The benefits of involving suppliers at the earliest possible stages of development and production can best be illustrated by means of real-world examples, and this is precisely what Dutch suppliers will be presenting at Industrial Supply as the world’s leading trade fair for subcontracting and lightweight construction under the umbrella of HANNOVER MESSE 2016. The Dutch Supplier Pavilion in Hall 4 – one of the biggest national showcases at the Industrial Supply fair, with displays filling 800 square meters – will feature system suppliers, start-ups and networks all intent on demonstrating their expertise and capabilities as innovative development partners. Visitors will also be able to pick up lots of added value in the form of inspirational forum presentations and lively rounds of discussion with experts from various sectors of industry.
The following Dutch suppliers are indicative of what awaits visitors at the Dutch Supplier Pavilion. A brief description of the forum and the Dutch networking get-together to be held on 27 April follows at the end of this text.
The Blok Group of Velsen-Noord, Amsterdam, will present high-tech printer components. They have just launched the world’s largest 3D metal printer into operation: A huge investment with clear objectives. "Thanks to additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping, new products can become marketable faster and our customers have significant competitive advantages," says Managing Director Martijn Witteveen. Thus, the company has underlined its ambition to be involved as a development partner at the beginning of the production chain. One of the important roles 3D printing of high-quality components plays is in time savings, especially in two key areas: (1) Prototypes already in the design phase can be printed quickly and (2) Minor modifications to the design can be applied simply by pressing a button – and at a much lower cost. As a result, time spent on the production process is reduced because traditional welding or adhesive bonding processes are eliminated. The new machine enables components with 800x400x500 millimeter dimensions to be printed – this is a revolution in production. The printed parts are used in the most demanding industries, from aerospace, automotive and medical to oil and gas. The printer is also capable of processing high-performance materials such as titanium, Hastelloy and Inconel, which are standard materials in those industries.
Brainport Industries of Eindhoven is a high-tech network in the supplier industry with almost 90 affiliated companies throughout the Netherlands. "Jointly we represent 9,000 employees and an annual turnover of two billion Euros," reports managing director John Blankendaal. Through this network, the suppliers have managed to become development partners of large OEMs. "Previously, the process in the supply industry was composed of three steps: Inquiry, offer, execution. The roles were clearly distributed: You request, we build. But this model did not have a future. Therefore, we had to develop considerable added value. Our approach was to participate in earlier stages in the production chain, i.e., in the product development stage," explains Blankendaal. "Today we are a partner on an equal level. Thanks to cooperation with our suppliers, the large corporations can double their revenue and halve the costs. They rely on collaboration with innovative partners." Members of Brainport Industries operate in various sectors, including medical, semiconductor, photovoltaics, optics and measuring instruments. Although the companies differ, they must all deliver the highest quality.
CLT Metal Service
Faster turnaround times and less material consumption, new design possibilities and zero mistakes: With the "Smart Metal Shaping" concept, the CLT Metal Service of Horst responds to increasing customer demands. At the center lies one of the most modern laser processing centers in Europe. In Hannover CLT will show how its new concept supports customers in the food, chemical and mechanical engineering industries. The solution for increasingly important throughput and delivery time lies in automation and digitization. The exact model of construction is prepared on the computer in 3D and product details are confirmed with the customer; the system does the rest automatically. The machine is a fully automated processing center for round and profile tubes with 20 millimeters of material thickness, with a length of fourteen meters and 610 millimeters maximum diameter. The resulting time savings are substantial. Another advantage of the system lies in the new construction possibilities: Tubes and sheets can be connected and connectors can be prepared or carved at precise predetermined points. A further advantage is the 100 percent reproducibility. In just a few weeks, CLT cut, marked and packed 1,288 different pipes in accordance with the stage-decoration specifications for the Eurovision Song Festival in May 2015 in Vienna.
Goudsmit Magnetic Supplies
From trading house to engineering partner: Goudsmit Magnetic Supplies of Waalre has undergone a metamorphosis in the past few months. Jeff Hagelen, the managing director, explains, "While we have always followed our customers, now we are also developing new products and processes together." The most modern machines, ISO certificates and high-tech test laboratories – the magnetic components and systems manufactured by Goudsmit Group meet the highest quality standards. One of the most important implementation areas is the automotive industry. "We sit together with designers from German automotive companies and jointly develop the desired products," reports Hagelen. In addition to the automotive industry, Goudsmit magnets can be found in almost all sectors where magnetic forces are required. The range extends from emergency braking systems in trains and wind turbines to medical devices and machines for recycling. The company buys the material for the magnets from China because the largest deposits of rare elements are located there. "The magnets are manufactured according to our specifications," says Hagelen. Goudsmit Magnetic Supplies has almost 30 years’ experience in China, and thus can guarantee high quality. Even customers who manufacture in China trust their Dutch supplier while purchasing magnets. Or they develop new products with Goudsmit engineers.
