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Processes automation

Process automation is the Holy Grail of manufacturing and service companies. Desirable, difficult to implement, time-consuming and expensive. Actually, why do we perceive the automation and robotization industry in this way, or AiR for short? There are many reasons, and the need to find funds for modernization, staff training, a good business plan, i.e. also an appropriate ROI (Return of Investment – investment profitability indicator) are just some of them.

 

How to drive digital transformation

 

Because how many failed technology implementations are there – from machines, production lines to ERP systems that do not work as they should? How many robots are purchased that are sadly standing in a corner because resources have run out, the project manager has left or the concept has changed? These questions are only rhetorical. However, the answers to them are simply substantive. You need to gain knowledge on how to carry out digital transformation.

 

 

 

AiR Conference

 

The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship is one of the largest, but also the poorest in Poland. We have many great companies, but each is focused on its own development without expanding cooperation, networking, supporting each other in various initiatives. We do not have a cluster that would be a navigator and a guarantor of a loyal partnership. The AiR conference  is one event a year, but the cooperation of representatives of distributors of automation, robotics, machines, IT solutions with owners, managers.   engineers of production or service companies  last all year round. A two-day exhibition, accompanying events, lectures, debates and a banquet allow you to start an organic way for suppliers, intermediaries and recipients to create new value chains.

 

Development prospects

 

Cooperation at the conference is only the beginning of a broader perspective of the company’s development, but also of the entire province, even more – Polish North-East – together with Pomorskie and Podlaski. In our activities for education and entrepreneurship development, also as a member of the Metalworking Cluster, we want to start our region and encourage companies to develop.  Inceptum, i.e. the Association  for Supporting the Development of Entrepreneurship in Warmia, Mazury and Powiśle, is the main initiator of the creation of a new Regional Smart Specialization which will be Green Automation and Digitization (ZAiC).

 

Registration for the AiR Conference

 

The two-day exhibition, which will take place

in Olsztyn on October 5-6, will be a great opportunity to present our local companies. But it is also an invitation to extended cooperation and promotion – we want to act together.

Submit a company for the exhibition – coordinator magdalena.kaminska@alnea.pl

Apply as a participant – konferencje@alnea.pl

 

 

Need vision system or packing robot? Contact us: office@alnea.pl

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War and bussines

The world has not yet recovered from the problems associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, and a worse nightmare has appeared on the horizon. War, because we are talking about it, is an absolute moral, social, political and business gamechanger. The current events will shake the whole world for a long time, from Spitzbergen to Cape of Good Hope.  War and business often go hand in hand, but it may turn out that now the world will do everything to avoid it.

 

Sanctions

Economic pressures have always been circumvented. This was the case after most of Putin’s wars – sanctions included trifles, while technologies continued to go east, enriching the rich from Germany and France.  War is a powerful business – journalists confirm the sale of weapons to Russia from both these countries.  However, sanctions are currently the only weapons of distant destruction that can be used by the countries of the world.

Economic problems

Unfortunately, it is not without repercussions that the economic problems are growing every day, engulfing not only Russia, but also its neighbors and the largest economic partners. In addition, it is difficult to estimate the impact on global markets of unmet demand for oil, gas, rare earths, gold or palladium (used as a platinum replacement in microprocessors and car catalysts) will be.

New hands to work

We have become accustomed to the fact that Ukrainians work in Poland – in metropolises they already constitute a large percentage of residents. The current war has already caused more than 2 million people to cross our border. Most of them are children with moms, but they will still want to work. Some of the refugees will go further, some will return to Ukraine after the end of the war. The country will have to be rebuilt, so some of the men who left to fight will not return to Polish.  However, new hands to work may run out, and then we will reach further east – to India, through Vietnam to China or Thailand.

