Interview with Dr Klaus Hauschulte, Scholz Recycling GmbH

The countdown has begun – only eight more days until the conference begins – and all that’s missing is you! If you haven’t yet registered because you’ve had so much to do, that’s not a problem, as our last-minute check-in is open until March 20. We look forward to hearing from you.

It’s well worth attending the IARC 2019, as not only a fascinating, comprehensive conference program awaits you, we’ve also invited some highly interesting speakers. Not only will Klaus Hauschulte from Scholz Recycling GmbH be on the podium, Artemis Hatzi-Hull from the EU Commission, Eric Hannon from McKinsey & Company, Inc. and Johann Prammer from voestalpine AG will also be our guests, to name but a few. Altogether, around 30 well-known recycling experts will be at the IARC 2019 to present the latest developments in the automotive recycling industry.

Shortly before the beginning of the congress we had the opportunity to speak to Klaus Hauschulte, CEO of Scholz Recycling GmbH, and asked him what he intends to report on at the IARC 2019. Although he didn’t want to reveal too much, of course, we did manage to get a few statements from him:

– Mr Hauschulte, at the IARC 2019 you will be talking on the subject of "Demands for more Reuse and Recycling". How important is the topic of reuse for your company?

As experts for driving the circular economy via recycling and as part of our Vision 2022, electric mobility and the increasing volume of batteries are topics of the future that we at Scholz Recycling want to discuss. Reuse is always preferable to recycling. That’s not only important in legal terms, but ecologically as well. Particularly batteries, lubricants and spare parts can already be potentially reused and for that reason we are attempting to improve recycling routes in collaboration with our partners. An important point, however, is that we handle wastes in a proper manner, even before they are reused.

– Is reuse therefore also a potentially viable business for end-of-life vehicle recyclers because recycling is becoming less lucrative?

Reuse is definitely an important aspect for car recyclers, too, but end-of-life vehicles are not glass bottles. We are not planning to enter the spare parts business; that’s up to the dismantling companies. However, the increasing connectedness of vehicle components via software and their ability to be updated could be stumbling blocks for immediate reusability. Solutions will then be needed, not only for reuse, in order for components and raw materials to be reused in production scenarios. If we don’t create common strategies to tackle these questions at European level, recycling could become anything but lucrative, as the ratio of metals to plastics is changing.

– Your core competence is actually in the field of metal recycling. Which percentage of metals are you currently able to recycle from end-of-life vehicles?

As a leading recycler of nonferrous metals and steel scrap, Scholz is capable of recovering up to 99 per cent of the metals, even from finely granulated shredder residues, and only last year we again invested in the further development of our systems in order to do so. Nevertheless, additional investment will be needed going forward that we will hardly be able to afford on our own, the reason being that the composites and alloys used in lightweight components are making it increasingly difficult to achieve complete purity when sorting. Moreover, between 2010 and 2030 the ratio of metals is likely to drop from 70 per cent to just below half of the material mix.

– And what does the remainder consist of?

Going forward, almost one third of an end-of-life vehicle will consist of polymers and composites for which there is no market and no commercially viable separation and sorting technology, as it has yet to be developed. Even energy recovery is becoming increasingly difficult. That’s a serious problem for ELV recycling in general and that’s why it will be the main topic of my talk. We need to create solutions in collaboration with the manufacturers and the suppliers.

– Although composites make vehicles lighter, it is a well-known fact that they are far more difficult to recycle. Is the automotive industry ready to listen?

I sincerely hope so. I used to work for a major lightweight construction supplier, I’m familiar with the business and therefore convinced that we need technical developments from that field. However, we can also find solutions by incorporating recyclability at the product design stage. We could even share the R&D costs with the automotive industry and thus generate benefits in terms of costs, recycling, environmental protection and resource supply security. We have already made numerous offers from our side, so let’s see what comes of them.

– The automotive industry is currently deeply involved with the question of how manufacturers can cut their carbon emissions. What needs to happen to ensure that automotive developers also focus more keenly on the recyclability of the materials used?

Together with a competitor, Scholz Recycling has already started a recycling initiative at national level to get manufacturers, researchers, associations and politicians on one common platform. It’s no good simply worrying about the banning of plastic straws, we need to give recycling products a viable market, also by creating favourable political framework conditions if necessary and creating demand as well as incentives all the way to the consumers, as we don’t have a market for non-metallic residues. This could be done by broadening the ecodesign directive and adapting the end-of-life vehicles directive accordingly. And we need to speak about more ideas than just reuse quotas for recycling products in manufacturing. We are talking about manufacturer responsibility, raw materials production and reducing carbon emissions across the entire life cycle of a vehicle – recycling needs to be at both the beginning and the end.

Thank you for the interview, Mr Hauschulte.

Come and join us at the IARC 2019 in Vienna! Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange views and ideas with experts from all areas of the automotive recycling industry! We look forward to welcoming you at this year’s industry meeting! For all the details on the program and how to register, go to: https://www.icm.ch/iarc-2019.

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19th International Automobile Recycling Congress IARC 2019

The program has been decided, the congress guide printed and the final preparations are in full swing: this year’s International Automobile Recycling Congress IARC 2019 is beginning in just under three weeks – and the only thing missing is you! We hope you will be attending and we look forward to seeing you in Vienna.

