EMEX - Engineering, Machinery & Electronics Exhibition
EMEX is back in 2020 for it's 40th Anniversary!
EMEX is the place to showcase your products and services to the Engineering, Manufacturing and Electronics industry
Bigger than ever!
175+ exhibitors. 3 full days of seminars. Special features: Innovation Quarter, Innovation Lab, Employment Hub & so much more!
Manufacturing is Back, and More Intelligent Than Ever—But Are We Reaping the Benefits Yet?
Terri Hiskey, Vice President of Product Marketing for Manufacturing at Epicor Software
Look around, and the manufacturing industry is brimming with examples of firms that are bringing the latest technological developments to their factory floors. Their goal? To improve processes, increase automation levels, and facilitate future business growth.
A case in point is the manufacturing giant Siemens, which has used automation to reduce the rollout time of new products by a third. Another example is global autoparts manufacturer Hirotec, which has used cloud-based analytics and IoT to reduce system inspection times by 100 percent—a move that has helped the company avoid a painful $361 per-second bill for downtime during manual inspections.
It’s outcomes such as these that are inspiring other manufacturers to implement Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into their production environments. In fact, according to recent research from Epicor, 69 percent of manufacturers believe their industry is on the verge of large scale IoT adoption or is at least at an experimental level.
All this indicates the sector is entering an exciting period of change, where manufacturers seize on digital innovation and transformation opportunities. Indeed, the same Epicor research shows us that manufacturers are increasingly embracing technology. 79 percent already have sensors on their machines, and 42 percent are using IoT technology to control and work with robots. In addition to making manufacturers more agile and more responsive, such technologies can also enable smaller firms to compete against much larger players, as Epicor customer SouthCo has shown.
Like many emerging trends, willingness to adopt and get to grips with IoT varies across geographic regions. Despite the hype, a surprising 44 percent of global manufacturers have still either never heard of IoT or know little about it. This rises to 57 percent in EMEA, where the pace of adoption is much lower compared to Asia Pacific, where the thirst for new technology is much higher. Just 27 percent of manufacturers in APAC are unaware or poorly informed about IoT.
Counting the gains
However, where IoT is put to work—with production robots that can send and receive data, or perhaps the use of RFID technology to connect shipments with factory equipment—not every manufacturer is finding it easy to measure the gains enabled by these technology implementations.
Research tells us that IoT technology itself can be challenging to implement, and that its impact can be hard to quantify. In fact, around three-quarters (72 percent) of manufacturers surveyed by Epicor in the research above, say they are yet to measure any real return on their IoT investments to date.
This, it seems, is the harsh reality of IoT. Yes, connected technology is putting the spotlight back on manufacturing. Yes, it’s making the factories of the future possible, today. And yes, there are outstanding examples of manufacturers transforming their operations as a result. Yet many firms within the manufacturing community are struggling to justify their spend on all of this new technology.
IoT and ERP—the perfect pairing
By default, the IoT involves capturing a huge amount of data—from the production line through to the wider supply chain. If the IoT is to truly bring value to an organization, this data needs to be captured and analyzed via an effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Afterall, a return-on-investment figure can’t be calculated if outcomes cannot be measured.
Using ERP technology alongside IoT solutions is becoming increasingly accepted among manufacturers as a way of addressing this particular challenge. Many are starting to recognize the importance of placing an ERP system at the heart of their smart factories because it means that centralized monitoring becomes possible, accurate data can be collected, informed decisions can be made, and improvements can be measured.
As we move further into 2019, we can expect to see switched-on manufacturers continue to shift towards using intelligent cloud-based ERP solutions to justify their IoT investments. This will enable them to continue to take advantage of new opportunities, to optimize processes, and to remain agile. All through the powerful combination of IoT and ERP.
Manufacturing is certainly back—gone are the days of dirty or dingy factories. Gone is the high use of manual labour and blue screens. Instead, we are entering an Industry 4.0 world where manufacturing is increasingly digital. In this world, ERP software combined with smart factory technology will be the perfect pairing.
