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Metav 2020 The future is cyber-physical

| Editor: Steffen Donath

The latest trends in clamping technology can be experienced in the VDMA Forum of Clamping Technology at Metav on 11 March 2020. Learn how clamping technology is becoming cyber-physical.

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With the steady progression of Industry 4.0, clamping technology will see the next step of its evolution.
With the steady progression of Industry 4.0, clamping technology will see the next step of its evolution.
(Source: Shahadat Rahman (Unsplash) )

The industry thrives on innovations that build on previous successes. This applies in particular to the clamping technology industry, the products of which are currently morphing into cyber-physical devices. Visitors to Metav 2020 can check out the current state-of-the-art and the latest megatrends in Hall 1 at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre and in the VDMA Forum of Clamping Technology on 11 March 2020.

The goal: transparten production

Helmut Diebold GmbH & Co. Goldring-Werkzeugfabrik, based in Jungingen in south-west Germany, is adopting a two-pronged approach at the Metav 2020 in Düsseldorf. On the one hand, the company is showcasing its latest innovations, such as shrink-fit technology, modular fixtures and the Ultrajet power chuck. On the other hand, it is using the trade fair as a forum for further development. “We're currently investing a great deal of effort in Industry 4.0 digitalisation,” reports authorised signatory Martina Diebold. “We'll be offering a foretaste of this at Metav 2020.”

There has been a significant increase in the demand for digital solutions in recent years. For example, transparent production, in which workpiece locations are identifiable at all times, facilitates the machining process. “Digitalisation renders tedious searches superfluous,” says Diebold, citing a key advantage. “It's also an effective way of avoiding long down-times.”

Decentralised intelligence

This development goes hand in hand with decentralisation, which requires each individual machine to be intelligent. As a result, clamping technology is also developing into cyber-physical equipment. This process is also being influenced by the OPC UA standard, and the associated universal interface umati of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders' Association).

The company is now also exploring modular designs: this involves a central basic fixture that can be combined with various attachments to create individual clamping devices. The two-part system structure ensures low vibration and thus increases the quality of the machining process. Diebold: “Only with innovations like these will we be able to maintain our market position in an economic downturn.”

Plenty of digital transformation possibilities waiting to be explored

The increasing digitalisation of clamping devices is also a key issue at Hainbuch GmbH, based in Marbach near Ludwigsburg. This trend is currently reflected in its smart product range, which covers everything from standardised quick-change interfaces and plug-and-play clamping force measuring devices with integrated software through to intelligent clamping systems. “There are plenty of digital transformation aspects that are waiting to be explored,” says Head of Design Alfred Hillinger, looking to the future. “There's no doubt in my mind that Industry 4.0 will continue to gain in momentum.” This is also reflected in the exhibits that Hainbuch is set to present at Metav 2020 in March.

The Forum of Clamping Technology organised by the VDMA Precision Tools association covers all these topics. The event, moderated by Peter Tausend (WTE Präzisionswerkzeug GmbH) and Philipp Ehrhardt (Römheld GmbH), will feature six talks on “Clamping technology — Solutions for megatrends". Questions such as whether high-quality tool clamping technology causes or influences costs (Haimer GmbH), or how zero-point clamping technology can be used in 3D printing (Andreas Maier GmbH) will be explored.

IFW Director Denkena: An encounter between the past and the future?

Interaction with sensor technology and electronics will be addressed in several digital transformation-related talks on Wednesday morning: these include the sensitive and intelligent tool holder from Schunk GmbH (Heuchelheim) the intelligent and serialised tool systems for tomorrow's networked production (Mapal Dr. Kress) or the improvement of product quality through sensor-based process control (Römheld GmbH). Based on these metalworking and Industry 4.0 examples, Prof. Berend Denkena, Executive Director of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW) of Leibniz Universität Hannover and Vice President of the WGP (German Academic Association for Production Technology), will be posing a thought-provoking question at the VDMA Forum for Clamping Technology: “Metalworking meets Industry 4.0 — Past meets future?”

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