IRT3000 magazine (English edition)

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The complete picture – digitalisation in the metalworking industry Automation takes a lot of finesse Top form with surface know-how


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Additional information: Industrial forum IRT, Motnica 7 A, 1236 Trzin, Slovenia I gsm: +386 51 322 442 e-mail: I I Event organizer: PROFIDTP, d. o. o., Gradišče VI 4, 1291 Škofljica Organizational leader of the event: Darko Švetak,


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Dear future business partner! In any business, one must be on a constant lookout for good opportunities. That is why I am sure that you never stop looking for doors to new markets. Are you interested in opening the door to innovative companies on a multi-million market of south-eastern Balkans and Slovenia? We would like to introduce to you the IRT3000 trade magazine! We have selected several professional articles from the magazine’s focus areas and translated them for you from Slovene, Croatian and Serbian to English. The pages you are browsing present “the best of ” from the following areas: Toolmaking and Machine Building, Maintenance and Technical Diagnostics, Non-Metals, Manufacturing and Logistics, Advanced Technologies, and Joining, Materials and Technologies. The core professional teams overseeing the quality of our magazine are our editorial board and board of experts, which consist of renowned Slovenian and international experts, professors, researchers and journalists. This is exactly how IRT3000 became to be number one among the trade magazines in this area. We have already listed several thematic units, so let us also explain the name of the magazine: IRT3000 stands for Innovation, Research&Development and Technology, while 3000 stands for the new millennium. The IRT3000 magazine has a long tradition in this area and is a source of professional, fresh and credible information for the experts from the following industries: • technology and mechanical engineering, • process industry, • mechanics and cybernetics, • computer science and IT, • multi-disciplinary research, • energy,

• manufacturing technology and systems, • mechanical design and integrated motion control systems, • organizational science and logistics. The Slovenian edition is published in 10 issues/year (with around 200 pages) and with a circulation of 2,100 copies. A few hundred copies of the printed edition are distributed to the addresses of the largest and most innovative Slovenian companies, and 200 copies are handed out at regional trade fairs. The IRT3000 ADRIA magazine in Croatian language and the IRT3000 АДРИА magazine in Serbian language are published every three months with a circulation of 3,450 copies in total. More than 200 pages in each issue are delivered to the readers in four countries of southeastern Balkans, most of them situated in Croatia Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most important question remaining is who reads the magazine and will notice your advertisements. The IRT3000 magazine is read by experts from the enterprise sector, professional associations and educational institutions, as well as by corporate decision makers, advisers in the public offices, professors and students. Our magazine is a media partner to some renowned trade events, and the general and professional audience can visit us at all main trade exhibitions and fairs. In addition to that, the digital version of our magazine is FREE. Therefore, our readers can enjoy the convenience of reading it anytime, anywhere! We invite you to take a look at the IRT3000 magazine and start advertising in the number one trade magazine in southeastern Balkans and Slovenia. Seize the opportunity!

Darko Švetak, Editor-in-Chief

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Table of Contents

3 Editorial

30 Maintenance and technical diagnostics

6 Manufacturing and logistics 6 Digital solution Connected Manufacturing with advanced job and resources management 7 LVD offers new cost-efficient laser cutting machine 8 ABB unveils future of process automation 9 Flexible, efficient, reliable - Emparro20-Pro 10 Highly automated shot blasting solution for transmission components in E-vehicles 11 Elesa standard component manufacturing goes Green 12 Pliers, crimpers, wire stripping tools and more 15 More applications, the familiar simplicity: the new LBR iisy cobots 16 New STADLER PX Conveyor raises the bar on purity in sensor sorting 17 New Elesa wire rope isolators, spring mounts and cushions 18 Safety elements and accessories for automation systems. 19 Efficient manager for safe intralogistics 20 CombiTac uniq connectors are used in intensive care units of field hospitals 21 Sustainable infrastructure solutions, road safety and health protection 23 KUKA’s new operating system and ecosystem receives German Innovation Award 24 The fine-pitch thread of progress 26 EuroBLECH 2022 returns to live event format 27 3D scan-to-print technology restores creative outlet for paraplegic artist 29 SCHUNK is your Life-Science Partner with Application Know-How


ABB unveils future of process automation


30 Analyzing and optimizing cleaning processes 32 Consistent and efficient removal of support structures with an automated process 33 Ecoclean: focus on high-purity applications, medical technology and service 34 VDMA THERMPROCESS FORUM at Düsseldorf’s leading trade fair THERMPROCESS 35 Enhanced Comfort and Safety in operation

36 Joining and material technologies 36 Steelworks live and breathe digital transformation 38 Mega trends at EUROGUSS 2022 39 Stratasys signs agreement to acquire covestro’s additive manufacturing materials business 40 Top form with surface know-how

Analyzing and optimizing cleaning processes

Editors' picks More applications, the familiar simplicity: the new LBR iisy cobots 15

Top form with surface know-how 40


Steelworks live and breathe digital transformation

Table of Contents

44 Advanced technologies 44 Automation takes a lot of finesse 46 HMS presents communication solutions for Battery Energy Storage Systems 47 First-rate contacts, new projects and concrete deals 49 Intelligent, High Performance Roots Pumps with High Pumping Speeds 50 HMS Networks releases the world’s first industrial 5G router and starterkit 51 Major European Automotive OEM Purchases Two Additional SLM Solutions Systems

52 NON-metals 52 High Gloss – Paintless and Painless 55 The spare parts scout for your pocket 56 Black plastics recycling: towards a circular economy 58 More convenient dosing and mixing 59 HASCO Innovations live at K 2022 in Düsseldorf 60 The new low friction coating for aluminum forming 61 High-performing hot runner systems for small precision parts 62 Successful cooperation


Automation takes a lot of finesse 44


First-rate contacts, new projects and concrete deals

64 Tool & mould making and machine building 64 The faster way to the optimum process 66 The complete picture – digitalisation in the metal-working industry 71 Maximum flexibility in tool production and re-grinding 72 AM Tooling Inserts with EOSTATE Monitoring Solutions 74 Precise measurement of cutting edge preparation and surface finish 76 High feed milling 78 Matsuura Launch MX-420 PC10 - 5-Axis Multi-Pallet Vertical Machining Centre 79 Okuma takes automation and robotics to the AMB Stuttgart 80 Advanced Engineering Design Faster Than Ever Before 82 Successful restart of Moulding Expo 83 Okuma MA-8000H machining centre - additional automation and energy efficiency 84 Three-year additive manufacturing technology partnership 85 Tool life increase: Around 50% 86 Ten machines with a single objective 88 A multi-stage fine boring tool for the highest precision 90 LVD adds 60-ton electric-drive press brake to product line

Black plastics recycling: towards a circular economy 56


The new low friction coating for aluminum forming

A multi-stage fine boring tool for the highest precision

The complete picture – digitalisation in the metalworking industry 66

Manufacturing and logistics

Monitoring of manual and external job steps and organisation of workplaces, machines and service providers in bundles

Digital solution Connected Manufacturing with advanced job and resources management At the AMB in hall 3, stand D77, Hoffmann Group will present new features for their digital manufacturing solution Hoffmann Group Connected Manufacturing. The software offers tool administration for tracking all tools on the shop floor in real time. In addition, it provides digital job management. This feature has just been upgraded. The advanced job step overview now additionally includes information on the status of manual and external jobs. Users can now also group workplaces, machines and service providers into job bundles and allocate them to an order. This allows detailed production planning, optimized use of resources and higher utilization of the machine park.

With the new job administration in Connected Manufacturing the user can assign manual job steps to a workplace and external job steps to a service provider. Components or assemblies located with a service provider are automatically tagged as such to help production planning accommodate this. To optimise resource allocation, the user can now also group workplaces, machines and service providers into what is referred to as job bundles. This makes it possible to structure production units. Creating jobs in the system becomes even quicker since all required resources can be allocated just by clicking.


Connected Manufacturing makes production planning more detailed, optimises resource allocation and raises machine pool utilisation.


The upgraded job step overview includes information on the status of manual and external jobs to add greater detail to production planning and administration.


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

A customisable job step overview adds extra transparency and convenience. Every user can hide or show various items of information using selected filters to set up their own personalised job step overview. The filter configuration can be saved and set as the default view. Because every user needs to use their own credentials to log in to Connected Manufacturing, everyone always gets their own, user-specific view. An at-a-glance overview shows essentials on its job steps. This is a major benefit especially for larger manufacturers with a more widely distributed workload.

Manufacturing and logistics Connected Manufacturing is particularly easy to introduce wherever there is already a well-maintained tooling database in the CAM system. This imports smoothly to Connected Manufacturing, forming a solid foundation for rapid implementation in tool administration. In addition, it is possible to integrate the GARANT Tool24 tool dispensing system into the tool management solution. This results in a holistic system that gives round-the-clock tool monitoring and cuts throughput times in the production department to generate extra savings. In total, Connected Manufacturing supports eight CAM programs, with ESPRIT as its latest addition.

About Connected Manufacturing Thanks to the Connected Manufacturing software solution, small and medium-sized enterprises can manage their tools more ef-

ficiently, and optimally plan their use. For this purpose, Connected Manufacturing provides a comprehensive overview of all tools and their digital twins in real time – from project planning in the CAM system, to the pre-setting device, right up to the machine. Alongside the master data, movement data – such as storage location or place of use – and pre-setting values are recorded and permanently updated. Based on this information, it is possible to always have the right tool in the right place, thereby reducing scrap, re-working or machine downtime. A clear and intuitive interface enables users to operate the solution in the shortest amount of time using a standard Internet browser. Tool serialisation is managed using RFID chips. Connected Manufacturing is currently available in eleven languages.

LVD offers new cost-efficient laser cutting machine LVD introduces Puma, a new cost-efficient fiber laser cutting machine designed to provide high-technology features and performance at a lower total cost of ownership. Offered with 3-, 6- or 12-kW laser in 3050 x 1525 mm, 4065 x 2035 mm, and 6160 x 2035 formats and automation ready, Puma provides the agility to handle a diversity of cutting applications.

High value for investment LVD’s newest laser cutting machine addresses a growing demand for versatile laser cutting equipment built to maximise the value of a user’s investment and lower the cost per part. Puma is designed to operate as economically as possible with high-end features that optimise cutting performance and robust construction to ensure reliable operation. The welded steel, monoframe construction provides stability to achieve quality cutting at high feed rates.

Advanced cutting head, top dynamics The Puma cutting head uses the latest technology to deliver consistent quality and process stability. It incorporates crash protection, motorised focus position adjustment, and capacitive height sensing, as well as automated functions for sheet referencing, cutting gas selection, pressure control, and nozzle cleaning. High machine dynamics enables productive cutting across a wide range of material types and thicknesses.

Automation advantages Puma’s shuttle table system allows one table to be loaded or unloaded while cutting on the other table, keeping throughput at its

peak. Table changeover takes just 35 seconds. To maximise laser cutting output and processing efficiency, Puma can be equipped or retrofitted with any MOVit modular automation system, including Compact Tower (CT-L) for loading, unloading and material/parts storage, Flexible Automation (FA-L) advanced load/unload system, Tower Automation System (TAS) single or double-tower storage, or Warehouse Automation System (WAS) customizable storage tower system. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

ABB unveils future of process automation • ABB presents the future of Distributed Control Systems (DCS) as vital to sustainably meeting the rising demand for energy, utilities and goods • The white paper outlines how the DCS of the future will help industries drive digital transformation and achieve higher safety, efficiency, productivity and sustainability • Process automation systems will evolve while remaining fundamental to enabling some of the most complex infrastructures in the world

ABB today releases its white paper entitled “The DCS of tomorrow: ABB’s process automation system vision,” which outlines how process automation systems will evolve to support industries as they undergo digital transformation and shift to sustainable energy sources. For more than a century, automation systems have been central to empowering industries that provide the basic building blocks of our everyday lives – energy, power, water, metals, minerals, chemicals, and transportation – to scale to the needs of a growing population. And for nearly 50 years, the DCS – a digital platform for automating and operating large plants – has been instrumental in enabling safe, efficient and reliable 24/7 operations for these process and energy industries. ABB has been a global market leader in DCS for 22 consecutive years, maintaining a leading share of around 20 percent in a market worth more than $14 billion[1]. At the core of controlling and supervising complex processes, the DCS will continue to provide the essentials needed for safe and reliable operations, while evolving its functionality to serve the needs of accelerating digital transformation and energy transition. It will combine an ability to scale and serve new market conditions by adapting to new technologies, including the provision of standard interfaces for third-party connectivity. ABB foresees a modular automation architecture that will evolve to address customer needs, becoming more open, interoperable and flexible, while maintaining the same high level of reliability, availability, safety and security to which users have grown accustomed. • The DCS of the future will be embedded in a digitally-enabled environment that facilitates enterprise-wide secure connectivity and collaboration among people, systems and equipment. • New business models will be feasible through readily downloadable application subscription services. • Machine learning and artificial intelligence will speed issue resolution and promote remote, autonomous operations that keep people out of harm’s way and mitigate against humaninduced error. • The generation joining the workforce will leverage the familiar 8

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

benefits of digitalization without having to sacrifice the reliability, availability and security that current systems provide. “With the DCS of tomorrow, we will accelerate innovation while maintaining the reliability and continuity for which we are known,” said Peter Terwiesch, President, ABB Process Automation. “This white paper is a blueprint for automation systems that will futureproof industries for decades to come. Many of the industries we serve are energy and material intensive, and strive toward more sustainable production. As they increasingly integrate renewables into their energy mix, we will provide the automation with which to do it.” ABB’s world-leading distributed control systems combine process control, electrical control, power management and safety management. They are a collaboration enabler, allowing improvement of engineering efficiency, operator performance and asset utilization. “ABB automates, electrifies and digitalizes some of the largest and most critical operations in the world to meet the needs of our growing society, helping our customers make a world of difference,” said Terwiesch. “These sophisticated, interconnected systems work in the background, and yet are essential for nearly everything we use in our daily lives. Our future automation offerings will continue to be at the heart of this.”

Manufacturing and logistics

Flexible, efficient, reliable Emparro20-Pro Murrelektronik is presenting Emparro20-Pro – an IP20 rated switch mode power supply with an IO-Link option. The Emparro20-Pro switch-mode power supply, developed in-house by Murrelektronik, can be equipped with an IO-Link adapter, sold separately to allow users remote access to perform tasks like setting the output voltage, locking the controls to prevent unauthorized adjustment of the output voltage, and running diagnostics.

With dimensions of 50 x 123 x 138 mm, Emparro20-Pro is more than 40% narrower and, overall, significantly smaller and more space-saving than its predecessor. The switch-mode power supply can either be DIN rail or screw mounted. The tool free DIN rail mounting option simplifies installation at the customer’s site saving both time and effort. Several devices can be operated via the parallel mode. Potentiometers are a thing of the past with Emparro20-Pro as voltage is now set using keys. The 22 - 28V DC output voltage can be adjusted using the + and - keys. The keys can be locked via IO-Link or a key combination on the device preventing unwanted output voltage adjustment. Emparro20-Pro has a ≥95% efficiency rating which offers a range of savings opportunities. Operating costs are kept to a minimum. Plus, the control cabinet stays cooler meaning that control cabinet air conditioning can be reduced in some cases. The service life is increased, and reliability is enhanced. Finally, thanks to overvoltage category III, Emparro20-Pro is insensitive to overvoltages. Users can always keep an eye on the Emparro20-Pro’s lifecycle via preventive diagnostics. This function indicates when the switchmode power supply is approaching the end of its product life cycle by tracking various parameters including the power supply’s internal temperature, switch-on processes, and a permanent overload of more than 120%. When the statistically calculated service life is reached, this is signaled via a potential-free contact. The power supply will continue to function normally at this point, but the failure risk increases therefore maintenance should be made aware of the state. This way downtimes can be avoided, and machine availability and productivity can be increased. With the Power Boost function, Emparro20-Pro supplies 150 % power (30 A for the 20 A power supply) for five seconds. If the power supply is utilized to more than 90%, this is signaled by the flashing “OK/ALARM” LED. With the Standard and Advanced models, Murrelektronik will offer additional products in the Emparro20 family in the future


The Emparro20-Pro switched-mode power supply from Murrelektronik has an efficiency of more than 95% and can be equipped with an optional IO-Link adapter. Image: Murrelektronik GmbH

allowing customers to select the right power supply for their application. Murrelektronik is one of the few manufacturers to comply with the EN-61204-3 standard, thus offering customers a high-quality product. Emparro20-Pro is currently scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2022. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

High throughput, easy maintenance and a long equipment life

Highly automated shot blasting solution for transmission components in E-vehicles For the expansion of its transmission production facility for electric vehicles a German automotive supplier purchased a new continuous feed blast machine from Rösler that includes fully automatic work piece handling. The customer chose the Rösler equipment, because it offered a high productivity, is easy to maintain and has a long service life. Excellent experience with a practically identical shot blast machine that has been running at the OEM since 2016 also played a role in the decision making process.

The work pieces in question consist of various toothed components for the transmission in electric vehicles. They must be deburred by shot blasting after undergoing a machining and subsequent heat treatment operation. For this manufacturing stage in its transmission production facility the large German manufacturer had to invest in a new shot blasting system. In 2016 the same OEM had already purchased a shot blast machine for a similar surface treatment task. In both cases the customer chose a continuous feed wire mesh belt blast machine with largely automated work piece handling from the Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH. The company preferred the Rösler equipment over competition because of its high productivity, the well-engineered, compact automation concept, the easy maintenance and sturdy equipment design.

Consistent, reliable deburring with short cycle times At the start of the deburring operation the work pieces are manually placed on two storage units, which are part of the work piece transport system. After an integrated camera system has confirmed the correct transport position, the components are precisely positioned on the wire mesh belt in lots of three and continuously transported through the shot blast machine. Upon completion of the shot blast process a powerful blow-off system is completely removing any residual blast media from the work pieces. In the next step the now deburred components are transferred onto a buffering station consisting of a conveyor belt. Here the work pieces are precisely repositioned so that a robot can pick up four pieces at a time and place them in layers into suitably staged work piece bins. Whenever a layer is complete, the robot picks up an intermediate cardboard sheet and places it in the bin. Completely filled or, in case of a work piece change, partially filled bins are automatically removed from the robot working area. This allows the operator to safely remove them from the manufacturing cell with a lift cart. 10

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


A blast pattern simulation allowed the precise placement of the turbines on the blast chamber, thus ensuring perfect deburring results for the entire work piece range.

Whenever the work piece type changes, the operator selects the new type in the HMI. This causes the machine control to empty one of the two storage units of the work piece transport system so that new parts can be immediately placed on the now empty storage unit. At the same the machine control selects the respective shot blast parameters for the new work piece type. This ensures perfect deburring results and prevents any input errors by the operator.

The goal: Short cycle times in three-shift operation The shot blasting machine was designed for three-shift operation allowing cycle times of less than eight (8) seconds per work

Manufacturing and logistics piece. Equipped with four high performance blast turbines with an installed power of 11 kW each, the machine provides ample “fire power” to achieve the required deburring results. The precise placement of the turbines on the blast chamber was determined with a special software allowing the simulation of the blast pattern for the entire work piece range. This ensures that all work piece sections are reliably deburred within the required cycle time.

Easy maintenance and long equipment life

material was utilized for those blast chamber sections exposed to a higher risk of wear. To facilitate maintenance and minimize non-productive idle times, these sections are lined with replaceable carbide steel plates. The turbine type and blast chamber design of the existing and new shot blast machines are practically identical. This greatly facilitates the maintenance and supply of spare parts by the internal maintenance department.

To guarantee long uptimes and very little work for maintenance, the turbines are completely made from carbide steel. The same

Mechanical components

Elesa standard component manufacturing goes Green Elesa are delighted that their “Elesa goes Green” program has recently advanced with the signing of a “renewable energy” contract with major supplier A2A. The “Elesa goes Green” program means that in their Monza production plant Elesa are now contracted to use only electricity from 100% renewable sources. That is to say only energy produced through the use of natural resources (water, sunlight, wind, tides, geothermal heat etc.) which therefore do not involve CO₂ emissions. This ensures significant Green benefits that are immediately passed on to Elesa customers by reduction of CO₂ in their supply chain, so improving their own carbon footprint. Explains Dr Andrea Bertani, Elesa Executive Director – Finance & Administration: “This supply will have a slightly higher cost but we believe that this and many other efforts must be made by everyone in the world to reduce global emissions as soon as possible and in any case bring them to zero within 2-3 decades. This is an objective and a challenge of a difficulty never encountered before by human civilization, and which can only be achieved if we all consider it an emergency and act accordingly.” The “Elesa goes Green” program selected A2A, the primary Italian national electricity supplier, which favours hydroelectric energy produced with water from reservoirs located in the nearby Italian Alps. Water power, of course, represents one of the few storable and renewable energy sources and is among the main alternatives to fossil fuels. The A2A hydroelectric plants utilize both flowing water, directly tapping kinetic energy from the flow of a watercourse, and potential energy storage, using dams to collect the water upstream of the plants. Elesa are market leading manufacturers of standard industrial components and related measurement devices such as handwheels, clamping handles, positioning indicators and many other items for machine and equipment producers. Environmental

considerations are therefore an important consideration in the overall production mix. Their energy partner A2A are focused on contributing to the attainment of 11 of the 17 United Nations 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals and so make an excellent supplier for companies seeking to lower their impact on the environment. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

Overview of KNIPEX professional tools

Pliers, crimpers, wire stripping tools and more Although TME is primarily known as an international distributor of electronic components and subassemblies for industrial automation, you will also find a wide range of mechanical elements and tools in our catalogue. These are products designed for use by professionals, which means they are durable, precise and designed for specific tasks and type of work.

Below, you can find a sample of our range of tools. These are products by KNIPEX – a well-known German manufacturer of tools for electricians and electronic technicians, essential equipment for workshops, maintenance shops and even manufacturing workstations. The supplier’s products are known for their functionality and good value for money.

Cutting pliers One of the basic tools in any professional’s (as well as DIY hobbyist’s) electrical equipment are pliers, especially cutting pliers. Although they perform a basic function, many different variants are available – each one adapted to specific applications, because in some cases a particular shape of the tool may prove indispensable. Insulated pliers All types of pliers have handles that are mostly made of dielectric material. Nevertheless, a separate category of products are tools designed to work with electrical installations. Their profiled handles have a collar that makes it difficult for your hand to slip on the uninsulated part; the products guarantee insulation of 1000V. To prevent the technician from getting tired quickly during installation, most pliers have a high leverage ratio, thanks to which they are easier to use. TME also offers extended blade variants, that make it easier to cut wires in hard-to-reach places (e.g. in a deep flushmounted box).


Pliers designed for cutting wires with a diameter of up to 4.6 mm. 12

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

• Cutting pliers • Crimpers for cable terminals and connectors • Wire stripping tools • Tool kits & accessories

Some products are designed to work with both solid wire and stranded conductors. Selected models (such as. 14 26 160) have precisely shaped slots, thanks to which these pliers can be used to remove insulation from conductors with the most common cross-sections (1.5mm2 and 2.5mm2). These products are made of forged, chrome-plated vanadium steel – well suited for working with typical copper wiring. Apart from the tools used exclusively for cutting, KNIPEX (through TME) also offers gripping pliers with blades – designed for working not only with cables, but also with regular wires (e.g. when installing mesh fences) with torsionresistant gears. End and side cutting pliers Work with wiring is not the only type of work where cutting pliers are a good choice. They are also used, among other things, in making reinforcement for concrete structures. For these heavy

Manufacturing and logistics



Wire and cable shears – blade profile prevents crushing of wires.

duty works, a tool with a higher gear ratio and a suitable profile is used – usually these are end cutting pliers which allow the wire to be cut flush. KNIPEX offers such tools that are up to 280mm long, with phosphate-coated blades that allow both the secure gripping/twisting of the binding wire and cutting the wire to the desired length. End and diagonal cutting pliers also allow you to cut the wiring conductors as much as possible, which improves the installation safety. KNIPEX also supplies wire and cable shears – their design ensures a clean, perpendicular cut so that wire strands are not crushed and broken/tangled (inadvertent deterioration of wiring current performance through mechanical damage is one of the dangerous consequences of using poor quality tools). Precision pliers A specific subgroup of pliers are precision tools, used mainly in electronics, but also in jewellery work or metalwork. Typically, these tools are equipped with opening springs. Here, we also offer equipment with front and side blades. These products have a number of distinctive features. The first group are tools with the so-called “small chamfer”, whose profile makes it possible to cut the leads of THT (through-hole) components almost flush with the PCB surface (or solder surface). Another type is the sharp-

»»Close-up on tapered

blades with a small chamfer – for flush cutting.

headed pliers, whose tapered profile makes it comfortable to work with dense circuits, e.g. in a service/repair workshop. Furthermore, selected items have handles made of Electrostatic Static Discharge Prevention (ESD) materials. It is worth paying special attention here to the cutting pliers from the Electronic Super Knips® series, which make it possible to cut cables with diameters from 0.2 mm – thanks to a mechanism that makes a controlled micro-slide of the jaws when they are closed. Importantly: these tools can be used to work with fibre optic cables.

Crimpers for cable terminals and connectors Just like in the case of cutting pliers, crimping tools have a significant influence on the comfort of work and the performance of the installation. Only a properly crimped connection will achieve the nominal electrical and mechanical properties. A loose connection results in the lack of vibration/jerk resistance, as well as increased electrical resistance (which in turn can lead to the overheating of installed components). Another consequence of using low quality crimping tools is frequent damage to the restraining sleeves, which (unnoticed) will either lead to malfunction or to irreparable damage to the connector or cable terminal. In the long run, buying a KNIPEX crimping tool is both a matter of convenience and improved safety, but also an investment that saves money.

Four-pin crimping tool with digital operating parameter control.

Cable terminal crimpers Crimp cable terminals are used to make high-current connections in industrial equipment, as well as household appliances. The most common among these are fork and ring terminals (attached with screws/nuts) and push-on terminals. Another similar solution are cable sleeves crimped on stranded conductors, thanks to which such cables can be safely fixed in clamping terminals (e.g. in overcurrent or residual current switches). The third and most diverse area of application for crimpers are contacts for power and signal connectors. KNIPEX offers a wide range of tools for these solutions. These include basic products, with profiled handles and insulation suitable for medium voltage installations. However, the manufacturer also supplies more flexible items, such as Crimp System crimping machines that support interchangeable dies, allowing the crimping of literally 1,000 different sleeves and connectors with a single tool. In the TME catalogue ,you can also find models from the MultiCrimp® series, e.g. KNP.973302, which is available in a kit with a handy die changer magazine. Other solutions from KNIPEX include four-pin tools with infinitely adjustable clamp dimensions (including models such as KNP.975265DGA equipped with a display for monitoring the setting value). Crimping tools for coaxial and communication connectors Crimp connectors are used primarily in the areas that require coaxial cables (antennas, measuring instruments) and telecommunications. The most popular connectors that can be crimped on the cable are SMA, BNC, and F-type connectors, popular in TV installations – and telephone RJ10 and Ethernet RJ45 (Western type) connectors. In both categories, we offer pre-calibrated KNIPEX crimping tools. All models have a forced locking mechanism (which can be released). The coaxial connector crimping tool range includes a two-handed option, that is recommended to professional technicians (e.g. those who make complex antennae installations). Also noteworthy is the fact that KNIPEX crimpers for RJ connectors are equipped with a cutter and a wire stripping knife (with depth and distance limiter), so they will be the only tool needed for the work at hand. Parts, accessories and other items The KNIPEX tool systems are extremely extensive – this is especially true for crimping tools, which have to be adapted to a wide range of purposes with different parameters (shape, size). Consequently, compatible accessories include in particular dies (jaws) with special profiles and positioners (facilitating, among other things, correct, repeatable mounting of contacts An example positioner. This model in a specific type of connectors). TME offers a wide range of these is dedicated to HTS/Harting conaccessories, specifying compat- nectors.


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics ible pliers and their applications – when looking for a specific solution, it will be most convenient to use our search engine or catalogue filters.

Wire stripping tools During the removal of the outer coating from the cable and during the stripping of the insulation from individual conductors, mechanical damage to the cable may occur. Insulation stripping is therefore not only tedious (especially for complex works) but also requires precision. Fortunately, the KNIPEX brand also comes to the rescue here. It is worth noting that the German supplier offers both universal solutions with a wide range of parameters and the simplest and “traditional” products (e.g. sleeve strippers for round cables of a specific diameter), which will fully meet the needs of installers working with various specific types of cabling. Specialist wire strippers The KNIPEX range of wire strippers is very diverse. It includes popular solutions such as slotted pliers or end pliers with a screwadjustable hole, but also more modern tools. These certainly include semi-automatic and finely adjustable tools supporting a large range of cross-sections (e.g. from 0.08mm2 to 16mm2 for KNP.1252195), which have a cassette for spare blades. It is also worth noting the 1212xx series tools, which use two pairs of knives (shaping and supporting). Their structure facilitates the removal of sheaths made of hard or ductile materials that are difficult to process, including Kapton, Handy, compact wire stripper with a locking silicone and mechanism, gauge and diameter setting function. Teflon derivatives (PTFE). A specific area of application for wire strippers are cables (power, telecommunication) with a large cross-section. For handling such cables, KNIPEX manufactures a special tool to facilitate making circular and longitudinal cuts. The KNP.1640 model, with an adjustable cutting depth (up to 5mm) has been designed to work with cables with a diameter of more than 25mm.


