Interview: Trends, markets and new developments for pipe processing
5 questions to transfluid: effective automatic systems for small series, networking and market requirements
The events and trade fairs of the first half of 2016 had plenty to offer. Further developments and technical innovations for many different industries were topics in high demand for exciting discussions and pleasant transactions at Tube or Bauma, for example. Machine constructor transfluid continues to work at full speed in the second half of the year as well with fresh impulses from the exchange of ideas and continuous demand for its pipe processing solutions on board. With one look back and another ahead, Stefanie Flaeper, managing director of transfluid, makes clear what the industry and her own company currently need:
Ms Flaeper, where do you see the current trends of pipe processing?
There is a general trend towards higher flexibility. Subsequent costs - e.g. in the area of tool technology - must be limited to a minimum. It is important for the future to ensure complete process data recording. Only this permits production at employee-independent quality.
Are there any differences in the demand for technologies on the European, North-American and Asian markets? Where do you see special challenges?
There are technology differences in the requirements. For example, wage-intensive processes are not targeted at later automation quite as clearly on the North-American and Asian or Eastern European markets. Only among high-quality products such as in the automotive area, customers want to exclude the "human" factor of insecurity as far as possible in those regions as well. Generally, automatic plants are sometimes difficult to represent mathematically in light of the low wages.
How can digital networking in pipe processing be advanced?
We have covered the core competence of software programming with our own employees. Digitalisation then can be implemented easily with interfaces and a main computer. We create links with many different CAD programs as well. However, we also offer the option of digital data recording at the object on site - which is particularly interesting for special tasks. High-quality pipe processing as independent of employees as possible is enabled by this as well. Digital data recording and networking means, of course, that all relevant process data are saved centrally in networks, available to the complete pipe processing sequence. Only this way can result-oriented improvement of the processes and quality be ensured in connection with smart machine solutions.
What are the future markets?
The entire area of energy supply surely offers future markets in technical respects. Of course, there are also advanced technologies in the automotive area, medical-technology devices and devices for rehabilitation. Water and foods are future-proof technologies as well.
Geographically speaking, the American continent surely is a future market. Its degree of automation is lagging far behind that of Europe. Eastern European countries and Russia will also be interesting for us in the future.
Which new developments do you put on the way for this?
In these areas, these are the automated plants that are effective for our customers even at smaller numbers. It must be possible to re-equip them economically and simply without requiring any mechanical equipment. All process parameters can be called digitally.
We have already implemented this in bending systems via robots. Here, process data can be read in online and the robot will program itself independently based on these data.
transfluid works on further corresponding new developments that the guests at the upcoming trade fairs such as the SMM in Hamburg, Bimu in Milan, Euroblech in Hamburg and, of course, the next Innovation Days at transfluid may look forward to.