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Expert software for the automotive sector

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia- October

Date Published:10/28/2019 10:10:56 AM

The automotive industry, a highly automated sector in which technologies play a key role, is undergoing a new revolution. 

With the Industry 4.0 phenomenon and the arrival of smart cars, technological integration is no longer just an option for this sector and the companies supplying it, it is fundamental for survival. To maintain profitable, dynamic and flexible production, it is essential to be committed to innovation and to adopt new digital tools, as explained by Lantek and Danobatgroup.

Starting from the base that digitalisation is the perfect moment in time for a complete change in the production processes in the automotive sector, Lantek and Danobatgroup, through their sheet metal transformation division, have worked together on developing software for processing pre-blanking formats that is specially designed for cutting processes in the automotive sector.

The objective pursued with this collaboration is twofold: to solve the problems inherent to the metal industry to achieve more efficient, competitive and flexible production, maintaining the highest quality levels; and so that Lantek and Danobatgroup can reinforce their positioning in the applications environment for specific sectors, such as the automotive industry, while helping customers in their transformation strategy towards becoming modern and intelligent companies.

Based on this collaboration, Danobatgroup customers will have Lantek software on their coil-fed laser blanking lines and all their machines. Its experience in the metal industry will allow end customers to optimise processes and obtain the greatest return on machinery and software investments.

What is blanking and how does it work?

Blanking or metal stamping technology consists of a machining process where the sheet is cut using presses and specific cutting dies to produce certain metal parts.

The Lantek and Danobatgroup’s blanking system application will be installed on all DANOBAT coil laser cutting lines.  These lines have an unwinder that directs the sheet from the reel to a leveler, passing through feeder rollers to a cutting zone where one or more laser cutting heads make the cuts according to the programmed shape. Once cut, the format automatically goes to a stacker.

These lines normally process a large number of shapes and materials (steel/aluminium) and increasingly in series or runs that need to be adapted to several configurations for the same car model. This means that there is a very large number of dies to be managed. The plants must therefore have a lot of space for storing these dies.

This laser blanking system application therefore helps to cut the pieces automatically and continuously, minimising the costs generated from the investment in the press and dies and from adapting the building (pits, storage areas, special foundations, etc.). Costs are also significantly improved due to the time it takes to change the format of the pieces. It also helps to helps reduce energy consumption compared with other alternatives, and increases the efficiency and flexibility levels while maintaining the highest quality levels.

It is used in the automotive industry

The new technological challenges that the automotive sector is facing, the need to have business alliances, the demand for shorter, customised and sustainable production cycles, optimisation manufacturing tracking and the use of materials such as aluminium and new cutting and forming technologies are some of the trends for which solutions are required. Lantek and Danobatgroup have thus aligned their business strategy with an innovative vision to find the technical solutions that best suit the automotive industry, incorporating state-of-the-art technology and specialised software.

In addition to the cost benefits mentioned above, the laser cutting machine fed from the DANOBAT coil now offers multiple advantages derived from the use of the metal coil, especially indicated for a sector as demanding as the automotive sector, with significant savings on raw material due to greater use of sheet metal, constant production rates and a lower cost per piece. This new generation of equipment is a great step forward in parts production and standardising processes, as well as the highest degrees of flexibility for producing blanks.

"This collaboration agreement is beneficial for all parties, because innovation is added to Lantek’s knowledge and experience in the field of software solutions for the metal sector and its ability to integrate with any cutting technology in more than a thousand machine models", explains Asier Sasiain, Managing Director of Danobatgroup’s Sheet Metal Transformation Division. "The automotive industry has a great ally in Lantek and Danobatgroup when it comes to producing the hundreds of billions of metal pieces that it generates annually and consolidating their transformation after decades of traditional processes". 

"The cost savings, productivity and flexibility in managing this blanking technology are improved in these processes with the use of this state-of-the-art software. The Lantek solutions makes it possible to integrate pioneering software for managing 2D and 3D cutting machines with the most demanding manufacturing management," adds Francisco Pérez, director of the Lantek OEM channel. "Of course, Danobagroup’s know-how, always at the forefront in innovation and a benchmark in the sector, has been key in the formula. Together, Lantek and Danobatgroup bring an expert system to the automotive industry that has positively affected their competitiveness in the Industry 4.0 era."

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