Some helpful advice brought together by Peter Crawley who was asked recently if there was a method to notch, bend, and straighten hollow sections using Inventor. I’ve discovered a couple a couple of methods, both of which are shown below. There are probably more, but these two look worthy of sharing. If you have any feedback or want to suggest an alternative, please use the comments below. (Notch and bend description – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notching)
Unfolding the part pictured above
Being a fan of Frame Generator, I was keen to see if I could find a method that could be used to unfold an existing frame. In conjunction with an unlikely partner (Sheet Metal) it can! See the second method below for details.
Method 1 – Notch and bend using the “Bend Part” feature
This method assumes you can straighten the design in your head before modelling it and bending it into shape. If you have the brain for that process, then this is the method for you because it’s quick and easy. If you’d prefer to model the final result and then “unfold” it, skip over to Method 2 below.
Depending on your preference for modelling steelwork, this might appeal because it uses standard sketch-based features on the part file itself. I like it for its simplicity, but for multiple bends, it can quickly become difficult to calculate exactly where the cuts should be made, especially if the part is bent in more than one plane.
Engineering is a technical business with the specialised skills of engineers needed on projects all over the world.
Demonstrating the right qualifying titles at home and overseas is a necessity to working in this global industry, but titles should not hinder qualified engineers.
The presidents of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Peter Wong and Engineers Australia's John McIntosh have taken steps to simplify the transfer of equivalent Australian and International titles and qualifications by renewing a longstanding agreement of mutual recognition last week.
The agreement was signed as part of celebrations at the CIBSE Australia and New Zealand 30th Anniversary function at the Melbourne Aquarium.
CIBSE ANZ chair, Paul Angus, said there is a mutual respect for the integrity of the registration process that both institutions adhere to. "This agreement gives our members equivalent footing in Australia and oversees,” he said.
Likewise, qualified Engineers Australia members will find gaining the international equivalent titles of IEng, CEng or EngTech simple through CIBSE.
Members of either Institution wishing to gain equivalent qualifications must apply though the host Institution.
Meanwhile, Thai Nguyen, a mechanical engineering (Hons) student of the University of New South Wales and Simon Green, a graduate building services rngineer from Arup specialising in mechanical engineering design have taken top prizes for the CIBSE ANZ Young Engineers Awards.
Thai was announced Mark Griffin Memorial Award – Student of the Year, having completed an outstanding brief for a sustainable retrofit of an old office building.
The Awards called on entries from engineering students from 17 Universities around the region; open to anyone studying BSc, BEng or MEng in Australia and New Zealand. It is part of CIBSE ANZ’s strategy to nurture and reward the brightest young engineering minds, directing their skills towards solving some of the industries greatest challenges.
The 2018 competition will re-open for entries in November 2017.
The national society representing maintenance engineering has waded into the recent substandard steel mesh debate with a call for the government to show leadership before a tragedy occurs.
Maintenance Engineering Society of New Zealand (MESNZ) Chairman Barry Robinson says his society engaged with the government 7 years ago, highlighting the potential dangers of counterfeit materials. In Mr Robinson’s words, “The problem is endemic across the supply chain from steels and construction materials to stressed engineering elements. We are not talking single tragedies here, but the potential for a significant event taking out multiple lives.”
The Maintenance Engineering society has for several years gathered evidence of substandard steel, ball bearings, bolts, nuts, plumbing fittings, and others. “We are talking about vast quantities of very sub-standard materials and products infiltrating our society at every imaginable level, including automobile brake hoses, lubricants, food, health supplements, medicines, drugs and alcohol”.
The MESNZ points to potential issues with leaking houses, the reconstruction of Christchurch and significant infrastructure, and advocates among industry for awareness around false material certificates. “Most people don’t think of it, but these things form the very core of our society’s ability to function”.
“While the recent cases against Steel & Tube and Timber King highlight internal supply issues for New Zealand, soft trade barriers make us an attractive target for dumping substandard materials and the government appears frozen in the headlights when it comes to providing a solution that does not compromise our free market ethos. Practical and effective supply chain solutions are possible, along the lines of the Qualitymark model created by the Beef and Lamb Marketing Board. The government needs to show leadership in seeding such a solution before tragedy strikes or our international reputation is degraded.”
The QualityMark model works by accrediting suppliers who meet stringent product testing requirements. Testing is backed up with regular random sampling, giving continuous assurance to clients. The model was successfully introduced in the 1990’s to combat issues that included counterfeit meat. Such a model applied to the general supply chain would provide elective assurance for the market at minimal compliance cost.
The Maintenance Engineering Society’s members represent manufacturers and industries right across New Zealand industry and regularly report potential issues discovered with counterfeit materials, false certification and incorrect certification.
Once again CADPRO Systems participated in the South Island’s Premier Technology Trade Show, SouthMACH17
Run over two days (24-25 May) the show provided a great opportunity for the manufacturing community to come together under one roof to see all that’s new in the industry.
