Bystronic to establish smart factory experience centre for sheet metal processing

The construction of the new Experience Center will be completed by the summer of 2019. (Image: Bystronic)

Near Chicago, Bystronic is building an advanced Experience Center. Here, visitors will be able to experience a ‘smart factory’ for sheet metal processing. Bystronic will thus demonstrate live how sheet metal products are manufactured in the age of automation, digital networking, and intelligent services. With the groundbreaking ceremony, the construction phase has now begun and will be completed by the summer of 2019.

Automated cutting and bending systems digitally networked with an overarching software architecture that guides sheet metal parts on the optimal path through the individual process steps: from the incoming order data, to the programming of the cutting and bending plans and the best possible allocation to the available capacities of the integrated machine systems, all the way through to the delivery of the finished sheet metal products. In the whole process, sensors measure each step and thus enable monitoring in real time. All processes and the parts currently in production can be monitored on screens. The costs, time, and quality of the entire production chain can be accessed digitally at any time and from any location.

This vision of the smart factory is now becoming a reality. With its new Experience Center near Chicago, Bystronic is building the future of sheet metal processing. In the village of Hoffman Estates (Illinois) a new location is being constructed on an area of 15,131 square metres. The new building will include an advanced showroom of 2,800 square metres. From the summer of 2019, here, just a few kilometres from its existing subsidiary in Elgin, Bystronic will display its entire range of sheet metal processing solutions: the latest technologies for laser cutting, integrated automation and storage solutions, flexible bending systems, tube and profile processing solutions, a software landscape that covers the entire sheet metal processing chain, smart services, and customised live demonstrations for customers.

Groundbreaking ceremony for the smart factor

The management of Bystronic welcomed numerous guests and representatives of the press to the official groundbreaking ceremony in Hoffman Estates on September 18, 2018. The event was also attended by Bystronic CEO Alex Waser. ‘In our new Experience Center, visitors will be able to gain a tangible insight into how modern sheet metal manufacturing can be digitally networked and fully automated,’ Waser explained. ‘During live demonstrations, Bystronic will show how throughput times and production costs can be reduced in a targeted manner within a smart factory while simultaneously ensuring that all available machine resources are used in the best possible way.’

Bystronic welcomed guests and representatives of the press to the groundbreaking ceremony in Hoffman Estates. (Image Bystronic)

In addition to customer-oriented live demonstrations, Bystronic will also offer software and hardware training courses in the new Experience Center. Customers will thus be able to benefit from the technology provider’s extensive know-how. ‘We offer the complete end-to-end solution comprising technology and services,’ Alex Waser emphasised. Due to the increasing trend towards automation and digital networking, the demand of many customers for customised training and consulting by technology experts is growing.

The Experience Center will also serve as the new hub for Bystronic US business operations. Beside the showroom this hub will include sales, service, spare parts, the refurbishing of used machines and a modern assembly area for new laser cutting and automation systems.

Customer proximity and international growth

With the close proximity of the new Experience Center to Chicago, Bystronic is focusing on the hub of the North American market for sheet metal processing. Many metal processing companies supply their customers from here. In addition, many large corporations are based in Illinois and the neighboring states. And the close vicinity to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport ensures that the Experience Center is easily accessible to visitors from America and around the world.

With the construction of the new Experience Center, Bystronic is resolutely driving forward its ongoing growth strategy. Investments in the well-established global production, sales, and service infrastructure will strengthen the presence and anchoring of Bystronic’s technology and service portfolio in growth markets. In addition to North America, the focus also lies on Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. With the opening of the new center in the US in 2019, Bystronic will have a total of 20 Experience Centers worldwide, in which customers can experience state-of-the-art manufacturing systems, software, and services first hand.

Company: 

Latest issue

Feature

Matthew Dale explores some of the latest technology for manipulating and measuring the beam, including a multi-spot optical module for laser brazing and a contactless beam analysis device

Feature

Moving to very high power lasers for welding metals, like aluminium in car production, has some big benefits, as Greg Blackman finds out

Analysis and opinion