LONDON, 22-Feb-2021 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — We are moving more and more into an on-demand world, where the companies who embrace digitalization and agility thrive. We have witnessed that the companies surviving in this new era of manufacturing are the ones who go digital, be agile, and mitigate risk.
The recent pandemic has resulted in new ways of working, highlighting the importance of getting immediate access to products and services. As manufacturers navigate the new normal, realizing digital agility has never been more important.
Having a responsive supply chain proves essential. Once you take a product to market, it is key to safeguard the supply chain. With a constantly changing market, your supply chain should be able to rapidly respond to satisfy demand where that means making more of the same product, or shifting focus to another more in demand item.
When done correctly, automation paves the way to digital agility. Agility results in lower cost and errors, whilst increasing productivity and sales. Digital agility enables manufacturers to quickly pivot when faced with disruption.
When manufacturers get it right, automation provides a path towards digital agility, which ultimately leads to the reduction of cost and errors, while improving productivity and raising revenue. Digital agility is especially important amid COVID-19 disruptions, as it allows manufacturers to quickly pivot.
Digitalization and technology help companies embrace new market trends. Market opportunity is evident in industry, the capture this, companies and their manufacturing partners need to push the existing boundaries and strive to push themselves and digitalize their processes. As products and services are moving more and more on-demand, only those that embrace this will gain competitive advantage.
LONDON, 9-Feb-2021 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — COVID-19 taught us numerous things when it comes to manufacturing. Throughout 2020, we saw countless industries and companies alike struggling to source materials, complete production, and get their product to the end user. When normal supply chains were disrupted, there was a challenge and difficulty sourcing alternative means to achieve supply chain stability during this time, and keep production going.
Despite the world having a magnitude of advanced manufacturing capabilities, these are difficult to find and access. What has become clearer than ever before, is that current supply chains and manufacturing processes are international, proficient, and well-organised, and at the same time, they are delicate and can struggle delivering transparency to its user when hit with unforeseen instability. This was demonstrated by the shortage of supplies in numerous industries, from medical, to automotive, to digital goods. Not only did raw material become a challenge to source, but key industrial component shortage led to issues with final assembly of goods.
The future of the manufacturing industry requires improved resilience, agility, and supply chain transparency in order to manage any future disruption more effectively. Breaking the existing mold, embracing new technology, and developing a digital supply network which is able to quickly respond and adapt to any situation thrown its way.
This industry requires visible and accessible manufacturing in a digital format. China, in particular, is a country which is at the forefront of this new vision. China boosts advanced manufacturing competences, resources, and has a transparent and accessible infrastructure. Agility and resilience is key, and digital manufacturing platforms, particularly ones that offer an online marketplace at the users fingertips of a multitude of capabilities, is key. This digital core allows high transparency, easy visibility, easy access, and agility when faced with disruption.
Having a digital marketplace which can be accessed at any point from anywhere for any kind of manufacturing requirement allows for a truly agile foundation of digital supply networks. A user can identify manufacturing resources and capabilities at the touch of a button from part designs, features, machine tools, capabilities and more. This essentially breaks down the barriers and reduces effort typically found when sourcing manufacturing resources and capabilities.
The future will see more complex and improved versions of this digital manufacturing marketplace, allowing a user to be able to search for diverse manufacturing resources and capabilities and multiple variables such as manufacturing capacity (such as machine tool / specification) and complex part design. A further development is likely to be a more inclusive service, allowing the user to source based on capability to manufacture components with specific requirements, such as 5-axis CNC turning with horsepower and x/y/z travel metrics with metal additive manufacturing as an option.
Manufacturing is an extensive and multifaceted sphere, therefore a comprehension platform with effective searchable options is something which needs to be continually adapted and upgraded. Haizol’s manufacturing platform provides users with over 200,000 suppliers in Asia with wide-ranging capabilities and the ability to filter based on a variety of criteria. In terms of supplier, the user can select based on manufacturing type, region, industry, factory size, employee number, annual turnover, certification, R&D capacity, and more. They also have the option to filter by product, choosing process, material, and region, to see examples of what factories have previously made, to guide their decision making.
LONDON, 20-Jan-2021 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — With travelling both nationally and internationally still difficult for many in Europe, sourcing new suppliers for manufacturing custom parts can prove challenging. To be instantly connected with new suppliers without leaving home is possible through Haizol. This platform is an on-demand manufacturing service which connects buyers with manufacturers that fit their project requirements.
As a buyer, you can register an account online, and submit a request for quote, together with an optional two level NDA agreement. The quote is then immediately sent through to over 200,000 factories across Asia. These factories are partners of Haizol, pre-vetted and screened in terms of their capacity, certifications, quality control, MOQ, and customer reviews. Those with the right capabilities are able to respond with their price for the project, this usually happens within 24 hours.
A customer can filter the quotes based on several criteria, and also choose to get more information of a potential supplier. Haizol is on hand to assist with any questions or with communication between the two parties. Once selected, production can begin immediately, with peace of mind that the project is being carried out by experts in the field.
Current suppliers include thousands specializing in CNC machining, injection molding, casting, stamping, fabrication, and mold making. They also offer a wide range of secondary processes, such as coating, anodizing, conditioning, and assembling.
