Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena

New $12 million facility
News1Nidec Industrial Solutions (NIS), the industrial platform of Nidec Group, has expanded in the US thanks to the opening of its new facility in Cleveland, OH. This new facility has been able to support essential industries during the Covid-19 crisis and paves the path for future growth in North America.

The $12m investment in this new building comprises 67,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space. The facility is a three-tier building and brings together 130 employees previously housed in three separate facilities.

The facility was occupied in March and has continued to engineer and manufacture at full-capacity throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The site is classified as an essential manufacturing facility because NIS manufactures both its leading Nidec Avtron™ Encoders and large-scale controls and automation systems here for renewables and energy storage, oil and gas, steel, PPE production, healthcare equipment, US Defence installations, port and specialty cranes as well as pulp and paper machinery.

The brand-new state-of-the-art facility features a purpose-built area for the assembly and testing of large industrial controls and automation systems, Battery Energy Storage Systems and Medium Voltage Drives as well as a cutting-edge production area for Nidec’s Avtron Encoders.

Take off for 3D parts
News2In what is one of its largest single orders to date, Stratasys has announced that Latvia-based specialist aerospace additive manufacturing service provider, AM Craft, has purchased four large-scale production-grade Stratasys F900 3D Printers to provide certifiable 3D printed parts for a much wider range of aircraft interior applications. This includes aircraft seating, panelling and ducting, as well as making it much more affordable for its aerospace customers to introduce customization within the cabin.

“In recent years, we’ve seen an ongoing demand for 3D printed production parts among major aircraft OEMs,” comments Jānis Jātnieks, Co-founder and CEO, of AM Craft. “Although Covid-19 has shocked the industry in the last few months, we are seeing efforts to return to business by remodelling passenger planes for cargo shipments, as well as projects to increase customer safety measures and improve the inflight customer experience. In such cases, additive manufacturing is way ahead of slower and costlier traditional methods.

“One of the mainstay pillars that enables us to realize this business case into real-world applications is Stratasys’ highly-repeatable FDM-based 3D printing technology in conjunction with aerospace-grade materials like ULTEM™ 9085 resin. Crucially, this gives us the capability to meet strict rules and regulations around certification that require the highest level of repeatability and traceability with every part manufactured,” he adds.

The flame-retardant, high-performance ULTEMTM 9085 resin meets stringent flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) criteria and retains traceability required by the aerospace industry. The material is used by aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, which has successfully standardized it for the production of thousands of flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft.

High tech for classic
News3Eagle, a restorer of the legendary Jaguar E-Type car, has announced a partnership with Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd. to use HP’s Jet Fusion 4200 3D printing solution to produce custom parts. Eagle has already seen a huge increase in quality, cost-effectiveness and efficiency since switching to HP’s 3D printing from other 3D printing processes.

For the past four years, Eagle has worked closely with Graphite Additive Manufacturing Ltd., a UK-based 3D printing service provider which produces one-off models or production runs of functional parts for businesses and individuals. “Since we began using HP’s 3D printing technology for production, we’ve been impressed by the improvement in how these parts look as well as their durability,” said Paul Brace, director at Eagle. “HP’s 3D platform consistently delivers the desired finish which is very important to our process. Additional benefits we’ve seen include the wider scope for shapes that we can now create using 3D printing, and the weight reduction in materials on offer. This adds value for customers who are keen to keep parts as lightweight as possible.”

HP’s 3D printed parts allow Eagle to produce in low volumes with design and economic advantages, as the digital 3D model is easily adjusted and the final part swiftly printed. This means that, if required, every part can be an evolution of the last with no cost implication from the change other than the shipping.

Easy opening
Adams Packaging, one of Poland’s leading manufacturers of corrugated cardboard packaging, has selected Essentra Tapes’ Rippatape brand, to help it meet an increase in consumer demand for functional e-commerce packaging.