Parts & consumables It is the normal course of things that all insulation strippers require periodic blade replacement. As KNIPEX products are highly standardised, users can easily find the right replacement parts in the TME product range. These include entire jaw sets, but also gripping tips and length limiters (due to their funcThanks to their replaceable jaws, tion, these components are KNIPEX tools can be used for many years. made of soft material and will wear out from extensive usage).



October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Tool kits & accessories When stocking your workshop, service or “field” technicians, consider purchasing a tool kit. In the case of KNIPEX, these are specialised kits that come with a case/container and in some cases also a selection of related consumables (e.g. sleeves or cable terminals). Below, we present two types of kits – however, we recommend that you get acquainted with a full offer of manufacturer’s products in our catalogue, where you can find more extensive tool kits. Photovoltaic installation toolkits


Tool kit for installation and repair of photovoltaic systems.

Photovoltaics is no longer a novelty that is just gaining popularity – it has already found its way into the midst of standard installations in industry and households. This is why KNIPEX manufactures toolkits designed to work with solar energy systems – these products are intended for both specialised installers and electricians wishing to modernize their equipment. The handy padded carrying case contains three basic tools: wire shears (for wires with a cross-section of up to 50mm2), an insulation stripper (suitable for typical cables, e.g. Radox) and a crimper with a set of dies that are suitable for most photovoltaic connectors (MC3, MC4, H4, Tyco, Sun Con etc.). Kits with crimpers and cable terminals The crimper kits are delivered in cases with compartments and a foam-lined tool cavity. Compatible consumables are included, i.e. insulated connectors and insulated collar cable sleeves or terminals (ring, fork or push-on ones – depending on the option selected). Crimper in set with insulated terminals and connectors. The kits use the TANOS MINISystainer® system, which allows the boxes to be stacked in a tower and individual containers to be opened without separation.


[ Text prepared by Transfer Multisort Elektronik Sp. z o.o. ]

Manufacturing and logistics

More applications, the familiar simplicity: the new LBR iisy cobots KUKA is introducing two new cobot models: the LBR iisy 11 kg and the LBR iisy 15 kg. Thanks to extended payload capacities, significantly longer reaches and a higher IP protection class, the two sensitive lightweight cobots are suitable for a wide range of new tasks and applications.

LBR iisy makes robotics and automation easy – from setup and teaching through to servicing With the lightweight cobots of the LBR iisy series, robotics is made easy – because start-up is accomplished in just a few minutes, even with no prior knowledge of robotics or programming skills. This is made possible by the new KUKA iiQKA.OS operating system that is easy and intuitive to use. Together with the LBR iisy version for 3 kg payloads, which is also available as a series product, the new “big iisys” are the first robots to run on iiQKA.OS. Typical areas of application for the collaborative robots of the LBR iisy series are in the flexible automation of pick & place, assembly, testing and handling tasks as well as the loading and unloading of machines. All cobot robots in the LBR iisy series are suitable for industrial applications, offer a very good price/performance ratio and feature full KUKA service.


Unlike conventional industrial robots, cobots are used to supplement human labor. The manual guidance teaching function makes automation faster and easier.

Higher payload capacities, greater reach, more freedom: LBR iisy 11 kg and LBR iisy 15 kg


The LBR iisy cobots make it possible to open up new applications for automation. Perfectly suited to small and medium-sized companies.

LBR iisy stands for an “easy customer experience” First-class hardware meets intuitive software: in combination with the new iiQKA.OS, the LBR iisy series promises a completely new robotics experience. The cobots are ready for use in less than 90 minutes – and programming using drag-and-drop functions, convenient teaching via the ergonomic Commander and operator control via the smartPAD pro make robotics easier and quicker than ever before.

The payload capacities of the two new LBR iisy variants are 11 and 15 kg respectively. The reaches are 1,300 and 930 mm respectively. Both robots can be mounted on the floor as well as on the ceiling or wall and meet the requirements of protection class IP54. They are thus protected against dust and moisture. Furthermore, human safety is a top priority in automation with the LBR iisy cobots: from the injury-preventing design to implementation of the robot system’s safety functions. The collaborative robots are controlled using the space-saving KR C5 micro, which allows the robot system to be operated with 230 volts and thus makes the range of potential applications even more flexible. In the KUKA Marketplace, cobot manufacturer KUKA offers accessories that are perfectly coordinated with the overall system. These include, for example, grippers or vision sensors for various automation applications. The joint torque sensors of the cobots enable operation without a safety fence, facilitate teaching by means of manual guidance and, if desired, safe cooperation and collaboration between humans and robots. Small and medium-sized companies in particular benefit from the fast start-up of the LBR iisy with no major integration effort and no special know-how required. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

New STADLER PX Conveyor raises the bar on purity in sensor sorting The new STADLER PX acceleration conveyor integrates the best features of the BB and DB conveyors for optical sensor sorting and takes purity to new heights. The new STADLER PX acceleration conveyor meets the demand for higher throughput in sensor-based automatic sorting, which can operate at higher working speeds. To achieve the desired result, STADLER has integrated the best features of its popular BB and DB conveyors, and has taken the opportunity to introduce a host of improvements. They include a new air stabilizer, which ensures consistent sorting quality at faster speeds with light materials, resulting in excellent purity of the output.

“At STADLER we are always very alert to how our customers’ needs evolve. We are constantly looking at ways to address these changes by improving our products or developing new ones,” explains Corinna König, Team Leader Product Management. “We found that we were increasingly combining our BB and DB conveyors in customers’ projects to achieve the desired result, so we developed the PX, which combines the best features of each into one conveyor. This means that our customers now have only one machine to operate and maintain, simplifying their operation and reducing their costs. And we went further, because we significantly increased the belt speed, even with light materials, so they can increase their throughput with just the one machine – and they can count on consistently high purity levels.” process. Stefano Montanaro, CEO of Irigom, is impressed with the results: “The PX is performing very well. The fast speed up to 4.5 m/s is allowing us to significantly increase the total material input, while maintaining a very high-quality material in the output.”

High throughput with excellent purity of output fractions

Italian company Irigom Srl has installed 6 PX conveyors at its SSF (Secondary Solid Fuel) plant, which is designed to separate and recover all valuable material from the incoming plastic waste. The recovered PET, PE-LD and PP is sent to a recycling facility, while the residue is used to produce high-quality SSF. The conveyors have been operating for 3 months, sorting PET, PE-LD and PP materials for recovery, metals, and PVC which is removed from the 16

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The new PX conveyor carries over the solid frame construction and long service life of its predecessors, the BB and DB models. It features a slot to fit a sensor under the belt and is easily compatible with NIR and EM sensors from a variety of manufacturers. It offers a belt speed ranging from 3.2 m/s to a fast 4.5 m/s, and can be specified with two motors to ensure the necessary torque at the required speed. The head drum is available in a choice of two diameters: 125mm and 220mm for the best detachment of the material. The material on the conveyor is accelerated and straightened, so that the sensors fitted in the slot are able to detect accurately

Manufacturing and logistics the material on the conveyor at all speeds. An optional stabilizer further improves performance by optimizing the positioning of the material on the belt with an air flow. The result is a higher throughput with consistently high sorting quality and a higher purity levels of the blown-out fraction – even at the top speed with light materials such as paper or film.

Compact dimensions for easy transport The PX benefits from a compact size and is designed for easy transport. The frame, with the belt already mounted, can be separated into three or four sections, depending on the length of the conveyor. These can be stacked for transport and are simple to reassemble on site. Even the model with the widest, 2900mm belt can be loaded on standard trucks or containers, also cutting down on transport costs.

Mechanical components

New Elesa wire rope isolators, spring mounts and cushions New Elesa ranges of stainless steel damping elements offer different designs for different jobs – AVC wire rope isolators are suitable for low-frequency damping with high deflections. Their function is to prevent damage to structures and preserve the correct operation of sensitive equipment while also reducing noise. The sister range of AVM spring mounts is excellent for low vibration with high deflections, while AVF metal cushions are compact for small spaces, higher frequencies and smaller deflections. Overall, these high-performance vibration dampers are used in compliance with safety regulations on vibration and noise (DL 81/2008). Stainless steel is chosen for many applications because it performs over a long lifespan with low-to-zero maintenance, and is unaffected by ageing as generally found in rubber isolators. Elesa wire rope isolators are very high-performance shock absorber and vibration dampers that can be used in endless applications. Typically from oil exploration, radio equipment and generator sets, to blowers/fans, and other HVAC style installations. They are very useful because they maintain excellent isolation performance under maximum shock in severe environmental conditions, for example chemical pollution or extreme temperatures. Stainless steel wire rope isolators have a long service life and can adapt to elastic displacement in all dimensions This allows multi-directional isolation, with installation in many different orientations, making them suitable for railway compressors, aviation and marine engineering as well as camera mounts on UAVs and robotic camera platforms. AVM spring mounts offer low-frequency damping at higher deflection rates, combined with the higher frequency damping of rubber end pads. They suit acoustic and motor mountings where a wider range of vibrations and larger deflections are likely also where wind loads or asymmetric movement patterns are experienced, such as in engine starting.

At the other end of the scale, AVF metal cushions provide a very compact solution to the needs of machine tool manufacturers. They are ideal for machine component mounting where space is at a premium but deflection is minimised – such as in electronics equipment or isolation of exhaust systems. These wire mesh vibration dampers can be used for pass-through mounting or with an inset machine screw for component retention. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

Multifunctional safety relays by PILZ

Safety elements and accessories for automation systems. In industrial environments, especially on production lines and in production workshops, elements that are responsible for the safety of the workers are extremely important. Among these components are sensors (detecting hazards, such as human presence in a danger zone), as well as relays for emergency stopping of the machines. Of course, such components should be characterised by reliability and efficiency and at the same time conform to the international norms and domestic OHS regulations.

From the point of view of the units responsible for maintenance in automated factories, standardisation and wide functionality of the products used is important, too – so that the protection elements can be used in diverse, complex areas of application, protecting both the workers and the continuity of processes (machines, materials). In such cases, the best solution is to implement elements and whole systems designed by one, reliable producer. Mutual compatibility of safeguards, ability to connect them, as well as the availability of extension modules shorten the installation and maintenance times and reduces downtime. Below, we present the two product families of safety relays and a series of magnetic sensors by PILZ. PILZ is a German company with over 70 years of experience, it is one of the global leaders in protection of automation systems. Presented products can be used to build new, complex systems, but also to modernise and carry out maintenance of the existing machine installations.

PNOZ X series PNOZ X safety relays are specialist, DIN-rail mounted modules. Their functions include monitoring emergency, limit and pressuresensitive switches, doors and shutters, light barriers, pressuresensitive mats and other components of automated protection used in workplaces. They have from 2 to 6 inputs and from 2 to 11 outputs (NO). Each of them is equipped with 2 electromechani18

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DIN-rail mounted module with 5 outputs.

cal, potential-free contacts. Depending on the model, the relays are adapted to the supply voltage of 12V DC, 24V AC or DC, and to ranges from 24…240V to 100…240V AC/DC. They can work in temperatures varying from -10°C to 55°C. However, there are also versions whose thermal tolerance allows for operating temperatures as low as -35°C, which makes it possible to use these products in harsh conditions of chemical and refrigeration industries. Selected products feature additional relay connectors (from 1 to 4 NC outputs). In the TME catalogue, there are also compatible extension modules which allow to increase the number of connections for each output – these components work with relays in a feedback loop mode. Some of the variants of the PNOZ X series components are equipped with outputs with a programable delay (up to 30 seconds).

Manufacturing and logistics PNOZsigma series The PNOZ Sigma safety relays were developed with compact design, diverse functionality and fast mounting without the use of professional tools in mind. The width of the DINrail mounted modules varies from 12.5mm to 45mm. The front panel is equipped with LED indicators. Electrical connections are made using spring-loaded terminals that allow for a push-in installation of wiring which makes the process much easier. You 12.5mm wide module can set the parameters with the knobs – model equipped with a placed behind the transparent, locktransistor output. able covers. The modules are equipped with expansion connectors on the upper part of the body – it’s yet another way to shorten the mounting time. It also reduces the necessary wiring (by even 20%, according to the manufacturer) to a minimum required by the specific application. Core and expansion modules have from 3 to 9 outputs (in selected models these are transistor signal outputs) and 1, 2 or 3 control inputs. Supply voltage for the products of this series varies from 24V DC to the range of 48…240V AC/DC. Some models of the PNOZsigma series are intended for emergency stop systems, controlling gates and barriers, monitoring two-hand control (protection of the machine operator’s limbs). PILZ also offers variants for monitoring of simultaneity and rotational speed.


PSENmag series


Magnetic safety switch set.

PSENmag sensors are characterised by their long service life and robustness. They meet the requirements of ISO 13849-1 (for safetyrelated parts of machines) and EN 62061 (safety integrity level) norms. These sensors are used to monitor the position of guards, doors, and barriers. They are adjusted to work in harsh, industrial environments – selected models are characterised by IP69 rating and thermal tolerance of -25°C to 70°C. Moreover, the manufacturer also designed variants that are safe to use in explosive environments (ATEX certified). The sensors are equipped with M8 or M12 connectors and 10m connection cables. The components are available in versions with an operating distance ranging from 3mm to 12mm and switched voltage of up to 24V DC. This series includes sensors with 2 or 3 NO switches or a pair of NO and NC switches. The sensors are in rectangular enclosures with mounting slots or in cylindrical, threaded enclosures (M12 or M30). Thanks to this diversified offer, the customers will surely find products that are perfectly suited for their specific applications. [ Text prepared by Transfer Multisort Elektronik Sp. z o.o. ]

Efficient manager for safe intralogistics Pilz is expanding its offer for the safe use of automated guided vehicle systems (AGVS): In cooperation with NAiSE GmbH, the expert for material flow automation, the automation company Pilz offers the world’s first traffic and order management software for all participants in intralogistics – for humans as well as transport systems. Thanks to precise, real-time localisation, NAiSE Traffic can be used to implement AGVS applications safely and efficiently. The aim: higher productivity in intralogistics. Via the sensor infrastructure and intelligent - as well as integrated and manufacturer-independent - communication, the traffic and order management software NAiSE Traffic analyses the flow of traffic and goods in intralogistics applications, in real-time. The software coordinates and controls traffic involving all parties – humans and industrial trucks such as AGVS or forklifts. As a result, operators have a complete, manufacturer-independent material flow automation solution. Congestion, bottlenecks, shortages or accidents are avoided. This increases safety and optimises traffic control – for greater transparency, efficiency and productivity. Pilz is expanding its comprehensive solutions package in the field of intralogistics to include the traffic and order management software from the Stuttgart-based start-up NAiSE. For the safe automation of automated guided vehicles (AGV) or vehicle systems (AGVS), Pilz offers an extensive portfolio of safety components with sensor and control technology, as well as a security solution.


In cooperation with NAiSE GmbH, the expert for material flow automation, the automation company Pilz now offers the world’s first traffic and order management software, for all participants in the combined operation of AGVS and human. (Photo: © ARENA2036/Corinna Spitzbarth)

Pilz also provides support with corresponding services for vehicles and applications – in compliance with the standard ISO 3691-4, including CE marking. This way, Pilz gives manufacturers and operators a complete package for safe, productive intralogistic applications. Pilz and NAiSE at SPS 2022 At the international exhibition SPS Smart Production Solutions from 8-10 November, visitors to the Pilz stand can try out how the NAiSE traffic and order management software works in a simulation. Experts from Pilz and NAiSE will be there to advise visitors about the safe operation of AGVS. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

Where every connection is crucial

CombiTac uniq connectors are used in intensive care units of field hospitals The technical equipment required for field hospitals is an essential component in civil protection. In the Czech Republic, this includes container workplaces engineered and managed by the specialized institute – VTÚ. The associated medical equipment for such field hospitals supplied by Flídr medical s.r.o. relies on Stäubli’s CombiTac connector system for these lifesaving missions. Reliabile connectors The Czech company Flídr medical, established in 2014 as a sister company of the Flídr Group, focuses on the production and supply of medical devices for patient rooms, operating rooms, intensive care unit (ICUs), Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, and applications with similar requirements for transfer of gaseous and electrical connectivity. Flídr medical pursues the objective to ensure the highest quality of products and services, with a specialty to equip workstations for field hospitals. For one of these new projects, Flídr was asked to optimize the existing solution with an innovative approach. They relied on the experience of designers and medical staff who had already tested the field hospital technology to choose the best solution. According to the chief designer Mr. Polách, the previously imple20

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Manufacturing and logistics mented plug-in connection solution did not meet the expectations in terms of technical performance and customer support. Innovative development ideas and advice regarding the most suitable configuration was missing. After careful consideration of all the requirements, Mr. Polách decided to use CombiTac connector system due to its high performance and reliability. “The communication and technical support, which is very important for me, was a key advantage of Stäubli. A big plus is the delivery of virtual 3D models that can be easily created in the CombiTac configurator and effortlessly integrated into the design software. In addition, the CombiTac connectors are already assembled and ready for immediate use, which saves even more time,” says Mr. Polách about the cooperation with Stäubli.

Easily and safely

CombiTac connector system ensures that this connection is fast, reliable, meets all the requirements and easily installable without the need of an electrical specialist.

Customer benefits

The CombiTac connectors are now being used by Flídr medical in containers for the intensive care unit and operating room. These containers are based on an advanced construction model, as they are collapsible on both sides and the layout enlarges the container to almost three times the original area. This increase in size is the reason for the use of modular all-in-one connectors, as it allows the sliding part of the container to be easily and safely connected to electricity and medical gases. The Stäubli

• Delivery of completely assembled connector, available also including cable assembly • Quality proved over years for dependable, long-term operation even under the most demanding environment • Patented MULTILAM technology ensuring minimal transition resistance • Up to 100,000 mating cycles • Intuitive usage of the 3D online configurator • 100% customizable modular system • Modules for power, signal, air, liquids, data and more • Unique configuration number ensures easy ordering and reordering • Technical support in more than 100 countries around the world

Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions presents its technologies at the Techtextil

Sustainable infrastructure solutions, road safety and health protection At Techtextil, Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions presented the trade audience with new applications, special processes and sustainable solutions focusing on the production of industrial textiles. More polyester for airbags Airbags have become an integral part of our everyday automotive lives. The yarns used in them are made predominantly from polyamide. As a result of increasingly diverse airbag applications and also the increasing size of the systems used, polyester is today used

as well, depending on the application requirements and cost-benefit considerations. Against this background, the Oerlikon Barmag technologies make an invaluable contribution. In addition to high productivity and low energy consumption, they particularly excel in terms of their stable production processes. Furthermore, they comply with every high quality standard for airbags, which – as October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics system concepts simultaneously manufacture three filament yarns of 6,000 denier each. Due to the high spinning titers, fewer yarns can be plied together to the required geo-yarn titer in a more costand energyefficient manner.

hycuTEC – technological quantum leap for filter media


The hycuTEC process easily achieves filtration efficiencies in excess of 99.99% in the case of typical filter media.

in the case of virtually all other textile products used in vehicle construction – must provide the highest level of safety for vehicle occupants. And all this without any loss of function in any climate and anywhere in the world for the lifetime of the vehicle.

In the case of its hycuTEC hydro-charging solution, Oerlikon Neumag offers a new technology for charging nonwovens that increases filter efficiency to more than 99.99%. For meltblown producers, this means material savings of 30% with significantly superior filter performance. For end users, the consequence is noticeably improved comfort resulting from significantly reduced breathing resistance. With its considerably lower water and energy consumption, this new development is also a futureproof, sustainable technology.

Buckle up! Seat belts play a decisive role in protecting vehicle occupants. They have to withstand tensile forces in excess of three tons and simultaneously stretch in a controlled manner in emergencies in order to reduce the load in the event of impact. A seat belt comprises approximately 300 filament yarns, whose individual, high-tenacity yarn threads are spun from around 100 individual filaments. “With our unique, patented Single Filament Layer Technology, we offer a sophisticated and simultaneously gentle high-tenacity (HT) yarn process for manufacturing these lifesavers and other applications made from industrial yarn”, explains Dr. Roy Dolmans, Technology Manager IDY and R&D Filament Processing.


The new Staple Fiber Technology Center in Neumünster - with around 2,100 m² one of the largest in the world.

New high-tech Staple Fiber Technology Center


In accidents, the number one lifesaver is not the vehicle’s body work or the airbag, but the seat belt. It holds the vehicle occupants firmly in position and thus enables other protective technologies to unfold their full function.

Invisible, but essential – road reinforcement using geotextiles But it not just inside vehicles, but also under them, that industrial yarns reveal their strengths. Low stretch, ultra-high tenacity, high rigidity – industrial yarns offer outstanding properties for the demanding tasks carried out by geotextiles; for instance, as geogrids in the base course system under asphalt. Normally, geotextiles have extremely high yarn titers of up to 24,000 denier. Oerlikon Barmag 22

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Extending to around 2,100 m2, Oerlikon Neumag in Neumünster is home to one of the world’s largest staple fiber technology centers. As of now, these state-of-the-art staple fiber technologies are also available for customer-specific trials. The focus during the planning and the design of the Technology Center was on optimizing components and processes. Here, special attention was paid to ensuring the process and production parameters in the Technology Center system could be simply and reliably transferred to production systems. “We are not only able to run all standard products available on the market at our Technology Center, it also offers us the perfect prerequisites for the development of new processes and products”, explains Tilman Reutter, Technology Manager - Head of Staple Fiber Process. Here, the fiber tape processing line is modular in design. All components can be combined with each other as required. And comprehensive set-up options supply detailed findings for the respective process for various fiber products. The Technology Center is also equipped with two spinning positions for mono- and bi-component processes. The same round spin packs are used for both processes, characterized by excellent fiber quality and properties and meanwhile very successfully deployed in all Oerlikon Neumag production systems. Furthermore, the spinning plant is complemented by automation solutions such as spin pack scraper robots, for example. “In future, we will be able to focus more strongly on the special requirements of our customers in the development of our product lines”, comments Tilman Reutter.

Manufacturing and logistics

Award for iiQKA

KUKA’s new operating system and ecosystem receives German Innovation Award KUKA has won the German Innovation Award for its new iiQKA robot operating system and ecosystem. iiQKA was developed to make the user experience as intuitive, powerful, fast and scalable as possible.

The German Innovation Award honors products and solutions that are shaping the future and improving lives. Across industries, innovative developments are judged in terms of usercentricity and added value compared to previous solutions. “Receiving the German Innovation Award reinforces that we are on the right path into a new era with our new operating system and digital ecosystem iiQKA. Our goal is to make automation easily accessible to everyone,” says Dr. Kristina Wagner, Senior Vice President Technology & Innovation Center at KUKA.

iiQKA: Easy and fast automation for everyone Automation is one of the most important megatrends of our time. It is finding its way into more and more areas and is conquering completely new industries and markets. KUKA is initiating this paradigm shift with iiQKA: The new iiQKA.OS robot operating system and the digital ecosystem enable even robotics newcomers to achieve their automation goals. This means that in the future, robots can be commissioned and programmed in no time at all, even with little expertise. And at the same time, iiQKA makes the process even faster and more efficient for all experts.

iiQKA.OS: Excellent usability The core value of the new operating system is usability. Developed by users for users, the new system software will make the use of robots faster, more efficient and accessible and easy to use for all. iiQKA.OS offers a modern and modular software architecture and also enables high performance and flexibility. Increased efficiency and speed in your development processes are guaranteed.

iiQKA Ecosystem: Learn, Collaborate, Grow Global trends are constantly changing the economy. One such trend is the formation of business ecosystems. They facilitate the use of and access to technologies for everyone. Ecosystems have already revolutionized the world of mobile devices, for example. Now KUKA is creating its own digital ecosystem for the world of robotics. With strong partnerships between leading industry and technology companies, KUKA aims to make automation faster, easier and more intuitive. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

An industry in transformation

The fine-pitch thread of progress Manufacturing companies as well as machine and tool manufacturers have been facing a wide range of a challenges for many years. Competitive pressures, digitalisation and shortages of skilled workers are all issues that have mounted up and are being exacerbated by the major crises of our time. Yet when we look closely, it becomes clear that the industry has been going through a successful transformation process for a long time now. AMB 2022 in Stuttgart showcased these innovations and presented them to a diverse audience, shining a spotlight on their incredible potential.

For many years, the metal-working industry worked like a fine-pitch thread making small yet precise optimisations: fewer chucking processes in the machine, more precisely manufactured technical areas or optimised component feeds – in most cases, the innovations involved increases in productivity, some large, some less so. Every minute in the production process was celebrated. Yet if we take a look at the headlines, we have to admit that considerably more far-reaching and more existential challenges have been added to the mix. Overnight, or so it feels, mechanical engineers and users have become stuck in a trapezoidal thread rather than in a fine-pitch thread: climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and now the conflict between Russia and Ukraine are generating frictional heat and an extreme increase in burdens and strains. Self-isolating employees, failing and delayed supply chains, shortages of raw materials and chips, as well as entire customer sectors undergoing a systemic crisis are affecting the entire economy, and the metalworking industry in particular, it seems. 24

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German growth at home and abroad In the face of these considerations, we have to rub our eyes in disbelief when we review the market figures: Chair of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) Franz-Xaver Bernhard reports that incoming orders increased by 58 per cent during the 2021 pandemic year. A significant driver was foreign business, which rose by 62 per cent, but domestic orders also increased by more than half. In total, the machine tool industry produced machines and services valued at around 12.7 billion euros in the past year. And turnover for machining tools and chucking tools also saw a double-digit increase in 2021 despite challenging conditions, according to the VDMA Precision Tools Association. The perceived contradiction is resolved if we consider the empty pages in the order books from 2019 and 2020 in particular. And presumably we will be looking at a more differentiated picture of the various challenges when we look back in a few years time. If we consider the individual transformation processes that are currently

Manufacturing and logistics mounting up so precariously separately of each other, this reveals that the industry has responded to the different topics at an early stage.

Responses to the challenges To optimise processes for under-pressure automotive component supply companies, mechanical engineers are developing, for example, new hybrid machines which combine turning, grinding and other processes and are enhanced with automation components. For instance, gear components are fully machined in one machine and large volumes are being produced which satisfy the conflicting interests of huge cost pressures and high demands for precision. Many manufacturers have also looked for – and found – replacement customers at an early stage which would make up for the threatened loss of their automotive client base. The energy transition, which has once again come into sharp focus since the start of the year, should mean that volumes of mechanical components for wind turbines, generators and compressors for heat pumps, and components for a future hydrogen economy will increase. A number of specialists in the tool manufacturing sector also made the early decision to focus on the high-precision manufacture of components for electric motors and have been enjoying rising demand here for some time. Last but not least, the anticipated huge investments in armaments will also have a noticeable impact on demand across the entire metal-working industry.

simulation programmes help users to identify deviations regarding the zero point or tool positions before they become operational problems. Complex multi-axis machining is set to be simplified and users will automatically be offered the best solution to ensure perfect machining.

Automation for turning and machining centres The use of automation components in metal-working is also growing continuously and not just as a response to the shortage of skilled workers which has been a dormant issue for many years. For example, programming and setting up loading robots is no longer rocket science! To further automate production and, consequently, to speed it up and make it less prone to errors, robots with 3D camera systems deploy automated processes to load and unload turning and milling machines with the workpieces provided. These are all innovations and different approaches to improve the production process in the metal-working industry – and ultimately, it is all these final touches across the many links in the process chain that bring about progress. And these are also what provides the industry with the resilience and flexibility to rise to the global challenges with which the entire industry is faced.