With new suppliers joining the platform daily, matchmaking is possible in minutes. Sourcing manufacturers through Haizol not only reduces cost, it enables time to be freed up to focus on other aspects of the business. Having access to stable suppliers is crucial during this period, and mitigates the risk of supply chain instability.
LONDON, 31-Dec-2020 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Preparations in China for Chinese New Year happening on the 12th February 2021 have seen a surge in orders during this festive period.
2021 marks the year of the Ox in China, Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hard-working and honest, are attributed to it.
Spring Festival, the official Chinese New Year, officially begins on the 12th and ends February 22nd. This is shortly followed by the lantern festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar Chinese calendar, it signals the last day of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. During this period, and production is China is often slower than usual, as factories close for the holidays.
Haizol are committed to ensuring customer’s supply chain remain stable and consistent, at a time when delays and longer lead times are more frequent than normal. In preparation for this holiday, Haizol are providing customers who place an order in the coming month an even faster lead time. Alongside this, the team provides a one to one tailor-made service providing advice on design, production, and logistics.
For on-demand manufacturing for metal and plastic parts, Haizol offer a comprehensive service with a turnaround time to fit their customers. Experts in CNC Machining, Injection Molding, Casting, Stamping, Fabrication, and Mold Making.
YANGEBUP, Perth, Western Australia, 23-Nov-2020 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — The petroleum and petrochemical industries, although booming, face numerous challenges. These are only set to intensify as obtaining crude oil and petrochemicals by conventional and non-conventional means becomes more demanding financially, environmentally and in ever more hostile habitats. For these reasons the use of robotics and autonomous systems to carry out practical tasks is virtually a necessity for the industry to progress.
The time of the robot is well and truly upon us, and strategic use of such technology is set to bring about significant safety advances and cost efficiency for global industry. And this is particularly true when it comes to the production of petroleum and petrochemicals.
Because of the colossal value of these industries, with assets totalling billions of dollars, it’s understandable that those held responsible for ensuring continued profits are decidedly cautious when it comes to embracing new technology.
This means that the use of robots for inspection and maintenance is by no means the norm quite yet. But as more and more proof of the advantages becomes common knowledge, such solutions are becoming more widespread.
Inspection and maintenance challenges
Historically, achieving efficient inspection and maintenance of assets is a necessary but expensive task that needs to be carried out on a regular basis. Challenges posed include:
Significant downtime of assets causing reduced revenue
High costs associated with the opening, inspection, cleaning and maintenance of assets
Lengthy preparation periods to set up scaffolding and vent toxic gases to create a safe environment for human entry
The risk to human life when entering confined spaces and non or reduced oxygen atmospheres
The high cost of specialist inspection and maintenance teams
Worker compensation following accidents or incidents
The risk of human error during inspection
Inadequate visualisation of certain structures that are inaccessible for humans
Such challenges have meant that inspections and necessary maintenance can take weeks – even months – to complete. While this is taking place revenue ceases, so the need for speed is paramount. In addition, such challenges create little enthusiasm for companies to carry out proactive inspection over and above what’s required by legal industry standards.
Enter the robots
Rapidly advancing technology over the past decade has brought us to an era that’s truly able to overcome many of these challenges. And whilst we’re not quite in the realms of the most futuristic of sci-fi movies yet, the tech continues to advance. Today, robots such as crawlers and drones are able to reduce multiple challenges of inspection and maintenance, providing the opportunity for companies to not only meet health and safety requirements, but to exceed them, therefore reaping the benefits of proactive asset analysis and associated reduction in maintenance costs
As technology increases it becomes possible for companies to take advantage of robots to carry out tasks that present significant hazards to human life. Not only does this lower exposure to danger in this high-risk industry, but also provides a financial edge thanks to minimizing employee costs and improving manufacturing efficiency.
The latest in robotic developments have been dedicated towards ensuring they can be employed in real world situations, not simply in a laboratory. Over recent years the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been pivotal in pushing such technology forwards, organising various tests and challenges for robotic manufacturers to overcome. These include the ability to handle tools, open doors, overcome unexpected obstacles, open valves and more.
Manufacturers have also had to ensure that such automaton tools are able to withstand explosive blasts.
The speed of technological advancement is expanding fast. Perhaps the most significant progression is that of increasing autonomy. Once only able to perform the basics, the capacity for robots to carry out more complex tasks is now either in existence or poised on the cusp of becoming reality. These include:
The ability to navigate autonomously
Identifying and solving problems
Learning from their experiences and those of others
Sharing a workspace with humans and interacting with them.
Current and future opportunities
The four major industry processes of exploration, development, production and site abandonment are all ripe for increased usage of robotic technology to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase safety.
Throughout all these stages there are many opportunities for robot use, especially in that of inspection and maintenance. Current and potential applications as the industry and technology moves forward include:
Using robots to enter confined spaces to carry out tasks. Not only does this dramatically decrease human risk, but negates the need for unnecessary downtime to prepare for human entry. Currently such health and safety procedures account for up to 80% of asset downtime, therefore the adoption of a robotic element within the workforce provides cost reduction on a significant scale.
The use of robots for other potentially hazardous tasks: These include working at height, working within low or non-oxygen environments, firefighting and working in non-temperate conditions.
As a replacement for humans in remote locations: Robots that can carry out more complex operations will reduce the need for human operators in locations such as offshore sites.
