Category Archives: Advanced Manufacturing

Hypertherm Unveils XPR460 Plasma Cutting System

Hypertherm Associates has announced the release of its latest innovation: the Hypertherm XPR460 plasma cutting system. Positioned as the newest addition to the XPR line with X-Definition technology, this advanced plasma system offers unparalleled performance and efficiency in the realm of metal cutting.

The XPR460 pays you back by providing these key business benefits:

Versatility

  • Superior cutting versatility for mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum
  • Performs multiple applications with SureCut technology for bolt-ready holes and smooth 45-degree bevels
  • Great solution for XY and robotic cutting applications

Productivity

  • Cutting speed increased by an average of 12% through 50 mm (2 in) mild steel
  • Piercing up to 64 mm (2.5 in) mild steel
  • Future-enabled for Smart Factory integration and connectivity
  • Increase of 12% in consumable life versus HPR400XD

Precision

  • Highest cut quality available for thicker metal, providing cleaner, sharper, and more consistent edge quality
  • Excellent part-to-part consistency over the life of the consumable, ensuring quality from the first cut to the last

With enhanced thickness and speed capabilities, the XPR460 sets a new standard for precision, and productivity. The system delivers superior performance in cut quality, thickness capacity, and cutting speeds. This innovative technology ensures consistent part quality from the initial cut to the last, delivering superior cutting versatility for mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

SureCut technology optimizes Hypertherm plasma performance by automatically embedding advanced cutting capabilities and delivering improved customer outcomes. The system’s optimization for productivity and cost-efficiency extends to its ability to maintain exceptional cut quality on 45-degree bevels and ensure uniform hole aesthetics throughout.

With Arc response technology, the XPR460 is engineered for system optimization. Ramp-down error protection significantly increases realized consumable life, and torch protection reduces the impact of catastrophic electrode blowouts, which can damage the torch at high current levels.

Designed for seamless operation, the XPR460 features Argon-assist technology for effortless extended piercing capability and edge-starting on thick mild steel and stainless steel. Additionally, its advanced process control mechanisms prioritize plate protection and consumable efficiency, minimizing downtime and maximizing output.

With four gas-connect console options, the XPR460 offers unparalleled flexibility and control over the cutting process. Each console is seamlessly integrated with the CNC interface, ensuring ease of use and high productivity. Moreover, CorePlus, VWI, and OptiMix gas-connect consoles enable improved marking applications, enhancing the system’s versatility and efficiency.

About Hypertherm Associates

Hypertherm Associates is a US based manufacturer of industrial cutting products and software. Its products, including Hypertherm plasma and OMAX waterjet systems, are used by companies around the world to build ships, airplanes, and railcars; construct steel buildings, fabricate heavy equipment, erect wind turbines, and more. In addition to cutting systems, the company creates CNCs and software trusted for performance and reliability that result in increased productivity and profitability for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Founded in 1968, Hypertherm Associates is a 100 percent Associate-owned company, employing approximately 2,000 Associates, with operations and partner representation worldwide.

Learn more at www.HyperthermAssociates.com.

JETCAM 3D Unfolding Module Announced

JETCAM International s.a.r.l, a leading provider of sheet metal and composite cutting solutions, has announced the launch of its new 3D Unfolding software module developed in partnership with AutoPOL. The new module is an optional extension to the JETCAM Expert system, designed to streamline the process of converting a wide range of 3D CAD file formats into flattened 2D patterns across diverse industries including aerospace, automotive, and fabrication.

The JETCAM 3D Unfolding module automates the flattening of 3D models during the CAD import process, handling everything from simple profiles to advanced pieces with single-curved and free-form surfaces. It seamlessly integrates with most popular CAD formats, providing outputs that are immediately ready for production. It works in conjunction with a CAD interface to pass all the required information to JETCAM Expert, allowing for automatic CAD import. The resulting tooled component files are then immediately available for nesting.