Digitalisation remains a hot topic The topics of Industry 4.0, digital twins and the use of artificial intelligence in machining processes have been on the to-do lists of many manufacturers and service providers for years. More and more users are bringing integrators into their companies to collect information on the status of a machine tool, its downtimes, energy consumption, vibrations and oscillations. These are key figures that can be used to determine valuable information about the state of a machine and the production process. Even demand for 5G services – for wireless data collection – has been increasing at an aboveaverage rate ever since mid-2021, industry insiders report. And the digital twin, which for a long time was only seen in the sketchbooks of planning departments, has already become a reality. Among leading manufacturers, the virtual model of each real machine tool is now developed in parallel. This helps users during installation, when engineering automatable production systems and when training staff. The positive effects on production include significantly faster production start-ups, the prevention of collisions and an overall reduction in machining process costs. Software too is playing its part when it comes to progress: special

The latest developments in metal-cutting and metal-removing machine tools, precision tools, measuring systems and quality assurance, robots, workpiece and tool handling, industrial software and engineering, and parts, components and accessories were once again on show at AMB 2022 in Stuttgart. Exhibitors presented their solutions across 120,000 square metres, backed by promotional supporters the VDMA Precision Tools Association, the VDMA Software and Digitalization Association and the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association. They seized the opportunity and engaged in discussions with visitors and partners regarding the best approaches to meet the great challenges of our time. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics

Catalyst for renewed growth

EuroBLECH 2022 returns to live event format The 26th edition of the International Sheet Metal Working Technology Exhibition, EuroBLECH 2022, took place from 25 - 28 October 2022 in Hanover, Germany. Following the latest easing of Covid restrictions, show organiser Mack-Brooks Exhibitions has previously confirmed that the world’s largest trade event for sheet metal processing would go ahead as planned. For the first time, EuroBLECH featured a ninth exhibition hall focusing on joining technology, one of the significant growth markets in the e-mobility and general industrial sectors.

Nine exhibition halls to promote technological excellence EuroBLECH 2022 occupied halls 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 26 and 27 at the Hanover Exhibition Grounds, the world’s largest exhibition centre. The newly added hall 26 will focus on joining technology and also host exhibitors of surface and tool technology who had previously been located in hall 13. Exhibits cover the entire sheet metal working technology chain in the manufacturing of metal prototypes, industrial components and consumer parts. This includes machines, tools and IT solutions for cutting, punching and forming, joining, welding and fastening, surface treatment and finishing, process control and quality assurance, machine elements and components, CAD/CAM/CIM systems, warehouse and factory equipment, material recycling, and other solutions to process metal sheet, tubes, profiles, plastic hybrids and other structures. EuroBLECH exhibitors come from around the globe and range from innovative start-ups and SMEs to big internationals. This year’s top exhibiting countries are Germany, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Poland and France. 26

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Source: EuroBLECH

After a compulsory break, EuroBLECH 2022 marks the longawaited comeback of face-to-face marketing and personal business meetings. Starting in October, the show also resumed its usual biennial event cycle. “There is a genuine sense of relief and excitement within the industry – it’s been four years since our last live show so EuroBLECH 2022 is widely perceived as a much-needed technological update for the entire sheet metal processing sector”, says Evelyn Warwick, Event Director of EuroBLECH, on behalf of the organiser MackBrooks Exhibitions. “EuroBLECH has always been the industry’s key marketplace where everything and everyone comes together, and this year’s edition provides a particularly important booster to kick-start or renew business growth.”

Engaging live exhibits and technological world premieres As always, visitors could expect an impressive amount of live machine demonstrations and technological world premieres. There were plenty of opportunities to watch innovative machinery in action, allowing attendees to assess and discuss potential benefits for their own production process. “We are really looking forward to the buzz and excitement on the show floor”, says Evelyn Warwick. “In the end, nothing beats human interaction: A face-to-face conversation, a live demonstration, a fist bump – all this is important to establish good relationships and build trust. We are delighted that EuroBLECH once again provided a physical platform where tech buyers could meet and connect with world-leading suppliers and innovators in the industry.”

Substantial need to invest in emerging technologies Traditionally, EuroBLECH attracts a high percentage of visitors with decision-making and buying capacity. For 2022, tech budgets

Manufacturing and logistics

Source: EuroBLECH

are expected to rise as companies begin to revive their plans to invest in emerging technology for a future-proof business. “There is a substantial need for manufacturers to align themselves to the complex and fluctuating demands of modern markets” explains Evelyn Warwick. “Many of our visitors are looking for automated, digital and scalable solutions to facilitate the cost-efficient and sustainable production of industrial components and consumer parts. At EuroBLECH, they enjoy direct access to a broad spectrum of tech suppliers. This will allow them to explore and invest in the best tools, machines and materials for all their sheet metal processing needs.”

Attracting top industry professionals from all key industry sectors The previous EuroBLECH 2018 attracted a total of 56,301 international trade visitors, including buyers, design engineers, production and quality managers, researchers and other technical experts from all management levels and business types. Visitors come from all key industry sectors, including manufacturers of sheet metal parts, components and assemblies; ferrous and non-ferrous metal production and construction; automotive,

aerospace and shipbuilding; mechanical engineering; building and construction; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; renewable energy construction; consumer electronics; telecommunication; precision, optics and medical equipment; food and packaging; and many more.

3D scan-to-print technology restores creative outlet for paraplegic artist PartWorks received an unusual request. They’re a leader in 3D scanning, reverse engineering, 3D design, protoyping and manufacturing of precision metal and plastic parts and tools, so they’d seen all sorts of parts challenges. But this request was unique.

The project demonstrated PartWorks’ prowess at 3D scanning with 3D modeling and 3D printing to accelerate the reverse engineering and design process.

The Problem: Broken Pen Holder PartWorks’ customer is Dennis Moster, an amateur artist who creates beautiful ink drawings as a hobby and a creative outlet. He also happens to be paraplegic. So he needs an ergonomic pen holder — designed specifically for his hand — in order to grip the pen and make his drawings. The original pen holder was made with several pieces of heat-softened plastic, molded to each other and his hand. Over time, his pen holder became too small for his hand and eventually broke. Suddenly, he had no way to create his art. PartWorks needed to design a product through reverse engineering to meet their client’s specific needs. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Manufacturing and logistics But in this case, there was a problem. The holder kept breaking. Because the design put stress on the holder in two dimensions, and 3D Printing (using the FDM method) tends to be weak in the dimension of the layer lines, PartWorks was concerned that there wasn’t enough lateral strength in the plastic material to stand up to normal use.

Step Three: Cast the Product in Urethane

Step One: Create a 3D Model Fixing the existing pen holder was not an option since it had become too small for his hand. To design the new holder, they glued the broken holder back together in order to scan it. To generate the required 3D model, they used a FARO® ScanArm to connect the physical world with the digital world. This was achieved by quickly digitizing the pen holder to generate an accurate 3D representation that, when combined with 3D modeling software, resulted in an STL (or triangle mesh) file of the pen holder. PartWorks modified the design of the holder, extending it via several design-prototype iterations until it was just large enough to fit the artist’s hand with a snug fit. Because they had this missioncritical 3D data, PartWorks was able to work completely in the digital domain and leave behind traditional hand measurements, manual cross sections and notebooks. Thanks to the full 3D representation in their software, they were able to accelerate this design iteration process and move quickly into production. PartWorks modified the design of the holder, extending it via several design-prototype iterations until it was just large enough to fit the artist’s hand with a snug fit. Because they had this missioncritical 3D data, PartWorks was able to work completely in the digital domain and leave behind traditional hand measurements, manual cross sections and notebooks. Thanks to the full 3D representation in their software, they were able to accelerate this design iteration process and move quickly into production.

Step Two: 3D Print a Prototype Once PartWorks had the design where they wanted it, they 3D printed the holder itself. This allowed them to create a working prototype the artist could try out to see if it fit and worked for his needs. Sometimes, this might be the end of the product design and reverse engineering process. For creating only one product, 3D printing is often the best solution. 28

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If a 3D-printed product doesn’t meet the needs of the project, either due to a need for greater quantities at a lower per-unit cost or in this case the performance limitations of the process, urethane casting is often a great alternative –and it’s relatively inexpensive. In the case of the pen holder, PartWorks 3D printed a mold and cast the product in a urethane that cures at room temperature. They also incorporated “ribs” into the casting to give the holder greater strength to endure under normal use conditions.

Results By combining three cutting-edge technologies — laser scanning/3D model creating, 3D printing and urethane casting — PartWorks is able to meet the needs of unique projects. But every project is unique, and so are the solutions. By having an understanding of the reverse engineering process and the right tools in place, they were able to design solutions that meet the precise needs of the project.

Manufacturing and logistics

SCHUNK is your Life-Science Partner with Application Know-How In the “Science of Life” – the life science – the biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical industry work together. The aim of this multi-discipline collaboration is to work towards a future with more focus on health and safety, while producing new medical technology products, treatment methods and medicines. The manufacturing industry has a key position here - manufacturing uses modern processes for producing highquality products in the following areas:


The SCHUNK Portfolio for Assembly Handling The medical technology sets high standards on product manufacturing. Machines, plants and components of the manufacturing industry which are used for manufacturing devices and consumables, are subject to defined conditions in terms of lubricants, robustness and longevity. SCHUNK supplies the manufacturers of medical technology systems or the manufacturing industry of medical goods with high-end products and putting the focus on H1-compliant lubrication, robustness and absolute process reliability. The pneumatic MPG-plus gripper for small components is such an example. It handles any medical technology parts and products safely and gently.


High-end Components for Use on Humans Medical devices are products, objects and substances that are used in direct contact with humans to examine, treat or monitor. SCHUNK offers top-quality products for surgery robots, care and service robots, exoskeletons and devices in the field of orthopedic rehabilitation. With their high-quality design the SCHUNK modules ensure the necessary reliability and durability for delicate tasks needed for use on humans. The necessary sensitivity of a surgery robot for example is ensured by the incorporation of force/torque sensors.

Lab Automation

Efficient and reliable Laboratory Processes In a lab it is all about systematically recurring processes. The lab operators offer analytical and diagnostic products and services with the focus on efficiency, safety, care and profitability. Handling of reagents, measuring technology and analytical equipment are everyday topics. SCHUNK supplies numerous, ideal components for laboratory equipment and handling systems for lab automation. They are compact and simply modular systems which can be custom assembled and used in this industry. The best application example is the unique high-end portfolio of mechatronic products with 24 V supply. It offers easy implementation and operation for

the manufacturer and therefore ensures reliable, efficient and automated operation of the laboratory and analytical devices.


Cleanroom compatible Performance Booster In large-scale production of pharmaceutical end products such as tablets, powders, creams and liquids, purity and quality are always top priority. Transparent and well-structured processes supported by reliable and powerful automation units are required for the highest possible efficiency in terms of processes and cost-effectiveness. In the pharma industry SCHUNK sets benchmarks with top-quality products and a comprehensive application knowledge of increased plant performance. SCHUNK facilitates handling and machining of filigree workpieces such as tablet blisters, flacons and ampoules with cleanroom compatible, customized solutions in a simple clean design. The EGP electric gripper series for small components is perfectly suited for the safe and delicate grip of syringes and cannulas. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Maintenance and technical diagnostics

Analyzing and optimizing cleaning processes Cleaning processes often offer considerable potential for improvement when it comes to making parts cleaning operations more reliable, economical and sustainable. The first step is to carry out a systematic process analysis that also takes a close look at upstream and downstream production steps.

To ensure the quality of subsequent process steps, avoid rejects and guarantee the functionality of the end product, consistent parts cleanliness is an essential quality criterion. Ever-stricter or even modified cleanliness specifications must be met. In addition, demands on the speed, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the cleaning process are constantly rising. However, how well, fast and efficiently the cleaning work is carried out depends not only on the equipment, the process technology and the medium used, but also on factors relating to the cleaning process itself.


Regular inspection and maintenance of machine components such as filters are essential factors when it comes to meeting particulate cleanliness requirements in a consistent and economical manner. Photo credit: Ecoclean GmbH


Thanks to systematic process analysis, which also includes the analysis of upstream and downstream production steps, sources of error and potential for improvement can be quickly identified. Photo credit: Ecoclean GmbH

Systematic process analysis - looking at the big picture So what do you do if parts suddenly come out of the system stained, if specifications for particulate or thin-film cleanliness are 30

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no longer met, the cleaned parts arrive at the customer’s corroded, or cleaning is too slow/too cost-intensive? In the case of these and other problems, a systematic process analysis such as that carried out by the Ecoclean Academy at Ecoclean GmbH can pinpoint the root cause of the error. The cleaning experts not only focus on the actual cleaning process and equipment, but also assess the overall manufacturing environment. The smallest change to the part, part spectrum or material, type of contamination, or modifications to upstream or downstream processes is enough to seriously impair cleaning results.

Stains and thin-film residues on parts According to the cleaning experts, a poor cleaning result or one that does not meet new higher requirements is a “classic” reason for carrying out a process analysis. The first step is to identify the exact problem - are thin-film cleanliness specifications not being fulfilled or are there stains on the parts? If staining is the prob-

Maintenance and technical diagnostics lem, one of the questions to be asked is whether the quantity and composition of the contaminants (processing media and other substances) have changed or whether the constituents and concentration of the cleaning medium are still appropriate. Other factors, such as rinsing water quality, bath treatment, process technology and process sequence, as well as the drying step, are also closely examined. These are further influencing variables which play a role if thin-film cleanliness results are unsatisfactory.

Inability to meet particulate cleanliness requirements If the cleanliness analysis after the cleaning cycle shows that too many or too large particles are still adhering to the parts, this may also be due to the cleaning program and process sequence used. Possible causes include residual particles in the working chamber or on the part carriers, an unsuitable filtration system or a clogged filter. Sometimes, it is the wrong choice of cleaning containers, such as crates made of perforated galvanized sheet metal, which hinders the efficient and reliable detachment and removal of the particles. This type of crate blocks ultrasonic waves and prevents them from developing their full effect on the wash load. Likewise, the spray pressure does not reach the inside of the perforated crates. Compared to baskets made of round wire, a further problem is that the cleaning medium does not drip off these crates as effectively. This may result in the unwanted transfer of contaminants and/or cleaning chemicals. In any case, much longer and thus more energy-intensive drying processes are required.


Key to reliable, efficient and sustainable cleaning processes are welltrained staff who understand how the cleaning system works and how, for example, bath treatment measures or regular maintenance work on the cleaning system are carried out. Photo credit: Ecoclean GmbH

A further cause of a failed cleanliness inspection is often burrs that are still attached to the parts, which detach when the parts are handled during the residual contamination check and then show up on the particle filter. If these particles are examined under a microscope, it can be determined whether they are chips or burrs. If the latter is the case, upstream processes must be evaluated to find out where the burrs occur and how their formation can be avoided. Particulate cleanliness can also be impaired by magnetism that is “bought in” with raw materials or arises during the manufacturing process. Magnetism binds chips to the parts and hinders or prevents their removal during the cleaning process. Handling parts after cleaning However, the cleaning process is not over when the parts come out of the machine with the required level of cleanliness. To prevent recontamination or corrosion, which can occur even with preserved or passivated parts, it is important to look at how parts

are handled after the cleaning step. The following questions need to be answered: Where, how and for how long are the parts stored? How are they transported to the next processing step? What kind of packaging is needed for this? In addition, high cleanliness requirements often make it necessary for processes such as internal transport, assembly or packaging to be performed in a clean environment or cleanroom.

Updating the cleaning process Besides cleaning problems, modified cleaning programs can be a further reason for carrying out a process analysis. The aim is generally to shorten process times or enhance the cleaning result. As always, the analysis starts by documenting the actual state, which includes verifying the process parameters, process sequence and process times. Based on the analysis results, potential for improvement can be identified and appropriate measures can be defined. These may include modernizing the system, such as by retrofitting or upgrading ultrasonic equipment.


In many cases, retrofitting/upgrading the cleaning system with process technology, for example with ultrasonics, makes it possible to consistently achieve the required results and to shorten cleaning times. Photo credit: Ecoclean GmbH

Qualified personnel It is essential that the parts cleaning staff are involved in the process analysis and optimization measures. Raising staff awareness about cleanliness, as well as about the capabilities of the cleaning technology and the impact of parameter settings on the cleaning result, is a key factor. If there is a change of personnel, it is also important that knowledge of how the cleaning system works and how, for example, bath treatment measures or regular maintenance work on the cleaning system are carried out is passed on. Otherwise, problems that had been eliminated in the past may occur again. Investing in the training and continuing education of cleaning staff is therefore a cornerstone in order to achieve reliable cleanliness requirements in an economical and sustainable manner. The Ecoclean Academy therefore also combines process analyses with classic training courses. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Maintenance and technical diagnostics

Innovative post processing of 3D printed components made from photopolymer resin

Consistent and efficient removal of support structures with an automated process Photopolymer resins allow the printing of extremely delicate high-precision components in industrial grade quality. The C1 system from AM Solution – 3D post processing technology is an excellent post processing tool for the automated removal of support structures. It meets not only the strictest industrial standards but also fulfills all requirements regarding process stability, consistency of the results, efficiency and traceability.

Photopolymer resins permit the high-quality printing of a large variety of precision functional components, design objects with extremely fine structures and the most complex prototypes. In the past the manufacturers had difficulties fulfilling the industrial standards for the post processing of 3D printed components. To date the removal of support structures was a manual operation. This is not only an expensive process that produces inconsistent results, but it also carries the risk of damaging the components. A way out of this dilemma is the new C1 system from AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology. This division of the Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH specializes in offering automated industrial solutions for the post processing and surface finishing of 3D printed components. The compact plug-and-play machine, specially developed for the automated post processing of 3D printed photopolymer components, just needs a 230 V electrical outlet. The machine controls contain various processing programs that allow the support removal from components with different shapes. In addition, the users can tailor their processing programs to their specific needs. The C1 system can handle 3D printed components with sizes of up to 340 x 440 x 170 mm (L x W x H).

A precisely adapted compound ensures perfect post processing results For the post processing operation the components are placed in a basket that in turn is dipped into an immersion bath filled with compound that is precisely adapted to the printing material. After the respective processing program has been called up, the process starts. This is based on chemical, thermal and mechanical effects. The effective interplay of these three mechanisms ensures that the support structures can be reliably removed without affecting the dimensional integrity of the components. This is even the case with 32

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The C1 was specifically developed for the automated removal of support structures from 3D printed components made from photopolymer resins. With its innovative design this machine meets all industrial requirements regarding process stability, consistency of results, cost-efficiency and traceability. Moreover, the C1 produces the desired results much faster than other systems available in the market. Photo: AM Solutions

extremely delicate components with geometrically complex shapes and very thin walls. Compared to other systems available in the market, this process is significantly faster. For the development of the compounds AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology could take advantage of Rösler’s comprehensive know-how and the company’s chemical lab. With this approach suitable processing compounds could be developed for any photopolymer. Contrary to the extremely volatile and combustible

Maintenance and technical diagnostics isopropanol, usually used for this purpose, the compounds utilized by AM Solutions are not hazardous and must, therefore, not be classified and labeled as such per EG standard no1272/2008 (CLP).

Monitoring of the process parameters ensures stable and cost-efficient operations The C1 system was equipped with various design features that guarantee process stability and minimize operational costs. This includes a sensor-controlled monitoring of the compound fill level: As soon as the level drops below a preset value, new compound is automatically replenished from a special container in the system. An integrated, removable skimming (overflow) screen allows the discharge of removed, gelatinous support material from the compound. This increases the usable life of the compound significantly. Moreover, an integrated sensor monitoring the degree of contamination signals when a compound exchange is needed. It ensures that such an exchange does not take place too early or too late. This saves costs and guarantees a consistently high processing quality.

Industry 4.0 - ready for the digital manufacturing environment Like all post processing systems from AM Solutions – 3D post processing technology the C1 can be easily integrated into digitized manufacturing networks. Key process parameters such as temperature, processing time and the degree of contamination of the compound are continuously recorded with a data logger


With a combination of chemical, thermal and mechanical effects a compound, especially adapted to the respective photopolymer, ensures the consistent and complete removal of support structures. An integrated compound fill level control with fully automatic replenishment guarantees absolute process stability and lower operational costs. Photo: AM Solutions

and can be stored through an USB interface. Industrial demands regarding quality control, process consistency and traceability can, therefore, be fully met for the post processing of 3D printed components.

Ecoclean: focus on high-purity applications, medical technology and service

Ecoclean is responding to the changing requirements in industrial parts cleaning with greater diversification of its product and service portfolio. Thus, in addition to cleaning equipment and systems for classic tasks in various industries, optimally adapted solutions for highpurity applications, for example components for DUV and EUV technology, for vacuum technology systems (UHV, XHV, UCV), and precision optics are the focus of the company’s trade fair pres-

entation at this year’s parts2clean (hall 4, booth C26). Furthermore, turnkey solutions for cleaning and sterile packaging of medical devices in compliance with MDR and FDA requirements will be featured. Among other things, the Customer Service Station will provide information on future-oriented services, the service app, and ways to make cleaning more energy efficient. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Maintenance and technical diagnostics

Call for Papers – contributions on the topics of energy transition and energy-efficient, sustainable thermoprocessing technology wanted

VDMA THERMPROCESS FORUM at Düsseldorf’s leading trade fair THERMPROCESS From June 12th to 16th, 2023 the world’s leading trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERPROCESS and NEWCAST opened their doors in Düsseldorf again. Accompanying THERMPROCESS, the 13th International Trade Fair and Forum for Thermoprocess Technology, the THERMPROCESS FORUM was held from on 13 and 14 June 2023. The German Engineering Association (VDMA Metallurgy) called upon all companies exhibiting at THERMPROCESS 2023 to contribute to the FORUM with their ideas and lectures.

All four leading trade fairs focused on the mega themes ecoMetals, circular economy and the decarbonisation of the metal and steel industries. These were also centrestage at the THERMPROCESS FORUM with the following focal themes:

The programme of the THERMPROCESS FORUM promises to host exciting discussions with its themed day on the ‘energy transition’ right at the opening on 12 June. Here light is shed especially on the scientific, political and regulatory aspects for the thermoprocess sector. The second part held on 13 and 14 June revolved around current developments in the industry. Designed as a supporting event to the trade fair the FORUM provides all exhibitors at THERMPROCESS 2023 with the opportunity to present their technology innovations and, hence, their company to a wider audience. The conceptual sponsor of the THERMPROCESS FORUM is VDMA Metallurgy. In cooperation with “Forschungsgemeinschaft Industrieofenbau” (Research Association of Industrial Furnace Manufacturers – FOGI), it also acts as the organiser of this event. For each lecture a slot of around 30 minutes including Q&A is foreseen. The presentation language at the THERMPROCESS FORUM is English. Trade visitors to GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST could attend the Forum at no charge using their admission tickets. 34

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Photo: Messe Düsseldorf / tillmann

• Flexible and resilient processes and technologies for new global challenges, • Energy-efficient, sustainable and low-pollution thermoprocessing technology for effective climate protection, • Digitalization of processes and plants • Contribution of thermoprocess technology to recycling for an integrated circular economy • Tapping into productivity potential with innovative technical solutions

Maintenance and technical diagnostics

New Intelligent Interface AccessLink for HiScroll® Series Pumps

Enhanced Comfort and Safety in operation • Fully automatic gas ballast valve • Vacuum safety valve • Fully automatic pressure control with integrated sensor

The HiScroll series from Pfeiffer Vacuum consists of three dry and hermetically sealed scroll pumps with a nominal pumping speed of 6 – 20 m3/h. These vacuum pumps are characterized not only by their high performance when evacuating against atmosphere but also by their very high energy efficiency that reduces their carbon footprint. Pfeiffer Vacuum is now introducing its intelligent new accessory interface AccessLink, which permits the use of a wide range of optional accessories. Its presence is automatically detected by the HiScroll’s electronics. Before this, accessories had to be configured by hand. A uniform accessory interface of this kind enhances convenience and safety during operation. A new gas ballast valve detects the specific process requirements automatically. The valve is controlled by the vacuum pump, either according to a specific time interval or depending on the inlet pressure, in conjunction with an additional accessory, the HiScroll integrated sensor RPT 010, which is available exclusively from Pfeiffer Vacuum. The automatic gas ballast valve can also be switched manually by a higher-level controller connected to the HiScroll or by the Pfeiffer Vacuum OmniControl. The operating reliability is enhanced by the new vacuum safety valves. These valves prevent a pressure rise at the vacuum flange when the pump is switched off. This brings a notable increase in safety, particularly in the case of power outages. It also prevents any backflow into the vacuum chamber, including in the form of residual gas that may be present in the pump system. Delayed opening when the HiScroll starts up prevents a pressure surge towards the vacuum side, and this is particularly advantageous for high vacuum systems operated in combination with turbomolecular pumps, such as the Pfeiffer Vacuum HiPace. The optional integral RPT 010 vacuum gauge ensures fully automatic pressure control. This minimizes pump wear and extends the maintenance intervals, while lowering electricity use and reducing the carbon footprint of the HiScroll.

As Fabian Böcher, product manager at Pfeiffer Vacuum, explains: “Proven Pfeiffer Vacuum quality, combined with the new accessories, ensures a long lifetime and reduces operating costs and the environmental impact. Easy pump maintenance makes for shorter service times and maximum availability. Its safe operation is guaranteed by the integrated safety valve at the outlet and the self-regulating operation of the pump.” With these properties, HiScroll vacuum pumps are able to embrace numerous applications in the field of analytics, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals and research & development. These pumps are used in mass spectrometry, electron microscopy and surface analysis as well as in accelerators and laboratory applications, and are also found in semiconductor technology, coating or gas recovery. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Joining and material technologies

Steelworks live and breathe digital transformation From ArcelorMittal to Thyssenkrupp: digitalisation has arrived in the steel industry – driven by the wish to improve the margins of existing business and increasingly by the challenges of decarbonisation. It is first and foremost improved earnings and extension of the service portfolio rather than disruptive new business models that feature on the agenda of steel mills. New digitalisation solutions – from the transformation of the blast furnace to the vision of an autonomous steel mill, from digital melting operations to foundry 4.0 – were a focal theme at the metallurgy trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST held in Düsseldorf in June 2023.

In the highly automated steel industry data have long played a pivotal role. Take ThyssenKrupp Steel, for example: the hot strip mill in Duisburg alone not only processes about 16,500 tons of steel slabs but also the data of more than 1.2 billion measurements. Terms like Big Data, Digital Twin and Machine Learning are today just as familiar to metallurgists as tapping and slab casting. Artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and App programmers join traditional workers such as blast-furnace and hot rolling mill operators. Digital twins map production from start to finish and can be used for all steps in the value chain of products, plants and services alongside the real steel mill. One key objective is to analyse product and machine data across various process steps. With the help of Data Analytics such material characteristics as thickness fluctuations, roughness or stiffness can be forecast precisely and tolerances can be adhered to more closely. To this end, thousands and thousands of sensors capture the quality and production data across the entire flat steel process chain. This data base forms the basis for controlling and analysing manufacturing processes in real time. In ThyssenKrupp Steel’s No. 8 hot-dip coating line in Dortmund the data analytics results are used to generate mathematical models for controlling the skin pass mill. The data model controls the line in such a way that the aspired roughness values of the steel strips are reached and the operation mode can be re-adjusted online if needed. This opens up new service options for steel producers. Commenting on this Lothar Patberg, Head of Innovation at Thyssenkrupp Steel said: “In future, customers would be able to not only track the current status of their orders. They could also obtain selected quality data from manufacturing with a view to adjusting their own processes before the coil is delivered.” The technological switch to CO₂-free production with hydrogen and renewable energies has provided added momentum to the uses of digital technologies. According to consultancy Accenture, in industrial manufacturing up to 61 megatons of CO₂ could be saved by 2030 through digitalisation. Metallurgy plant builders such as 36

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SMS, Primetals and Danieli have long identified this potential: to strengthen their own enterprise but above all to open up new lines of business.

SMS digital: the big ones develop the market A pioneer in digitalisation exhibiting at METEC 2023 is the Düsseldorf-based SMS group. Automation technology has formed part of this metallurgy plant builder’s DNA for many years. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Digital Twins were used by their engineers in steel mill development long before Industry 4.0 hit the headlines. While in the past individual divisions like the rolling mill were automated, digitalisation today connects the entire production line from the blast furnace to the finished product on all levels. SMS was among the first in this industry to identify the potential digitalisation holds for developing new business lines and established the startup SMS digital in 2017. What started with 10 members of staff in

Joining and material technologies a backyard, is now the leading software provider for metallurgy: SMS Digital GmbH with more than 350 specialists employed worldwide. As Chief Digital Officer on the board of SMS group Katja Windt, a former university professor with a PhD in engineering, has been responsible for the key areas of digital transformation – at her own company and with customers. The SMS digitalisation boss views the 150 years of process know-how in the metallurgical sector as a key advantage over competitors, or potential new entrants such as the digital champions Google or Amazon that have long had their sights on the industry. Digitalisation for process optimisation and energy management also forms an essential part of the new business lines of the SMS group. As a global player for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the circular economy the plant builder has successfully invested in decarbonisation and recycling technologies – ranging from climate-neutral steel production based on hydrogen, battery recycling and urban-mining solutions for reclaiming precious metals from electrical scrap to plants for producing green syn-gas and synthetic fuels.

dioxide in steel production by means of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) Established in 2017 by mathematician Dr. Falk-Florian Henrich in Berlin, this start-up has set out to optimise processes on all levels. To this end the steel industry is set to change from control-based production to AI-based manufacturing.