To find out more about how you can use ERP to measure the ROI from your IoT investments, get in touch via the Epicor website. If you’d like to benchmark your tech investments and subsequent business growth levels against other manufacturers in your region, view the Global Growth Index.
The research was conducted by Morar Consulting on behalf of Epicor in December 2017. The research questioned 2,200 manufacturing business decision makers and employees in businesses in 14 countries across the globe.
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Fuel for the future
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Georgia Tech have developed a new system that absorbs CO2 and produces electricity and useable hydrogen fuel.
The new device, which the team calls a Hybrid Na-CO2 System, is basically a big liquid battery. A sodium metal anode is placed in an organic electrolyte, while the cathode is contained in an aqueous solution. The two liquids are separated by a sodium super ionic conductor membrane.
When CO2 is injected into the aqueous electrolyte, it reacts with the cathode, turning the solution more acidic, which in turn generates electricity and creates hydrogen. In tests, the team reported a CO2 conversion efficiency of 50%, and the system was stable enough to run for over 1,000 hours without causing any damage to the electrodes. Unlike other designs, it doesn’t release any CO2 as a gas during normal operation – instead, the remaining half of the CO2 was recovered from the electrolyte as plain old baking soda.
“Carbon capture, utilisation, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies have recently received a great deal of attention for providing a pathway in dealing with global climate change,” says Professor Guntae Kim, head of the study. “The key to that technology is the easy conversion of chemically stable CO2 molecules to other materials. Our new system has solved this problem with CO2 dissolution mechanism.”
The team plans to continue improvement on the design.
3D modelling: key role in design of Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway
Seequent’s Leapfrog 3D helps shape Kiwi infrastructure
Design Joint Venture (DJV), a collaboration between engineering consultants, Beca and Tonkin + Taylor has highlighted the power of Seequent’s Leapfrog Works 3D geological modelling software in the design of a motorway extension from New Zealand’s Pūhoi to Warkworth.
With an estimated cost of more than $700m (including maintenance over 25 years), the 18km Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway extension includes a road corridor that cuts through steep hills and valleys, and the creation of seven bridges including three viaducts. Combine this with the cutting of 7 million cubic metres of earth (and the filling of 5 million), and the challenge of soft alluvial sediments – and it’s easy to see why a project wide ground model is essential as a basis for geotechnical design, and to mitigate project risk.
As the population of Auckland reaches over 1.5 million, and the demand on the Northland area increases, the region of Warkworth is classed as a growth centre. The number of cars travelling the route daily is set to rise from 19,700 in 2012 to 31,300 in 2026 – the extension will provide a better connection with all of the associated safety and traffic flow benefits.
The design work was subcontracted to Design Joint Venture (DJV) a collaboration between engineering consultants, Beca and Tonkin + Taylor. Seequent’s Leapfrog Works, which is specifically designed for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries, was used as the 3D geological modelling software to more accurately define the geology.
Chris Monk, engineering geologist, Tonkin & Taylor, says, “There were three areas of focus. North, which showed low-lying topography; Central, which has significant cut and fill embankments and; South, which contained two viaduct structures. It was important we could use a modelling tool that worked flexibly around the different geology and surface types to give accurate outputs. We modelled 210 cone penetration tests (CPT) and brought in data from 420 boreholes, 355 hand augers and 220 test pits.”
Detailed design started in October 2016 and is ongoing. The team started collecting ground investigation data and used this to input into their 3D geological Leapfrog model. Leapfrog Works’ dynamic and continuous modelling transformed the way that the Geotechnical team worked.
Using Leapfrog Works meant geological surfaces could be mapped by a geologist, rather than engaging a CAD technician to work alongside a geologist, resulting in a smoother workflow, and faster turn-around times. As project engineers needed sections, they were able to go straight to a single point of contact to quickly create the desired section – saving time and reducing the effort in having to re-produce work.
Stuart Cartwright, senior engineering geologist, Tonkin + Taylor, says, “Leapfrog really helped us on what has been a significant and challenging project. The length of the proposed motorway and its alignment through such steep topography made the ground model development challenging.”
