Vacuum cups are designed to improve operational reliability, longevity, and productivity for pick-and-place parts handling.
Polyurethane material provides wear-resistance when compared to rubber, promoting longer service life and reduced maintenance. In addition, polyurethane will not leave marks on handled objects and has elastic memory, even after hundreds of thousands of cycles. The material rates 60 on the durometer scale, making it easier to pick up highly contoured
In theory, it’s a great idea. Network every machine in a factory, record every action, analyze that data for patterns, predict when machines are going to fail, and use the power of modern computing to improve every aspect of the manufacturing process.
Call it the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0, the hype is the same. Advanced computing technology will revolutionize how manufacturers design and build products and save everyone money along the way.
In practice, it’s a lot tougher. That was one of the takeaways from a wide-ranging forum at the EMO Hannover 2017 where leaders of machine tool companies discussed the opportunities and challenges they face.
The biggest question is who’s in charge. Many toolmakers have developed monitoring technologies for their own equipment, but that doesn’t provide a universal control unless manufacturers get all of their tools from the same provider.
“Customers want to have the optimum milling machine, the optimum grinding machine for the application, so they will have a mix of different machine tool builders,” says Starrag Group Vice Chairman Frank Brinken. “Then, you want to interconnect these machines? Good luck.”
Sharing data and controls between machines from a variety of manufacturers creates a challenge. Who’s responsible for creating the system? Who’s to blame when machines fail to talk to each other? Who stores and analyzes the data?
Talk to machine tool producers, and the answer is clear – not us.
Tool producers are still focusing the bulk of their R&D efforts on improving their machines’ capabilities. Creating software tools is great, but it doesn’t generate nearly as much revenue as lowering cycle times.
“Our main purpose is still producing parts and components and making chips,” says Heller Group COO Manfred Maeir. “We as management have to be careful to divide what’s possible from what makes sense and what our customers are willing to pay us for. That’s the only thing that counts.”
Several of the participants urged control producers, such as Siemens and Fanuc, to take a dominant role in making data interoperable between machines. But even handing off responsibility to control makers doesn’t answer questions about data ownership and processing and what sort of costs manufacturers should face for adding these new capabilities.
As the conversations continued, the picture being drawn started to look a lot more like the three-letter enterprise software world – CAD, CAM, CRM, ERP, MES, PLM – a collection of systems that require third-party integrators to forge connections.
It’s a world where few products are usable off the shelf, often requiring months of custom software integration. And it can be a frustrating world where tracking down who is responsible for problems can lead to more finger pointing than answers.
Still, the advantages of connected manufacturing are clear, and businesses are spending resources chasing the Industry 4.0 dream. But a clear sign from the tool builders is that making it all work won’t be cheap or easy.
Brankamp X1 and X3 in-process monitoring systems for cold- and hot-forming, thread-rolling, and stamping operations provide real-time monitoring of machine parameters to identify manufacturing faults as well as part or tool variations. Process-integrated monitoring can detect quality defects such as cracks in components, broken tool elements, turned, or
Sensors, placed in the right positions, convert energy into electrical signals that monitor tool and machine performance related to the forces applied. The systems learn the normal limits of the process, then the control unit observes the signals of each cycle and compares it with the stored curve. When the signal moves outside of the envelope curve, the formed part is sorted out or the machine is stopped.
The X1 and X3 systems provide eight channels for sensor signals and four others as zoom channels for detailed monitoring of specific, sensitive process areas.Marposs Corp.
Indexable punch broaches, holders
Indexable punch broaches and holders machine shapes in workpieces where rotary broaching may not be feasible – such as greater depth of operation, tough materials, tooth height, chip evacuation challenges, and applications that require orientation.
Punch broaches are available to machine keyways, hexagons, Torx-style
The indexable punch broach holders use partial form broach tools and index either the tool or the workpiece, greatly reducing cutting pressure. This method of broaching benefits applications requiring no witness (pre-drill) marks, with excessive material removal, or when timing the form to a feature on the part is required.
Holders feature a rigid design with standard shank diameters ranging from 0.625" to 1.250". Metric shanks are also available.Slater Tools Inc.
Self-clinching, free-running locknuts
PEM S-RT self-clinching free-running locknuts feature a modified thread for easier tightening of mating screws and vibration-resistant locking performance in thin metal assemblies. The modified thread formation allows mating screws to spin freely during attachment until clamp load is induced during the screw-tightening process. The applied clamp load then engages the locknut’s vibration-resistant locking feature, which locks the screw in place.
PEM S-RT self-clinching locknuts install into aluminum or steel sheets as thin as 0.030" (0.8mm) and become permanent parts of an assembly. Upon installation using a Pemserter or other standard press, the back side and assembly side of the host metal sheet will be flush or sub-flush for screw insertion.PennEngineering
Developed with the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), AEF high-voltage connectors transmit data and power for machinery from major agricultural machinery manufacturers.
The agricultural industry has traditionally relied on hydraulic or mechanical solutions for power transmission, but many equipment manufacturers are developing electrical and hybrid machinery and components, requiring new connectivity options. AEF high-voltage connections are designed to meet the future power requirements of ancillary equipment and attachments.Harting Inc. of North America
The C2X Middleware Platform uses wireless communication between two vehicles, or between a road and a vehicle, to support the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) standard specification of the United States, Europe, and Japan. The platform lets developers create software to exchange information, such as position, speed, and control of automobiles, and road infrastructure information obtained from surrounding signposts and roadside sensors.
There have been recent advances toward the commercialization of connected cars and automatic driving. However, the standard specifications for wireless communication are different depending on the country, and developers of C2X-targeted applications must do separate development according to each specification.Hitachi Solutions Ltd.
The VLS-128 light detection and ranging (LiDAR) unit uses 128 laser beams to generate high-resolution images for autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems, replacing a 64-laser system.
The sensor provides real-time 3D images around the vehicle and into the distance, producing billions of data points for computers. It is 70% smaller than the HDL-64 it replaces, with double the range and 4x the resolution. It operates in dry and wet environments.Velodyne LiDAR