far as future expansions go, Adam advises that, “the Perforex system has opened up a number of new routes to market. What’s more this system looks like it will offer us the opportunity go way beyond the targets we have set for it.” Further information at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd

World’s first. The

principle – amazingly efficient.

Up to 75% energy savings with hybrid technology

Multi-voltage capability enables global use

Intuitive touch display

The Blue e+ series of cooling units.

www.rittal.co.uk

|45


Factory Automation Getting it Right First Time We rely heavily on robotics and automation in many manufacturing environments, however getting from the specification and concept stage to a robust production system can be fraught with pitfalls for the un-initiated. To help those individuals planning or developing new products, or engineers considering automating their manufacturing lines, leading Automation consultants Automa8 have announced an ‘Automation Essentials: Effective Planning for Automated Manufacturing’ seminar, to be held at The Abbey Hotel in Redditch on Tuesday 4th October. This full day seminar will include comprehensive and in-depth presentations from industry experts. Many companies that look into bespoke automation tend to over specify what it is that they want and need. This can result in increased costs and may not deliver the results they want for a justifiable price. To help engineers make the right choices, this seminar will run through the entire process of finding and buying automation products. In short, it will allow informed decisions and reduce risk. The course is targeted at design engineers, purchasers, buyers, managers, and more generally, those people who are either planning automation or have started the automation process but could still take advantage of learning more. The seminar is also designed for those who are planning or developing new products.

The seminar will look at how to plan automation in the first place and, in particular, how to justify it through the business. “Many companies will consider automation; they may ask for quotes and when the responses arrive, it’ll be difficult to assess if the equipment will meet their needs, along with the complication of a possibly wide span of associated costs,” founder and Managing Director of Automa8, Mark Le Sueur says. “This complication may well put them off right away, or mean when they approach the management, it’ll be rejected out of hand, as it is perceived as high risk, with too many unknowns.” Understanding which systems integrators or suppliers are the correct ones to use for each specific business will be discussed in the seminar. The two processes that work hand-in-hand to provide a product that works and that can be assembled in the workplace, design for assembly (DFA) and design for manufacturer (DFM), will also be explained during the one-day course.

With reference to suppliers, Le Sueur points out that “not everyone is good at everything. Some companies are good at process control and some companies are good at high speed automation assembly. Some specialise in low speed, semi-automated equipment.” With the wide range of systems and suppliers on offer, the seminar will provide delegates with an understanding of what it is that they need and which supplier is best for them. This means delegates can then make informed decisions and get exactly what they need. Putting together a specification is a key element of the one-day event. Le Sueur explains that “because you’re buying something designed specifically for you, the specification must be crystal clear but the reality is that if you go out to three different companies, you’ll almost certainly get three different processes, all of which use different technologies.” The seminar will, therefore, aim to provide delegates with the ability to review proposals and understand what’s the best for their company.

Automa8 Limited | 01225 309192 | 07855 038 604 | enquiries@automa8.co.uk | www.automa8.co.uk

12 - Automation Update September 2016


Automation Essentials

8

Effective Planning For Automated Manufacturing: 4th October 2016

“The Must Attend Seminar For Success In Automation ” Who Should Attend? • • • •

Project, Engineering, Manufacturing & Purchasing Personnel Those planning or developing new products Those seeking to automate existing manufacturing lines Engineers looking for methods to improve current automation or robotic systems

Learn from Industry Insiders: • • • • • •

How to promote projects within your business Reduce risk and improve payback Understand routes to funding Make informed decisions Avoid common pitfalls Get exactly what you NEED

Guest Speakers: • •

Ian Millard - Innovate UK Dr David Hopper - Automation Advisory Service

Topics Covered Include: • • •

Writing a specification Making a robust justification Selecting the right integrator

What’s Included?