Again this year we have put together an interesting and highly diverse program for you. We are greatly looking forward to our opening and keynote speakers, who will be sharing their market assessments with us on March 20 and 21. This year we will be welcoming as keynote speakers:

  • DI Christian Holzer (Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, Austria)
  • Eric Hannon (McKinsey & Company, Germany) and
  • Johann Prammer (voestalpine AG, Austria)

At the IARC 2019, Johann Prammer will be providing us with an overview of technological trends for processes and materials up to the year 2050. Before the conference we had an opportunity to talk to him and in an interview he told us about current major trends and how he sees the role of the circular economy:

  • Mr Prammer, at the IARC 2019 you will be speaking about current trends in terms of materials used in the steel industry. What are the main trends at the moment?

The automotive industry is voestalpine’s largest customer sector by far and accounts for one third of Group sales. When it comes to topics such as decarbonisation and the energy transition, we are all in the same boat, so to speak, and both the steel and the mobility sectors will be fundamentally impacted by these factors in the long term. It’s not simply a matter of how we intend to produce going forward, i.e. how to manufacture steel as closely to carbon-neutral as possible, but also how much added value the material can generate for our customers and which contribution it can make to driving the mobility of the future.

  • The automotive industry is a key sales market for the steelmaking sector. Major carmakers are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions and are thus looking to make their vehicles as light as possible. In view of this fact, how can steel assert itself against lightweight metals such as aluminium?

 

 

 

The new EU targets for CO2 reduction by 2030 for cars, buses and trucks are not only quite ambitious technically, but also in terms of time, considering the conventional product development and production cycles of average models. We are helping to achieve this goal, for example, by developing high-strength steels and components made of light metal alloys. Moreover, we are working intensively on solutions for alternative drive systems such as electric mobility, for example by developing special electrical steel for motors or materials for making batteries.

Despite being practically declared dead as a carmaking material not so long ago, steel will continue to play a key role going forward. Every material has its strong points, and competition between materials stimulates innovation.

  • How do you rate approaches such as Circular Economy or Life Cycle Assessment in this context?

Apart from their purely material properties, the overall ecological footprint of materials, products and value chains is becoming an increasingly significant aspect. The long-term EU strategy "A Clean Planet for All" also addresses these issues quite extensively. The question is how this can be implemented, because system boundaries, evaluation criteria, measurability and the like must first be developed, defined and made transparent. In my view, this is a very long-term goal, although the right one in principle.

For example, the automotive industry has been the most important driver of the LCA, and in the overall life cycle analysis we see considerable advantages in the assessment of steel compared with other materials, such as its carbon footprint over the entire life cycle, energy consumption in production and reuse in production – specifically as scrap for making crude steel. At more than 25%, voestalpine uses an above-average share in its production process compared with the EU average (19%) or even China (10%), not to forget its practically infinite recyclability.

  • What is your impression regarding the role that the recyclability of materials currently plays in the automotive industry?

Today, it goes without saying that recycling is part of the economic cycle, and that includes the automotive industry. So-called recyclates, i.e. recycled materials, are being used with increasing frequency.

When scrap metals are typically recycled, up to 100% of the car body steel gets used. This is where the greatest amount of recyclates are to be found – in new vehicles, too. Because these are already integrated in the production of new steels in the form of "processed scrap", car manufacturers no longer have to worry about them. However, with plastics it’s a different story, as in contrast to steel and iron materials, plastic applications require separate testing and approval of the recycling material for each respective component.

Recyclable materials may even be superior to new ones, as they may be less prone to dimensional and shape changes. For example, certain components are manufactured using recycled plastics. However, there are limits to the amount of recycled material that can be built into a car. Safety-related components such as crash structures or airbag-related components are not made of recyclates. The materials exhibit a slightly greater variance in vibration behaviour and elongation at break, which must be compensated for by the use of additives or taken into account when the component is produced. That’s why they are not so suitable for safety-related components.

  • The steel industry is also under pressure to reduce its CO2 emissions. Is the expansion of electric steel mills an option, or are new technologies, such as hydrogen-based steel production, more likely to be used?

If we, like the EU steel industry as a whole, by the way, commit ourselves to the climate targets, then the required CO2 reduction of at least 80% by 2050 will not be achievable with existing processes, i.e. the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace route that is still dominant worldwide. Electric steel mills, or rather electric arc furnaces, will certainly make a contribution to CO2 reduction in the steel production chain in the future. Ultimately, however, the overall system of energy and raw materials management must always be taken into consideration – and this ultimately also involves economic availability. Irrespective of possible intermediate steps to replace coal with natural gas, for example, we are therefore working intensively on new metallurgical technologies based primarily on hydrogen. However, it is not so much an R&D issue as a broad implementation of new processes that ultimately depends on the management of energy and raw materials going forward. This is where we come back to your original question, as future concepts for the automotive industry, whether electric or hydrogen mobility, are also faced with the same challenge: It will require many times more energy, which needs to be provided at competitive cost with a stable supply and the most efficient infrastructure possible.

Thank you for the interview, Mr Prammer.

If you want to find out more about this topic and lots of others, too, please come to the IARC 2019 in Vienna. Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange news and ideas with experts from every field of the automotive recycling sector. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s industry meeting. For all the details on the program and how to register, go to: https://www.icm.ch/iarc-2019.

 

 

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„Plunet fulfills all of our requirements“ – Translation Street changes their translation management system

With the Polish translation service provider Translation Street, Plunet has gained another customer who is reorganizing their translation management processes with the powerful Plunet software.

Founded in 2010, Translation Street not only carries out translations in all world languages based on their customer’s needs and values, but also keeps up continuously with technical developments. The Krakow-based company offers a wide spectrum of services for a variety of industries, including specialist translations, interpreting services, proofreading, localization, and desktop publishing.

