Evolution in Cutting Latest News, Product Novelties, Fairs and much more
LANTEK LINK is a Magazine of LANTEK SHEET METAL SOLUTIONS
COVER Photo: Seri Wawasan Bridge
The future of Thermal Cutting
Self- Organized Factories
“Lantek Factory”, more demanded than ever
Italian company Pelbo S.p.A trusts in Lantek technology to reduce errors and increase productivity
We belong together
LANTEK MARKETING TEAM Jesús Martínez Marketing Director
Pipe and tubing production
Production, Publishing, Design
Technological Evolution in Cutting
Francisco Pérez OEM Channel Director
Patricia Ruiz de Sabando Communications and Public Relations
SUBSCRIPTIONS Marketing Department email@example.com
Lantek Services Lantek Hint: Lantek Workshop
We belong together
veryone has heard himself crying that the world is changing too fast. But change has always been there and society has always been struggling with it. What is different today? Due to technological evolution, the speed and the amount of information flow has exceeded human ability to consume, filter and make sense. This demands “parallel processing”. Centralized management and leadership can’t work in such an environment. As it is not possible to stop change, we need to embrace it and support the structures that handle it. Often we are torn apart between speed (tendency towards command and control) and emergence (waiting for our company to find the response). It is a balancing act we need to master and it is not an easy task. The people working in your company form a complex human adaptive system. Your company’s results emerge from that human system. You as a leader need to become system aware and learn how to influence the system so you achieve the desired results and behaviors. Lantek Factory concept is helping metal companies to start walking that path: 1. Off-the-shelf capabilities: Functionality observed and implanted in more than 16,000 customers worldwide. 2. Empowered people: Employees equipped with all the information and tools they need to analyze their performance. 3. Real-time decision making: The decisions are taken when and where the change is occurring. In conclusion, these are the rules for a leader in today’s changing environment: • Become system aware • Excel in learning fast • Adapt your system to changing conditions Lantek is your partner for that journey. We belong together.
Technological Evolutions in Cutting
We can classify the cutting technologies into two big groups: those using abrasive cutting methods such as water jet cutting and those using thermal methods such as oxycut, plasma or lasers. There is traditionally a lot of competition between these groups; but recently we can see that the technological evolution is taking this competition to an extraordinary level, especially among the high-definition plasma, CO2 laser, and the latest fiber laser. Of all of these, the laser has demonstrated its ability to cut most precisely. This is especially true when working with thin materials and machining small holes. The high definition plasma has gotten close to large thickness laser systems in terms of quality. Where a
cutting bevel is required, it is without a doubt a good choice. In this article, we will focus on the revolution that has occurred in the cutting of sheet metal as a result of fiber laser cutting technology breaking into the laser world. The fiber laser is proving to be a technology that offers the speed and quality of traditional CO2 laser cutting, but with reduced operation and maintenance costs. Furthermore, the cost of a high performance machine with fiber laser cutting technology is less. This has led to an increased number of machine tool manufacturers that have begun marketing this type of machine. Those manufacturers that might have previously focused on water or plasma cutting, have now included the fiber
laser among their product line. There are even cases of manufacturers of punching and shearing machines that are now offering this type of laser cutting machine, despite not having experience with this technology. When should one technology be used over another? We would say, for fine thicknesses up to 5mm, fiber lasers are better than CO2 lasers. Fiber lasers would also get better performance with reflective materials such as copper or brass. As thickness increases, the fiber laser offers reduced quality and the CO2 laser is better, as it generates more power in the cut. If you look at machines with plasma cutting technology, they are currently the most appropriate from 5mm and virtually unbeatable from 30mm, which the laser cannot handle. The machines with plasma cut up to 90mm for carbon steel and 160mm for stainless steel. Additionally, they are less expensive than laser machines, which make them even more attractive for considerable thicknesses, where cut quality is important. The gradual decline in the price of fiber laser cutting machines has significantly reduced the differential. What can we do when we are producing in thickness ranges where several types of technology could work? How should our software systems be in order to perform in these situations? First, we should have several machining options according to the technology. The same part, depending on the machine technology
processing it, will require specific machining to achieve the best use of resources and the desired cut quality. There will be times when a part can only be processed using one of the technologies. Therefore, we need a system that incorporates advanced logic to assign the necessary manufacturing route. This logic, depending on the material, its thickness, the desired quality, or diameters of the inner holes, analyzes the part we want to produce both in terms of its physical and geometric properties and deduces which machine would be best. Having decided on the appropriate machine, there could be overload conditions that prevent production. Software that has load management and work queue assignment could choose a second machining or compatible technology to process the part on another machine that is in a better position to ensure its timely manufacturing. The work could also be outsourced if there is a lack of excess capacity. As we can see, specialization in cutting and the use of different cutting technologies for each case also means we need to have CAD/CAM software to address the use and combination of those machines with a single system. It also needs to have the ability to assign and manage the ideal machine, combining technology and the workload. This allows us to consistently manufacture with the necessary quality, as inexpensively as possible, and to deliver on time.