Our stand at SouthMACH was busy throughout the two days, with plenty of existing customer visiting and potential new customers looking at the technology on display. It’s interesting to stand back sometimes at these events and watch generations of engineers and designers absorbed in discussions about engineering. Gone are the days of talking about software and features. These people think far more about design and manufacturing issues than picks & clicks in a CAD system. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Autodesk HSM / Inventor and Fusion 360 were hot topics this year. We put particular emphasis on the “art to part” workflow – the CAD model to the machining centre – in many cases bypassing the 2d drawing altogether, with tolerancing & probing featuring heavily in the discussions.
Data Management also came up in many conversations with customers and prospects looking for better tools to manage and protect their growing volumes of digital intellectual property. Data management tools like Autodesk Vault and cloud storage tools like Fusion Team were conversations customers wanted to have this year. On one occasion, we even discussed hosting Autodesk Vault on a cloud server.
This year, the show really demonstrated the readiness of the manufacturing community to embrace the considerable benefits some of these technologies can bring to geographically distributed teams.
SouthMACH this year was particularly enjoyable because we had several occasions where existing customers started conversations with new prospects. Often the conversations included comments about why they’ve remained a customer for ten years or more, so thank you to all those existing customers for your support!
The Engineering e2e programme achieving its goal of 500+ engineering graduates per year by 2017 a year early will be welcome news for industry, says Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Paul Goldsmith.
“It’s very pleasing to see all the hard work by Engineering e2e, Futureintech, tertiary institutions, engineering professional organisations and others has really paid off,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has confirmed 511 graduates from priority engineering courses in 2016, a full year ahead of schedule, for a total of 2,151 graduates in 2016. Set up by the Government in 2014, the Engineering – Education to Employment (e2e) initiative promotes engineering as a career to students.
“Engineering e2e’s successful public awareness campaign has already lifted the profile of engineering from 10th to 3rd place in potential student’s career considerations.
“More than 500 additional graduates each year is a step in the right direction though we still have quite a bit of work to do to address the balance of graduates across Diploma of Engineering (Level 6), Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Level 7) and Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Level 8) qualifications.
“Our big challenge, supported by employer feedback, is growing enrolments at institutes of technology, which specialise in level 6 and 7 qualifications,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“So I am pleased to see Engineering e2e is working closely with the ITP sector, and with engineering professional bodies to really focus on employer engagement to grow the pipeline of work-ready engineers.”
Engineering e2e has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) and IPWEA is collaborating with e2e on its sponsored degrees pilot programme which is being funded by the TEC.
Sponsored degrees would enable both on-the-job training and the completion of a Level 7 qualification in engineering, like the Bachelor of Engineering (Technology), and are particularly relevant for rapidly changing, high-tech industries.
“Engineers help build the infrastructure that makes up our modern world. New Zealand needs more engineers to meet the growing demand for construction and infrastructure, and this Government is focussed on meeting those challenges into the future,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Air New Zealand’s Gas Turbines business has been awarded four significant contracts worth up to USD$42 million by the United States Navy to service and overhaul General Electric LM2500 Gas Turbines that power much of the US Navy’s fleet.
The contracts will see the Auckland based Gas Turbines team carry out maintenance and overhaul work for the next few years.
Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton says the contracts are an important win for the airline.
“This is a significant boost for our Gas Turbines business. Air New Zealand participated in a competitive bidding process to secure this work and we would like to acknowledge the support of the New Zealand Government and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise throughout the process.”
Air New Zealand Gas Turbines is a business unit of Air New Zealand, providing gas turbine overhaul and repair services to clients across a range of industries. The business began sourcing work in the industrial and marine sector more than 30 years ago and has since supported several of the world’s navies, offshore oil and gas platform operators and power generation companies.
At the Oil & Gas Asia trade show, Schwarze-Robitec will present its high-quality tube and pipe bending machines for the offshore industry.
This long-established company from Germany places the efficiency and profitability of tube bending and pipe bending at the center of its trade show presence. In Hall 9, Booth 9077, the internationally very knowledgeable company experts will answer all questions on this subject.
Schwarze-Robitec is the world's leading producer of tube-bending machines and is a strong global player in the important Asian market.
For the second time, the company, which was founded in 1903, takes part in the largest trade fair for the oil and gas industry in Asia. At the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia, trade visitors at the Schwarze-Robitec booth will receive information on the "Made in Germany" special solutions, tailored to the complex needs of the offshore industry. Furthermore, the company will present the numerous advantages of bent tube systems compared to welded solutions at its booth in the "German Pavilion" of the trade fair. These advantages mean considerable time and cost savings that can be achieved during production. Due to the high-quality processing obtained with Schwarze-Robitec bending machines, the tubes and pipes also exhibit a particularly high wear resistance and dimensional stability.