The Geotechnical team were able to leverage the visualisation of Leapfrog Works to bring together and better communicate across such a wide range of project stakeholders including the Construction Joint Venture (CJV) team, quantity surveyors, surveyors and geotechnical engineers and bridge designers.
“By being able to show the model in 3D and cut sections at any desired location instantaneously enabled others to visually understand the geological conditions of the site with much better clarity. We collaborated much more as a whole project team as we were able to hold informal review sessions/workshops to show progress. In the past we would have gone with paper sections, but the 3D model outputs and graphical interface changed the way we communicated and collaborated,” says Cartwright.
The motorway is expected to take five years to build and will be open to traffic in late 2021.
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EFFECTIVE SAFETY TRAINING CAN NOT ONLY SAVE LIVES BUT ALSO AID PRODUCTIVITY
ACCIDENTS, NEAR MISSES AND OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY INCIDENTS NOT ONLY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE SERIOUS HARM TO WORKERS, BUT THEY CAN ALSO SERIOUSLY IMPACT ON THE PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY OF A WORKSITE.
Having to close a section of your plant or halt work due to an incident; conduct investigations and complete incident reports; or more seriously – work through treating and rehabilitating an injured worker – are all serious and stressful tasks that also impact on productivity.
In recent years, the introduction of more comprehensive health and safety legislation; advances in technology and design of personal protective equipment; and increased awareness around health and safety procedures has gone a long way towards improving health and safety in New Zealand workplaces. But despite these measures, many sites still lose time and money as a result of health and safety incidents.
Many of these incidents could have been easily avoided if staff had been competently trained to use safety equipment and follow applicable procedures. Whilst many people employed in a health and safety role are trained, it is critical that all employees – frontline workers, supervisors, managers and even company owners – receive training.
As well as improving your workplace health and safety practices, effective training will provide you with a better understanding of the law and your legal obligations; help you avoid severe penalties; allow for improved management of your business; reduce workplace insurance costs and of course; increase efficiency.
NZ Safety Blackwoods Worksafe Training has been operating as a specialised training organisation, with a philosophy focused on the areas of health, safety and the environment, since the introduction of health and safety legislation in 1993.
Each specialised trainer is fully qualified, both academically and practically, and can provide both industry expertise and educational experience across a wide range of training areas – including, but not limited to emergency response, elevating work platforms, forklifts, height safety, lockout/tagout, hazardous substances, spill response and contractor management.
NZ Safety Blackwoods Worksafe Training also recognises that not all workplaces are the same, and it is often beneficial to customise and tailor training packages to a specific site or situation. Experienced trainers will consult with you and identify your specific training requirements from both a regulatory and an occupational health and safety aspect, then deliver cost-effective training packages tailored to your specific environment.
As well as dedicated training venues in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch equipped with classrooms and purpose-built facilities; training can also be conducted on your worksite, to both minimise downtime and provide practical experience within a relevant environment.
Implementing regular and effective health and safety training for all staff will help ensure day-to-day operations, maintenance work and shut down activities are completed safely – not only ensuring compliance – but also minimising downtime and driving efficiency.
Engage with the experienced team at NZ Safety Blackwoods Worksafe Training so they can assess your requirements; pull together the best team to meet your training needs; and implement cost-effective, customised workplace training to minimise costs, reduce downtime, and most importantly, keep your team safe at work.
NZ Safety Blackwoods Worksafe Training is an independent Private Training Establishment (PTE) registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
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MAZAK TOOLS YOU UP TO BE COMPETITIVE
Victor Hydraulics recently installed a Mazak HCN 4000 horizontal with multi pallets and tool hive with 312 tool locations.
This was driven by the need to be focused on how to keep competitive. In the past, Victor Hydraulics also bought ‘like for like’ machines for “standardisation reasons,” but then realised over time they were not getting any gains from new technology and were stuck in a rut.