£350.00 + VAT Per Delegate Discounts available for multiple attendees

Full Day Seminar | Presentations from Industry Experts | Buffet Lunch & Refreshments | Free Parking & Free Wi-Fi

Venue:

How to Book

• • •

• • • •

The Abbey Hotel, Redditch - B98 9BE Readily accessed from Junction 2 of M42 Date - 4th October 2016

Request a booking form via email or telephone Call Mark Le Sueur on 01225 309 192 or 07855 038 604 Send an e-mail to enquiries@automa8.co.uk More information at www.automa8.co.uk/automa8-news

Automa8 Limited 01225 309192 | 07855 038 604 automa8@rocketmail.com | www.automa8.co.uk

T h e r e ’s n o s h o r t c u t t o e x p e r i e n c e


5 Ways Predictive Maintenance Cuts Down On Costly Downtime Manufacturers are being encouraged to utilise data capture to improve their approach to maintenance. The industrial sector is undergoing massive transformation like never before. Sundeep Sanghavi co-founder of DataRPM looks deeper than preventative maintenance into the realm of predictive maintenance. According to a World Economic Forum study, if the first Industrial Revolution was driven by steam, the second by electricity, and the third by digitization, we are now in the midst of a fourth: one driven by data. In this “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT) era, an explosion of IoT-connected devices has created a new level of big data possibilities for enterprises of all types. In the search for how and where manufacturers can best reap the rewards of the IIoT, look no further than maintenance protocols.

Prevent or predict? For much of the modern manufacturing world, the prevalent approach to IT maintenance can be best described as “preventive” — performing maintenance on a schedule, even if machines don’t actually require updating or repair. According to a 2015 study, 85% of companies utilise this strategy. This is a non-optimal approach because scheduling maintenance leads to unnecessary labor (and, therefore, unnecessary costs). Additionally, a potential problem that goes undetected between scheduled maintenance can pose huge risks to the financial health of the company and the physical health of its workers. Currently, manufacturers tend to devote their technology toward creating and enforcing maintenance schedules — but now’s the time to begin evolving toward a predictive methodology.

14 - Automation Update September 2016

The biggest perks of predictive maintenance Using technology to drive a predictive maintenance approach, manufacturers can stream data from sensors mounted on their machines to uncover key usage and performance patterns in real time. This allows them to identify potential malfunctions in the making and avoid the hefty costs of unexpected breakdowns. As a whole, predictive maintenance offers manufacturers a tremendous opportunity to boost operational efficiency. The process can be easily automated through machine learning and cognitive data science, meaning there’s no need to hire an army of data experts or assign additional human capital to the cause. Here are five specific benefits manufacturers will see from a predictive maintenance approach: 1. Reduced wrench time: Since the turn of the millennium, American factories have spent trillions of dollars a year performing maintenance. A predictive approach would render a great portion of these costs unnecessary or completely avoidable. For example, manpower would no longer be wasted on routine machine diagnostics, and companies could avoid huge outlays purchasing and installing new machines to replace those that broke down between inspections.Human intervention will be required only for a necessary repair, and because the issue is caught before it results in a complete mechanical breakdown, the wrench time will be much shorter. 2. Less downtime: “Downtime” is a word manufacturers despise. About 5% of the average factory’s production is lost to downtime every year, costing the global manufacturing community roughly $647bn annually. However, with a

predictive, data-driven maintenance approach, companies are much less likely to be blindsided by equipment failure and face lengthy, costly periods of inactivity. As an example, robotics company FANUC partnered with Cisco to create a “zero downtime” program that ended up saving one auto manufacturer $40 million.IoT sensors can detect if a machine is beginning to break down and automatically order a new part. Then, the company can schedule the necessary repair or installation during a low-volume or after-hours window, minimizing lost productivity. 3. Improved safety: Manufacturers undoubtedly take pride in creating safe environments for their workers, but one study found that up to 30% of all manufacturing deaths occur during maintenance activity. A predictive approach to maintenance does wonders toward increasing workplace safety by preventing dangerous scenarios. Companies can set safety parameters and receive immediate notification when a machine shows preliminary signs of reaching that threshold. 4. Better inventory management of parts: By predicting what will fail, one can manage what parts he needs to order or have in his maintenance inventory. 5. Better field personnel management: By predicting what will fail, manufacturers can better plan what kind of expertise would be required to perform maintenance. Furthermore, they can better plan schedules, too (rather than when ad hoc failures occur). The lowered costs, higher productivity, and improved product quality made possible by predictive maintenance all lead to the ultimate benefit of happier customers. And further, employing this strategy arms companies with cuttingedge technologies empowered by cognitive data science that produce high-level business insights — unlocking countless opportunities for improvement and innovation. Preventive maintenance can only carry you so far; join the next revolution by embracing predictive maintenance.

