English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 6 - 2019 - Page 47
Ultramodern machinery for manufacturing vehicle components
were installed In this hall, including a laser cutting machine,
two new press brakes, a milling machine and a welding robot.
Nooteboom Components works according to the ‘Quick Response
Manufacturing’ method. This QMR-method is primarily aimed
at reducing lead times in the production. But it also has a positive
influence on the efficiency of the components’ production.
WHY NOOTEBOOM COMPONENTS?
Raymond: “Nooteboom Components was established for a number
of reasons. In the coming years we aim to increase the production
and reduce the lead times in the factory. We also want to produce
with a higher, consistent quality. And, just as important: we
want to make sure that our employees work in pleasant and safe
HOW DID THE PROCESS TO AUTOMATE THE
Raymond: “In 2016 we selected four persons who are involved
from different perspectives in the production . Each of those four
persons had specific knowledge about the overall production
process. For the welding robot we asked three questions: which
robot, which welding process and which software? Based on
these first discussions we compiled a list of questions for various
suppliers. Our demands were high and after initial consultations
it turned out that half of the suppliers were not able to meet our
requirements. After another round of consultations only two
parties were left.”
WHO MADE THE DECISION?
Raymond: “We discussed the offers of the last two suppliers in a
meeting with the project group. Because they are the people that
are going to work with it. When we were not totally convinced yet
we decided to visit a trade show. In the end the choice of supplier
was unanimous: Yaskawa.”
WHICH ROLE IN THE CHOICE DOES THE SOFTWARE PLAY?
Raymond: “Nooteboom Components is a highly automated
department. The software should make it possible to send the data
virtually straightaway from the engineering department to the
machines. For our software we don’t depend on one single supplier
or one single make of robot. We ended up looking more closely at
the integration of the software than at the machines. The software
must offer many possibilities but it should also be user-friendly for
the employees who directly work with the machines.”
WHY TWO PRESS BRAKES?
Raymond: “The two press brakes are identical but one is a left-hand
version, the other a right-hand one. We chose this option because
trailers have many components that are identical but a mirror image
of each other. Now we can - without changing the blades – make the
components for the left and right hand-side of the trailer at the same
time. The press brakes recognise every piece of steel plate, because
during the cutting process a QR-code is burnt in the sheet. We have also
paid much attention to the ergonomics. Every machine has two displays.
One shows the data for the product, the other displays the steps of the
procedure. The press brakes are equipped with several laser systems for
high-precision processing and to safeguard the safety of the operator.”
THE MILLING MACHINE
Raymond: “When thicker plates are welded a bevelled edge must be
applied to ensure an optimal weld. Magnetic plates make it quick and
efficient to clamp the plates . The milling machine too is automatically
set to the QR-code that is burnt in the material.”
WHICH NEW MACHINES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED ?
Raymond: “This is our first step in the automation of the
production. To take this step we have bought five machines: a
laser cutting machine with two storage towers, two press brakes, a
milling machine and a welding robot. Nearly all the machines work
with the same software and they can communicate with each other.
The laser cutting machine is equipped with two storage towers, one
of which is intended for storing steel sheets with a thickness of up
to 25 mm. In the other one the cut panels are automatically stored
to be selected at a later stage for further processing. The cutting
process is fully automated and still keeps going while the operator
has a break or goes home at the end of his working day.”
T he milling machine is automatically set to the QR-code that is
burnt in the material