 

 

Investments

The value chains that were temporarily patched after the pandemic have once again been broken. It is difficult to estimate how long it will take for a partial return to normality even if the war ends. The 3rd week of the war has passed, and automotive is closing factories due to the lack of parts imported from Ukraine.  So what can you expect from such an unstable environment. Part of the investment will certainly be frozen. However, those implementations that have exceeded a certain budget threshold (e.g. significant purchases have already been made) will certainly continue, although with a correction of deadlines.

People or robots

Cheap labor and blocking investment outweigh the balance towards the lack of automation. Question-  “people or robots?”  it begins to have a slightly different dimension. Implementing innovations without components is very difficult, if not impossible. The turn of 2021 and 22 was clearly a boom in automation. Unfortunately, Putin’s war with Ukraine has destroyed many plans.  The announced reliefs for robotization, innovation and innovative employees may not convince business owners, the more so because the supply of electronics or industrial automation increases from a few days to several months,

 

 

 

The coronavirus hasn’t said the last sentence yet either. Currently, the number of infections in China is increasing. How will war and business affect the modern world? For now, nothing is a foregone conclusion.

 

How to deal with the collapse in the industrial market :

– modifications of products so as to slightly reduce functionality and omit inaccessible components,

– extension of implementation projects,

– simplification of implemented projects while leaving “space” for upgrade

– refurbishment – buy used goods and products, renovate and re-circulate,

– minimization of functions – production of goods with basic functionality and temporary withdrawal from the offer.

 

V AiR Conference

The Automation and Robotization of Industry conference has already been held twice in the shadow of COVID. Although this technological event, we reacted to the needs of manufacturing companies on an ongoing basis. The current economic situation is unprecedented in the recent history of Polish. The V AiR Conference  will certainly answer the question – how to deal with “today”, how to plan development for “tomorrow” so as not to lose potential.

 

 

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To help children

We are happy to wait for spring, but many children are just waiting for recovery. The staggering price of drugs means that they can only be purchased thanks to the generosity of many people. For several years we have been joining the auction campaign for children – this time for Lila from Biskupiec and Eryk from Radziłów. We are assisted in this by the partners of the Automation and Robotization of Industry Conference.

 

We encourage you to take part in the auctions because we received really cool things.

 

– Polish men’s volleyball championship team t-shirt, gloves of Andrzej Wawrzyk – heavyweight boxer – Pepperl+Fuchs

 

– Power banks, pendrives, 3D smartphone occluaries, cups, chimneys – Balluff

 

– Puzzles, key chains, pens and lots of other gadgets – Schmalz, Fanuc, Alnea

 

Special thanks for the big heart for

 

Tomasz Michalski

Marek Lozowski

Jacek Grabowski

Łukasz Szczepkowski

Damian Rybczynski

Mateusz Amrozinski

 

As a family company, Alnea has already supported various social or sports initiatives – including OKSJ Nippon Judo Olsztyna, GKS Stawiguda football team, OSP Stawiguda and local events.

Also during the AiR Conference, we present awards to the most talented students of technical schools.

 

“As a business representative, I feel responsible for my small homeland. As a father, I want to support other parents in the fight for the health of their children – I consider it my duty” Krzysztof Kamiński

 

Alnea’s activities have already been awarded many times – Vector 2018, Laurel the Best of the Best 2019, Way tor Success 2020. Our activities for the benefit of the region, supporting entrepreneurship, development of technical education and implementation of new technologies are appreciated, although for us more than the award counts the effect, i.e. the development of our region in which we live.

If you want to contact us, write to us! biuro@alnea.pl

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Alnea nominated to Diamonds of Top Industry

Alnea’s activities are noticed and appreciated at the nationwide industrial automation forum. Recently, we were surprised by the information about the nomination for Top Industry Diamonds.

 

 

Top Industry Summit Conference

The Top Industry Summit conference took place on October 27 in Warszawa, at the Sheraton Hotel. 6 thematic panels such as  smart factory, transport and logistics, or energy were divided into practical parts, i.e.  case  studies and panel discussions with the participation of invited guests. Our attention was particularly drawn to the presentation of the digital twin presented by  Metroplan.

