Whether it’s for individual parts, or series production, industrial 3D printing is becoming increasingly important for the manufacturing industry. With its latest 3D printing system for high-performance plastics, GEWO Feinmechanik GmbH is responding to the resulting requirements. By providing modern automation solutions, Bosch Rexroth is contributing its industrial experience and allowing the technology to be connected to the world of automation in manufacturing.
GEWO has decades of experience when it comes to developing and manufacturing complex workpieces for the semiconductor industry, aerospace, medicine and research and always meets the most stringent quality requirements in the process. Additive manufacturing machines are another future-oriented mainstay of the company. The PERFORMER 260 (Fig. 1), the latest product from the company’s GEWO 3D business division, celebrated its premiere at last year’s formnext.
Fig. 1: The new PERFORMER 260 3D printing system from GEWO 3D (Image source: GEWO Feinmechanik GmbH)
The advantages at a glance
“At GEWO, meticulous mechanical engineering and focusing on customer requirements are in our blood. We took this into account when developing the PERFORMER 260,” said Martin Stangl, the person responsible for marketing and sales at GEWO 3D.
The high build volume temperature of 260 °C offers clear advantages when it comes to the warpage and adhesion of the printing material. The system is thus well suited for the additive manufacture of high-performance plastics (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2: Example workpieces from the PERFORMER 260: collecting piece, cross-flow structural part for gas heat exchangers, wing segment, fixing bracket with gaps to reduce weight (Image source: GEWO Feinmechanik GmbH)
Dimensions of 450 x 450 x 350 mm together with the high build chamber temperature make the PERFORMER 260 one of the biggest FFF printers currently available in its power class and enable it to meet most customer requirements. Not only the dimensions but also the printing speed play a key role in ensuring economical manufacturing. With acceleration of up to 6 m/s 2 , travel speeds of up to 300 mm/s and a material throughput of 0.5 kg/h, GEWO 3D is a leader on the market.
MTX – a tried-and-proven CNC system for industrial 3D printing
With the open CNC system MTX from Bosch Rexroth, the PERFORMER 260 features an extremely high-performance control system for a precise and reliable printing process, one that has proven itself in numerous industrial applications. The latest XM42 control hardware as well as a wide range of software functions which are usually found in highly automated machines tools are used (Fig. 3). This ensures the shortest possible cycle times and enough computing power for highly dynamic, coordinated movements including the entire process monitoring and optimization.
Fig. 3: Powerful, intelligent and connective: the CNC system MTX from Rexroth (Image source: Bosch Rexroth AG)
In additive manufacturing, the requirements regarding the human-machine interface differ from those in classic machine tools. Users expect clear operating screens which can be used intuitively and show only essential information. The MTX offers the Easy-HMI solution for producing these screens. In combination with multitouch screens, operating solutions with large virtual buttons which render physical operating elements unnecessary can be achieved.
Through the use of the MTX, GEWO 3D has successfully entered the IoT world. The OPC UA server included in the control system allows the 3D printer to be seamlessly connected to automation systems in production in order to achieve functions such as job management, performance monitoring or quality control.
Digital twin for virtual commissioning and printing monitoring
In addition to high-performance control hardware and software, the CNC system solution MTX uses the IndraWorks engineering tool to support users when planning, commissioning and troubleshooting machines and during the initial test for production processes. IndraWorks makes available a virtual CNC system MTX which has the same software and functions as the real control system. In conjunction with Rexroth’s Virtual Machine Simulation solution, a digital twin for a machine can be configured.
The resulting 3D simulation solution has the same user interface as the real machine and makes it possible to test and assess the production process virtually (Fig. 4). In addition to displaying movement patterns, the application or removal of materials is visualized, and the process is monitored for collisions. In additive manufacturing, long-running printing programs are the norm. Here, the digital twin significantly increases the simulation speed. Printing programs that would usually run over several hours can be simulated in a few minutes – with identical system behavior.