Big River Steel: learning steel mills are just the beginning Digitalisation focuses on the steel industry. As early as METEC 2019, the International Metallurgical Trade Fair with Congresses, the plant builder was able to present the world’s first “learning steel mill” together with Big River Steel. The mill built by SMS in the USA and digitalised and fitted with artificial intelligence (AI) in cooperation with partner is run to be as resource and energy-saving as possible today. The AI by analyses historical data and in part high-frequency signal series captured by more than 50,000 sensors. In addition to the steel mill’s data the AI platform also uses external data sources that capture and predict manufacturing processes, and even propose corrective measures. This means artificial intelligence helps to maximise the yield, improve product quality and eliminate safety risks. Huge data volumes from which AI generates knowledge allowing BRS to produce high-quality steel products at a lower cost and faster. The learning steel mill in the USA is just the beginning. For digital boss Windt the objective is self-controlling production: a steel or aluminium mill that runs autonomously with the help of learning algorithms. The key product for digitalisation in SMS’ modular digital kit is the so-called Data Factory that collects and edits sensor data. Depending on custom requirements and desired performance increase, a wide variety of applications can be hooked up to this software platform. In conventional manufacturing finished products are checked for defects. Defective goods trigger a search for root causes and the cause must be eliminated. Following Industry 4.0 Logic, defects are prevented before they occur through constant monitoring. This saves time and money. Customers do not necessarily have to buy new equipment to get the performance. As a new business model SMS also offers “Equipment-as-a-Service”. “Customers conclude a service contract with us for a component, such as part of a rolling mill or a continuous casting line,” explains Windt. So the plant builder does not sell the equipment but the customer pays for its operation and the digital applications used. The power of digitalisation has become evident during the Covid pandemic if not before. With the help of its AR SMS was able to commission steel mills remotely, i.e. without service engineers being on site as was the case before.

Smart Steel Technology: start-up ready to attack Smart Steel Technology (SST) promises to reduce energy consumption and the emission of climate gases such as carbon

Steel producers transform conventional manufacturing processes towards higher energy savings and CO₂ reductions. With a gradual changeover from coal to hydrogen as a reducing agent, carbon dioxide emissions are already reduced at the blast furnace. Add to this new process pathways such as direct reduction using natural gas initially and later hydrogen as part of the decarbonisation route for steel production. This is why steel producers need solutions to assess and control the CO₂-efficiency of all production routes as well as their carbon and energy footprints broken down for each individual steel product. The pressure to do so emanates not least from customers. In the automotive industry the carbon footprint is increasingly becoming a sourcing criterion for steel products. “Precise energy and CO₂ data allow steel producers to charge for their conversion efforts and complete audits successfully. Automated CO₂ and energy analyses with AI-based models are the key to this,” says Henrich. With SST’s AI-based software packages, he explains, it is possible to precisely document and trace back the energy consumption and CO₂ emission for every flat or strip product. AI considers numerous factors impacting energy efficiency such as raw material quality, product mix and maintenance. SST boss Henrich succeeded in convincing not only companies as Feralpi and Vallourec with the strength of his AI solutions but also the world’s biggest steel producer ArcelorMittal. For instance in Eisenhüttenstadt: here AI and ML methods managed to improve the surface quality of high-end steel grades for the automotive industry by more than 50%. The AI software is not only used to forecast the surface quality but also to prevent surface defects from forming. After the successful trial run in Eisenhüttenstadt ArcelorMittal has also installed software from the SST family at sites in Bremen, Hamburg and Duisburg.

Fero Labs: change of raw material composition in real time US start-up Fero Labs also seeks to score points with decarbonisation and green steel, as Head of Business Unit Europe Tim Eschert confirms. The AI software by Fero Labs makes it possible, he explains, to change the raw material batch composition in real time and, hence, to significantly reduce the probability of rejects in the manufacturing process: “At the Brazilian steel producers Gerdau with a medium production volume we achieve some 9% savings a year.” October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Joining and material technologies

Mega trends at EUROGUSS 2022

EUROGUSS in Nuremberg is the meeting point for the international die-casting sector for technology, products and processes along the entire value chain. The wide range of applications for die casting ensures that different customer sectors meet – this creates a lively exchange and guarantees new ideas for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and developers. The trade audience could take a close look at trends such as giga-casting, discuss possible applications for die casters, and debate advantages and optimisation potential in production.

Opportunities for manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive industry Produce entire vehicle components in die casting? A new trend that makes this possible and is on everyone’s lips is giga-casting, which is used especially in the automotive industry. The process reduces the number of components and keeps the weight of the cast components low. Some large car manufacturers like Volvo and Tesla are betting on the future of this process. They are hoping above all for a reduction in complexity, more versatility and lower costs in production. But only a personal exchange can answer how giga-casting can produce components more efficiently, what other applications are possible and what technologies and equipment are needed. “When it comes to new topics, personal dialogue with all those involved is particularly important to achieve effective and sustainable development”, says Christopher Boss, Head of EUROGUSS at NürnbergMesse. “EUROGUSS offers the perfect platform for this, especially in these stormy times, and puts current trends and topics as much in the foreground as future ones.”

21th Die Casting Conference Coupled with the 21st Die Casting Conference taking place in parallel, all current and future topics and product developments 38

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Photo: EUROGUSS / NürnbergMesse

Mega-casting, a new process in aluminium die-casting in car body construction, is revolutionising manufacturing in the automotive industry. Tesla, the pioneer in this field, in particular, but also other major car manufacturers are already using it because of its numerous advantages. At EUROGUSS 2022 from 8 to 10 June in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, this trend was one of the topics of conversation. After a turbulent period, the leading international trade fair for die casting brought the industry together again in person to experience the latest manufacturing technology, processes, products and innovations on site. The 21th Die Casting Conference was held in parallel, offering participants a platform for discussions and first-hand knowledge.

are guaranteed to be represented at the trade fair. From 8 to 10 June, the 21st Die Casting Day with a total of 26 expert lectures expands EUROGUSS around the topic of die casting with plenty of discussions, knowledge gain and exchange. ‘The Die Casting Conference accompanying the EUROGUSS trade fair is the most important conference for die casting industry professionals’, says Thomas Krüger, Managing Director of the Verband Deutscher Druckgießereien e.V. (VDD). ‘It offers representatives along the entire value chain around the die-casting process a unique platform for exchanging views on current topics, challenges and opportunities of tomorrow, provides impetus and promotes success stories.’ The programme includes presentations on new product developments and innovative processes as well as other important trend topics that set the course for the future. With content at the highest level, the 21st Die Casting Conference is an attractive platform that participants from die casting foundries, the automotive supply industry, OEMs, universities, as well as other application areas of die casting should not miss.

Joining and material technologies

Stratasys signs agreement to acquire covestro’s additive manufacturing materials business Accretive acquisition will enable Stratasys to offer more full solutions to customers and accelerate next-generation materials development for manufacturing with partners. Stratasys will expand its differentiated materials offering in stereolithography, DLP, and powders, supported by a broad IP portfolio.

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the additive manufacturing materials business of Covestro AG (DAX: 1COV). The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive upon closing. It will include R&D facilities and activities, global development and sales teams across Europe, the U.S. and China, a portfolio of approximately 60 additive manufacturing materials, and an extensive IP portfolio comprised of hundreds of patents and patents pending. The purchase price is approximately 43 million euros, plus additional inventory, less certain liabilities. In addition, there is a potential earnout of up to 37 million euros, subject to the achievement of various performance metrics. Covestro has been a key part of Stratasys’ third-party materials ecosystem, and the acquisition will benefit customers using multiple Stratasys 3D printing platforms, including its Origin P3™, Neo® stereolithography, and H350™ printers. Stratasys is already a distributor of Covestro’s Somos® resins and they are already available for Neo and Origin® One 3D printers. “Innovative materials are the fuel of additive manufacturing and translate directly into the ability to create new use cases for 3D printing, particularly in the production of end-use parts like dental aligners and automotive components,” said Stratasys CEO Dr. Yoav Zeif. “The acquisition of Covestro’s highly regarded Additive Manufacturing business positions us to further grow adoption of our newest technologies. We will now have the ability to accelerate cutting-edge developments in 3D printing materials, and advance our strategy of providing the best and most complete polymer 3D printing portfolio in the industry.”


Covestro’s additive manufacturing business includes one of the world’s most recognized and trusted brands in photopolymers - Somos. The automotive grill shown here on a Stratasys Neo800 stereolithography system was 3D-printed with clear Somos WaterShed CX 11122

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2023, and the transaction is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The majority of employees of the acquired entity will continue to be based in Geleen, Netherlands and Elgin, Ill. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Joining and material technologies


Storitve, ki jih ponuja podjetje Oerlikon Balzers, zajemajo svetovanje in priporočila glede ustreznih prevlek iz svoje ponudbe BALINIT in BALITHERM na orodjih za preoblikovanje, tlačno litje in brizganje plastike. Vir: Oerlikon Balzers

Top form with surface know-how Lightweight construction, high-strength materials, complex components – the trends in metal forming, aluminium die casting and plastics processing demand the utmost in tool performance as well as customized solutions for each process environment and the specified goals. The coatings expert, Oerlikon Balzers, regards every customer enquiry as an individual case – and provides application-specific consulting together with a recommendation for suitable surface treatments from the BALINIT® and BALITHERM® range for forming tools. The hard facts on the bottom line are: greater efficiency and productivity, lower maintenance and costs.

Metal forming: The example of AHSS


The proportion of high-strength steel (AHSS) per car is projected by Ducker Worldwide market researchers to rise from 68 kg in 2009 to 204 kg in 2020. (Image: iStock)


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Automobile manufacturing highlights the primary challenges faced in metal forming: Emissions constraints and improved passenger safety require ever lighter yet also more stable vehicles. The proportion of high-strength steel (Advanced High Strength Steel AHSS) per car is projected by Ducker Worldwide market researchers to rise from 68 kg in 2009 to 204 kg in 2020. This, in turn, demands optimized surface solutions for tools which will increasingly be subject to abrasive and adhesive wear in AHSS forming and will also experience greater loading at certain locations, such as radii or drawing rods. Ultimately, the results of this include more scrap and more downtime. BALINIT® FORMERA has been developed by Oerlikon Balzers specially for tasks such as these. The tool coating based on CrAlN delivers significantly improved abrasive wear resistance and coating adhesion for deep drawing or flanging of AHSS sheet materials at pressures in excess of 500 Mpa than do current products on the market. For example, in deep drawing of 4 mm thick HSLA steel for metal parts in automobile seats, BALINIT® FORMERA yielded a sixfold increase in tool service life compared to a common com-

Joining and material technologies



Number of produced parts [n ´000s]


Tool + 210%





Workpiece Process type Challenge


Draw operation Automotive seating 4 mm HSLA steel 400 t progressive press 30 mm draw depth High wear in the draw die due to the use of 4 mm HSLA material - Triple tool life - P roduction process stabilized

TiAIN BALINIT® FORMERA Persuasive results for deep drawing of HSLA steel (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers)


petitor’s product and also stabilized the production process as well. In order to achieve results such as these and to design new coating systems with this kind of high-level performance in actual operation, Oerlikon Balzers works together with the forming industry as well as with partner institutes. Tests at the premises of selected customers were of decisive importance for the refinement of BALINIT® FORMERA to make it a solution with the best performance for AHSS applications under actual industrial production conditions. Other coating solutions for metal forming have also demonstrated the convincing results of this approach: A forming tool for the fabrication of stainless steel exhaust system shields was coated with BALINIT® ALCRONA PRO and BALINIT® C. This combination unites high hardness with very good friction values and improves the tool life by tenfold as compared to the untreated tool, which saves up to 86 percent in production costs. “Before selecting a suitable treatment, we consider the tool, including its size, geometry, base material and its hardness, the forming process and application temperature as well as the use of lubricants, in addition to further application parameters. Depending on the case, we also recommend special pretreatments to improve the supporting effect for the tool surface. Ultimately, many factors determine the final decision,” explains Phil Read, Market Segment Manager for Metal Forming at Oerlikon Balzers, commenting on this fundamental procedure.

Aluminium die casting: Process know-how in demand Working with aluminium die casting also requires an understanding of the complete casting process so that beneficial adaptations can be made to the surface solutions. For example, aluminium soldering can form on the tool, which can complicate demoulding and ultimately cause component deformation as well as increase the scrap rate. These problems are exacerbated by parts

Service lifetime, number of shots (n ´000s)



40 35

Cutting data

30 25 20





10 5 0


> 40


Mould cores, Steel 1.2343 (AISI H11, ~SKD 61) Gear box for automotive industry Tool length: 150 mm Diameter: 30 mm Untreated: Damage to the mould core primarily caused by adhesive wear - Significantly less adhesive wear - Over 50% longer tool service life


In top form: BALINIT® ALCRONA PRO for mould cores (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers)

with complex geometries, for example, for the engine compartment, gear box or structure of an automobile. One reason for this is the increasing trend towards designing one part from multiple parts to further reduce space requirements and weight in the vehicle. Particularly part designs with tight ribbing give rise to demoulding problems and substantial maintenance work. In cases such as these, Oerlikon Balzers has achieved very good results with BALINIT® LUMENA, BALINIT® FORMERA and BALINIT® ALCRONA PRO. These PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coatings are effective against erosion and abrasion, against soldering of the Ti rod, and against oxidation and alloying. BALINIT® ALCRONA PRO plays out its advantages exceptionally well in mould cores: In serial production of gear box housings, the AlCrN-based coating lowers the adhesive wear significantly and increases tool life by 50 percent as compared to untreated cores. The combination of pretreatment of the tool surface and subsequent PVD coating has proven itself not only in metal forming, but also in aluminium die casting. The BALINIT® ADVANCED series, for example, employs a diffusion process and the BALINIT® DUPLEX series makes use of nitriding as a pretreatment. This results in advantages such as higher surface hardness and hot hardness as well as compressive strength. For serial applications in mould inserts, BALINIT® LUMENA DUPLEX has been able to solve problems such as fire cracking, alloying and soldering as well as to increase the tool life quantity by more than fivefold as compared to the uncoated moulds for die casting cylinder blocks made of an aluminium alloy. “With our current understanding of the process and our surface finishing expertise, it is possible to achieve similar solutions and results in virtually all cases,” says Thomas Vermland, Segment Manager for Forming Tools at Oerlikon Balzers. The exceptionally hard, extremely erosion and wear-resistant coatings from Oerlikon Balzers are a significant factor when it comes to protecting the mould from soldering and premature fire cracks. BALINIT® FORMERA plays a major role in stabilising the October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Joining and material technologies

+ 1,200%

Tool life [parts] (n ´000s)

140 120 10 80 60 40 20

40 Tool Workpiece

1.2343 46±2 HRC Valve Body Aluminium 9% Si (226 Alloy) Challenge Pins in direct shot area at the sprue - N o Cleaning Solution - N o Maintenance BALINIT® LUMENA FORMERA - L ess Machine downtime ADVANCED - N o core pin change

0 Nitrited



Service lifetime, number of shots (n ´000s)




Water jacket, Steel 1.2344 (AISI H13, SKD 61)


Cylinder block made from 380 aluminium alloy


4,000 t


Untreated: Heat checking, alloying, sticking

25 20 15 10 5


0 Untreated





Solution - Reduction of alloying BALINIT® - H igher component quality LUMENA DUPLEX - Less maintenance work - Significantly delayed heat checking formation

In great shape: BALINIT® FORMERA for mould core pins (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers)

In great shape: BALINIT® LUMENA DUPLEX for mould inserts (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers)

casting process and in reducing both maintenance costs and waste material.

the fabrication of instrument panels in automobile manufacturing: Scrap and maintenance costs go down while productivity goes up by 30 percent. Results like these can also be attained in other industry sectors: BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM can be employed in consumer, electrical or medical technology, as well as for plastics in furnishings or packaging. Even large-format tools of up to 40 tonnes in weight, 9.5 metres in length and 3 metres wide can be treated. Upon request, it is also possible to reduce the application temperature from 480 to 380 degrees Celsius, which means that commercially available tool steels with a low tempering temperature are treatable. A further field of application for solutions from Oerlikon Balzers is that of extrusion. Particularly in the area of film extrusion as well as rubber processing, two CrN coating variants have proven themselves: BALINIT® CROMA and BALINIT® CROMA PLUS. These multiple-layer coatings offer protection against abrasive wear and sticking and they improve the slip behavior as well as the flow of plastics such as PA or ABS. Thus, no wear was evident in practice on extruder screws treated in this way even several years after the coating was applied. On spiral mandrel dies for manufacturing films, deposit formation was reduced and tool lifetimes were increased tenfold. Large tools such as screws or sheet dies with a length of up to 4.5 metres, or spiral mandrel dies with a diameter of 1.4 metres can also easily be coated. When moving mould parts are involved, such as sliders and ejectors, or lubricant-free running, the exceptionally smooth DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coatings are a perfect match for the job. The silicon-doped DLC coating, BALINIT® DYLYN, for instance, delivers high wear and corrosion protection as well as outstanding

Wide variety of solutions for injection moulding, extrusion, etc. In the area of plastics processing as well, with its vast array of applications, materials and challenges, it pays to look at each case individually. If the task at hand is the injection moulding of sensitive plastic parts with a high-gloss surface, both the surface finish of the tool and the demoulding process itself are of very great importance. Scratches on the mould are a direct cause of scrap and remedying these costs time and money. The thermoplastics, with their varying pigmentation depending on the colour, influence processing and demoulding in a number of ways. Moreover, the use of glass-fibre reinforced plastics increases tool wear. Against this background and in light of the great effort required for quality assurance, production is always looking for opportunities to improve their efficiency and save on costs. Oerlikon Balzers has a solution for this which satisfies many demands simultaneously: BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM. In this plasma-assisted process, a hard diffusion layer is created in the surface of the mould itself. Not only does the tool become more scratch resistant and impervious to corrosion and aggressive substances, it can also be polished to a high gloss, welded or etched – with no need for a plasma re-treatment. Above all, the flow behaviour of the injected plastic and the demouldability are improved so that shorter cycle times become possible. This package of advantages has demonstrated remarkable results after treatment of tools for 42

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Joining and material technologies

BALINIT® CROMA PLUS for plastic films Tool: spiral mandrel die Workpiece: HDPE packaging film Challenge: quality issues in the films due to local plastic spots sticking to the surface, abrasive cleaning causing wear and scratches, surface gets dull and rougher after ~1 year process The solution: BALINIT® CROMA PLUS - Greater production efficiency and reliability - Significantly reduced or even eliminated sticking - Excellent scratch protection - No chemical interaction – no visual change of BALINIT® CROMA PLUS

»»BALINIT® CROMA PLUS delivers impressive results in the production of plastic films with spiral mandrel dies (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers) friction and anti-stick properties. It reduces deposit formation, eliminates burner streaks, improves the flow behaviour of the plastic melt and thus increases the delivery rate. Using this coating solution for sliders and mould cores, a pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer was able to shorten cycle times by about 20 percent in the fabrication of plastic dosing aids while increasing the service life and the production reliability and at the same time reducing maintenance costs. What’s more, BALINIT® DYLYN has proven to be one of the few products suitable for coating copper-beryllium mould cores, which have a tempering temperature of only 300 degrees Celsius. The product can also be combined with BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM, which improves properties such as protection against corrosion, abrasion, scratches and sticking even more. “This is a further example of the flexibility we have in combining the advantages of our broad range of surface solutions for plastics processing tools – all in the interest of higher productivity and quality as well as time and cost savings. The basis for this is always meticulous analysis of the situation and close cooperation with the customer,” sums up Thomas Vermland, Segment Manager for Forming Tools at Oerlikon Balzers. BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM treatment for instrument panels (automotive) Tool: cavity, steel: 1.2738 HH Processed polymer: PA6.6 GF30 No-treatment challenge: Tool wear due to fibreglass-reinforced material with flame retardant (V0), scratch-sensitive, flashing, corrosion The solution: BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM For noticeably improved demolding, optimised processability, enhanced component quality. – Greater production efficiency and reliability – Reduced scrap costs – Reduced maintenance costs – Reduced flashing at parting line Productivity gain 30%.


BALITHERM® PRIMEFORM is a plasma-assisted process in which a hard diffusion layer is created in the surface of the mould itself. (Graphic: Oerlikon Balzers) October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Advanced technologies

Automated grippers

Automation takes a lot of finesse The test tube goes into the centrifuge, the component must be in its place, and the package belongs on the conveyor belt. In modern systems, “ pickand-place” is performed by automated grippers. These must be able to grip very gently when it comes to laboratory automation. Millions of times over, precisely and reliably – much like the new GEP2000 series from the Zimmer Group.

Testing and vaccines provide the way out of the coronavirus lockdown and a gradual return to normality. But the measures introduced by the authorities to contain the pandemic were quickly exhausted. Because the exponential spread of the virus led to a soaring global demand for tests and vaccines. In the beginning, the capacities were insufficient, and the wait for test kits and vaccines really put the patience of the world to the test.

Laboratory automation against Covid-19 The pharmaceutical industry, medical technology, and medical laboratories did actually work extremely quickly. This also applies to the expansion of production and to the increase of testing capabilities. A key factor in this success was automation.

In laboratories, the pandemic proved to be a major impetus for automation. Automatic laboratory devices and universal, flexible robots can relieve specialists of a great deal of work and increase both throughput as well as efficiency. The automatic gripping and handling of samples, pipettes, or reagents is among the central, constantly recurring process steps here. For this purpose, delicate, industrial small parts grippers are required. Two different technologies are generally available for gripping, explains product manager Maik Decker, who is responsible for this area at the southwest German manufacturer Zimmer Group: “Up until now, most grippers in industry have been powered pneumatically, i.e., with compressed air. This technology is, however, not suitable for the hygienic environments required in laboratories, in medicine and in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. Grippers with electric drive are therefore used in these areas.” 44

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Advanced technologies Electric motor makes grippers flexible In addition to the hygienic aspect, these grippers have another advantage: they function without a compressed air system and the associated lines. In some industrial sectors, these are standard equipment in production facilities – electricity is, after all, available everywhere. Besides, the machines in which the grippers are installed operate with electric power. An electrical connection is much easier to install than a compressed air supply. Moreover, the control of electric components is both simpler and more flexible than working with pneumatics. “We see a clear trend toward the electric drive, not least in the automotive industry,” explains Maik Decker. New products from the Zimmer Group, such as the new GEP2000 series, serve and consolidate this trend. The small parts gripper can – depending on the version – grip and hold components weighing up to five kilograms but can likewise handle delicate and sensitive parts such as a test tube without problem. “The advantages of the electric drive also include the ability to adapt the gripping force to various objects at any time,” explains Volker Kimmig, team leader for software at the Zimmer Group. “With the appropriate controller, the gripper can switch between different parts during a running process.”

10 million cycles without maintenance The power for these work steps is supplied by a brushless DCservomotor of the BX4 series from FAULHABER. In addition to a high torque, the strengths of the four-pole drive include its low vibration and low noise, compact design and a long service life. “We guarantee that this product will perform over 10 million cycles without maintenance,” says Volker Kimmig. “This is, of course, only possible with a motor of very high quality.” Such a motor must also provide a number of additional features to meet the demands of continuous operation in a typical pick-and-place application. The development engineer uses the production of car keys as a good example: “Large quantities and high throughput set the tone here. The gripper robots work under very high-paced, permanent stress with short cycle times. The motor must therefore start and then stop again at very short intervals. Decisive here is the motor’s

acceleration, as every tenth of a second counts in the process as a whole. Moreover, the motor needs to be able to efficiently dissipate the heat that forms in such an operation in order to eliminate the possibility of overheating.”

Proven collaboration The gripper experts from the Zimmer Group knew, not only from the data sheet, that the BX4 from FAULHABER would satisfy these requirements. They had previously installed motors of this series in their GEH6000 gripper family. Essentially, this so-called long-stroke gripper works in the same ways as the small parts gripper. Its stroke, i.e., the distance between the open and closed position of the gripper jaws, is significantly larger and can be up to 80 millimeters. “The device can thus cover a wider range of different-sized target objects in the same process,” explains Maik Decker. “The smaller GEP2000, on the other hand, can also perform its work in very confined conditions. Of course, this only functions with a motor that delivers very high power in a very small space.”

Mechanical self-locking The gripper series have one special feature in common with other Zimmer Group products: The motor power is transferred to the jaws by a worm gear drive with a steep pitch. Even in the event of a power failure, the gripping force is retained and the respective position held. Once gripped, a work piece is held securely by this mechanical self-locking function, without an additional device such as a brake being required. The drive electronics in the two gripper types operate slightly differently. With the GEH6000, the encoder signals of the drive are used for positioning the jaws; with the GEP2000, this task is performed with the help of a positioning sensor. Both solutions achieve a very high degree of repeatability: the specified path of the jaws is reproduced to within one five hundredths. “In many applications, the prepositioning when lowering the gripper to the target object is very important,” explains Volker Kimmig. “In constrained spaces, the open position is often only allowed to be very slightly larger than the closed position. When “maneuvering” a robot arm in a complex environment, it may also be necessary to make very precise presettings. We do this using very precise electromechanics, where the motor once again plays a crucial role, as well as with a flexible data connection. Our devices can be equipped with IO-Link and with digital I/O. This makes it easy for them to move in and back out again just about everywhere.” October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Advanced technologies

HMS presents communication solutions for Battery Energy Storage Systems Thomas Carlsson

HMS Networks is now presenting several communication solutions for the rapidly expanding battery market. Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) require communication capabilities to connect to batteries and peripheral components, communicate with the power grid, monitor systems remotely and much more.

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) may be one of the keys to solve the energy crisis and make the world more sustainable. Since green energy sources such as wind and solar are not always available, large battery parks can make it possible to store the energy to use when there is less sun or wind.


Ixxat products from HMS for CAN-based networking and device protection.

Battery energy systems need to communicate Battery Energy Storage Systems are made up of battery cells which are combined into battery packs which can then be combined into containers which in turn can make up battery parks the size of several football fields. The systems can use new or recycled batteries and combine many different components. However, these large battery parks need a lot of communication capabilities in order to work. HMS now presents a comprehensive package of communication solutions catered for this application area.

Error prevention and networking of can-based devices Since the battery market has been spearheaded by the car industry, CAN is the communication standard of choice in many 46

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

systems. Here, HMS offers an extensive portfolio of communication solutions via the Ixxat brand – for PC connection, networking, line extension, galvanic isolation and more. In networking, the protection of components is crucial, both from external sources (like lightning strikes) and from systemrelated issues (AC/DC noise). Device protection is a must to avoid damage.

Networking gateways Battery Energy Storage Systems often combine a variety of different equipment from different industries within a single application – batteries, BMS, PLCs, fire detection units or air conditioning. To combine different equipment, it is necessary to interconnect various protocols and network standards. CAN, Modbus, BACnet, KNX and other protocols can be easily linked via intelligent gateways from HMS, which handle the all-important data exchange while also enabling centralized control. In addition, these gateways can selectively filter, map and, if necessary, manipulate the data in order to realize the best possible data exchange.

Advanced technologies

»»Networking gateways from HMS are well-suited for use in BESS. Cloud/SCADA connectivity and remote access Intelligent networking is also required in order to connect to cloud solutions or SCADA systems. This connection can be made by using SG (Smart Grid) gateways from HMS that support both energy and industrial fieldbus protocols, as well as protocols required for cloud connection. The SG gateways enable centralized control as well as remote access for predictive maintenance, logging or data visualization using the i4SCADA® solution from the HMS-owned company WEBfactory®. The SG gateways also provide robust cybersecurity features, such as firewall, OpenVPN®, TLS encryption and user management.


Ixxat® SG-gateways handle communication between energy and industrial protocols whereas WEBfactory i4SCADA allows highly adaptable data visualization.

These protective measures are indispensable to protect against cyber-attacks. “We see a rapidly growing demand for communication solutions in Battery Energy Storage Systems as society as a whole is turning to more sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar,” says Alexander Hess, General Manager at HMS Business Unit Ixxat. “Communication is needed to get BESS systems to work and HMS offers an extensive portfolio of industrial communication solutions to solve the communication issues at hand in these systems.”


First-rate contacts, new projects and concrete deals Deep-going technical discussions, a strongly attended Expert Forum and a positive overall mood on all three days of the fair testified to the fact that the 20th parts2clean, ending on September 28, 2023, fulfilled all expectations.