solutions Pipe and tubing production
Lantek Factory also adapts to the production of metal tubes and pipe parts with any machine on the market. The production of metal tubing parts has been a complementary and limited activity in the past. Recently, however, it has become high volume production, incorporating complex structures and assemblies.
These machines also include all sheet metal cutting resources to increase productivity and efficiency: automated tube bar loaders, cut part evacuation traps, etc.
Improvements in tube cutting and bending machines have made it possible to tackle complex projects such as bus stop shelters or the complete decoration of commercial spaces.
In the case of plasma technology, most commonly used for certain pipe diameters and thickness, there has also been significant growth, fueled mainly by the manufacturing industry of metal structures and industrial plants. In this area, there are major manufacturers, for example, HGG, Mueller, PhytonX, and Promotech, who have carried out innovations on their machines for more complex and more technologically difficult operations. In this case, welding preparation is more important than laser preparation, if possible, since joint tightness and durability are critical factors.
A few years ago, a company bought a laser cutting machine for sheet metal with a divisor to cut pipe. The more than probable load distribution would be 95% of the time cutting sheet metal and the remaining 5% of the time, tube. Today there are numerous manufacturers building machines exclusively for tube laser cutting: Adige â€“ BLM, Trumpf, HK Laser & Systems, Mazak, Mitsubishi, and Soco, to name a few. There are even already machines with fiber laser technology.
Focusing on the production process, there has also been significant change. We went from placing parts one after another, without too much regard for the efficient use of the material, to comprehensively planning how
we produce tubing parts using nesting strategies that optimize the use of the material. Cutting through a tube n times did not require complicated management. The increase in production has brought new efficiency and productivity requirements. It has also greatly increased the volume of information to be handled. Managing these operations and using appropriate management tools to support this has become mandatory. This management cannot separate tubes from the rest of the elements being produced. It is imperative that production be carried out comprehensively and with a single MES system that works smoothly with CAM systems, for both tubes and the rest of the flat elements, and that organizes the work on the ground in a coordinated manner. This is especially true when produced assemblies must converge on a mount point in an orchestrated manner. The tube software has gone hand in hand with the changes mentioned. Previously, there were few software options outside of tube machine manufacturers. They were very specific and had little or no ability to integrate with the rest of the CAM or MES systems. In recent years, the level of demand has increased and Lantek has been prepared for some time to deal with these scenarios thanks to its experience in the production of sheet metal parts. A Lantek customer that produces tubes or pipes receives all the generic capabilities of Lantek Factory, which Lantek has developed for its 16,000 customers in collaboration with machine tool manufacturers: •
Thinkingmetal Technology, which covers the entire experience with Lantek algorithms, geometry and machining with its almost 30 years of experience.
Manufacturing Oriented Software Systems, which ensures that each Lantek system is designed not only to perform its function but also to perform it as part of a production process.
Integration Mechanisms, which enable Lantek systems to cooperate and collaborate with external systems smoothly and, if required, in real time.
Lantek software can assign operations to machines with the corresponding production plan containing all the work to be performed each work day. Dividing production jobs and sub-jobs, considering the assembly concept or combining different parts (in terms of material, format, and dimensions) within the same job is perfectly feasible. Lantek mixes work on 3D or 2D parts naturally for the user, effectively managing any part or component or machine that combines the cutting of sheets and tubes.
Lantek makes it possible to design in a CAD system (SOLIDWORKS®, Solid Edge®, Tekla Structures, etc.), to import and classify tube and sheet parts, which require folding or bending and all other structure components, to prepare production in a single MES system, to develop nests and machinings in its CAM 3D or CAM 2D systems to eventually run and validate them. Lantek Factory manages all operations from beginning to end, whether or not they are cutting operations, which a metal pipe or tubing production plant requires.