Reducing safety preparations in hazardous work locations: For example, a robot working at height or in a difficult to reach location will not require health and safety measures such as scaffolding and other preparations, therefore reducing costs, downtime and risk.
Furthermore, the reduced cost and time effect of using advanced robots allows for the adoption of much improved inspection and maintenance programs. Proactively carrying out such tasks leads to a considerably reduced chance of any unplanned maintenance issues and/or the occurrence of catastrophic events.
In short, the use of robots in the future will lead to a significant reduction in downtime of industry assets, lowered costs, increased human safety and the ability to work in ever more hostile, hard to reach environments.
In a global marketplace that’s predicted to reach over $7 trillion US dollars* (Oil & Gas) by 2024 and $958.8 billion** (Petrochemical) by 2025, companies, although sensibly judicious in their eagerness to take advantage of such technology, are fast-becoming aware of the competitive edge it can bring.
The fate of Australia’s diminishing manufacturing industry has long been hanging in the balance – and then?
BIBRA LAKE, Perth, Western Australia , 23-Nov-2020 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Along came COVID-19. For a sector that had been neglected for decades, while the pandemic wasn’t quite the final nail in the coffin, it certainly brought with it the shock wave that made our government sit up and take notice.
And maybe – just maybe – the situation might bring the stars into alignment that will help close the country’s chasm of a skills gap.
Manufacturing is Crucial for Our Economic Recovery
Change is always hard to come by, especially at the extent manufacturing needs. But there are some green roots showing. Thanks to the new government taskforce set up in response to an industry-led recommendation plan, the desperately needed funding for investment and growth is beginning to trickle through.
So what does this mean for the industry, and in particular the small and medium-sized businesses that make up the majority of the sector?
To fully comprehend this we need to drive deep into the rot that’s now endemic throughout. Only by understanding the mistakes that’ve been made and why we have such a major skills crisis, can we begin to turn this unfortunate turn of events around.
By far the most effective way of doing this is to lay bare the biggest error of all, and it all boils down to this: we’ve forgotten the value of local business and manufacturing capabilities. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when this occurred, but if COVID has brought about anything, it’s that we’ve had a hard, sharp lesson as to the importance of local support and expertise. Suddenly the crucial need for home-grown supply chain capabilities has become vital for our businesses and industries, and this can only be brought back up to scratch with a long-term strategy and, most importantly, the necessary funding.
Manufacturing Provides the Building Blocks from which All Other Industries can Grow
The world desperately scrabbled for commodities (ventilators, PPE, toilet roll!) and we were among them. Once upon a time our powerhouse nation boasted some of the best skilled workers on the planet. Today we are but a shadow of our former selves.
So has COVID achieved what many industry experts have failed to do over the previous few decades, and forced the hand of our government to invest in the sector? Perhaps so… What has definitely happened is the following:
We’re beginning to understand the many benefits of local support and expertise
We’ve realised that the value of local business and manufacturing capabilities is more about quality and service, and less about price
The importance of great B2B relationships is something our economy relies on
These are the reasons that, at last, the funding is starting to be put into place for SMEs to be able to upskill their workers and invest in advanced manufacturing processes. It’s only through initiatives such as these that we can become competitive on a global scale. In addition, it gives these companies the opportunity to innovate and commercialise new technologies.
So… Is 2020 the year that manufacturing turns the corner and provides the bedrock necessary for our country to begin to close the skills gap? Only time will tell for sure. But what it has meant is that companies such as SixDe have begun the slow uphill climb – and long may it continue.
An example of this is SixDe’s expansion in preparation of the commercialisation of Magneto, a robotic platform that is the future of inspection robotics. The industry relies on such innovation. With such projects and advancement, we not only get the chance to retrain our current workers, but we lay the foundations that will attract the brightest young minds from around the world to come and live, study and work in our wonderful country. So perhaps, just perhaps, we can drag some positivity from the awful situation that is COVID, and use it to bring about a greater good for Australia.
To find out more about Magneto and the home-produced precision machine components from SixDe, visit www.sixde.com.au or call 08 9434 1112.
MONTGOMERYVILLE, PA, USA, 10-Oct-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — ASI Drives introduces the next generation of heavy-duty, fully enclosed transaxles with their Mark 600, set to markedly transform both indoor and outdoor material handling. An evolution of the industry-standard Mark 400, the company designed the new transaxle as a high-performance replacement for applications typically requiring internal combustion engines. The Mark 600 is part of ASI’s Viking Transaxle product line.
“The Mark 600 is possible thanks to recent improvements in battery and electronics technology,” explains John Cross, ASI Drives’ President and CTO. “When combined with our transaxle technology,” he goes on, “these improvements allowed us to develop a new transaxle capable of replacing the internal combustion engine in the outdoor material handling market.” Other markets include outdoor power equipment and floor care.
High-torque and High-speed Configurations
With a large 70 mm mount, the Mark 600 produces up to 270 Nm of torque at 60 RPM under high load in high-torque configurations. Under typical load, high-speed configurations produce 60 Nm of torque at 119 RPM. This makes it suitable for many applications, from motorized wheelbarrows, plane tuggers and trailer movers to personal scooters, large floor-cleaning machines and more.
The Benefits of Thoughtful Design and Engineering
Distinguishing features of the Mark 600 include: single-piece casting for precision gear alignment and quieter operation; bolt-on tube extensions for multiple widths without retooling; high-strength bevel gear differentials; available robust permanent magnet DC motors; easily replaceable motors and brushes; service intervals exceeding 2,000 hours.