Plunet BusinessManager is the leading business and translation management software, offering a high level of automation and flexibility to complement a wide range of functionalities. Using a web-based platform, Plunet integrates every step of the translation management process in a single solution, from quote, order, job, and invoice management to reporting. The configurable system also makes it possible to customize functions and extensions to fit individual requirements.

Sought and found: A sophisticated system for a demanding market

Translation Street had been planning to switch to a different translation management system for a while. The fast-moving translation market brought with it new challenges that could no longer be tackled with the current solution. After extensive market research, Translation Street opted for Plunet. Stanisław Szczurek, Partner at Translation Street, explains:

"We wanted a system that is web-based, quick and reliable, can be adapted to our requirements and combined with different modules – Plunet fulfills all of our requirements."

The implementation process ran smoothly. After just a few months, Translation Street was able to configure the Plunet software to fit the company’s specifications, import the required data and arrange the necessary training for their own staff.

Peggy Grafe, Head of Implementation at Plunet, remembers the training phase:

"The customer explained their requirements in a clear and precise way, which meant that I could quickly respond to their requirements and give them specific advice on how to set up the system. All in all, it was a very open and uncomplicated collaboration."

Big plus: Time savings

For the translation service provider, there are considerable advantages to using Plunet.

"The quotes, which can be automatically created as PDF files, demonstrate a high level of professionalism. Translators can directly access the files in the system – this is particularly important in urgent cases, if the project manager is not available."

Another important aspect for Stanisław Szczurek is the amount of time that has been saved – and in this sense, implementing Plunet has already paid off.

"Automatic notifications informing the translators that a job has already been assigned, or the option for vendors to upload or update their invoices in the system – there are so many ways to save time with Plunet."

Looking to the future with Plunet

And Translation Street still has a lot planned with Plunet. At the top of the to-do list is the QualityManager module, which can be used for more efficient and ISO-compliant feedback processes, as well as a quicker vendor search and assignment. In the coming year, Translation Street is planning to switch to the dynamic CAT integration, and implement the VendorRegistrationManager module, which enables vendors to register themselves in Plunet BusinessManager.

Translation Street will therefore experience a number of changes that will further optimize processes and reposition the company – with Plunet always on board.

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Übernahme von Aspect Software durch Vector Capital vereinbart

Aspect Software, Inc. („Aspect“), Anbieter komplett integrierter Customer Engagement-, Workforce Optimization- und Omnichannel Self-Service-Lösungen, hat ein definitives Fusionsabkommen zur Übernahme durch das auf transformative Investitionen in etablierte Technologieunternehmen spezialisierte Private-Equity-Unternehmen Vector Capital vereinbart.

Im Rahmen der Vereinbarung wird Vector Capital über 100 Millionen US$ Eigenkapital in Aspect investieren und die bestehenden Geldgeber von Aspect werden das Unternehmen mit einem neuen Kreditrahmen bei Abschluss weiterhin unterstützen. Mit dem Abschluss der Transaktion, die den marktüblichen Abschlussbedingungen, darunter aufsichtsrechtliche Bewilligungen unterliegt, wird im ersten Quartal 2019 gerechnet.

„Wir freuen uns über diese Partnerschaft mit Vector Capital bei der weiteren Beschleunigung der strategischen Transformation von Aspect, der Umsetzung unserer Wachstumspläne und der Entwicklung unserer Strategie“, erklärt Chris Koziol, Präsident und Chief Executive Officer von Aspect. „Vector Capital verfügt über beträchtliche operative und finanzielle Ressourcen und hilft Enterprise Software Unternehmen erfolgreich dabei, in neue Produkte zu investieren, Innovation zu beschleunigen und Marktführung aufzubauen.“

„Wir freuen uns sehr auf die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Team von Aspect Software, das ein marktführendes Produktangebot und einen außergewöhnlichen Blue-Chip Kundenstamm aufgebaut hat“, so Andy Fishman, einer der Geschäftsführer von Vector Capital. „Wir sehen Aspect in einer guten Position, die enormen Chancen im wachsenden Customer Engagement Center Markt zu nutzen.“

„Das starke Business- und Führungsteam von Aspect hat uns schon immer beeindruckt“, ergänzt Sandy Gill, einer der Direktoren von Vector Capital. „Wir freuen uns darauf, Aspect in seiner nächsten Wachstumsphase zu unterstützen und dem Unternehmen dabei zu helfen, seine Entwicklung sowohl durch organische Initiativen und strategische Akquisitionen zu beschleunigen.“

Über Vector Capital

Vector Capital ist ein globales Private-Equity-Unternehmen, das sich auf transformative Investitionen in etablierte Technologieunternehmen spezialisiert hat. Mit über 4 Mrd. US$ unter Verwaltung arbeitet Vector aktiv mit Management-Teams zusammen, um neue finanzielle und unternehmerische Strategien zu entwickeln und umzusetzen, die die Wettbewerbsposition von Unternehmen verbessern und Mitarbeitern, Kunden und allen Interessengruppen Mehrwert bieten. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie unter http://www.vectorcapital.com

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Additively manufactured 3D spray head for forging plants wins design award in the category „Industry“

A small machine component winning a design award is probably a first in the history of the German Design Award and certainly worth noting. The component for which plant and mechanical engineering company SMS group (www.sms-group.com) has received the German Design Award 2019 in the category “Industry” is a spray head used to cool dies in forging presses. All involved in the various teams that have been working towards the common goal of adopting an entirely new approach to designing and producing a machine component were excited about the news. Not only the component as such was relevant for the judges, but also the fact that it exemplifies the various aspects of Additive Manufacturing, a technology that has been opening a whole range of new possibilities for the design and functional layout of components. Every year the German Design Council organizes the German Design Award, one of the most recognized design awards worldwide. This Award recognizes innovative products and projects, and the companies or individuals who have fabricated and designed them.