Francisco Pérez OEM Channel Director
Lantek, able to program all your machines Lantek demonstrates its commitment to providing manufacturers with resources and expertise in this area. Francisco Pérez, with over two decades of experience at Lantek, is responsible for leading the Lantek OEM Channel strategy to strengthen global trade with machine tool manufacturers. We talked to him about his views on the market and the trends he expects in the future. Let’s start with the client vision. What value does Lantek feel it gives its end customer? Lantek offers a comprehensive solution, which is perfect at the present time and with the promise that it will also be in the future, able to program their machines and manage the entire manufacturing process. Furthermore, Lantek has a global presence and is able to serve its customers in areas or countries where others cannot. This is something that customers value a great deal. This is especially true for those who have production plants in different countries. If we’re talking about specific aspects, we could mention things such as a very simple process automation, and the excellent integration of Lantek with 3D systems. What are manufacturers looking for in a partner that provides them with the software solutions they need? Manufacturers seek to achieve a perfect symbiosis that maximizes the technical capabilities of the machine and the software. Manufacturers want a strategic partner to provide the best software to manage and optimize their machines; but not all software providers are consistently able to meet the requirements that can arise anywhere in the world. To face this challenge, the relationship with the manufacturers should be close knit. This also allows for any modifications to the machine to be contemplated in advance or developed in Lantek’s software before the machine ever makes it to the market. Could you tell us what trends you see on the manufacturing market given your privileged position? In general, the trend is to automate the manufacturing process so that machines require the least amount
of manual operations and to simplify processes. This way, the operator makes the lowest possible number of decisions and the possibility of failure due to human error is reduced. Regarding unifying everything more and making it easier, the trend is to add technology to the current machines so that they produce increasingly more finished parts without having to go through another process. An example could be milling, which improves the finish and assures desired quality of the final part. More and more processes are being carried out on the same machine in order to avoid having to make the cut on one side, holes on the other, etc. The work tends to be performed as part of the same process with the same machine. Specifying by technologies, oxycut and plasma machines also include drilling and tapping tools. Punching devices are starting to include folding tools as well. Other machines are getting chamfering options. In terms of the use of different technologies, the same way plasma has been progressively replacing oxycut, fiber laser is now replacing other technologies. For thin sheets, many parts that were made with the punch are now cut with a laser because both its cost and the maintenance have become cheaper; the drill quality is very high. In general, fiber laser machines are replacing other technologies such as punching and plasma. The price difference between these two types of machines is getting smaller and smaller and the laser quality is currently the best on the market. What advantage does having such a prepared and versatile technical organization like Global Support provide? How does the OEM channel benefit? Our global support benefits the OEM channel a great deal. More and more manufacturers have international delegations and want to receive local support, not
only for their native language, but also to be assisted on their schedule without any large time differences. Not all software companies are able to offer local support like we do in as many locations throughout the world. Really, no competitor offers support like ours from 18 offices worldwide. This commercial support also helps them sell machines by accompanying them on client visits to support them and provide them with any knowledge they lack in the area of software. What kinds of developments are made in collaboration with manufacturers? 90% of manufacturer development requests are implemented in the software. When a new function is added to the machine, Lantek incorporates it in 100% of cases into the standard product version it issues each year. Thanks to almost 30 years of experience on the market, Lantek is prepared to incorporate any technological innovation that our manufacturers want to include in our software systems. Sometimes, Lantek does this before they even ask. What do you think are the advantages Lantek offers machine tool manufacturers for sheet metals, metal pipes, and profiles? Our special advantages are: • Global support locally • 29 years of experience with more than 16,000 customers worldwide • An in-house R&D team with more than 30 developers who can implement any kind of technology or satisfy any future need • The most in-depth understanding of the market, based on many years of experience in this field Lantek is a faithful and dedicated partner that aims to exceed its partners’ expectations, contributing its experience and knowledge, fully satisfying both machine tool manufacturers and their clients alike with our products and attention.
Asier OrtĂz CTO
The Future of Thermal Cutting
Each cutting technology is specializing based on the range of materials and thicknesses that it can cut. In turn, each of the technologies intends to expand its range of materials that it provides adequate performance for, in thicknesses that can cut well and with good cut quality. This article will take a glimpse at how different thermal cutting technologies may evolve. Oxycut technology seems to have a very defined scope and its development is aimed at improving the quality of its finishes with improved nozzles and gas management.
to provide significant advances for the industry. The CO2 laser continues to progress, cutting greater thicknesses and increasingly generating power to cut carbon steel up to 25 mm thick. The need for greater fiber laser cooling can be enhanced in the future with an improved laser source and cooling systems, so that the management of machinings and optimal temperature algorithms are complemented. We can also expect progress in the optics used that result in even more precise finishes.