Key Features of JETCAM 3D Unfolding:

  • Fast and automatic: JETCAM Unfolder can work silently in the background to quickly flatten 3D files to 2D DXFs
  • Flexibility in Licensing: The module can be used with a single JETCAM Expert system or licensed across multiple systems, also providing options for standalone and network configurations.
  • Enhanced Production Readiness: Output from the unfolding process can include important production data such as bend lines, angles, and tool information.
  • Supported Formats: Extensive support for various file import and export formats including ACIS, CATIA, ProE/Creo, IGES, STEP, and several other popular formats, ensuring versatility and compatibility.

Upcoming enhancements to the module will include support for automatic unfolding of complete assemblies, further aiding its ability to deliver comprehensive automation.

The software is available for immediate release and is available in various licensing options including cloud-based and on-premise solutions to accommodate different IT infrastructures and operational scales.

For more information about JETCAM 3D Unfolding and its capabilities, please visit JETCAM’s 3D Unfolding Page.

Copia Unveils Industrial DevOps Platform

Copia Automation launched the Copia Industrial DevOps Platform, a cloud-based Git solution that serves as an operational technology (OT) control center. The platform provides a clear view of all code within industrial operations to eliminate unexpected disruptions resulting from coding errors.

Industrial operations gain a strategic advantage with continuous quality control, production optimization, and preemptive crisis management to minimize product recalls, downtime, and safety or cyber threats, saving millions of dollars in lost productivity.

Amazon recently deployed Copia’s technology at its warehouses and expects an 80% reduction in unexpected downtime due to unapproved control changes — a significant increase in the scalability of code improvements — and a 25% improvement in high-severity issue resolution time. Copia has raised $30 million from investors since 2020, and has been adopted by more than 1,500 developers at 100 companies globally.

Industrial Automation Challenges 

  • Operational outages are common occurrences, causing severe disruptions that can halt plant operations and jeopardize the integrity of entire industrial systems. When a Toyota computer system in Japan malfunctioned in August 2023, production was halted in 14 factories for a full day, costing the company an estimated $356 million in revenue.
  • Quick-fix engineering updates and localized modifications to automated manufacturing processes are commonly used as short-term solutions but there is no way to detect and validate these ad hoc code changes.
  • With no way to trace or account for these changes, conflicting operations can occur leading to expensive production failures that require huge amounts of time to investigate and resolve.

Copia brings many of the concepts, tools, and best practices that helped DevOps revolutionize the IT industry (e.g. visibility, automation, validation, and quality control) to the operational technology industry. Mitigation with Industrial DevOps, modern practices and toolsets provide unprecedented visibility and control over industrial code in development, production, and management throughout project lifetimes. As coding at scale increases at industry sites, Copia offers enhanced code visibility to:

  • Enable greater collaboration among coders
  • Provide a one-stop platform for all files and upgrades
  • Boost efficiency by standardizing code and upgrades across multiple sites
  • Supply actionable visibility and control, and immediate disaster recovery

About Copia Automation

With its headquarters in New York City, Copia Automation is a member of the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer in Manufacturing.

The Copia platform provides a reliable single source of truth for code across various devices, languages, and locations to eliminate system malfunctions and downtime, expedite disaster recovery, and facilitate effortless quality control to optimize operations and increase revenues.

For more information, please visit www.copia.io.

Hilscher Introduces sensorEDGE IO-Link Masters

Hilscher has introduced two new Edge IO-Link masters to help customers modernize their machines and plants through instant IO-Link machine monitoring. The new devices can connect directly to Ethernet-based IT infrastructures without the need to interface with existing communication networks and their control systems.

The new Edge IO-Link masters come in two versions:

  • sensorEDGE – Based on a central platform, this complete system allows you to remotely monitor up to eight IO-Link sensors. Requiring only a power supply and an internet connection, the sensorEDGE box transmits data into the cloud at one-second intervals for direct analysis.
  • sensorEDGE FIELD – Featuring two container engines and optional cloud support, sensorEDGE FIELD connects up to eight local IO-Link sensors and includes an open computing platform for your own software with centralized management.

sensorEDGE devices combine computing power and IO-Link master technology in one IP67-rated housing. In addition, Hilscher’s centralized edge management platform allows users to manage the new devices easily either locally or via the internet.

For more information about Hilscher sensorEDGE IO-Link masters, visit www.hilscher.com.

