AUTOMATICA 2010 to serve as platform for assembly and handling solutions

System manufacturers will present answers to the challenges of simultaneous engineering during the international trade fair for automation and mechatronics, AUTOMATICA 2010, at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre June 8-11, 2010.

Simultaneous engineering is not a new catchword, but its significance is more topical than ever. When manufacturers and users collaborate in developing assembly systems at an early stage, numerous financial benefits result: a shortened time-to-market, high process reliability and maybe even shorter cycle times.

All important system manufacturers will present solutions to and provide answers about this topic at the leading international trade fair for automation and mechatronics, AUTOMATICA 2010, which will take place on the grounds of the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 8 to 11 June 2010.

Regardless of whether coupling switches for the automobile industry or inhalers for medical engineering are produced, the most important factor is not the production process, but always the product. The developer is responsible for its functions and the guidelines with respect to quality. To launch the product as quickly as possible on the market and structure production efficiently, special mechanical and system engineers are increasingly integrated in development at an early stage. The know-how of these specialists can contribute to designing the product in such a way from the start that it can be manufactured easily and automated later.

Successful simultaneous engineering requires not only know-how with respect to assembly and automation technology from assembly specialists, but also knowledge and experience in assessing customer products with respect to their capability of being automated. Production-related ideas can only be integrated into product development then. Especially for products designed for consumers, e.g., inhalers for asthma patients, ergonomic, aesthetic design dominates. Despite how pretty and handy the shapes are, they often do not provide any spots to secure components, which is imperative for automated assembly.

sortimat Technology from Winnenden, Germany, is one of the suppliers of flexible solutions for feeding and handing systems as well as one of the leading manufacturers of assembly systems for medical engineering, the pharmaceutical industry, and the cosmetics industry. The company provides a complete range from semi-automated machines to complex, completely automatic systems. Marketing director Silke Fischer points out one solution possibility: "We work closely with our customers at an early stage and try to cover all automation technology requirements of a product with the design. If that succeeds, we can guarantee customers a high degree of process reliability and might even be able to shorten cycle times."

Replacement of CAD data creates synergy effects

Such development work in partnerships is not only an advantage in medical engineering; this type of simultaneous engineering is also practiced successfully in the automobile sector. For example, Festo Systemtechnic, Esslingen, Germany, collaborates closely on an assembly line for coupling switches with a customer, an electronics component supplier for the automobile industry. Festo took care of design and operation start-up of the complete handling system, which the customer received ready to install for its machine cell. Peter Löbelenz, quote/project manager of handling technology at Festo Systemtechnic, explained: "When we can use the CAD models of our customer as in this case, fast coordination is possible. We were able to integrate handling with the coupling switches optimally into the cell in this way."

Greiftechnik- und Automatisierungsspezialist Schunk, Lauffen/Neckar, Germany, also bets on collaboration at an early stage. Matthias Poguntke, head of product management for automated gripping systems and standard components, confirmed: "This makes it possible to implement customized solutions within an acceptable timeframe. Then customers already profit in the design phase from our comprehensive know-how in handling and assembly. As a result, this knowledge can be integrated into processes and developments. Our experience shows us that enormous synergy potential is created when customer and supplier meet at eye-level."

Additional Information

AUTOMATICA is the international trade fair that brings together all areas of robotics and automation under one roof. It has been held every two years at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre since 2004. The aim of the fair is to present the entire value-added chain in robotics and automation. The industry-driven concept for AUTOMATICA has been developed by Messe München GmbH and the conceptual sponsor of the fair, the robotics and automation division of Germany´s engineering federation (VDMA). Exhibitor and visitor statistics for the AUTOMATICA trade fair are audited by an accountant on behalf of the Gesellschaft zur Freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen (FKM, Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics). AUTOMATICA is a 'UFI approved' international event, a certification awarded by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

Messe München International (MMI) is one of the world´s leading trade-fair companies. It organises around 40 trade fairs for capital and consumer goods, and key high-tech industries. Each year over 30,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, and over two million visitors from more than 200 countries take part in the events in Munich. In addition, MMI organises trade fairs in Asia, Russia, the Middle East and South America. With six subsidiaries abroad – in Europe and in Asia – and with 64 foreign representatives serving 89 countries, MMI has a truly global network. Via its six subsidiaries – in Europe and in Asia – and 64 foreign representatives actively serving over 90 countries, MMI has a worldwide business network. Environmental protection and sustainability are key priorities in all MMI´s operations, at home and abroad.

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Posted by Vision Systems Design

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