“This need for standardisation was constraining our thinking,” says manufacturing manager Darryl May. “But the constraints are mainly in the mind, because we tell ourselves this is the way we have always done things, by doing this we were seriously limiting ourselves.”
So, Victor Hydraulics sent out specification requirements to four different suppliers; the overall offering that met Victor Hydraulics’ vision for the future in terms of size, controller, tool hive, pallet system and market support was Mazak.
“There was quite a bit at stake and the specifying and install process was very smooth – no-one cut any corners and I am very comfortable with the support we are getting from the team. From a commissioning point of view, it was well coordinated with good communication in advance so there were no surprises,” he says.
No-one attends the machine during the night shift. The tool hive allows the Mazak to run unmanned using the tool monitoring and there are enough tools in the machine to call back up tools. Without the hive Victor Hydraulics would not have a chance of aiming for this goal.
“The technology and configuration allow you to achieve delivery nimbleness. This machine gives us zero set-up time by the ability to set up pallets while another is being machined, our spindle cut time is very high and the smooth controller is super impressive and very intuitive.”
Even with adding more operations to the part being machined, within two months Victor Hydraulic have doubled production rate and halved labour content, and throughput per hour has gone up considerably – the machine is now running 21 hours per day.
With any machine tool investment, the quality of the after sales service is a huge decider in which direction the purchaser will go. When put to Darryl, he says: “Victor Hydraulics realised that while NZMT is a new agent for Mazak, its associated company Iscar Plus was not going to put their cutting tool business with us at risk with poor service, and we realise that Iscar have been in the industry for a long time. Victor Hydraulics trust they will get it right.”
Director John McCallister adds: “Victor Hydraulics are focused on through-put, that’s our main measure”, we have added value by adding to our capability which appeals to our clients and we can also offer design improvements because of the new capabilities.”
SPOTTING WARNING SIGNS – THAT HYDRAULIC HOSES NEED SERVICING
LMR Truck & Trailer Mossvale’s James Haddow with a newly serviced truck
Heavy transport and fleet operators are all too familiar with the importance of having fully functional and safe hydraulic hoses and fittings. A single fault can be deadly.
But since hydraulic hoses wear out at different rates, depending on usage and the environment in which they operate, it’s impossible to give a time-frame for when a service should be undertaken.
Instead, users of machinery that relies on hydraulic power should look out for early warning signs, says Shane Sutton, service technician, LMR Truck & Trailer Mossvale, who works closely with James Haddow as one of more than 100 authorised Hydraulink dealers across Australia.
Fixing problems during programmed maintenance is far cheaper and more efficient than expensive breakdowns causing downtime, and environmental damage.
Through its network of trusted distributors, Hydraulink provides high quality, tested and compliant hydraulic hoses, adaptors and fittings to industries such as transport, mining, earthmoving and civil contractor, agriculture, OEM manufacturers, materials handling, utilities, recycling and waste management.
SHANE’S TOP TIPS FOR HYDRAULIC HOSE SERVICE
LMR Truck & Trailer services a range of heavy vehicles, such as powder tankers, agitators and tippers, and Shane says that even though you can’t specify a time when they’ll need a service, there are a few signs to look out for:
1. The most common fault with hydraulic hoses, is wear to the outer cover. This can be caused by the hose rubbing up against something, or not properly located in a clamp or bracket. The outer cover of the hose is there to protect the reinforcement which is the strength of the hose assembly. If you see a worn cover, it is a lot easier to change that hose then, rather than wait for it to fail in the field.
2. Are there leaks at the ends of the hose? This can be from the fittings being loose, or an ‘O’ ring deteriorating. It could also be that there is a poor seal between the hose and fitting due to high temperatures or the hose being aged.
3. Exposed wires, usually caused by wear, will rust easily, or fail. Companies should not only replace these hoses, but look for a way to prevent future wear.
4. Make sure hoses are not kinked or twisted. Kinked hoses prevent flow, and a twist in a hose will rapidly reduce its life.
“For major companies with large fleets of vehicles, it’s often best to have a preventative maintenance programme in place, to stop normal wear and tear turning into a major fault.
