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Multi System Integration

Fully automated integrated production line

MSI, also referred to as Multi System Integration, opens the door to fully automate your production by connecting machines with cross transports, roller conveyors, product buffers, and material sensors. Production data only needs to be imported once and then MSI automatically distributes the data to all machines integrated in your production system. Manually transporting materials through the production line can be eliminated by creating one integrated production system. You can track and monitor everything in real time by using VACAM, Voortman’s proprietary CNC control software installed on every machine.

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Let's design your layout! The brain behind your production process Automated material handling Flexible layouts Hear it from our customers Related machinery

THE BRAIN BEHIND YOUR PRODUCTION PROCESS

MSI is the brain behind your production process, creating a path and guiding the material from raw product to finished profile in the most efficient way possible. If there are machines more suited for a certain operation in the production system, MSI may decide to reroute products based on the actual load of the machines (load balancing algorithm). Every operation and motion is accounted for and analysed continually, and VACAM can detect any potential bottlenecking threats ahead of time. To do so, cross transports, buffers, and machines with similar processing capabilities are used in order to prevent bottlenecking due to variables with manually moving material.

AUTOMATED MATERIAL HANDLING

Reduced labor costs & increased efficiency due to automated material handling

Due to automated material handling in an automated integrated MSI machine line, significant cost-savings to the bottom line can be provided for any structural steel fabricator. Skilled labor is increasingly hard to find, and it can be costly adding operators to your production process. MSI aims to reduce the number of manhours needed per ton produced to a minimum with built-in smart production algorithms in the CNC VACAM control software. Every Voortman machine runs on the same software and syncs with the master CNC controller, allowing your material to be rerouted and directed remotely without any manual intervention.

When first seeing a complete Voortman MSI production line, steel fabricators are often surprised at the large amount of material that is moving through the system with only a few people overseeing production. Customers quickly realize how the complete system is necessary for them to remain competitive and reduce their overall cost per ton.
Moving material isn’t only expensive, it’s also time consuming and can result in bottlenecks in your production line. It’s not very efficient to sit and wait for cranes to move material from one machine to the next. With MSI seamlessly connecting machines together in a fully automated system, several of your operations can be performed simultaneously, increasing production efficiency while reducing your man hours.

HIGH FLEXIBILITY IN CREATING YOUR OPTIMAL BEAM PROCESSING LAYOUT

Using a data-driven approach


Steel fabricators often face challenges like insufficient capacity, lack of manpower or limited facility workspace. A customized beam line tailored specifically to serve your business model helps lower overhead costs while improving your overall efficiency through Multi System Integration (MSI), which Voortman uses to connect machines into a robust production line. Voortman uses a customized data-driven approach to determine the best layout and configuration of an automated beam line tailored specifically to serve your business model. We’ll start by determining your optimal layout for beam processing. Every business is unique and an optimal layout depends on many factors. Everything is considered during consultation – the processes you perform, the types of profiles, your product lengths, your workshop space availability and your desired output to name a few. Voortman is very flexible and capable of customizing an optimal beam line layout in the most efficient way possible for every scenario. The modular build approach is used, which means more flexibility in processing sequence.

Below are some examples of layouts generated for customers using this data-driven approach.

This example shows the layout and configuration of a medium-sized steel fabricator. In this case nested beams are marked, drilled and milled on the V630 / V631. Profiles are then automatically transported to the VB1050 saw where they are cut-to-length. Finished cut-to-length profiles that don't need additional processing by the coping machine can be transported to the right after passing the saw. When the coper is needed, profiles are automatically transported to the left and moved to the coper so copes, block outs, weld preparations, layout marking and other complex cuts are created.

This example shows a layout and configuration at a larger steel fabricator. Voortman's analysis showed that this customer had a lot of marking work in their production, so a separate V704 marking machine was recommended for the layout. This way the V704 marking machine can focus on marking profiles, which are then transported to the V630 / V631 that drills the marked profiles. Positioning the two saws somewhat further down the production line instead of the beginning has the advantage of being faster by requiring fewer front measurements. Full-length raw beams can pass through the marking and drilling units without needing to stop for measuring.

