Page 1







he advantages of automation and the closest possible interlinkage of the entire company were discovered long ago. Some regions and

industries, however, still have considerable development potential. And in many places, the “Industry 4.0”

Industry 4.0 is becoming reality

initiative has triggered an optimistic mood. In any case, successful automation is contingent on universal tooling systems. Only in this way can the next step towards full interlinkage be taken.

As our customer stories demonstrate, firms operating in this field profit from increasing flexibility and a boost to productivity: those which attain the ideal of the Smart Factory will achieve the highest level of competitiveness. The motto of our presence at this year’s EMO is intelligent connections. You can learn about the extent to which they derive from nature in the attached reader. We hope you’ll enjoy your read and wish you all the best for business success. Your EROWA Team




Edge 20 – the new chuck generation




Intelligent connections


18  JMS 4.0

Smart Factory Software


23  ORGANIZATION In-Process-Control



Robot Dynamic 150 Linear


30  FIXED IDEAS? Fixturing


PowerChuck P with air duct



Flexibility for take-off The aerospace supplier Dynamatic Oldland Aerospace ­commissioned EROWA Automation to install one of E ­ urope’s longest robot cells. The flexibility and efficiency of the ­production cell help the company to produce complex ­components on schedule and with precision.



ith production plants in Bristol and Swindon based in South West England, Dynamatic Oldland Aerospace is part of Dynamatic Technologies Limited, a global Indian supplier of precision engineering services for aerospace, the automotive industry and hydraulics. The enterprise was established in Bangalore in the 1970s and is characterized by organic growth. From 2007 onwards, it acquired other companies, among them Oldland CNC.

EROWA comes into play The Swindon plant houses Europes longest robot cell making this the company’s most modern automation facility. The linear automation solution supplied by REM Systems and EROWA was installed and commissioned in the first quarter of 2016.

The strong points of different locations Success in the aerospace industry is based on the consistent exploitation of the strong points of different locations, as Managing Director James Tucker explains: “The companies in the UK and on mainland Europe are affiliated with a company in India. This enables us, for example, to carry out highly complex machining processes in the UK while labor-intensive fitting work is done in India.”

On a rail length of 30 meters, the Linear EROWA Robot Dynamic Handling System serves five Hermle 5-axis CNC machining centers: four C42 Dynamic machines and a larger C52 Dynamic machining center. In addition, the cell has magazine positions for more than 200 MTS workpiece pallets and three loading stations for the preparation of various workpiece sizes.

Dynamatic Aerospace is a Tier One supplier* to Airbus, Boeing and Bell Helicopter and has long-term business agreements as a Tier Two supplier* to support established Tier One suppliers* within the detailed manufacturing sector of the aerospace industry. Thus in the seven years during which Dynamatic Oldland Aerospace (UK) has been part of the Dynamatic Group, its size has more than doubled.

In September 2016, the first components were delivered to India, where they were assembled into flap track fairing structures. Thus the manufacture of parts in the UK and their assembly in India constitute a coordinated process. “As the overall supplier of flap track fairings for various Airbus series, we must provide a first-class service,” says James Tucker. “Now we’re able to satisfy our customers’ expectations.”

Second production plant Because of this growth rate, the company has expanded in to a second production plant. Whereas the original location in Bristol had a surface of 2,100 m2, the new facility in Swindon extends to 15,000 m2. In addition, Dynamatic Oldland Aerospace recently also completed a dedicated 900 m2 extension.

Tailor-made Prior to installation, considerable development time was invested in the EROWA cell, for instance for the optimization and rationalization of cutting tools, NC program verification and data transmission, tooling systems and scheduling. James Tucker is satisfied: “The EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 process control system is highly intuitive. We’ve integrated the software for communication into our ERP system. This interface also enables ERP import/export. In this way, parts manufacture can be

controlled according to priorities. The system also provides real-time data about the time required for the manufacture of a part, which is the key to the optimization of manufacturing planning and control.” Every pallet is equipped with an EWIS identification chip. Thus the Robot cell recognizes the position of the pallets with the necessary materials, and the tool manager of the process control system software checks whether all the cutting tools required to finish the part are in place and have the remaining service life for the complete machining cycle. Any possible problems are indicated at once and can be remedied quickly.

* “Tier” is the supplier’s position in the supply chain. A “Tier One supplier” is a system supplier, while “Tier Two suppliers” supply parts or components.

