ANCA takes out technology award

The winner of this year’s Technology Application award was ANCA, with highly commended going to Steinhoff Furniture and packaging group Portavin.

At the 2007 Endeavour Awards held in Sydney earlier this month, ANCA was announced as the winner of the Technology Application category, with highly commended going to Steinhoff Furniture and packaging group Portavin.

ANCA is a designer and manufacturer of high precision CNC grinding machines, providing system solutions for more than 750 customers around the globe.

With core values of precision, innovation, quality and technological excellence, the company is an international organisation of more than 300 highly skilled employees, providing leading edge, innovative and highly technical solutions.

ANCA took out this year’s Technology Application award (sponsored by Intercad) for implementing new design software into their production processes.

Linsey Siede, group GM of ANCA, told Manufacturers Monthly winning this award showed that the company was doing the right thing.

“I am very proud and honoured to win this category. It is really recognition of the efforts of all our employees and demonstrates we are endeavouring to improve our manufacturing processes in Australia.

“We are an innovative company and we not only use technology to improve our processes but also our products and service to our customers,” Siede said.

ANCA discarded the traditional ‘drafting’ method of machine design in favour of using 3D Unigraphics software. As a result, the time spent building a prototype to test the design and machine movements was virtually eliminated, saving cost and production time.

The software has also allowed the company’s designers to optimise the machine footprint and still maintain the large axis strokes required to cover a wide variety of tool types and sizes. Precise axis speeds can even be input to give a true representation of expected grinding cycle times.

The CAE module allows for product performance evaluation by applying different design alternatives or ‘scenarios’ so the optimum ‘fit for purpose’ product is created.

This master-model approach allowed multi access to the product assembly for discipline specific tasks such as analysis, detailing or manufacturing, resulting in the reduction of time between the concept and physical prototype.

Highly Commended

Providing more than 500 wine makers with productions runs from a few hundred dozen cases up to a million cases or more is no small task, and wine bottling and packaging group Portavin met the challenge head on.

The company installed domnick hunter’s on-site gas generation technology (Maxigas) to enhance product quality and production convenience in its own production processes.

Maxigas generators use carbon molecular sieve to separate oxygen from compressed air to produce clean, dry high purity nitrogen for manufacturing and industrial processes.

Gavin Wade, manager for Portavin’s Melbourne plant, said the installation meant the company can easily maintain the purity and supply of gas, without constantly paying for gas and cost of its delivery.

“We just have to maintain the gas plant and that’s it.”

The company’s Victorian-based plant features one of Australia’s largest Maxigas installations, with dual onsite generators producing a continuous supply of nitrogen from two dedicated air compressors.

Because every bottling plant has a compressed air installation, the company was able to use the generators to capitalise on the existing resources, removing the need for the continual purchase and replenishment of cryogenic gas supplies.

As a result greater production continuity and occupational health and safety benefits have been achieved, including eliminating the need to store and constantly handle heavy cylinders.

Highly Commended

Steinhoff Furniture differentiates itself from mass-market office furniture manufacturers through its custom design and manufacturing services.

To be able to successfully offer these services the company needed to operate and adopt leaner manufacturing principles in order to increase turnover of product and increase margins while reducing input costs.

Steinhoff selected Australian company Intercad to scope out the project. Intercad is the sole representative in Australia of SolidWorks MCAE/CAD/-CAM and DriveWorks software.

Steinhoff Furniture began implementing the DriveWorks software in August 2006 and expects it to be fully operational by January 2008.

Clarke Puru, GM of Steinhoff, said the company’s success at the awards demonstrates to their customer base that the business is focussed in what they are doing to improve their manufacturing processes.

“It also demonstrates that we are willing to try something new and that we are innovative in our thinking,” Puru said.

With the ability to reduce the time taken to provide customers with quotes and sales orders, Steinhoff hopes to double its business and reduce labour costs by 8% at the completion of the project.