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Integrated Manufacturing

The panel saw as a connected machine

Altendorf has been making panel saws for 110 years. The company’s base of know-how focused on a single product is probably unrivaled in just about any industry sector.

24 Nov. 2016

CEO Jörg F. Mayer on what Industry 4.0 means for a company like Altendorf:

Altendorf

"I should perhaps first clarify what the concept of Industry 4.0 actually means from our perspective – because so far there is no universally agreed definition. Every company has a slightly different understanding of the term, and many define it in a way that fits best with their own Industry 4.0 programs. In terms of our products and services, our focus now is firmly on designing panel saws that can be fully integrated into our customers’ production processes. While we have actually offered this option for a number of years, it hasn't previously been a particular focus of our R&D work.

This had to change because our customers are becoming more and more interested in connected systems. As a result, we have to look a lot harder at the processes taking place upstream and downstream from our products, and talk to the manufacturers of those systems to ensure our technologies mesh in with theirs. Our Altendorf saws have to interface seamlessly with the surrounding machines. There simply is no future in going it alone.

Because of our stand’s design and the nature of our product, we have the luxury of being able to decide fairly late in the piece what our main focus for the major upcoming trade fairs will be. This time around, we will be showcasing our new air cushion table and also the revolutionary new ‘Altendorf Navigation’ system for our panel saw. The latter is an idea we have been pursuing for some years to boost the use of our saws in other countries. The idea is to use monitor-based visualizations to make our standard panel saws easier to operate. In many countries, saw operators lack the professional expertise required to operate our saws, which dramatically increases the risk of operator errors.

The comprehensive ‘Altendorf-Navigation’ system provides detailed guidance instructions, taking the operator through each of the steps in the process. The aim is to eliminate errors, increase safety and avoid unnecessary tooling time. The integratability of our panel saws and this type of visualization both fit in well with our definition of Industry 4.0 as well as LIGNA’s continuing focus on this theme."

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