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Lantek, global partner

Makes sense for sheet metal manufacturers

Latest News, Product Novelties, Fairs and much more

MARCH 2011


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editorial

A global partner makes sense for sheet metal manufacturers by Seung-Geun Song

Sheet metal and structural steel manufacture is a niche activity and requires specialist tools and software. In many instances, it can be very competitive, so any advantage that can be gained through increased productivity will enable companies to increase profit margins and offer customers a better quality product in a shorter lead time. In Lantek South Korea, we have firsthand experience of the advantages advanced software solutions can bring. Two of our customers, Kunhwa Industry and TAEGWANG NANOTEC Co., Ltd are prime examples. Kunhwa processes 130,000 tons of steel each year making excavators, forklifts, cranes and other heavy equipment for customers in Korea and internationally.

TAEGWANG NANOTEC Co., Ltd specialized in the manufacture of massive structures, manufacturing ship components such as customized invar plates for LNG ships, parts for construction equipment, and eco-friendly and innovative HVAC systems. Its commitment to its customers is demonstrated by its guiding principles ‘3C-Change, Challenge, Creation’ which it uses to ensure that it offers the best possible service. Equipment includes ASME U, U2, PP and S stamping machines enabling it to provide competitive costs and continued product and manufacturing methodology innovation.


In short, to achieve dynamic nesting the CAD/ CAM software needs to be able to integrate with the company’s manufacturing schedule and nest both quickly and efficiently - systems with parallel processing algorithms will have a distinct advantage. Once parts are produced, especially from a dynamic nest they need to be easily identifiable for subsequent assembly operations.

The common factors between these two companies and other successful businesses is their commitment to quality, service, innovation and competitive costs, and the way in which everyone within the company from top management downwards shares these same objectives. There are many companies which can offer CAD/ CAM systems for sheet metal applications, but few have the abil-ity to automate the process and even fewer have the capability to integrate with or can offer dedicated management systems. When managing large volumes of components, the CAD/CAM software needs to have the ability to integrate with third party manufacturing systems. Schedules are frequently very fluid, changing hourly so the ability to respond effectively to this dynamic situation will make manufacturing highly efficient. Typical complications include managing shortages, rejects and utilizing offcut material. On a practical level, especially when processing high value or large volumes of material companies can achieve very significant savings in material by working dynamically and producing nests of parts to suit the ever changing requirements. To achieve a satisfactory dynamic nest, the software needs to consider a range of factors including thickness, material type, grain and surface finish. For simplicity, some manufacturers stick to a static nest which has been prepared in advance. The disadvantage is that if the schedule changes, unnecessary parts will be cut, leading to wasted material and high levels of stock parts, which have to be stored until they are next required.

Component marking needs to be part of the cutting process. That way, operators can quickly pick out the parts they need to assemble and match them with the manufacturing schedule. A similar process is needed for the management of offcuts. A good CAD/CAM system will store information about offcuts so that they can be selected and used for the manufacture of small batches, optimizing material utilization. Ease of use is one of the most important factors for a large proportion of companies when choosing software. There are some sound reasons for this. Complex software will necessarily have a long learning curve, so not only will it require highly skilled engineers to operate it, but it is also likely to remain underused or even fall into disuse. Conversely, easy to use and automatic software is quick to learn, can be used by many more people, increasing its flexibility and, saves programming time enabling engineers to move onto other more productive tasks. For automated systems the advantages are even greater as the expert knowledge of the best engineers can be built into the system. The result is a consistently high standard of programming all achieved with one mouse click. Good CAD/CAM software will make use of all the features on your cutting machine whether it is a punch press, laser, water jet, plasma or combination machine. The software should take account of the different techniques required in each application, including multiple torches, heat dissipation, repositioning, and corner smoothing, and should also include extra capabilities. Depending on the application, features like micro jointing and common line cutting can further add to efficiency levels. Micro jointing tabbing keeps parts within the sheet after cutting has finished. This makes it much easier to handle the finished sheet, allowing the operator to shake parts out while the next sheet is being cut. Common line cutting saves material, enabling more parts to fit into a sheet, and also reduces wasted movement on the cutting machine, shortening processing times.


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solutions Lantek presents the latest advances in its software solution for steel structures

Lantek Steelworks is a complete solution that makes it possible to manage all a company’s processes, from the idea to the fulfilment of the objective. The work environment, entirely web-based, supports any browser and incorporates a new interface for mobile devices (“tablets” and “smartphones”). In addition, a wide variety of utilities have appeared to make its use more agile, intuitive and fast. These utilities are: • Exporting to a spreadsheet or word processor of any system information, whether based on data displayed on the screen or on previously formatted reports. • Sending information extracted from the system via e-mail without the need for an external mailing tool. • Assignation of short-cut keys to access specific commands. • Dynamic selection in filters. • Creation of direct accesses to specific registries on the desktop. • View of recently accessed elements. • Management of tags for classifying elements throughout the system.