Highly Customizable Feature Set
ASI can configure the Mark 600 to meet the demands of a variety of applications. Reduction ratios range from 24:1 to 36:1. Standard widths range from 237 mm to 596 mm, with custom widths available. Motor options include permanent magnet DC 4-pole and brushless AC and DC motors, available in 122 mm and up to 152 mm diameters, respectively. Voltages range from 12 V to 48 V DC. Axles can be hubs or custom.
MONTGOMERYVILLE, PA, USA, 6-Jun-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — ASI Drives, a leading manufacturer of custom engineered gear drives since 1985, has announced that its President, John Cross, has been named chairman of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA).
An AGMA board member since 2013, Cross assumed the role of chair in April. He will hold that position for a two-year term.
The AGMA, which celebrated its centennial in 2016, is active in standards development of gears and power transmission products, offers a range of in-person and online courses, and hosts events, expositions and trade missions. Many of these activities drive the development of new technology to further the role that manufactured gears play in the ever-expanding industrial sector.
AGMA member companies currently number more than 470. They include gear manufacturers from the United States, Mexico, and Canada, as well as gearing interests from more than 30 countries around the world.
“ASI is honored to have John playing such a key role in a group as important as the AGMA,” said ASI CEO Doug Fastuca. “His work on the board has already done a great deal to benefit the industry as a whole, and as chairman he is in a position to really drive change and improvement among its membership and the industry as a whole.”
For his part, Cross says this marks the culmination of his more than 20-year involvement with AGMA.
“I have used AGMA standards since I began my career in 1985,” Cross said. “I began my association with AGMA in 1997 when I started working at ASI Drives, who is a 30-year AGMA member.
“Since I joined the board in 2013 I’ve been fortunate to have developed deep, lasting relationships with many high-level business leaders across various industries. Being the Chair of AGMA‘s Board of Directors affords me the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with industry leaders throughout the world about their strategic and business plans. Learning from their experience and knowledge allows me to better address the needs of the association and its members, as well as ASI and our customers.”
MONTGOMERYVILLE, PA, USA, 2-Apr-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — ASI Drives, a leading manufacturer of custom engineered gear drives since 1985, has announced a major rebranding, the enhancement of towing functionality with its breakout FRED2500 AGV, and an upcoming opportunity to meet FRED in person.
After nearly 35 years, ASI Technologies recently rebranded itself as ASI Drives. The change captures the company’s focus on delivering world-class gear drive solutions to its target markets and providing superior product value for customers.
ASI does not simply design and manufacture battery-powered gear drives for machines up to one ton; ASI Drives solutions, value, and gear technology.
“ASI has developed an industry-leading ability to solve problems and offer value to our customers,” said Doug Fastuca, CEO. “We continue to innovate our gear and motor technologies with AGMA Standards, and with the introduction of our FRED AGV, we’re driving new areas of performance and automation.”
The change further establishes ASI within the AGV and warehouse automation markets, as does the introduction of FRED, ASI’s innovative, self-driving, material-handling vehicle.
FRED is not your typical AGV. It’s simple to set up, productive, flexible, safe, and affordable. And with the addition of new towing capabilities, there are a multiple methods and opportunities to move material around your facility. Using empty dollies, a detachable handle, and a quick-release tongue, FRED can easily move between multiple pickup locations with ease.
If you plan to be in Chicago for ProMat 2019, we hope you’ll stop by to meet FRED2500. You can find it and the rest of the team from ASI Drives in booth #S1061 at McCormick Place.
About ASI Drives
Founded in 1985, ASI Drives is a U.S. manufacturer of custom engineered gear drive solutions to the global medical mobility, floor care, material handling, warehouse automation, and robotics industries. ASI’s relentless focus on innovation in engineering and manufacturing has led to the creation of numerous industry-leading products and solutions, as well as compact and efficient gear drives, brushless motor technology, advanced gear processing, lubrications and now, an AGV. ASI is ISO 9001:2015 certified. Learn more about ASI Drives at asidrives.com
SEATTLE, WA, United States, 20-Mar-2019 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — AeroGo, Inc. is pleased to welcome Jeroen Schouten to the position of Regional Manager for Europe. Jeroen’s considerable expertise in aviation, aerospace, manufacturing and high-tech will serve him well as he focuses on growing and maintaining partnerships and increasing overall awareness of AeroGo product offerings that solve challenges inherent to moving heavy loads. Jeroen will represent AeroGo air bearing products, air cushion vehicles, and wheeled transfer carts. He will also manage the distributor network in the EU.
“AeroGo products are used in every major industry in Europe. We are committed to providing local distribution and on-site assistance to this market,” stated Paul Jakse, Vice President of Sales, “Jeroen is crucial to our continued success in the region.”
Jeroen can be reached via mobile at +31 (6) 1108.5918 or via email at Schouten.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1967, AeroGo is the world leader in providing innovative machine moving solutions for heavy, awkward, fragile or exceptionally heavy loads. Visit www.aerogo.com for more information.