More than 3,000 trade visitors came to the event, the majority of them armed with current tasks and projects as well as a thirst for new information. This resulted in numerous high-quality contacts, new projects and even direct business deals for the more than 150 exhibitors from 14 nations at the event. Cleanliness is playing an increasingly important role in a growing number of industrial sectors. This conclusion can be drawn after the close of the 20th parts2clean, made clear by the tasks and projects which more than 3,000 visitors brought with them to

the Stuttgart Exhibition Center from 26-28 September. The share of foreign visitors was 20 percent, with the strongest attendance coming from Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Austria and the Netherlands. The highlight theme of “High Purity”, which was added to the core areas of this, the leading international trade fair for industrial parts and surface cleaning, made a major contribution to the substantial increase of around 33 percent compared to the previous year. “In this way, we have placed a stronger focus on the range of October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Advanced technologies solutions offered at parts2clean for tasks where the highest cleanliness requirements need to be met,” reports Christoph Nowak, Project Director at Deutsche Messe, “and we have thus succeeded in attracting more visitors from the affected industries to parts2clean.” This was confirmed by Dr.-Ing. Günther Schmauz, board member at acp systems AG: “With our high-purity snow blasting cleaning solutions, we were previously more of a niche supplier at parts2clean. At this year’s event, however, we were able to welcome a large number of trade fair guests from the fields of EUV lithography, including system partners and suppliers, as well as electromobility. The latter ranges from battery manufacturers and suppliers of components for power dissipation and energy management right through to electric motors. For us, parts2clean 2023 went very well.” Jan Gerbrands, CEO at Netherlands-based Brookhuis Applied Data Intelligence B. V., a manufacturer of products for optimizing cleanroom operations, expressed similar sentiments: “It was a fantastic show for us, as we were able to generate many new contacts.” And, according to Rainer Straub, Board of Management and Vice President Sales & Customer Service at Ecoclean GmbH: “parts2clean was significantly more successful for us this year than in 2022, certainly due to the highlight theme of ‘High Purity’, which is a focal point in our program at Ecoclean. This helped us to attract new visitors.”

technology come together here, and we can exchange information about developments and trends in an interdisciplinary manner.” Bahadir KöK, Sales Manager of the Turkish company Everest Elektro Mechanik Makina Sanayi Ve Tic. A.S. took a similar view: “parts2clean is one of the most important trade fairs for Everest. In order to become more independent from the automotive industry, we have developed new systems in line with the current standards in medical technology, which we are presenting here. We also invited our dealers from various countries to attend the fair so that we can present these new developments to them.” Maria Laure from the New Business Perfect Welding division at the Austriabased Fronius International company assesses her participation in the trade fair in the following light: “We participated in parts2clean for the third time and have noted a positive development, both in terms of visitor numbers as well as the international makeup. We conduct around 50 percent of our discussions in English. These are thorough-going discussions that deal with specific tasks, and in some cases the visitors even bring along the workpieces to be cleaned.”

Strong demand for information drives record attendance at Expert Forum Decision-minded trade visitors looking to invest A total of over 150 exhibitors from 14 countries presented new, refined and time-tested products as well as services for industrial parts and surface cleaning on around 4,500 square meters of display space. The fact that most of them were able to hold highly detailed discussions about specific projects was due to the above-average percentage of trade visitors (99 percent). About 88% of them were involved in operational investment decisions, and about 78% visited the trade fair looking to make purchases. And these were directly implemented at parts2clean, as Wolfgang Prem, Managing Director of Maschinenbau Silberhorn GmbH, reported: “This year we are taking away a whole lot of good leads with visitors from companies we did not know before. But the highlight of our participation in the tradeshow was that we were able to sell one of our new MWS cleaning systems to a company from Israel directly at our booth. It was a first contact that occurred right here at the show.” Manfred Holzleg, General Manager of Safechem Europe GmbH, also expressed his satisfaction: “At parts2clean, we always have the opportunity to meet a diverse audience. This year, we were able to hold numerous discussions, especially with visitors from industries that are new to us, and we can also open up new business fields as a result. However, parts2clean is also important for us from the point of view that the world market and technology leaders from the various areas of industrial cleaning 48

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

“A magnet for visitors has always been the bilingual Expert Forum at parts2clean,” remarks Nowak. “But this year it underpinned its status as one of the world’s most sought-after sources of expertise on industrial parts and surface cleaning, drawing record attendance.” And the numbers spoke for themselves: A total of 2,700 times knowledge transfer par excellence by listening to the simultaneously translated (German <> English) lectures by renowned speakers from science, research and industry to generate or deepen cleaning knowledge. “The enormous popularity of this forum shows that there is an immense need for information – both for traditional cleaning tasks as well as high-purity applications, which will continue to increase due to changing and new requirements,” adds Nowak.

2nd FiT2clean Award presented The last day of parts2clean also offered a special highlight, featuring the presentation of the FiT2clean Award. This was the second time that the German Industrial Parts Cleaning Association (FiT) honored outstanding achievements and solutions for parts cleaning. Intelligent Fluids GmbH secured the €10,000 innovation prize for the development of water-based, sustainable phase fluids that can replace standard solvents in numerous cleaning applications.

Advanced technologies

Pfeiffer Vacuum Expands the HiLobe Series

Intelligent, High Performance Roots Pumps with High Pumping Speeds Pfeiffer Vacuum, one of the world’s leading suppliers of vacuum technology, is introducing new compact Roots pumps with high pumping speeds. These Roots pumps from the HiLobe series cover a wide range of applications that call for large chambers to be evacuated rapidly. Potential uses in numerous industrial vacuum applications include electron beam welding, vacuum furnaces, freeze drying and, particularly, rapid evacuations (lock chambers or leak detection systems). These vacuum pumps are also suitable for use in coating applications. With their individual speed control, they can be adapted to customerspecific requirements.

As Andreas Würz, Product Manager at Pfeiffer Vacuum, explains, “We are pleased to round off the HiLobe series with the market launch of these large Roots pumps. These new Roots pumps handle a wide range of nominal pumping speeds up to 13,600 m³/h. We are particularly proud of their very compact size and significantly lower power consumption compared to conventional Roots pumps.” With their powerful drive concept, they shorten pump-down times by around 20 percent compared to conventional Roots pumps. Rapid evacuation also saves costs and increases the efficiency of production systems. The use of energy-efficient drives and the optimized rotor geometries of the pumps reduces energy costs by more than 50 percent compared to conventional Roots pumps. This is also reinforced by the sealing concept. The pumps are hermetically sealed from the atmosphere and have a maximum integral leak rate of 1 • 10-⁶ Pa m³/s. Dynamic seals are eliminated, thus making maintenance necessary only every four years. The intelligent interface technology of the HiLobe ensures optimal process adjustment and condition monitoring. Condition monitoring provides information on the state of the vacuum system at all times. Condition monitoring also increases system availability since maintenance and service work can be planned expediently and with foresight to prevent cost-intensive production downtimes. These advantages result in a long service life and very high operational reliability.


Pfeiffer Vacuum is expanding the HiLobe series through intelligent, high performance Roots pumps with high pumping speeds

In addition to individual components, Pfeiffer Vacuum also offers a broad range of Roots pumping stations featuring different backing pumps, gradations and accessories. Roots pumping stations such as these are used in low and medium vacuum applications and are a reliable solution offering high pumping speeds in the transition range (from atmospheric pressure to 10-3 hPa). The right combination of different vacuum pumps creates the ideal solution for diverse applications in production and research. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Advanced technologies

HMS Networks releases the world’s first industrial 5G router and starterkit HMS Networks now releases the first commercially available industrial 5G router optimized for industrial private networks. The Wireless Router 5G supports Ericsson Industry Connect 5G networks and allows users to get started with 5G in their own location. HMS also offers a ready-made starterkit for test and evaluation of typical industrial use cases.

For early adopters The Wireless Router 5G is developed by HMS Networks’ technology initiative “HMS Labs” and allows early adopters of 5G to try out the new technology. It is the first commercially available Industrial 5G router optimized for private networks to pass the CE conformance test.

»»5G router with antennas mounted angled »»

The 5G Starterkit with IO-Link sensors comes in a box and includes the Wireless Router 5G and two sensors for measuring distance and signal strength

With 5G in a factory, users benefit from a wireless network, which is fit for industrial demands in terms of communication speeds and security – along with all the flexibility that comes with wireless.

Ericsson partnership The Wireless Router 5G has been extensively tested with the Ericsson Industry Connect 5G solution in standalone (SA) operation using band n78. It enables users to create a robust cellular connection in an industrial production environment. Supporting 4G and 50

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

5G cellular technology, it is an ideal communication solution for automated guided vehicles, AGVs, and other industrial machines.

Starterkit available HMS also offers a starterkit which is perfect for evaluation of 5G and starting up a network with Ericsson Industry Connect. The Starterkit includes the Wireless Router 5G and two industrial IO-Link sensors sending data across the 5G network. This allows users to try out 5G in their own facilities without having to set up applications of their own from scratch. Data from the sensors can be accessed using the Modbus TCP and MQTT protocols as well as in JSON format. There is also a web-based demo ready to show the sensor data across the 5G network in a regular browser. “We take pride in always being at the forefront of technology, and this first commercially available Industrial 5G router is further proof of that,” says Dr. Jens Jakobsen, Development Manager at HMS Labs. “The Wireless Router 5G and the 5G Starterkit with IO-Link sensors will allow users to easily get started with 5G in

Advanced technologies an industrial environment and make use of a technology that will undoubtedly be very beneficial for the industry.”

Available now via HMS labs Initially, the router is available only to users of the Industry Connect system from Ericsson. Qualification of several other infrastructure providers and telecom operators is ongoing.


The Wireless Router 5G by HMS Networks (left) and the 5G Starterkit (right) enables users to get started with 5G on premise.

Major European Automotive OEM Purchases Two Additional SLM Solutions Systems The Automotive OEM now has an install base of more than ten in its additive entourage. The brand’s fleet now consists of more than ten SLM Solutions systems. It is composed of several SLM®500s as well as SLM®280s. The latest purchases are a nod to the productivity the company gains from the systems and further, solidify the trust between the two companies.

The OEM uses its fleet to produce various metal parts for vehicle production. They are used for multiple activities with the focus being serial production. The global automotive market is expected to grow steadily over the next decade, reaching a volume of around 123 million units in 2030 with the majority of it driven by the shift to electric vehicles which in turn will further accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing which allows, besides others, lighter builds required by heavy battery packs and better thermal management to extend the lifetime of batteries. According to the AMPOWER Report 2022, metal AM system sales to the auto sector amounted to 76 M Euros in 2021 and is expected to more than quadruple to 308 M Euros by 2026. SLM Solutions’ customers are able to meet these demands by deploying a fleet of SLM®500s. Between 2020 and 2021, SLM Solutions sold twice as many SLM®500s reaching an install base of around 150 machines globally printing the most complex applications in automotive. “This latest sale is a testament to the quality of our systems and our commitment to making our partners realise their visions,’’ comments SLM Solutions CEO, Sam O’Leary. “The productivity and reliability of our systems and the innovation and support of our team make us the go-to with the world’s leading automotive OEMs. These are long-lasting relationships forged from trust and close collaboration as much as they are from metal and lasers.” SLM Solutions is known as the market leader for many commercial firsts with a focus on increasing productivity with relentless innovation in multi-laser technology. The first quad-laser metal

system on the market, the SLM®500 can integrate lasers independently or in parallel to increase build rates by 90% over twin laser configurations. Machine operator and powder are separated through a closedloop powder handling strategy with an automated powder sieve and supply. Designed for serial production, the exchangeable build cylinder enables the shortest possible fire to fire times, reducing downtimes of the machine to a minimum. The SLM®500 is the best performing, most efficient system in its class. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



Predicting the Surface Finish of High-Gloss Plastic Parts

High Gloss – Paintless and Painless Cristoph Hinse, Paula Hohoff Skillful application of the evaluation and analytical options afforded by process simulation, including designing the best temperature-control system and making comparisons with alternative manufacturing processes, smoothes the way to efficient product development and manufacturing. Doing this from the very start of a project enables investments to be weighed and qualified, and technical, economic or environmental concerns to be taken into account, as exemplified here by a part with a high-gloss surface.

Whether it be in automotive engineering, the furniture industry or consumer electronics – high-gloss products are in demand, and are sure to grab attention, win customers over, and so secure market share. The commonplace perception of plastic as a cheap material has changed and it is now seen as a lifestyle material with maximum demands on its surface finish and under pressure to keep meeting new requirements. This process of change is also being influenced by other aspects that need to be addressed, such as economic factors and steps to reduce the carbon footprint. The key to ensuring that a product will possess a given level of quality is to coordinate the various analytical and evaluation options afforded by process simulation, and then to heed and utilize the resulting insights with a view to enhancing the process engineering. Adopting such an approach from the outset makes it possible to evaluate manufacturing processes expediently and to define the most suitable range of applications. There is no denying that the injection molding of high-gloss plastic parts is very challenging. All it takes for a sub- standard finish to result, for example, is a mold insert with a poor surface finish, an unsuitable material, or the wrong process parameters [1, 2]. In certain circum- stances, the desired level of high gloss may still be achieved by painting the surfaces in a downstream process [3]. The

Cristoph Hinse, Paula Hohoff • SimpaTec Simulation & Technology Consulting GmbH


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


3D CAD view of the conformal temperature-control system for injection molding a fascia with a high-gloss surface. © SimpaTec, Contura MtC GmbH

problem then is that the energy consumed in that painting process contributes from 5 to 15 % of the overall cost of parts manufacture [4]. Against a backdrop of growing demand for greater production efficiency and a need to combine the lowest-possible manufacturing costs with high product quality, alternative processes must be found [3].

Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Variothermal Temperature Control The three major factors governing the quality of high-gloss surfaces made by injection molding are injection speed, holding pressure, and mold temperature, with the last of these having the greatest impact [5]. Although high mold temperatures can yield nearly ideal high-gloss surfaces, the long cooling times necessarily give rise to long cycles. These can be avoided by employing variothermal temperature control, which represents a practicable alternative for the production of high-gloss parts [5]. In this connection, the use of simulation to predict part quality at an early stage, ideally during product design, is recommended with a view to forestalling unforeseen costs and part defects [6]. In the course of close collaboration on the design of a manufacturing process for a high-gloss part, Contura MTC GmbH and SimpaTec GmbH compared the use of both conventional thermal and variothermal control. They used the same injection mold with conformal cooling for both processes . Premec S.p.A., Toolax and Contura MTC played a substantial role in the development

NON-metals and manufacture of this mold. The customized temperature-control system exerts a strong influence over the mold-wall temperature (Fig. 1).


Figure 1: The view of the mold interior in the simulation model shows the temperature difference at the end of the filling stage: variothermal control on the top side leads to higher mold temperatures than on the conventional temperature-controlled side (below). © SimpaTec

High-Gloss Surface – with Limitations he comparison consisted in evaluating the surface finish of the respective parts and estimating the cost and energy requirements of both processes, while making allowance for any necessary additional painting. Process simulation was used to assess whether the molded part’s surface finish could be predicted early in the design stage, thus making it possible to consider the costs that might arise from a painting process. The use of different materials was also analyzed; e.g. the reference part was made from a PC+ABS in one case and from a polyamide 6 with 30 % glass fiber content (PA6GF30) in another. The PC+ABS reference part yielded a high-gloss surface in both process variants. Dynamic alternating temperature control produced an ideal piano-black finish (Fig. 2, right), free of streaks, weld lines and similar defects, and with no need for downstream painting. The conventional temperature-control process also yielded a streak-free finish at first glance. However, weld lines are clearly visible on closer inspection (Fig. 2, left), with the result that a downstream coating process is necessary for achieving the desired piano-black surface finish.


Figure 2: The PC+ABS reference part had a high-gloss surface in both process variants, but weld lines were absent only in the variothermal variant (right). © SimpaTec

Comparison of Energy Consumption: Variothermal versus Painting The integration of a downstream process step, such as painting, not only necessitates more outlay on resources in terms of organization, transport, packaging and handling of the part during post-treatment. It also leads to greater energy consumption and thus incurs higher costs that must also be taken into ac-count. That being said, injection molding with variothermal control also consumes more energy. So, how great is the additional outlay in reality? This is what has to be compared. To this end, measurements were made of the energy consumption of an injection molding machine (type: Si-180-6s; manufacturer: Toyo Machinery & Metal Co.), including all additional temperature control units, in the production of 40 reference parts by both methods. The conventional method consumed 2.882 kWh over the course of the 40 cycles, rising to 7.868 kWh when the dynamic temperature control was added. This represents a 2.7-fold increase in energy consumption. Given an electricity price of 20 cents per kWh (as of 2020), the extra cost per part is thus just under 2.5 cents [7]. This is a small increase compared with the cost of the downstream painting process needed for conventional mold-temperature control, where the extra cost per part for a batch of 25,000 units and a single coat of paint works out at more than 45 cents. And that figure excludes handling, possible one-time costs and coating waste of approx. 2 %. The outcome is that the variothermal variant is more cost-effective than the conventional variant (including the outlay needed for the painting process) by a factor of at least 18.

Simulation for the Purpose of Cost Estimation A piano-black finish can therefore be two things at once: an inexpensive and an expensive lifestyle look, the deciding factor being the manufacturing process. However, this information on its own is only valuable and useful if it is possible to estimate in advance whether or not variothermal temperature control can add value to the product to be manufactured. Injection molding simulation is not just useful for identifying the direction in which the future quality of the part’s surface is trending. Moldex3D was used to simulate the injection molding process under both conventional and dynamic temperature control. Aside from the usual results, e.g. about flow properties, temperatures, pressure and deformation, it also returns information about weld lines and shear stresses, inter alia, which can assist with assessing how the surface finish is trending. The temperature of the weld lines at the time of their formation can be used to infer how pronounced they are. When melt fronts converge at elevated temperatures, the mixing is more extensive because the melt viscosity is lower, and so the weld lines are less pronounced. In the variothermal variant, this manifests itself on the vario-thermally controlled side of the part, i.e. the visible surface of the top side. There, the temperature is still so high that the real part shows no signs of weld lines at this point (Fig. 2, right). The simulation reveals the different temperatures of the weld lines. In the variothermally controlled visible surface (top side) of the part, the temperature of the potential weld line is so high that the data points indicating even higher temperatures can be ignored as far as weld lines are concerned (Fig. 3, right). In the absence of variothermal control, weld lines of lower temperatures are formed which can be detected with the help of the data points (Fig. 3, left). Aside from the weld lines, it is also important to com-pare the shear stresses induced on the part’s surface by the two temperature-control variants. For the rest of this article, the focus here will be on the glass fiber-reinforced material. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


NON-metals Comparison of the simulation results produced by both variants reveals clear differences in the parts’ surface quality. However, in the case of the variothermal variant, this must not be construed as a definitive guarantee of a perfect finish or of the elimination of an entire painting step. That would require further tests that provide insights into additional influencing variables, such as the surface finish of the mold. Nevertheless, the results do reveal a visible improvement in surface finish of the variothermal part, a fact which should be highly influential in the decision as to which manufacturing process is suitable.

was still salvageable: an acceptable surface finish (Fig. 4, top right) that would lend itself to down-stream painting and still be capable of producing the desired high-gloss sur-faces. Notwithstanding the need for downstream painting, in this case, it was the use of variothermal control that made it possible to produce a high-gloss surface in the first place. Comparison of these Moldex3D simulation results with the real part surfaces reveals parallels which allow of the possibility that the debacle described above may be predictable (Fig. 4). The simulation shows the maximum shear stresses at the end of the filling phase in both variants (Fig, 4, bottom). The gradients of the shear stresses suggest a non-uniform part surface, a fact which is emphatically confirmed in the case of conventional temperature control (Fig. 4, left). The less-pronounced shear stress gradients in the variothermal simulation coincide with a higher-quality surface on the real part (Fig. 4, right). As was the case earlier for the weld lines, the shear stress simulation can also indicate the direction in which the downstream surface quality of the real part is trending. This test on PA6-GF30 also underscores the import-ant contribution that injection molding simulation can make to predictions as to the feasibility of part production.

»»Figure 3: Particle tracking shows the temperature of the weld lines as they

Painting Needed or Even Possible? Use Empirical Values

form. In the variothermal variant (right), the temperature of the melt fronts on the visible surface (top side) is still so high that they do not show up as weld lines. © SimpaTec

All or Nothing: High Gloss on Glass Fiber Parts made from polyamide 6 with 30 % glass fiber content illustrate the difficulty of achieving a glossy finish without recourse to any coating at all. The finishes resulting from conventional temperature control were so critical that in some cases there was no point in considering painting to a high gloss finish due to a lack of feasibility (Fig. 4, top left). Such a situation would not be acceptable in in a real-life product-development process. The choice of dynamic alternating temperature control man-aged to salvage what

A better interpretation of the absolute values of the shear stresses and the temperatures of the weld lines can be obtained with the aid of the Moldex3D iSLM platform. Among other things, this interactive platform for data management for companies in the plastics industry can store knowledge that has already been gained – such as the size of model features, gate sizes, gate types, cooling systems, sampling parameters and CAE simulation results – so that it can be used for comparisons in subsequent projects. The approach described here is transferable to other productdevelopment processes, such as the manufacture of foamed parts. Although achieving the optimum temperature control needed for a high-quality part surface poses a particular challenge in this case, it also offers huge potential for process optimization. Literature


Figure 4: The simulation of the shear stresses (bottom) indicates the direction in which the down-stream surface quality of the PA6-GF30 real part is likely to trend – shown here is the higher-quality surface produced by variothermal temperature control (right). © SimpaTec


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

[1] Kerkstra, R.: Solving Issues with Gloss. Plastics Technology (2016), Online available: [2] Berger, G.; Friesenbichler, W.; Reitter, M.; Jutz, S.; Langecker, G.: Hochglanzoberflächen beim Spritzgießen. Materials Testing 52 (2010) 4, p. 211-221 [3] Schulz, D.: Ausschussarmes Lackieren von Kunststoffen. plastverarbeiter. (2021) Online available: ausschussarmes-lackieren-von-kunststoffen.html, last checked on 2021-10-05 [4] Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie: Luftstromregelung und Wärmerückgewinnung im Lackierprozess. (2021), p. 1 Online available: Redaktion/DE/Artikel/Projekte/Projektideen/energieeffizienz-inlackieranlagen.html. [5] Gim, J.; Han, E.; Rhee, B.; Friesenbichler, W.; Gruber, D.: Causes of the Gloss Transition Defect on High-Gloss Injection-Molded Surfaces. Polymers 12 (2020) 9, p. 1-16 [6] Sánchez, R.; Martinez, A.; Mercado, D.; Carbonel, A.; Aisa, J.: Rapid heating injection moulding: An experimental surface temperature study. Polymer Testing 93 (2021) 106928, p. 1-7 [7] Homann, J.; Mundt, A.: Monitoringbericht Energie 2020. Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen. Bonn. (2021), p. 27-28


ENGEL part finder

The spare parts scout for your pocket ENGEL part finder was launched at FAKUMA 2023. With this smart application for identifying spare parts, ENGEL is demonstrating how effective this new tool can be for plastics processors in everyday operations: a simple, time-saving solution to improve machine availability and to boost production efficiency. A smartphone is all you need.

To guarantee efficient production with a high level of machine availability, the right spare part needs to be on site quickly when the need arises. Because an injection moulding machine or production cell consists of many parts, purchasing spare parts is often more complex than it might appear at first glance. For one thing, injection moulding machines have often been in use for many years, or even decades. The expert knowledge of the system’s details is often lost when a long-standing machine operator retires. Another factor is that parts wear and get dirty, which makes part identification difficult in any production environment. Additionally, companies are using digital tools to compensate for the lack of skilled personnel in the industry.

The app that keeps you in production The solution goes by the name of ENGEL part finder - an application that lets users identify and order virtually any part of an ENGEL injection moulding machine in an uncomplicated way. The development of part finder took into consideration the feedback from customers who tested the system. The result is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool to support day-to-day operations. Available free of charge as a feature of the ENGEL e-connect customer portal, part finder is always at hand when needed: all it takes is a mobile device with online access or a computer with an internet connection. Users who are logged in can launch the web application while working on the customer portal. The tool offers various options for identifying parts, including a convenient, image-based spare parts search function. Users can take a picture of the part in question with their mobile phone or tablet cameras, and define the image section to be used for the search. Alternatively, images can be mailed to the Purchasing department. The purchasing coordinator can then use the image file in part finder to identify the part. Besides this visual search, the smart software supports the user with various advanced options, such as a key word and synonym search and a smart parts list search.

Reorder parts quickly and without risk One of part finder’s main advantages is that it cannot only identify new parts of the latest machine models, but it can also recog-


ENGEL part finder helps identify parts quicker and removes the risk of ordering the wrong ones – an example of a visual search is shown here

nise dirty, worn or defective parts of older machines – from cables to pumps. The part finder’s database includes injection moulding machines which are up to 20 years old, along with other systems. In the exceptional case that part finder is unable to find the part a user is looking, experts from ENGEL Customer Service are happy to provide support. The order function is a big help in daily operations. The identified parts can be ordered with a single click in ENGEL part finder – and the shopping cart feature also allows ordering multiple parts. On initiating the order process with a click, the application generates an email, which can either be sent directly to ENGEL as an order or forwarded internally for approval. This helps avoiding ordering wrong parts by mistake and improves efficiency in spare parts procurement. ENGEL part finder is therefore a valuable tool in daily operations and maintenance. “The ENGEL part finder will even work for injection moulding machines that have been in use for a long time and therefore make sure they are back in production far quicker after a standstill”, says Product Manager Digital Solutions, Mateusz Rychlik. “In times when human resources are scarce, this provides essential support for efficient injection moulding production”. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



Black plastics recycling: towards a circular economy Black plastics have been notoriously difficult to detect, but recent technological developments have made it possible to sort them not only by color but also by polymer, unlocking economic value for recycling companies. This is a game changer in the fast-evolving plastic packaging sector, and STADLER – a leading supplier of sorting plants for the recycling industry – is experiencing an increase in the demand for systems capable of recovering all black plastics from the waste stream. Through effective collaboration among all players in the industry’s value chain, a financially and environmentally beneficial circular economy is possible.

Plastic packaging serves important functions in modern life, and we have come to rely on it heavily. It is an exceptional product that, however, has a significant end-of-life problem. This is especially true of black plastic, which until very recently couldn’t be detected with the available technology, Near Infrared (NIR). “The emitter shines a light on the material and the sensor takes a reading of the energy that is reflected back,” says Enrico Siewert, Director of Product and Market Development at STADLER. “However, carbon black absorbs the light, so the signal doesn’t bounce back and the sensor doesn’t get a reading. This means that black plastic is undetectable with the technology that is widely deployed in the recycling infrastructure.”

Why recovering black plastics matters Black plastic makes up a significant part of household waste which, if not recovered, will be incinerated or sent to landfill. This 56

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NON-metals has not only environmental implications but also financial, as Enrico Siewert explains: “If recycling companies can’t recover black plastics, they can be losing as much as 15% of the value of their inbound material. When they are able to mine this material out of the waste stream, they can create economic value and positively impact their bottom line.” “Another important consideration is that more and more packaging is made of black plastic, as more recycled content is used. When recycling post-consumer packaging, if it’s not rigorously sorted by color, the resulting output is a grey resin. This can’t be taken back to white, so many converters add carbon black to obtain a very uniform, more appealing color. We, as a society, want more recycled content, we will see more and more black material in the waste stream. Consequently, packaging will continue to trend towards a darker color.”

New opportunities for contributing to a circular economy

A game-changing technological development Different industries involved in the plastics value chain have been researching solutions to the black plastics issue, and today there are different ways of recovering these materials. A first solution is a sensor-based dry sorting system, which uses NIR sensors with detectable black additives to detect the different types of polymers. There are also other types of sensors capable of sorting black materials, also by polymer. With this sensor-based dry sorting system, it is possible to accurately sort black polyethylene, polypropylene, PET and polystyrene. Another solution is a wet density sorting system based on the flotation principle. The ligher polyethylene and polypropylene float, while the heavier PET, PVC and plystyrene tend to sink. The drawback of this system is that, not only is it costly due to the filtration process, the need for water, cleaning, etc., it is not capable of sorting by polymer, so that a circular process is impossible. “However, the biggest advancement has been in sensor technology,” states Enrico Siewert. “The situation has evolved to the point that today we are able to separate black not only by color but also by polymer. This is very important because if the sorter ejects all black materials together, there could be as many as 15 different polymers in the mix, which can’t easily be remanufactured.” “This is a very recent development: 5-6 years for black color detection and polymer sorting. This is a true game changer because it creates economic value and makes it possible to recycle these materials that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration.”

The ability to detect black plastics means that there will be more of them in the recycling chain. “We have to create a demand for these post-consumer black materials. Obviously, there are limitations: they can’t be used to produce white products, and they can’t always make food-grade packaging. We have to collaborate across the industry value chain to find other ways to use black plastics. It won’t necessarily be for consumer-facing products, but they could be used to manufacture items such as pallets, buckets or railroad ties, etc. It’s about sorting the plastic effectively and providing it as a feedstock to the advanced recycling sector.” Chemical recycling companies are an excellent example of operations that could make good use of these materials: “They are looking for polyethylene and they don’t care if it has black because they break it down into a gas and convert it into oil, which is transformed into virgin plastic – closing the loop of a circular economy.” It is also important to extend this cross-industry collaboration to packaging designers and producers. “We need a conversation between manufacturers and recyclers where they address together considerations such as: does the consumer really need or want black packaging? If the material can’t be recovered, what matters the most to the consumer? Do they want a close loop solution for the package they buy, or do they care more about how it looks? Such an approach will help address the black plastic problem and get a better recovery of the waste stream.”

