“Welcome to DESMA Open House! Let’s talk future!” – this is how the humanoid robot welcomed the 500 visitors at the international industry event of the machinery builder DESMA from Fridingen on September 27th and 28th. The event’s focus was clearly on cutting-edge topics concerning the development and integration of production solutions, digitalization and automation. “Let’s talk future!” was the event’s central theme – on the first day in the Tuttlingen town hall with a lecture and workshop program as well as on the second day at the Fridingen plant with a machinery and technology exhibition.
The managing director, Martin Schürmann, kicked off the event with a lecture on the challenges mega trends pose in a time of rapid change and the various solutions DESMA already offers in this respect or, to a large extent, is already in the process of developing. While the turnover of the DESMA Group has doubled from almost € 50 million to just over € 100 million in the past ten years, € 23 million have been invested across all locations.
The most recent projects expand the production areas at the locations in Germany and Fridingen by 2,200 sqm. Add to that the establishment of a mould shop in China, the acquisition of the fourth high-performance milling centre in Slovakia, and the largest single investment into machinery, the time machine, a combined turning and milling centre with robot automation for the location in Fridingen that was ordered for € 2.3 million. Mr. Schürmann emphasized that the 100% outsourcing strategy of many builders of special machinery would degrade them to mere assembly operations.
Flexibility, high availability, one-piece flow, quality requirements, know-how protection and, last but not least, cost control would be DESMA’s motivation for expanding the scope of value added by targeted investments. The investment volume for the years 2017/2018 is € 7.5 million. This included further extensive investments of around € 1.5 million for expanding the SmartConnect4u product family and internal digitization.
However, the investments in training and further qualification are important too. DESMA invests almost € 1.0 million annually into 15% of the workforce. This includes the One Team and DESMA 4.0 initiatives that support the Group’s teams during organizational, process and product-related changes and developments.
The international activities of DESMA are now complemented by the cooperation with the Japanese injection moulding machine supplier MATSUDA. Both companies will produce a jointly developed machine design under the concept name “desmatsuda”, which is tailored to the increasing demands of Japanese production companies in the NAFTA market.
Mr. Schürmann emphasized that neither Matsuda nor DESMA will change their marketing in the Japanese market. Additional and further opportunities that could result from the cooperation of the two companies are further future issues.
The new edition of the DESMA magazine “RECORDS 2017” was also presented and handed out to all visitors. It includes informative interviews from management and research on the subject of “Let‘s talk future”, necessary change processes, and exciting outlooks. It also reports on new technical developments and shows the strong team behind DESMA globally.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bauernhansl, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart and the Institute of Industrial Manufacturing and Management IFF of the University of Stuttgart, was the keynote speaker on the two mega trends “Digitization and New Mobility”. His lecture offered new perspectives and provided new impulses for the working world of tomorrow. This was complemented by an expert dialogue with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Bonten, head of the Institute for Plastics Technology IKT Stuttgart.
The partners’ market place provided the opportunity to learn about further technological developments and services around the actual injection moulding process and to establish direct contacts with universities and institutes and their research projects.
The workshop program consisted of five separate workshops on E-Drive cold runner technology, flexible automation cells, visualization DRC 2030 TBM, and the digital products SmartConnect 4.U and SmartCommunity. They informed about the state-of-the-art at Desma and provided a platform for the subsequent live demonstrations at the Desma factory.
DESMA not only talks about the future but is a living example of it and consistently implements the new trends in many work processes. This is how the idea of a FutureLab came about. At his welcome speech on the second day of the Open House, Technical Director Dr. Harald Zebedin presented the DESMA Future Laboratory in the newly built assembly hall in Fridingen. This is where the development process for the workplace of the future is continually expanded. It serves as an innovation environment for the most diverse areas of elastomer processing. In this challenging development process, Desma cooperates with the Fraunhofer IPA institute and thus sets the course for a long-term knowledge transfer and the exchange of expertise. The D 969.100 Z (S3) with the innovative ZeroWaste ITM process for sprueless and waste-free direct injection moulding is installed in this lab. DESMA used it to show a fully automated process on the basis of a Partner FlexCell.
DESMA defined the rubber industry’s digital direction at the SmartConnect4.U Info point. The “New Digital Services” were presented to the visitors visually and explained in practice during a live demonstration with direct customer hook up. SmartConnect4.U digital products aim at maximizing system and machine availability, a transparent and consistently high product quality as well as the integration of a fully networked production landscape.
The tours through the plant showed highly complex automation systems that utilize the latest robot technology. Such as the BENCHMARK D 968.250 ZO Benchmark 750 (S3) with FlexCell and the FlowControl E-Drive cold runner with electrically driven shut-off nozzles, which was presented at the K 2016 trade fair for the first time. This technology is now available as a closed block design or as a cartridge system.
The latest DRC 2030 TBM visualization was presented at this fully networked system. A trend-based machine and process visualization was realized for the first time that provides an extremely quick overview of the current state of the machine. Long in advance it clearly shows whether a machine works smoothly, whether processes are within defined parameters, or whether there is a need for correction. The 24” multi-touch panel provides the perfect platform for the entire SmartConnect4u functionality. The DRC 2030 TBM premiered on two machines at the Open House.
Four robot-automated and complex production cell equipped with various cold runner technologies and PressureSense systems for filling level control were demonstrated in action.
Another highlight was a D 968.400 ZO Benchmark S3 machine with vacuum chamber, fully integrated core lifting device and shifting system for process automation. This system was specially developed for applications with the highest demands on vacuum quality.
The newly developed D 968.1000 ZO Benchmark 950 Multitherm heating plate for the flexible temperature zone selection according to mould size and mould outline was presented at the pilot plant. This heating plate technology enables the best possible temperature homogeneity by flexibly allocating temperature zones. The Cartridge Stuffer Device was presented as a new development for solid silicone applications. This patent-pending silicone cartridge stuffer device is the perfect solution for changing compounds within minutes, especially for small batches or small stuffer volumes.
Packed with information and impressions on machinery and equipment technology, the tour continued with a ride on the historic steamboat “Hohentwiel” and a visit of the castle above Lake Constance and the New Castle in Meersburg. It was a successful conclusion of the event that fittingly bridged from Industry 1.0 (steam power) to Industry 4.0 (digitalization).
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