The data also showed that this customer performs more than the usual amount of saw cuts, so it was well worth investing in a highly automatic sawing process with two saws and a short product removal system (SPRS) based on volume. Marked and drilled profiles can be simultaneously cut to length, and short pieces are automatically transported sideways. When the coper is needed, profiles are automatically transported to the coper infeed cross transports for further processing, such as copes, block outs or weld preparations.

This example shows a layout and configuration at a customer that had limited workshop floor space. Voortman designed this "double U-shape" configuration to maximize utilization of their floor space. A coping machine was not included in this beam line, since analysis showed this customer did not have sufficient copes and block outs to justify the value of a coping machine. Analysis also recommended adding a separate V704 marking machine to deal with a large volume of layout marking. This way the V630 or V631 drilling machine can focus solely on drilling and milling, increasing its capacity and throughput. The marked, drilled and milled profiles are finally cut-to-length by the VB1050 saw and automatically transported sideways on the outfeed cross transports.

This layout and configuration starts with shot blasting nested beams and plates. The advantage to shot blasting at the very beginning of the line is that it provides higher efficiency and less wear on the VSB shot blasting machine. Shot blasted plates are transported to the left to be cut and drilled on the V320 plate cutting & drilling machine. Shot blasted beams are transported to the right and on to the V630/V631 for drilling and marking, and then cut to length with the VB1050 saw. A short product removal system (SPRS) was included on this customer's saw based on the amount of short products in their production. Short products and products which don't need to be processed on the coping robot are transported to the left outfeed cross transports, while profiles that need copes are sent right to the coper.

Similar to Example 4, this customer's layout starts with a VSB shot blasting machine. Shot blasted plates can be processed on the V320 like the previous example, however plates are now automatically transported left to the V320 plate cutting & drilling machine connected to the production line. A stand-alone V304 plate cutting machine was recommended and added since analysis showed that this customer produces a significant amount of larger parts such as plate girders, haunches and strip connections. Shot blasted beams are automatically transported towards the V630 or V631 to drill and mill before finally being cut to length with the VB1050 saw. The customer doesn't produce enough small parts to justify adding a short product removal system (SPRS) in this example.

A fully automated production system

Let's design your layout!

Let's start finding ways to reach your goals! Contact us today for a consultation with one of our experts! With decades of experience, proven solutions and our responsive worldwide service, you can Accelerate Your Performance and make a difference with Voortman and lead the way in your market!

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Hear it from our customers

J&D Pierce Contracts LTD. - Derek Pierce - United Kingdom

The system is a large system and it has a tremendous amount of automation and it all worked almost perfectly the first time. The completed installation has exceeded my expectations.
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Novopolotsk Technological steel structures plant - ШУРПАКОВ ИГОРЬ ГЕННАДЬЕВИЧ - Belarus

"This system helps us improve production quality and has a serious influence on assembly at the end. Thanks to the automated production with Voortman equipment we can be more competitive at pricing in our market.”
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Leach Structural Steelwork Ltd. - Eric Leach - United Kingdom

"The new system has allowed us to make more use of our existing labour and deploy our existing staff over more shifts and more machines, which under certain circumstances can give us a 50 and a 100 percent increase in capacity."
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Cermont Sp. z.o.o. - Damian Cieślik - Poland

“In the past the fitters were waiting for the prepared material to be able to tack weld. At this point the situation has reversed. The production is so efficient and fast that finished processed material is now waiting for assembling.”
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SIA Cut Centre - Aleksandr Kolesnikov - Latvia

“Although the price/quality ratio was decisive, we were impressed by the expertise and advice of Voortman regarding our ideal workshop.”
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Quality Iron Fabricators - Brian Eason - United States

“I walked into the shop the other day and the drill line was drilling, the saw was sawing and they completed their operations. There was no one in the building! All the equipment was running on its own!”
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Wolf System Gmbh. - Jens Meyer - Germany

“The layout convinced us and with the current configuration of our machinery we can operate the system with only one operator.”
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