In the case of plasma, there has been no significant mid-term evolution. The quality achieved and range of materials and thicknesses make it a technology with a wide range of uses at a very competitive price. It would be possible to observe new developments in the completion of the cut, where it is always possible to achieve a better finish.
But, it is in fiber lasers where we can expect the most progress. The reduction in the cost of laser sources plus the gradual increase in the power generated makes it the technology that will be able to cover a growing range of thicknesses, materials, and quality. The reduction in the size of these machines will also be an optimization of the workshop space required along with the subsequent decrease in costs.
Laser cutting and its industrial applications for cutting parts has not yet realized its full potential. It is still an evolving technology that, in coming years, will continue
Will these advances lead to a reversal in the use of plasma technology? Surely we will be able to answer this question sooner than we expect.
RaĂşl Chopitea R&D Manager
Self- Organized Factories In previous articles, we have been exploring different concepts that have sprung up around the increasingly emerging Industry 4.0: Cyber Physical Systems, Big Data, Machine Learning,â€Ś but, we have not talked about how these elements will work together to achieve the objective of this new revolution: increasing the competitive advantage based on an efficient, flexible, adaptive, and sustainable production. Today, the pursuit of efficiency is usually measured by achieving automation of the production process, through the integration of different software and hardware components with a set of predefined rules. However, this paradigm is beginning to become obsolete in an industry where the rules are constantly changing: our customers are demanding increasingly more personalized products, increasingly shorter runs, and increasingly tighter deadlines. In this scenario, it is impossible, or economically infeasible, to use automation following the current models. It is impossible to define exactly how factories of the future will work; but, looking at future technological capabilities that are included in Industry 4.0, where all players are connected to the same network and communicate in real time, information is generated that is constantly analyzed to provide feedback on the value chain, and self-learning techniques can be applied to become more efficient, opening the door to a new kind of production plant capable of intelligent selfmanagement. This capacity for self-management will radically change the way in which some processes requiring human intervention are run today: the software systems and machines are automatically reconfigured depending on the type of work they receive, taking into account the settings, which are more efficient than in the past. They will be able to define the order of execution for their workload, not only according to their ability or existing priorities, but also the other work centers in the chain, the suppliers, or even the budgets issued with a high probability of being able to reprogram everything in real time if something changes (an urgent request, a rise in the price of materials, breakdowns, etc.). The obvious question arises about the role of people. In this scenario, they will play a role with high skills, managing powerful dashboards that provide a real-time
view of the situation on the ground, which allow for changing global conduct parameters that align system decisions with business objectives. They will be the brain of the brain.
news Lantek and Tecoi celebrate 15 years of close collaboration
This partnership allows Tecoi to use Lantek software solutions intetrally for their cutting machines Lantek has consolidated its global agreement with Tecoi, a leading manufacturer of cutting machines and sheet metal processing. This close collaboration, which began in 2000, has enabled the company, headquartered in León (Spain) to equip their products with the advanced software solutions designed by Lantek, providing an important competitive advantage for their machines right from the start. “At Lantek, we have been developing an intense policy of strategic agreements and alliances for nearly 30 years with different companies worldwide that are beneficial to both parties. This is the case of our global agreement with Tecoi, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. On the one hand, Tecoi has expressed their satisfaction in being able to offer and incorporate Lantek solutions in its sheet metal processing systems and in recognizing how this partnership allows them to be more competitive. For us, the partnership with Tecoi has given us the opportunity to work alongside the leading manufacturer of cutting machines, processing large sizes and thicknesses, and to further expand our extensive international network that currently reaches more than 100 countries, 23 offices and more than 16,000 customers worldwide. Undoubtedly, one of the keys to the success of this expansion has been agreements, like the one with Tecoi,” says Francisco Pérez, Director of the Lantek OEM Channel. Tecoi is a company dedicated to the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of industrial tables and machines for cutting metals with plasma, oxycut, and lasers as well as sheet metal machining and welding preparation. In the last 15 years, Lantek has become a natural ally in this global agreement allowing Tecoi to incorporate some of Lantek’s key solutions into their
machines, particularly with Lantek Expert, Lantek Flex3d Tubes and Lantek Flex3d Steelwork, depending on the needs of each product. “In all of this time of collaboration it has been shown that our solutions result in higher efficiency and performance for machines designed by Tecoi” highlights Francisco Pérez. Lantek Expert, an intelligent CAD/CAM system Lantek Expert Punch and Lantek Expert Cut solutions are two of the most popular systems for machine manufacturers like Tecoi. Meanwhile, Lantek Flex3d Steelwork allows 3D design in an intuitive and simple way, giving the user a true vision of the results when cutting any shape with the machine. This solution displays each manufacturing profile in 3D, which minimizes the possibility of error. Additionally, it allows the complete management of the sales process, from creating a budget to issuing invoices and includes the ability to incorporate plant data capturing systems. Lantek Flex3D Tubes is another solution that incorporates different importers of tubular geometries and is a fully parametric system with the option of changing the values of any of the operations performed, even allowing for the modification of the tube’s initial design parameters. According to Francisco Pérez, Tecoi is a company that shares many values with Lantek and, for this reason, this global agreement is very successful. “Like us, it is a company with a broad distribution network in all 5 continents, leading in its sector with special focus and dedication to R&D policies with an in-house Research, Development, and Innovation department. The combination of our advanced software with Tecoi products is the perfect solution for thousands of customers worldwide.”