«The EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 process control system is highly intuitive.» JAMES TUCKER, DYNAMATIC OLDLAND AEROSPACE

Flexible In addition, the EROWA cell also supports the introduction of new products. Each of the machine tools can be individually detached from the production process to ensure that parts can be machined in a trial run in order to optimize the process before they are added to the list of serial parts. “We’re trying to eradicate human error and achieve reject rates of zero,” summarizes James Tucker. “That’s why we aim to finish the part inside the cell and have added a deburring cycle and thus eliminated the need for manual deburring.” “Our future in the aerospace industry will be ensured by consistency and efficiency. Investments in modern systems like this production cell automated by an EROWA Robot Dynamic provide the basis for these goals and challenges.”



Completely interlinked! 06

No doubt about it: The fully mechanically constructed tooling systems will also adapt to the new circumstances of Industry 4.0. We present one option of how this can be realized with the Edge 20 design study: Tooling systems with a fascinating design and trail-­ blazing functions.


f you try to find out about Industry 4.0, you’ll find that a lot of stuff is being written about smart products, also called the Internet of Things (IoT). The point is that ­individual components in the manufacturing chain identify themselves automatically, answer status requests or ­memorize the period until the next service interval. We are taking these latest requirements into account. The new generation of EROWA tooling systems combines the well-known characteristics of precision and stability with a new design and innovative features of wireless ­transmission. Swiss precision EROWA does what it says on the tin. The well-defined, universal design language makes it clear at a glance that the products are originals.

Well-thought-out functions Energy distribution has been consistently thought through to its logical conclusion. No matter whether you need compressed air, vacuum or even hydraulic oil, the ­ingenious coupling systems ensure that every medium is led right to the upper edge of the pallet – for instance in order to be able to operate active fixtures. Status display via LED The LED strip integrated in the chuck displays various ­statuses directly on the chuck. Thus you can see at a glance which status the chuck is in. Ready for the IoT Knowing in even more detail what’s going on: the EROWA mobile app for SmartChucks visualizes current clamping equipment data even on your smartphone. Status requests and further information about the life-cycle can be ­retrieved at any time – and all this without any mechanical link, with state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology.



With MTS

into the future 08

To ensure that production machines do precisely what they are intended for, namely produce, pressure die-casting mold manufacturer PT. MEIWA MOLD relies on the many advantages of EROWA’s MTS datum point tooling system.


Meiwa Mold Indonesia, which was set up in 2002, is a subsidiary of MEIWA CO. LTD., which is based in Japan. The corporate group includes further branches in China and Thailand. The company based in Indonesia’s Jawa Barat province specializes in the production of pressure die-casting molds for cast aluminum engine parts. Various reputable firms such as Aisin Seiki, Yamaha Motor, Daihatsu Motor und many others commission the company to produce sophisticated casting molds. Competitive environment Demands made on producers in South East Asia are constantly increasing. Automobile and engine manufacturers, in particular, focus on their core competencies and outsource many processes. This generates cost pressure, attracts competitors and thus the necessity to optimize processes and achieve faster delivery periods. Technologies which answer that need are called for. With consistent process optimization, the subcontracting industry is able to realize rationalization and cost-cutting potentials and to cushion cost pressure. Continual quality improvements are also required: subcontractors must analyze their production processes step by step, identify faults quickly and specifically tackle their causes. Optimizing production Pt. Meiwa Mold produces its electrodes on site. For this purpose, fairly large graphite blocks are machined at times: the average size of electrodes is 400 x 450 x 250 mm. They serve to produce casting molds that consist of several elements and with which customers then manufacture aluminum pressure die-cast parts. Production can take up to 120 hours’ EDM time!

For a long time, no standardized palletizing system was used to set up and reset electrodes and workpieces on milling and EDM machines. Setting up times were correspondingly considerable. Depending on the job in hand, machines had down-times of several hours. This is precisely where the company intended to intervene: to remove as many set-up and aligning times as possible from the milling and EDM machines in order to reduce machining times. Ideally, jobs should be prepared and set up while the machines are productive. The solution is called EROWA As of late, the EROWA MTS datum point tooling system has been in use as a universal interface both on the milling and EDM machines and on the measuring station. This allows for palletized workpieces and electrodes to be clamped quickly in their exact positions with precisely repeatable references. The seven milling machines are equipped with MTS 4-fold base plates, MTS 6-fold base plates or MTS Single and Multi Chucks. A Hartford graphite milling machine is equipped with a special version of an MTS 2-fold base plate with an additionally integrated MTS Single Chuck to machine smaller electrodes. On the five EDM machines, MTS 6-fold base plates and MTS Single Chucks are in use. The measuring station is also based on MTS. Examinations and in-process checks of dimensions and reference points are carried out quickly and without any problems, as are checks on and the preparation of pressure die-casting molds for repair or of graphite electrodes for re-use.

