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Beyond software

Latest News, Product Novelties, Fairs and much more





COVER Photo: Bridge in Finnish Lapland Finland

LANTEK MARKETING TEAM Jesús Martínez Marketing Director

Beatriz Prado Production, Publishing, Design

Patricia Ruiz de Sabando












Orchestration and choreography of manufacturing











Beyond software

Joseba Pagaldai Sales Director

Communications and Public Relations

SUBSCRIPTIONS Marketing Department

Mazak 3D Fabri Gear: When specialization is the solution

Lantek and the Waterjet Corporation collaborate globally

Lantek Services Lantek Hint: Lantek Integra and Lantek Manager

An Oracle for your Business

URSSA, all the power of Mondragon Corporation






nowledge and innovation, now more than ever, are crucial in securing a competitive advantage in a globalized economy. Each company struggles to stand out from the rest and to be the winning option in the industry. Differentiation is key for this scenario in many dimensions: knowledge, skills, experience, perspectives and expertise. Industry providers are usually focusing on offering competitive prices by lowering cost standardizing their product portfolios. Less possibilities, less variations, less customization. We are competing with companies that have shorten their prices by a tenth. Who is suffering this simplification? Industrial companies. They have the same machines, with the same standard software managed by standard workers. This turmoil of reduction leads these companies to be exactly the same as their competitors. They are easy to replace as there are no entry barriers. The alternative is purchasing costly personalized systems with a difficult evolution in the future. Lantek shelters diversity and ensures the adequacy and future development of its solutions. We work together with our customers so their competitive advantage is protected and promoted. That particular part of their process, those especially talented workers that walk the extra mile who need dedicated applications to perform at their full potential, and many other specific situations are considered when Lantek deploy one of their solutions in a company. When it comes to competition, there is no alternative: either you are different and better than the rest or you will disappear under the rubble after a price war.

JesĂşs MartĂ­nez


main topic

Beyond software In the metal industry, companies are discovering that differentiating themselves from their competitors and being better than them is a good way of increasing market share and being the customers’ preferred choice. This distinction is reflected in the production processes and, as a result, must be reflected in the software tools that support them. But where does the difference lie, if all systems are identical and are used in the same way? In this article, we aim to shed light on this matter.

Lantek takes a different approach. Its approach is to accept not only the need to differentiate itself as a company in order to prosper, but also to respond to the demands of a diverse range of businesses and processes. Unique features and characteristics that make each company better than the others at something are positively valued by its customers.

It’s the same when it comes to software. Many providers claim that their software is special, yet they try to reduce the options to lower costs in a war to be the cheapest.

Lantek provides software systems that are both capable of interoperability and open to the world, owing to interconnection mechanisms and its own abilities. We also have professional staff that allow us to listen, to provide and to implement solutions that address all these specificities. The Lantek commercial and technical network is fully trained to understand the problems and situations of dayto-day life in production plants and to go one step further. This helps to improve the performance and coordination of systems, as well as providing advice on how to develop production processes to a higher level of maturity, thereby increasing competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.

In such a scenario, it is very unlikely that a metal component manufacturer will set itself apart from its competitors, so it will only compete by offering the lowest prices.

The Lantek portfolio of services includes technical support anywhere in the world and training adapted to suit the customer onsite or in our offices. This allows us to ensure that, whatever the customer’s

We have found that machines are evolving very quickly, but increasingly resemble one another. If a company that produces sheet metal components, metal tubes, or profiles wants to differentiate itself from its competitors, the benefits are not going to come from its machines.

knowledge, the best performance of the implemented systems will be obtained. When Lantek faces a scenario where it is considered necessary to address the specific elements that differentiate a company, it puts personalization and consulting services into operation. These services extend throughout the customer relationship, from first contact through to implementation, and continue while systems are operational. Lantek starts by addressing the unique features of the company, recompiling existing systems and their function in the process, the objectives pursued, and the obstacles and difficulties encountered in day-today operations. Lantek also identifies the customer’s skilled employees whose intervention it considers key to successful implementation. The purpose of the above is for our engineers to develop a scenario that includes all detailed requirements to match with the customer. Lantek prepares proposals that aim to comply with the company’s objectives and preserve its competitive edge, rather than dealing with the scenario in the fastest and least expensive way. In the case of CAD/CAM systems, the need to adjust technological settings or calculation of time and costs

to reflect the case mix of the machine is analyzed to obtain a higher degree of compatibility between software and machines. For deployment of production management solutions, the key points in the chain are determined to show critical information and improve processes and quality. If a scenario is addressed in which Lantek systems are integrated with existing systems, the orchestration and choreography of these systems is determined in order for the systems to cooperate with one another effectively, as if they were a single system. To sum up, Lantek addresses each customer’s needs with a new and different scenario. Using solutions that have been tried and tested on thousands of customers. It will be possible to resolve any issues and the customer will have the tools that not only support its operations; but, are also an instrument that can reflect and refine its competitive edge. All this will enable the client to stand out and be better, so it can compete without succumbing to price wars and costs, and in turn, will be the option chosen by its customers.