Wilmington, DE, 2018-Feb-21 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — Peggy Del Fabbro, CEO of M. Davis & Sons, announced that it has acquired a Messer Cutting Systems Evolution® Plasma Cutting Table. The revolutionary new equipment enables M. Davis and Sons fabrication specialists to produce an enhanced level of smooth edge quality, precision hole cutting, and it keeps the surrounding work area smoke free.
“We are excited to offer the new equipment to advance the customer’s project schedule,” said John Bonk, M. Davis and Sons’ Vice-President of Operations.
The new state-of-the-art plasma cutting equipment by Messer Cutting Systems is software controlled and allows M. Davis & Sons to provide a larger volume of plate cutting in-house to accommodate client needs. The plasma cutting table allows materials to be cut run in measurements from 1.5” for carbon steel to 1-inch for stainless steel and to achieve high-quality edges. Metal plates are aligned to the torch via a camera for extreme accuracy.
One of the most innovative features of the equipment is its smoke-free design. It’s equipped with exhaust dampers that open and close as the welding torch moves for a safer work environment. The Messer Slagger component automatically cleans the machine base with pusher blades for cleaning performed in just minutes for minimal downtime.
The plasma cutting equipment represents the next evolution for steel fabrication and industrial construction. An innovative approach to construction and fabrication enables the company to work faster and produce the highest quality results while providing significant time savings for any project.
The company recently sent two of its fabrication specialists to Wisconsin to receive specialized training and instruction on the equipment’s operation. Additional operators are being trained as part of an ongoing in-house program.
The acquisition of the Messer Cutting Systems Evolution® Plasma Cutting Table by M. Davis & Sons provides the company’s clients in multiple industries with an enhanced level of quality, precision and options for modular process skid fabrication and assembly, steel fabrication, industrial construction and welding.
Willetton WA, Australia, Apr-20-2017 — /EPR INDUSTRIAL NEWS/ — AccuPak are Australia’s leading supplier of packing, filling, bagging and palletising machinery and equipment, and they have the answers on how you can increase your productivity, reduce your personnel requirements and minimise the risk of injury. Accupak helps business owners save money and improve efficiencies with automated palletising systems. The advantages of automatic palletising are numerous, as detailed below.
Any industrial and warehousing operation that is still relying on manual palletising is likely to be compromising their productivity, quality and business efficiencies.
Manual palletising is no match for modern automated equipment in terms of speed, precision, productivity, safety, quality and outputs and in today’s highly competitive environment, businesses need to take every opportunity to improve.
Palletising is the final step in an assembly line whereby the products (such as boxes, bags, cases, cartons, bottles, sacks etc) are loaded onto pallets. Semi-automatic and automatic palletising systems have undergone major changes in recent years, with advances in robotics technology driving significant improvements in terms of pallet pattern flexibility, tooling flexibility, cycle times as well as the presentation of the stacked pallets.
In basic terms, a robotic palletiser utilises various end-of-arm-tools which alleviate the need for manual stacking of bags, cartons or drums onto a pallet, thereby increasing productivity and profitability while allowing greater flexibility and versatility.
Although automated palletising equipment requires a capital outlay, many businesses are surprised at just how quickly they get a return on their investment. It doesn’t take long before the companies’ bottom-lines reflect the improvements in productivity and efficiencies that are made possible by the new equipment – and customer satisfaction levels are also a lot higher.
Let’s take a closer look at how palletising equipment will benefit a business:
Speed of operation. Humans can’t compete with automated or even semi-automated palletising equipment when it comes to speed. The equipment works faster than any person possibly can, plus it can operate continuously.
Quality control. Because human error is eliminated, a robotic palletiser ensures that quality standards are consistent and deliveries/outputs are always correctly counted and packed. The overall consistency of the loading and unloading processes improves, thereby reducing costly stoppages required to fix errors and inconsistencies as well as reducing the likelihood (and therefore, the cost) of returns or damaged goods.
Reduce labour costs. Eliminating the human element or substantially reducing the level of human intervention leads to substantially lower labour costs and greater efficiencies. The likelihood of error and contamination from human handling is minimised plus there are the obvious productivity and profitability benefits as a result of lower labour costs. Another reason why automated palletisers can improve business efficiencies is that personnel who are no longer required on the manual packing line can be redeployed to other areas within the organisation and used to greater effect.
Greater flexibility. Versatile palletising equipment makes it easy to reconfigure systems to handle different shapes, case sizes, pallet stacking patterns, layers of product and weights as well as handle multiple production lines. This means faster turnaround times and productivity improvements.
Improved working conditions. An automated palletising system reduces the need for workers to do heavy lifting and repetitive work, and minimises the likelihood of OH&S issues. This means a safer working environment with reduced likelihood of workplace injuries and costly workers compensation claims.
Improved data handling and reporting. Computerized controls and a seamless interface with other business software systems allow improved data gathering, real-time reporting and analysis as well as reducing invoicing errors and enabling a more streamlined and secure information chain.
More efficient use of floorspace. A robotic palletiser generally occupies less space than a manual operation which means businesses can use their square meterage more cost-effectively. In some instances, operations are even able to reduce the size of their factory or warehouse, which results in substantial cost savings.
Find out more by calling the AccuPak professionals on 1300 793 476 or visit www.accupak.com.au to learn more about their extensive range of palletising equipment and solutions.