Easy open and easy return boxes have seen significant growth and Adams Packaging was therefore seeking an effective solution to integrate tear tapes within its boxes.

Essentra Tapes’ distributor in Poland, Paxton House, immediately helped Adams identify the correct tape solution for its corrugated production lines. As the original market-leading tape-based opening device for board and paper-based packaging, Rippatape was specified, and a 6mm wide, 60-micron tape was delivered quickly and efficiently to Adams for trial.

Intuitive to use and easy to implement, Rippatape gives fast, safe and immediate access to the contents of corrugated and fiberboard packaging. Rippatape is also easily applied to new and existing production lines, offering speeds of up to 450 meters a minute at the point of manufacture by using Essentra’s custom build applicators.

Available in a range of colors, and also now printed, Rippatape is helping corrugated manufacturers integrate easy opening within their e-commerce packaging solutions, and also keep the integrity of the box for dealing with customer returns.

Using Rippatape means knives or other sharp implements are removed from the opening process, thereby minimizing the risk of product damage and possible personal injury. In addition, the tamper-evident nature of Rippatape gives a clear indication if a package has been opened previously, providing customer confidence on the authenticity of the delivery and its contents.

Importantly, from a sustainability perspective, Rippatape does not impede on the recycling of the boards that it is applied to, allowing the tape to be recycled through established recycling processes. This is a key benefit of Essentra’s water-based adhesive solution.

“As the demand from consumers for e-commerce packaging increases, so we are seeing an increased interest in Rippatape, with its simple and effective integration enabling manufacturers to include easy-opening solutions into their boxes,” said Ian Beresford, Head of Marketing and Development at Essentra Tapes.

News in brief
Multi-million UK investment
Schoeller Allibert, the European market leader in the production of recyclable, reusable and returnable plastic packaging solutions, has confirmed a multi-million investment programme is underway at its Winsford, Cheshire site.

Graeme Robinson, Senior Regional Director, North West Europe, said: “This investment sees us deliver additional flexible automation into the facility and supports our commitment to designing and delivering the next generation of transit solutions to drive down waste and cost for our customers, as well as boost their sustainability performance.”

Jackie Johnson, Operations Director at Schoeller Allibert, added: “The fantastic part of this investment is that we are freeing up employees from manual roles, upskilling them and developing them within the business. Automation continues our absolute focus upon quality consistency, driving innovation, reducing lead times and achieving excellence in health and safety.”

Meet the requirements
SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, has published advice to help manufacturers and suppliers understand US workplace regulations for electrical products. SGS offers a comprehensive range of services to help manufacturers and retailers ensure their products comply with US government requirements, including those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The SGS North America Listed Mark is a clear demonstration to retailers and consumers that a wide range of products, including power tools, household appliances, lighting, medical equipment, batteries, IT equipment, and audio-visual equipment, have been tested and certified in accordance with these requirements.

OSHA jurisdiction only applies to workplaces and so, when a business owner or manager is buying a product for their workplace, they should always check that it bears an NRTL mark. This provides assurance that the product is certified and therefore meets OSHA requirements.

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Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena

Valuable collaboration
News 178 aExpanding on their long-term partnership, Siemens and IBM have announced the availability of a new solution designed to optimize the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) of assets by dynamically connecting real-world maintenance activities and asset performance back to design decisions and field modifications. This new solution establishes an end-to-end digital thread between equipment manufacturers and the owner/operators of that equipment by leveraging elements of the Xcelerator portfolio from Siemens Digital Industries Software and IBM Maximo®.

“This new collaboration combines two industry-leading offerings into a unique solution for the industry,” said Kareem Yusuf Ph.D., General Manager, IBM AI Applications Business. “OEM’s and owner/operators can leverage the new solution to help them reduce operational costs and increase up time of their equipment.”

