Productive Sector News

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.

Continue to read the  the full article here |  Monday June 26,  2017   |||

Published in CADPRO SYSTEMS
Friday, 16 June 2017 16:01

Rise of the machine manufacturer

As the world of manufacturing becomes more integrated, the role of robotics is changing the shape of the factory floor writes  Steven Impey in today's Australian Manufacturers' Monthly Newsletter as he takes a look at the effect it will have on the Australian workforce.

Depending on which literature the industry insider goes by, the impact that robotics will have on the factory floor of the future often splits its audience.

The rise of robots programmed to do a human worker’s job sounds daunting – the very thought of seeing the livelihoods of Australian manufacturing workers potentially cut from under them is itself a concern. Manufacturing jobs have been in a steady decline for several decades as the industry shifts into a different gear.

Continue to original article  ||  June 16,  2017   |||

Published in MANUFACTURING

Top Kiwi furniture company, the PLN Group, is setting the global industry alight with its world leading nano technology developments.

The PLN Group, based in Auckland, is a finalist in the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards, with winners to be announced on June 29. The company is earning up to 40 percent of its revenue off shore from clients such as Citibank, HSBC, Google, Hewlett Packard, Disney and Apple, chief executive Blair McKolskey says.

“Our cutting-edge innovations such as the acoustic nano technology is world leading and we are seeking to gain entry into Europe and North America this year.

“We have product we manufactured on display in North America’s biggest commercial furniture show NeoCon in Chicago next week.

“We are one of, if not the most, innovative furniture firms in New Zealand. We have special nano technology in acoustic applications, leading developments in air filtration and Internet of Things in furniture. We are turning the furniture world on its head.

“We are one of the few truly vertically-integrated research, design and manufacturing firms in New Zealand. There are many furniture manufacturers, many resellers and few research firms. We do all three.

“We are one of the leading research firms in the New Zealand furniture market. We have qualified for a Callaghan grant to carry out research and development.

“We are one of the biggest exporters of furniture in New Zealand and one of the fastest growing with global product sales climbing more than 500 percent in the last five years.”

PLN has been invited by world leading furniture giant Haworth to showcase the best of their Keystone modular furniture system at exhibitions in Singapore and Sydney next month and in Bangalore in August.

McKolskey says the Haworth events are the annual exhibitions in the Asia Pacific region and of the entire portfolio of products featured, PLN will sit alongside two other global furniture brands Cappellini of Italy and Orange Box of the UK.

“The implicit endorsement of our firm and product is enormous benefit to our brand and product offering. It puts our Kiwi label on the same stage as one of the greatest furniture brands of the world, Cappellini, which is famous for identifying new trends and talents in the global furniture industry.

“Our nano tech has been a collaborative effort with one of only approximately five facilities in the world that can commercially spin nano fibre.

“We are also innovators in the application of the dense fibre to absorb sound waves in furniture. Haworth people say we have created an entirely new category of product in the furniture industry and we have created a path for others to follow. We are developing new technologies all the time,” McKolskey says.

For further information contact PLN chief executive Blair McKolskey on 027 2427688 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.

|  A Make Lemonade release  ||  June 7,  2017   |||

Published in TECHNOLOGY

World’s first fully automatic fusion splicer provides great ROI for customers and an increased productivity via reduced splice cycles


Chessington, UK. 10 May 2017: Fujikura Europe’s 70S is still considered  the highest quality product of its kind. As the world’s first fully automatic fusion splicer, the 70S provides great ROI for customers and an increased productivity via reduced splice cycles.

Not only is the 70S the most ergonomic, fastest and durable technology of its kind, but its longevity has proved it is “built to last”, meaning that customers could still be using the same 70S they purchase today more than ten years from now.

It only requires four operational steps per splice and reduces splicing time to just six seconds. The 70S is also the only machine to withstand drop testing on all six sides from a height of 70cm.

“As more and more of our competitors begin to claim that their technology matches ours, the more testing we have do


Chessington, UK. 10 May 2017: Fujikura Europe’s 70S is still considered  the highest quality product of its kind. As the world’s first fully automatic fusion splicer, the 70S provides great ROI for customers and an increased productivity via reduced splice cycles.