On the other hand, Lantek Steelworks has features to help the user to enter measurements of material for projects, making it simpler and swifter with a detailed visualisation of this information by means of specialised reports. Based on these measurements, the system proposes the material that must be purchased, bearing in mind the commercial formats for sheet metal and structural elements carrying out a prior simulated nesting calculation that obtains the necessary material. This way the purchase is optimised, only acquiring the material necessary at the moment it is needed, the efficiency of the material acquired is maximised, reserving it for specific projects and/or chapters, and the role of the purchasing manager, who can automatically generate the purchase order, is made easier, as the time they dedicate to making manual estimates is reduced and their precision is improved. The receipt of material has new interfaces, to monitor the pending receipts, and a new utility that allows the marking of purchase orders of material as completely received when it is a known fact that


they will not be entirely completed. The raw material warehouse management is also improved, adding a higher level of detail, identifying for each project and chapter the amount of material available or reserved. It is also possible to free material or reserve it for other projects at the user’s request, thus allowing them to prioritise different projects when an element is scarce and to make an economic assessment at any moment during the lifetime of the project of the cost of the material assigned for each one. Production also benefits with the new version of Lantek Steelworks. The manufacture management system has been enhanced for large projects with the capacity to manage large volumes of parts. The system offers at all times the possibility of tracing each production element (project, chapter, stage) and the real costs incurred in production through the capture of real data on site. The CAD/CAM 2D and 3D systems have extended their capacity for interoperation with the rest of the management elements that are part of the Lantek Steelworks solution to guarantee monitoring of the origin and traceability of each project component. Also added is the ability to group jobs by project and chapter and the possibility of blocking the use of non-reserved material belonging to one project in others. Lantek Flex3d Steelwork has a completely reworked Job Management module, focused on the management of large structure projects, which makes it possible to handle an unlimited number of parts within the same job. Its updated interface, custom menus and new organisational capabilities for filtering and choosing

parts make Lantek Flex3d Steelwork a fast and effective tool for the drawing, nesting and machining of structural parts of any format to be processed in any type of technology.

Tekla Structures® and Lantek Steelworks combine their efficacy The Project Management module lists the last level chapters of a project, its description and numerical identifier with which Tekla Structures® identifies its stage, offering greater visibility and capacity to control the project precisely in those chapters where the cost elements are found. Options have been added to Lantek Integra to update new parts and their geometries in a project already imported from Tekla Structures®. It is possible to characterise the names of imported articles with certain parameters that are taken from Tekla Structures®, such as project, chapter, subchapter and the actual reference of Tekla Structures®. In addition, the materials that come into play in production record references to the technical features of sheet metal, structural element parts and consumables established in Tekla Structures®, such as length, format, material and type. The flat structural elements designed in Tekla Structures® can be treated in Lantek as structural parts or as sheet metal parts in the importing process in a configurable manner, with the availability of solid tube treatment. Lantek’s systems have a repository for each project where a safety copy of the geometry files imported from Tekla Structures® is stored


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interviews

Jesús Martínez Director of Marketing at Lantek

Extended Innovation Extended Innovation as a business model is being increasingly implemented in companies how would you define this concept? It is a combination of internal (by the actual company) and external ideas (markets, suppliers, the competition) to carry out the development of technological solutions. In this way, both the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes within corporations are improved. What challenges does this approach pose for an organisation? Innovation is a term that is closely related to attitude. To talk about innovation means referring to a way of acting that allows companies that practice it to develop values and attitudes that encourage ideas and changes, which in turn translate into improvements that go beyond business excellence. A commitment to extended innovation cannot be understood as an isolated element of the day to day work of an organisation, or as a process parallel to the rest of the company’s processes, but rather the activities in this field must be perceived as a process for listening, were information generally comes through other channels. Therefore the importance of the term “extended”. What does participating in an Extended Innovation process involve? To start with, it turns the company into a large antenna to capture relevant information and into an enormous generator of proposals, all within the performance of the usual tasks, which means a change of philosophy with respect to what had been done up until now in companies in the technology sector. In addition, extended innovation entails a change in the way the business and the environment are perceived, where all the agents involved in the process (workers, suppliers, partners, customers) take part in it. In this way, the corporation manages to have a global vision of its network of business relationships and the information that comes from each of them to articulate and integrate it simultaneously with new technological proposals.

