Transforming operations with Lantek

Lantek, a specialist in sheet-metal manufacturing software, demonstrated how working with an industry specialist provides the ability to automate and control the whole business by analysing machinery and customer KPIs through factory digitalisation in partnership with engineers who really understand the industry. Visitors to the company’s stand at the BIEMH 2022 exhibition in Bilbao last month were able to discover this for themselves.

Lantek has 28,000 clients worldwide, using its Expert software to drive their CNC machinery. Internationally, the company has seen a 25% increase in its digitalisation business as companies realise how much difference starting on the path to a smart factory can make to profitability and efficiency. In the UK alone, 2021 saw a record turnover of over €1m and a significant rise in interest in KPI analysis and digitalisation.

Lantek presented the latest version of the suite at BIEMH, launched during the past year under its Global Release 2021. With this update, the company continues with its commitment to offer clients and distributors advanced and flexible solutions for the sheet-metal market, helping them on the path to digital transformation.

The Lantek Expert and Lantek Flex3d CADCAM solutions give companies the ability to create CNC programs automatically for virtually every sheet-metal machine on the market, while its nesting software ensures maximum material utilisation. Building on the technology and capabilities of this software, companies can start by adding smart modules to generate quotations for customers quickly and accurately. They can then move on to Lantek MES, which keeps track of scheduling and machine OEE, and then to Lantek’s cloud-based analytics software, which will help them to understand the KPIs that are important for both customer and manufacturing management.
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LVD shows full-featured tube laser

LVD showcased its TL 8525, the most advanced tube laser cutting machine in its TL series, at the recent Tube 2022 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. The company says that its TL 8525 opens the door to a world of versatile tube and profile processing with optimised features, including 45° 3D tilt-axis cutting head, six-position front loader, wide X-axis cutting range, and the ability to cut tubes up to 8500 mm long (up to 3000 mm long and 250 mm diameter).

Built for high productivity, the TL 8525 can accommodate a broad range of applications, including complex, large and heavy tubes. The 400 mm Z axis efficiently handles the processing of larger profiles. Notably, the machine maintains the compact footprint of other TL models and offers the advantage of accessibility on all sides. AS loading and unloading is handled on one side, the machine can fit into a small space or against a wall.

LVD’s 45° 3D tilt-cutting head delivers high-precision bevel cutting and is suitable for weld-preparation cuts in thick-walled tubes, while the front loader loads up to six tubes and offers six positions for up to 250 mm tubes. The 1190 mm X-axis cutting-head range permits processing along a greater length of the tube, wasting less material to make tube cutting more productive and profitable.

Automatic tube loading, automatic tube centring, and automatic set up and adjustment of the chuck and steady rest, offer highly automated, reliable operation.

The TL 8525 comes equipped with a 2 kW fibre laser source, although a 4 kW laser is available as an option.
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Stepping up tube-cutting capabilities

Yamazaki Mazak says it is taking laser-cutting capabilities to the maximum with the launch of its compact 3D fibre laser cutting machine, the FG-220. The FG-220 is suitable for the precision 3D cutting of long tubes (with round, square, rectangular and triangular cross-sections) and structural materials (such as I and H beams, angle iron and additional user-defined shapes).

Use of the new machine’s improves the productivity of cutting thin-to-medium thickness pipe and other structural materials, thanks largely to the fibre-laser technology having a shorter wavelength than a CO2 laser for the high-speed cutting of medium steel with nitrogen assist gas. Higher productivity translates into significant energy savings due to the 100% elimination of laser gas and a 50% reduction in electrical consumption.

Furthermore, the FG-220 is an all-in-one machine that can perform multiple processes including cutting, drilling, tapping and clamping, which leads to significantly reduced in-process times.

Mazak has engineered a proprietary 3D laser cutting head with an extended range of movement in the A and B axes, which expands on the array of possible applications. The FG-220 enables machining at any desired angle and from various directions, thus achieving even complex shapes, as well as tight joint fits. As a result, it is possible to construct rigid space frames far quicker (with reduced welding) in comparison with conventional construction processes. The machine is suitable for use on a broader spectrum of workpieces, including highly-reflective materials such as copper and brass.

Several features enable high-precision cutting of long materials, such as auto-centring and workpiece clamping, as well as various support units to prevent sagging during cut. Four chucks simultaneously travel on and rotate around the axis to avoid material swaying.
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HACO and HSG confirm strategic partnership

HACO and HSG have confirmed their strategic partnership with an agreement for the exclusive distribution of HACO-HSG fibre lasers in the French and Benelux markets.

Metal profiling is developing rapidly, resulting in a global shift in the industry towards fibre laser-cutting technology.

“The use of fibre lasers for profiling metal results in a spectacular reduction in overall cycle time for industrial companies,” says Andy Raedt, product manager at HACO. “Fibre-laser technology is developing at a fast pace, with newly developed machines being introduced to the market many times a year.”

HSG, with headquarters in Foshan, China, is a pioneer in the development and production of high-quality fibre laser cutting machines. Since its foundation in 2006, the company has grown globally and now has more than 1500 employees. HSG has multiple dedicated R&D centres in China and Japan focusing on bringing the latest technology to the market and meeting demand for more flexibility, speed and power. Today, HSG offers a complete series of fibre-laser machines, from flat-bed lasers and combination machines, up to a range of tube lasers with bevel-cutting head and integrated automation.

“The synergy in this partnership lays in the combination of HSG’s high-quality fibre lasers and the extensive sales and service network of HACO in the French and Benelux markets,” says Angelo Steen, commercial director at HACO. “With over 15,000 metalworking machines installed over the years in these countries, we’ve developed a solid network of local teams.”

In the past few years, HACO has installed dozens of fibre laser cutting machines with HSG technology under the HACO brand. With this partnership, newly installed fibre-laser cutters will be delivered under the joint brand of HACO-HSG.
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Increase flexibility, productivity and savings

Lankapaja Corporation, one of the biggest and best-known sheet metal subcontractors in Finland, has invested in Prima Power’s Night Train FMS automated storage solution for its Nummela facility. The solution includes a new Combi Genius 1530 combi laser machine, which brings together laser cutting and punching technology with an automatic LSR loading and stacking robot.

“With automation we could reduce the number of different machines, increase production efficiency and lower costs,” explains R&D manager Christian Öberg.

According to Öberg, automation is one of the elements perceived as a guarantee that a supplier will be able to offer its customers competitive prices now and in the future.

“We do a lot of small runs, making shift times important,” he says. “This is why we chose the most flexible sheet metal machine on the market: Prima Power’s combi laser. It can run even small batches efficiently.”

Lankapaja runs the machines in two shifts, totalling about 8-12 hours of effective operating time per day, per machine. With the help of the automated storage solution, the goal is to reach 15-20 operating hours per day, per machine: a huge increase in productivity that will not trigger the additional costs of manual alternatives.

Jon Törnwall, IT manager at Lankapaja, goes further into the details: “This requires a new kind of thinking for programming and job queue planning. We investigated this at length and noticed that most waste in production comes specifically from the picking, loading and unloading of sheet metal. We believe we will reach our goal by automating these steps and that in the future, with the help of the storage solution, we will manage the same amount of work with two machines as we do now with three machines.”

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