Not only is the 70S the most ergonomic, fastest and durable technology of its kind, but its longevity has proved it is “built to last”, meaning that customers could still be using the same 70S they purchase today more than ten years from now.

It only requires four operational steps per splice and reduces splicing time to just six seconds. The 70S is also the only machine to withstand drop testing on all six sides from a height of 70cm.

“As more and more of our competitors begin to claim that their technology matches ours, the more testing we have done to prove there isn’t any product that can match the 70S in terms of quality, performance and longevity,” said Neil Bessant at Fujikura Europe. “Creating technology of this calibre requires a specific knowledge and expertise, and we are the original pioneers, with 40 years’ worth of experience in research & development and eight generations of splicing machines to boast.”

The most notable features of the 70S are its true core-alignment performance, user customisable features, and its fully ruggedized exterior, which is dust, shock and rain resistant. The 70S also features an automated wind protector and a tube heater which has been developed for quicker splicing cycles and to reduce the number of operational steps.

“Our 40 years’ experience has allowed us to create a technology that is far superior to anything on the market and to optimise this splicing tool to be reliable and accurate, achieving a high quality splice, which will help minimise the need for “re-work” or repairs/maintenance on any fibre network spliced with a Fujikura splicer,” said Bessant. “Ultimately, this is why you pay more for a Fujikura splicer. You are paying for a product that could last you more than ten years and a product that creates the best splice possible. There really is no comparison.”

With the 70S, Fujikura Europe has streamlined the steps required to complete splices, resulting in greater productivity.

“The 70S only takes six seconds to make a splice and nine seconds to make heat shrink. These, combined with the other automated features, make the product altogether the fastest splicing technology, by 25% no less,” added Bessant.

The 'configurable automation' design of the 70S allows customers to tailor the operation of the machine to best suit their particular splicing technique and process while the programmable 'automatic wind protector' closes and begins the splicing process after clamping the fibres in position or pressing the 'set' button. Once the splice is completed, the wind protector and one of the sheath clamps opens automatically making removal of the fibres fast and easy.

Fujikura’s 70S is fully supported by trained local distributors throughout EU, creating the “Fujikura Experience” and ensuring all customers get more for their money than they could with any other splicer.

To learn more about the 70S and other Fujikura Europe technologies, please visit: http://www.fujikura.co.uk/.

ne to prove there isn’t any product that can match the 70S in terms of quality, performance and longevity,” said Neil Bessant at Fujikura Europe. “Creating technology of this calibre requires a specific knowledge and expertise, and we are the original pioneers, with 40 years’ worth of experience in research & development and eight generations of splicing machines to boast.”

The most notable features of the 70S are its true core-alignment performance, user customisable features, and its fully ruggedized exterior, which is dust, shock and rain resistant. The 70S also features an automated wind protector and a tube heater which has been developed for quicker splicing cycles and to reduce the number of operational steps.

“Our 40 years’ experience has allowed us to create a technology that is far superior to anything on the market and to optimise this splicing tool to be reliable and accurate, achieving a high quality splice, which will help minimise the need for “re-work” or repairs/maintenance on any fibre network spliced with a Fujikura splicer,” said Bessant. “Ultimately, this is why you pay more for a Fujikura splicer. You are paying for a product that could last you more than ten years and a product that creates the best splice possible. There really is no comparison.”

With the 70S, Fujikura Europe has streamlined the steps required to complete splices, resulting in greater productivity.

“The 70S only takes six seconds to make a splice and nine seconds to make heat shrink. These, combined with the other automated features, make the product altogether the fastest splicing technology, by 25% no less,” added Bessant.

The 'configurable automation' design of the 70S allows customers to tailor the operation of the machine to best suit their particular splicing technique and process while the programmable 'automatic wind protector' closes and begins the splicing process after clamping the fibres in position or pressing the 'set' button. Once the splice is completed, the wind protector and one of the sheath clamps opens automatically making removal of the fibres fast and easy.