About Hilscher

Hilscher has stood for trendsetting automation solutions for over 35 years. A family-owned company, it has grown to one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial communications solutions — with over 400 employees located across 13 subsidiaries in 11 countries. Hilscher supports its global customers with innovative products and services to integrate devices, machines and plants into industrial networks. Its solutions represent quality, efficiency and flexibility — from PC-based Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus networks to edge solutions and the cloud.

AZCO Acquires S-Y-M Products Company

AZCO Corp announces it has acquired S-Y-M Products Company, a manufacturer and distributor of automatic tube coiling machines. With this move, AZCO has added S-Y-M’s Mini-Winder and other coiling and winding equipment to its already expansive lineup of feeding and cutting machines.

Ideal for assembling and packaging tubing and wire sets, the Mini-Winder increases production output while preventing hand and wrist Injuries. The machine counts the number of revolutions required to complete the coil and then stops. Once the machine stops, the pins on which the coil was wrapped lower, enabling operators to slide the coil into a package. Units are also compact, versatile and cleanroom-compatible, able to produce uniform coils three times faster than conventional methods.

The Mini-Winder naturally complements AZCO’s lineup of feeding, cutting and placing products. For example, the Mini-Winder and AZCO PC-25 Tubing Cutter — an automatic benchtop tubing cutter for processing flexible tubing up to 1 inch — creates a quick, efficient process for cutting and coiling flexible and medical tubing.

To learn more, visit www.azcocorp.com.

Flexxbotics Advances Robot Compatibility

with Renishaw Inspection Probes

Flexxbotics announced advanced robotic machine tending compatible for in-line inspection with connectivity for the entire range of Renishaw inspection probes. Now, companies can enable robot-driven manufacturing with Flexxbotics using Renishaw to achieve precision quality with six sigma consistency and greater capacity.

Flexxbotics’ patent-pending FlexxCORE technology enables the robots to securely connect and communicate with Renishaw equipment. With Flexxbotics the robots receive closed-loop feedback based on automated inspection results enabling real-time adjustments to CNC machine programs for autonomous process control. With in-line inspection, Flexxbotics orchestrates the fleets of production robots in the smart factory to achieve continuous unattended operations enabling higher yields, greater throughput and increased profit per part.

Flexxbotics compatibility includes Renishaw’s standard-accuracy and high-accuracy machine tool touch probes including optical transmission probes, radio transmission probes, lathe probes, modular probes and hard-wired probes, as well as, Renishaw on-machine scanning probes with SPRINT technology. Flexxbotics is also compatible with Renishaw contact and non-contact advanced laser tool setting systems and broken tool detection systems.

Flexxbotics robotic workcell digitalization is the backbone of the Smart Factory, delivering robot-driven manufacturing at scale with autonomous process control for continuous operations. Flexxbotics’ SaaS/hybrid architecture runs both online and offline so production continues with or without internet access, and Flexxbotics works with existing business systems such as CAD/CAM, DNC, SCADA/HMI, IIoT, MES, ERP, PLM and others for comprehensive process integration.

A full set of bi-directional communications, transforms and routing capabilities are available in Flexxbotics for the inspection tools, robots, and machinery that are connected including loading programs, sending instructions, updating parameters and status awareness depending on the machinery’s capabilities so the robots drive the Renishaw equipment along with the CNC machines and other assets in the smart factory.

About Flexxbotics

Flexxbotics robotic workcell digitalization is the backbone of the Smart Factory delivering autonomous process control for next generation machining environments. Flexxbotics SaaS/hybrid solutions enable robot-driven manufacturing at scale. Flexxbotics breakthrough, the FlexxCORE technology, seamlessly connects and coordinates robots with existing automation equipment, IT systems and people. More powerful, flexible and open, Flexxbotics revolutionizes the use of robotics in complex production.

Visit www.flexxbotics.com to learn more.

igus Announces PRT-02-30-WPC Slewing Ring Bearing

igus is expanding its broad range of PRT slewing rings with the introduction of a new wood-plastic composite (WPC) bearing.