solutions Orchestration and choreography of manufacturing

Today, there is a reversal in the trend that stated that all software systems should be implemented by a single supplier – to ensure maximum efficiency for a productive company adhering to processes. Specialization in different processes and their varying importance in each company makes a business choose the systems that best suits its particular method of manufacturing and corporate management from those that are available.

• Order, comes from the Latin “ordinare,” meaning to bring order.

When two elements within a company (employees, machines, or software systems) have to work together, it is necessary to organize, to order, and to coordinate (orchestrate or choreograph) these systems so that they can execute processes as a single harmonious body, following a pattern that determines how each of the elements involved must behave.

Orchestration and choreography are two ways of achieving the purpose of harmonizing the factors involved in manufacture and business processes.

If we look at the etymology of words, we can further clarify the terms:

• Organize, comes from the Greek, meaning to make something useful or that works. • Orchestrate and choreograph have a similar etymology. Both are linked to dancing in a group accompanied by rhythmic music that follows a pattern.

In the orchestration of the components, one of the elements indicates the guidelines that others should follow at all times. It is common for financial management to be prioritized; but, there are also cases where the optimization of production and logistics takes precedence over purely financial aspects. An

example is a company that refers all its processes to ERP, while other elements are orchestrated by this directing element. It is in orchestration that we see how the music score is shaped according to the needs of each instrument that we have made useful, because we have organized its responsibility, its part of the score, ordering the entire group of instruments in turn (systems, machines, and people), by type, features, capabilities, or technologies. Finally, by placing them all under a single orchestration, we ensure everything flows rhythmically with no rejections, errors, or bottlenecks. No instrument should accelerate its pace or sound louder than another. If the others do not respect these instructions, the result will not be as expected. On the contrary, in such a case, instead of better results, the end result is worse. It is useless if an instrument or group of instruments interprets and executes its score before the others, as this will confuse the others, and the group will actually achieve a worse end result. The orchestration of manufacture consists of: • Composition of architecture, people, software tools, machines, and processes involved. • Preparation of software and hardware in each of the systems involved. • Connection and automation of joint workflows. Lantek has faced various challenges during its long career managing cutting companies. It has managed to organize machines and make them useful and efficient. It has even re-ordered the work of several of them, sending each of them the components most suitable for their technologies, applying expertise so that each machine performs the work for which it is designed, all in the most automated manner. Finally, it has managed to orchestrate all participating elements so its customers can convert their plant into a Lantek Factory. Lantek is now taking this concept to a more global level and, thanks to cloud-based technologies, can organize items that are not physically located in the same actual location. The other method of organizing production is by using choreography, where all the elements have equal authority and are each responsible for parts of the process. The elements perform a series of services that have been previously defined and the actions of one key player follow the actions of others in a pattern. In this case, web services have made it possible for software systems and even machines to be able to

cooperate with each other in an independent but coordinated and scheduled way, based on processes and business priorities without human intervention. The pattern followed for each part of the process can be an orchestration, in which one of the systems is temporarily the orchestrator of the others. An example would be a group of manufacturing plants for which certain services are outsourced to others. At all times, there is one plant where systems set the standard for others in terms of how they perform different operations (budget, orders, manufacture order, operations, validation, traceability, shipping, etc.). Lantek is now able to choreograph what happens at different plants belonging to the same organization located in different places, thanks to the use of the cloud for the systems and technologies at our disposal. Either of these two means can be the next step towards integration and should be built upon the foundations of powerful mechanisms that flexibly support the orchestration and choreography requirements of the systems. This is a necessary step towards achieving the scenarios advocated by Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing initiatives.



Joseba Pagaldai Sales Director

Lantek technology tackles the most diverse needs and problems For many years, Lantek has provided a number of services that competing software providers in the metal sector are unable to offer. Among them, it provides consulting and engineering services to a diverse range of customers, including customers based in remote locations, enabling such customers to internally coordinate with one another using Lantek software solutions. To find out about these and other topics, we spoke to Lantek Sales Director, Joseba Pagaldai. What can you tell us about the services Lantek offers its customers?

