Industry 4.0 for the sheet metal industry

Lantek’s new CEO highlights the company’s developments for whole-business optimisation

Posted on 22 Jan 2019 and read 1333 times
Industry 4.0 for the sheet metal industryFounded in 1986 and with headquarters near Vitoria-Gasteiz in northern Spain, Lantek is a software company providing a comprehensive range of solutions for the sheet metal and structural-steel industry. These solutions are developed at its R&D centre, and the company now has over 20,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

Lantek opened its UK office (www.lanteksms.com) in March 2000 to support a growing number of machine tool manufacturers distributing its CAD/CAM nesting software — Lantek
Expert — with their machines in the UK and Ireland.

In 2009, the UK business expanded to include the full suite of Lantek Sheet Metal Solutions, including Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), in addition to CAD/CAM nesting software.

All these software packages are designed to help companies in the sheet metal and fabrication industries control and optimise the efficiency of their whole business through data-driven manufacture and decision making — and development of Lantek’s solutions continues.

Alberto López de Biñaspre, Lantek’s CEO, says: “Industry 4.0 and the digital transformation are in manufacturers’ minds.

“With Lantek’s Cloud-based solutions, we can control the performance of machines in the workshop, capture manufacturing data and transform it into valuable information for knowledge-based decisions.

“We are putting a considerable amount of resources into the continued development of solutions for Industry 4.0.

“Lantek invests 15% of its revenue in R&D, and it has opened a Centre of Excellence in Bilbao.

“The company is also partnering with machine tool manufacturers to help them achieve their Industry 4.0 goals, recognising that we are a valuable and knowledgeable collaborative partner.

“Moreover, final figures are expected to show that Lantek achieved double digit growth in 2018 — and we recruited a further 30 specialists to enhance our R&D activities.”

New products


Lantek launched several new products at EuroBLECH, under the concept of Lantek 360.

Mr López de Biñaspre said: “Lantek 360 comprises four Cloud-based products: Lantek Analytics, Lantek Control Panel, Lantek iQuoting and Lantek MetalShop.

“Cloud and hybrid solutions offer a significant advantage to manufacturers, as they can be used from any location, no investment in costly hardware is required, specialist computer knowledge is unnecessary, and all the maintenance and updating of the system is carried out by Lantek, freeing up the manufacturer to concentrate on its core business.

Lantek“We will be introducing more new Cloud and hybrid products, so that we will continue to offer the most advanced portfolio of software in the industry.”

To benefit from digital transformation, Lantek has identified three main challenges: optimisation of manufacturing, improved quotation processes and interconnection of factory systems.

“Optimisation of manufacturing means making our customer competitive, and being able to increase production every day, while maintaining the same number of machines, operators and/or raw material.

“This is our goal with our complete offering of advanced nesting, planning tools and advanced data analytics modules.

“For an improved quotation process, we combine our expertise with new technologies such as advanced algorithms, Big Data, or the development of Digital Twins of the real machines to ‘virtualise’ the manufacturing processes of our customers, so that they can accurately and easily estimate the real final costs.

“The closer the estimated cost is to the real cost, the more likely our customers are to achieve the desired profitability and commercial capacity maximisation levels.

“Finally, there is interconnection and integration, because without a real connected factory — where data and information travels from the machine to the process, from operators to managers, and from one manufacturing line to another — it will not be possible to achieve the maximum benefit in terms of productivity, efficiency and real-time business intelligence.”

He adds that — in Lantek’s view — there is a move to more-integrated supply chains across the industry, and that these will require customers, manufacturers and suppliers to work together efficiently.

“Similarly, we will see a gradual consolidation of the market, where sheet metal companies collaborate. In both cases, specialised software products like Lantek’s will be required to run businesses efficiently.”

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