New way of thinking brings about components optimized for specific functions
Axel Roßbach: Research and Development Extrusion and Forging Presses, SMS group GmbH: “Winning the Design Award makes us extremely proud. It is recognition of many teams within SMS group whose work is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach. The spray head is a milestone innovation marking a new era in the design of plant and machine components, enabled by the gamechanging potential of 3D printing and functionoptimized design. The design of a machine part is today no longer limited by the constraints imposed by conventional – processoptimized – forming and machining techniques. Supported by latest software and computer technology, we can now give a component exactly the design that fulfils its designated function in the best possible way. Another important aspect is that we have used new materials. Therefore the Award honors not only a new design, but above all the new way of thinking lived within SMS group, which has materialized in a global approach to Additive Manufacturing.” According to Axel Roßbach, the new spray head is an example of how nowadays, in the digital age, different disciplines interact and what opportunities Additive Manufacturing holds in store. The new spray head solution produced by 3D printing is the result of a joint effort by the Forging Plants Department, the Additive Manufacturing Project Team and the simulation technology experts of SMS group.

Only one tenth of the weight of the conventionally produced component
Common spray heads are heavy and complicated to produce. Their heavy weight impairs the productivity of the forging press. Against this, the new spray head has been designed with a view to how it can fulfill its function in the most efficient way. It is significantly smaller, features flow optimized channels and cools the dies specifically and as required in each individual case. Die areas subjected to intensive heating are cooled at a correspondingly – precisely calculated – higher rate than areas less hot. Additionally, these spray heads can be produced virtually just in time. Axel Roßbach: “Although the spray head is only a small component, it nevertheless ideally represents the potential of Additive Manufacturing. The innovative manufacturing methods enabled by 3D printing form the basis for Industrie 4.0. The example of the 3D-printed spray head makes this clear and measurable. Made of plastics, it weighs only one tenth of what a conventional one would weigh. A 3D spray head made of metal weighs up to 70 percent less. It is less expensive, more efficient and can be easily customized and instantly produced. “

Lower costs, higher productivity
All this provides numerous advantages for drop forging operations. Drop forging presses are being constantly optimized with a view to achieving shortest cycle times and maximized service life of the dies. Spray heads for cooling and lubricating the dies perform a key function in the forging process as without them the dies would not be able to withstand the constant and extremely high stress acting on them during operation. The spray heads are introduced between the open dies awaiting the next forging stroke. The innovative SMS group solution means not only a reduction in weight and costs, but also reduced wear of the supporting arms which introduce the spray heads between the dies. Due to the significantly lower mass to be accelerated, cycle times of the – usually automated – processes can be shortened. Another key advantage for the press operator is the possibility of producing customized spray heads “on demand”, i.e. the spare heads are available in virtually no time, without incurring the high costs of keeping them physically in stock. Also the environment benefits as the production of the spray heads consumes no more material than absolutely necessary. SMS group plans to also print currentconducting elements and sensors into the spray heads. This will make it possible to actuate the valves electrically and generate condition messages of the systems. The thus gained added value and the potential for process optimization make the 3D-printed spraying system for drop forging operations a technology ready for Industrie 4.0. Robert Banse, a member of the R & D Project Team SMS group: “We are in no way restricted by any manufacturing constraints. Therefore we can adopt a creative technological approach to designing and start out from the function the component is going to perform. In other words: We develop the perfect design for the function at hand ready, knowing that it can be produced in the 3D printer.”

Filigree shape proves successful under harsh operating conditions
One of the first customers using the new spray head in practice is Bharat Forge in Ennepetal, Germany. For Bharat Forge, the spray head was specifically designed to allow switching between water and a graphitebased spraying fluid. Both the forge operator and SMS group are extremely satisfied with the performance of the spray head. Bharat Forge: “The spraying pattern is much more homogeneous now. The dies are cleaner. Consequently the overall consumption of spraying fluid has decreased. Also handling is easier than with the conventionally manufactured spray heads. Accumulations of material, as frequently occurring inside the former spray heads, have not been found thanks to the flowoptimized design of the fluid channels.“

Only one facet of the overall concept of Additive Manufacturing
Although the Design Awardwinning spray head is in the focus of attention above all due to its extraordinary design, this is only one facet of the many activities underway at SMS group in the area of Additive Manufacturing. As the “Leading Partner in the World of Metals”, the company’s plans and strategies are of much wider scope. SMS group is not going to limit its AM activities to the design and production of innovative machine components, but will also offer integrated solutions for the complete process chain of Additive Manufacturing on the market.