Fig. 4: Additive Manufacturing (AM) process simulation within the MTX user interface (Image source: Bosch Rexroth AG)
GEWO 3D and Bosch Rexroth – a strong combination for additive manufacturing
With the PERFORMER 260, GEWO 3D shows that a 3D printer can meet the high standards expected in industrial production. By using high-performance components and innovative functions, GEWO 3D sets benchmarks for many product features in additive manufacturing. Among other things, the automation components from Bosch Rexroth make this possible. Peter Berens, Head of Business Development CNC Systems and the person responsible for the additive manufacturing market segment, is also satisfied: “Together with our customer GEWO 3D, we have once again shown that our solutions are the lever which allows 3D printing to be integrated into an industrial environment and ensures quality, reproducibility, economy and reliability.”
Author: Dr. Karsten Kreusch
has been working as a specialist for simulation in the product management for CNC systems at Bosch Rexroth AG in Lohr am Main since 2017. After studying electrical engineering and obtaining his doctorate on the subject of "Verification of numerical controls on virtual machine tools", he began his career at Bosch in research and development in the field of machine tool simulation.
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We’ve developed a software component called Locator, which reliably determines position and orientate of mobile robots such as AGVs (automated guided vehicles) and AMRs (autonomous mobile robots). Christopher Parlitz, Head of Development of Intralogistics Robotics at a Bosch Rexroth start-up, explains why this key technology is a breakthrough for vehicles in intralogistics and other applications.
Why has the introduction of autonomous vehicles been so complicated?
Autonomously moving vehicles have been around for decades, but their introduction is still a complex project that takes months or even years. Tracks and reflectors are installed throughout the hall, and highly qualified experts teach the vehicles to their surroundings over a long period. The Locator reduces the engineering effort and accelerates the path to a turnkey product. In the future, the aim is to make it as easy to start up an autonomous vehicle as, say, a forklift truck, without requiring expert knowledge.
How does this simplification work?
Vehicles equipped with the Locator won’t need mirrors, reflectors or fixed geometric shapes in their environment. This means that, unlike in the past, no construction measures will be required. With just one click, the user will be able to put the Locator into operation. An intuitive user interface based on 3D technology is provided for this purpose. The vehicle captures and maps the environment with the help of a laser scanner that’s attached to the vehicle. The entire area is covered by remote control and then creates a map. This map is either stored on the vehicle or, if several vehicles belong to the fleet, on a common server. Subsequently, localization is possible immediately.
And what happens if a pallet is moved and the environment changes?
The software automatically records changes in the map and notifies all the vehicles in the fleet. Without human intervention, they adapt their environmental knowledge accordingly.
For which vehicles is the Locator suitable?
For all of them, actually. The software component is universally applicable. It supports many commercially available laser sensors and industrial computers and adapts to the vehicle software like a Lego brick via open standards. On request, we can also supply the necessary hardware. The Locator is explicitly aimed at all manufacturers of mobile robots who want to implement localization with a minimum of engineering effort, using only one sensor, and market their vehicles as an off-the-shelf product. With this key technology, they can also break into new applications, for example in retail or in hospitals.
For more information visit www.boschrexroth.com/laserlocalization
Contact: Christopher Parlitz Job title: Head of Development of Intralogistics Robotics at a Bosch Rexroth start-up
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Is inductive measuring an alternative to conventional glass scales? A guest post by Karsten Radestock, Flying Optic Developer at TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen.
The advantages offered by laser cutting are evident: sheets of different thickness and made from different materials can be processed quickly, precisely and efficiently. Even complex tasks can be executed in a single step without having to change tools. Nevertheless, at TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen we continuously strive to implement improvements. A recent example concerned linear motion technology. The material which is melted by the laser is blown out of the kerf during processing by a stream of gas and settles on the linear axes as fine dust. If the distance measuring is carried out using glass scales, they need to be regularly cleaned in order to prevent any errors from creeping in. This, however, costs time and money.
Is inductive distance measuring a better solution?