Fujikura’s 70S is fully supported by trained local distributors throughout EU, creating the “Fujikura Experience” and ensuring all customers get more for their money than they could with any other splicer.

To learn more about the 70S and other Fujikura Europe technologies, please visit: http://www.fujikura.co.uk/.

|  A Fujikura relaease  ||  May 10, 2017   |||

Published in EQUIPMENT
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 05:18

Practising what we Preach.

| 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.

Published in CADPRO SYSTEMS

Manuka Health has officially opened its expanded national apiculture business after a $3.5million build that will significantly expand the organisation’s export capacity.

Joining CEO John Kippenberger, the Minister for Food Safety Hon David Bennett opened the Manuka Health Wairarapa Apiculture Centre in an event attended by MP for the Wairarapa, Alastair Scott; Mayor John Booth of Carterton District Council; Chief Executive of Carterton District Council, Jane Davis; industry and government representatives; neighbours; beekeeper partners; site design and build companies; and Manuka Health staff.

At the event Minister Bennett planted the last of 2,000 native plants that complete the build; a symbolic Manuka tree representing the future of the industry.

Manuka Health CEO John Kippenberger says investment in the Centre’s expansion is an important milestone in the company’s growth, ongoing product quality and traceability assurance, and its commitment to the Wairarapa community.

“Manuka Health is proud to invest in the region and play our part in the local and national beekeeping sector. The Wairarapa Apiculture Centre employs 27 people during peak season with the Centre’s expected growth in processing capacity seeing up to 15 more employees join over the next two years.

“The Centre plays a crucial role in providing a secure and efficient passage for our products. It’s a hub for the extraction and collection of honey from more than 20,000 hives that will come in for processing from Northland, Waikato, Taranaki and Wairarapa during the next season. The Centre ensures our consumers in cities such as Frankfurt, Beijing, San Francisco and London can have absolute confidence that the product they are buying has been treated with care and under strictly controlled conditions right from the hive.

“The capital investment in the Centre’s build facilitates a substantial expansion in honey extraction capability. This is another step in our journey to help New Zealand meet its $1.2bn target of honey sales by 2028,” says Mr Kippenberger.

The Wairarapa Apiculture Centre collects and extracts honey from honey frames. Honey boxes from around the North Island are sent to the Centre for honey extraction and drum storage during the November to March harvest each year. The drums are then freighted to Manuka Health in Te Awamutu for testing and packaging.

The Wairarapa Apiculture Centre expansion follows Manuka Health’s opening of a new $10 million manufacturing facility in Te Awamutu, a largescale integrated facility of operations, testing, quality and distribution.

|  A Manuka Health release  ||  May 09, 2017   |||

Published in AGRICULTURE

Dutch inventor of self-healing concrete named finalist for European Inventor Award


  • Hendrik Jonkers' bio-concrete takes inspiration from nature
  • Concrete automatically seals cracks caused by tension
  • Ground-breaking approach: healing bacteria survive up to 200 years in concrete and self-activate when damage occurs
  • EPO President Benoît Battistelli: "Forward-looking innovation that opens up completely new perspectives for concrete production"

Munich/Delft, 21 April 2015 - Buildings and structures made of concrete that can "magically" seal and fully repair cracks caused by tension? What may have seemed a utopian scenario just a few years ago will soon become reality, thanks to the invention of microbiologist Hendrik "Henk" Marius Jonkers (50). His vision: to develop a bionic approach that improves the tensile strength and eco-friendly properties of concrete. The Dutch researcher set out to develop the bio-concrete of the future - with limestone-producing bacteria that can survive in a concrete structure for up to 200 years, and which "awaken" when damage occurs, enabling them to heal the cracks. In Europe, where concrete makes up 70 per cent of infrastructure, Jonkers' ground-breaking innovation promises to reduce the costs of concrete production and maintenance, as well as curb resultant carbon dioxide emissions. For his outstanding invention, Jonkers has been named a finalist for the renowned European Inventor Award of 2015 in the Research category. The 10th edition of the annual award will be presented by the European Patent Office (EPO) at a ceremony on 11 June in Paris.