A main area of Additive Manufacturing is 3D printing of metal. In 3D printing, a laser melts finegrained metal powder at selected, exactly defined locations. The components rebuilt up layer upon layer: A waferthin layer of metal powder is spread out on a powder bed. Then the laser melts the powder at the programmed spots. When this has been completed, another thin layer of powder is applied, and so forth… With this technique it is possible to make components of a complexity not feasible with conventional techniques. SMS group has been very active in the field of Additive Manufacturing for many years and has recently commissioned a pilot plant for industrialscale production of AM-grade metal powder. This powder features very specific properties, which are very likely to propel a completely new growth sector. It is extremely homogeneous and forms the basis of Additive Manufacturing. The powder consists of perfectly round minute spheres measuring only 15 to 45 micrometers (one thousandth of a millimeter). It is hard to imagine how these microscopic particles are produced in a 13 meters tall and complex hightech plant. Markus Hüllen, Vice President 3D Competence Center of SMS group: “The successful commissioning of the powder atomization plant marks a milestone for SMS group because it ensures the quality we need to make highquality 3D-printed metal components. Our objective is to master – and allow our customers to master – the complete process chain of this innovative technology. This is why we deliberately chose to not build a smallscale but an industrialscale pilot plant. Only this way can we test the process under realistic conditions, i.e. at high temperatures and pressures and in long production campaigns. We also work with a cooperation partner: Additive Industries, developers and providers of selective laser melting systems for 3D metal powder printing. We plan to set up a demonstration plant at the SMS group facilities in Mönchengladbach, which will comprise all process steps of Additive Manufacturing. “

Bright prospects as a supplier of integrated AM solutions
Additively manufactured components are already used in a number of industries. These “enabler” industries include the aerospace industry, the automotive industry, medical engineering, prototype and tool making, and plant and mechanical engineering. The Demo Center at the Mönchengladbach facilities will be the first of its kind as it will allow customers to experience the complete process chain of Additive Manufacturing, i.e. from powder production in the powder atomization plant, powder handling, 3D printing, heat treatment and machining to inspection, quality checks, logistics and the automation system. SMS group has been cooperating with Additive Industries in the development of processes that keep the powder under vacuum during all process steps. This prevents the powder from contaminating in any way and ensures that the components produced will be of highest quality. Markus Hüllen: “As systems provider and the “Leading Partner in the World of Metals”, our objective is to offer our customers complete Additive Manufacturing plants on a turnkey basis. By integrating the entire process chain from powder production down to the finished products, we ensure a high and reproducible powder quality for series production. The pilot plant will allow us to optimize the processes so as to maximize productivity and minimize total costs. Our customers will receive modular, scalable solutions tailored to their individual requirements. With our worldspanning service and support network, we are always readily available for our customers to accompany them on their way into the world of Additive Manufacturing.“

“New Horizon” strategy program unlocks the potential of futureoriented technologies
Although the new spraying system for drop forging plants is only a small object, it is – in the true sense of the word – a prize example of the exciting developments the plant and mechanical engineering sector is going to see in the very near future. With its corporatewide strategy program “New Horizon”, SMS group is bundling all futureoriented activities in connection with Additive Manufacturing, digitalization, Industrie 4.0 and new hightech materials. The reason behind this strategy is the fact that all these areas are interconnected and can only be advanced in a concerted approach. The strategy has worked out well. Numerous projects, such as learning steel mills, plants for the production of highperformance materials, and environmental technology that provides both ecological and economic benefits have already been successfully implemented. The new 3D-printed spray heads certainly fits into this category.

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Intelligent feeding solutions / Satisfying the requirements for modern assembly systems

The year 1908 was one of the most historically significant years both for personal motorised transport and for industrial assembly. With the Model T, the Ford Motor Company launched an automobile on the market which could be manufactured for the first time in large numbers at an affordable price. This not only heralded the age of private transport for the masses, but this first assembly line also gave the green light to industrial series production in the automotive industry. Due to advancing rationalisation measures, amongst other things in the form of a comprehensive division of labour, production rose to the point where it was efficient enough to produce up to 9000 vehicles a day.

Since then, despite an enormous increase in output, the basic principle of manual assembly work has essentially remained the same. Product assembly has been revolutionarily influenced by an increase in automation and digitalisation. Today, fully automatic systems can be remotely operated thanks to intelligent, Industry 4.0 capable hardware and software components and are interconnected with correlating systems, linked by feeding technology. An assembly system component can be fed and positioned, whilst at the same time fasteners such as screws or nuts are sorted, correctly positioned, separated and fed directly into the screwdriving tool – and all in the blink of an eye. However, changes in relevance to current or future influencing factors or constantly developing requirements still relentlessly force the industry to come up with new enhancements.

One of the most relevant of these factors is the advancement of miniaturisation. Today, modern processors of just a few square millimetres are equipped with many billions of transistors. Most dirt particles appear huge in comparison to such small structures on the nanometer scale, and depending on the application, can pose a significant risk. For example, even the smallest conductive particles can cause a short circuit in electronic components. Material particles from carbon fibre reinforced plastics are conductive so the use of these new and more efficient materials actually heightens this risk. Therefore, the increased relevance of technical cleanliness goes hand in hand with miniaturisation.

DEPRAG SCHULZ GmbH from Amberg, Germany, is one of the global market leaders in the field of automated screwdriving and feeding technology. Their recipe for long-term success is the continued drive for evolution and innovation, combined with the development of intelligent and efficient system solutions. With this in mind, DEPRAG Schulz GmbH developed their complete CleanFeed concept with specific CleanFeed components to meet the requirements for technical cleanliness in feeding. It includes elements for low abrasion part feeding to minimise the generation of damaging particles from the outset. Low abrasion sword feeders are particularly gentle at sorting, separating and suppling fasteners. Sensors on the device automatically determine the number of strokes necessary so that stroke movement and therefore abrasion is kept to a minimum. Furthermore, hoppers help to keep a consistently low quantity of fasteners in the feeding system because fewer screws mean less contamination. However, because the generation of particles cannot be entirely eliminated, suction systems are also an effective method of creating cleanroom conditions. The DEPRAG “Particle Killer” targets and removes dirt particles before assembly and ejects them through a filter. The DEPRAG SFM-V vacuum screwdriving module on the other hand, uses suction to remove residual dirt directly from the screwdriving tool via additional vacuum sources. As well as modifications to the hardware, particle contamination is also combatted by intelligent adjustments managed by the controller, such as a reduction in speed during bit engagement with the screw head, at the same time averting wear and tear on the tool.