Our development partner Bosch Rexroth prompted us to look into a more robust and lower-maintenance alternative when it presented its newly developed IMS to us. For us to even entertain the idea of making a change, we needed to ensure a comparable level of precision but it was also of paramount importance that the inductive measuring system, including linear guide, should be able to match our machines in terms of their impressive dynamics. After all, our “flying” cutting units move over the workpiece with up to two times gravitational acceleration and travel speeds of up to 300 m/min. In order for this to be tested under realistic conditions, we provided Bosch Rexroth with actual laser dust. The results showed that the IMS not only ensured the same level of measurement accuracy but, when combined with the BSHP ball rail system, also demonstrated the required mechanical properties.
Stable and high-performance overall solution: the IMS which is integrated into the linear guide combines the guiding and measuring functions together. (Bosch Rexroth)
Optimized mounting and maintenance
We are now using the IMS-A across a wide range of machine series. In particular, we incorporate the IMS-A-DQ version into the Y axis of the new 2D laser machines of the TruLaser Series 1000 and 3000 and Series 5000 fiber. The integrated SIEMENS DRIVE-CLiQ interface enables plug-and-play connection of the drives. Assembly and production times have been significantly reduced on account of the fact that fewer connection points are required compared to with glass scales and in particular since an entire rail and the work involved in aligning it are not required. The integrated combination of measuring system and linear guide is also easier to service. As such, the runner block can, for example, be replaced independently of the measuring system. The IMS also provides data on the current level of contamination and hence the type of information required to ensure predictive maintenance.
The TruLaser 5030 / 5040 / 5060 fiber laser cutting machines boast high productivity, efficiency and high-quality results. This also includes the inductive distance measuring. (Copyright: TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen)
Approval from the field
We have found both a contamination-resistant and a sustainable alternative to glass scales in the IMS inductive distance measuring system. After all, its service life depends on the linear guide chosen – in our case the extremely stable BSHP ball rail system. Overall, many of our processes have been simplified as a result – from design and mounting right through to production and service. Our customers also confirm that the new measuring system is less prone to contamination than the glass scales used previously. And there’s no clearer endorsement of the direction you’ve taken and choices you’ve made than positive feedback from the field.
Author: Karsten Radestock is in charge of modules for motion units of 2D laser cutting machines at TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KG. The mechanical engineer has worked at the Ditzingen site since 1998.
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How can 1,000 sensor variants be economically produced on a single line? In small quantities and with minimal engineering effort? For typical pressing and joining processes in assembly, manufacturer Sensata has found a pioneering do-it-yourself solution: the Smart Function Kit from Bosch Rexroth How does it work? It’s simple!
When Jean-Marc Hubsch visited the last Hannover Messe trade fair, he had something very specific in mind: A modular pre-configured kit for pressing operations that can be quickly assembled, set up and commissioned. Hubsch is Engineering Manager in the Industrial Encoders division at the international sensor manufacturer Sensata. The solution he was looking for in Hanover should not only be able to provide several thousand variants of rotary encoders for autonomously moving transport shuttles with highly precise housing covers. It should also be modular and flexible and allow quick implementation without outside help.
Hubsch found the perfect solution at the Bosch Rexroth stand: the new Smart Function Kit for pressing and joining applications presented here matched his requirements exactly. This innovative approach combines proven Rexroth standard components such as the EMC electromechanical cylinder, a force sensor, a servo motor, a drive controller and an industrial PC with intuitive HMI software for simple visual programming.
A versatile subsystem which can easily be integrated: the Smart Function Kit combines an electromechanical cylinder, a force sensor, a motor, a servo drive, a motion control and a software package. (Copyright: Bosch Rexroth)
Visual programming instead of tedious coding
Hubsch and his team strive to simplify as many manufacturing processes as possible– preferably with standard components and without time-consuming programming. To set up the Smart Function Kit, however, Sensata’s engineers only needed to drag and drop predefined software blocks together to form a workflow and enter the parameters for the individual process steps. A wizard guided through the commissioning, the drive controller parameterized itself automatically. All in all, engineering can be carried out up to 95 percent faster this way!