«The time saved by setting up for EDM amounts to more than 60 %.» 09

Objective achieved Pt. Meiwa Mold now profits from distinctly reduced reset and set-up times, faster machining times, an increase in production and improved capacity. Clearly improved precision results in less rework. Reliability, a simpler setting-up process and uncomplicated operation, flexible use depending on the range of parts thanks to the various clamping surfaces on the machine tables are further advantages. Average set-up time on the milling machines was reduced from half an hour to a few minutes. The time saved by setting up for EDM even amounts to more than 60 %. In view of this positive experience, it does not come as a surprise that Pt. Meiwa Mold is planning to implement the MTS datum point tooling system in further production plants.


One step

ahead 10

OMATECH is a Bulgarian company which primarily distributes products for the metal-working industry of well-known European manufacturers. Its focus is on cutting tools and cooling lubricants for metal processing. Yet OMATECH is far more – particularly for EROWA.

center, but at the same time, OMATECH also manufactures parts for regional companies, primarily one-off parts and small series.


he company is based in Plovdiv and was set up by Todor Daskalov in 2001. The Plovdiv region is ­Bulgaria’s most important industrial location after Sofia. Thanks to the strategically excellent situation at the main transit route between Asia Minor and Europe, many ­industrial enterprises have settled there. Demo center supplements consultancy Products such as workpiece clamping systems can be sold perfectly well with good consultancy services – and demo material. This becomes slightly more difficult when it comes to selling robots and, quite generally, automation. “I’ve noticed various times that my customers are hardly able to imagine what well-thought-out automation tailored to specific requirements would be capable of achieving,” says owner Todor Daskalov. “On the basis of these experiences I decided that it would be of advantage if I could demonstrate the systems in practical application. And so I launched a project in July 2016 which constitutes a quantum leap for regional circumstances.” OMATECH invested in a state-of-the-art production cell, in which one EROWA Robot Compact 80 serves two Ingersoll machines: a high-speed Eagle V5 milling center and a Gantry Eagle 500 EDM machine. The cell has been in productive operation since February 2017. It serves as a demonstration

EROWA Robot Compact 80 The Robot has a great and flexible magazine capacity. It ranges from small and light ITS 50 mm electrode holders to the heavy UPC pallets 320 × 320 mm with fitted CleverClamp tooling system. It manages transfer weights of up to 80 kg and is optimally suited to OMATECH’s range of parts. Thanks to its lean design, the Robot saves space between the two machines. The cell is controlled by the EROWA JMS®pro process control system. “It’s extremely helpful for us to organize the various production data and to keep them under control,” says Todor Daskalov. The basis and the interface, however, was the universal tooling system on all the machines. “It enables us to position workpiece carriers with speed and precision,” he adds. The equipment also includes an EROWA Lift as a manual loading station, as well as an EROWA CMM Qi coordinate measuring station for presetting and quality control. A small team A small team is sufficient to be able to profit from the capacity of the production cell. Daskalov’s employees are trained machine engineers and master the entire production process. Their work involves various technologies, and they program both CAD/CAM and the process control system. Data are transmitted from the programming office to the machines through a special high-speed data cable. The machines are then set up, as is the Robot. Then the workpieces or blank electrodes are prepared. Machining




is followed by quality control. “We want to prove that the use of EROWA products and the universal manufacturing philosophy are able to improve productivity and flexibility within a short period of time while still satisfying the highest quality standards. In our country, there’s still a lot of potential in this respect.” Local need for development In fact there is an interest in automation in Bulgaria. Although the country is still at the outset of this development, it has certainly begun. Also, there are many well-trained specialists; Todor Daskalov’s machine engineers are no exception. And yet: “When I tell potential customers about automation, I usually meet with incomprehension,” he says. In many places, people still fail to recognize the signs of the times correctly: “They produce with ‘time-tested’ manual processes. Or they invest in automation but then still have to set up the machines by hand because there’s no universal workpiece tooling system, and where there is one, it’s usually cheap copies with many sources of errors.” There is a need for development here – but obviously also potential. And this is where Todor Daskolov sees his mission.