Efficiency has always been a vital aspect for the entire supply chain in economical assembly systems. The DEPRAG vibratory spiral feeder eacy feed provides a particularly effective drive concept. Both the controller and drive of this efficient feeder are based on a power supply of 24 V/DC. Using oscillating magnets in the feed bowl, this is sufficient to trigger periodic oscillating motions and attain an energy saving of around 80%. The use of a universal power supply unit allows worldwide application of the device without modifications. Furthermore, the intelligent PFC100 controller allows for customised settings without time-consuming mechanical intervention. If assembly should be automated to the highest degree possible, but quantities do not justify a fully automatic feeding system, then a screw presenter offers an inexpensive, compact and quickly implemented solution. Screw presenters can be modified for different screw sizes with just a few steps, they are gentle on components, can be utilised in handheld or stationary applications and are fully self-sufficient thanks to their integrated controller.

Today, the global market situation is more dynamic than ever. New products reach the market quicker and the capacitive future of products is not always predictable. A lack of empirical data and uncertainties are the norm in quantity planning for the E-mobility sector. These circumstances require the most flexible solutions possible with short reaction times as is the case in hybrid assembly systems with a combination of manual and automated processes. In this way production can be expanded as necessary through the implementation of intelligent manual work stations without sacrificing processing reliability. The operator is taken step by step through the assembly task. Sensor technology activates the correct parameters for each screw position, releases fasteners, notifies the operator of subsequent tasks and evaluates results. The Pick-and-Place procedure guides the operator by picking up the correct fasteners and precisely directing them to the correct screw position. Assembly remains both flexible and reliable. One of the greatest challenges for hybrid assembly systems is the pairing of man and machine who do not always work at the same tempo. The solution is creating buffer zones, using intelligent linear conveyors. This enables larger distances to be bridged as well as controlling part flow. Depending on requirements, the conveyors provide part buffers or separate the part flow. Another measure in attaining highest flexibility is the use of modular system concepts with standardised components. DEPRAG has a comprehensive module portfolio including sensor-controlled screwdrivers, feeding systems, controllers etc., all from a single source. These individual modules are already coordinated with each other, thereby saving time and effort in integration. The high flexibility means that assembly systems can be quickly adapted to the current market situation; counteracting planning uncertainties and quickly reacting to changing requirements.

Henry Ford’s own intelligent and efficient ideas shaped his production so that it was as economical as possible. For ten years, his company produced only black body parts and obligated suppliers to deliver precisely dimensioned wooden shipping containers whose boards were then taken apart to be used in vehicle construction. Such measures may be unthinkable today, however the objective of realising efficient, intelligent system solutions still holds true. Assembly systems are complex, perfectly coordinated interdependent systems comprising of numerous components. A system malfunction in feeding technology can cause a delay to larger parts in the supply chain and thereby create far-reaching financial and organisational consequences. With their widely diversified component portfolio designed to satisfy any requirement, DEPRAG Schulz GmbH provides flexible and reliable options for the realisation of highly profitable assembly systems.

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Aspect Software veröffentlicht neue Version seiner Customer Engagement Plattform Aspect Via

Aspect Software hat eine neue Version seiner Customer Engagement Plattform in der Cloud herausgebracht. Zum erweiterten Leistungsumfang von Aspect Via® 18.1 gehören verbesserte Omnichannel Continuity, umfangreichere Enterprise Integration, weiterentwickelte APIs, ausgebaute DSGVO-Features und vieles mehr.

Mit nativ entwickeltem Interaction Management, Workforce Optimization, IVR und digitalem Self-Service bietet Aspect Via 18.1 ein komplettes Set cloudbasierter Kundenservice-Funktionen. Die Flexibilität und offene Architektur der Plattform hilft dabei, durch zukunftssichere Unternehmensinvestitionen beste Gesamtbetriebskosten (TCO) im Customer Engagement Markt zu erzielen. So belegte Aspect Via den ersten Platz in der Kategorie ROI im kürzlich veröffentlichten „2018 Value Index for Contact Centers in the Cloud” von Ventana Research.

Weitere Informationen über Aspect Via

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FOLD! – le nouvel écran à apparence futuriste de ELEMENT ONE

Un moniteur rétractable sur un bureau, malgré toutes ses fonctionnalités, est généralement un élément statique et fonctionnel. Dorénavant, avec le FOLD! ELEMENT ONE lance un moniteur élégant qui se comporte comme un bras robotisé et qui, une fois étendu, flotte au dessus de la table comme une tablette très élégante. Équipé d’un écran tactile, il peut même être utilisé comme une tablette dans une position de travail confortable et sous n’importe quel angle pour une meilleure vue. Sur demande, une version sans écran tactile est également disponible.

"Notre motivation pour le développement du FOLD!" était de permettre une vrai interaction et fonctionnement telle une tablette le permet, a déclaré Thorsten Nees, PDG de ELEMENT ONE Multimedia GmbH. L’avantage majeur du FOLD! par rapport à une tablette classique est qu’elle prend la position idéale sur la table. Néanmoins elle n’est pas un appareil supplémentaire encombrant mais une partie complémentaire de la technologie multimédia AV – avec toutes les caractéristiques ainsi qu’avec des fonctions de sécurité nécessaires pour une réunion ou une salle de conférence. De plus, avec ses 17.3", elle met à disposition une surface nettement plus grande qu’une tablette conventionnelle et offre un champ de vision beaucoup plus confortable. FOLD! est fondamentalement équipé de toutes les techniques caractéristiques d’ELEMENT ONE." « L’idée était de combiner tous les avantages des différents environnements ».