The new igus slewing ring bearing made of WPC impresses not only with its wooden look but also with its low CO2 footprint. (Source: igus GmbH)

The PRT-02-30-WPC slewing ring bearing is another step forward by igus toward integrating renewable raw materials into industrial production. Made of 50% wood and 50% high-performance plastics, the cost-effective and lubrication-free slewing ring bearing balances strength and durability with a proven low CO2 footprint of just 0.0577 kilograms. By comparison, the PRT-02-30-ECO — already made from 97% regranulate — has a CO2 equivalent of 0.819868 kg.

The PRT-02-30-WPC slewing ring bearing consists of WPCs and iglide high-performance plastics. The materials incorporate solid lubricants, making the new slewing ring bearing smooth-running, lubrication-free and maintenance-free. Both the housing and the component are made of the WPC material, giving it a natural look for furniture applications.

Available in standard installation sizes, the low-weight, robust PRT-02-30-WPC is designed to allow for easy adjustment, making it ideal for many industrial applications.

About igus

igus GmbH develops and produces motion plastics. The family-run company based in Cologne, Germany, is represented in 31 countries and employs 4,600 people across the globe. In 2022, igus generated a turnover of €1.15 billion.

For more information, visit www.igus.com.

Rockwell, NVIDIA to Advance Autonomous Mobile Robots

Rockwell Automation, Inc. announces further collaborations with NVIDIA to supercharge the development of safer and smarter industrial AI mobile robots.

Earlier this year, Rockwell announced its ongoing work with NVIDIA to increase the scale and scope of AI in manufacturing. The collaboration is now expanding to involve robotics, helping drive the use of AI in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to improve performance and efficiency. Rockwell brings AMRs and production automation applications to industrial customers who are looking for increased efficiencies in their factories. This will help unlock unrealized potential in this space via the integration of the NVIDIA Isaac robotics platform.

Rockwell also continues its work to integrate NVIDIA Omniverse Cloud application programming interfaces (APIs) with its Emulate3D software, bringing users data interoperability, live collaboration, and photo-realistic graphics rendering for designing, building, and operating industrial-scale digital twins of production systems.

According to the recently released “State of Smart Manufacturing Report,” AI ranks as the top feature manufacturers believe will drive the biggest business outcomes. In fact, 83 percent of manufacturers expect to use generative AI in their operations in 2024. As part of this collaboration, the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork now includes NVIDIA, giving Rockwell customers more applications to help make their operations more resilient, agile, and sustainable.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation, Inc., is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 29,000 problem solvers.

For more information, visit www.rockwellautomation.com.

About OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation

OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation is a global leader in autonomous technology for material handling inside manufacturing and warehouse facilities. With over five million hours of production experience, OTTO autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are trusted in mission-critical operations for some of the world’s most recognized brands. OTTO Motors was recognized as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Robotics Companies of 2023.

For more information, visit ottomotors.com.

Flexxbotics Provides Robot Compatibility with Cognex Vision

for In-Line Inspection

Flexxbotics announced advanced robotic machine tending compatible for in-line inspection connectivity for the complete line of Cognex vision solutions including vision sensors, vision systems and 3D vision systems. Now, companies can enable robot-driven manufacturing with Flexxbotics using Cognex to achieve precision quality with six sigma consistency and faster cycle-times.

Flexxbotics’ breakthrough innovation, the FlexxCORE technology, enables the robots to securely connect and communicate with Cognex equipment. With Flexxbotics the robots receive closed-loop feedback based on automated inspection results enabling real-time adjustments to CNC machine programs for autonomous process control. With in-line inspection, Flexxbotics orchestrates the fleets of robots in the smart factory to achieve continuous unattended operations enabling higher yields, greater throughput and increased profit per part.

Flexxbotics compatibility includes the full range of Cognex In-Sight vision systems and vision sensors, as well as, Cognex 3D vision systems L38 and L68 series, 3D-L4000 with VisionPro, 3D-A1000 and 3D-A5000.

