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Getting products to market faster

SabriScan is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the latest production technology to core areas of manufacturing that are not nearly as advanced, production-wise, as they could be. The company’s engineering, production, and supply capabilities enable it to offer a one-stop solution to many manufacturing challenges.

The need to work faster and more efficiently and to deliver to ever-tighter deadlines is a fact of life for most, if not all of those in the engineering sector today. Product life-cycles are getting shorter and new products must be brought to market quicker. This affects manufacturers of moulds and the tooling needed to produce them as much as anyone.

SabriScan’s response has been to develop an approach designed to give manufacturers access to competitive capacity, the best technology, and new types of tool and mould manufacturing – while reducing the risks for its customers and ensuring a reliable and responsive supply chain. Customers can achieve highly efficient production performance, eliminate inefficient and unnecessary work, and minimise material and procurement costs.

Speed and flexibility

Perhaps the single biggest advantage of what SabriScan can offer is faster manufacturing – at least 50% faster than traditional systems and up to 70% faster in some cases.

One of the areas to have benefited from SabriScan’s expertise has been power transmission, particularly spiral bevel gears, gear segments, and similar units. SabriScan’s 3D-based manufacturing technology for products in this area – the first of its type – is now provided on an OEM basis worldwide.

SabriScan can achieve this by being involved at an early stage in the product development cycle, enabling new manufacturing technologies to be leveraged as early as possible. A good example of this is gear production.

The conventional techniques typically used for manufacturing many types of gears – cyclopalloid gears, crown gears, pinion stands, and others – are slow and expensive and can often be replaced by advanced unmanned production cells. These can mass-produce components to very tight specifications without the need for specialist expertise, as well as produce one-off items very rapidly.

This approach often eliminates the need for things like lapping, and makes heat treatment unnecessary in many applications as well, as new types of materials can be used.

SabriScan can handle the entire process, from design and prototyping to final product, spare parts, and assistance with product modifications and upgrades. In addition to its own advanced production capacity, SabriScan’s networking capabilities enable it to supply customers with production cells, machine tools, software, and training for in-house manufacturing, as well as produce strategic parts as part of an outsourcing contract to complement in-house work.

SabriScan’s project services can include OEM manufacturing on its customers’ behalf in Finland and supplying needs by using capacity in low-cost countries to meet the needs of specific projects or contracts, or the production of complete subsystems.

Gearing up for the future

One of the areas to have benefited the most so far from SabriScan’s expertise has been power transmission, particularly spiral bevel gears, gear segments, and similar units, a field that had become dominated by a small number of specialist suppliers of gear hobbing machines.

One of the biggest advantages that SabriScan can offer is faster manufacturing – at least 50% faster than traditional systems and up to 70% faster in some cases.

The main technology in the field had become outmoded in today’s world of computeraided manufacturing (CAM ) and was simply not up to what customers needed and was resulting in serious knock-on effects – in the shape of shipyard delays, late deliveries of earthmoving machinery, and unnecessarily extended timetables for wind power projects.

SabriScan’s response was to launch a 3D-based manufacturing technology, the first of its type, that it now provides on an OEM basis for gearboxes and gear drives worldwide. This offers faster and more efficient manufacturing times than conventional technology – and also makes it much faster and easier to increase production capacity if needed.

SabriScan’s solution makes it possible to mass-produce spiral bevel gears and pinion shanks ranging in size from 100 mm to 2.5 metres across using unmanned production cells – eliminating the need for special on-site expertise and dedicated machinery. This approach can benefit a wide range of customers, in transport and logistics, commodities, energy generation, and many others.

SabriScan is now working on developing this type of digital expertise further, particularly in the area of bevel gear wheels, using Internet technology and an open-source software architecture.

Making the most of new technologies

SabriScan has worked with customers in many other fields as well, such as aluminium diecasting, aerospace, marine engineering, and mobile phones.

SabriScan-developed technologies are now used worldwide in the mobile phone industry, for example, to provide major time-savings in producing the moulds and painting masks for new generations of handsets.

New types of press machinery designed for sheet steel and aluminium are benefiting companies in the aerospace and marine engineering fields. SabriScan is also pioneering the use of advanced hard machining technology as a means of delivering very high standards of dimensional accuracy and surface quality and replacing slow and expensive polishing in many applications.

> Jari Kokkonen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)