 

Diamonds of Industry

The evening Gala gathered all the nominees in different categories. Alnea was appreciated as the Leader of Industrial Automation. The first place belonged to Balluff  – the award was received by Paweł Stefański, while Jędrzej Kowalczyk from  Fanuc  received the distinction award.

 

We felt honored by the nomination for the Top Industry Diamonds award in the Industrial Automation Leader category. Congratulations to thewinners. We were very pleased to spend a wonderful evening in such a respectable group

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Research and development

The development of new technologies is the foundation for the creation of more effective and advanced products or services. Implementation of innovations in everyday life – Smart City, medicine or  industry are strategic changes that shape modern society and affect the economy. Research and development is currently one of the most dynamically growing areas.

 

The Silent Revolution

Economic and social changes are usually associated with unrest and rebellion against technology. The silent revolution or digitization is playing out before our eyes. Waste management systems, light management centers, digital administration, e-prescriptions are just some of the unnoticed facilities that we use thanks to innovations, i.e. products and services created by research and development departments.

Research & Development

When Krzysztof Kamiński, the CEO of Alnea, received the Vector for 2018, the Jury justified the choice asfollows: “The efforts of the Alnea Group have been appreciated for introducing technologies into our lives, which recently we could only see on science-fiction films. For harnessing virtual reality to design, implement and supervise advanced automated production lines. ”

You would think that the whole of Alnea is a department of research and development.

B&R

Alnea started by creating production lines and assembly stations for the automotiveindustry. However, the more machines were created, the more  one key element was missing – a device that would provide vision for our robots. The B&R department was created to create such an eye for a robot. As a result,  we ran the project  “Automatic system of optical positioning in the space of anthropomorphic industrial robots” as operating within a fund  1.1.1.for which we received funding from the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR).

 

How to create a research and development department

The answer to the question “how to create a research and development department” is not at all obvious. First of all, the most important thing is the goal – that is, what we want to achieve. Whether we want to change an existing product, create a new one or create a center for solving technological problems – the goal determines the direction, but the important, and actually the most important, is the foundation, i.e. people with specific competences. Technologies will grow like walls on this foundation, and they will be connected by a goal defined at the beginning. This is how a permanent “building” is created, i.e. the integration of human and technological resources.

Project management

Creating new technologies and implementing innovations is like managing a project whose goal is defined, but it is not always known whether it is achievable. Teams often face a variety of challenges that are not always easy to identify – such as the current lack of semiconductors on the market. That’s why our R&D team is so diverse – to deal with adversity in the most creative way.

B&R team at Alnea

Research and development is an area where automation and robotics integrators are really good, although it’s not so obvious. And yet designers, automation, robotics create prototypes, test possibilities, look for solutions.

B&R team at Alnea

– Krzysztof Kamiński – CEO and visionary

– Marcin Kamiński – CTO and inventor

– Michał Brejnak – PM, unofficial Scrum  Master  😊

– Sebastian Górski – Master of automation

– Emilia Rybaczyk  – Mother of robots

Need suppert in Resaerch and development? Contact us: office@alnea.pl

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Automation Integrator

Automation integrator is a technology company that integrates various components of automation, robotics or electrics. In fact, the scope of activity of integrator companies is much wider. Customers typically ask such companies to design a production line, robotic station, or machine with specific specifications. A good system integrator is also suitable for upgrading machines or integrating IT systems and machines at different levels – that is, in typical Industry 4.0 applications.

 

Where to start automation?

There is only one answer to the question of where to start automation. We start with the product! We analyze all materials and processes from the moment of ordering raw materials or components to the departure of the finished packaged product. What is important here is the way in which the components are fed (e.g. whether they are packed and fed in bags, feeders or trays) and all component activities and material flow. The integrator can look at these processes with a professional eye and find so-called  bottlenecks so that it can propose a new solution.