Digital network: smart factory However, the production cell does not only serve OMATECH for demonstration purposes. The firm also serves its own customers, some of whom operate in mold-making and aluminum casting while other are subcontractors to the automotive industry. OMATECH machines steel and aluminum, and graphite in EDM. Demanding parts are produced, and new jobs are prepared, during the day. At night, the machines work autonomously and machine the workpieces loaded by the Robot. “Digital interlinking is quite high in our company,” Todor Daskalov sums up. “The combined use of EROWA products and the continual data exchange with the ERP system, the process control system, the production cell and the measuring station have turned us into an actual ‘smart factory’. And thanks to our production job, we’re killing two birds with one stone: we demonstrate productivity, efficiency and flexibility in such a cell and are able to amortize it more quickly at the same time.”


Blank holder Connections are not exclusively defined through the i­nternet and wi-fi. When we clamp blanks, a strong connection ­between clamping equipment and workpiece is a crucial factor.


Immovable The new blank holder clamps workpieces with great clamping power at minimal height. The holder is characterized by its very compact and robust, but nevertheless light design. The individually insertable clamping jaw enables operators to clamp a wide range of different workpiece sizes. Caught between the requirements of the highest degree of flexibility and the best utilization of the machining centers, the blank holder provides the optimal solution: setting-up job are completed outside the machine, and in combination with a suitable EROWA chuck, machine down-times can be reduced to an absolute minimum. No matter whether for manual or automatic production processes: the cost-effective blank holder is eminently suitable for daily use in chip-cutting production.

FACT BOX Robust clamping Light design Wide clamping range


A partnership spanning


14 The Vorarlberg-based firm of Julius Blum GmbH and EROWA have enjoyed fruitful cooperation for many years. Equipment Production, a department in the company Werk 3 – Technik, is run by Gerhard Gorbach.

We’ll come back to that aspect in a minute. But can you first tell us something about your cooperation with EROWA? This has got tradition, hasn’t it? You can say that again! This goes right back into the mid1980s when we had a closer look at the FMC concept. This philosophy convinced us. We use ITS, UPC, MTS and FrameSet tooling systems to this day throughout production. Equally important: Since the mid-1990s, EROWA has been our most important partner in the field of automation.

Gerhard Gorbach, Julius Blum GmbH

EROWA: Mr. Gorbach, could you please give us some key data about Werk 3 here in Höchst? Gerhard Gorbach: “We work in the field of tool and mold manufacture. Besides mechanical cutting processes such as milling and grinding and the assembly of tools and assembly plants, EDM and WEDM are one of our core operations. Equipment Production employs several hundred people. Added to this, there are no fewer than 280 apprentices, whom we train for the company as a whole. This is particularly important because it is difficult to attract a sufficient number of specialists. Our goal and at the same time our great challenge is high productivity at low cost. This means: short machining times, a high degree of utilization and low error rates. Our work is closely interlinked, from development to production.”

And this is where the interlinkage you mentioned before plays a role. Is EROWA also involved here? It is, with the JMS®pro, which was developed by EROWA’s subsidiary CERTA Systems GmbH. It is the pivotal interface of our production, as it were, which runs 24 hours a day all year. We distinguish between level 1 with CAD, CAM and integrated ERP, level 2 with JMS®pro and level 3 with the actual automation and production itself. All levels communicate with each other. This is called Industry 4.0! Industry 4.0 or “smart factory” are slogans which are used by everyone who operates a fast data line or uses a robot somewhere or other. But it’s really more; all levels must be interlinked. We’ve been developing and practicing this for 20 years. And it’s only this interlinkage that turns automation into a powerful tool and gets the robots and production cells to do what they should: more operating hours, adherence to deadlines through perfectly planned processes and constant quality. But the factor of personnel/operation ratio is also extremely important: In view of the shortage of specialists, it is very valuable to us if people don’t have to stand by the machines and can be employed elsewhere.



16 “Only interlinkage turns automation into a ­powerful tool.”

