Identifying hidden costs using IT

Where once there was a metal workshop, there now stands Bullmer, an international company with involvement all over the world. Automated machinery for materials handling, material flow and automated cutting processes create products destined for the aeronautics and furniture industries, as well as for the clothing industry. One of the centrepieces of Bullmer’s work is the processing of technical textiles.

Inserting the roles of cloth oneself, and changing them each time, as you do in colder regions with winter and summer tyres, is no longer necessary. Transroll-P is a flexible, rapid-replacement system for rolls of cloth, to be used directly in the cutting room. Once programmed, it works automatically and saves time, irrespective of how often rolls need to be changed or how small the batch is.

The Premiumcut draws in the material and cuts according to the instructions entered; and it works even for check patterns. Special software even makes it easy to cut fabrics with small checks. If long elements are required, such as for the wind-farm industry, there is no problem with that either. The cutter can even process 25 metre lengths, using the automatic feed. The finished cut-outs can then be collected either by hand or by robots. The advantage of robots is that they are capable of doing monotonous work systematically and with millimetre accuracy. Once they have been suitably programmed, they also know where the pieces need to be placed.  Not for nothing did Bullmer GmbH, last year, win the German Brand Institute’s German Brand Award for Industry Excellence in Branding – Machines and Engineering, with their Premiumcut machine. They are hoping for an award again this year, too.

But as if that were not enough, the Swabian company – their Headquarters is in Mehrstetten – has gone one step further on the road to Industry 4.0. With their Partners ProCom, they have set about networking all their machines. Whether the cutting out is done in Turkey or Asia, everything is visible and linked, from the delivery system to the cutter and the clearing up. The aim is to identify hidden costs, recognise possible problems in advance and gain thorough insight into operational realities.


Kirsten Rein

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