“As a diesel mechanic, Hydraulink products make my job safer and easier,” says Mr Sutton, who has nearly a decade of experience in hydraulic service.
After using hydraulic products from a range of suppliers, LMR Truck & Trailer is now one of more than 100 authorised Hydraulink dealers in Australia.
Mr Sutton says the Hydraulink range is ideally suited to diesel mechanics, due to its broad range of parts and locally available stock.
“Whether it’s a turbo hose for a diesel truck, an oil-resistant hose for high temperature applications or a general-purpose fuel hose for low pressures, Hydraulink has it covered. Their products can handle any pressure.” says Mr Sutton.
“Even if we need a braided supply hose from the compressor down to the tanks, Hydraulink has the exact product, fully standards compliant and ready to go. It really puts our mind at ease.
“Hydraulink hoses are always manufactured to top quality and safety standards. They have the pressures easily labelled on the hoses to avoid any confusion,” says Mr Sutton.
“When servicing hydraulic hoses, fittings and adaptors, mechanics need to be spot on, every time. A faulty hose or incorrect fitting can have dire consequences when operating at high pressure (typically 3,000 – 7,000 PSI in mobile applications).
“One of the big advantages of using Hydraulink products is that there is an extensive amount of experience and capability built up under the one brand, so customers know that all Hydraulink branded products will be delivered to the same high-quality standards. This consistency and quality is very important to customers with diverse and multiple sites who want traceability and uniformly high standards of service and safety delivered across their organisations.”
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PORTS OF AUCKLAND USES 24/7 SOFTWARE SERVICE FOR NEW AUTOMATED CRANES
Ross Clarke, left, programme manager, terminal automation, Ports of Auckland; and Mario van den Heuvel, director, technical support, port service, Konecranes.
The newly signed software service level agreement (SLA) with Konecranes includes 24/7 software technical support once the new equipment goes live.
The equipment covered by the software service level agreement includes 27 new Konecranes Noell automated straddle carriers (A-STRADs) and 21 retrofits to manually operated Konecranes Noell straddle carriers that would make them fully automated.
“Our upgrade to automated straddles is essential to increasing our capacity so that we can handle the future freight needs of a rapidly growing Auckland city,” says Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson.
“In order to deliver for the city, we need to have confidence that any problems with the automation software will be resolved quickly and efficiently. This SLA gives us that confidence,” he says.
Mario van den Heuvel, director, technical support, Konecranes Port Service, says, “We very much appreciate the trust of POAL in our automated straddle carriers and software. The software agreement comes as part of the Konecranes automation solution in order to provide support under the most critical circumstances, and also, to provide piece of mind when changing, upscaling or transitioning from manual to automated operation. With around the clock access to our experts and minimum failure response times, the transition becomes easier.”
Under the SLA, Konecranes will provide a 24/7 expert hotline, continuous access to its service desk, and the latest updates of all the system software. Konecranes will be able to react and resolve software issues fast, as hotline staff will establish a secure remote connection to the POAL Konecranes Noell straddle carriers from anywhere in the world.
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PLAIN SAILING: COOL SOLUTION TO NAVY OVERHEATING PROBLEM
More than $250,000 in annual fuel savings for two of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) fleet will be possible, thanks to a unique engineering solution developed by the RNZN and its fleet maintenance partner Babcock (NZ).
Offshore patrol vessels HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Wellington were designed to run mostly using just one of their two main engines and propeller shafts. The speed generated by one engine is generally enough for their operational requirements.
But the issue with this, RNZN Logistics Commander Maritime Captain Andrew Nuttall says, was that the trailing shaft, even though not powered by an engine, still turned because of the wind-milling effect of the propeller through the water, which subsequently generated heat in the gearbox.
“The pump to supply coolant to remove the heat was driven by the engine,” Captain Nuttall says. “But because this was shut down in the case of the trailing shaft, the result was that various components began overheating.
“To avoid that, both engines were required to be running most of the time, even though only one was technically required to power the vessel.”