case studies Italian company Pelbo S.p.A trusts in Lantek technology to reduce errors and increase productivity
Dedication to technical innovation and total commitment to the customer. These are the values of the Italian company Pelbo S.p.A., a leader in the production of machines for the egg product food industry, which has placed its trust in Lantek technology in order to achieve lower manufacturing error rates and the advantage of improved productivity and efficiency. Founded in the early 1980s by Giorgio Pellegrinelli, the company is located in Brugherio, in northern Italy. After many years of tests and research, in 1982 Pelbo S.p.A registered its first patent. It represented an extraordinary revolution and innovation in the egg processing industry, as with the manufacture of the first egg breaker based on the concept of parallel lines with a capacity of 54,000 eggs/hour. Pelbo S.p.A surpassed, in both capacity and final product quality, all the machines of the period, which were limited to a capacity of 36,000 eggs/hour. Optimal results in the egg processing industry not only depend on the machinery, but also on the application of experience and on the technological knowledge in the field of food processing. Pelbo S.p.A. has its own research center that continuously explores new possibilities and opportunities, with the aim of developing increasingly efficient production processes. A few years ago, Pelbo S.p.A decided to initiate a collaboration with Lantek, the current global leader in the development and commercialization of software solutions for the metalworking industry. Once in possession of the Lantek Expert software for the management of laser cutting, Pelbo S.p.A. has updated and implemented the new solutions proposed by Lantek to integrate CAD 3d in CAM Lantek, by means of the Lantek Flex3d module and Lantek Manager, as a way to significantly reduce nesting times through the direct transfer from the assemblies and from the unfolded sheet.
Marcello Manzutto, Pelbo Technician: â€œThe main benefit from using the Lantek program is probably the possibility of always having the designs up to date thanks to the completely automated process for sending the 3D design of Inventor to the cutting machineâ€?
The challenge facing Lantek was to guarantee Pelbo S.p.A. higher efficiency and a reduction of errors in the management of laser cutting. Thanks to the joint effort of the two companies, after a careful analysis and assessment, Pelbo S.p.A. has been able to improve and automate the transfer from 3D design to laser cutting, with a significant reduction of time and costs. Once the planning by the Pelbo technicians was carried out, along with the various components, the sheet metal is transferred directly from CAD 3D to CAM Lantek, which takes care of general unfolded layouts and the creation of the various 2D components necessary for the nesting, without the need for importing DXF/DWG files. Thus, the different sheet metal characteristics from the different layouts/ customers arrive inside the Lantek Manager software, subdivided by materials and thicknesses, all for the convenience of the operator, who must generate the nestings and reduce rejects to a minimum by automatically optimizing the various formats and sheet cuttings. The continuous desire to improve products, in response to the needs of the market, brings the company from Brugherio to seek to optimize. Thanks to the active collaboration with Lantek, the various problems that arise on a day-to-day basis in its work are solved while reducing errors and increasing the productivity of the company.
- Lantek Workshop
Did you know that you can find out the deadlines for each of your parts’ manufacturing processes so you always deliver your orders on time? This is one of the characteristics of the “Workload Monitoring” module, available with Lantek Manager, which allows you to see, in real time, if your production is on schedule. This information is calculated for each part in production based on its manufacturing routing, the required date for the order, and the capacity of each work center. If you would like to find out more tips, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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