Bystronic AG Laser welcomed customers from across the globe to its Competence Days programme that took place from the 1st June to the 13th June 2015. Over 2 500 visitors from around the world visited the Swiss manufacturer’s headquarters in Niederönz, Switzerland and were introduced to the company’s latest innovations in software, bending and laser and waterjet cutting.
The Competence Days, which were a combination of a conference and live demonstrations followed by a tour of the production facilities, were dubbed with the theme “Optimise each process step: That is World Class Manufacturing.”
This was the 6th edition of the Competence Days, which take place every second year, and were first introduced by the company in 2005. In 2011 the event was combined with a celebration of Bystronic Laser AG’s 25 years in existence.
Bystronic was founded in 1986, in the Swiss town of Niederönz, with an original workforce of around 30 people. Over the years, the company underwent successive expansions to reach its current status, with a total staff of 1 600 employees worldwide. This number is made up of 520 staff in Switzerland, 550 around the rest of Europe, 140 in North and South America and another 390 in Asia.
Today, Bystronic operates three main manufacturing facilities and over 26 sales and service companies around the world. In Niederönz, the prime output is laser and waterjet cutting systems for the worldwide market. Other development and production centres are based in Gotha (Germany), Tianjin (China) and Braşov (Rumania). Gotha and Tianjin share the responsibility for the production of pressbrakes. Tianjin is additionally responsible for the manufacture of laser cutting systems for the Chinese market. In Braşov, secondhand machines are refurbished for sale on the secondhand market.
Bystronic is an active manufacturer and supplier of high-quality solutions for the economical processing of sheet metal and other sheet materials. Customers profit from application-oriented systems and services for laser, both CO2 and fiber, waterjet cutting processes as well as bending.
Bystronic’s new Xpert 40 combines ergonomics and dynamics in a complete, harmonious package
Users can bend quickly and efficiently on Bystronic’s new Xpert 40 compact press brake
More recently, Bystronic has been very active in developing its software suite to work in conjunction with the equipment that it manufactures and sells. With the newest generation of software, users can optimise their cutting and bending processes from first drafts to finished parts. ByOptimizer automatically generates optimal laser cutting plans. Now the online service can be used with BySoft 7’s Plant Manager.
Bystronic Laser AG, which is a member of the Conzzeta Group – a Swiss industrial holding company – achieved translated revenues of Euro 480 million in 2014. Markets for Bystronic Laser AG are made up of 59% in Europe, 23% in the Americas and 18% in the Asia Pacific. The mix of revenues is laser 58%, bending 14%, waterjet 2%, service 23% and used machines 3%.
The companies of the Conzzeta Group, with activities in the fields of machinery and engineering, automation systems, foam materials, sporting goods and real estate, employed a staff in excess of 3 600 in in 60 locations worldwide in 2012 and had consolidated net revenues of CHF 1 161.5 million.
Bystronic Laser AG/First Cut study tour
I was the guest of Bystronic Laser AG and its sole South African distributor First Cut when First Cut employees and 11 clients took part in the 2015 Competence Day programme at the beginning of June 2015, before visiting three of Bystronic’s clients in Switzerland to view the company’s equipment in a ‘live’ situation.
The visitors from South Africa are involved in the manufacture of components used on road tankers and trailers, specialist saws and cutters, commercial trailers, repair of heavy commercial vehicles, processing of steel and tube, manufacture of trailer, caravan and outdoor components, the fabrication of structural steel, laser cutting of metal sheets and tube, as well as general engineering.
With the Xpert 40, Bystronic has developed a fast, small-scale press brake that can be assembled to be portable, and can be integrated into almost any production environment
For many it was a first time visit to Bystronic and it left a lasting impression. They were able to view demonstrations on the new offerings from Bystronic including the ByOptimizer online service, the ByJet Flex with a new 3D cutting head option, new options for CO2 laser cutting, the launch of the Xpert 40 press brake – the Swiss pocketknife of press brakes and fiber lasers with intelligent added functions.
Latest innovations: Maximally optimised cutting plans with ByOptimizer
The ByOptimizer automatically generates optimal laser cutting plans. Now the online service can be used with BySoft 7’s Plant Manager.