And is EROWA also involved in automation? Involved as a competitor, yes. But in this area, our evaluations are always project-related. A bit of competition can’t do any harm; EROWA also profits from it. But we do now have four EROWA Robot generations in operation, besides a few other products from competitors. Please tell us about your latest project! This is where we wanted to set a new benchmark. This was about the procurement of additional WEDM machines. Our EDM Manager, Roger Turner, put five suppliers to the acid test. In May 2016, we commissioned four Fanuc EDM machines and a Mafac workpiece cleaning and drying facility. The whole cell is served by an EROWA Robot Dynamic 250 Linear, which was also delivered in May 2016. In June, we were able to commission it, and the system has been in standard operation since September last year. Specific requirements included the integration of the cleaning facility, of course also into the JMS®pro, but also the great number of magazine positions in a very confined space. In the cell, one-off parts, a wide range from small to quite large are produced.


So the use of the new production cell can be called a success. How would you characterize cooperation with EROWA? According to the value cherished by Blum, partnerships are always a matter of give and take. Accordingly, EROWA always gets feedback from us, also when – or particularly when – they have not been chosen for a project. It is an open and honest exchange, you could say like two partners climbing stairs. Conversely, our concerns are always listened to. It’s certainly also important that EROWA, on its part, is owner-managed. That fits. What about the operation of the cell? The small loading and unloading station did not correspond to EROWA standards, so a solution had to be found there. At the moment, we still load and unload with trolleys which are pushed by hand from the setting-up station to the cell and from there to quality assurance. This will also be automated in the future. As for the rest, the employees’ range of activities has changed quite a lot. Besides technological know-how, employees now also require a talent for organization.

Can a Swiss supplier be competitive at all in these times of the strong franc? Some of them are struggling, that’s clear. But EROWA has overcome the currency problems. And added to that, there is consistency. EROWA stands for the ur-tooling system as such, has affirmed its first-class quality for 30 years, offers a top service and is highly reliable in cooperation. All that pays off too!


JMS 4.0 18

Responsive Design, GUI, web technology, slide, swipe – all expressions from modern software ­technology. EROWA’s globally used process ­control systems are being adapted to present-day ­technology. A first step has been taken with the ­design of the user surface.

The user surface Today, people are almost intuitively tempted to trigger a wide variety of functions by touching a screen. Other tasks are more easily carried out with a mouse and a keyboard. This is precisely why we revise operation at all levels. Also on mobiles Information about what’s going on does not require a whole PC. The mobile view of JMS 4.0 is designed in such a way that one glance on your mobile will apprise you of the situation. No matter where And as soon as you are standing in the office or in front of the production cell, all the information can be viewed on the desktop PC or the integrated computer on the robot. All operation elements are available. How’s it going? Evaluations of the productivity of the plant, about the manufacturing hours that have been completed and are still outstanding at present, about the cell’s autonomy until the next necessary intervention by an operator, and more, can be seen on the “Reporting” page. First steps We’re on the right track with the function redesign. It is our declared aim to realize the new functions and options in line with the latest discoveries in the field of software design.



JMS 4.0

ProductionLine JMS 4.0


Automation on

2 by 2 meters 20

The globally operating German company GEMÜ ­Gebrüder Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG has been active in Switzerland ever since 1981. The two subsidiaries in Rotkreuz and Emmen constitute the group’s plastic competence center. The Emmen plant, which was built in 2012, is specialized in customized valves. Here, Dominik Moser is in charge of CNC m ­ achining. Recently, he had a milling machine ­installed which is served by an EROWA Leonardo Robot Multilevel: a pilot project.

Crazy ideas? Tell me about them! On the one hand I took a feature that was mentioned in the prospectus concerned literally and asked whether it was really possible to realize two tooling systems on the same machine. The thing is that we don’t only machine orders down to batch size 1 and therefore depend on flexibility, but we also have workpieces of different dimensions. But that wasn’t all. EROWA: Mr. Moser, in what segments does GEMÜ ­Switzerland operate? Dominik Moser: About 70 % of our customers come from the microchips and solar industries. Further customers come from the medical and environmental industries, for example, and from pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs. You commissioned a new facility this spring in which EROWA plays an important role. How did this partnership come about? I knew about EROWA because we use some of your tooling systems, but the decisive factor was that I saw an EROWA Robot in operation in an in-house demonstration on the premises of the machine producer, GROB. I actually visited this demonstration on account of a 5-axis milling machine, but the interaction between the two components appealed a great deal to me, and so I started to pepper the EROWA project manager who was on site, Thomas Lüscher, with questions. And I liked the way in which even crazy ideas didn’t faze him.

