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Easy it connectivity for machine tools

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The implementation of umati (universal machine tool interface), which enables machine tools to exchange and share information efficiently, has tremendous potential for optimising production. Mitsubishi Electric, together with more than 50 machine tool manufacturers, is helping to show how the digitalisation of production can be achieved in a joint live umati demonstration during the EMO 2019 exhibition.

The networking of machines, systems and software is described as “one of the most important trends in manufacturing” by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW). The organisation also states that “today’s customers expect to be able to integrate new machines into their own IT ecosystems with no difficulty” and that umati is designed to achieve this “easily, quickly and securely”.

Using umati1  can help machines and devices to communicate efficiently through one language. It offers a common interface using the international interoperability standard OPC UA. The VDW is describing umati as representing “a quantum leap in the implementation of Industry 4.0 in production.”

Frederik Gesthuysen, Marketing Manager CNC, Factory Automation EMEA, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., confirms “We are supporting umati, as we believe it is an important technology and one of the key tools for realising the digitalisation of machine tools in manufacturing industry.”

CNC and factory automation solutions from Mitsubishi Electric at EMO 2019 are located at: Hall 9 / D40.

Wire cutting and die sinking EDM machines from Mitsubishi Electric are located at: Hall 13 / B92.

1The acronym “umati” stands for “universal machine tool interface”. It is intended to become a standardised, open, flexible and secure interface to connect machine tools to higher-level IT systems in production environments (e.g. ERP, MES, or peripheral infrastructure like cloud storage).

Company and product names mentioned in this text are trademarks or registered trademarks of each respective organization. All third party trademarks and/or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are acknowledged.

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

Easy it connectivity for machine tools

Published

on

The implementation of umati (universal machine tool interface), which enables machine tools to exchange and share information efficiently, has tremendous potential for optimising production. Mitsubishi Electric, together with more than 50 machine tool manufacturers, is helping to show how the digitalisation of production can be achieved in a joint live umati demonstration during the EMO 2019 exhibition.

The networking of machines, systems and software is described as “one of the most important trends in manufacturing” by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW). The organisation also states that “today’s customers expect to be able to integrate new machines into their own IT ecosystems with no difficulty” and that umati is designed to achieve this “easily, quickly and securely”.

Using umati1  can help machines and devices to communicate efficiently through one language. It offers a common interface using the international interoperability standard OPC UA. The VDW is describing umati as representing “a quantum leap in the implementation of Industry 4.0 in production.”

Frederik Gesthuysen, Marketing Manager CNC, Factory Automation EMEA, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V., confirms “We are supporting umati, as we believe it is an important technology and one of the key tools for realising the digitalisation of machine tools in manufacturing industry.”

CNC and factory automation solutions from Mitsubishi Electric at EMO 2019 are located at: Hall 9 / D40.

Wire cutting and die sinking EDM machines from Mitsubishi Electric are located at: Hall 13 / B92.

1The acronym “umati” stands for “universal machine tool interface”. It is intended to become a standardised, open, flexible and secure interface to connect machine tools to higher-level IT systems in production environments (e.g. ERP, MES, or peripheral infrastructure like cloud storage).

Company and product names mentioned in this text are trademarks or registered trademarks of each respective organization. All third party trademarks and/or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are acknowledged.

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

Hexagon displays machine tool innovation

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New solutions from Hexagon on display at EMO 2019 deliver faster, accurate, data-rich measurement integrated into the machine tool and a step-change in calibration technology.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division will display at EMO 2019 a range of ground-breaking technologies that address today’s machine tool measurement and calibration challenges while equipping manufacturers to evolve towards Industry 4.0.

Wolfgang Madlener, Product Line Manager Sensors at Hexagon, says: “Hexagon’s ongoing investment in developing smarter manufacturing hardware and software is resulting in innovative products that resolve manufacturers’ current issues and prepare production facilities for the future. For machine tool users this means new ways to more quickly and accurately take measurements on the shop floor and make real-time use of measurement data. Additionally, they can use ground-breaking solutions for calibrating and compensating machine tools.”