Interested visitors receive detailed advice on all questions concerning tube and pipe bending processes for the oil and offshore industry. Schwarze-Robitec experts will be happy to assist you.
SouthMACH is the South Island’s premier technology trade show celebrating the heartland of NZ Manufacturing. If you are an Engineer - Mechanical, Design, Consultant, Electrical. Machinist, Communications Technician/Manager, Supervisor, Technical Operator, Operations Manager, or similar, Southmach offers the tools, technology and services to work smarter.
An exhibitor to look out for this year is Kormax. Kormax hold the largest range of metals for the engineering industry in New Zealand; from Bronze, Brass, Copper, Cast-Iron and Aluminium along with Bronze Bushes, Oilite Bushes and Key Steel. These materials are stocked in various different profiles from solid and round bar, flat bar, hex bar and angle bar among others that are available upon request. Well worth a visit to their stand to get a face to face understanding of how they work.
The year’s winner of the international Swedish Steel Prize is Kiruna Wagon from Sweden on whom we ran an article on earlier in May. The prize was awarded for the company’s innovative wagon solution, the Helix Dumper. Kiruna Wagon has used high-strength steel to develop a highly durable and far more efficient wagon solution than other ore wagons on the market.
“Kiruna Wagon has successfully updated a good idea and used high-strength steels to turn it into a brand new, superior wagon solution,” says Eva Petursson, Chairman of the Swedish Steel Prize jury and head of SSAB’s Strategic R&D.
This year is the 17th time the Swedish Steel Prize has been awarded and the runners-up, were Fermel from South Africa, JMG Cranes from Italy and Wabash National from the USA.
| Auckland - May 2017 | Local engineering company reaps the benefit from investing in extended software training with CADPRO Systems following their purchase of new CNC machinery.
Training keeps staff fit for purpose
At Howick, whenever we sell a customer a new framing machine, we strongly recommend that they undertake specialist software training to get the most out of their investment. Even if the buyer is familiar with current machine use, there are always things that you can learn to be more productive. While some customers might baulk at ongoing training costs, we believe that investing in your operators and providing refresher courses, can only lead to improved productivity and output.
We practise what we preach
We decided to put our money where our mouth is when we recently purchased two new CNC machines. Although our operators had previously taken part in CNC training and our design team had been using SOLIDWORKS since 1998, we signed up with the supplier for training.
Even before the equipment arrived, we arranged for the team to do some initial training for HSM Works - the CAM package that integrates our designs to the machining centres. What we soon realised is that there was a lot of tooling and work holding to understand, as well as how our design effects the machining process.
Training and support
When the machines arrived, our two main operators received the standard training which, as anticipated with any new technology, was something of a steep learning curve. Once we had been running for a few weeks, we realised that there was still a knowledge gap which would only be closed through further training.
While we were having regular contact and great support from the team at HAAS Factory Outlet NZ, CADpro (HSM Works) and Sandvik Tooling, we wanted to accelerate our learning curve even faster. Understanding that we had already invested a significant amount in tooling, software, PCs and the machines themselves, we decided it was time to look at investing in our people more.
This involved getting a member of the team from CADpro in 1 day a week for 6 weeks to help us with on-the-job training. Although a significant cost, the value of the exercise can be easily seen through the accelerated learning and production it provided.
Our team got a massive boost from learning on live jobs with the trainer and were able to continue production during the week, noting down queries for the trainer to help resolve at the next session. This meant the team could keep moving forward with confidence. A great example of this is that through training, we have improved the engraving time from 27 minutes to 47 seconds on our Haas ST35 machine.
Keep up the good work
As a business, one thing we have always done since we started using Solidworks is take the yearly 1 day update course to look at new features. We find that the most valuable part of the day is when we roll out our list of things that are challenging or annoying us and receiving immediate resolutions.
The cost of sending our design team offsite for a day is quickly recouped in efficiency gains.
For us, investing in additional training was quickly recouped when you consider we achieved full production in 3 months, vs the anticipated 18 months.
Howick - here to help
For those looking at investing in a Howick FRAMA Roll Forming machine, or existing customers looking to get more out of their machine, I would suggest you talk to your chosen software partner about what they can offer training-wise to get the most out of your investment.
We have recently employed Davy Binois (a former employee at Vertex in the UK) who has trained many of our European customers. He is now New Zealand based so that we can upskill our local customers through tailored training and process development specifically related to our products.
The speed at which technology is moving is unprecedented and the adage ‘You don’t know what you don’t know,’ is more relevant now than ever. At Howick, we know our proprietary machines inside out and what capabilities they can offer. If you want to ensure your machines and staff are operating at full capacity, get in touch, and we’ll recommend a course of action – 0064 9 534 5569. www.howickltd.com
For our Customers elsewhere in the world our software partners Tekla, Strucsoft and Vertex can offer local training or remote training.