With the ByOptimizer, Bystronic offers an exclusive online service that creates optimal cutting plans and enables manufacturers to save significant quantities of raw material and shorten their cutting times without requiring complex programming or specialist knowledge. The patented technology groups the parts that are to be cut so closely on the metal sheet that the gaps (i.e. raw material offcuts) are reduced as far as possible. This allows manufacturers to lower their part costs and achieve a tangible competitive advantage.
Moreover, thanks to the concentrated know-how it is based on, ByOptimizer also increases the reliability of the cutting processes. ByOptimizer factors in all the decisive aspects: the geometry of the cut parts, the characteristics of the raw material, and the power of the laser in use. During this process, a database including more than 300 parameters provides comprehensive information about the material’s behavior and ideal cutting paths.
Combination with the Plant Manager
Now the ByOptimizer can be used with the Plant Manager in BySoft 7. This increases the efficiency of job processing even further and provides manufacturers with a maximum degree of transparency regarding their production processes. Thanks to the combination of ByOptimizer and the Plant Manager, manufacturers deliver on time and at favourable unit prices, whether with extensive series production or flexible job order production.
The 3rd dimension of waterjet cutting with ByJet Flex
Bystronic is expanding the spectrum of applications of the ByJet Flex with a new 3D cutting head. Now users can upgrade the machine platform from 2D to 3D technology at any time. This opens up new business fields for 3D cutting, but simultaneously allows competitiveness in the 2D cutting business to be maintained. As a result you are able to process beveled edges up to an angle of 45 degrees and straight edges with a high level of productivity.
Visitors from South Africa listening to Philipp Burgener, CEO of sales at Bystronic Laser AG. From left to right Francois Coetzee, Werner Terblanche, Erich Kohn, Daniel Botha, Peter Welsh, Pieter Smit and Mark Ramalingam
Andrew Poole and Neil Labuschagne both of First Cut, Michele Benassi, Dorien Labuschagne, Garth Haigh of First Cut, Jabulani Ndleve and Morne Nel. In the back row are Roger Glaus and Beat Fluck, both of Bystronic Laser AG
The variable machine concept of the ByJet Flex enables a quick conversion during day-to-day business. The waterjet cutting system can be equipped with up to two 3D cutting heads that work in parallel. This not only increases the range of applications, but also the productivity of the ByJet Flex. Moreover, this cutting head can be used for several machines of the same type.
Integrated 3D technology – continuous height sensing
ByMotion ensures the reliable integration of 3D technology on the ByJet Flex. The control package that was developed by Bystronic, regulates all the cutting applications on the machine platform and hence simplifies fast switching between 2D and 3D applications during day-to-day business. When the cutting head is exchanged, ByMotion automatically recognises the newly equipped 3D cutting head and, amongst other things, adjusts the cutting area margins to the angle of the 3D cutting head.
ByMotion also supports the user with automatically calibrating height sensing. The precise positioning of the cutting head in relation to the surface of the workpiece is crucial for successful 3D cutting. If a cutting head at a 45-degree angle is positioned too high above the workpiece, the cut part will be too large. ByMotion prevents this from happening.
Unique 3D kinematics
The special kinematics of the 3D cutting head enables precise pivoting motions around the A and B axes. When pivoting, the cutting head revolves only around the focal point of the cutting nozzle. This enables a precise cutting process without loss of time or speed. And eliminates the need for complex deflection and corrective maneuvers in the linear axes.
Bevel Manager for 3D cutting plans
In order to make the cutting preparation process simple and error-free, users generate the cutting plans for 3D applications on the ByJet Flex using the Bevel Manager. The software module is precisely tailored to the new 3D cutting head and is integrated into BySoft 7 as an add-on module.
Dynamic CO2 laser cutting
Bystronic recently expanded its high-end laser cutting machine with the addition of the 4 x 2 metre format and innovative features. ByAutonom is a fast and flexible laser cutting system that can be operated efficiently in combination with loading and unloading systems. Equipped with a 4.4 or 6 kilowatt CO2 laser source, ByAutonom combines dynamics and process reliability into a powerful all-around package.