"Hendrik Jonkers' bacterial concrete extends the life of bridges, streets and tunnels and opens up completely new perspectives for concrete production," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli, announcing the European Inventor Award finalists. "This forward-looking innovation is a successful combination of microbiology and civil engineering - two sciences that are unlikely collaborators at first glance."

Jonkers exploits regenerative properties of nature

Henk Jonkers' passion for diving and camping was the spark that ignited his career: it began with studies in marine biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. After completing his PhD in September 1999, he began to focus his developmental work on the observation of bacterial behaviour. He first experimented with limestone-producing bacteria as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. Self-healing octopus tentacles or plants that create new organisms with offshoots served as inspiration for Jonkers' invention. An expert in bacterial behaviour, he continued his career in 2006 at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Delft University of Technology. Jonkers' research agenda in Delft focused on finding a solution to transfer the self-healing properties of natural organisms to a man-made building material, concrete.

Self-healing agents encapsulated for over 200 years

To heal cracks in the concrete, Jonkers chose bacteria (Bacillus pseudofirmus and B. cohnii), that are able to produce limestone on a biological basis. The positive side-effect of this property: the bacteria consume oxygen, which in turn prevents the internal corrosion of reinforced concrete. However, the bacteria do not pose a risk to human health, since they can only survive under the alkaline conditions inside the concrete. Based on these findings, Jonkers and his team of researchers developed three different bacterial concrete mixtures: self-healing concrete, repair mortar, and a liquid repair system. In self-healing concrete, bacterial content is integrated during construction, while the repair mortar and liquid system only come into play when acute damage has occurred on concrete elements. Self-healing concrete is the most complex of the three variants. Bacterial spores are encapsulated within two-to four-millimetre wide clay pellets and added to the cement mix with separate nitrogen, phosphorous and a nutrient agent. This innovative approach ensures that bacteria can remain dormant in the concrete for up to 200 years. Contact with nutrients occurs only if water penetrates into a crack - and not while mixing cement. This variant is well-suited for structures that are exposed to weathering, as well as points that are difficult to access for repair workers. Thus, the need for expensive and complex manual repairs is eliminated.

Sustainable prevention method could revolutionise concrete production

In recent years, bacterial concrete was subject to endurance tests under various external conditions on a dedicated testing building in Breda, the Netherlands. Plans are in place to launch the self-healing material on the market this year. Jonkers' invention has the potential to significantly reduce maintenance expenses for bridges, tunnels and retaining walls, which currently cost EUR 4 to 6 billion each year in the EU alone. Jonkers is now working on an alternative bacterial encapsulation technique. Compared to the present particle coating methodology, this technique would make it possible to cut production costs of bacterial concrete by an additional 50 per cent. Whereas production costs for conventional concrete amount to EUR 80 per cubic metre, a cubic metre of self-healing concrete would cost between EUR 85 and EUR 100 with the new encapsulated healing agent. With significantly lower repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of a building, this minimally higher investment would quickly pay itself off for all concrete structures.

Additional resources

Read more about the inventor
View the patent: EP2247551

Future bio-concrete as a sustainable construction technology

Super-bacteria are the answer: Jonkers' ground-breaking solution is one of many green innovations in the building sector currently under development. Bio-concrete of the future has the potential to lower carbon dioxide emissions released in Europe during construction and modernisation projects, both affordably and sustainably.

Published in ENVIRONMENT
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 05:06

AutoCAD Is Still the Champ

The engineering.com office is swarmed daily with new product news, gee-whiz technology, and each and every “paradigm shift.” In the midst of it all, I was surprised to get an invitation to the launch of AutoCAD 2018.

“AutoCAD—is that still around?” asked one of our editors.

It seems as though it never went away. Rumors of AutoCAD’s demise, helped by the rise of Inventor or Fusion 360 on the mechanical side and Revit on the BIM side, were ... well, just rumors.

“We still have millions of users,” assured Rob Maguire, director of Autodesk’s AutoCAD product line.