Laundry 365 are always trying to keep ahead of the game and they have put a great deal of work into getting the service right for the customer after he has set up and run his laundry. Laundry 365 is able to supply a vast range of laundry equipment from virtually every major supplier and this goes across the full range of laundry requirements from washing machines, tumble dryers, hydro extractors, ironers, finishing stations and drying cabinets. They are also able to offer excellent repair and servicing options to ensure that the equipment once purchased and installed will work well and stay working. This even includes a 365 day a year contact and repair service.
Laundry 365 have realised that there are other requirements that are needed to ensure longevity in the laundry and to help all the servicing side of the business they maintain a vast store of spare parts for most major machines. They also have a vast store of knowledge on old and obsolete machines and are excellent at sourcing spare laundry parts for the machine that may have been super-ceded many years ago but which still does an excellent job most of the time but requires a part, which is not easily found. Laundry 365 are very proud to have achieved a great deal of success in repairing and finding the right parts for good machines that would have had to have been thrown on the scrap heap.
One of the more recent work projects has been carried out in trying and most often succeeding in bringing older machines up to date by reprogramming them to a new and more efficient routine. Most modern day machines have a computer capability that allows them to be programmed to a user defined capability which will enable the customer to deal with problems or work programmes specific to his customer base. The programming system can be difficult to understand at times but Laundry 365 has expertise, which can help and return that older machine to deal with the intricacies of modern cleaning equipment. It is not just washing machines that have programmed machines but also tumble dryers and many of the finishing machines.
Laundry 365 can re-programme the washing machine to include an Ozone Disinfection Infused rinse cycle something that was not available years ago, also it may be that the operating temperature requires reducing. The advantage of re-programming is that it may be possible to significantly reduce the operating costs of running the machine and hence the cost per unit laundered lowered to increase the competitivity of the laundry in the market place. It can also help to improve the “Green” credentials of the laundry.
Laundry 365 is willing to discuss any problem that the customer may have and hopefully find a solution. There is a saying which comes to mind, that “if it is not broke do not fix it” but if Laundry 365 can reduce the running costs by 10% to 20% perhaps it is broke.
The Workplace Depot is delighted to announce that their range of Fetra trucks and trolleys will now be under warranty for 10 years; previously the warranty was for five years.
Many workplaces rely heavily on trucks and trolleys to move goods around and they can take a heavy pounding from regular, hefty usage. So it may come as a surprise that a company could guarantee the reliability of such an item for an extended period.
Ken Miller, Director of the Workplace Depot explained, “The reason we can give a 10 year warranty is because the equipment is now manufactured at highly efficient production facilities using some of the most advanced precision machinery. The Fetra range of trucks and trolleys are also powder-coated and undergo vigorous shot blasting pre-treatment.”
The new manufacturing process extends the product life as well as keeping the finish in tip-top condition for much longer.
There may be cheaper alternatives in the truck and trolley ranges provided by other suppliers, but buying an inferior item can be a false economy. This type of transport equipment has notoriously high levels of wear and tear, so lower quality equipment may only last a few years and therefore need to be replaced. This wastes both time and money versus the alternative of purchasing a reliable product that is guaranteed for 10 years.
Steve Miller, The Workplace Depot’s Managing Director commented on the quality of the Fetra products, “We are proud of the fact that if any of the Fetra products fail within 10 years, we will replace the whole truck or trolley, not just replace a part. We will of course do this free of charge. Our range is built to last and nothing says this more than a 10 year warranty.”
To view the full range of Fetra manufactured trucks and trolleys, visit the Workplace Depotwebsite.
Are you interested in finding out about equipment for agriculture and forestry, construction, electrical and test equipment, or fuel equipment? Are you in need of high quality equipment for fuel and energy projects, for industrial supply and mro, for manufacturing, or for special services? Are you looking for good work gear or industrial equipment? You should check out the website Industrial Focus before you buy. At the Industrial Focus website online you can learn all about consumer reviews, equipment reviews, and you can get free information so that you can make a prudent investment in the equipment you require.
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Imaging Technologies, Inc. (I-TECH, www.i-technologies-inc.com) I-TECH and KT Web Printing Ltd. (Toronto, Canada) have formed an alliance to install the first I-TECH automatic register control system in Canada. KT Web Printing, a cold-set web printer, has been specializing in printing newspapers and magazines in Toronto, Canada since 1983. I -TECH’s automatic register control system will be installed on KT Web’s existing Ventura 4-High presses beginning in December and will go live in January 2010.
Thomas Kim, President of KT Web Printing Ltd., says, “I-TECH’s impressive software interface, online support and troubleshooting, and almost invisible registration dots compelled us to really examine I-TECH’s advanced system. Their highly competitive pricing and guarantees, as well as their friendly staff, helped make our decision easier.”
Bill Brandenburg, I-TECH’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, says, “The KT Web partnership allows us an opportunity to provide register motorization on their 4-High’s as well as give them a state-of-the-art productivity solution. Having a Canadian demo facility will also help us in our expansion efforts in the greater North America.”
Imaging Technologies, Inc. and Richner Communications, Inc. (Garden City, NY) also have partnered to put the first I-TECH automatic register control system on the East Coast. The I-TECH closed loop, automatic register control system will be installed on Richner’s existing DGM 430 press in January 2010 and will go live in February. Stuart Richner, President of Richner Communications, Inc., says, “We chose the I-TECH register system after a thorough investigation of the alternatives. The I-TECH system’s advanced technology, ease of use, and nearly undetectable register marks—coupled with its team of dedicated, attentive personnel—gave I-TECH the edge over competing products. The fact that the system is extremely well priced, and offers excellent guarantees and online support, made our decision that much easier.”
