Steve Bell, General Manager for ASEAN at Renishaw
While it's difficult to predict what this current situation will mean long term, it will undoubtedly force most manufacturers to seriously rethink their operations.
Steve Bell, general manager for ASEAN at Renishaw Singapore sat down with Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio of International Metalworking News for Asia in an interview in Bangkok, regarding Industry 4.0 concept and its role within the automotive industry.
“Here in Thailand, we are showing the same idea as what we have shown in ITAP Singapore, a complete end-to-end process of smart manufacturing focused on automotive. What we are saying to our customers is that all of the best equipment you can buy from us, all of these can report into your central system and give you the ability to make smart decisions based on the information coming from the equipment.”
According to Steve, Industry 4.0 aims to transform production processes through increased factory automation and digitisation- to gather, analyse and manage data across the factory for greater efficiency, increased flexibility and cost reduction with minimal human interference. “Renishaw understands your need to stay competitive and maintain a high standard of product quality. We can help applying high levels of automation and connectivity to your complex manufacturing environment,” he said.
The automotive industry is always seen as the forerunner adopting innovation and principles of Industry 4.0. Steve explained, “At the Renishaw booth in Metalex, we are simulating automotive part production, showcasing how intelligent process control solutions can be applied to bring benefits and improvements to the entire manufacturing process.”
Steve described the manufacturing process control through four stages: Additive manufacturing; Machine calibration and optimisation; Manufacturing process automation and Quality assurance.
Capability for customisation is one of the key trend of the industry, while automotive parts are always very complex in design with a requirement to be both light and strong. Cutting-edge metal 3D printing combines multiple components into a single assembly, offering benefits including the possibilities of high level of customisation, better geometry and further weight savings.
The RenAM 500Q system, featuring four high-power 500 W lasers, achieves high build rates and component quality, while lowering cost per part. InfiniAM Central, this Industry 4.0-ready software, enables remote monitoring of AM build processes and allows intuitive in-depth analysis.
Machine calibration and optimisation
It is important to make sure your machines are optimised and capable of delivering the required accuracy before you begin cutting and processing material. Renishaw’s calibration solutions allow you to gain a detailed picture of each characteristic of a machine’s positioning performance. The system identifies errors, which enable you to predict when maintenance work is required and establish a contingency plan in advance.
The XM-60 laser measurement system measures errors in six degrees of freedom along a linear axis, providing a powerful diagnostic tool to measure all geometric errors in the axis from a single capture.
Manufacturing process automation
Renishaw offers smart manufacturing technologies for the metal cutting sector. Using the machining demonstration cell with automated part loading, on-machine probing and Equator off-machine gauging, Renishaw demonstrates how automation, measurement and feedback can deliver process control throughout all manufacturing stages.
Discover Renishaw’s full range of on-machine and smartphone apps which make installing, and using probing systems easy, and maximise shop floor efficiency through enhanced automation.
Featuring Renishaw’s intelligent process control (IPC software, Equator automate process control and tool offset correction directly to CNC machines, allowing rapid measurement and process adjustment at the point of manufacture and avoiding time delays or relying on finished part (tailgate) inspection.
Precision and reliability are key in the automotive industry. Automotive parts like engine blocks must go through advanced quality inspection using CMMs. Renishaw’s REVO system delivers revolutionary 5-axis CMM performance. Using its range of 2D and 3D tactile probes, the REVO system brings dramatic speed and accuracy benefits to part inspection on CMMs.
As Industry 4.0 and the current shortage of skilled engineers demand that businesses increase productivity without increasing their workforce, manufacturers are turning to industrial automation and intelligent processes to reduce skill and labour requirements in CNC production. Renishaw has extensive expertise in working closely with its customers to successfully introduce automated process control solutions into manufacturing operations, with a global network of experienced applications engineers providing technical support and partnerships for innovative manufacturing.
Steve spoke about its focus on working closely with its customers to successfully introduce the company’s Industry 4.0 concept into manufacturing operations, with a global network of experienced applications engineers providing technical support and partnerships for innovative manufacturing.
“Smart factory concepts require connected control systems that are easy to use and provide sufficient measurement data immediately for self-correction and adaptation to sources of process variation,” he added.
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