What aspects must taken into account when implementing this strategy in different markets? Any company, since its foundation, should design a strategy that contemplates a coherent extended innovation plan. This means that if the company operates in different markets it must be directly present in them to know the customers well, analyse their needs and offer an adequate answer to them and to the intrinsic characteristics of each market, as well as being capable of developing their own differentiated product. Undoubtedly this means making a notable effort, both individual and collective, as well as entailing the use of an important amount of financial resources that other innovation models do not require. But we as companies must bear in mind that from these investments stem rewards later in the shape of competitive advantages that help to change the status quo of what is already defined, bringing about a new state of excellence that offers a position of leadership in the market and therefore better guarantees of success in the long term. Why invest in extended innovation programmes? In short, having these programmes has been proven to be profitable, and also, why not? we could say that it is strategic for the whole business fabric, as it encourages competitiveness and the ability to adapt to sudden changes imposed by the economy and by the globalisation of markets, allowing the corporation to emerge stronger, even at times of economic uncertainty. What is the most important benefit? The effect on the products. But it is not the only one, as it also has an effect on the flexibility of both the organisation and of each solution developed, necessary to adapt on the fly to changing situations; on the ability to focus on doing what is truly necessary in the market, ignoring sterile functionalities; on the adaptation to the customer, better and sooner than the competition, and last of all, on quicker decisionmaking in the management of products.


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innovation

RaĂşl Alvarado Software Development Engineer

How to look for a needle in a haystack? 4. producing, 5. curating) to explain the evolution of the forms of participation of users on the Internet. Curation, as the most recent form of participation, is the culmination of that process because it involves finding, selecting, organising and sharing content that is relevant and of interest on a specific subject.

If we analyse the current situation of the Internet, we can point out Pinterest as the social network of the moment. Despite the modesty of its goal (to share images and videos), Time magazine chose Pinterest as one of the fifty best sites last year and since the beginning of 2012 the number of users has seen spectacular growth. The secret hidden behind the apparent simplicity of Pinterest is its different approach, an approach that is explained with “curation�, a discipline that is increasingly recognised in the field of content production. The curation of content emerges as a need of our digital world. Every sixty seconds 98,000 tweets are published, 6,600 images are uploaded to Flickr, 1,500 blog entries are published and 25 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. The Internet has become an inexhaustible source of data, with a growth rate that does not bear a comparison with our limited capacity of assimilation. As a result the Net is saturated with information that, to a large extent, is of no use. Only an adequate detoxification can separate the grain from the chaff. Romain David describes a five-stage process (1. observing/consulting, 2. sharing, 3. commenting,

There are different ways of applying content curation. The responsibility can be of a person (the content curator), a sort of content specialist who decides what is important. The content curator assumes a role with things in common with the filtering done by the traditional media when they select news items. Pinterest represents an alternative modality of digital curation, more rooted in technology than in experts. Their boards encourage the selection and classification of images by the actual members of the social network. The boards condense what the users highlight the most about a particular subject. In addition, other users can subscribe to the boards they are interested in to keep informed of the new developments that take place. Without a doubt, content curation will be a talked about subject in the future. There are increasingly more proposals that have emerged around this philosophy or which have evolved towards it: Storify, Paper.li, Pearltress, etc. Software applications for businesses can also benefit from this current, provided they offer tools that give the user the power of deciding what content is relevant.


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news Lantek contributes towards the progress of the railway industry in China Its cutting and punching solution, Lantek Expert, is being used by Chinese company Sifang Locomitive & Rolling Stock to manufacture a train capable of reaching a speed of 500 kilometres per hour.

surpassed the highest speed ever reached by these types of trains in the history of railway transport, reaching a speed of 500 kilometres per hour during the testing phase. This train has a power of 22,800 kilowatts in comparison to the 9,600 kilowatts of its direct competitor, the current CRH380 bullet train, whose record speed is at 300 kilometres per hour.

The Chinese railway construction company, CSR, has trusted the technology by Lantek, a global leader regarding the development and commercialisation of CAD/CAM/MES/ERP software solutions for the metal industry, to set up and develop the world’s fastest high-speed train project.

Thus, to manufacture the components of the train, Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock has chosen to use the CAD/CAM software for cutting and punching sheet metal for machine tools, Lantek Expert, an agile, powerful and flexible solution specially conceived to automate the programming of sheet metal cutting machines with laser, oxicutting and plasma or water.

The new train, which will be built by Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock, a subsidiary company of CSR based in Qingdao (province of Shandong) and a customer of Lantek since 2010, has

This tool, which offers extreme precision, stands out thanks to being a very intuitive solution that is designed so that the user only has to follow the steps that the system indicates.