Bill Brandenburg, added, “We are excited to have Richner as a partner in this project. Richner will receive lowered make-ready waste and time as well as helping their “Green” profile. At the same time, I-TECH will get another first class demo site to bring in other prospective printers.” Brandenburg also points out that “We now have our equipment on heatset, coldset, and UV presses at newspapers as well as commercial printers. Furthermore, if we combine these two orders with our existing customer base, it gives us 22 webs of register, ribbon, and/or cut-off control on 9 different presses at 6 sites. That’s a pretty impressive record for a company who installed their first system just 18 months ago.”
About Imaging Technologies, Inc.:
Established in 2006, Imaging Technologies, Inc. (I-TECH) provides state-of-the-art machine vision systems for industrial process automation. The company designs and manufactures innovative press automation products that include Automatic Register Control, Ribbon and Cutoff alignment controls. I-TECH’s automation products improve production quality, enable time savings and help operators to reduce waste.
InnerSense Ltd., a leading global developer and manufacturer of precision auto-diagnostics instruments for the semiconductors industry, introduced a new system for eliminating handling-related yield loss in 300mm wafer process tools running high volume production.
The new system, coined SMW2, consists of a 300mm wafer instrumented with sensitive three dimensional vibration sensors, and a “Smart FOUP™” that serves as a recharge and communication station, as well as a clean storage container. The “Smart FOUP” employs contact-less recharging and data transfer that enable the system to interface with standard robotic wafer handlers and be operated with minimal interruption to the production line.
Yigal Tomer, InnerSense’s Co-CEO, commented, “The new system is based on six years of excursion control experience. Built on our successful Smart Wafer technology, it brings to the high volume production environment the monitoring ability that has enabled predictive maintenance and statistical analysis of tool condition, previously available in engineering mode only.”
In addition to 3D vibration sensing and FOUP-based, contact-less reader/recharger station, the SMW2 features advanced analytical tools that facilitate troubleshooting, SPC-based trend identification and tool-to-tool comparison. These tools allow even untrained operators to use the system effectively to enhance the availability of expensive wafer process equipment.
ABOUT “SMART WAFER” TECHNOLOGY
A semiconductor wafer is typically handled hundreds of times during its manufacturing process. Collisions and rubbing against other objects may result in edge cracks and back scratches. Uneven or abrupt lifting may cause skidding and misalignment, or even dropping the wafer inside the tool. Particles generated in mechanical contact cause contamination. In total, handling related defects are believed to cause over 30% of wafer yield loss.
Instrumented with sensitive multi-axial accelerometers, InnserSense’s Smart Wafer travels just like a production wafer through the entire path in the process tool and record the vibrations and tilting it experiences during the various handling operations. The recorded data is analyzed to pinpoint problem sources and detect mechanism deterioration to trigger predictive maintenance. By providing quantitative and statistical information on a regular basis, the Smart Wafer becomes a valuable tool for Advanced Equipment Control (AEC). The resulting enhanced yield and productivity translate to significant cost savings.
Datacraft Solutions, Inc., the lean manufacturer’s partner for building cost-effective digital supply chain replenishment networks, has successfully completed the third installation of its lean manufacturing solution for the Washington, D.C.–based Danaher Corporation, a leading lean manufacturer and has finalized agreements to implement in three more facilities over the next three months.
Signum is an automated digital supply chain technology that reduces inventory levels, increases productivity, continually improves process flow and provides realtime, visual and collaborative communication in the supply chain. Signum is delivered securely over the Internet without the need to install and maintain complex, expensive software.
Brian Burnett, the Vice President of the Danaher Business Systems Office (DBSO) and Procurement says, “A key performance indicator we measure across the Danaher businesses is inventory turns. When inventory turns consistently improve, a lot of the right processes are in place. We are excited about our partnership with Datacraft Solutions because they provide us with “low barrier to entry,” state of the art technology with which we can easily standardize across our organization. Datacraft enables us to integrate with our diverse back office systems, so we can leverage our existing processes and technology and move into production, quickly realizing results.”
“Datacraft’s approach is to work with the world’s premiere lean leaders to develop and operate businesses that generate outstanding financial returns”, said Stephen Parker, Datacraft CEO. “Our strategic partnership with Danaher draws on a joint commitment to develop world class inventory supply chain execution systems which yield unprecedented inventory turnover while supporting micro-short customer delivery cycles. This collaboration will be compelling not only for our companies, but also for our industries, our partners and, of course, for consumers”.
For more information on Datacraft Solutions’ products and services for building cost-effective digital supply chain replenishment networks, visit www.datacraftsolutions.com.
If you’re a company that currently operates pantograph reach trucks, you’re likely seeking higher residual capacities at high lift heights in narrow aisles, as well as fewer repairs to the load wheels and the reach mechanisms on your vehicles. If so, the ETM/ETV 214/216 mast-moving AC reach trucks f r o m Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp. are an excellent solution for you.