What does the Technology” mean?

We have a knowledge base that we then pass on to customers. We assess and monitor them to find a solution that suits their needs. We adapt to the customer, rather than the customer adapting to our product portfolio.

It means that as a result of extensive worldwide experience and close collaboration with manufacturers, customers, and technology partners, Lantek has a detailed knowledge of areas of engineering such as complex calculation-processing algorithms, computerized geometry, or technologies and machining strategies.

The concept of Lantek Factory is a unique feature of Lantek. It encompasses 30 years of ideas and knowledge gained in relation to our high-quality products. We have found out what customers want and in this way obtained the best possible productivity. All Lantek professionals support customers, from field technicians to product development engineers, advising them on the products that best suit them. We can integrate with any existing ERP or 3D system on the market used by our customers or potential customers. We are also able to adapt to any type of machine and we incorporate the latest technologies in our software. Not only do we install our software, but we offer an after-sales service to our customers. We monitor all customers and do not forget them once they have bought our products. Our customers know we produce next-generation technology and are aware that by staying with Lantek they can continue to opt to incorporate the most advanced methodologies and initiatives, thanks to our new product releases, such as Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing, for which Lantek is a key player. It should be pointed out that our systems incorporate web technology. Our customers can connect and make use of Lantek software tools from anywhere in the world and see what any plant is doing within the group of companies, for instance – even from a different location. Finally, we offer specific training plans, adapted to the needs of each customer, both at the company and at Lantek’s offices.



Additionally, the expertise that Lantek has in terms of the market and machines helps customers get the most out of each type of machine and save time, material, and money. Lantek provides mechanisms for integration that enable Lantek systems to interact with its customers’ systems. How have these been developed? Lantek deploys technological solutions in different markets and in a number of countries, each with different needs and issues. This experience has enabled us to develop mechanisms for integration that suit each company and help our customers to plan their resources, increase staff performance, and gain additional cost savings. We always adapt to the customer’s needs, albeit based on a format recommended by us or by the customer. Can you tell us what Lantek offers companies with several plants in different locations? Our customers include large and small companies. Some companies have plants located in different parts of the world and want to manage them in a coordinated way. Firstly, companies that manufacture their own products can decide how much production takes place at each plant and can manage production globally from their administrative center. In this way, they are fully aware of each plant’s situation and can be more efficient as

a company. They can also find out which centers are most productive and which need to improve or require more investment. In the case of large subcontractors, the issues are different. They receive a huge number of orders and management is much more difficult. Huge volumes of work can be efficiently managed with our systems. We have over 2,500 customers that operate as subcontractors, with large production volumes and highly varied production in terms of customer numbers and receiving orders for very different components. All this complicates control and measurement of production. Lantek responds superbly to these more complex situations. Lantek says its software systems are productionoriented. Aren’t the systems of all its competitors as well? Lantek has come a very long way, after almost 30 years of building powerful software systems, using the latest technologies and focusing on adapting those systems to the needs and features of the sheet metal, tube, and profile production sector. Not all software companies in the sector are productionoriented like us. At Lantek, we already have experience in the applied and developed approach of the software that we then adapt to each customer. We have a good solid foundation and our experience supports us. Some providers offer Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software from another company and this means the updates depend on others and they do not know the software in great detail. Others offer valid generic ERP for any sector that is not designed for maximizing the performance of a company with specific features. And finally, there are those that can only be managed with CAD/CAM and with very rudimentary mechanisms. We manage all Lantek CAD/CAM and ERP information uniquely and can show indicators that help our customers to make the best decisions. This has led us to make a major effort in terms of developments, but our customers are benefiting from this, and that is important to us. Lantek operates worldwide and has offices in a number of countries. But how does it get close to its customers, despite being a multinational company? Lantek serves its customers on a global yet personal level. Its objective is for each of its customers or partners to find a Lantek local professional who can provide local support on a commercial or technical level, anywhere in the world. To achieve this, Lantek has a global technical and sales network consisting of 22 offices in 15 countries, complemented by an extensive distribution network, established and supported by us across the world. Our customers really appreciate this proximity. We offer support and respond to their problems or concerns in their country and in their language. This is another effort in terms of the tremendous organization and investment that is more than compensated for by our customers’ satisfaction.