The integration of asset management and product lifecycle management (PLM) technology can help owner/operators to stay up to date. The solution also enables OEMs to receive critical data about asset performance, maintenance and failures in the field. Leveraging IoT technology, manufacturers can gain insights on wear and tear, operating conditions, parts failures, and other patterns that lead to design or manufacturing updates. This data can be used to help manufacturers lower maintenance costs, reduce risks, and improve asset resiliency.

“IBM’s Maximo Enterprise Asset Management software provides key technology to further extend the capabilities of the Xcelerator portfolio,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO for Siemens Digital Industries Software. “By leveraging the world-class product configuration management capability within Teamcenter, companies can bring product design, manufacturing and service together to maximize their software investment, while also minimizing downtime, improving quality and reducing inventory costs.”

Perseverance and ingenuity
News 178 bIn July, NASA will be sending its fifth rover to Mars. Its main mission is to collect soil samples that will be analyzed on Earth at a later time. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is carrying out the mission, and has asked maxon to produce ten drives for the rover. As with almost all previous Mars missions, these drives are based on standard products from maxon’s catalog with modifications. For the first time, NASA is using brushless DC motors, including: nine EC 32 flat and one EC 20 flat in combination with a GP 22 UP planetary gearhead. Working closely with JPL specialists, maxon engineers developed the drives over several years and tested them thoroughly to achieve the highest standards of quality.

The rover will also carry a helicopter called Ingenuity. It weighs 1.8 kilograms, is solar powered and will perform several short flights, as well as take aerial images. The main goal of this experiment is to test the concept for further drones of this kind. maxon has six brushed DCX motors with a diameter of ten millimeters controlling the tilt of the rotor blades and the direction of flight. The drives are very light, dynamic and highly energy-efficient. These properties are crucial, because every gram counts on the Mars helicopter.

Accelerate expansion
News 178 cClariant Catalysts is picking up speed with the successful expansion of its high-throughput R&D center in Palo Alto, California. Thanks to a significant investment, the upgraded facility is fitted with the latest high-throughput equipment, and will be home to an expanded team of technical experts.

High-throughput R&D combines state-of-the art hardware, robotics, automated procedures, and specialized software – including machine learning and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools – to enable up to 100 times faster experimentation compared to traditional practices. Clariant leverages this innovative methodology, along with its well-established expertise and knowledge in catalyst development and production, to accelerate time-to-market by reducing the catalyst discovery and development phase by three to four years.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Clariant Catalysts, commented: “The expansion of our Palo Alto high-throughput catalyst R&D center represents an essential milestone of our business strategy. Thanks to its location, the center capitalizes on the high-tech nature of Silicon Valley. We are very excited about the advances in catalyst technology we plan to achieve here for our customers.”

Anthony Volpe, Head of the Palo Alto R&D Center, added: “Increasing our capacity allows us to boost both productivity and innovation, which will result in faster development of catalysts for our customers. We are also accelerating our work to advance the state-of-the-art in high throughput technologies, especially in supporting catalyst scale-up and production.”

Enhanced view
Emerson has introduced augmented reality (AR) technology to its Plantweb™ Optics asset performance platform, delivering enhanced access to real-time diagnostics and analytics, as well as live remote assistance, to industrial plant workers responsible for maintaining and optimizing plant equipment. With AR technology integrated into Plantweb Optics, companies can improve productivity, collaboration and operational performance, without being limited by shortages of skilled workers or travel restrictions.

Plantweb Optics leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning analytics and data contextualization to provide real-time visibility into plant reliability and operational performance. Unlike standalone AR solutions that require custom engineering, AR is integrated into Plantweb Optics, providing immediate access to a wealth of data and translating into easier, less costly implementation and a faster return on investment. For use by manufacturers in the life sciences, food and beverage, chemical, metals and mining, power and water, pulp and paper and energy industries, Plantweb Optics is part of Emerson’s award-winning Plantweb digital ecosystem of technologies, software and services.