You also wanted a double-decker system, right? Right. Although our premises here in Emmen have basically been built on a generous scale, turnover generated per square meter is of course an important factor. So I asked whether it would be conceivable to place two of these automation systems one on top of the other. I immediately thought that this would be unusually compact and would have a great capacity. What was the response to these ideas? They nodded, and after a short time turned up with layout ideas. I liked that a lot. But – I reckon I’m a difficult customer – I wanted the centerpiece of the new facility, the new GROB G350 second-generation milling machine, in operation within a very short period of time, so the schedule for the development of the robot was extremely speedy as well. The result was the handling system called Leonardo, a double-decker storage with two different tooling systems, with the bigger pallets being equipped with CleverClamp.


“I asked w ­ hether it would be con­ ceivable to place two of these auto­ mation systems one on top of the other.”



What do you mean by “extremely speedy schedule”? The order was placed on June 3, 2016, and I wanted the system in operation before Christmas. Of course this was an extremely demanding project even for EROWA. Everything was done to adhere to the schedule. They didn’t quite manage it, but I still regard delivery in January 2017 as an admirable achievement, particularly since the machine was in operation within a month. The project team really did some good work. What are the advantages of Leonardo, that is, the facility with Leonardo and GROB G350? If you produce in Switzerland, it is crucial that production involves as few people as possible. Here in Emmen we run two shifts, and Leonard practically takes on the third shift. The facility processes different pallets, workpieces and batch sizes autonomously, primarily at night and at weekends. The final goal would be to feed the facility during the day, as it were, and then have it work through the night, without an operator and with batch size 1. The G350 is a very dynamic machine, and we have a very dynamic handling system to go with it, which results in a high degree of availability.

THE GEMÜ GROUP The globally leading producer of fittings and automation components has provided innovative products and customized solutions for process media control systems ever since 1964. Its headquarters are located in Baden-Württemberg. At present, the GEMÜ Group employs more than 1,600 people and runs 27 subsidiaries in more than 50 countries.

So the components work well together? Yes, the Robot accepts the clamped parts, measures their heights and allocates magazine positions to them. Incidentally, this was another detail which Leonard had to cope with: our workpieces are of very different heights, which means there must be corresponding positions available. The software, the EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 Jobmanager, then determines when a part is produced and with which program. The tool management system also provides excellent checks on tool life since the Jobmanager also knows when a tool isn’t sharp enough any longer and issues a corresponding warning. This means we go home in the evening and know that the machine won’t stand still. So can we call you a satisfied customer? Absolutely. This was a pilot project with special details and highly specific requirements. I was not least impressed by the speed with which EROWA got the facility going. Also, cooperation was excellent. Of course it’s an advantage that the producer lives just round the corner. But remote support also works well when it’s needed.


Organization Presetting outside the production machine, fast in-process checks and concluding quality measurement. Everything on the same high-precision machine, exactly where machining processes take place in the µm-range: this can be realized with EROWA’s CMM Qi.

Robust “Robust” is not necessarily an attribute associated with high-precision measuring machines. However, a closer look quickly reveals why this characteristic is very helpful. In-process checks and quality measurement are increasingly integrated into the manufacturing process as a whole. This means that the measuring machine must be located alongside the production cell. Delivering reliable results in this rough environment is a requirement – which can be satisfied by CMM Qi. Precise The special symmetrical design of the EROWA measuring machine, the choice quality materials for the portals and the table, and the double-guided air bearings enable operators to present high-precision measuring results in closest proximity to production.

FACT BOX 1.5µ +L/500 Laser and tactile scanning Arco-CAD or Metrolog X4 Made by EROWA

Flexible Presetting, the determination of offset data in relation to the tooling system datum point, is carried out close to the machining center. In-process checks: making sure that everything is running well with a measuring program. In the best possible case, the robot loads the measuring machine automatically. Quality check at the end of the production process. On conclusion of the measurement, a report is drawn up and filed for each workpiece that has been checked. This flexibility is made possible by the robust design and fundamental precision: real smart! Real Industry 4.0!





the top class

“Thanks to the integration of the ­process control system into our ERP system, the planning process will be perfected even further.” Ing. Alessandro Manzini OEB S.r.l.

Whoever follows events in Formula 1 knows: the teams are constantly working on their racing cars and sometimes introduce innovations within a week – and this with high-performance engines which turn at 15,000 rpm and generate 900 hp. It’s clear that this results in extremely short delivery times for suppliers, who have to deliver absolute top quality nonetheless.


