Euroblech 2018 to focus on digitalisation and Industry 4.0
This year’s international sheet metal working technology exhibition Euroblech will focus on the topics of Industry 4.0, digitalisation, and big data, organisers have announced.
Taking place from 23-26 October 2018 in Hanover, Germany, the 25th edition of the show will feature a total of 1,500 exhibitors from 39 countries – including Germany, Italy, China, Turkey, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and the USA.
Digital developments are set to offer significant advantages in streamlining and simplifying sheet metal processing, as well as improving productivity and efficiency.
‘While an app for maintenance control of machines or the interaction of machines and robots across the whole production process were still a vision of the future a couple of years ago, today this is the reality in sheet metal working,’ said Evelyn Warwick, exhibition director of Euroblech.
According to Warwick, it is not only large companies that have been gaining ground in the realm of digitalisation, but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are also recognising its potential. ‘Their company size usually allows them to react flexibly and quickly to such transitions, therefore they are in a good position to use digitalisation to their advantage,' she continued. '…visitors can expect the most comprehensive technology range in terms of industrial digitalisation of sheet metal working. 1,500 companies will be exhibiting, ranging from large industrial corporations to small innovative start-ups.’
Euroblech covers the entire sheet metal working technology chain: sheet metal, semi-finished and finished products, handling, separation, forming, flexible sheet metal working, joining, welding and surface treatment, processing of hybrid structures, tools, additive manufacturing, quality control, CAD/CAM/CIM systems and research and development. Visitors include design engineers, production managers, quality managers, buyers, manufacturers, technical directors and experts from associations and research and development. The show attracts sheet metal working specialists at every management level in both SMEs and large companies.
The topics of digitalisation, e-mobility and lightweight construction have been covered in three new Euroblech white papers, which explore the recent developments within these areas and provide insight into new trends in the sheet metal processing industry. All three White Papers are now available free of charge on the exhibition website.
Lastly, the young generation is increasingly gaining importance in the sheet metal working industry due to the digital transformation and the related changes to occupational profiles. Therefore, Euroblech is offering students free entry on Friday 26 October when presenting a valid student ID at the entrance. During all other show days, students can visit at a reduced fare of €15 per day ticket. At the show, there will be a job board, where exhibiting companies are advertising latest job openings. The job board is also available online.
At booths D06 and F06 Amada will be exhibiting its Ensis series of laser cutting machines, featuring the firm's AJ fibre laser engine with innovative beam control technology. Using just 2kW or 3kW of power, the machine is able to process thin to thick materials with a single lens.
Due to higher power requirements increasing in demand, a 6kW and 9kW variant has also been added to the Ensis series.
Ensis technology is not only applicable to flat sheet cutting - Amada is also introducing the Ensis RI machine for additional tube/profile cutting, and expanding its FLW Ensis robotic fibre laser welding series to meet customer requirements.
For bending, Amada's EG series electric press brake will also be exhibited: a compact ergonomic machine incorporating dual servo technology which allows high speed, high precision part manufacture with additional operator-focused benefits.
All machines being exhibited will be connected to Amada's IoT-compatible V-Factory system, providing a foundation for detailed support. This is possible as every machine is equipped with the AMNC 3i control.
At the booth A36/B36, BLM Group will present a selection of tube and sheet fabricating systems synchronised by dedicated software applications.
On display will be the LS5 sheet metal processing system, offering automated loading and unloading, an autofocus head, and automatic nozzle changing. The modular system is configurable with transversal and longitudinal pallet changing to handle different sheet metal formats. For expanded capability, it can also be integrated with an automatic tube manufacturing system.
BLM’s LT-Free five-axes system will also be exhibited, enabling the processing of curved tubes and three-dimensional deep-drawn components. By using two robots to support small pieces and curved tubes during laser cutting, this system is particularly flexible and capable of performing operations that others are unable to do. LT-Free executes entire programs in a single pass, without the need to abort and resume fabricating, as a result of the interpolation between the five-axes head and the piece’s motion carried out by the robot.
The Group will also be displaying the highly advanced LT7 system of its Lasertube family. The LT7’s handling of tubes is fast and efficient, yet careful and delicate enough not to damage the surfaces. The available software applications, starting from Artube CAD/CAM, assist the operator in all the stages of the programming and production processes.
Lastly the E-Turn bending system will also be presented, which uses the items B-Right and B-Tool to ensure a tube is made to specification from the start of production.
Bystronic is presenting its range of networked sheet metal processing solutions, including new automation and software solutions for laser cutting and bending.
The firm has been focusing on fusing the individual processes relating to laser cutting and bending into a network of intelligent components, which will allow users to achieve a higher degree of flexibility and transparency in their production environment. In addition, with the new software solutions users will be able to create quotes more rapidly, plan their production processes in an efficient manner, and make the best possible use of their resources.
