FANUC reveals IoT space at technology day

Fanuc unveiled a new space dedicated to the IoT at its UK headquarters in Coventry recently as part of the company’s latest technology day for wire EDM. The event saw several of FANUC’s RoboCut α-CiB wire EDM machines in live cutting action.

Furthermore, all production data was available to view in real-time in the new IoT area. The space demonstrated FANUC’s out-of-the-box MT-Linki machine-tool monitoring service, which allows users to remotely monitor, harvest and analyse live production data.
Visitors were also able to get a first glimpse of FANUC’s newest data connectivity platform, FIELD, will officially launch later in the year.
FANUC’s α-CiB series comprises of compact, submerged wire-cutting machines. One of the stand-out features is the built-in ‘Core Stitch’ function, which allows operators to extend unmanned machining hours through the better planning of cutting jobs. Stitch points are set directly on the machine’s CNC without the need for any pre-programming, and when used in combination with the wire-path re-threading function, offer a good solution for unmanned machining and multi-workpiece cutting. Once the job is complete, operators simply knock-out the cores by hand, avoiding any risk of damaging the machine.
The α-CiB machine series also employs FANUC’s AWF2 automatic wire-feed threading technology, which takes just 10 seconds to complete a threading operation. Importantly, the RoboCut series need not return to the starting point after a wire break, which reduces cycle times. To guarantee reliable threading and re-threading, wires are electronically cut to leave a pointed end that is straight and burr free. Improved cutting control can also be achieved via the built-in iPulse 2 cutting function, which provides accurate corner control, regardless of material thickness or surface roughness.
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Faster wire-EDM cutting at Cowie

Cumbernauld-based subcontract manufacturing specialist Cowie Engineering has continued its investment drive by installing a Sodick VL600Q CNC wire-erosion machine from Sodi-Tech EDM.

The move has seen the replacement of an existing Sodick machine that had reached the end of its useful working life. Since installation, Cowie Engineering says that the VL600Q has not only simplified programming and set-up, but boosted cutting speed by approximately 20%.
Currently, work at Cowie Engineering is focussed on a number of key sectors. For instance, the company reports that the oil and gas sector has shown particular signs of strength. Here, Cowie makes parts for wireline pressure-control equipment, deployment systems, down-hole tools and well testing gauges, often from materials such as Inconel, CA104 aluminium bronze, and 4140 and 4145 alloy steel. In addition, Cowie Engineering reports that it has just secured a contract for a new sector, motorsport, and parts required for this customer are among those currently being produced by the new Sodick VL600Q.
“The machine is kept busy producing a number of different components and features,” explains director Ross Cowie. “Typical operations include the creation of keyways, squares and splines for customers in the bottling, motorsport, and oil and gas sectors. As well as providing around 20% faster cutting speed, we’ve found that the Sodick VL600Q offers far easier programming and set-up than our previous machine. The on-board Heart NC software is really effective, which is probably why we only needed two days of training at Sodi-Tech EDM to pick things up.
“The Sodick machine has not missed a beat since it was installed, while the support from Sodi-Tech EDM has been equally good,” he adds.
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Strong first quarter at Corbetts

One of the UK’s longest established hot-dip galvanisers has enjoyed a strong quarter after securing nearly £300,000 of new business.

Corbetts the Galvanizers, which employs 105 people at its facility in Halesfield near Telford, has won contracts to supply customers involved in producing security fencing, street lighting, cable-management systems and agricultural trailers. Sophie Williams, finance director, says: “2019 promised to be an exciting year for our business and it’s certainly living up to its billing with some important new wins and the potential for increased volumes over the next six months.”
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