The heart of Italian motor sport Such a supplier is OEB S.r.l. in Camposanto near Modena. The region is the birthplace of Italy’s motor and motorcycle culture. Nowhere else is the density of exclusive engine works as high as in Emilia-Romagna. This is where Orfeo Manzini, the present CEO’s father, set up his own firm together with a partner in 1972. To begin with, the company specialized in packaging machines, but in the course of time increasingly focused on the production of high-precision engine parts for motor and motorcycle racing. There has now been close cooperation as a supplier of precision parts for various reputable Formula 1 and motorcycle teams for more than 20 years. Orders in this field account for about two thirds of the company’s turnover. In addition, the firm is also successful as a producer for the medical and aerospace industries. It has several quality certifications, state-of-the-art machines and a top infrastructure. At present it employs 40 people, many of whom have worked for the firm for many years. Their considerable experience, their great know-how and communication systems that work well and work across technologies constitute one of the firm’s secrets of success.

Premium quality and speed OEB primarily machines steel, titanium and aluminum. Only high-quality materials can be used for the extreme mechanical stresses of Formula 1. High precision, many prototypes, technically very demanding components, as well as the manufacture of one-off parts and small series – these are the cornerstones of production. At the same time, orders have very short deadlines and require fast delivery. Accordingly, OEB makes every effort to keep processes as short and direct as possible. Thus in the case of close customer relationships, the CAD/CAM department is directly integrated in the engineering department to act as an interface to ensure that OEB receives its 3D models as quickly as possible. Needless to say, absolute confidentiality with regard to data and knowledge is guaranteed at all times. OEB relies on EROWA The satisfaction of these challenges does not only require top modern machines but also a high degree of automation. And this is where EROWA comes into play. As in many other cases, the partnership started with tooling systems: In 2000, OEB introduced the MTS datum point tooling system. As early as 2003, the firm commissioned the first robot, an EROWA Robot Easy, which was later joined by the EROWA Robot Compact. And then, in 2016, the company purchased two EROWA Robots Compact 80, including the EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 process control system. “We particularly profit from the fact that in comparison with the preceding model, the transfer weight has increased from 30 to 80 kilograms,” says Ing. Alessandro Manzini, the firm’s CEO. “In this way, we’re able to process a much greater range of parts on the machines, which opens up many new possibilities for us.”



By now, four of five automated production machines at OEB are served by EROWA robots. Together with the workpiece tooling systems (ITS, PC210 and UPC), this results in precise universality on all the machines, quick resetting and therefore distinctively shorter production times. “This is important since our great challenge is bringing the production of one-off parts and small series into line with high productivity and timeliness,” says Ing. Alessandro Manzini. “The production of one-off parts of the highest quality is one of our great strengths.” Smart on the road into the future The EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 process control system also plays a crucial role in all this. “Thanks to its use, we were able to boost the autonomy of the machines, and the machining jobs are processed flexibly and according to priority,” explains Ing. Alessandro Manzini. The workpiece carriers are equipped with the EWIS™ chip identification system, on which the required presetting and machining data, magazine position allocations and manufacturing programs are assigned and are retrievable. The data are handled by the process control system, which also checks the tool list of the machine and compares it with the tools required to machine the relevant parts.

“Checks on tool life and the display of the corresponding warnings are of course particularly important when high-quality materials have to be machined,” Ing. Alessandro Manzini confirms. And the next step is already in the pipeline: “We’ll integrate the process control system into our ERP system,” he explains. “Once the systems communicate at all levels, we’ll be able to access all data at all times and to perfect the planning process. Thus our ‘smart’ production will become even more efficient.”


Ready for

Industry 4.0


Everything LED or what? The digitization of production p ­ rocesses has long been a fact. The further development of the Robot D ­ ynamic 150 Linear aims at smart functionalities.

Small key – great impact Inconspicuous, but really smart: After new blanks have been clamped to a pallet, simply keep the key on the loading station depressed for 2 seconds. The process control system will identify the new parts and immediately plan the next job. Christmas lights? There is a certain similarity. However, this is not about beautiful packaging but about status display. The status is clear without the operator having to look at the monitor of the process control system: blue – machining process completed, red – something has gone wrong, and green – ready for machining.