Within the networked environment, upstream and downstream production steps are interdependent. This makes process reliability and the preventive maintenance of all integrated systems more critical than ever before. Bystronic’s new service solutions will help users increase the efficiency and process quality of their production.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will present five developments in sheet metal processing at this year’s show.
The first is a robot and a multifunctional laser processing head that will be designed as part of the MultiPROmobil project to be changeable between cutting, welding and additive manufacturing processes, as needed, without needing to switch the optics and nozzles. It will be supported by a digital twin as well as intelligent design and simulation software. The robot is expected to increase the flexibility and scalability of process chains for the production of sheet metal assemblies. It is also anticipated to reduce commissioning time by 30 per cent, and unit costs and resource consumption by at least 20 per cent.
The second development is a fast laser cutting process for differentiated rolled metal strips with partially different properties. The process will enable tool-free production of variable cutting contours while maximising material savings. Fraunhofer ILT will show a video of the process at the event, as well as the first shaped blanks that have been made using it.
The third highlight, carried out within the scope of FAAM project – short for further development, joining technology validation and technical design of welded joints with martensitic chromium steels – is a laser-designed bumper module that demonstrates how different high- and ultra-high-strength materials can be laser-welded in a hybrid construction.
The ILT will also be showing how, by adapting a beam profile with the aid of a freeform mirror, areas and zones can be selectively and locally heat-treated in order to generate defined strength profiles. The Aachen scientists are also working with significantly higher feed rates in order to make laser heat treatment reliable, cost-effective and have short cycle times.
The fifth exhibit is a roof bow created as part of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) project HyBriLight. The component has a hybrid structure made up of fibre-reinforced plastic and metal. Rather than using the bonding and riveting processes previously used, the institute has instead used a laser-based joining process that connects plastic and metal with positive locking and adhesion.
Diode laser specialist Laserline will display a new product generation in its LDM series that now offers 50 per cent more laser power, up to 6kW, in a 19-inch rack mount system. The LDM combines a laser head, a power supply for the diodes, a monitoring-controller and a cooling system.
Laserline will also be highlighting its high-power modular LDF series at the show. The LDF VG6 series is versatile, offers 25kW laser power in less than a 1m2 footprint, and an electrical efficiency up to 50 per cent – even at high beam qualities. Laserline’s process optics meet various process requirements and boundary conditions.
Laser safety expert Laservision is set to showcase its large area protection solutions for space surrounding operational laser systems, and will display a family of inter-compatible, modular wall systems at the event. The company’s active wall segment solutions incorporate Kuka’s Laserspy sensor to monitor the wall electronically and actively, allowing them to enclose even the highest power laser systems. A variety of new filler materials for various levels of passive laser protection have also been used by the firm to further broaden the application range of its E40 modular barrier system.
Laservision will also be displaying its variable R14 Over-The-Glass laser safety goggles with a range of new features. For example, it is now possible to attach a cleanroom compatible head support system to the goggles for maximum wearing comfort, especially when thick glass filters for the broad protection levels are integrated. Additional features and accessories for the R14 frame will be displayed to demonstrate future options to further enhance the user experience with this fit-over safety goggle.
Messer Cutting Systems will be presenting a new cutting machine for customers who value quality, productivity, accuracy and flexibility. The system is capable of carrying out any combination of the three main thermal cutting processes: oxyfuel, plasma and laser, as well as options such as advanced marking and bevel cutting, and the ability to combine multiple cutting processes on one part. With a unitised design and a self-cleaning cutting table, this machine will keep cutting production competitive.
Another of the company’s focus topics is the integration of OmniWin CAD/CAM software and enterprise resource planning/production planning solutions into business processes. MCS will therefore present a product family of modular solutions that connects all systems together for simplifying and automating document exchange during order processing and work scheduling.
At booths B94 and B48, Trumpf will be showcasing a range of digitally connected applications for sheet metal processing that are designed to make manufacturing processes simpler and more efficient.
The TruLaser Center 7030, for example, is completely automated, from programming to part sorting. A good example is the machine's unloading unit. The pins that lift the sheet out of the scrap skeleton are designed to ensure efficient and reliable part removal using suction cups. If the pins fail to get it right the first time around, the machine initiates a new part removal cycle on its own, without requiring any intervention. It then repeats this cycle as many times as necessary until it works. The machine processes and assimilates each of these retry attempts and learns from them.
Trumpf will also be presenting a connected intra-logistics solution, something that the firm has already tested successfully at its Industry 4.0 showcase factory. The solution improves the logistics processes that run on a shop floor, for example the routing of parts from one processing station to the next. The indoor localisation system enables firms to manage their production processes more efficiently.
The company’s Smart Nozzle Automation solution will also be highlighted, a function that periodically inspects the lens nozzle of a machine and automatically replaces it if damaged.