Victor MiguĂŠlez Software Engineer

Mazak 3D Fabri Gear: When specialization is the solution

In the tube-cutting machine sector, it is increasingly common to find highly specialized solutions that embrace a full range of issues. The software behind these machines must be capable of handling the different scenarios in which users can find themselves, with the same flexibility, in order to make the most of their abilities. A good example is the Mazak 3D Fabri Gear, a tube-cutting machine with a rotatory axis and the additional ability to cut profiles (in H, L and C formats, or customized shapes), because of its 5-axis laser head, which is specially adapted to working on them and being able to perform chamfering, as well as welding preparation. It is also equipped with a turret whose tools enable drilling, counter sink and tapping operations. It is also able to optimize cutting cycle times, thanks to management of automatic tube or profile uploading, and automatic part extraction capabilities, using its movable supports. Its unique ability to cut profiles poses different challenges for the software that manages it, as different cutting strategies are required, depending on each format and focusing on its own particular features. When cutting Ls and Us, machining must be performed through the outside of the format, to avoid any possible collisions and to cut the flanges to the desired thickness, thus making cutting of the

web easier, since there will be less material in the area of the flanges. On the other hand, when cutting Hs and Ts, in the case of cutting of the web, the head must be inserted within the format, so the size of the head must be considered at all times in order to accurately calculate vectors and to avoid collisions. With any of these formats, automatic deactivation of height control is essential while the head performs its movements outside the part. Management of its turret presents the classic problem of tool optimization, as the number of tools is limited to six. Furthermore, the turret is located on the same X as the cutting head and that prevents them from operating simultaneously, which is why two different strategies are followed, performing all machining with the cutting head and then the turret, or according to the proximity of each. In the case of counter sink and tapping, it is possible to combine a macro in which the laser makes the first cut. During the download process, different strategies may be executed, depending on the length of the part. For parts measuring more than 700 mm in length, movable supports are used to take them to the evacuation area. However, for parts shorter than this length, evacuation is performed using a device positioned below the cutting head.



Raúl Chopitea R&D Manager

An Oracle for your Business Business Intelligence systems form an increasingly prevalent part of the reality of our daily business operations and are another tool used to guide companies efficiently and successfully. They offer us an accurate retrospective view of different areas of interest and no one doubts how useful they can be for analyzing the past (or the present), for making decisions in our next steps, in many cases based on our intuition or our own experiences, and even the optimism of the moment. However, why not go one step further and allow these systems to “predict our future?” If we approach predicting the future, it is essential to ask the right questions, the answers to which help us take action to achieve specific business objectives. From these initial questions, Predictive Analysis aims to build an analytical model that looks for trends, repetitive patterns, or predictable behavior to ultimately be able to represent and predict, using a mathematical formula, a future behavior or result that is normally accompanied by a probability index. Descriptive Analytics and Predictive Analytics are complementary areas and provide us a response to different types of questions. The former allows us to structure historical data, for instance, the price

variation of different materials and formats over recent months, the sales evolution of each type of customer, or the average delivery period over the past year. The second, at the same time, allows us to progress to questions such as what would be the best time to take stock of each type of material based on the sales forecast, or if reducing delivery times on one day would lead to an increase in sales volumes. To make all this possible, it is necessary to provide and integrate high-quality information that will determine the granularity or the probability index of predictive model predictions. This information will often be stored in “hidden” form among the growing transactional information from our Information Systems (MES, ERP, etc.) or in unstructured form on external media, such as web pages or the OPC-UA systems of our machines. In conclusion, predictive analytics tries to use information we already have to predict information that is not available. Going one step further, it would be prescriptive analytics that would be capable of recommending the best option from a range of possible actions, by predicting the outcome of each. It is an oracle with certain guarantees.


news Lantek and the Waterjet Corporation collaborate globally

Lantek has reached a global agreement to supply its market leading Lantek Expert CAD/CAM software with the Waterjet Corporation’s range of Waterjet cutting machines. Waterjet Corporation has been building and supplying thousands machines since 1991 from its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Monza, Italy. Since then it has developed an extensive range of standard and hi-tech customized waterjet machines offered through regional offices and a dealer network and global branches in the Far East, North America, Northern Europe and the Middle East. Its machines include cantilever and bridge designs and an exclusive 5-axis flying bridge technology (Edge 5) which delivers significant productivity improvements. The company also offers combination plasma and waterjet machines and waterjet surface texturing technology. Lantek has managed to satisfy the technological needs of Waterjet Corporation to obtain the best quality in cutting, use the same software for cutting tubes and versatility in 5-axis cutting. By working with Lantek across all its global offices, the Waterjet Corporation will be able to benefit from a CAD/CAM system that has been tailored to suit each machine in its range and which will maximise