Merry-go-round Little floor space for many magazine positions: the rotary magazines have an undisputable advantage when it comes to the utilization of space. Up to 360 positions are available in one single magazine. Loading without interruption Completed jobs are retrieved from the system and new ones are loaded into it on the integrated loading positions. The safety concept is so ingenious that the robot is also able to access all other magazine positions during manual work – continuously.


Impressive increase in



Since 1972, German Machined Products, Inc. (GMPI) in Los Angeles, CA has been specializing in the machining, manufacture and assembly of aerospace industry components. In 2016 they discovered the advantages of EROWA and have already made further investments.


MPI had been running an EROWA Robot Multi since the spring of 2016. “We had very good results so we decided to invest further,” says Jonathan Minter, Head of Continuous Improvement. In the spring of 2017, a project was launched in which the existing solution was to be replaced by an EROWA Robot Dynamic 150 Linear. The system was installed in early May.

2+2+2 Whereas the old robot served two machines, the new cell already consists of four Yama Seiki 5-axis vertical machining centers. The two existing machines could be commissioned without any problems, and without retrofit. Furthermore, enough space was allowed to accommodate an additional two machines, so the EROWA Robot Dynamic 150 Linear will ultimately serve six machining centers. The tooling system consists of the PowerChuck P and ITS 148 pallets. The cell machines aluminum plates of up to 11.5 kg in weight and batch sizes range from 3 to 90 workpieces. “The aim is to be able to run unattended shifts at night and over the weekends,” explains Minter. Two to three operators are intended to keep the production cell running around-the-clock, 24–7. “We’re already getting there with the new system. What also helps is the EROWA Manufacturing Control V3 cell management system, which could be integrated without a hitch,” he says approvingly.

Fierce competition “EROWA was our first step into automation,” Minter continues. This was not only important because the company had to cope with complex machining processes but primarily because the aerospace industry is subject to very strong competition. After all, customers source globally. “If we want to keep pace with the existing pricing structures, we’ll have to invest in new technologies,” he says, “otherwise there’s not much point in us being able to offer world-class experience and excellent quality.” The new production cell also results in an improvement in employees’ working conditions. Above all, however, “it brought about a impressive increase in our machining centers efficiency,” says Minter: “We are very impressed and will continue to partner with EROWA for parts and projects of this size and nature.”

“The software was really easy to learn – extremely logical and user friendly.”



Fixed ideas? 30

Quite the contrary: Everything that comes out of the “fixturing kitchen” is variable. This is where a customer requirement is literally on top of it all. And below it, there’s always an EROWA tooling system.

Improving concentricity To ensure that coating with CBN can be effected with the highest possible precision, the blanks for cup wheels are prepared with the highest possible precision. Needless to say, productivity will still have to remain high, too. These requirements can be fully satisfied with the automatically operated expanding mandril.

Clamping with “nothing” Vacuum technology exploits a fundamental physical principle. It is primarily used for non-magnetic materials. Combined with the EROWA tooling system, a permanent negative pressure can be generated. The parts will be held in place reliably from the setting-up station to the robot magazine, the transfer route and the machine table and back again.

Tailor-made autonomy Sometimes a short machining process makes it hardly worth loading a single workpiece into a fixture. However, if 24 blanks are taken to a machine at the same time, then this looks completely different. In such a case, you quickly save two to four hours’ autonomy on the machining cell. And yes – with the EROWA tooling system, automatic machine loading is basically part of it, too.




Throughout the tooling system: this is where we guide


the required medium, be it compressed air or vacuum, also for automatic pallet change, right to where it takes effect – to an active fixture or an automatic vise.

An integrated duct The possibility of changing active clamping fixtures automatically integrates the handling of blanks into the Flexible Manufacturing Concept FMC. It does not matter whether two or two hundred parts have to be produced. Thanks to the air duct with automatic coupling, nothing has to be done manually any longer.

A small borehole in the PowerChuck P has a great impact on productivity. FACT BOX – Automatic coupling – Suitable for pressure and vacuum – Low-maintenance

EROWA AG 117110 en / 09.17 EROWA Group Business Network: a member of ORENDA Holding Ltd. Subject to technical changes. Registered trademark of EROWA AG, Copyright © EROWA AG, for a number of products of EROWA AG patents are existing or pending.

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China EROWA Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. G/F, No. 24 Factory Building House 69 Gui Qing Road (Caohejing Hi-tech Park) Shanghai 200233, PRC China Tel. 021 6485 5028 Fax 021 6485 0119

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