The future is now
The manufacturing industry is quickly becoming digitized and automated. Soon the entire world of manufacturing will be connected in complex networks of autonomous systems. Sandvik is ready to take part in shaping the future of manufacturing.
Ulf Hermansson, Strategic Technical Analyst at Sandvik Group Research and Development (R&D), creates and continually updates comprehensive interpretations of research and technological development, both within current and possible future areas for Sandvik. Based on global and independent data sources (more than 34,000 of them), he consolidates overviews, verified by specialists and experts within Sandvik's business areas. External contacts both within academia and industry help to fill the gaps in understanding
technological trends and their possible implications.
"With a rapidly growing availability of information, we face the risk of either being unable to see the forest for the trees or giving in to the herd mentality and being reduced to external reports of both uncertain quality and relevance," Hermansson says. "We want to visualize the road ahead through our own eyes and get equipped for the opportunities and hurdles we identify."
Adveon Tool Library is one example where Sandvik, in collaboration with several CAM suppliers, integrates cutting tool information into the customer's CAM system to make it easier, faster and much more accurate to assemble tools virtually. It also generates a 3D model of the tool, enabling simulation of the machining before it actually starts to cut chips.
Another example where Sandvik uses advanced technology is the development of new alloys. Before an alloy is actually produced, it has already existed in the virtual world for a long time, where it has been tested through simulation and modeling to understand how it will handle pressure, wear, and demanding environments. When it has all the required properties, the material is produced physically.
"We have been collecting large amounts of data for many years, which helps us in making close predictions of how a material will behave in different situations," says Pasi Kangas, Global Research and Development Manager, Sandvik Materials Technology. "The more data, the better the predictions. In the future, we might be able to go directly from the virtual world to production."
Big data in combination with sensors is also used in the new rollin mill, where an intelligent online system adapts the rolling to the characteristics of the incoming material, which increases both productivity and accuracy.
"Sensor technology opens up unlimited opportunities when it comes to optimizing production processes," says Jonas Jordberg, Vice President R&D,
Sandvik Machining Solutions. "A worn cutting tool can alert a system that it needs to be exchanged."
At Sandvik Construction, sensor technology is used for remote monitoring of drill rigs. The same solution is now used for crushers to enable conditional monitoring and remote support.
"The more tightly we can connect with our customers, the better the chance that they will see us as a productivity partner rather than just an equipment supplier," says Joe Davison, R&D Manager, Sandvik Construction. "Advanced technology allows us to be much more proactive in how we provide service and support. We don't necessarily set the rules, but we need to be open to the opportunities and find a balance between our own ambitions and our customer's demands."