Want to learn more about the latest trends in industry and how Industry 4.0 is changing global manufacturing? Then don’t forget to register for the Smart Factory Expo taking place in Birmingham, UK on 2-3 November, 2016.


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Automation for the People It’s a fact of life; mundane tasks are not something people passionately relish. Yet, the fear of job losses due to automation continues to unsettle workers in the manufacturing sector. Having experienced a 40% rise in industry robotic enquires in the last 12-months, managing director of Pacepacker Services Dennis Allison believes the growth in smart machines and automation will actually be a catalyst for new and more exciting knowledge-based jobs in the future. “When reports are released it creates an element of scaremongering among the workforce,” notes Dennis. “The fact is, robots and smart technologies are filtering into every work environment. For the manufacturing sector, rather than dehumanising people, many of the tools today can free workers from the labour intensive and mundane tasks, enabling them to focus on more creative aspects of their job, like problem solving.” According to the most recent research into automation adoption prepared by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), two million jobs will be created by 2020 because of the robotics industry. What’s more, a further 60,00080,000 new activity jobs will be created in the food industry alone by 2016*. “Our study proves that robots create jobs,” said Gudrun Litzenberger, General Secretary of IFR. “Productivity and competiveness are indispensable for a manufacturing enterprise to be successful on the global market. Robotics and automation are the solution. Certain jobs may be reduced by robotics and automation. But the study highlights that consequently many more jobs are created.”

STEM students explore career pathways during a Pacepacker open day.

16 - Automation Update September 2016

Using robots for repetitive tasks like product swapping and packing can make work more fulfilling for people.

Rather than people’s jobs being displaced, Dennis believes that these machines can help enrich people’s lives and create greater job satisfaction. People whose positions become redundant due to automation are invariably given roles elsewhere within the business, he claims. “Automation is often referred to as AI - artificial intelligence. I would argue that automation still requires personal input and numerous human attributes like problem solving. That means it isn’t artificial, but natural progression.”

Although there might be fewer jobs on the production line, automation will help manufacturing business models to evolve faster, increasing their chance of survival, points out Dennis. “It’s a tough time for manufacturers right now. Many are competing harder on price and business costs are being further compounded by recent policy announcements like the national living wage, new pension arrangements and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. Enterprises of all sizes are realising that they can take labour out of their costs and redeploy it elsewhere if they automate. In our view, automation safeguards the roles of the majority, making the business more efficient and enabling it to maintain and hopefully expand its contracts by improved quality and production throughput.” Summing up, Dennis says: “Work should be a source of inspiration and happier employees equate to more productive employees. If automation can assist businesses to survive, increase productivity and create greater human fulfilment, everyone benefits.”


Altec & KUKA Collaborate to Enhance Cam Assembly for Nissan Altec Engineering operates across diverse markets, including the Automotive sector, where the company’s Special Purpose Equipment Division is heavily involved with both the OEM’s and Tier 1 & 2 suppliers. Whilst automotive assembly plants are generally heavily automated, there are still many areas where operators are required, either due to the complexity of the task or where full automation cannot be financially justified. It is in these areas where Altec excels with concepts that strike the perfect balance between man and machine.

The KUKA KR16 robot is at the heart of the Altec Cell at Nissan In this application, a series of dowels and cam brackets are to be assembled to a cylinder head before the cam bolts are torqued. These are tasks that would benefit from a semi-automated solution, which would not only improve productivity but also generate a financial payback. The Altec system comprises of 2 operational stations, linked by a roller transfer system plus a KUKA robot & Bosch Rexroth nut drivers, all of which is enclosed within perimeter safety guarding, incorporating an operator access aperture protected by a light guard. At the first station, the cylinder head is manually loaded onto a base plate, before being located & locked into position on the fixture. A guide plate is placed onto the cylinder head, then 6 dowel pins are located and pressed home using a pneumatic hammer tool. Sensors located on the guide plate are used to detect that the dowels are fully inserted before the cylinder head is released.