En plus de toutes les fonctionnalités, le FOLD! est impressionnant par son design exceptionnel. Dans son aspect unique, il est le premier du genre au monde. Fabriqué à partir d’aluminium et de verre, le moniteur est élégant à tous les sens – une bonne condition préalable à une humeur positive et donc à une communication plus efficace autour de la table de réunion.

Caractéristiques et fonctions du FOLD! en un coup d’oeil.

  • Ecran tactile de taille 17.3", à intégrer dans le mobilier
  • Ne nécessite aucune maintenance, mécanisme d’extension et rétraction électronique virtuellement
  • Inclinaison automatique de l’écran; angle d’inclinaison compris entre 15 ° et 90 °
  • Moniteur en aluminium fraisé, anodisé argent, vitre anti-reflet de 2 mm
  • Mécanisme réalisé en aluminium anodisé
  • Aluminium anodisé, acier inoxydable, cadre et rabat en acier inoxydable brossé
  • Illumination LED TFT du display, compatible HDCP, IPS, luminosité 300 cd / m², contraste 700: 1, résolution 1920 x 1080 FullHD
  • interface HDMI
  • Contrôle centralisé par TCP / IP (Ethernet) ou contacts secs (9-pin dSub)

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Vonage-Partnerprogramm Nexmo Connect startet für Enterprise-Kunden

Vonage (NYSE: VG), einer der führenden Anbieter von Cloud-Kommunikationslösungen für Unternehmen, gibt heute den Start seines Nexmo-Partnerprogramms Nexmo Connect bekannt. Nexmo Connect bildet das Fundament eines Community-basierten, kooperativ ausgerichteten Ökosystems aus Nexmo-Partnern.

Gestartet wurde Nexmo Connect, um den Bedürfnissen großer Unternehmen entgegenzukommen, die Komplettlösungen für ihre spezifischen Anforderungen benötigen. Das bereits mehr als 100 Mitglieder zählende Netzwerk soll Nexmo-Partnern helfen, neue Marktchancen ausfindig zu machen. Auch die Ausarbeitung von Strategien für eine starke Marktposition und die Entwicklung einer attraktiveren Customer Experience für die Enterprise-Kunden der Partner soll mit Nexmo Connect unterstützt werden. Eine wachsende Zahl marktführender Unternehmen wie Microsoft, Facebook, MuleSoft, Built.io, Tray.io, Converse.ai und Aspect Software gehören bereits zum Partner-Ökosystem Nexmo Connect.

Der Bedarf an besseren, intuitiveren Applikationen, die eine persönliche, kontextbezogene und nahtlose Kommunikation ermöglichen, steigt bei Unternehmen und Verbrauchern – eine Entwicklung, die die Notwendigkeit von Partnerschaften und Kooperationen zwischen innovativen Lösungsanbietern noch weiter verstärken wird. Laut einer kürzlich veröffentlichten Prognose des Branchenanalysten IDC wird der CPaaS-Markt für Voice- und Text-Messaging signifikant wachsen und in den nächsten drei Jahren Umsätze in Höhe von über 18 Milliarden Dollar verbuchen.* Indem das Nexmo-Team, seine Partner und seine Kunden über Nexmo Connect ihre Kompetenzen bündeln, kann Vonage Enterprise-Kunden jeder beliebigen Größe und Branche voll individualisierte Kommunikationslösungen anbieten.

„Das neue Partnerprogramm ermöglicht den Unternehmen, mithilfe vielfältiger Kommunikationslösungen ihr Innovationstempo zu erhöhen“, so Mark Winther, VP Telecom Consulting bei IDC. „Indem vielen verschiedenen Technologiepartnern moderne API-Kommunikationsfunktionen zur Verfügung gestellt werden, macht Nexmo diese einem noch breiterem Publikum zugänglich und beschleunigt die Entwicklungs- und Implementierungsprozesse.“

„Kein Unternehmen kann allen Kunden alles bieten – deshalb ist ein Partner-Ökosystem so wichtig. Mit Nexmo Connect können wir engere Geschäftsbeziehungen zu unseren geschätzten Partnern aufbauen. Unsere Partner profitieren ihrerseits von dem breiten Wissen der gesamten Community“, so Mark Summerson, Global Partner Program Director für Nexmo, der Vonage API-Plattform. „Die Gemeinschaft aus Nexmo und seinen Partnern schafft einen Riesenmehrwert für unsere Kunden – und die Kunden unserer Partner.“

„Durch das neue Programm“, fährt Mark Summerson fort, „haben die Nexmo-Partner Zugang zu unserer umfangreichen Plattform programmierbarer Kommunikationslösungen. Sie stellt zentrale Kommunikations-APIs für Voice-, SMS-, IP-, Messaging- und Video-Anwendungen bereit, mit denen unsere Partner ihre Kunden bei der Entwicklung einer attraktiven Experience unterstützen können. Die Plattform gestattet es zudem, eine starke, persönliche Bindung zu schaffen, die ohne diese Technologie nicht möglich wäre.“

Nexmo Connect unterscheidet sich in mehreren, entscheidenden Hinsichten von typischen Partnerprogrammen. Besonders hervorzuheben ist aber das Community-basierte Konzept: Im Gegensatz zu anderen Partnerprogrammen mit Eins-zu-Eins-Kommunikation unterstützen sich die Partner und Experten im Rahmen des Nexmo Connect-Netzwerks gegenseitig bei Entwicklung, Verkauf und Marketing. Die Partner werden anhand der Lösungen, die sie auf dem Markt anbieten, in Kategorien eingeteilt: Application Partner, die vorkonfigurierte Applikationen anbieten, Integration Partner mit kundenspezifischen Lösungen und Technology Partner mit ergänzenden APIs und Plattformen.