Lantek becomes a partner of ASCEM Lantek announces its integration in the Association for the Construction of Steel Structures (ASCEM), as an Associate Company. Lantek announces its integration in the Association for the Construction of Steel Structures (ASCEM), as an Associate Company. ASCEM is the national association that brings together the companies dedicated to the manufacture and assembly of steel structures and the auxiliary companies of the sector. Since 1999 it includes the country’s main steel production and transformation companies, as well as the companies linked to the sector. It is a

member, among other organisms, of ECCS, the European Federation of National Steel Structure Associations, and a board member of the Metal Structure Area (Committee AEN/CTN 76) of AENOR. Francisco Pérez, Commercial manager of Lantek in Spain and Portugal, has a very positive opinion of the company’s integration in ASCEM: “This association will allow us to strengthen relations with other associated members in order to exchange experiences and to know in greater detail the needs of these companies, as well as reinforcing our presence in technical and business fora at a national and European level”.


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case studies Lantek Expert laser cuts Land Rover seats at CabAuto another if possible, and manage the reuse of offcuts, through a database, to optimize material utilization. Lee Macdonald adds, “The automatic nesting is very useful indeed. It automatically arranges our parts in the most efficient way. For offcuts, Lantek Expert labels these so that they can be easily identified for the nesting of smaller batches of components, maximizing our efficiency.”

CabAuto chose Lantek Expert CADCAM when it needed to move its laser cutting processes in house. Based in Tipton, West Midlands, CabAuto, www.cabauto.co.uk, specializes in the manufacture of seating and interior trim for automotive, rail and marine applications. In particular it has produced the parcel shelf for the Jaguar XF, molded carpets and headliners for Aston Martin and seating, headliners and bespoke storage solutions for the Land Rover Defender. Previously the company subcontracted all its laser cutting operations, but for commercial reasons needed to start cutting parts at its own factory. The solution it chose was a Bystronic laser from World Machinery and Lantek Expert CADCAM to nest the parts and create the CNC programs. Lee Macdonald, Manufacturing Engineer explains, “The principal project which the Lantek system is used on is the manufacture of seating components for the Land Rover Defender making between 10,000 and 15,000 parts each week. Material ranges from 1 to 8mm thick in steel, aluminium and hypress steel. Once the components have been cut the parts are formed, welded and assembled, to make the seat frames. Due to the fast moving and cost sensitive nature of our business, we need to achieve rapid and reliable CNC programming and high levels of material utilization.” Lantek Expert allows both automatic and manual nesting and its parallel processing technology enables it to take advantage of the latest multiprocessor computer hardware, producing speed improvements of at least 30%. During nesting, the system considers material type and thickness and can manage kits of parts, nesting parts within one

Lee Macdonald explains, “Lantek saves a lot of programming time as you press one button and the nesting is done for you. It saves us having to have a full time person manually nesting our weekly requirement of parts. Our laser operative receives the schedule on Monday morning, which is between 10,000 and 15,000 components for the week, by early afternoon programming is complete and time can be spent on other productive tasks.” Lantek Expert’s intuitive and ergonomic interface makes operation and training fast and easy. Lee Macdonald says, “The installation and training provided by Lantek was excellent. The training was thorough and enjoyable and broken down into digestible sections, without any fancy jargon. We have three people fully trained in Lantek Expert and we all find it very straightforward to use and we understand and can utilize all its features. After sales support is excellent too, whenever we have a query there is always someone on the other end of the phone to resolve your issue.” Around half of the metalwork at CabAuto is cut by laser and goes through Lantek Expert. Lee Macdonald says, “We chose Lantek Expert for its comprehensive features and the great support. It has delivered everything we hoped forand has all the tools that we could want. Without it, it would be difficult to make the volume of parts we produce so easily.”


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services Training Courses

Maintenance Contracts

• CUTTING 24-25 May 2012 - Miñano (Álava) 19-20 July 2012 - Miñano (Álava

• • • • •

• PUNCHING 19-20 April 2012 - Miñano (Álava) 28-29 June 2012 - Miñano (Álava) If you would like to request more information about training write to: marketing@lanteksms.com

Discounts in training. Preferential telephone (Hot-line) Annual software update. Direct updating of the Service Packs, throughout the year. Discounts in the event that any of our technicians has to travel to the customer’s company. • Private access to the Customer Portal where you can learn about: • Knowledge Base: An extensive database that includes answers to the most frequent questions asked by our users. • The latest updates. • Access to the technical documentation of the software. • Access to consultations and incidences.

Trick of the month

- Lantek Manager

Export to different formats the lines shown in each of the windows of Lantek Manager:


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exhibitions Every year, Lantek is committed to being present at the sector’s most important fairs, both at a national and international level.

Fabtech Canada

Industrie Paris 2012

20/22 MARCH

26/30 MARCH

next tradeshows

MACH 2012

SIMTOS 2012

LAMIERA 2012

16/20 APRIL

17/22 APRIL

09/12 MAY

BIRMINGHAM - UK

SEOUL - KOREA

BOLOGNA - ITALY

Stand 4549

Stand 10A288



Lantek Link - March 2012