Black plastics processing: a demand set to continue to grow The latest technological developments and the consumer pressure for more recycled content in packaging are bound to drive continued growth in demand for sorting plants capable of recovering all blacks out of the waste stream. STADLER has experienced a sharp increase in the interest in these solutions and it is at the heart of this evolution in the industry: “We now have multiple partners that have developed technology to detect black plastics, so we have the ability to design systems to recover these materials tailored to our individual customers’ operational requirements and capital investment,” says Enrico Siewert. “We have completed several projects for some of the most advanced light packaging recycling plants in Europe, and we are working to develop many more.” “The demand is extremely strong for this technology, and I see this trend continuing in the future. More black plastic is going into the waste stream and the technology to mine these materials is catching up fast,” concludes Enrico Siewert. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



ENGEL and Koch extend the use of OPC UA on dosing units and mixers

More convenient dosing and mixing ENGEL AUSTRIA and Werner Koch Maschinentechnik have set the next milestones en route to OPC UA-based communication across the board in injection moulding. The injection moulding machine manufacturer and the peripheral equipment manufacturer have jointly developed an OPC UA interface for the integration of machines for mixing and dosing thermoplastic materials on injection moulding machines.

With immediate effect, dosing and mixing units by Koch can be integrated with the CC300 control unit of the ENGEL injection moulding machines via OPC UA and operated via the control panel on the machines. With its service-oriented, platform-independent and freely scalable structure, OPC UA offers both great flexibility and a high degree of data security. The communications model is increasingly asserting itself as a standard in the injection moulding industry.

Reducing the risk of errors Today, the mixing ratio of the base material, additives and master batches are still set manually in many applications. To do this, a separate control unit is typically required on the injection moulding machine. The integration of dosing and mixing units with the machine control unit offers the advantage of being able to directly transfer the parts dataset, and with it the recipe, directly to the dosing unit on mounting the mould in order to automatically configure the mixing ratio. The dosing process is centrally controlled via the machine display, removing the need for the additional control unit. Alerts from the dosing and mixing unit are also output via the CC300 machine panel. As result, dosing becomes a more convenient experience for production employees, and the risk of input errors is reduced. Storing process data together also makes the production batch easier to trace.

The OPC UA network is growing ENGEL injection moulding machines can currently use OPC UA to talk to a large range of peripheral devices. They include temper58

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Injection moulding production talks OPC UA. ENGEL and Koch enable the integration of dosing and mixing units with the injection moulding machine control unit via OPC UA. Picture: ENGEL

ature control units, hot runners and LSR dosing systems, for which EUROMAP recommendations also exist. Dosing and mixing units for thermoplastics have now been added. Standardised interfaces considerably simplify communication with the production cell independently of the manufacturer. This is why ENGEL is joining forces with other companies in the plastics industry to strongly promote standardisation.


HASCO Innovations live at K 2022 in Düsseldorf As the leading manufacturer of high-quality modular, standardised components, as well as individually planned hot runner systems, HASCO offers designers, mouldmakers and injection moulders innovative and cost-efficient solutions. During K 2022, HASCO focused not only on a large number of new and further developments, but also on digitalisation.

HASCO Digital All highlights, such as user-friendly tools, an update of the HASCO app, interesting CAD features and other digital services that simplify day-to-day working, were presented live on the HASCO stand 1/C06.

Mould Base Technology A comprehensive temperature control program offers a large number of constructive solutions. It has been recently extended by many new products in stainless steel, plus a new flow meter. The new US standard temperature control system allows a reliable link between different connections and systems, beyond national borders. In the field of demoulding, new ejector pins for ventilating the cavities and ejector pins of HSS quality steel now supplement the portfolio. Over 700 further ejector sizes spread over all product variants will, in future, offer even greater flexibility. For the additive manufacture of complex geometries, HASCO offers a metal powder in the steel grades 1.2709 and 1.4404. It stands out through its very high quality and ideal combination of particle size and spherical accuracy. Sometimes injection moulding tools are used at different locations. The Loc Check A5900/… makes it possible to easily and quickly locate the position of an injection moulding tool – worldwide, wherever there is a GSM network.

Hot Runner Technology At the focus of the hot runner technology is the innovative Streamrunner®, the world’s first additively manufactured hot

runner system on the market. As a needle valve version, it offers completely new and space-saving possibilities. Colour changes can be carried out faster through the flow-optimised design of the polished runners with large deflection radii. New nozzles with variable gating areas and contact surfaces enable application-specific temperature management with maximum wear resistance. With the Co-Cart, the transport trolley for hot runner control units, HASCO hot runner allows perfect and safe positioning of the control units directly next to the mould and thus ensures maximum ease of operation. As a full service provider with a portfolio of more than 100,000 products, HASCO supplies everything from a single source and thus contributes to increasing the efficiency and economic viability of modern mouldmaking. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



The new low friction coating for aluminum forming During the last decades the application of aluminum and its alloys has gained major importance in industrial segments, such as in the automotive and the aerospace area, due to its light weight, great formability and better recyclability.

However, as aluminum does not flow like steel and exhibits a higher adhesion affinity the forming process is significantly influenced by the friction between the forming tool and the aluminum. To overcome this galling effects the optimization of the tool surface by application of PVD coatings and the appropriate lubrication is a major factor of the design and procedure of aluminum forming processes.

tive DLC (diamond like carbon) based PVD coating system synthesized by sputtering technology, named CARBON-X®-AL. The CARBON-X®-AL exhibits superior hardness, remarkable abrasive wear paired with beneficial triboligical behaviour to provide the best performance in the forming of aluminum sheet material. Tool Life / Number of good parts stamped


900 k

The most important challenge of aluminum forming is the lubricant selection and application. While oil-based lubricants have traditionally been employed in forming aluminium parts, changes in regulations, pre-treatment and waste treatment processes have driven the focus toward synthetic chemistries and/or reduced lubricant application. The addition of optimized DLC based PVD-coatings with low friction properties decreases the galling tendency and increases the support of reduced insufficient lubrication and thereby enhances the tool performance and prolongs it’s service life.

Solution In order to optimize the aluminum cold forming process with focus on tool performance and lubricant consumption, the R&D department of the voestalpine eifeler Vacotec designed an innova60

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880 k

800 k 700 k 600 k 500 k

500 k

400 k 300 k


200 k

Chemically compatible DLC based PVD coating

100 k 0k

125 k


Information on test procedure Process: Aluminium extrusion Punch material: D2 tool steel (1.2379) Punch hardness: 60 ± 2 HRc Formed material: An aluminium-based alloy (99.95 % aluminium)

NON-metals The result To underline the superior performance of the CARBON-X®-AL the coating has been tested on the industrial scale in an aluminum extrusion process (can production). The application of CARBONX®-AL leads to a performance gain of about +75 % (more flawlessly produced parts) as compared to punch-coated parts with comparable coating systems such as CARBON-X®. The decreased friction and reduced material adhesion compared to chemical comparable coatings (e. g. CARBON-X®) results in lower maintenance efforts. Furthermore, the application of voestalpine eifeler sputtering

technology (150 – 200 °C) ensures the deposition of CARBON-X®AL on temperature-sensitive substrate materials. „The DLC based CARBON-X®-AL coeating combines the high hardness of diamonds and the lubricity of graphite, which enables its application under starved lubrication conditions. The combination of these properties along with high abrasive wear resistance makes CARBON-X®-AL an excellent protective coating for tools in the aluminum cold forming process.“ Dr.-Ing. Soroush Momeni, R&D Project Manager voestalpine eifeler Vacotec

Oerlikon HRSflow hot runner solutions for small shot weights

High-performing hot runner systems for small precision parts Designed for low-weight shots, the hot runner line for small applications by Oerlikon HRSflow combines maximum precision and fast cycle times with special attention to sustainability.

As plastic part design continues to push boundaries, and sustainability will be the future for all molders, challenges to injection molding are increasing. Designed for low-weight shots ranging from 0,2 to 30 gr, the multi-cavity series from Oerlikon HRSflow is conceived to enable maximum design flexibility and ensure tight production tolerances at the same time. Suitable for a large-scale production of injection molded components, it is the ideal solution when an outstanding surface quality and short cycle times are required as for example in medical parts, caps and closures, thin wall packaging, beauty and personal care, technical applications. The minimum gate to gate pitch is up to 22 mm for open gate and 25 mm for valve gate with the smallest nozzle pocket of Ø 16 mm. Oerlikon HRSflow hot half is a fast plug and play solution for the injection molding machine. The internal geometry is suitably profiled to guarantee excellent resistance to bending and torsion, even with high cavitation numbers. The dedicated channel design and the specific coating significantly increase the wear and tear of components, performing also optimized corrosion resistance. The Company can offer conformal cooling circuits, conceived and built by inhouse SLM Technology in case of challenging applications whatever the market segment destination.

On the road towards environmental responsibility More and more companies are looking to reduce the environmental impact of their products by making use of recycled plastics. We provide for biopolymers and PCR resins dedicated technical solutions, as they are often characterized by narrow process windows due to thermal or shear sensitivities. Oerlikon HRSflow hot runner systems are furthermore conceived to prevent damages caused by foreign particles accidentally present in the bio or PCR compound. This allows to avoid any streaking or flow marks that could jeopardize the cosmetic and functional result of molding. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



Müller + Sohn opts for moulds from FB Mold Design with standard mould components and hot runner technology from HASCO

Successful cooperation Injection moulding tools with difficult demoulding techniques are a speciality of the Warburg/Germany based mouldmaker, FB Mold Design. Its day-to-day work includes all kinds of complex demoulding operations such as the removal of collapsible cores and internal sliding elements.

For Managing Director, Felix Blume, the company’s motto “A passion for moulds” is particularly relevant. “For us, the important thing is not just to sell moulds,” says the trained mouldmaker, “but also to look after our customers in all aspects, to help solve their problems and to make just about anything possible.” Even if FB Mold Design is a relatively young company, they can look back on more than 25 years of experience in mouldmaking. Father Frank Blume, adds: “We operate mainly in the fields of packaging, medical technology, aviation, white goods and in the furniture industry.” The firm builds injection moulding tools for applications in formats from 100 x 100 to 1200 x 1000 mm, in many cases with a hot runner connection. Moulding tools for demanding high-temperature plastics such as PEI and PEEK, filled or fibre-reinforced, are also part of the portfolio. At FB Mold Design, all the moulds are designed in the company’s own design department, where the company uses predominantly standard mould components and hot runner technology


Moving half of the Injection moulding tool for an openfronted storage box. Photo: HASCO 62

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»»HASCO hot runner / manifold block. Photo: HASCO from HASCO. “We enjoy working together with HASCO because, quite simply, everything comes out absolutely right,” says Felix Blume. “I cannot recall any complaints. And if there are special challenges to be mastered, the HASCO experts Volker Wittmer/ Technical Sales Engineer Hot Runner and Klaus Meier/Technical Sales Engineer Mould Base generally come up with good and innovative ideas.” For hot runner technology, the company is always pleased to call on the expertise of Volker Wittmer. In this field, use is made of special individual nozzles as well as screwed, ready-to-assemble multi-cavity systems. “To supplement this,” explains Volker Wittmer, “we also provide support with flow analysis”. In the specific case of a washing basket for hospitals for its customer Müller + Sohn Kunststofferzeugnisse, based in Twistetal/Germany, the specialists devised an optimum connection via a needle valve system in the form of a cascade of five hot runner nozzles. The result of the flow analysis was discussed with FB Mold Design and the customer was convinced. “The Mould Base division supplies not only latch locking devices, round latch locking units, two-stage ejectors, but also numerous other standard mould units, as well as stack moulds, with which we have been able to help determine the corresponding breakaway torques,” adds Klaus Meier. “We attach great importance to using only quality steel from Germany”, explains Felix Blume. “In most cases, we through-harden mould parts, and also use 3D-forged materials.” Klaus Meier adds: “There is now a significant trend towards pre-hardened steel, be-

NON-metals cause we can save the hardening process as well as a considerable amount of energy.” Herbert Müller, the senior member of Müller Kunststofferzeugnisse, praises the cooperation with FB Mold Design: “We have been buying moulds from this excellent mouldmaker for a very long time now and are absolutely convinced of the quality.” Changes or corrections to the moulds are often necessary and FB Mold Design has also proved in such cases to be a reliable and competent partner.” Herbert Müller, who became freelance in 1974, straight after his training, has been producing plastic components for many years as a supplier to the automotive, toy and furniture industries for example. Following the economic and financial crisis of 2008/2009, the company began putting its own products onto the market. The field of storage and sorting systems with a wide range of storage boxes and accessories proved to be a particularly suitable market. Today, son Maik and daughter Sonja head the company as the managing directors. “Our customers are predominantly wholesalers,” explains Maik Müller. Since expanding in 2013, the Müller company has been processing around 1,500 tonnes of plastics a year on 13 injection moulding machines in a three-shift operation. The Müllers are constantly trying to predict what new products the market will need, and then to respond with new and innovative ideas. One example is the open-fronted storage box with studs at the bottom, which make it possible to also remove the last washer without problem. Today, the Müller company purchases around 80 % of the moulds it needs from FB Mold Design. This also includes the necessary automation technology and the maintenance of the moulding tools. Maik Müller attaches great value to the cooperation with his mould supplier FB Mold Design and with HASCO. “We also use


HASCO simulation tool enables automatic and fast flow analysis. Photo: HASCO

shut-off couplings from HASCO ourselves, which, with three or four mould changes a day, considerably simplifies our work.” With more than 100,000 products, HASCO is the full service provider for mouldmaking and supplies its customers with everything from a single source. The modular structured range of standard mould units with individual hot runner solutions is geared perfectly to the customers’ needs and offers a reliable basis for high-quality moulds. It also enables HASCO customers to attain sustainable competitiveness.

Assembled in the mould: Allrounder More produces 2-component parts costeffectively Arburg shows how time and costs can be saved by integrating functions, using the example of Luer connectors for the pharmaceutical industry. The two-component closures are produced by an Allrounder More 1600 with a 4+4-cavity mould from Arburg’s partner Braunform and handled by a Yaskawa six-axis robot. When injection moulding ready-to-use Luer connectors, a delicate touch and precision are required: the part weights of the PP and TPE components are only 0.2 and 0.05 grams respectively. Four servo-electric axes from Arburg’s sister company AMKmotion control the internal mould sequences for core-back, lifting the lid, capping the closures and unscrewing the Luer threads. The compact design allows a high number of cavities in a small space. The modular and production-efficient More series is specially designed for multi-component injection moulding. Allrounder Mores can be flexibly adapted to the specific customer and market requirements. They offer more space for larger moulds and a usable ejector stroke, more modularity during assembly, as well as ease of use and simple maintenance. A Yaskawa six-axis robot that can be programmed directly via the Gestica control system will be presented for the first time at the


At K 2022, an Allrounder More with a clamping force of 1,600 kN will be producing Luer connectors from PP and TPE. The multi-component machines can be flexibly automated with linear and multi-axis robots.

trade fair. The fully control-integrated industrial robot is an addition to Arburg’s automation range. For the trade fair application, it removes the finished parts and feeds them to a camera inspection before they are deposited separately by mould cavity. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

The faster way to the optimum process Measuring vibrations where they occur, when they occur – that’s what the iTENDO² from SCHUNK can do. The intelligent toolholder captures data “closest-to-the part” and therefore very close to the workpiece. As a result, it brings more transparency to metal cutting and makes machining more accurate, efficient and less prone to faults.

The thread milling cutter is worn out after only a few passes, the quality of the glass surface does not meet the requirements, the machine has repeatedly downtime due to tool breakage. Problems like these in the machining process are solved by the iTENDO² intelligent toolholder. With its 100 G acceleration sensor, the hydraulic expansion toolholder records vibrations directly on the tool, thereby providing users with particularly precise stability data in real time. These enable problems in workflows to be identified and processes to be optimized. Users can then increase their tool service life and improve machining results. The iTENDO² also supports the introduction of new processes within a very short time. This is because by documenting and comparing different processes, the sensitive toolholder can find the optimal areas for stable cutting. This is how an ideal process can be set up. Thomas Wittkowski, digital product specialist at SCHUNK, explains: “Customers would prefer a machine that comes directly with the finished process. We can’t afford to do that. But iTENDO²


Based on the vibration intensity, the iTENDO² can also detect tool breakage. If the data indicates that this is the case, the clever clamping technology package send out a warning. Photo: Schunk

allows us to meet the desire for more process know-how and makes it easy to implement new work steps.”

Three variants for more transparency


In the package iTENDO² pad, the intelligent toolholder delivers its data to the connected tablet PC. In the app, it displays vibrations during the machining process in real time. As a result, it brings more transparency to machining. Photo: Schunk


October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

SCHUNK also wants to make it easy to get started with smart technology. To this end, the company offers the intelligent toolholder in three product packages for different tasks and complexity levels. The package iTENDO² pad includes the toolholder and a tablet PC in a handy aluminum case. In the basic version, the hydraulic expansion toolholder sends its data directly to the connected tablet. The standard app makes it possible for alarm and trend evaluations to be performed intuitively. The chatter index (10 Hz data) reflects the intensity of the vibrations. Users can use the data to increase the transparency of their processes, compare different workflows and optimize them over the long term. In addition, the package lends itself to the introduction of new processes. Since the interfering contour of the compact and powerful iTENDO² corresponds 1:1 to that of a SCHUNK standard toolholder, the clever toolholder can be easily replaced by a standard product once the process is up and running. Extensive reprogram-

Tool & mould making and machine building ming of the system is not necessary. Thus, SCHUNK takes the idea of the intelligent toolholder to the next level with the iTENDO². The package iTENDO² easy connect includes a simple data interface. It can transfer measured values of the toolholder to other systems. This offers the user the possibility to also use the signals of the iTENDO² for machine or process monitoring. The third package iTENDO² pro goes one step further, offering complete machine integration. Apps for different applications should be offered on an edge device; partner applications are also possible here. And to round off the package, SCHUNK plans to offer various cloud functionalities in the future to document and control processing and statuses directly in the cloud. This version is currently still under development. All versions are upward compatible. After the uncomplicated test run with the tablet PC variant, the switch to automated process monitoring and adaptation is possible without any issue. Speeds of up to 30,000 RPM make it suitable for use in many industries and demanding series operations.


When countersinking, the iTENDO² monitors the surface quality. If the vibrations get too strong, the connected tablet PC sounds an alarm. This helps users reduce rejects. Photo: Schunk

timely adjustments, users can maximize the service life of their deburring brush and optimize the safety and quality of their process. The smart toolholder also detects tool breakage of very small tools, which are difficult to monitor due to their low cutting forces. The tablet PC informs the user when strong vibrations indicate that the tool is about to break. By changing the tool in time, users can avoid damage to the workpiece and unplanned machine downtime as well as high financial losses. Wittkowski explains: “If, for example, a glass optic for a space mirror breaks due to a tool fracture, costs of half a million euros can quickly be involved. The iTENDO² helps to prevent this kind of damage.”

SCHUNK is planning additional interfaces, systems, and applications


The iTENDO² detects tool wear through changing vibration patterns and sends information to users during the process. This allows users to optimize the service life of their tools. Photo: Schunk

iTENDO² monitors surface quality, tool wear and breakage The smart system shows its strengths in industries where the quality of the surfaces to be processed is paramount, such as in the aerospace industry. Precision drilling poses a great challenge to the operator, especially with high-performance composites. Absolute process reliability and precision are required here – and that with excellent surface qualities. With combined countersinking of thin-walled large components in the aircraft industry, there is a danger that chatter marks will appear in the countersink as the tool wear increasing or setup becomes more unstable. In the package iTENDO² pad, the toolholder monitors compliance with the surface quality when countersinking directly on the workpiece. If the vibrations exceed an exact limit, the connected tablet PC sounds an alarm. This allows the user to react in time, significantly minimizing rejects in the process. In addition, the use of the clever toolholder saves expensive post-process measurements. With precise process data, quality-relevant characteristics can already be reliably documented and optimized during the machining process. This allows tool service life to be extended and cycle times to be increased. The iTENDO² pad also detects tool wear through changing vibration patterns during the process, for example when deburring. This is important because the brush needs to be readjusted once it reaches a certain level of wear. If the toolholder identifies the optimal time for this, the tablet PC displays a warning. By making

The iTENDO² battery lasts 10 hours. Replacement is possible through the SCHUNK service. The clamping device experts also take care of assembling the modular system. To start with, the sensory toolholder is available in the size HSK-A63 Ø20x90. Smaller diameters are also possible by using intermediate sleeves. SCHUNK will gradually expand the series to include additional interfaces and diameters. The company plans to transfer the technology to other toolholding systems in the future and use it with stationary clamping technology. “After all, process and quality monitoring plays a role in many other areas,” said Thomas Wittkowski. “We also plan to use other artificial intelligence elements. We hope this will help us gain even more knowledge when it comes to vibrations in the coming years.”


Compact and powerful: With its high speed of rotation of 30,000 RPM, the iTENDO² is suitable for a number of applications. Photo: Schunk October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

The complete picture – digitalisation in the metalworking industry Digital solutions optimise processes and offer support for challenges such as sustainability and the shortage of skilled workers.

If you want to turn data into information, there are many major and minor parameters that need to be adjusted. These include consistency and unified languages. For a complete picture, it is also important for the maximum number of participants in the process chain to think and act digitally. As this article shows, AMB 2022 in Stuttgart provided a platform for these solutions from 13 to 17 September 2022. Decision-makers in manufacturing companies need a continuous overview of productivity and technical availability since these are still the key parameters. In addition, the metal-working industry is subject to challenges including sustainability and the shortage of skilled workers, with the latter demanding a creative approach. Digitalisation is said to help overcome these challenges, based on the motto “knowledge is power”. With a growing number of sensors and smart programs, it is becoming possible to collect more and more data about machine tools. Once it has undergone further processing, this data can offer crucial information to help optimise processes. DMG MORI has delivered some particularly impressive results, backed up by figures: One of the Group’s digitalisation objectives is to be able to start up production faster using the digital twin. In this process, a virtual representation is made of every real machine 66

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tool at DMG MORI. Even before installation, this digital twin provides support when engineering production systems with flexible automation capabilities or when delivering training. It offers a dynamic representation of all components, functionalities and axes, as well as all NC and PLC control functions including the relevant cycles. This gives DMG MORI an increase in speed of up to 40%

Tool & mould making and machine building when starting up production. At the same time, costs are reduced by up to 30% and collisions are completely ruled out, which is extremely important to ensuring smooth and efficient operations.

Predictive control of systems Figures like these give people the motivation to engage intensively with digitalisation and the development of new solutions for production and process optimisation. One such person is German Wankmiller, Chairman of the Board and CEO of GROB-WERKE: “For mechanical engineering and plant construction, Industry 4.0 offers major opportunities and provides a basis for operating machinery and systems in a way that conserves resources while offering flexibility and productivity. This development is far from complete since it is an agile development process that is in a constant state of flux, with new technical changes arising on an almost weekly basis”. For Wankmiller, digital solutions have been a firm fixture in the industry for many years given the process of globalisation. In fact, he believes demand for the development of new and advanced solutions and products in the field of digitalisation will continue to rise in the coming years throughout the industry. He thinks the benefits are obvious: “In heterogeneous production environments in particular, automation and digitalisation concepts can significantly increase the efficiency of employees and systems. But it is also necessary to establish interfaces for networking these systems”, says Wankmiller.

to proactive service and maintenance – every area of production is linked. GROB-NET4Industry products feature integration platforms for all machine types. The goal is to enable manufacturerindependent digitalisation concepts to be implemented and to offer all customers extensive project support. German Wankmiller, Chairman of the Board and CEO of GROBWERKE: “We already offer an attractive range of apps that allow our customers to monitor machines and implement various evaluations. This gives customers maximum transparency throughout their production process. There are also simulation options, solutions for unmanned operation and a comprehensive service and maintenance package”.

Digital twins for agile production systems

And he is taking an open approach to this task: In view of the further development of universal connectivity and more flexible adjustment options, the applications developed on a modular basis by GROB can be used to connect all types of machinery and controllers from all manufacturers – not just GROB – within GROBNET4Industry in a comprehensive digitalisation platform. This allows users to analyse the performance of their machines and optimise processes. The company intends to showcase this at AMB, with GROB-NET4Industry integrated into all the machines that will be exhibited. Visitors will be able to experience first-hand the solutions offered by GROB for increasing transparency in production and manufacturing. The modules within GROB-NET4Industry allow both the production and support areas relating to machining to be organised with the aim of ensuring optimal utilisation of the high-quality, high-precision machine tools. In combination with the user’s enterprise resource planning system, the MES enables order management, planning and order control to be completed on the machines. From production planning, monitoring and analysis to visualisation of processes in workpiece processing, right through

MAG IAS GmbH, a company in the FFG Group, has investigated the benefits of virtual commissioning using digital twins and its impact on projects. The results of the cost/benefit analysis of digital twins prior to introduction gave a clear picture. Moving or splitting the commissioning process does not lead to a reduction in the volume of working hours required. However, partially moving the commissioning process into the planning and procurement phase – in other words, in parallel with sections that determine the processing time – reduces commissioning and thus the project processing time. Through digitalisation of the commissioning process, functional tests can be repeated automatically at greater frequency even when no operator is present. The results of the investigation showed that detecting and fixing sporadic errors during virtual commissioning reduces the subsequent, unplanned expenditure required for troubleshooting after delivery. Experience with the digital process twin, which has been in use for several years, has demonstrated that an NC program with time and path optimisation can be put into operation without any risk of collisions. The digital process twin in the MAG project is a workspace model that simulates the axis movements, the process-related non-productive times, the clamping device, the workpiece to be processed and the required cutting tools. Compared to PLC commissioning, the NC commissioning process is very short but offers clear benefits in terms of quality and time. This made it one of the motivations for developing the digital product twin for virtual commissioning. In the course of the quality and efficiency improvements in the engineering of complex machinery, the mechatronics approach has proven to be the best way to create components as mechanical, electrical and fluid-technology models in parallel, enabling a high level of standardisation to be achieved. In discussions at AMB 2022, users will be particularly interested in the findings relating to how individual the analyses need to be. After all, products are always created on a project-specific basis and are made up of individual mechatronics components: October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building machinery, automation systems, workstations, measuring devices etc. The benefit is provided by the interaction between the three digital twins: process twin, product twin and production/system twin. Whenever production is moved a week earlier or the system ramp-up curve becomes steeper, users enjoy a higher turnover and a positive contribution is made to the overall result.

Innovative control concept for systems As a leading provider of conveyor systems, filter systems and pumps for the metalworking industry and for automated assembly and logistics systems, Knoll also uses digital solutions to improve processes relating to machine tools. Florian Schomaker, team leader for electrical engineering at Knoll, sees a clear trend: “There is clearly a growing demand for machine data and for connecting this data. The data that is generated anyway and is crucial in providing key indicators for predictive control of systems could be used for process optimisation purposes within a company. However, right now there is little acceptance when it comes to establishing an internet connection for peripherals, since the level of work involved in storing and visualising the data that is obtained is considered to be too high”. Nevertheless, he sees the need to include digital add-on products and services to the company portfolio: “Simple solutions for digital data visualisation are increasingly in demand in mechanical engineering. As a mechanical engineering company, this makes it essential to push digitalisation forward on machine tools in order to survive in the future market”.

Knoll sees itself as a pioneer in this regard. At AMB in Stuttgart, visitors were able to discover SmartConnect, the operating concept that was developed fully independently. “Our Knoll-SmartConnect system gives users data processing capabilities that have never been possible before on machine tool peripherals. The ability to view and evaluate all relevant data using the app allows customers to control peripherals and monitor and optimise processes with minimal installation work”. SmartConnect is an edge computing solution that pre-processes the stored data on the systems themselves and provides this data to higher-level systems via interfaces – including wirelessly using Bluetooth. “We don’t necessarily need a cloud connection. For example, it’s possible to use a connection to the Umati machine tool interface and/or an OPC UA mechanism”, adds Schomaker. 68

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Clamping equipment with intelligent measuring system Rather than requesting individual solutions, most users are now concerned with how they can implement a comprehensive and efficient production process. Stefan Nitsche, head of the main products department at Hainbuch, has also found this to be the case: “The trend that we have identified at our company is that customers are no longer simply asking for pure clamping technology. Instead, they want to reduce setup times using quick-change systems or intelligent clamping systems. Another common request is to minimise the scrap rate by taking in-line measurements during the production process. In our view, the integration of electrified products in the workspace has become the state-of-the-art technology”, he says, assessing the situation.