Hier ein Überblick über die Vorteile von Nexmo Connect:

  • Offene integrierte Community: Nexmo Connect-Partner können sich von Beginn an voll in die Community integrieren. Die Partnerlisten von Nexmo Connect sind für alle Kunden und Partner zugänglich, damit diese die Innovationen und das Know-how des Netzwerks nutzen können.
  • Nexmo Connect Stars: Das Marketingkooperationsprogramm Nexmo Connect Stars beschleunigt das Wachstum des Partner-Ökosystems. Es stärkt die Sichtbarkeit beim Nexmo-Vertrieb, bei Entwicklern, Kunden und Interessenten und fördert gemeinsame Projekte.
  • Partner Showcase: Mit Nexmo Connect Partner Showcase finden Unternehmen ihren idealen Partner: Dank der diversifizierten Partnerschaften von Nexmo können Unternehmen ihr Customer Engagement optimieren und die Loyalität ihrer Kunden steigern.
  • Einfache & effektive Zusammenarbeit: Einfache Tools zur Suche nach dem richtigen Partner erleichtern es, den Draht zwischen Partnern und Kunden herzustellen. Auch die Zusammenarbeit innerhalb der Community ist unkompliziert – dank sozialer Technologien, die mit einigen Kommunikations-Bots von Vonage integriert sind.

„tPoint Solutions bietet Dienstleistungen zur Optimierung und Anbindung von Kundeninteraktionen an. Zu unseren Kunden zählen einige der größten Logistikunternehmen der EMEA-Region. Mithilfe der Nexmo-APIs konnten wir Voice-Bots in unser Angebot integrieren, die die Zufriedenheitswerte unserer Kunden steigern und die Effizienz ihrer Abläufe erhöhen“, berichtet Andy Griffin, Gründer und CEO von tPoint Solutions. „Welchen Nutzen wir davon haben? Ganz einfach: Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit Nexmo und anderen Partnern von Nexmo Connect bringen wir innovative Dienstleistungen schneller auf den Markt und verhelfen unseren Kunden zu besseren Ergebnissen.“
 
* „Worldwide Voice and Text Messaging Communications Platform-as-a-Service Forecast, 2018–2022“, IDC, IDC #US43805418, Mai 2018

Mehr über Nexmo Connect erfahren Sie unter www.nexmo.com.

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Aspect Software ernennt Chris Koziol zum Chief Executive Officer

  • Koziol übernimmt zusätzlich Position des CEO nach sechs Jahren als Aspect President
  • der erfahrene Manager war maßgeblich beteiligt an der Transformation von Aspect zu einem der führenden Anbieter cloudbasierter Customer Engagement Lösungen
  • verfügt über fundierte Kenntnisse des weltweiten Enterprise Software Marktes

Aspect Software, Anbieter komplett integrierter Customer Engagement-, Workforce Optimization- und Omnichannel Self-Service-Lösungen, gibt die Ernennung des bisherigen Präsidenten Chris Koziol zum Präsidenten und CEO des Unternehmens bekannt. Mit über 30 Jahren Technologie- und Führungserfahrung war Koziol eine der treibenden Kräfte bei der Umgestaltung von Aspect von einem Anbieter für On-Premise Software zu einem Anbieter marktführender cloudbasierter Customer Engagement Lösungen.

„Ich freue mich sehr, die Rolle des CEO zu übernehmen. Wir befinden uns in einer entscheidenden Marktphase, in der Unternehmen erkennen, wie differenzierte Kundenerlebnisse ihnen dabei helfen, in zunehmend wettbewerbsorientierten Märkten erfolgreich zu sein“, so Koziol. „Die funktionsreichen, nativ entwickelten und fachmännisch gelieferten Aspect Lösungen erzielen große Aufmerksamkeit, denn sie sind in der Lage, den immer weiter steigenden Service-Erwartungen der Verbraucher gerecht zu werden, insbesondere über neu aufkommende digitale Kanäle. Das ist eine großartige Chance für das Unternehmen, von der Marktdynamik zu profitieren und ich fühle mich geehrt, Aspect und unsere weltweit über 1.700 Mitarbeiter in dieser spannenden Zeit zu leiten.“

Bevor er zu Aspect wechselte, war Koziol in verschiedenen führenden Positionen in der Enterprise Software- und Systemintegrationsbranche tätig, darunter mehr als vier Jahre als Chief Operating Officer für das Unternehmen JDA Software, das sich während seiner Amtszeit zu einem 400 Mio. US$ Unternehmen entwickelte. Außerdem war er 16 Jahre in führenden Positionen, u.a. als President und COO, bei MicroAge, einem 6 Mrd. US$ Fortune 500 Systemintegrator und Vertriebshändler.

Koziol ist Absolvent des Management Development Programms der Harvard Business School und hat einen Bachelor-Abschluss in Business Administration – Marketing der Universität von Arizona. Er ist außerdem Mitglied des Verwaltungsrats des Arizona Technology Council.

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