CNC & ASCO: Cutting-Edge Tech at an Engineering Level
Based in Skelmersdale, and with a second site in Dubai, ASCO offers a comprehensive service incorporating CNC precision machining, fabrication, surface coating, diamond grinding and superfinishing repair technologies.
The site based in Skelmersdale has unique systems designed explicitly for company processes, as well as CNC lathes, all of which is supported by an in-house metallurgical laboratory.
“Laser-metal deposition & hard facing cladding allows coatings such as Tungsten Carbide, Stellite, Inconel to be deposited with significantly lower and more localised heat-affected zone (HAZ) even with materials that are difficult to weld. This means that the process has minimal impact on the mechanical properties of the substrate material and reduced potential for distortion & damage to the chemistry & structure of the base core material. In addition, the small melt pool that is formed enables the processing of very complex geometries in a single set-up, when depositing protective surfaces, undertaking repairs or creating near-net shapes.”
The inception of the partnership was born from Andy Deegan, Chairman of ASCO Engineering, meeting Jason Barker, Chief Technical Officer at CNC, by chance at a classic car show. Deegan had used robotics before for several years but felt that extra support would be needed to develop the new process.
“We started talking about Jason’s car and things developed from there,” remembered Andy. “I explained my idea for a robot-based laser deposition system to Jason, and it soon became clear that he was the right man to make it all work.”
Being able to work around complex shapes with the use of flexible, reliable, and consistently accurate robotics, is ideal for consistent output and meeting client demand, perhaps more so than ever in 2020.
“The repeatability also helps us to ensure on-time delivery,” Andy added. “After the first part has been completed, the time the robot will take to repeat any task is very predictable, which makes scheduling easy. If we can guarantee high quality and offer on-time delivery, clients won’t have any need to go elsewhere.”
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.