Within the second station, the cylinder head is located on a transfer table where the operator can locate a guide plate to the cylinder head, to allow the correct placement of Cam Bracket and Bolts. Sensors are used to ensure that the correct bracket is fitted for the variant being processed and the table then transfers the cylinder head into the guarded robot cell. Integrated within the cell is a KUKA KR16 robot which has 2 torquing spindles mounted to the wrist. The robot positions the spindles over the cylinder head and the tightening operations are then initiated. The bolts are tightened in pairs and in a pre-determined sequence, to a mid-torque point to ensure seating and location before being finally tightened to the final torque requirements. The cylinder head is then returned to the operator.

from an automation perspective, it proves that there are still areas within even the most highly automated plants where innovative ideas and concepts can bring the benefits of automation to tasks often seen as traditional manual operations. Solutions such as this reduce the number of operators required for the task in hand, freeing up valuable labour for re-deployment in other areas of production. For more information, please contact:Mr Nick Batey Altec Engineering Limited Unit 1, Bowburn North Industrial Estate Durham, DH6 5PF Telephone - +44(0)191 377 0555 E-Mail – altec@alteceng.co.uk Web – www.alteceng.co.uk

Whilst this application is not particularly complex or demanding Automation Update - 17 September 2016


50 Years of Passion for Technology The year 1966 witnessed it all: The Beatles coming together for the last time, the “Wembley goal” during the World Cup Final, and the premiere of Star Trek. And in Troisdorf, Hans-Josef Kitz was laying the foundation of his own mechanical engineering company. “’Passion for Technology’ had been his motive,” recalls his son Stephan Kitz, managing director of the company today. He went on to further describe his father as an “extremely creative and talented designer.” Products made in Germany are unsurpassed in their reputation for their high technical quality. Hans-Josef Kitz also shared this passion. As a young entrepreneur Hans-Josef Kitz started this first production facility over half a century ago in a garage of 15 square meters in size, that was attached to his parent’s house. One of the first designs by Hans-Josef Kitz included a celery washing machine for a farmer from the neighborhood. In the early years, as a contractor, he built machines and components for local companies. During this time, more and more of his own products were developed. And then in 1972 he developed his first standard conveyor. Even to this day, conveyor technology is a central pillar of mk’s business. The wealth of ideas and power the company has is evident in its global position 50 years after its founding. The mk Technology Group, which was developed from Maschinenbau Kitz GmbH, is currently in the European and American markets. It is among the leading providers of mechanical modules, components and system solutions for factory automation – a branch with good prospects for the future due to the globalized effort to modernize production facilities and improve processes. Many of the products that mk offers play a key role in this sector and modernization. mk’s customers include mechanical engineering companies and automobile manufactures and their suppliers as well as research and knowledge-driven hightech companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals and medical technologies, semiconductor production and the food and beverage industry. The mk Technology Group with its headquarter in Troisdorf-Bergheim has construction and production facilities located in eastern Germany, North 18 - Automation Update September 2016

America, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. Globally mk employs around 350 people. In 2015 mk Technology Group had sales of 47 million euros. Stephan Kitz attributes the success of the company to the human quality of entrepreneurship. He emphasizes, “What has always been important to me and my parents is the commitment within our family business; a company that is operating globally, but has roots in the region.” He further stresses that, “Most of the managers of mk Technology Group, today, have been developed in our company.” In addition to performance and expertise, especially collegiality and loyalty is a basis for the sustained success of mk.

Such individual characteristics are the basic human values that enrich engineering; and have thus helped the company gain a good position globally. mk offers competitive market prices primarily as a result of their problem-solving expertise, gathered over several decades. In addition to their superior quality in the design and manufacturing of components and systems, mk has the desire and ability to fulfil every customer’s needs accurately and on-time. To find out more about the mk Technology Group please visit www.mkprofiles.co.uk, call (01949) 823751 or email info@mkprofiles.co.uk.


Profile Technology

Conveyor Technology

Linear Motion

Factory Equipment

Flexible modular solutions from mk! Compatible standard modules from mk simplify your production and maximise efficiency. Technology from mk provides the ideal solution for plant and special machinery engineering.

mk Profile Systems Limited a company of the mk Technology Group

Unit 2·Wolds Farm Business Park Kinoulton Lane·Kinoulton·Nottinghamshire, NG12 3EQ Phone +44 (0)1949 823751·Fax +44 (0)1949 81270 www.mkprofiles.co.uk·info@mkprofiles.co.uk


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In the picture – Packaging Machine controlled by Unitronics V1210™ and SAMBA 4.3™. Bimetec BV, Netherlands.

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Automation Update - September 2016  
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