However, this does not mean that the work is over – quite the opposite, in fact. Tangible digital solutions are more important than ever: “Companies can no longer avoid digital add-on-products and services, because virtually everyone today is on the path to a digital future. Even in mechanical engineering, where the gears are moving a little more slowly, customers are looking for more and more digital offerings. In 2018, we set up the Digital Transformation department as a way to digitalise both internal processes and our service offering for customers”, says Nitsche. However, if digitalisation is to succeed, there are certain key aspects that need to be considered: “Firstly, the workers and machine operators must be served with a simple and intuitive user interface. The objective must be for people and robots to work in a kind of symbiosis and achieve the maximum for their company. Not every automation solution can be easily connected via plugand-use. Older, existing machines are often not designed for this. That’s why we added Vischer & Bolli Automation to the Hainbuch Group. They work as a general contractor and shed light on the complete process from an individual, customer perspective. The range of solutions includes the link between the machine tool and automation system, but also covers the clamping system and tool provision. That means they also cover logistics and coordinate this with activities that run in parallel with primary processing time”, explains Nitsche. Hainbuch will also showcased its new hardware at AMB: “We are bringing clamping systems with an integrated, intelligent measuring system in the shape of our IQ series. It can perform many different measurements and monitoring tasks thanks to the integrated sensors. In some cases, it is even possible to cut back on measuring devices. The measurement data is sent directly to the machine controller and evaluated via contactless data and energy transfer”, says Nitsche, giving some insight into the company’s trade fair appearance.

Tool & mould making and machine building Clamping equipment with intelligent measuring system Matthias Rapp, Head of Global Marketing at the Chiron Group, believes there is a clear path towards greater digital solutions, even with all of the customisation within companies: “Every production company has its own production philosophy, influenced by the unit quantities and the complexity of the workpieces being processed. However, all companies are in competition with one another and are under cost pressure. For many companies, operating an unmanned third shift or working unmanned at the weekend is already the standard”. This is where he sees further opportunities: “Smart automation systems coupled with smart digitalisation solutions add clear value for companies. At the Chiron Group, we see ourselves as pioneers in this area since we are already offering multiple digital solutions in the market. These also form the basis of our digital services: SmartServices. For example, the digital ConditionLine system monitors the status of the machine and reports critical parameters. If the ball screws are worn, the customer is given advance warning and can replace them in good time”, says Rapp. These solutions allow users to contact the manufacturer’s service department promptly and arrange servicing work and maintenance in a targeted way. All of this is driven by dedicated teams from different departments. Digitalisation is often about teamwork, and this is something that the Chiron Group understands well. In cooperation with Chiron, Zoller has developed a system for automatic tool handling and tool exchange called Cora. As a provider of presetting and measuring devices as well as software solutions, it worked together with Chiron to develop a system that communicates directly with the machining centres, enables secure data transfer and boosts productivity in processing operations. The preparatory work involved in developing these solutions is no small matter: In this case, Zoller needed to use its core expertise in presetting and measuring the appropriately prepared complete tools. The next crucial step in the smart solution is to network the presetting and measuring device with the machining centre. Data transmission via RFID tags is very secure but also extremely costly. A solution that is just as secure while also being simple and inexpensive to implement – even for smaller companies – is data transmission via data matrix code. On the presetting device, the code is scanned on the tool holder using a handheld scanner, the tool is measured and the actual data is stored in the central tool database. On the machining centre, there is also a code reader for unique identification of the tool. The machine controller automatically retrieves the measurement data – including all other information required for the tool – directly from the tool database and reads this into the machine. The process ensures unique identification while also being automatic and free of errors. “But secure data transmission is just one of the benefits. Using the production analysis software flash, we can execute live queries of the tool service life on the basis of the traffic light principle”, says Rapp. He explains that once the tools reach a warning limit, a message is sent in the tool presetting area and the new tool can be prepared and provided on time. Another result of the cooperation project with Zoller is the integration of the complete tool model data in ProtectLine. All of the tool data – tool geometry and tool holder geometry – is added to the machine’s digital twin in a fully automated process. This achieves a highly efficient process for creating the digital twin, which forms the system basis for preventative collision protection in the machine via ProtectLine. “I should also mention another important aspect of digitalisation: Despite a strict ban on travel during the pandemic, we managed to commission several MILL machining centres at a new produc-

tion location in Vietnam. This only came together because our dedicated team communicated with the service partner via digital service tools”, reports Rapp with pride.

Digital solutions in a customised window This trend is being felt throughout the industry, as another example demonstrates. Sharpening specialist Vollmer, based in the Swabia region of Germany, offers webbased IoT gateways for its sharpening machines. These ensure networked data exchange for saving and evaluating manufacturing data. The IoT gateways exchange the process and manufacturing data between the edge and local customer systems or a cloud. Vollmer is leading the way in this field even though “the market for digital solutions in the area of sharpening technology is still in its infancy. For Vollmer, it is important to push forward digitalisation together with our customers and partners since there are different benefits for each target group. For us, it’s about logical and efficient networking of our machines via different IoT platforms with the aim of improving manufacturing processes and generating new ideas within tool development”, says Dr. Stefan Brand, CEO of the Vollmer Group. In this context, Vollmer has tailored its digital add-on products and services to the needs of customers through the V@dison initiative. The most recent example is a web-based customer portal that will give customers online access to digital information about their own machinery or to the integrated spare parts shop. The initiative comprises another four areas: V@screen provides

an overview of all relevant machine parameters and networks sharpening machines with end devices. It ensures a high level of transparency through rapid availability and visibility of information. V@check allows tool manufacturers to simulate, test and optimise their manufacturing processes without any loss of material in order to reduce machine downtime. V@boost groups together software tools that optimise the performance of sharpening machines for specific workpieces and expand the familiar range of functions. Finally, V@guide detects errors in a predictive process. It is suitable for predictive maintenance and knowledge transfer through digital modules or automated communication processes. “At AMB, we presented the complete digital package. Visitors can particularly look forward to experiencing our customer portal. For Vollmer customers, it is a digital and customised window that October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

integrates the majority of digital services”, says Brand, inviting visitors to Stuttgart.

Digital tool monitoring in real time Information about the status of the tool during the machining process can provide valuable insights for the operator and the organisation. In order to monitor tools in real time, Horn worked in close collaboration with the Kistler Group to develop a real-time tool monitoring system for use in the turning process. Experts at Kistler contributed a dynamic measuring system for recording pressure, force, torque and acceleration. The result of the partnership is the Piezo Tool System (PTS), which comprises a force sensor integrated into the turning tool that provides information about the tool status during the machining process. It can measure forces from as little as just a few Newtons. The standard sampling rate is 10,000 Hz, allowing even the smallest cutting forces to be measured. This enables machine operators to immediately detect any faulty cutting materials or other materials, as well as broken tools. As a result, waste is minimised while a high quality level is maintained. In addition, the user can fully utilise the service life of the tools in a targeted way. Horn offers the sensor-monitored tool holder as a square-shank turning holder, as a linear unit for Citizen sliding head automatic lathes and as a base holder for Index multispindle automatic machines, as well as for the Supermini tool system. Additional interfaces for other machine manufacturers are currently in development. At AMB, visitors could discover that the PTS solution is compatible with selected standard turning holders from Horn. It requires no intervention to be made in the CNC controller. It is machineindependent in application and needs only a limited space in the machine. The consequences of using the PTS are reduced production costs and increased production capacities.

A digital view of the process As a company, WFL Millturn Technologies focuses exclusively on the production of turning-boring-milling centres. But when it comes to digitalisation, managing director Norbert Jungreithmayr believes there a very few limits: “Industrial digitalisation is impacting machinery, processes and systems. Digitalisation is improving industrial productivity by establishing better control over the physical, functional capability of the machines”. The fact that the systems in the production line are better connected and coordinated with employees through digitalisation means machine downtime is reduced, which he says improves the reliability of the systems and ultimately increases production. “Our vision is one of smart and secure networking of machines and people. That’s why our company takes a rigorous approach to software and connectivity, and equips customers with the full package. From simulations in CrashGuard Studio to collision monitoring directly at the machine controller, process monitoring with WFL iControl or taking measurements through scanning processes, production data is easily accessible thanks to our readymade WFL software solutions”, says Jungreithmayr. As a manufacturer of complete machining centres, it is oriented towards the production of smaller batch sizes. “Automation will continue to grow rapidly, not least because of the shortage of skilled workers. Our motivation behind is this is not so much to create the autonomous factory, but to produce small batch sizes in the second and third shift. This is a crucial development. Obviously, this area relates to issues of digitalisation, data management and information acquisition. Further improvement of machine utilisation is essential. Primary processing times are very highly 70

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

developed, and optimal machines and tools are used. When it comes to nonproductive times, setup times and downtime, there is still potential for improvement. However, we think it is more important to anticipate trends and to identify them in advance so that we already have the right product or the right development ready. Our machines are developed in line with customer requirements. As a provider of complete solutions, we maintain close contact with our customers throughout the entire order process, which allows us to identify trends at an early stage”, says Jungreithmayr, giving an insight into his company. At AMB, WFL presented the ICOtronic tool, which is equipped with sensors and provides information on the cutting process as close to the cutting edge as possible. Its purpose is not only to optimise milling processes in future, but also to increase machine productivity. The presentation at AMB provided some insight into the diverse range of development projects at WFL. Visitors to the trade fair were able also to enjoy a live demonstration of ultrasonic measuring technology. In addition, the new operational data acquisition system myWFL Cockpit will be on show at AMB. It shows the machine and program status over time, as well as productivity and technical availability. The visualisation is provided on the controller, at a PC or on a mobile device via a browser. It keeps the user informed at all times about the productivity of their machine. Another innovation is the myWFL Energy energy usage measurement device integrated into myWFL Cockpit, which displays the current performance and energy consumption data as well as the energy consumption for each workpiece. A further highlight of myWFL is the integrated Condition Monitoring cycle. When the cycle is running, the friction values of the axes and spindles, as well as the temperature in the milling spindle housing and the vibration or the rolling bearing condition value of the front milling spindle bearing, are continuously recorded and stored on the control system. Using Condition Monitoring Viewer, it is possible to select the data of the various Condition Monitoring runs on the control system, graphically overlay them and analyse them over time. This allows for the early detection of possible malfunctions and minimises unplanned downtimes. In view of the anticipated trends, Jungreithmayr says: “It’s difficult to look into a crystal ball, but regardless of issues such as digitalisation and automation, it will be just as important in future to continue working in close cooperation with customers so that we understand their challenges and can develop and implement solutions. Complexity is increasing, which is why we see efficient collaboration with customers and partners as the key to success. We are convinced that our specialisation and focus in the area of complete machining, and our role as a system partner with maximum manufacturing expertise, will remain highly attractive in the future, whatever the market needs”.

Tool & mould making and machine building

The new individually configurable HELITRONIC MINI PLUS tool grinding machine from WALTER

Maximum flexibility in tool production and re-grinding Whether producing or re-grinding, whether as a cost-effective basic machine or as a fully automated tool grinding machine: the new HELITRONIC MINI PLUS can and is all that. “The basic version of the HELITRONIC MINI PLUS can be individually configured with numerous efficiency options and various loading systems - right up to a fully equipped high-end tool grinding machine for all current and future applications in the small and medium diameter range,” explains Siegfried Hegele, Product Manager Applications at WALTER.

The basis for the extraordinary flexibility of the HELITRONIC MINI PLUS is the unique WALTER gantry design. The economical production of common and complex geometries and diameters from 1 to 16 mm in one clamping is guaranteed by the powerful HSK belt spindle with two spindle ends for up to six grinding wheels (as standard). In addition, the revolutionary C.O.R.E. hardware and software architecture with intuitive operation facilitates machine set-up, operation, networking and maintenance.

»»The maximally flexibly configurable HELITRONIC MINI PLUS from WALTER

»»Detail of the working area of the HELITRONIC MINI PLUS from Walter. Numerous options for more efficiency WALTER offers a wide range of options for the HELITRONIC MINI PLUS for application-specific configuration. These include, for example, an automatic grinding wheel changer for up to six grinding wheel holders (maximum diameter 152.4 mm) including coolant supply lines, which ensures a safe wheel set change and offers maximum flexibility. In addition, for machines equipped with

the grinding wheel changer a “torque increase” option is available which increases torque and removal rate by up to 60 percent and thus guarantees maximum productivity. For the automation of the HELITRONIC MINI PLUS, users can choose between a top loader and a robot loader with three different equipment packages for even greater flexibility. The top loader integrated into the workspace is a space-saving and cost-effective automation solution. Depending on the tool diameter, it offers up to 500 tool locations. Via the robot loader, up to 7,500 tools can be loaded depending on the type of tools or tool diameter. The maximum tool weight is five kilograms, the maximum diameter 125 millimetres. The HELITRONIC MINI PLUS uses the globally proven HELITRONIC TOOL STUDIO grinding software from WALTER, which offers simple programming with the greatest possible flexibility. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

Shorter Time to Market

AM Tooling Inserts with EOSTATE Monitoring Solutions

Challenge • Both design and printing parame- ters need to be optimized in order to meet each unique customer’s requirements • Anomalies can hamper the repeat- ability and precision of the AM process which can directly affect the performance of the printed parts • Extensive quality assurance testing is needed after the parts are printed Solution • EOSTATE monitoring solutions give insights into process behavior enabling digital detection of anomalies during printing • Expertise to optimize design and printing parameters Results • Faster development of process parameters • Reduction of printing costs due to fewer job iterations • Reduction of quality assurance costs

Optimized design

Optimized printing

Tailormade solution

Development of Printing Parameters Optimized for High-Performance PIM Materials

Optimized powder

Customer intimacy


voestalpine’s three pillar approach: optimized powder, optimized design and optimized printing.



Digital representation of the process behavior measured by EOSTATE Exposure OT before (red marked positions, left) and after parameter optimization (green marked position, right). Source: voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center GmbH

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Thanks to voestalpine´s experience and position as a global leader in the manufacture and supply of tool steel, voestalpine is aware of the challenges faced by customers in the plastic injection molding (PIM) industry. It is the high level of customer intimacy and technological familiarity that enables voestalpine to develop tailor­made solutions based on its three­pillar approach. This is why voestalpine’s PIM customers enjoy significant improvements in performance across multiple applications in terms of inserts, sliders, filters, and mixers. Manufactured with the EOS M 290 machine and optimized with EOS monitoring solutions, voestalpine has supplied tailor­made tooling inserts for such partners as Eisenhuth and ARTC Singapore, as well as other industrial companies in the field of PIM applications.

Tool & mould making and machine building

Precise application of Power Reduction Factor significantly homogenizes the process behavior


Validation of process parameters with EOSTATE Exposure OT based on a test matrix before and after optimization (Source: voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center GmbH)

Challenge With conventional tooling inserts, line-of-sight cooling often results in a non-homogeneous cooling profile around the molded part. If the thermal profile over such areas is not properly managed, it will lead to part warpage and an increase in scrap rates. When it comes to constructing a conformal cooling channel, additive manufacturing (AM) has proven to be the best solution. However, with the experience gathered by voestalpine in working with AM, the company is aware that quick application specific optimization of the process also involves many challenges. When optimizing printing process parameters, various anomalies can occur if inappropriate settings are applied. These anomalies can hamper the repeatability and precision of the process, directly affecting the properties of the additively manufactured tooling insert. In such areas, inappropriate scan strategies arising from higher input power or incorrect scan patterns lead to excessive energy input, which reduces the flow viscosity of the molten metal and increases the probability of oxidation. The reduction in solid-liquid wettability results in protruding surface features, which in turn gives rise to local deformations. In extreme cases, ball-like features can form on the surface that can increase residual stress, which manifests itself in the form of part distortion. A second source of irregularity is the uncontrolled deposition of process by-products, which can occur with inappropriate process parameter settings. The impingement of the laser on the powder bed during the process results in a high vapor pressure building up during vaporization. The momentum this produces is sufficient to eject molten particles from the surface of the powder bed. The inert gas flow also causes powder particles to fly off the powder bed. When using optimized process parameters in production in conjunction with a properly finalized design, orientation and position of the parts, these process byproducts are successfully removed by the inert gas flow. However, inappropriate exposure parameters and gas flow settings during process and optimization can lead to uncontrolled by-product deposition, adversely affecting both the final surface quality and the mechanical properties of the additively manufactured part. Generally, an iterative approach is employed, which consists of printing the parts, conducting an extensive laboratory analysis of their properties, and testing and adapting the process parameters. This approach, however, involves laboratory analysis, which is both time-consuming and costly.

Solution To address this challenge, voestalpine chose to produce AM tool

inserts with conformal cooling using EOS M 290 manufacturing systems. To increase the cooling efficiency of the circuit, the diameters of the channel were increased to a minimum of 5 mm. The material selected was Uddeholm Corrax for AM or BÖHLER M789 AMPO, as it is known to exhibit superior corrosion resistance and is ideal for mold making. To obtain the desired combination of properties, design and performance, it was necessary to perform multiple build jobs and subject them to metallographic analysis and mechanical testing. The results were then correlated with the data obtained with EOSTATE monitoring solutions. EOSTATE Exposure OT and EOSTATE MeltPool Monitoring enable realtime signal monitoring, which reveals the formation of any local defects. For example, the monitoring analysis showed that areas subject to potential overheating due to high energy input occur around the geometrical contours and at zones involving short tracks in the scan pattern. In manufactured parts, areas with insufficient thickness are prone to such anomalies, as can be inferred from the monitoring system. Measures derived from the results of the analysis can then be taken to optimize the energy input dynamically to the part geometry by lowering the laser’s input power during the printing process. “EOSTATE Exposure OT and MeltPool Monitoring gave us a deeper understanding of the interactions taking place between the various factors that influence the LPBF process. Not only were we able to minimize the development cycles of novel materials during the qualification phase but we were also able to benefit from faster build rates and lower lead times for production.“ Witalij Gridin Team Leader for Process Development

Results Using EOSTATE Exposure OT made it possible to reduce the number of iterative build jobs that would otherwise have been necessary to develop and fine-tune the process parameters. This lowered the printing and lab costs, which in turn increased the overall return on investment in the development of PIM molds for AM processing. The use of inserts produced by AM meant that customers could now benefit from significant improvements in both cycle times and product quality. The optimized topology further reduced the overall mass of the tool as well as lowering printing costs. Homogenized process behavior was achieved by precise application of the power reduction factor, resulting in enhanced part quality. Moreover, the layer thickness of the AM inserts was increased from 30 to 60 μm, which doubled the build rate and lowered lead times for production.

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

Inspection Machine »mμFocus«

Precise measurement of cutting edge preparation and surface finish You want to produce the perfect cutting edge – one that ensures a long tool life, minimal wear, optimal chip formation, and precision workpiece processing, thereby significantly lowering costs for production.

Achieve your goals with high-precision tool geometry and optimal surface textures customized to your specific application. If you want to ensure exact, standardized quality in your tool development, then the ZOLLER »mμFocus« inspection machine is the right choice for your needs. »mµFocus« uses non-contact measurement procedures to determine the surface roughness and cutting edge prepara-tion of your tool, down to the µm. Use the ZOLLER »mμFocus« to create fully optimized tools.



Fast Selection, Fast Analysis

2 in 1: Measurment of Cutting Edge Preparation and Surface Finish Refined: High-precision evaluation of areas and lines User-friendly: Low training effort thanks to simple operation

»»Easy to Focus

»»Individual Analysis

»»Versatile Displays


Fast and precise: High-performance optics and “pilot” image processing Robust: Workshop-ready design and alloy Process reliability: Intelligent software and highest security standards Ergonomic: Sophisticated, functional design Economic: Premium quality at best price-performance ratio

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Tool & mould making and machine building Software

Detects Real Conditions

The Most Modern Measuring Software »pilot« machine software offers comprehensive convenience. The selection and input fields are easy to understand, all functions support efficient work, and the software offers multiple options to prepare measured values and display them in a clear way.

Tool surface roughness is an important criteria in determining the perfection of a tool. The ZOLLER »mµFocus« provides a precise display of surface roughness. »mµFocus« uses raw data from the selected and scanned area to complete different analyses of the surface. It uses these to produce a corresponding profile, such as the Abbot curve, which can be used to display surface roughness.

Guides You to the Finest Structures ZOLLER »mµFocus« systematically approaches microstructures. Clear processes and supporting tools provide detailed insight of cutting tool edges and surfaces. You can detect wear quickly, create a 3D model with just one click, and easily measure cutting edge preparation and roughness. »mµFocus« takes multiple individual images to record comprehensive raw data, then uses it to calculate a 3D model of the cutting edge. Then you can complete a standardized analysis of the measuring results and prepare them graphically using »pilot«.

Symbol Z axis AA* Measuring principle Smallest measurable radius Numerical aperture

»»»mμFocus« Overview.

blue 300 mm 30 mm Strip projection 3 µm

yellow 300 mm 20 mm Confocal microscope 3 µm**



ISO Conforming for All Measured Variables With ZOLLER, you can complete measurements in accordance with international standards such as ISO 4287 and ISO 13565. All measurements and analyses you complete with ZOLLER »mµFocus« are not only precise, but also standardized and comparable. You receive a broad range of measured variables you can use to describe and visualize cutting tool edges and surfaces.

»zep« sensor to measure cutting edge geometry »zep-R« sensor for measuring 3D cutting edge geometry and surface roughness

* AA describes the smallest distance between the lens and the measured object. ** Values for 20x lens; values for 50x lens: 1.4 µm.

Ready for Different Geometry Types You always have a choice, including different analysis options. »mμFocus« can handle almost any kind of analysis, and shows a graphic display of shapes. Just click, start the analysis, and display your results. With »mμFocus«, you gain an easy advantage in developing tool innovations.

»»Markus Müllner, Measuring Technology Fitter at ZOLLER Proud of »mμFocus« “For me, to assembly a »mµFocus« is something special every single time. The machine combines two different characteristics you would not necessarily expect to go together: Although it is extremely heavy with a massive weight of 200 kilograms, it offers highly precise measuring technology that measures exactly, down to the µm. I install top-quality sensors and many other elements using modern technolo- gy into »mµFocus« machines. I am very proud that installing the »mµFocus« is one of my duties. I can promise you one thing: The »mµFocus« is a seriously hightech machine you can use to easily measure cutting edges and surfaces with outstanding precision.” says Markus Müllner, Measuring Technology Fitter at ZOLLER. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

CoroMill® MH20

High feed milling

Best-in-class high-feed pocketing

Robust cutter body

Time to level up your high-feed milling operations with best-inclass CoroMill® MH20. This is a versatile tool with a large application area, but is primarily designed for pocketing applications in ISO S, M and P materials. Thanks to its light-cutting action, in combination with a robust shank design, CoroMill® MH20 ensures secure and vibration-free machining, even with long overhangs.

The robust cutter body with increased strength assures a longer tool life and excellent stability at long overhangs. An open insert pocket design and a secure insert position ensure reliable machining with excellent chip evacuation and less vibration.

A new cutter body material that provides higher fatigue and deformation resistance, assuring a longer cutter tool life. Internal coolant for optimal chip evacuation and high productivity in ISO S applications.

Maximal diameter cylindrical shank that can be cut off to optimize stability at various desired overhang applications.

Open and short chip rooms optimized for chips generated by a high feed tool.

Curved insert design The single-sided two-edged positive insert has a curved and strong edge with a reinforced corner radius, ensuring secure and reliable machining against shoulders and corners in pocketing. A sloped edge for gradual cutting engagement into the workpiece ensures a gradual chip load on the cutting zone and improves chip formation. This design generates lower cutting forces and leads them in a favourable direction to keep vibration to a minimum. 76

Curved corner radius clearance for better chip flow.

Prominent marking to differentiate the geometries. Optimized ramping edge for higher ramping capability and good chip evacuation. Radius connecting main cutting edge and ramping edge. Acts as a wiper to give a better surface finish.

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

Reinforced insert corner with composite radii for higher security in cavity milling.

Stable axial support, especially useful when plunging.

Curved main cutting edge for highest edge security.

Tool & mould making and machine building Features and benefits • High-feed concept suitable for many milling operations helps to reduce the number of tools, thus reduce the cycle time • Excellent stability at long overhangs with minimum vibrations thanks to a lightcutting action and a robust tool design • Optimized edge-line security for reliable corner machining and pocket milling makes unsupervised machining possible • Open insert pocket design for excellent chip evacuation • Light-cutting action ensures less power consumption and hence enables the use of smaller machines • Creates better surface finish with smaller cusps leaving less stock for the next operation • Optimized geometries for high performance in ISO S, M and P materials

Application areas

CoroMill® MH20 solution • Use E-L30 geometry for excellent chip formation and evacuation in sticky materials. • The curved main cutting edge provides maximum security against notch wear and the reinforced insert corner makes corner machining reliable. The improved tool body material ensures less insert seat deformation and better mounting repeatability. • The sloped edge gives a gradual and positive cutting engagement which regulates the cutting force and minimizes the impact load. Periphery ground E-L30 geometry gives predictable and gradual wear characteristics. • The improved tool body material can withstand chip rubbing better.

Customer challenges in ISO M Applications • Oil and gas open and closed pocket milling • Full slotting and hole making with helical ramping cycles • Long overhang cavity milling • Low engagement shoulder milling • Multi-task turn milling Challenges • Chip formation • Insert security and reliability • Long overhang machining • Predictable and repeated tool life

• High feed pocket milling, corner machining, ramping, helical ramping, full slotting, plunge milling, shoulder milling and face milling • For roughing and semi-finishing • Main industry segments and components »» Aerospace: Frame, landing gear, engine casing »» Oil and gas: Valve body, spools, connectors »» Die and mould: Forging dies, moulds, press tools

Customer challenges in ISO S Applications • Aerospace frame open and closed pocket milling • Full slotting and hole making with helical ramping cycles • Long overhang cavity milling • Low engagement shoulder milling • Multi-task turn milling Challenges • Chip evacuation • Insert security and reliability • Tool life • Cutter body damage (chip rubbing)

CoroMill® MH20 solution • Use E-L30 geometry for excellent chip formation and evacuation in sticky materials. • The curved main cutting edge provides maximum security against notch wear and the reinforced insert corner makes corner machining reliable. The improved tool body material ensures less insert seat deformation and better mounting repeatability. • Robust steel shank design ensures better stability and less deflection. • The two cutting edges have equal tool life and the E-L30 geometry provides predictable and gradual wear characteristics. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building Customer challenges in ISO P Applications • Mould cavity pocket milling up to HRC 48 • Mould base deep cavity milling • Die block corner machining • Low engagement shoulder milling Challenges • High cutting forces • Long overhang machining • High metal removal rates • Long contact time • Higher hardness CoroMill® MH20 solution • M-M20 and M-M50 geometries are optimized for higher edgeline security in high-alloy ISO P applications. • Use light cutting geometry M-M20 for trouble-free machining at long overhangs. The robust shank design ensures better stability and less deflection. • Use strong M-M50 geometry for the highest metal removal rates in stable applications. • Use grade GC4340 for high security in long-contact applications. • Use M-M20 with GC1010 for high hardness in stable applications. Use M-M50 with GC1130 for high hardness in unstable set-ups.

Sustainability with CoroMill® MH20 New cutter body material increasing the strength, and inserts with high edge-line security, assure a longer tool life and reliable machining with less scrap. In addition, with less vibrations and a more reliable concept design, the risk of tool breakage is reduced, making the operator’s and workplace environment safer. With a better surface finish achieved, the need for a semifinishing tool is greatly reduced. This also means fewer tools in use, fewer stoppages and a quicker machining process with less inventory. Not least, this light-cutting concept uses less machine power, resulting in reduced energy consumption and reduced noise level.

Matsuura Launch MX-420 PC10 - 5-Axis Multi-Pallet Vertical Machining Centre Following on from the 2016 release and global success of the MX-330 PC10 5 axis CNC machining centre, Matsuura announces the launch of a larger capacity stable mate: the MX-420 PC10. Requests from existing MX-330 PC10 customers all over the manufacturing and machining world for a larger APC and work capacity size has led directly to the development & launch of the MX-420 PC10. Configured with the same winning formula of 10 pallets for extended 5 axis unmanned operation, 90 tools and proven “out of the box” Matsuura automation, Matsuura received orders for this new variant prior to any machines leaving the factory, such was the faith of the end user market in the MX-330 PC10. As of close of business in 2021, the MX Series had achieved global sales across all territories of over 1600 machines. Built in the same Japanese factories as our flagship, fully automated and world renowned MAM72 Series, the MX Series delivers Matsuura’s legendary 5 axis performance, peerless unmanned operation and possesses the same highest residual asset value of any multi-pallet 5 axis machine on the market, even after many years of successful and reliable operation. 78

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With a barely increased machine footprint compared to the MX330 PC10 (483mm in Width and 371 mm in length), the MX-420 PC10 can accommodate workpieces of D420mm V H300mm, weighing 80kg per pallet. Offered to market at an investment price point that belies the rapid return on investment delivered with previous MX Series machines, the MX-420 PC10 is set to become one the most successful Matsuura multi-pallet 5 axis machines in our history.