Among the innovations on display for the first time will be the LS-C-5.8 laser scanning solution for non-contact surface inspection on the machine tool. It meets customers’ growing demand for an easy-to-use, contactless solution for capturing surface measurement data quickly and directly on the production line. Hexagon is also showing its new ultrasonic touch probe for fully automated thickness measurement, the RWP20.50-G-UTP, which integrates directly with a machine tool. Measuring thickness often requires an elaborate manual setup, which includes the installation of external, manual ultrasonic measuring instruments. Hexagon’s RWP20.50-G-UTP ultrasonic touch probe automates and simplifies the procedure, as part of the machine tool installation, just like a regular touch probe.

EMO 2019 attendees will be able to see Hexagon’s most accurate touch probe for machine tools, the RWP20.50-G-HPP. This radio-wave probe deploys patent-pending laser-triangulation technology inside its measurement unit to achieve extremely high repeatability, low pre-travel variation and low 3D form error. It is ideal for capturing precise measurement results in 2D and 3D and measuring freeform shapes or checking machine kinematics. 

The data the LS-C-5.8, the RWP20.50-G-HPP and the RWP20.50-G-UTP capture will be available in real time on the shop floor, enabling manufacturers to quickly identify and address production issues. Data exchange is essential to smarter manufacturing and Hexagon will show how it has optimised the communication capabilities of its latest generation of radio-wave touch probes, with the introduction of the new RWR95.51 radio-wave receiver.

For manufacturers that rely on machining precision in the hundredths of millimetres or even micrometres, Etalon, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, has transformed the calibration of small and medium machine tools. The Etalon X-AX LASERBAR delivers a simpler, faster and more accurate way to monitor and calibrate small and medium machine tools and reduce the risk of expensive machining errors. It generates the complete geometrical fingerprint of a 3- to 5-axis machine tool in an automated way in one to two hours, replacing an entire toolbox of conventional calibration equipment for linear and rotary axes.

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Industrial Hardware and Machine Parts

Strong growth in food processing and packaging machinery

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The past year was very successful for the manufacturers of food processing and packaging machinery: production rose by 8 percent to just under 15.2 billion euros.

“Many manufacturers started 2018 with a very high order backlog, which was gradually converted into sales in the first half of the year. This, too, explains the very high growth rate of 8 percent for the year as a whole,” says Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.

The Packaging Machinery Industry grew by a total of 8 percent to 7.1 billion euros. The “Other Packaging Machinery” segment increased by almost 12 percent to 4.9 billion euros, while the Beverage Packaging Machinery segment increased by 1 percent and reached 2.2 billion euros, only slightly above the previous year’s level.

Where Food Processing Machinery is concerned, the degrees of the growth rates in the individual sub-areas do vary somewhat – but all are positive: The production of meat processing machinery grew by 7.6 percent to 1.2 billion euros. The production of bakery machinery increased by 9 percent to 667 million Euro. The confectionery machinery manufacturers recorded growth of 16 percent reaching 360 million euros and the production of beverage production machines grew by 7 percent to 552 million euros.

Exports and investment climate remain strong in Germany

In 2018, exports of Food Processing and Packaging Machinery rose by 6.1 percent to over 9 billion euros. Deliveries to the industry’s most important sales region, the EU-28, rose by 9 percent. Demand from the USA – the most important foreign market – remained high. Exports to China and Russia showed double-digit growth rates. Clear impulses came from many other markets, including Brazil, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India.

Domestic business, too, continued to be an important pillar of the positive business development in 2018. In some food sectors, substantial investments were made in order to expand capacity and to expedite modernisation projects. Also, the shortage of personnel in the processing plants led to further investments in machinery and equipment.

The outlook for 2019 is subject to uncertainties

Generally, the prospects for the Food Processing Machinery and Packaging Machinery sector seem good, as the industry continues to benefit from the rising global demand for processed and packaged food and beverages as well as pharmaceutical products. However, against the background of the exceptionally strong growth last year, only moderate growth of at most 2 percent is likely to happen in 2019.

“Although sales in the first four months of 2019 were higher than in the same period of the previous year, the sales growth is expected to be only moderate at 2 percent. However, incoming orders in the first four months clearly fell short of the previous year’s level. Uncertainties due to ongoing trade disputes, but also many regional political crises, are causing investors to hold back with new orders,” Clemens comments on the business outlook for 2019.

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