The ByOptimizer automatically generates optimal laser cutting plans. Now the online service can be used with BySoft 7’s Plant Manager
Bystronic is expanding the spectrum of applications of the ByJet Flex with a new 3D cutting head. The variable machine concept of the ByJet Flex enables a quick conversion during day-to-day business. The waterjet cutting system can be equipped with up to two 3D cutting heads that work in parallel
The machine performs equally well with thin sheets as with thicker ones. With the Power Cut function, the 6 kilowatt ByAutonom can cut sheet thicknesses up to 25 millimeters. The Collision Detection and Condition Messenger functions ensure the high process reliability of ByAutonom and allow continuous monitoring of machine status.
With the Observer and OPC interface monitoring options, the user can access the cutting system from anywhere and obtain all production process information from a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.
For users who want to increase their efficiency with a CO2 laser cutting system even further, there is the ByAutonom 4020, which can process sheets up to 4 x 2 meters in size. Bystronic also offers the fully compatible ByTrans Extended 4020 loading and unloading system.
A lot of speed in a small space – Xpert 40 press brake
Bystronic’s new Xpert 40 combines ergonomics and dynamics in a complete, harmonious package. Users can bend quickly and efficiently with this new compact press brake.
With the Xpert 40, Bystronic has developed a fast, small-scale press brake that can be assembled to be portable and can be integrated into almost any production environment. It is ideal for flexible job order production with fluctuating batch sizes and highly variable bent parts, but also for extensive series production with recurrent parts. The new Xpert 40 is the Swiss pocketknife of press brakes: compact, versatile, and fast too.
Optimise cutting plans online, code parts across processes and monitor production remotely from anywhere. Networked production offers new opportunities for managing manufacturing processes digitally and making them even more efficient.
The Smart Factory concept involves a manufacturing plant that is flexible enough to cover a wide range of ever-changing product variations as cost-effectively as with mass production. Networked production meets the needs of this concept and results in a manufacturing process where machines and parts communicate in real time.
Fiber laser with intelligent added functions
Bystronic has increased the cutting speed of its fiber lasers and expanded the technology with intelligent added functions to give users key competitive advantages. These include safe cutting with Cut Control Fiber and powering up with Power Cut Fiber.
Now users can upgrade the machine platform from 2D to 3D technology at any time on the ByJet Flex with a new 3D cutting head
Another new innovation was the release of Detection Eye, which lets operators speed up sheet position and edge detection recognition on the cutting table in fiber cutting machines
Fiber laser technology is and will remain an important topic for sheet metal workers. Bystronic fiber laser cutting systems provide outstanding cutting results, not just with thin sheets but also medium sheet thicknesses. This can represent a key competitive advantage as manufacturers who can cut quickly while maintaining high quality standards will be more successful.
Edge detection with Detection Eye
Another new innovation was the release of Detection Eye, which lets operators speed up sheet position recognition on the cutting table in fiber cutting machines. Via a camera system on the cutting bridge, Detection Eye recognises the exact position of the sheet. Additionally, the edges of the sheet are measured exactly in a matter of seconds.
Above all, Detection Eye decreases the preparation time required for cutting jobs. What’s more, by precisely measuring the sheet, the cutting plan can be better adapted to the actual sheet size. This results in reliable cutting all the way to the outer edges of the metal sheet.
Bystronic also offers several automation options, including the ByTrans Extended system, which handles all loading and unloading at the shuttle table of the laser cutting system.
Trip to visit Bystronic customers
As is traditional the visit is always concluded with a day of visits to Bystronic customers in Switzerland. The aim of the visits is to give you the opportunity to see Bystronic equipment being used in live situations and for you to learn how to improve your manufacturing operations.
The first visit was to Burckhardt Compressors AG, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of reciprocating compressors and the second was to Knobel, a manufacturer of machines for the pharmaceutical industry and chocolate depositors for the confectionery industry.
A special thanks must go to the owner of general metalworking engineering company Zund AG, the venue of our third visit. Norbert Moosmann and his family, most of whom work in the company, treated us royally with entertainment and a mountain of food and refreshments after the factory tour. This was Swiss hospitality at its best.