What is not worth automating?

Based on today’s technologies, almost anything can be done. But what is not worth automating? For sure what does will not have return of investment. Activities requiring agility of human fingers or visual inspection of man in some cases are better left to operators and assembles. On the other hand, repetitive operations such as twisting, soldering, packaging are best suited for automation and usually have a shorter payback time.

Quotation

Offering is the entire process of learning about customer demand. It includes not only the price, but also the specific solutions that the system integrator presents. The offer price consists of different parts such as:

– automation concept

– design and construction of structures, electrical, pneumatic, mechanical systems

– control and electrical cabinet

– ready-made automation components purchased from distributors – sensors, systems, security

– other machinery forming part of the contract – tooling robots, adhesive dispensers or gaskets,

– external expertise

– additional costs – accounting service, fuel, hotels, machine transport to customer.

 

 

 

 

Integrator like inventor

Most of the machines that make up engineering companies are basically inventions, actually prototypes. The whole complicated relationship between the ordering party and the contractor should be based on safety buffers. This means that excessive indicators (e.g. 100 % effectiveness) are in principle unattainable.   The integrator should behave professionally informing the client, and not accept kuntilde order to just keep the company.

Tough industry

System integration is a difficult industry that requires knowledge in many fields. It is impossible to be a specialist in all technologies, so sometimes engineers will only get acquainted with it in the purchase technology, and yet it still needs to be implemented and communicated with other systems.

Challenges

The challenges that await integrators continue to grow, as do the challenges facing manufacturing companies. A good partnership is the foundation for joint success. At Alnea we offer transparent, long-term cooperation. They have already trusted us – IKEA, Kongsberg  Automotive, Vesla, Corning, Budmat, Signify and many others. If you want to see our portfolio – go to the implementations.

Need vision system or packing robot? Contact us: office@alnea.pl

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Packing robot, vision system for packaging

Packing and palletizing are some of the simplest processes for automation. In particular, large-scale production of the same products (yoghurts or bottles) of the same range does not cause difficulties. What if we put different elements of different materials in one package. There is a robot and vision system for packing  that can handle such a task.

 

Horus Vision System

The need for a new vision system was due to experience in the work of an integrator of automation and robotics systems. There are many cameras, sensors on the market, but we lacked a single system that would provide process offsets. The repeatability and accuracy of an industrial robot is on average .005mm. And so exactly should be positioned elements on the production line. What if such accuracy cannot be achieved – if the elements or details are imported on a randomly arranged pallet? That’s why we designed and built the new Horus Vision System.

One tool – multiple possibilities

The Horus video system is one tool that gives us a lot of possibilities:

– support of production processes – packing, soldering, assembly, screwing,

– profilometer,

– 3D scanner,

– quality control.

 

Packing robot

A robot is just an incomplete machine, so it needs tools. The Horus vision system and the specially designed Schmalz  vacuum gripper are the perfect duo. The robot with the vision system scans the work area, then drives up to the details, and the Schmalz gripper allows to take the item securely and precisely put it into the carton. Recent tests we have done have showed that our app is able to scan, take and put on the detail in less than 6 seconds!

 

 

Vision system and good gripper

A robot is just an incomplete machine, so it needs tools. The Horus vision system and the specially designed Schmalz  vacuum gripper are the perfect duo. The robot with the video system scans the work area, then drives up to the details, and the Schmalz gripper allows you to retrieve the item and securely and precisely put it into the carton. Recent tests we have done have showed that our app is able to scan, download and postpone the detail in less than 6 seconds!

Pick&place

A packing robot is a typical pick&place. Individual components are downloaded and put away, but we add an AI element here – the components are searched for by our Horus vision system and put in a box in a specific configuration.