Maguire has gathered a handful of “influencers,” aka social media wonks, power users and select old media, to Autodesk’s San Francisco office to see that the patient is not only alive and well, but is being improved. (Read more about the product improvements in our previous report.)

The dozen or so of us gathered in Autodesk’s office. We wondered when we had last seen each other. It was definitely before we started being called “influencers.” We recount the days when an AutoCAD release was Autodesk’s biggest news—highly anticipated, occurring 18 months or 2 years, max. A major release was trumpeted months in advance by a PR staff, with a wave of information going out to the press and bloggers. The CAD world would wait with bated breath for our reports. That is what we liked to think. In the last couple of years, major releases of Autodesk software have not even warranted a press release. If we were lucky, we heard about it, someone at Autodesk wrote about it on a blog post.

Continue to the full article here  |  An engineering.com release  ||  May 02, 2017   |||

Published in SOFTWARE

CADPRO Systems can help you make your design & drafting work just a little bit easier? Download the AutoCAD Shortcuts Guide and keep it next to your workstation for easy access to proven time-saving design shortcuts.

The guide includes:

  • One Key Shortcuts
  • Toggles and Screen Management
  • Hot Keys A–Z
  • Printable Keyboard Stickers

Who doesn’t like a good shortcut every now and then? Download the Shortcut here

 

Buy Autodesk Software Online
From CADPRO SYSTEMS your New Zealand Reseller and get local support !

Call us at +64 9 302 4028 to learn more

Published in CADPRO SYSTEMS

Taby, Sweden – Successfully solving the problems of using vacuum technology to convey the delicacies of the food industry, such as nuts, seeds, beans, candy, as well as nutraceutical tablets and capsules, Piab’s piFLOW®t conveyor is dedicated to the gentle handling of delicate ingredients and products. Promising to revolutionize the automated handling of fragile goods, the piFLOW®t features innovative and groundbreaking new technology (patent pending).

“A controlled low speed, guided entry into the conveyor, and the elimination of all sharp edges are the keys to our success, ensuring that products are handled with great care in our conveyors. There will be no more chipped candy in plants using piFLOW®t,” states Jarno Tahvanainen, Vice President of Piab’s Material Handling division.

Suitable for transporting up to four million items per hour, the piFLOW®t conveyor can be used to transport any fragile goods within a processing plant. For the food industry this enables the safe handling of, for instance, coated sweets, candy, roasted coffee beans, whole nuts, and nutraceutical tablets.

Eliminating the use of inadequate standard equipment and alternative, often back-breaking, manual procedures, piFLOW®t will safely transfer ingredients and products between the various processing units, such as tablet presses, coating drums, and packaging lines, avoiding all risks of damage.

At the core of piFLOW®t is the proprietary piGENTLE™ an innovative technology (patent pending) that maintains a gentle flow by regulating the feed pressure of the pump, ensuring that fragile ingredients or products are handled as delicately as possible. piFLOW®t is an extension to Piab’s popular and high quality range of piFLOW® conveyors for powder and bulk materials, and is specially developed to meet the stringent demands regarding operational safety and hygiene within the food (piFLOW®f), pharmaceutical (piFLOW®p), and chemical (piFLOW®i) industries.

About Piab

Established in 1951, Piab designs innovative vacuum solutions that improve the energy-efficiency, productivity, and working environments of vacuum users around the world. As a reliable partner to many of the world's largest manufacturers, Piab develops and manufactures a complete line of vacuum pumps, vacuum accessories, vacuum conveyors and suction cups for a variety of automated material handling and factory automation processes. Piab utilizes COAX®, a completely new dimension in vacuum technology, in many of its original products and solutions. COAX® cartridges are smaller, more energy efficient and more reliable than conventional ejectors, and can be integrated directly into machinery. This allows for the design of a flexible, modular vacuum system. In 2016, Piab completed two strategically important acquisitions, Kenos and Vaculex. Piab is a worldwide organization with subsidiaries and distributors in almost 70 countries. Its headquarters are in Sweden.

|  An Ins release for Piab who are represented in New Zealand  \\  April 19, 2017   |||

Published in EQUIPMENT
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