A completely-recyclable cooling bag. Different materials that are connected to each other by magnetic force. Innovative fittings for industrial laboratories. Holland Innovative , based at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, supports startup companies and collaborates with large OEMs. The result is new products that have direct access to the market. A model that is also successful in Germany: Siemens, Bosch and MTU are just a few examples of German partner companies. At HANNOVER MESSE, Holland Innovative in Hall 4 shares a stand with innovative Dutch startups and serves caviar out of the 3D printer. "We see ourselves as a development partner for companies. We help them to enter the market rapidly with better products," explains founder and managing director Hans Meeske. Holland Innovative combines know-how and experience in the areas of product and process development and project and reliability management. In day-to-day business, Meeske is set on open innovation. "Connect, share know-how and achieve results together. In this way, we support startups, medium-sized companies and also enterprises." Additionally, Holland Innovative wants to realize Industry 4.0 and smart industries and promote sustainable solutions. "We need real game changers," says Meeske. "We must get away from old thinking patterns; that’s the only way to be innovative."
Delicate components are made of solid quartz glass: The marketability of the required laser-based technology is the achievement of German-Dutch high-tech cooperation. The glass processing specialist LouwersHanique from Hapert contributes materials, process know-how and market access, LightFab, a startup from Aachen, has developed the process of "Selective Laser-Induced Etching (SLE)". "This is a typical example of how to get 1 + 1 = 3," says Carel van de Beek, sales manager at LouwersHanique . The Dutch Pavilion at Industrial Supply shows the cooperation and how LouwersHanique supports its customers with Early Supplier Involvement. LouwersHanique has been actively operating in the glass industry for about 60 years. Meanwhile, the company became a specialist for industrially-used glass processing. The company’s main areas are thermal forming and precise processing as well as innovative binding techniques. Over the years, LouwersHanique has built up excellent relations with prestigious customers. "Now many customers, especially large OEMs, already include us in the concept phase," reports Van de Beek. In creative teams for example, customer employees and suppliers develop new products, reduce procedures and test new materials.
What do high-tech headphones have to do with devices for non-destructive material analysis? It's very simple: Critical components come from the Dutch company Nijdra of Middenbeemster. "We are a supplier of high-tech components and support our customers from the design phase to the installation phase and from function testing to supply chain management", explains sales manager Dennis van Dijk. "We are broadly positioned and operate in many different industries. The great advantage is that we can use the knowledge that we gained from one industry in another." The scope ranges from medical products such as implants and X-ray shutters to microphone components and spectrometer analysis devices. Additionally, high-performance materials such as nickel-based alloys and titanium are also processed. A good example of cooperation with customers is the Nijdra-Sennheiser relationship, which results in one of the best headphones and amplifiers in the world: The Orpheus. "With this prestigious project, which was under the direct management of Daniel Sennheiser, CEO of Sennheiser, and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, we used our expertise in high-quality machining to create reproducibility of various mechanical parts for the headphone and amplifier," reports Van Dijk. After several supply and talk rounds, Nijdra was finally selected as the production partner for this project at HANNOVER MESSE 2015. Meanwhile several orders have been placed for the high-tech headphones.
Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, 3D printing, Big Data, and artificial intelligence are all developments which need much new software in a short time but themselves are also error sources. Vector Fabrics, based in Zaltbommel, offers an innovative solution: Tools for dynamic software analysis, which detects the bugs during the development phase and thus minimizes the risk of costly product recalls or delayed market launches. Therefore new products can be simultaneously brought on the market rapidly and safely. In the Dutch Pavilion at HANNOVER MESSE, the company shows how the solution works. "NASA has calculated that the repair of an error in the field costs a hundred times that correcting a bug in the development phase," explains Dr. Martijn Rutten, founder and managing director of Vector Fabrics. The resulting image damage cannot be quantified. However, data leaks, security vulnerabilities and recall actions are still in the headlines. How can you explain this development? Rutten: "Demand for software programmers has increased enormously. Previously, there were software experts on one side and hardware specialists on the other. Since almost all machines are equipped with a wide range of software applications, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the interaction between software and hardware. In this area there is a huge demand for information." An occurrence called Heisenbug represents a special problem: Errors in the interaction between software and hardware that occur only in reality and which cannot be reproduced in any simulation. At this point, here comes the solution that Vector Fabrics developed. "For seven years, we worked on an analysis tool which detects errors in the software development phase." It has been succeeded by the name Pareon Verify: With a tool that goes over large quantities of program code automatically and dynamically for critical errors and detects errors which cannot be discovered by other procedures.
Rich forum program
The Dutch Supplier Pavilion will also feature a forum program with a wide array of presentations, roundtable talks and networking opportunities. Some of the forum topics and highlights: smart industry; social innovation; pitches by start-up companies; interaction between leaders in R&D, business and government; Dutch medical technology; flexible manufacturing and the digital factory.
On Wednesday, 27 April, everyone is invited to stop by the Dutch Supplier Pavilion for an informal networking get-together.