Pick and place is one of the most easy applications that  can be implemented on production line

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Professions of future

Economic and social change has taken place extremely quickly over the last twenty years. The dynamic growth of available innovations and new technologies is noticeable in all areas of life, but above all in industry. Progressive automation and robotics shift production workers from simple actions to more advanced ones, and the concept of the profession of the future is slowly developed. However, for many years entrepreneurs have been struggling to recruit the right employees. This is because the education system is not flexible enough.

Difficult situation of employers

Many companies have launched their own employee training programmes. Some companies work with technical and industry schools to give young people the opportunity to practice, even those paid for in target jobs, with the promise of employment. A similar program was started by the Metalworking Cluster, of which Alnea is an active member. The cooperation of many companies with schools, the funding of laboratories and the purchase of new equipment or training of subject teachers turned out to be a great initiative, which was very successful in East Poland.

 

Activities of the Ministry of Education

The problems with educating young people have not been noticed by the government. The activities of the Ministry of Education are aimed at diagnosing demand and every year are published the most important professions of the future by specific provinces. Legislation already passed allows secondary school principals to create new class profiles. The combination of educational opportunities with the ministry’s forecast is already delivering concrete results. In particular, robot and automation distributors are happy to cooperate with technical universities and industry schools by retrofitting training stations. This is so important that young people learn from new technologies, not on machines remembering the late Polish People’s Republic.

Professions of the future

Listed in the notice of the Minister of National Education, the professions of the future are: automatic, electromechanics, electronics,  electrician, mechanic-fitter of machines and equipment, mechatronics, machine tool operator, automation techniques, road construction techniques, electronics techniques, electrician techniques, energy techniques, mechanical technician, mechatronics technician, programmer technician, welding techniques, robotics technician,  constructor/designer.

Interestingly, many of these professions are intended for people who would like to start working after school. The increasing digitisation and simplification of processes allows you to work in the profession without having to finish your studies.

 

Laboratory Program. My Profile

At Alnea, we know how important it is to educate children and young people. Laboratory project started by The President of Alnea Krzysztof Kamiński. My profile  is currently being implemented together with the Marshal’s Office and the Board of Education. With this initiative, students can visit different companies and talk to different employees about the opportunities of their professions.

Education at the conference

We also discuss the topic of education at the Conference on Automation and Robotization of Industry. In 2020, despite the sanitary restrictions associated with the epidemic, the debate was held with the President of the Metalworking Cluster from Bialystok – Sebastian Rynkiewicz, Director of the Electronic and Telecommunication Schools in Olsztyn – Grzegorz Górski, Artur Zawadzki – Operational Director of Promotech from Bialystok, Małgorzata Hochleitner Director of the Faculty of Education, Education and Care from the Warmia-Mazury Education Board and President of the Alnea Group – Krzysztof Kamiński.

If you would like to receive a new or refresh the old offer for a difficult time of crisis
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Find the optimal solution – production test

Modernizing the production line is sometimes a big challenge. A good process analysis performed in front of an experienced integrator allows you to identify areas of change in the production process or the product itself (if possible). How to find the optimal technological solution? – you need to test several different possibilities. Here are some of our experience as an  integrator  in a lighting company:

 

Production tests

Robotic position in the assembly line. The robot took the glass and placed the lamp in the housing, and then screwed the corners withagiven accuracy.

When we did the production tests for the installation of the lamps, we had a serious problem with the spacer, which was supposed to protect the fast during transport. The robot sometimes took the glass at the same time as the paper spacer, which created additional difficulties and simply took time. We did production tests and we were still not happy with the tacktime. We took a closer look at the spacer and found that it was completely unnecessary. Fast, they were extremely scratch-resistant. So we reduced spending – for the supplier, adding paper cardboard was also problematic and we accelerated the production process.

Positioning

The robot takes the LED plate and places it in the lamp holder.

