Exhibitor highlights from NMW 2019

Lorch: Designed to be future proof
German welding manufacturer Lorch Schweißtechnik launched into the Australian market during National Manufacturing Week (NMW). Manufacturers’ Monthly was there to catch meet up with David Wilton, managing director, Lorch South Pacific and had chance to see the range of its products at its booth in the Welding Technology Zone.

Lorch has a long and successful history of welding equipment sales in the South Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific islands) under private branding arrangements.

“We are quickly gaining success across the South Pacific with cutting edge welding technology, made in Germany. Lorch offers leading new welding solutions fully optimised for South Pacific major industry sectors including mining, general fabrication, structural steel, and ship building,” said David Wilton, Lorch managing director and co-owner.

Wilton told Manufacturers’ Monthly that the welding equipment Lorch engineers manufacture is considered “future proof”. They are designed for the Industry 4.0, to meet the demand of intelligent, digitalised systems, and networking solutions.

“We have the best people on the job here and some of the best R&D capabilities in the world. Lorch is all about smart welding. This is about leading, cutting-edge innovation that is raising the bar, bringing next-generation products that drives users’ capabilities to the next level,” said Wilton.

Wilton mentioned that Lorch aims to make their customers more productive in their welding processes with the products that they are offering.

“We want to be a game-changer for our customers in driving productivity for them. This is about making them more competitive, be able to weld about 30-40 per cent faster,” said Wilton.

Universal Robots: Cobots add value to the workforce
Peter Hern, Universal Robots (UR) country manager for ANZ, explained that in order to keep up with dynamic market conditions there needs to be faster integration and more agile procedures within production processes. The market demands higher quality products at a quicker pace while being produced safely and ethically. And using collaborative robots within the manufacturing process can help with that.

Replacing jobs is one of the concerns that some people have, and UR assures people that this is not the case with collaborative robots. The robots are all about improving productivity for small and medium businesses.

“Collaborative robots take away the strain of doing the dull and repetitive jobs that may induce physical stress or injury. Workers can then focus on more meaningful and enjoyable tasks,” said Hern.

Hern explained that workers can also be easily retrained to operate the cobots, monitoring tasks and even programming it to do jobs.

“We have found that contract manufacturers are doing shorter runs and they have repurposed the robot from one day to the next and they need the operator to do the programming for the new run – and because it is so easy to program, the operators can quickly learn to do it and get the runs under way,” said Hern.

“More interestingly, we (UR) have found that our customers have told us that their operators have come up with new methods of productivity – passing on older menial tasks to the robots and focussing on better processes in the manufacturing chain,” Hern added.

Hern said that cobots at the moment are most popular among contract manufacturers and small to medium enterprise (SME) manufacturers. They are suited to smaller-scale tasks such as pick and place applications and palletising within businesses. Collaborative robots have also seen an increase in popularity in the welding space.

“The cobot can help out with repetitive and potentially dangerous tasks with automatic welding and we see growth in cobots in this sector,” said Hern.

CRC Industries: A positive response from NMW 2019
CRC was first established in 1958 in a small Pennsylvania garage. The company started manufacturing in Australia after being incorporated as a propriety company of Australia in October, 1969.

The company has been a top-end supplier of specialty products for maintenance, repair and overhaul professionals across a wide array of industries including automotive, industrial, mining, food and beverage, utilities and defence.

Manufacturers’ Monthly managed to catch up with Simon Hatton, national marketing manager, CRC Industries Australia, at the recent NMW 2019 and found out that the manufacturing sector is still thriving with demand ever improving for its products.

“For CRC Industries Australia at NMW 2019, it has been going really well with a lot of leads and interest with a good mix of customers.

We’ve been very glad to hear good feedback from our end-users and for us share more about our products – these are mostly tradies, mechanics and people from the manufacturing sector,” said Hatton.

Hatton mentioned that their product range caters for both heavy and light food and industrial manufacturers as well as welding – essentially all aspects of the manufacturing sector.

“At this event, we have our lubricant range, smart washer and bio-degreasers for the market. We are 50 years in the market and always have a lot to showcase,” said Hatton.

Pilz: Always looking towards safety
Pilz is the pioneer of the Emergency Stop Relay – the control device behind the red button that is seen on machinery everywhere. Today this button is integral to everyday safety – from baggage handling and packaging equipment through to the process lines in manufacturing and automotive factories.

The Australasian base of operations for Pilz is headquartered in Melbourne with offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland, providing sales and logistics, along with turnkey engineering projects to the local market. Pilz Australia forms part of the Asia Pacific region for Pilz, where it has high expectations for growth.

It is therefore no surprise that Pilz was at NMW 2019 in the robotics section to showcase what it is best at – safety in automation. At the Pilz stand, there were the safe automation system PSS4000, the safe configurable controller PNOZmulti 2, guard locking solutions such as PSENmlock and the new area scanner PSENscan were among the high quality products on showcase.

“The stand activity over the few days had been positive with a lot of interest in the products that we have here. We are also pleasantly surprised at the turnout for NMW 2019 as a whole and the good depth and breadth of customers that came through – those who have worked with us before and those who have not who are very interested in the technology of tomorrow,” Rob Stevenson, national sales and marketing manager, Pilz Australia, told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

Stevenson also mentioned that there was not only interest around the robotics arena, but also, safe automation.

“We have a lot of solutions that support the robot industry. Our products range from emergency stop push buttons all the way through to PLCs, HMIs and diagnostics and all the services that support them with engineering, training and consulting. We are offering our customers a complete turnkey solution with everything from concept right through to delivery. This direction is where Pilz is headed, along with our range of products that we’re supporting and launching,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson mentioned that it was great to see students and educators from institutes like TAFE, who came in large numbers, to find out more about safety in automation – something which they may be in the process of learning more about.

“We always love to take the opportunity to spend some time with the students and educators to find out how we might be able to work with them and help them at the course level. This is better than having the students get out to the working world and only then finding out about the impacts of safe automation,” said Stevenson.