HMNZS Wellington’s engineering officer Lieutenant Tim Johns and Babcock’s senior mechanical engineer Patrick Clissold view the coolant transfer system.
This meant that $200,000 of essentially wasted fuel was required for every 1,000 hours of running. Having both engines operational also required increased maintenance and It also meant that marine technicians had to manually adjust the cooling system at all hours of the day and night to ensure the ship’s safety.
The RNZN and Babcock combined engineering design team developed a unique solution that cross-connected the cooling system, so that when an engine was shut down the propeller could still rotate, while the heat generated was cooled through diversion of coolant.
The solution developed by the team would result in significant financial benefits, Captain Nuttall says.
“The saving in fuel alone is impressive. Combine that with the reduced maintenance costs and this solution represents an excellent example of the value our engineering team can add.”
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Kaeser Compressors launches new website
Kaeser Compressors New Zealand launched its new website last month, along with a fresh appearance and a simplified navigation, with the new website designed to be user- and mobile- friendly.
The new Kaeser website was created with the end-user in mind. A simplified navigation now divides the website into just four sections; products, solutions, services and company. In addition, a responsive design ensures that whether a visitor is viewing the website from a PC, tablet or smart phone, the website will adapt to suit the device.
The upgraded product section features extensive product range information and now also includes quick access to technical specifications and in many cases 360-degree product views and videos. There are also a myriad of compressed air resources available to Kaeser website visitors including:
• Kaeser toolbox calculators. From a unit conversion calculator to calculating pressure drop, air receiver size and leakages – the Kaeser Toolbox includes a number of practical online calculators.
• Whitepapers. Kaeser regularly writes and presents in-depth reports on compressed air topics such as energy efficiency, as well as advisory articles to assist compressed air users in – for example – selecting the right compressed air equipment for their application. All current whitepapers can be easily accessed from the upgraded Kaeser website.
• Compressed air engineering handbook. Visitors to the new website can also access the Compressed Air Engineering handbook. Following an in-depth introduction to the field of compressed air technology, this handbook covers a series of practical tips for system operators and compressed air users.
Visit www.kaeser.co.nz to see the new site.
Sunny outlook for fountain thanks to 3D printing
Citycare property supervisor Doug Peek (right) and Wade Peek, from TWP Design in front of the restored Sunnyside fountain.
Innovative 3D printing technology, alongside archived images from the 1970s, were used to help Citycare restore Christchurch’s historic Sunnyside fountain to its former glory.
The fountain was created as a feature in the hospital grounds more than 150 years ago. It is located in what’s now the Sunnyside Heritage Garden on Annex Road – the only remaining part of the once vast complex of 19th century buildings and grounds that comprised Sunnyside Hospital, Christchurch’s first mental health facility.
Vandalism and the theft of its valuable brass fittings left the fountain in a state of demise for nearly 10 years.
Citycare’s property team, led by Citycare property supervisor Doug Peek, was charged with repair and restoration – a challenging task using only historical images as a guide.
“We didn’t have anything in the way of an original template or design, just some grainy photos depicting what the fountain used to look like,” says Doug.
“It was difficult to re-create the missing finial and nozzle due to the quality of the photos and the algae covering what remained.”
TWP Design, a Christchurch-based prototype and product development firm run by Doug’s sons Wade and Travis Peek, was contacted for its 3D printing capabilities.
Prototypes of the fountain’s missing nozzle and ornamental finial were 3D printed using measurements calculated from the photos and existing structure. The prototypes were assessed for fit and authenticity, before the final product was manufactured and then fitted to the fountain.
Citycare maintains and keeps the fountain clean, as part of its water feature maintenance contract.
“The rejuvenated fountain has been met with appreciation with many positive comments from members of the community who spoke to the team whilst renovations were underway,” says Doug.
“One lady mentioned that she has lived in the area for about 10 years, and she had always wanted to see the fountain restored and running so that she could sit and enjoy it and the ambience of the gardens.
“My team and I are thrilled to be part of its restoration, using innovative technology to achieve a task that for many years was left unattended, possibly due to the challenge it presented.”
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