Tool & mould making and machine building

BETAtec 90P Feed: fine-tuning down to the smallest detail The BETAtec 90P Feed tools are the ultimate edge milling tools in the Boehlerit milling programme. The BETAtec 90P Feed is a truly multi-functional tooling system, thanks to the fact that the tool holders may also be used with indexable cutting inserts for high-performance cutting. This means a higher level of efficiency and flexibility for users, while reducing not only the costs of the tool holder, but also the associated warehousing costs. The multi-functional tooling system is available as face milling, end milling and screw-on cutters and, in combination with the right cutting material grade, may be used across the entire material group.

Innovative cutting grades for a broad range of applications For the BETAtec 90P Feed tool system, Boehlerit has a wide range of cutting grades available. One highlight is the innovative Goldlox carbide layer (PVD AlTiN layer) for the milling of steel materials, offering a high level of wear resistance at high temperatures and an increased lifespan on a range of steels. This cutting grade is particularly suitable for high cutting speeds during dry or wet machining in stable conditions. For this tool system, the Goldlox layer is available in the grades BCP25M (multi-purpose grade for the milling of unalloyed, low-alloy and high-alloy steel), BCP35M (suitable for dry milling at low to medium cutting speeds in difficult conditions) and BCM40M (ideal for the milling of austenitic stainless steels and materials from the Duplex group with low to medium cutting speeds). These two cutting grades are used both on the indexable inserts for edge milling and on the indexable inserts for high-performance cutting. There is also the option of cutting grade BCK20M for the edge milling of cast iron materials. This grade is also suitable for steel machining and for cold-work steels harder than 54 HRC.

Precise edge and HFC milling with 18mm cutting edge length Austrian carbide and tool specialist Boehlerit added a version for 18mm cutting edge lengths to its range of multi-functional milling tools. Thanks to the significantly larger insert size, this version is particularly suitable for long 90-degree edges with high cutting values and an extremely high precision level. It not only makes for a soft cut, but also comes with technical properties that speak for themselves: A maximum cutting depth of up to 18mm, in combination with a helix cutting edge, result in maximised productivity when finishing 90° shoulders with the BETAtec 90P Feed tool.

»»Precise edge and HFC milling with the BETAtec 90P Feed tools Small diameter range – highly dynamic and efficient Completely new, logical extensions of the existing BETAtec 90P Feed portfolio are indexable inserts with small diameter ranges. The BETAtec 90P Feed tool system with an indexable insert size of 06 (LPMX06) is available as a face milling, end milling and screwon version for a range of 10-50mm. The new tools are ideal for die and mould making with materials of up to 62 HRC and extremely dynamic in terms of performance as well as efficiency. For applications with hardened materials, Boehlerit once again relies on a homogeneous HIPIMS layer structure for optimised results in die and mould making. Yet another benefit of this product lies in the low strain placed on the individual indexable inserts thanks to the narrow pitch that makes high machining volumes possible. The need for reworking is also greatly reduced due to the minimal need for residual material. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

Introducing nTopology 3.0:

Advanced Engineering Design Faster Than Ever Before Alkaios Bournias Varotsis

We are excited to share with you nTopology 3.0. This major software release introduces real-time visualization with GPU acceleration; a technology breakthrough that will fundamentally change how nTop users interact with the software.

In this third major update of nTopology, we are introducing GPU acceleration for seamless interactivity. By enabling this new opt-in feature, nTop users will enjoy an instant 10x to 100x performance boost when vizualizing workflows that use complex field-driven geometry. In other words, you will now be able to preview design changes in real-time and regenerate parts with even the most complex geometry in seconds. “Nothing is more valuable than seeing what you are doing while you are doing it! Any effort that brings down the visualization time for more seamless interaction with complex models is genuinely priceless. For me, the performance boost in nTopology thanks to GPU acceleration proves this fact.« Onur Yüce Gün, PhD, Creative Manager at New Balance

nTopology 3.0 also consolidates the incremental technology improvements introduced to the software over the past few months. These include functional latticing workflows, industry-leading topology optimization tools, expanded engineering simulation utilities, and advanced design automation capabilities. Existing users can access all new functionality by updating to the latest version of the software. Let’s take a deep dive into the main features of nTopology 3.0 and how these changes will impact your work. 80

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Breakthrough Performance with GPU Acceleration At the core of nTopology lies our pioneering implicit modeling engine. In implicit modeling, every solid body is described by a single mathematical equation. This representation enables you to generate even the most complex part geometry reliably and errorfree. Any CPU can evaluate this implicit equation in milliseconds. Yet, visualizing a part with a complex lattice structure on your screen could take up to tens of seconds in previous versions of nTopology. That is (probably) faster than any other engineering design software in the market today, but it was still not quick enough. The short waiting time hindered the productivity of our engineering users and was a nuisance to creative design efforts. With GPU acceleration, interacting with complex designs in nTopology becomes seamless, enhancing the connection between the designer and the software. Through our patent-pending technology, nTopology can now utilize both the CPU and GPU of your system, unlocking a 10x to 100x performance increase. As a result, latticing, texturing, filleting, shelling, and other field-driven operations can now be previewed in real-time. Even the most complex designs are rebuilt in a few seconds. What does this practically mean for nTop users? With GPU acceleration enabled, you save 10 to 60 seconds every time you change a design parameter. Let’s say that you make 100 such changes a day — a reasonable assumption for a typical workflow. This translates to an average of 60 minutes of your time per day. Over a month, this accumulates to days of engineering design time saved. What’s more, real-time feedback delivers more insight into how each design parameter affects the final design. If you are a new user, this means that the time it takes to become proficient with new advanced design concepts can now shrink by an order of magnitude. The features released on the launch of nTopology 3.0 are only the beginning. Expect to see additional interactivity and performance improvements in the months to come. While we gather user feedback on interactivity and data on graphics card compatibility, the acceleration is opt-in and can be enabled in the settings panel.

Tool & mould making and machine building Advanced Engineering Tools for Generative Design At nTopology, we view generative design as a holistic methodology that augments engineers’ and designers’ capabilities with digital tools. What’s the true value of generative design? Higher performing products and faster innovation. Here’s a breakdown of the tools we released over the past few months to enhance your generative design processes.

Performance-Driven Lattice Generation


The overhang constraint enables you to reduce the need for support structures significantly — and hence manufacturing costs. Source: nTopology

Design Automation & MDO Integrations


A pressure map drives the relative density of the lattice to generate a shoe sole with variable stiffness. Source: nTopology

Lattices give you the unique ability to change a structure’s behavior by controlling its geometry at the mesoscale level. Using performance requirements as an input, you can “architect” the material response you need for each specific application. This capability comes in especially handy when you need to vary the material properties in different sections while using a single manufacturing material. It also pairs well with Additive Manufacturing processes. nTopology’s 3rd generation latticing pipeline equips you with the right tools to navigate the mesoscale world and put theory into practice. In addition to a complete set of ordered, stochastic, and TPMS unit cells, in nTopology 3.0, you will find utilities that enable you to control lattice properties at every point in space using simulation results, test data, engineering formulas, and a field-driven design approach. We are also introducing new utilities that enable you to create custom unit cells and build the basic process blocks that feed your generative design workflows and empower you to develop even higher-performing products.

Topology Optimization with Automated PostProcessing Topology optimization is a core tool of many generative design workflows, especially for lightweighting and structural optimization. nTopology 3.0 gives you access to state-of-the-art algorithms and unique constraints for Additive Manufacturing. What makes nTopology different from other topology optimization solutions? The automated geometry reconstruction and smoothening tools and the range of post-optimization options. In nTopology, you design processes, not just parts. Once you’ve created a workflow, you can change its inputs — such as the design space or density threshold — and the whole process will be replayed automatically. Of course, these workflows can also include post-optimization steps, like latticing or variable shelling for even greater performance gains, or automated meshing for simulation and design validation. Or you could take this to the next level with full-scale design automation…

Design automation is at the core of nTopology — from reusable workflows to batch processing through a programmatic environment with nTopCL. In nTopology 3.0, we continue to release new features that expand the capabilities of nTopCL and strengthen our integrations with Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) software. nTopCL is nTopology’s command-line interface. It enables you to call generative nTop workflows in Python or Matlab scripts. nTopCL can run on your desktop, a private server, or the cloud and has enabled our customers to unlock new mass-customization business models.


Modal analysis of a lattice structure sample in nTopology as part of a larger DoE. Source: nTopology

You can also integrate nTopology to your MDO workflows — in third-party software like modeFRONTIER. This has allowed our customers to run massive computational Design of Experiments and further accelerate their product development processes.

Engineering Simulation & Design Analysis Simulation plays a key role in every engineering design process. There are three ways to implement simulation while working in nTopology. You can use engineering simulation results as an input to drive part geometry. You can perform design analysis using the built-in simulation tools. Or you can export meshes for verification in external solvers. In nTopology 3.0, we are expanding the range of built-in simulation tools. You can now run static, modal, and buckling structural analyses, steady-state, transient, and non-linear thermal simulations, and lattice unit cell homogenization. nTopology’s simulation pre-processing capabilities are also expanding. We are introducing new and more sophisticated meshing utilities, as well as import and export capabilities for FEA and CFD data in the native format of your solver of choice — like ANSYS, Abaqus, or Nastran — to streamline the design verification process of your team. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building Quick Note About the Name Change You may have noticed that we have been using the term “nTopology” throughout this article instead of the prior name, “nTop Platform.” As our offerings are expanding, our software is evolving into more than just a design solution. For this reason, we decided to use the term “nTopology” to refer to both the company and our software.


Sample Python script that calls an nTop workflow and generates multiple design variations of a lattice-based heat sink. Source: nTopology

Successful restart of Moulding Expo Positive feedback on customer discussions with the initiation of business transactions / Personal interaction important for the industry.

“We were delighted to finally stage Moulding Expo again as an attended event at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Center after a four-year break due to the corona pandemic. The L-Bank Forum (Hall 1) offered all participants an attractive market platform over a period of four days – despite more difficult general conditions with rising energy prices, supply chain bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine,” said Roland Bleinroth, President of Messe Stuttgart.

Successful comeback of Moulding Expo under one roof “Following the pandemic, Moulding Expo was - as a regional trade fair - the first large industry meeting point for our company. Over a period of four days we discussed new impulses with business partners and interested parties from the tool and mould making industry, presented our technologies and developments, and met visitors and exhibitors who are pursuing the same objectives in regard to innovation and advances,” said Marco Reichle, Reichle Technologiezentrum GmbH. With a clear focus, 375 exhibitors from 24 countries provided interested trade visitors with an extensive overview of the latest trends and innovations.

Significant role on the European market ZECHA Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH emphasised the regional importance of Moulding Expo. “It is important to have a strong trade fair for the mould making industry in the region 82

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of southern Germany. We meet customers here from the mould making and punching technology sectors. Special mention must be made of the connection with the region, the latest technologies that are presented at the trade fair, and the first-class trade visitors,” summarised Stefan Zecha, Managing Shareholder of ZECHA Hartmetall-Werkzeugfabrikation GmbH. The international proportion of exhibitors amounted to 36 per cent. 1 in 5 visitors came from abroad. The next Moulding Expo will be held from 20 to 23 May 2025. 91 per cent of visitors believe that the importance of the International Trade Fair for Tool, Pattern and Mould Making will increase or remain the same in future.

Tool & mould making and machine building

Top productivity for large workpieces

Okuma MA-8000H machining centre - additional automation and energy efficiency By introducing the new horizontal MA-8000H machining centre on the market Okuma is able to optimally meet corporate requirements for automated manufacturing solutions for large workpieces. The particularly high powered model in the MA-H series gives customers a number of advantages: The production capacity for large workpieces has been significantly increased and productivity improved thanks to increased automation options. In addition to that, energy consumption can automatically and sustainably be drastically reduced by using special features.

The dimensions and performance capabilities of the new MA8000H have been massively increased compared to the previous model so that its handling of very large and heavy workpieces is even better: The machine can work with a pallet size of 800 x 800 mm with axis travel of 1,400 x 1,200 x 1,350 mm and a load capacity of up to 3,000 kg. Extremely durable, powerful spindles ensure particularly high machine availability.

Increased productivity thanks to uninterrupted operation The MA-8000H can be equipped with more additional pneumatic and hydraulic connections through the pallets making optimum use of specific requirements for unmanned operation. For example, this enables automated loading and unloading processes during machining time. The machine has also been designed so that even a very large volume of chips can be reliably removed – ensuring maximum machine capacity utilisation. The “Sludgeless Tank” option developed in-house also prevents accumulations of small chip residues in the coolant tank, significantly reducing the effort required for its cleaning. The integrated Okuma OSP-P300MA control system also makes it very easy to operate and can be supplemented with various control technology applications at the customer’s request. Set-up and maintenance of the new machining centre have also been significantly simplified by a particularly userfriendly machine design. Reduced environmental impact with maximum precision It is becoming increasingly important to companies to signifi-

cantly reduce their CO₂ emissions, especially in the field of semiconductor production, renewable energies, or when manufacturing e-vehicles. Okuma meets this requirement perfectly with the new MA-8000H thanks to various energy-saving features: The proven thermo-friendly concept guarantees highest dimensional stability and accuracy – even in long-term operation. The integrated “ECO Suite plus” provides an innovative energy saving system which allows the user to monitor and adjust energy consumption and CO₂ emissions in real-time. The machine automatically reduces its power consumption during idle times while maintaining stable accuracies. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building


C 42 race car (Source: Sauber Motorsport)

EOS and Sauber Technologies

Three-year additive manufacturing technology partnership Signed at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Barcelona, the partnership will enable solutions for the demanding world of F1 and beyond.

EOS, a leading supplier for responsible manufacturing solutions via industrial 3D printing technology, and Sauber Technologies, the company devoted to bringing Sauber’s drive for cutting-edge innovation and its Formula One mindset to businesses all over the world, signed a three-year additive manufacturing (AM) technology partnership at the F1 Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain, last weekend. The partnership will initially focus on the constant optimization and manufacturing of aerodynamic spoiler designs, end-use parts for race cars and production aids. Both companies are bringing their respective longstanding industry expertise to the partnership – with the aim of jointly expanding the use of AM in motorsports and beyond. In Formula 1 (F1), innovation cycles are extremely short, thus requiring variants of a part to be adjusted and manufactured quickly. The competitive pressure is high. At the same time, the racing industry demands innovative and often unusual designs that meet the guiding principles of faster, lighter – and always safer. Here, additive manufacturing (AM) is a perfect enabler of short development and production cycles. The technology permits a 84

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f.l.t.r.: Christoph Hansen (COO Sauber Technologies), Frédéric Vasseur (Team Principal Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN), Dr.-Ing. Tina Schlingmann (Regional Director EMEA, EOS), Markus Glasser (SVP EMEA, EOS), (Source: Sauber Motorsport)

Tool & mould making and machine building simplified implementation of lightweight structures as well as functional integration, at the same time drastically reducing lead time and enabling faster iterations. Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS states: “We see AM applications in F1 for both prototyping and serial production where reproducible part quality is key. Together with Sauber we are aiming to set new benchmarks here. With more serial AM applications in F1, automation will be essential too, enabling higher productivity and reduced costs per part. Sauber is the first customer for polymer-based AM, integrating this into its production, including the installation of an EOS P 500 system.” Christoph Hansen, COO Sauber Technologies, adds: “EOS and Sauber share the same passion for application-driven design and the highest quality standards, which we want to offer in motorsports and beyond. EOS’s company culture is a perfect fit for us, which is why we decided to enter this partnership. From a technology perspective, we co-operate with EOS because its ecosystem of partners and sister companies not only enables the end-to-end solutions we need, including automation, but provides us with highly custom solutions via AMCM (Additive Manufacturing Customized Machines).”

EOS P 500 system: Industrial scale additive manufacturing Sauber will be installing an EOS P 500 system in 2022, enabling them to scale up applications towards serial production in the future, with an option to include automation solutions. They will initially use the Polyamide 12 PA 2200 material. The EOS P 500 has a build rate twice as fast as the fastest lasersintering system currently available in the polymer sector (EOS P 396). It has two powerful 70-watt lasers for precise energy input into the powder during material melting. Unlike previous EOS

»»EOS P 500 System polymer additive manufacturing system (source: EOS) systems, the EOS P 500 brings the material to optimum processing temperature before application, thus shortening the time required for recoating and exposure. Preheating and cooling of the interchangeable frame (with the 3D printed part) after production optionally takes place outside the EOS P 500. As such, a new production process can be started just fifteen minutes after completing a build job. The system needs to be cleaned less frequently and serviced only once a year, so the uptime of the EOS P 500 is up to 75 percent higher, compared with predecessor systems and competitor models. The system can be seamlessly integrated into existing MES/ERP systems and at the same time includes a range of solutions for process monitoring and system integration. This enables quality assurance on an industrial scale by evaluating extensive sensors as well as camera-based measurement data (optical and thermal).

Tool life increase: Around 50% With the WPP10G grade for continuous cuts and occasionally interrupted cuts, the WPP20G universal grade and the tough WPP30G grade for interrupted cuts and unfavourable machining conditions, Walter offers its customers three Tiger•tec® Gold grades specially designed for turning operations. After the extremely successful market launch at the end of 2021, the manufacturer is now doubling its range. The positive CCMT and DCGT inserts, as well as negative, single-sided CNMM and SNMM inserts, and WL25 copy turning inserts are now being added to the previously launched indexable inserts with double-sided negative basic shape (CNMG, DNMG, etc.). They are expanding the Walter Tiger•tec® Gold portfolio with three cutting tool materials, now taking the total to 21 geometries and more than 1100 items – including special geometries with improved chip breaking (MP6) and for roughing large forged parts (HU7). Like the existing inserts, steel is the primary application of the newly added turning grades (cast iron is the secondary application). In 130 customer tests, they increased tool life by an average of around 50%. The reason for this is a special layered structure. A patent-pending, highly textured, multi-layered MT-TiCN layer increases toughness and reduces flank face wear, resulting in lower


»»Tiger•tec® Gold WPP10G, WPP20G and WPP30G turning grades production costs. The highly textured Al2O3 layer also minimises crater wear; the final gold-coloured top layer improves wear detection. On top of this, Walter provides a multi-stage post-treatment. This produces an unusually smooth rake face, therefore reducing friction and also increasing toughness. This ultimately ensures high process reliability in automated processes. With this expansion of the product range, users can now benefit from maximum flexibility and minimal component costs when turning too, thanks to Tiger•tec® Gold. October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

High-speed bridge-type machining centers

Ten machines with a single objective Over a period extending through more than half a year, and month for month, Takumi delivered bridge-type machining centers to an address in Eibiswald, just south of Graz, Austria: for a total of two “H7” models and no less than eight “H10” Series machines. This investment by Fuchshofer Präzisionstechnik was their response to some very spe-cific customer requirements, of the kind that so often lend impetus to this company’s actions and acquisitions. Owner Hannes Fuchshofer: “These ten Takumis offer us the ideal means for satisfying these demands.”

The assignment in question is to produce equipment, molds and dies for manufacturing machine components destined for use in the semiconductor industry. “This means that we are machining hard and extremely brittle composite materials such as quartz glass, along with fiber-based and other special materials. It’s a challenging mix, and there are additional variations from one part to the next,” reports Fuchshofer. “Nevertheless, precision is essential, and we also have to keep the thermal stresses as low as possible.” With part dimensions of 500 x 500 mm, the tolerances that have


No fewer than ten bridge-type machining centers were delivered within seven months: two “H7” and eight “H10” machines. (Photo: HURCO)

an extensive array of materials for almost thirty years. “We always strive to transfer this expertise to machines representing a variety of design configurations,” emphasizes the company owner. “That’s what made the Takumis so attractive for us.”

»»Owner Hannes Fuchshofer (Photo: HURCO) to be maintained for elements such as mounting surfaces and assembly clearances are measured in hundredths of a millimeter. In view of the fact that the company’s customer base stems primarily from the semiconductor, automotive and aerospace sectors, this is a thoroughly typical assignment for Fuchshofer. These specialists hailing from Austria’s Steiermark region have been machining 86

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“I liked that” We already mentioned that with Fuchshofer, investments are usually a response to specific customer requirements, and more proof was provided last June. “That was when I had an extended conversation with one of our major customers in the semicon-ductor sector,” reports Hannes Fuchshofer. “This led to a huge group of orders, starting with initial trials in August.” At that time they were still using another machining center with a Heidenhain control system. Then, at a trade fair in October, Fuchshofer’s atten-tion was drawn to a Takumi. “I liked that: an overall package featuring

Tool & mould making and machine building high-quality con-struction, the right equipment, the Heidenhain control system, and the price. It was a clear and consistent concept that offered the precision associated with tool and tie making. And even in its base configuration it featured a 15,000 rpm spindle, an HSK-63 arbor, ICF pressures up to 30 bar and a 24-position tool changer, which is what we needed to implement our application.” And, above all, HURCO provided a “1 A” presentation featuring a complete concept embracing service, spare-part supplies, and high levels of machine availability. “Right from the start, they had no trouble in delivering and setting up ten machines in just seven months.”

programs on the Takumis. “Here we are talking about more than 1,000 programs that we have joined together.” Soon this concept will be used to organize the activities of all ten machines and design manufacturing processes extending to well over 300 hours per part. “Here the priority is on 100 % accuracy in series production – and that is only possible with reliability and precision,” is how this owner sums it up. “You need to consider that we reach continuous machining periods of 19 hours a day, where thermal expansion in the parts can start to pose a problem. Even for us, these kinds of machining times are new territory, but we are moving into it with confidence thanks to the partner providing our machines. Another factor is the fight against faults: Each fault must be analyzed and each error source eradicated, repeating them is not an option. This is what makes the concept so attractive for us: We know the control systems from one end to the other, and it is though the machines had been specially designed for just this assignment.” Fuchshofer is convinced: Within a year, he will have a comprehensive analysis database concentrating on the Takumis’ performance parameters to confirm these expectations.


Thanks to their inherent precision, the standard versions of the Takumi machines meet the requirements of Fuchshofer Präzisionstechnik. (Photo: HURCO)

Precision only counts with reliability Fuchshofer was already familiar with the Heidenhain control system used to operate the bridge-type machining centers for years thanks to the FF. The metal-cutting program is loaded with CAM files, and the control system serves as the implementation organ. There are also no limits on applying all previously generated


The focus at Fuchshofer Präzisionstechnik is fixed on milling, lathe-turning and machining precision components. (Photo: HURCO)


At Fuchshofer, they are already thoroughly familiar with the Heidenhain control systems that govern operation of the bridge-type machining centers. (Photo: HURCO)

The gears are meshing nicely Hannes Fuchshofer is satisfied with the delivery situation: “The transport company’s notice, the set-up schedule, the documentation...all of the gears mesh with perfect pre-cision. In the end, we had ten machines in seven months. That’s a convincing achievement.” An assessment that extends to include the close cooperation with HURCO and their persuasive service concept. Once again, his focus is fixed on creating an optimal product range and assortment of key sectors for his company. “For us, the ideal customer is someone who requests a prototype, then goes on to order five or ten parts, with potential for subsequent limited-series production – always with a requirement brief including immense precision and complexity, consistently specifying demanding materials. This is where we come full circle to return to the bridge-type machining centers. Because we can only implement this assignment with machines that harmonize perfectly with our own operations. Planned job orders of the kind that run for 300 hours and more on our Takumis form our economic foundation.”

October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2


Tool & mould making and machine building

Shorter machining times and better surfaces

A multi-stage fine boring tool for the highest precision Tornos AG is a renowned Swiss manufacturer of machine tools that stand out for their quality and durability. In some bar turning shops today, Tornos machines are still in use that are actually older than many of the employees who operate them. This is proof of the company’s high standards of precision and quality in the manufacture of the essential key components of its machines. This is why these parts are always machined in-house. A special multi-stage fine boring tool developed by MAPAL has been proving its worth.

“For certain key components of our products, the precision requirements are so high that we generally only carry out their machining ourselves,” says Jean-Luc Maurer, Process Manager at Tornos SA in Moutier (Switzerland). The traditional company is a manufacturer of several technologies for the highly productive manufacturing of parts in large series. The machines must meet the highest expectations in terms of productivity, product quality and durability. The machining and control of the key components manufactured in the parent company are also carried out with the same level of care.


Jean-Luc Maurer (Process Manager at Tornos AG, left) and Andreas Mollet (MAPAL Area Sales Manager Switzerland) have been working together with much success for many years. ©MAPAL

respondingly long machine occupancy times of ten hours or more resulted in high costs. For this reason, those responsible looked for ways to reduce the machining times by using a special tool.


The bores have three different diameters and must be machined with high precision. ©MAPAL

Long-term innovation partnership with MAPAL

This also applies to a family of parts made of spheroidal graphite cast iron 40, into each of which a series of cylindrical bores must be made with extremely strict specifications regarding dimensional accuracy, concentricity and surface quality. The operations are carried out on a high-precision machining centre in compliance with exceptionally precise regulations, also with regard to the thermal conditions of the part, machine and measuring room. The cor-

“We’ve been working closely with Tornos for almost 20 years on a wide range of projects,” recalls Andreas Mollet, MAPAL Area Sales Manager in Switzerland. On the one hand, this relates to the development of machining solutions for Tornos customers who wish to acquire complete technology solutions, including tools and the machining process, to go with their machine tools. On the other hand, Tornos employees always come to MAPAL when certain demanding machining tasks cannot be solved with the usual


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Tool & mould making and machine building standard tools, or come with disadvantages in terms of productivity or quality. During the course of this long-standing development partnership, a solid basis of trust has grown. This is how the request for a solution proposal landed on Andreas Mollet’s desk for the task described in this report.

Specifics details of the task “The part to be machined has six bores, each with three merging cylindrical areas with diameters of 100, 99 and 98 mm,” explains Jean-Luc Maurer. The concentricity deviation of all three bores must not exceed 10 µm, despite the considerable overall length of just under 345 mm. For this purpose, there’s a groove in the first area where an H5 diameter must be ensured. This causes an interrupted cut with corresponding effects on the deflection and the vibrational response of the fine boring tool used. In the subsequent bore with a diameter of 99 mm, a machining tolerance of 0.05 mm is required. Finally, the requirements become almost extreme in the last area, where a tolerance of -0 to +15 µm must be maintained with a target diameter of 98 mm and several interrupted cuts as a result of annular grooves. Another requirement is a surface roughness Ra of less than 1.2 µm.

»»In the front area, the tool has two indexable inserts for the diameters 99

and 98 mm. Both inserts can be set radially and at an angle to the longitudinal axis. ©MAPAL

Time losses and quality risks caused by individual tools “Before, the final machining operations were carried out with three different turning tools,” Andreas Mollet shares his knowledge. This resulted in time losses not only due to the tool changes, but also due to the fact that the diameter and surface roughness in the bore had to be checked after each machining step. On top of this, minimal deviations in the positioning in the machine occurred during the changeover. Given the length of the tools and the extraordinarily tight tolerance specifications, this caused additional scrap risks. When considering the high value of the part, which has already been largely machined, this represents a high cost risk for Tornos AG.

Objective: one tool for the whole job


The multi-stage tool developed by MAPAL for this application has a total of three indexable inserts and 15 guide pads. ©MAPAL

reports Andreas Mollet. Initially, there were some concerns about the required length and the corresponding weight. It was also necessary to ensure that there were no positioning errors due to possible axial deviations of the roughing tools used previously. The developers at MAPAL therefore decided on a design as a fine boring multi-stage tool. It has a BT 50 FC interface for use on the machining centre. A total of five guide pads made of polycrystalline diamond (PCD) in each of the three stages ensure precise guidance even with interrupted cutting. The tool is designed according to the proven MAPAL principle and has a coated carbide indexable insert with two cutting edges for each of the three diameter ranges. It can be finely adjusted both radially and from the back taper. Any deviations from the previous machining will be corrected as long as they are smaller than the remaining allowance. This is made possible by a small protrusion of the cutting edges to the guide pads. This is how the MAPAL tool follows its own path over the entire length of the workpiece.

Very satisfied with the result “The tool developed by MAPAL has now been in use for quite some time. We’re very satisfied with the results,” Jean-Luc Maurer sums up. Compared to the previous way of working, the MAPAL tool reduces the machining time for fine boring of the six passes by 20 to 25 percent, so that machining can be completed on the boring mill over a single shift. A surface roughness Ra of 1.0 to 1.2 µm is achieved. The extra care that Tornos takes to ensure top quality is also a reason why working on the machine takes a long time: the diameter and surface roughness of each bore are checked manually on the machine. Finally, a skilled worker checks the entire part on a high-precision coordinate mea­suring machine with an accuracy of 3 µm. From Tornos’ perspective, the use of indexable inserts is also positive, as is MAPAL’s supply of a special setting fixture that enables the cutting edges to be adjusted in several dimensions with a resolution of 1 µm. Thanks to the indexable inserts, a total of six to eight workpieces can now be machined with each set of inserts; and cutting material costs are significantly reduced compared to the previous way of working.

“This is why Tornos wanted us to develop a special tool with which all tasks could be completed in just one clamping setup,” October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2



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October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2

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October • Promo Issue (1/2023) • Volume 2




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