Entegra dives into new period of Business 4.0

BOC Restricted helps Entegra to trendy its welding operations with new machines.

To assist continued progress, Entegra is modernising its welding operations throughout its services. Producers’ Month-to-month finds out how working with BOC Restricted to interchange its welding machines has boosted efficiencies and constructed a path for the long run.

Entegra Signature Buildings is a nationwide producer of metal sheds and signature constructions with globally patented designs that ship distinctive high quality and reliability.

Based 35 years in the past in Swan Hill Victoria, the Entegra group prides itself on its lengthy historical past however stays firmly targeted on the long run, investing closely in analysis and growth to strengthen its place as a number one producer and enhance functionality to ship advanced engineering duties.

Laurie McCalman, common supervisor at Entegra mentioned the enterprise has skilled robust progress over the previous 3 years and invested closely to broaden and modernise manufacturing functionality at its Swan Hill and Gympie services.

“The enterprise has grown exponentially over the COVID-19 interval which has resulted in a considerable enhance in staffing ranges nationally, predominately at our manufacturing websites,” McCalman mentioned.

“We’re transitioning these manufacturing websites to a contemporary, digital workspace that paves the best way for future progress and prepares our enterprise for Business 4.0.”

Problem
Entegra
Entegra is transitioning their manufacturing websites to a digital workspace to pave the best way for Business 4.0.

David Inexperienced, head of Operations at Entegra is managing the transition to Business 4.0 throughout all services and oversees the modernisation of the group’s welding functionality.

“We’re large on standardising processes and related equipment to make sure the end result from our services is predictable,” Inexperienced mentioned. “Our manufacturing services had conventional transformer-based welding expertise and we maintained widespread consumables amongst these machines for as much as 20 years in some circumstances.”

Investing in new welding expertise was necessary to Entegra as they understood the worth of superior manufacturing in operations.

“We all the time talked about methods to trace welding time, which for us is the final word measure. It’s about course of management and having visibility throughout the enterprise,” Inexperienced mentioned. “Nonetheless, if we have been going to interchange one welder, we’d have to interchange the lot – this was an enormous name for us.”

Reaching ISO9001 certification was an enormous achievement for Entegra, nonetheless the group recognises different comparatively new requirements akin to AS/NZS 5131 for Construction Steelwork Fabrication can be more and more necessary sooner or later and depend on new applied sciences.

“As we proceed to develop, we all know there will likely be alternatives within the short-term for bigger initiatives that require compliance with this commonplace – and ultimately over the subsequent decade, we consider it would develop into the norm throughout all {industry},” Inexperienced mentioned.

Being situated in regional Victoria, Entegra additionally recognized the problem of having the ability to discover welders to assist elevated manufacturing and explored welding automation as a approach to upskill present workers and enhance productiveness.

“It isn’t that simple to search out skilled individuals, particularly if you’re a good distance from metropolitan areas. Organising the foundations for a welding robotic system that we may be taught from made sense to assist our future plans,” Inexperienced mentioned.

Answer

With BOC already supplying its welding consumables, Entegra engaged BOC’s utility specialists to start out investigating new expertise options and trialling numerous welders to interchange current gear.

“It made sense to go down the trail with BOC,” Inexperienced mentioned. “We wanted a provider we have been comfy with. That they had all the time been dependable with supply mannequin for getting product in.”

Because the unique provider of EWM digital welding machines in Australia, BOC labored with Entegra to interchange all welding machines with EWM MIG inverter welders, set as much as additionally use EWM’s industry-leading forceArc Course of.

“We trialled the EWM machines just a few instances, and what us probably the most was the xNet software program that might join all of them digitally, produce information and develop welding procedures,” Inexperienced mentioned.

“The buttons that may be put in at every work station to establish who’s welding what, when and what their qualification is was additionally a pretty function.”

Whereas changing its welding machines, Entegra additionally commissioned its first welding automation robotic with BOC and Automation & Robotic Providers offering a turnkey answer. The automation system included an ABB robotic paired with an EWM MIG inverter welder. This was set as much as weld Entegra’s Taperflow excessive quantity field gutter methods.

Representatives from Entegra’s group realized the fundamentals of robotics, and administration labored with EWM specialists in Germany and their native IT group to design and implement the correct IT infrastructure to assist the welding machines.

“There have been loads of totally different choices,” Inexperienced mentioned. “We had already invested in actually good server {hardware} so have been in a position to arrange the welding system as a digital machine on our server. We upgraded to fibre optics to make sure a transparent line, energy over ether for additional enlargement and gigabit switches.” 

Enterprise advantages
Entegra
BOC arrange the EWM MIG inverter welders to make use of EWM’s forceArc Course of.

Constructing expertise and future workforce

Since implementing the brand new welding expertise, Entegra’s workers have embraced the chance to be taught concerning the new expertise and administration has invested to upskill its workforce.

“From a administration standpoint, the welding machines and robotic are simple to make use of. Many alternative individuals have been utilizing the robotic and are usually not afraid of it, which has been actually good,” Inexperienced mentioned.

“We see it as an funding in our individuals. The robotic isn’t about making it quicker, however moderately studying as a group. To handle robots and these new welding instruments, we have to guarantee we’re creating our Business 4.0 expertise in-house.”

Entegra is at the moment upskilling a senior welder to get a welding supervisors qualification to assist certify welding procedures, and has additionally employed a mechanical engineer to spearhead additional design of the welding robotic and arrange offline programming.

Significant information

The xNet software program has offered significant information for the Entegra administration group that’s being reported frequently at a board degree.

“With this software program, we at the moment are on the pathway to Business 4.0,” Inexperienced mentioned. “To me this implies having the ability to take a look at information from a machine-by-machine degree, after which at an general operational degree. Then utilizing this information to make significant enterprise choices. We haven’t even scratched the floor of what we will do.

“I’m able to sit at dwelling and see what is occurring in real-time. Now we have been reporting weld hours at a board degree and figuring out traits occurring within the workshop.

High quality confidence

Sustaining the standardisation that its prospects have come to anticipate, Entegra has continued to ship an excellent greater high quality product.

The EWM welding machines have delivered important advantages, particularly the forceArc course of that has resulted in important time financial savings.

“There wouldn’t be any welder in our group that might say there hasn’t been an enormous enchancment,” Inexperienced mentioned. “Weld high quality by way of clear up and splatter may be very noticeable.”

The higher course of management and qualification of the welding has additionally arrange Entegra on a path to attain AS/NZS 5131 security commonplace certification sooner or later.

“This has given the gross sales group much more confidence understanding that we’re utilizing innovative expertise, heading in direction of automation and investing in our individuals,” Inexperienced mentioned. “This all interprets to a greater high quality and extra aggressive product that provides us extra confidence understanding we’re on a path to {industry} main compliance.”

Blueprint for the long run

Entegra has developed welding methods and IT infrastructure to assist Business 4.0 welding manufacturing services, which they consider will likely be a blueprint for the long run.

“We now have a robotic that we will be taught from and practice. As we proceed to make use of it and analyse information, we can have a blueprint for rolling-out automation methods at any of our websites nationally,” Inexperienced mentioned.

“If we needed to put in any IoT utility down the observe, we now have the IT infrastructure in place to have the ability to do this. We’re proactive, we need to be main the {industry} and preserve our edge as a enterprise is understood and revered for the very best high quality.”