Recovery expected this year

Italy’s national association for machine tools, robots and automation systems, UCIMU-Sistemi Per Produrre, is predicting recovery in the year ahead. According to forecasts developed by UCIMU, production should grow to €5795m (+16.6% versus 2021), driven by the recovery of exports, which should amount to €3220m (+11.8%), and by an increase in deliveries of Italian manufacturers to the domestic market, which should rise to €2575m (+23.2%). Consumption should also regain its dynamism, registering a 23.3% upturn and reaching €4175m, while UCIMU expects imports to attain €1600m (+23.6%).

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Tube cutter suits Micrometric

Lincoln-based manufacturing firm Micrometric has introduced Coherent’s StarCut Tube system to its range of cutting equipment. The fully automated machine is designed to laser cut, drill and mark tubular or flat metal components, and has found favour among many subcontract manufacturers producing parts for medical instruments requiring extremely high precision.

Despite success in this proven application, Micrometric has found additional uses for its new machine, producing a range of tube components in large volumes as well as finer, more precise parts for sectors other than medical.

Neil Main, managing director at Micrometric, says: “We invested in the StarCut Tube machine as we knew it could deliver the required performance for a range of projects and had a long, low-maintenance lifetime which is necessary for cost-effective operations within our working environment. The machine´s versatility permits us to cut thinner tube than is possible on our other machines, allowing us to extend our capabilities and the range of customers we can service.”

Micrometric has already used the machine to cut, assemble and weld complex medical and aerospace components for companies which produce aerospace filters, automated injection needles, endoscopy components and MRI scanning equipment.

“Thanks to this machine, we can produce parts for many different sectors, including airflow sensors, flexible protective covers, valves for car suspension systems, industrial and medical endoscopy equipment, printing machines, and food production,” says Main. “We’ve always tried to address difficult tasks by investing heavily in our equipment and in staff training. This machine is perfect for customers looking to produce reliable components with extremely precise design criteria, as well as those using materials which are less common than sheet steel.”

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CNC Robotics receives funding

CNC Robotics, a system integrator specialising in the use of robots for machining, is one of 22 SMEs across the Liverpool City Region to receive part of the Metro Mayor’s £1.1m Future Innovation Fund. The Fund rewards businesses that have continued to innovate during the pandemic and so contribute to the area’s economic recovery.

The Future Innovation Fund will enable CNC Robotics to provide more systems to the manufacturing sector as it further expands its range. By developing an even more cost-effective product that is capable of machining a range of materials, CNC Robotics will be able to offer this solution to manufacturers across multiple industries. The company will also research whether other end effectors, including additive manufacturing printing heads, could be used to deliver a hybrid product that can both 3D print and machine.

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Automated loading for all fabricators

With the ByTower Compact automated load/unload system, the productivity of a Bystronic laser cutter can increase significantly without occupying much space. Thanks to its small footprint, the ByTower Compact opens up lightly manned manufacturing for any size of company. This offer is possible because system installation takes place vertically, directly above the shuttle table.

Notably, it is possible to customise the storage tower height to meet specific user requirements and make optimum use of available space. The system supports two different configurations, allowing metal sheets to be stored directly at the machine, regardless of whether they arrive with or without a wooden pallet. As a result, raw material is available immediately.

The ByTower Compact can also serve as a buffer storage facility where materials are prepared for unmanned shifts during the night or over weekends. Manufacturers can therefore process large batches of parts outside of normal working hours, with the ByTower Compact taking care of material handling. Sheets for upcoming jobs can be conveniently prepared without interrupting the machine’s running processes.

Bystronic’s ByTower Compact offers storage space for a wide range of material types and thicknesses, as well as for the storage of cut parts after processing. Reduced set-up times and an optimal material flow ensure maximum utilisation of the laser-cutting system, because sheet metal is stored exactly where it is needed most: at the machine.

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Large-format laser cutter

LVD is introducing Taurus FL, a new large-format gantry-style fibre laser cutter that offers extra-large sheet metal cutting capacity. Of modular design, machine size begins at a bed length of 12 m, expanding in increments of 2 m to a maximum of 40 m. This large format allows the cutting and nesting of a diverse range of parts. It is possible to process workpieces up to 3.3 m wide and up to 30 mm thick.

The production of large parts takes place without repositioning, while users can position multiple smaller workpieces on the cutting table for processing in continuous fashion, without interruption. Operators are able to cut parts on one section of the table, while loading/offloading takes place on another, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum.

Taurus FL offers easy access. Only the gantry features an enclosure, not the complete machine. The mechanical design and drive system ensure high machine dynamics in large-format cutting.

Machine operators have the use of two touch panels for convenient access to the control at all times. A handheld control unit enables the user to safely move all axes in manual mode for machine set up, or to load the nozzle changer. A camera located inside the cutting zone and a monitor on the operator console allow continuous monitoring of the cutting process. The cutting zone has a detachable front panel, providing access for maintenance.

Taurus FL also provides the option of bevel cutting or 2.5D cutting up to 45°. The bevel head uses two direct-drive motors. With direct drives there are no transmission components, resulting in high accuracy and rapid-response motion.

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