2016 Sees the Second Appearance of the WAFIOS Group in Shanghai with Cutting-Edge Machines and its own 250 m² Booth, Highlighting the Importance of China as a Strategic Market for the Future

Fig. 1 Exhibition stand of WAFIOS Group in Shanghai

Fig. 2 Exhibition stand of WAFIOS Group in Shanghai

Back for a second appearance after its debut in 2014, the WAFIOS Group was one of the largest exhibitors in the international hall with the latest generation of spring, wire, and tube bending machines. Just as it did at the sister event in Düsseldorf in April this year, WAFIOS also presented an outlook on the major subject of Industry 4.0 and demonstrated how WAFIOS interprets the concept of "Smart Factory 4.0", both in the context of existing individual solutions such as iQsmartbend - the patented, award-winning software solution which optimizes wire and tube bending processes - but also as a vision with the Chinese version of Smart Factory 4.0, "experience tomorrow's production today". The keen interest shown by the trade professionals in China underlined once again the importance of Industry 4.0 for future developments in the Chinese wire and tube bending industry and, for WAFIOS, it confirms the need to keep moving forward with "Industry 4.0" developments and the concept of Smart Factory 4.0 as a central innovation driver within the corporate strategy.

Alongside these future-related topics, numerous Asia premieres from all areas of machinery were in the spotlight, as is traditional for WAFIOS at a mechanical engineering trade fair.

The next generation of the successful WAFIOS BMZ series made its debut in Asia with the BMZ 12. The BMZ series is based on a successful and reliable concept. Designed from the very beginning for the production of complicated bent parts from cut-to-length, partially ready-to-install tubes with processed ends, the WAFIOS BMZ series set standards in the past with the previous models. The BMZ 42 series, which is well-established on the market, is now being replaced with the new BMZ 8 and 12 models. During the redevelopment, the closest possible attention was paid to functionality, in keeping with the truism "form follows function" or the WAFIOS version "minimalism in the areas of the machine which offer no added value to the product manufactured". Ultimately, however, the BMZ series continues to focus on fine-tuning its core values: the highest degree of performance with outstanding, precision technology supported by perfect machine handling.

With the RBV 42 R, WAFIOS is expanding the RBV series for smaller tube diameters up to 42 mm. The RBV 42 R closes a gap in requirements for rotary head machines, enabling efficient production and high output with lower space requirements and investment. WAFIOS is pursuing a deliberate strategy in basing its new concept on the RBV 60 R, which has already garnered much success. The RBV 42 R will be available with three rotary head designs that are already proven in practice: the RBV 42 R standard design, the RBV 42 RS reinforced version, and the RBV 42 ST stabilizer bending machine.

For decades, the machines in the FMU series have epitomized maximum flexibility combined with optimum output in the wire-processing industry. In the manufacture of torsion springs, tension springs, and extended loop springs, as well as bent parts, the WAFIOS CNC winding, coiling, and bending machines in the FMU series are the epitome of the very best in quality and performance. The series boasts a new software concept, optimized machine design and build, and even lower maintenance requirements. The basic version machines in the new series are equipped with eight highly dynamic energy-efficient CNC axes. The modular way in which the FMU series has been designed and built means that the machines can be configured with up to 24 CNC axes and thus made ready to provide the best possible solution to each and every customer requirement. Moreover, the very latest monitoring and control technology guarantees the production of zero-error springs.

The WAFIOS WPS 3.2 Easyway controller, which is now integrated in the FMU series, has been completely overhauled. A new and neatly laid out 21.5" multi-touch monitor guides the user through a simplified data input process for standard tools. The new 'EasyTab' programming module by WAFIOS provides simple and logical preconfigured programming sequences which significantly reduce the amount of data that has to be entered during programming, speeding up the set-up process dramatically as a result. For the first time, operators are able to view and can easily change geometric, technological, and axis-specific data inputs and corrections on a unique, clear, and redesigned screen mask.

The new FUL series is the answer to the rising technological requirements in the 21st century. The innovative design meets the highest standards with regard to handling, user-friendliness, and occupational safety. For example, the arrangement of the tools has been optimized to provide the operator with easier access for tool changes. Due to the modular machine structure and the expanded working range, the machine's flexibility - which is mentioned again and again as an important purchase criterion for customers - is improved even further. Furthermore, the WAFIOS WPS 3.2 Easyway control program offers numerous new "iQ" functions to optimize processes, such as....

...iQcontrol for "in-process" regulation of the spring lengths

...iQautopitch to correct the pitch and coil of compression springs, or

...iQbestspeed to calculate the ideal point of Operation

The last in the series of stand-alone machines was the WAFIOS BT 3.2 CNC multi-head wire bending machine. This popular machine is always in demand from customers who want to manufacture seat structure wires and double-zigzag springs for vehicle seats up to 4 mm spring steel. Its sister model 5.2 expanded the spectrum of manufacturing options to include lumbar support as well as sport seat frames up to 5 mm wire diameter. In accordance with the manufacturing spectrum, the series offers maximum process reliability and high cost-effectiveness, particularly in the case of asymmetrical parts with numerous bends. The model's high flexibility is thanks to the gripper arm, which holds the parts in a defined position ready for subsequent operations or integration in production sequences.

The young subsidiaries WAFIOS Tube Automation and WAFIOS Production Technologies made their Chinese debut at Wire & Tube in Shanghai.

The appearance of WPT WAFIOS Production Technology at the WAFIOS Group booth in Shanghai received only positive feedback. Numerous business contacts were established and new automation solution projects for different areas of the automobile industry (interior equipment, chassis, and drive train) were initiated over the course of the trade fair.

The announcement of a major order from a Chinese manufacturer for a machinery system with robot for the internal chamfering and spring end grinding of valve piston springs was the highlight of the fair. In the meantime, negotiations over other very promising projects are in the final stages.

Visitors queued up before the exhibited machinery system that consisted of a WAFIOS CNC wire bending machine and two KUKA robots, to get one of the flowers the system produced. Over the entire fair, almost 2500 wire flowers were given to enthusiastic Chinese trade visitors.


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