Augmented reality for Plantweb Optics transforms the way field technicians accomplish complex tasks through enhanced situational awareness, live remote assistance and analytics delivered in context of the plant. As a field technician walks an industrial plant with a mobile device, Plantweb Optics uses spatial computing technology to map assets and provide technicians with critical maintenance information relevant to their location. Plantweb Optics overlays real-time analytics, equipment health status and technical support documentation on their field of view, so technicians can safely resolve issues sooner.

Essential connections
News 178 dTelco Systems has completed new deployments of its 1.2 Tb T-Metro 8104 service aggregation platform and cloud gateway for multiple service providers across North America.

Telco Systems reports that these service providers are deploying T-Metro 8104 to increase their network capacity, rollout new high bandwidth services and keep up with the ever-growing customer demand for more bandwidth. The use cases for these deployments include high-capacity, resilient inner-ring aggregation topologies, data center interconnections (DCI), mobile backhaul (MBH) and high-density 1G/10G service aggregation of businesses, residential complexes and E-rate education campuses.

The recent Covid-19 outbreak has brought into focus the importance of high bandwidth connectivity with services such as multi-user video conferencing and secure enterprise VPN home connections, enabling business to continue operating in this uncertain time.

“As broadband connectivity becomes critical infrastructure to ensure business continuity, more and more service providers across North America are partnering with us on strategic 100G network expansions,” explained John Ryan, Vice President of Sales and General Manager for North America at Telco Systems.

Green solution
Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has developed new plating technology that reduces the environmental impact of the process, used in the manufacture of electronic parts.

In the new system, metal ions pass through a polymer membrane (solid electrolyte membrane) to apply plating like a stamp, exclusively to those areas which require plating. The technology is used in the plating process for forming copper, nickel, and other metal coatings on substrates.

The new stamping-type plating machine eliminates the dipping process currently required in the most common plating techniques, where parts have to be immersed in multiple baths of plating solution. This dramatically reduces the waste solution and CO2 emissions.

Rocketing ahead
Relativity Space, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellites has formed a strategic partnership with 6K, the world’s leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials used in additive manufacturing, lithium ion batteries and other industrial markets.

The partnership is intended to create a closed loop supply chain where certified scrap materials produced at Relativity are turned into powder by 6K, which can then be reprinted by Relativity. The two companies will also explore new materials created specifically for rocket manufacturing and space travel.

Billion dollar deal
On 29th June 2020, INEOS, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, announced its intention to purchase the global Aromatics and Acetyls businesses of bp for a consideration of $5 billion. $4 billion will be payable upon completion with the remaining $1 billion deferred until, at the latest, June 2021. Commenting on the deal, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder and chairman of INEOS said: “This acquisition is a logical development of our existing petrochemicals business extending our interest in acetyls and adding a world leading aromatics business supporting the global polyester industry.”

DP Technology, the parent company of the ESPRIT CAM system, is enhancing its support of additive manufacturing processes with a new software specifically for the powder bed fusion market. Called ESPRIT Additive for Powder Bed, the program comes as an add-in application for SolidWorks®, a popular computer-aided design (CAD) program.

ESPRIT Additive for Powder Bed Fusion is compatible with any file supported by SolidWorks. One standout feature of the new software is the patented Part-to-Build™ When preparing a part for manufacturing, the program automatically assigns exposure strategies based on simple inputs from the user. 

ESPRIT Additive for Powder Bed Fusion also introduces a slicer that boasts unparalleled accuracy thanks to a parametric workflow model. Once the part is ready to slice, it may be imported to the job environment as many times as needed. 

 

“This optimized workflow saves our users even more time by eliminating the need to repeatedly define the manufacturing information,” says Clement Girard, Product Manager for Additive Solutions for DP Technology. “Additive for Powder Bed Fusion improves consistency by ensuring a part is built the same way each time and maintains traceability by recording each step from the original 3D CAD file.” 

www.espritadditive.com

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