We had a big problem with the positioning of the plate – there was no element in the housing to which the robot could position the plate so that it did not move. After analyzing the design of the housing, we proposed to change the casting so that the outline of the place for the plate is consistent with its circumference. Since the customer was able to redesign the housing, we gained on the accuracy of the insert arrangement, but also reduced the installation time.

Excessive tool wear

We have designed a tool specifically for the customer to screw screws into the housing. However, after implementation, it turned out that it wears out faster than weanticipated. It turned out that the product going to the paint shop had nosecuredplaces  for screws. The paint-drenched thread made it difficult to screw, destroy the tool and slow down the process. Simple solution – securing screw seats gave us savings  and faster lead times..

Production testers

Why invest in production testers? According to the OEE principle, it is better to produce less and better than more with defects. Production testers allow us to reject defective products so that they do not take up space, time and components for products made correctly. This is also important because of the level of energy consumption, the waste of which costs more and more. One such danger zone is the painter’s. Incorrect painting of an element makes it sometimes impossible to correct it anymore.  Testing the elements coming in and out of the painting shop – e.g. the Horus vision system –  allows for significant savings. The higher the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) rate, the better the production rate. Lepiej is to produce feweer elements, but of higher quality than more with high recoil.

Online consultation

A pandemic does not save manufacturing companies. So we offered our business partners a new solution. During the maintenance period of the machine [closed plants due to COVID],owe have put ina series of online consultations along with streaming the image from the production. We were able to optimize the process and changed the program on the machine.

After the implementation of the machine and after the warranty stage, the customer often introduces a new product type and changes need to be made – this sometimes applies to a very large number of machines. A safe option is to run tests on one device and then make changes and scale the solution to the next machine.

We adjust cooperation model at the project stage to ensure investor safety. Thus, the largest tranche of payments is accepted once the entire technical project has beenestablished. We treat customers as partners so we use flexible business models.

If you would like to receive a new or refresh the old offer for a difficult time of crisis
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Industry 4.0 – support for companies

The idea of Industry 4.0 is first of all a digitalization of  business and production processes. Collecting data and creating layers of information processing is now not only a vision, but a real need for Polish enterprises. Because Industry 4.0 is not just sensors,  IOlink, RFID or controllers, but above all system integration. Fortunately, at  Alnea we have gathered the necessary competences to support companies.

 

Cooperation is important

Consulting, auditing and implementing new technologies across a wide spectrum for different industrial companies is a big challenge. As a member of the Metal Processing Cluster, we often share knowledge and experience with our partners. We have established cooperation with the Foundation Industry of Future – this valuable initiative is precisely due to the assumption that cooperation is important. Also, our Conference of  Automation and Robotics of Industry is an action for the development of Polish North-East Region.

Training for managers

The fear that machines will replace humans has existed ever since mass production measures were introduced. However, a person will always be needed, it is important that he is in the right position. The competences of managers and engineers need to be further developed. That’s why we have a special training program for executives. The training program includes the presentation of industrial robots, cobots, mobile robots, management systems, new business models and specific implementations and innovation applications.

Our products

Creating our products such as Zeus Soledring  Set (robotic soldering) and Horus  Vision  System (robot positioning in space) we adapted them to the broader BIG DATA or IIoT  (Industrial  Internet of Things).  We can collect and process production data so that flexible small-series production is cost-effective, faster and user-friendly.

Why Industry 4.0?

Finally, the question we could start with. Why Industry 4.0? Industry 4.0 is an idea, not a finished product. Digitalisation, collaboration and are  essential. But we also need to produce these new technologies ourselves, otherwise we will only become consumers of products and services from abroad.

 

How to implement Industry 4.0?

Wondering where to start implementing new technologies or looking for new business models – please contact us!

We will come to you and offer you a good solution. We can also meet online to learn about your needs. We are flexible and we will tailor the best way to cooperate with your company.

If you would like to receive a new or refresh the old offer for a difficult time of crisis
write to us as soon as possible: biuro@alnea.pl

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