the productivity possible on those machines. Lantek has been developing CAD/CAM systems for the sheet metal industry since 1986 and now has more than 16,000 customers worldwide, offices in 15 countries and a global distribution network. It pays particular attention to the quality of technical support and rapid response for its customers, ensuring that its distributors have the skills to quickly resolve any questions, and the knowledge to offer innovative solutions. Waterjet Corporation’s customers will be able to take advantage of the advanced technology in Lantek Expert and the technical support available from Lantek’s local representatives to optimise production, reduce costs and increase return on investment. Alberto Martínez, Lantek’s CEO says, “Building a global partnership with the Waterjet Corporation will enable it to offer its customers a turnkey solution which is fully supported internationally. We are very excited about the prospect of working with it and feel sure that we can make a positive contribution to the advanced technology the Waterjet Corporation offers, which has to be advantageous for both companies and for their end users.”


case studies URSSA, all the power of Mondragon Corporation URSSA S. COOP, a leading manufacturer in the metal construction sector, was founded in 1961 and integrated in the Cooperative “Mondragon Corporation.” The company is located in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, where it has its headquarters and two factories, employing a large number of staff. It is dedicated to Integrated Project Management and provides design development and structural calculation, and manufactures and assembles all types of metal structures. It also manages, controls and supplies other complementary services and products, including enclosures and floors. “Each project is unique. Because of this, flexibility is another determining factor for us when it comes to investing in machinery, technology, and software,” says the cooperative’s spokespersons. The Guggenheim project was a major step forward in the evolution that began for URSSA in 1990, when it changed from being a manufacturer to a full service company. As a result, URSSA started to appear in large projects designed by the most prestigious international architects and engineering firms. URSSA implemented extremely important projects of a similar complexity to that of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, including: the Collserola Tower in Barcelona, stainless-steel mezzanines of the Bilbao Metro (Norman Foster), Terminal 1 of El Prat Airport in Barcelona (Ricardo Bofill), two bridges in Valencia, one in Ripoll (near Girona), a fourth in Manchester, as well as a rotating bridge in Buenos Aires (Santiago Calatrava), the National HighPerformance Centre in Alicante (Enric Miralles), the Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium in San Sebastián (Rafael Moneo), and Amiens Football Stadium (Chaix et Morel). URSSA currently has three licenses for Lantek systems. Two of them are for operating oxy-fuel sheet metal cutting tables and the third is for a recently acquired machine that combines punching/drilling and sheet metal cutting. “Until this latest purchase, we had to cut, deburr and punch separately, so valuable time and resources were wasted on transportation, handling and deburring. Now, plasma cutting has saved us time, even when it comes to the thankless task of deburring. However, when working with more than 25 mm we use oxy-fuel cutting,” they say. URSSA has been a Lantek user since September 1998, thanks to the backing of Igor Juaristi, Production Manager.

In the words of Programming Technician Roberto Azkunaga, “It was a wise decision, when you consider the production improvements obtained, the reduction in the level of waste and shrinkage, and the ease with which programming is implemented, which has contributed significantly to reaching the target of 8,000 tonnes of sheet metal scheduled for the year. We use Lantek for making small components (for joining profiles) as well as support cables for bridges. Since buying the machine, we have noticed a major improvement in the way in which we operate. Previously, we programmed parts individually and wasted a lot of time. Everything was more expensive and there were a great deal of losses when using sheet metal. Now, to add to the benefits, the quality-to-price ratio of the systems is very competitive.” “Lantek is one of the best investments we have made since I joined the company.” Roberto Azkunaga (URSSA)

Azkunaga, Head of Nested Procedures, highlights the improvements seen in recent years with new versions and upgrades. “Lantek Expert is very powerful. It deserves a high level of recognition and guarantees us the flexibility required to operate using different software solutions within URSSA, from AUTOCAD and ME10, right through to BOCAD. To quote just one example, Lantek allows us to import DSTV files from other software without any problems. These are critical files for us as they include information on geometry, quantity, thickness and quality.”




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Lantek has no limits to what makes you different. Any cutting or punching machine can be programmed, the management software that you already have can be integrated, and any CAD software can move their designs to production. Now or in the future, Lantek has the software that you need to produce sheet metal parts, tubes or profiles with the guarantee that your factory will be productive, efficient and competitive. No limits, no strings attached.

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