Flexxbotics robotic workcell digitalization is the backbone of the Smart Factory, delivering robot-driven manufacturing at scale with autonomous process control for continuous operations. Flexxbotics’ SaaS/hybrid architecture runs both online and offline so production continues with or without internet access, and Flexxbotics works with existing business systems such as CAD/CAM, DNC, SCADA/HMI, IIoT, MES, ERP, PLM and others for comprehensive process integration.

A full set of bi-directional communications, transforms and routing capabilities are available in Flexxbotics for the inspection tools, robots, and machinery that are connected including loading programs, sending instructions, updating parameters and status awareness depending on the machinery’s capabilities so the robots drive the Cognex equipment along with the CNC machines and other asset in the smart factory.

About Flexxbotics

Flexxbotics robotic workcell digitalization is the backbone of the Smart Factory delivering autonomous process control for next generation machining environments. Flexxbotics SaaS/hybrid solutions enable robot-driven manufacturing at scale. Flexxbotics breakthrough, the FlexxCORE technology, seamlessly connects and coordinates robots with existing automation equipment, IT systems and people. More powerful, flexible and open, Flexxbotics revolutionizes the use of robotics in complex production.

Visit www.flexxbotics.com to learn more.

Mitsubishi Electric Launches RV-34/50/80FR Robot Series

for Applications Requiring Heavier Payload, Longer Reach

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. has announced its newest series of robots to its broad selection of models. Mitsubishi Electric industrial robots are equipped with class-leading speed and precision to meet the demands of today’s manufacturing applications. The newest RV-35/50/80FR series of robots are designed to allow for an expanded work envelope and increased opportunity through its increased payload and reach compared to prior series.

The RV-34/50/80FR series has a maximum reach of 2100mm and a maximum payload of 80kg, making them great solutions for palletizing and machine-tending applications. This series of robots upholds Mitsubishi Electric’s promise of compatibility by connecting to a wide range of factory automation equipment to seamlessly integrate robot functionality with IT systems. RV-35/50/80 is engineered to work seamlessly in manufacturing environments through a wide range of safety functions, including position and speed monitoring. In addition, pairing with Mitsubishi Electric’s MELFA Smart Plus card simplifies installation and programming.

For more information about the RV-35/50/80FR series, please visit https://us.mitsubishielectric.com/fa/en/products/industrial-robots-melfa/vertical-type-robot/rv-fr-series/fr-series-overview/.

About Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.

Headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. is a US affiliate company of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. It offers a broad product portfolio including programmable automation controllers (PAC), programmable logic controllers (PLC), human machine interfaces (HMI), variable frequency drives (VFD), servo amplifiers and motors, control software, computerized numerical controllers (CNC), motion controllers, robots, low-voltage power distribution products, and industrial sewing machines for the industrial and commercial sectors.

For more information, visit https://mitsubishielectric.in/.

About Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

With more than 100 years of experience in providing reliable, high–quality products, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. Mitsubishi Electric enriches society with technology in the spirit of its “Changes for the Better.” The company recorded a revenue of 5,003.6 billion yen (US$ 37,3 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023.

For more information, please visit www.MitsubishiElectric.com.

*U.S. dollar amounts are translated from yen at the rate of ¥134=U.S.$1, the approximate rate on the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2022

About Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation Business Group

Offering a vast range of automation and processing technologies, including controllers, drive products, power distribution and control products, electrical discharge machines, laser processing machines, computerized numerical controllers, and industrial robots, Mitsubishi Electric helps bring higher productivity – and quality – to the factory floor. In addition, its extensive service networks around the globe pro-vide direct communication and comprehensive support to customers. The global slogan “Automating the World” shows the company’s approach to leverage automation for the betterment of society, through the application of advanced technology, sharing know-how and supporting customers as a trusted partner.

About e-F@ctory

e-F@ctory is Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated concept to build reliable and flexible manufacturing systems that enable users to achieve many of their high speed, information driven manufacturing aspirations. Through its partner solution activity, the e-F@ctory Alliance, and its work with open network associations such as The CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA), users can build comprehensive solutions based on a wide ranging “best in class” principle.

In summary, e-F@ctory and the e-F@ctory Alliance enable customers to achieve integrated manufacturing but still retain the ability to choose the most optimal suppliers and solutions.