- Company Portrait Schuler Group – www.schulergroup.com
Schuler offers customized cutting-edge technology in all areas of forming—from the networked press to press shop planning. In addition to presses, our products include automation, dies, process know-how and service for the entire metalworking industry. Schuler's Digital Suite brings together solutions for networking forming technology and is continuously being developed to further improve line productivity and availability. Our customers include automotive manufacturers and suppliers, as well as companies in the forging, household appliance and electrical industries. Presses from the Schuler Group mint coins for more than 180 countries. Founded in 1839 at our headquarters in Göppingen, Germany, Schuler has approx. 5 000 employees at production sites in Europe, China and the Americas, as well as service companies in more than 40 countries. The company is part of the international technology group ANDRITZ.
Innovative Solutions for a World in Motion - Schuler at EuroBLECH
The world is on the move, and in several respects: the digital transformation of industry and the shift to electromobility are in full swing, sustainable production methods are becoming increasingly important, and further challenges of various kinds have been added at the political level. This is why innovative solutions for increasing efficiency and flexibility in the press shop are more in demand than ever in these times. Schuler will be presenting a whole range of these at the EuroBLECH trade fair in Hanover from October 25 to 28.
Under the trade show motto "Innovative Solutions for a World in Motion," visitors to booth 27-G82 will learn how turnkey lines can help them open up new fields of business and secure their competitive advantage. "Schuler also supports its customers in increasing the sustainability of their production and reducing their carbon footprint," emphasizes CEO Domenico Iacovelli. "With our numerous digital solutions, energy efficiency continues to improve. The shift to electromobility can also be mastered with our technology. Whatever other changes the future may hold for us, Schuler is there for its customers."
Examples of turnkey lines include the modular Triton single presses, as well as the newly developed press lines or Schuler's highly flexible Laser Blanking Lines, which, unlike conventional blanking lines, no longer require any dies. Schuler will also be providing insights into the Smart Press Shop, the most modern of its kind in the world, and its solutions for networking forming technology from the Digital Suite – such as the "Track & Trace" system for seamless follow-up of components, the camera-based monitoring system "Visual Die Protection," or the augmented reality application "Schuler Connect" to support customers in the event of a service call. With "Visual Quality Inspection", a further application for the visual inspection of components has recently been added.
In the area of e-mobility, Schuler offers not only the right equipment for the economical production of electric motor laminations, but also of cylindrical or prismatic battery housings. The company's subsidiary Aweba supplies the appropriate dies for this application and others in sheet metal forming. Regardless of whether the vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor – lightweight construction can increase the range of all vehicles: for example, with parts made of fiber-reinforced plastics, such as those produced on hydraulic presses.
Sustainability was already on Schuler's agenda before the term increasingly dominated the social debate in recent years. The solutions from the Digital Suite increase the productivity, efficiency, and availability of the lines and thus also reduce energy requirements. In the meantime, the press manufacturer also has plant technology for the large-scale production of bipolar plates for fuel cells in its product range, which convert hydrogen into electrical energy.
Immediate detection of scrap parts: "Visual Quality Inspection"
The order has been processed, the last box filled. But a quick glance reveals that all parts have a scratch on important functional surfaces – a rule-out criterion for the customer. So there is no choice but to start production all over again, dispose of the scrap and make up for the lost time if possible. If the defect is first noticed by the customer, the costs for the complaint are even added.
"Many press operators know and fear situations like this," knows Christoph Pölzl from Product Management for Digital Solutions at Schuler. "But checking every part on the outfeed conveyor by hand is often simply unrealistic." Schuler has now developed a new camera-based system called "Visual Quality Inspection" (or VQI for short) that automatically detects bad parts. "This can correct errors in production immediately, avoid hours of delays, and improve the relationship with customers in the long run."
VQI can be configured with just a few mouse clicks: "The template is a flawless good part that the operator marks on the computer," explains Lukas Hagestedt, development engineer for AI systems at Schuler. "The time required for this is a few minutes, and no special prior knowledge is necessary." On this basis, VQI compares all other components and immediately identifies even the slightest deviations.
"Visual Quality Inspection" is already being used successfully by a customer in the automotive supply industry. The technology is based on the die monitoring system "Visual Die Protection" (VDP), which Schuler introduced in 2019. With VQI, however, the camera is not directed into the press, but from above onto the outfeed conveyor.
Other solutions on the market require method expertise from the operator as well as a high level of effort for setup. And even then, false alarms can often occur during operation, costing rather than saving time. With Schuler's control system, the risk is low because VQI retrains itself independently, thus further sharpening its eye for the good part.