Intuitive tools for transparent manufacturing
The Smart Function Kit also saves time and money during operation through simple analysis of the pressing process with validation elements. . Ready-to-use monitoring functions show live status information and process results including force-displacement curve and allow the data to flow directly into the IT system for quality assurance. This means much greater transparency!
In the new multi-product line for rotary encoders, the Smart Function Kit from Bosch Rexroth presses in the housing flange with an accuracy of +/-0.02 mm. And with a force of up to 800 daN! The pressing force required depends on the variant. Hubsch believes that up to 10,000 of these encoders could be produced economically on such a multi-product line. In the future, the respective production parameters are to be transferred directly to the Smart Function Kit via RFID.
Production of different types of rotary encoders at Sensata: the Smart Function Kit for pressing tasks reduces engineering, commissioning and quality assurance costs. (Copyright: Sensata)
Smart MechatroniX for the Factory of the Future
What else Jean-Marc Hubsch likes about the Smart Function Kit: It was simply designed in advance and then ordered online. To further simplify engineering, he also purchased the TS 2plus transfer system, also of modular design, and the XM21 automation platform as a common control system from a single source. Hubsch sees the complete multi-product line as a proven blueprint for further production sites. “With the help of Bosch Rexroth’s global support, the solution will be internationally scaled and will continue to grow step by step,“ says Hubsch.
Versatile all-rounder: the modular TS 2plus transfer system performs a wide range of transport tasks with standardized modules. (Copyright: Bosch Rexroth)
True to the motto “Plug & Produce, Perform, Proceed”, Bosch Rexroth will soon present further Smart MechatroniX solutions that will pave the way to the Factory of the Future. What will be next? Stay tuned for updates!
Author: Timo Vogg Job title: Technical sales department, Bosch Rexroth AG.
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Since the early 1990’s, recycling company Genan have been taking in tires that have reached the end of their service life and carefully separating them into their constituent parts. With the number of vehicles rising, so does the number of end-of-life tires for disposal. In order to keep tires not only out of landfills, but also out of incinerators, they are separated into 75% rubbers as granulate or powder, 15% steel and 10% textile fibers.
“For each ton of end-of-life tires recycled instead of being incinerated, the climate will be relieved of 1.1 tons of C0 2 emissions at a minimum” – Daniel Pohl, Project Manager at Genan
A fundamental part of productivity
Our Hägglunds hydraulic direct drives have been an integral component of Genan’s work since the first Genan plant opened in Viborg, Denmark in 1990. With their built-in resistance to shock lock loads and their ability to start, stop and reverse as many times as needed, our systems were a logical choice for machines like tire shredders.
Hägglunds drives are used across all Genan’s plants. In total Genan now has six plants world-wide. Genan expanded first to Berlin in 2003 and later to two other German cities, Dorsten and Kammlach. Texas, US,became Genan’s first non-European site in 2014, and operations in Portugal were recently added, bringing the combined intake capacity of nearly 400,000 metric tons per year.
“We started up right from the beginning with Hägglunds drives and we’re so happy with them that we never want to change.” – Daniel Pohl, Project Manager at Genan
Genan now has more than 40 hydraulic drive systems in total, which are based on two different motors: the Hägglunds CA 100 and the Hägglunds CB 840. With their high-power density, these motors deliver extreme and sustainable torque from zero speed. Because Genan’s business is highly automated, and at a typical plant there are only a small number of staff members, it’s imperative that the drives not only have high torque but are also incredibly reliable.
“Since we are producing 24/7, the reliability of all systems is needed at all times” – Daniel Pohl, Project Manager at Genan
Daniel Pohl, Project Manager at Genan, notes that not only does Genan benefit from the Hägglunds drive systems themselves, but also from the strong support that Rexroth provide. Taking the Hägglunds service centre in Bochum in Germany as an example, Rexroth supports all of Genan’s German production facilities – from training employees to short-time repairs and spare parts. The relationship is excellent, and Pohl sees Hägglunds drive systems as a major component of Genan’s continued success.
Find out more here.
Read more about the Hägglunds solutions here: www.boschrexroth.com/hagglunds
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