The increased load capacity and lift height of these trucks is a direct result of their design function, which inserts and removes loads by moving their masts rather than extending or retracting their forks via a pantograph mechanism. “The absence of a pantograph contributes greatly to improved operator confidence and productivity, since the view afforded the operator through the mast and fork carriage is much better, and the fork tips are easier to see,” adds Greg Mason, General Manager of Products and Training at Jungheinrich.
The ETVs differ f r o m the ETMs in having more widely spaced outriggers (also called base-legs). Both models offer a choice of mast tilt, but the wider ETV is also available with fork tilt above certain lift heights. In addition, both chassis are available with patented mast-reach cushioning, which means the reaching and retracting of the mast assembly is smooth and precise. Integrated side-shifters are a standard feature on the trucks.
“Another way the ETM/ETV trucks differ f r o m pantograph designs is that the operator sits down to drive the vehicle. This configuration is ergonomically preferable in operations where the operator stays on the truck for long periods of time rather than constantly getting on and off,” states Greg Mason. The operator compartment has a low entry height, and the seat, armrest, and steering wheel are all adjustable. The trucks’ centrally-located MULTI-PILOT control lever activates all hydraulic functions, as well as travel direction and the horn. The controls are organized in a logical, highly visible manner, providing greater efficiency via the potential for simultaneous use of two hydraulic functions (e.g., lifting and reaching). The operator display is also centrally-positioned, and clearly shows both operational and safety-related data. It allows various travel programs to be selected or adjusted at the touch of a button.
Since the load wheels on these mast-moving reach trucks have a large diameter, they can negotiate rough floor surfaces better than those on most pantograph models. This means a longer tire life due to less wear, and reduced potential for damage – as well as a smoother ride. And the Curve Control program on the ETM/ETV trucks automatically reduces travel speed when cornering for added stability. This type of speed reduction is not typically found on pantograph-style reach trucks.
Jungheinrich’s proprietary 3-phase AC technology, present in the trucks’ drive, lift and steering systems, offers users higher efficiency and longer operating times per battery charge. Less maintenance, or downtime, is the result of the absence of carbon brushes, brush springs or commutators in the AC motors. Another key operational benefit of AC technology is that it leads to powerful acceleration and quick directional changes without hesitation. Energy reclamation during braking is a standard feature on the trucks, and energy reclamation during load lowering is an option.
For more information about these reach trucks, contact Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp., 5601 Eastport Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23231. Call: 804-737-7400. Fax: 804-737-7467, or, visit the website at jungheinrich-us.com.
About Jungheinich Jungheinrich is the world leader in warehouse logistics technology. Founded over fifty years ago, the company has grown f r o m its beginnings as a European manufacturer of materials handling equipment to an international supplier of industrial trucks, warehousing technology and materials-flow products. Today, it is a major supplier of forklift trucks around the globe, and offers a complete range of materials handling equipment, rack systems and services related to manufacturing logistics.
Jungheinrich’s growth has been due in large part to the high value it has always placed on leading-edge design and technological innovation. This is seen, for example, in the company’s proprietary 3-phase AC motor and controller technology, and in a host of productivity and ergonomic enhancements. Jungheinrich has more than 120 strategically-located service support centers and store operations in the U.S., and sales and service companies in countries around the industrialized world.
The OPC Training Institute (OPCTI) recently launched an online resource center focused on standards-based OPC technology used in process control and manufacturing automation. The center caters to automation personnel, integrators, process control engineers, IT architects and others involved in industrial data connectivity.
The purpose of the online center is to support those who want to use and integrate OPC Technology. The online center offers a breadth of free OPC resources including multimedia tutorials, whitepapers, product reviews, webcasts and software downloads.
The resource center can be found on the OPC Training Institute website at www.opcti.com.
What differentiates the OPCTI resource center from others is the focus on technology integration – not technology development. OPCTI is the only vendor-neutral company that offers information for integrators. Other similar organizations tend to focus primarily on the programming and development of OPC applications or the sale of OPC products. OPCTI does not develop or sell products, which leaves them to focus 100% on education and the integration of OPC technology.
“There is something for everyone,” says Randy Kondor, founder of the OPC Training Institute. “Whether you’re new to OPC and are looking for an introduction, or are an experienced integrator faced with a specific error message, our goal is to provide answers.”
Kondor goes on to say, “much of the content is provided by OPCTI’s professional instructors. We also work with OPC vendors to find out about their individual offerings and refer people to their technology solutions. For example, if you’re looking for a specific software application, we’ll tell you what is available on the market and provide you with a link to instantly download the product to test it out. Our resource center grows daily.”
Since its inception in 1996, OPC has grown and is used extensively throughout the world today. As OPC gains in popularity, so does the demand from integrators for information. OPCTI offers resources covering many aspects of OPC technology including security, DCOM configuration, sharing data between control systems, troubleshooting and industry best practices.
About OPC Technology
OPC technology is the fastest growing industrial connectivity standard among automation professionals with well over 15,000 available OPC applications supported by over 3,000 companies. OPC is a global industrial connectivity standard that enables process control and manufacturing applications to communicate with each other using an interoperable, reliable and secure connection. OPC enables manufacturing environments to host a multitude of applications created by a variety of vendors.
About the OPC Training Institute OPCTI is a global OPC training company with workshops in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Unlike other companies that offer vendor-biased information, OPCTI focuses strictly on training and does not sell its own products. OPCTI is the only company endorsed by OPC Foundation member companies to award the Certified OPC Professional (COP) designation.