A customer success story
As a contract manufacturer for sheet metal components, the company TRIO of the SME sector handles the entire spectrum of sheet metal processing for its customers - starting with consulting, design and planning up to ready-to-install assemblies. "In our company, the production of small series and individual parts often alternates with larger series production. We also observe that the overall degree of complexity is increasing. You have to be prepared to react" comments Robert Käs, managing director at TRIO. "In addition, changing material types and thicknesses need to be processed in more than limited production times". In recent years the company has also noticed a significant increase in orders. To meet the growing demand, TRIO therefore built and moved into a large company complex in Luhe-Wildenau recently.
How should the different requirements be reconciled with an economical production? The company decided to turn two crucial set screws.
Success factor number 1: Identifying and exploiting savings potential
First of all, a machine park was needed that would meet TRIO's needs in terms of flexibility and a high degree of automation. The objective thereby: to identify potential savings and optimize production. The aim was to work flexibly around the clock, to save set-up time and to better utilize the material.
"In fact, flexibility is an important success factor for us" explains the managing director Robert Käs. "We had made very good experiences with AMADA technologies and therefore decided to equip the machine park in the new production facility extensively with these machines and automation modules. In this way, production runs highly efficiently and around the clock with a low-manpower operation".
TRIO uses ENSIS fiber laser technologies particularly frequently, since the high productivity of the technologies allows an effortless processing of larger series. The qualitative processing of demanding materials such as non-ferrous metals and reflective materials such as copper, brass and titanium, among others, also benefits from this technology. TRIO's all-AMADA machine park consists of a punch-laser combination machine EML-3610 NT with connection to the compact storage system CS II and the single part sorting system PR III, two fully automated AMADA fiber laser cutting machines (ENSIS- 3015AJ) connected to AMADA's loading and unloading towers ASF-EU as well as four press brakes of different sizes for almost all bending tasks, u.o. with automatic tool changer (HG-1003ATC) and network-capable all-rounder bending machines featuring different traversing ranges and opening widths (among others HFE3i-1003, HFE3i-2204).
Success factor number 2 : An SME goes digital
Looking back on the previous production and internal processes, TRIO noticed a real potential for improvement in the digital processes. With a new digital strategy, the German company took big steps towards Industry 4.0 at the beginning of 2019. The challenge was to digitize internal processes and offer the customer an efficient service for sheet metal parts supply using an online tool. At the same time, the new digital processes should be linked to your existing ERP system and also the new AMADA laser cutting machines and punch laser combination systems should be controlled with the new software solutions. In response to these tasks the company's new service called Trionline24 was created. Today, customers do not only obtain an offer for laser and bent parts via DXF, DWG or step file within a few minutes but can also order them instantly. To the company's delight, the faciliated procedures provided a boost in efficiency which resulted in numerous new offers.
AMADA's Software Solution Pack
In addition to redesigning their own processes, it was also important to have functional and productive machine software. "Customers demand quite a large number of variants, often along with decreasing batch sizes. So we needed time-saving, externally programmable solutions to react accordingly to this diversity," explains Käs.
TRIO uses AMADA's latest software solution VPSS3i. This enables the contract manufacturer to virtually simulate his production step by step to avoid error sources in advance: For example, the software generates a virtual sheet metal part, processes it and automatically generates the appropriate bending program using VPSS 3i BEND. If bending is to be performed, only the STEP file (3D model) has to be uploaded and the parameters entered. The automatic mode of the software then independently creates the bending sequence within a few seconds, suggests setup procedures and configures the system accordingly.