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A new take on old engineering problems

SabriScan’s focus is on special tooling and mould building, and the company can deliver complete solutions to machine shops and manufacturers that use moulds in their production. Sabriscan is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the latest production technology to core areas of manufacture that are not nearly as advanced, production-wise, as they need to be – and can be.

Manufacturing high-quality products competitively is becoming an evertougher challenge in a world where product life-cycles are getting shorter all the time and new products must be brought to market faster. The need for new moulds, and the tooling to produce them, for example, is becoming more challenging, and the ability of mould and tool manufacturers to keep up more critical.

SabriScan’s response has been to develop an operating model designed to guarantee manufacturers competitive capacity, access to the best technology, and new approaches to tool and mould manufacturing – in a way that reduces the risks for its customers and ensures a reliable and responsive supply chain.

The aim is to ensure that customers can get their products to market in the shortest time possible, without incurring excessive costs and in just the optimised format that they want. This is designed to overcome the problems that have emerged when manufacturers have concentrated too much on their brands and paid too little attention to their products – and how they are produced.

Agility and speed

SabriScan has broken with engineering tradition in its development of CAM technology for producing items such as crown gears and pinion stands.

The biggest single advantage of the SabriScan approach for the customer is faster manufacturing – at least 50% faster than traditional systems, and up to 70% faster in some cases.

SabriScan can achieve this by being involved at an early stage in the product development cycle. This enables new manufacturing technologies to be leveraged as early as possible – for dealing with complex shapes or processing new materials, for example.

SabriScan can handle the entire process, from design and prototyping to final product, spare parts, and assistance with product modifications and upgrades.

Breaking the mould – in gears

One of the areas that SabriScan identified as likely to benefit from its production management expertise earlier this decade was power transmission systems, particularly gearboxes and similar units.

The field had become dominated by a small number of specialist suppliers of gear hobbing machines, for example, which had resulted in multiple supply chain problems and very restricted price competition, even for major customers.

From a technological standpoint, traditional technology in the field had also become outmoded in this age of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). In many respects, gearwheel technology had become stuck in the 1970s, while material technology and power transmission needs have changed dramatically since then.

SabriScan believed that the dominant technology was simply not up to what customers needed, and was resulting in serious knock-on effects, in the shape of shipyard delays, late deliveries of earthmoving machinery, and unnecessarily extended timetables for wind power projects.

A new approach

SabriScan’s response was to launch a 3D-based manufacturing technology, the first of its type, that it now provides on an OEM basis for gearboxes and gear drives worldwide. This offers faster and more efficient manufacturing times than conventional technology – and also makes it much faster and easier to increase production capacity if needed.

SabriScan’s approach makes it possible to mass-produce crown gears and pinion stands ranging in size from 100 mm across to 2.5 metres across using unmanned production cells – eliminating the need for special on-site expertise and dedicated machinery.

No need to stop here either

This approach can benefit a wide range of customers – in transport and logistics, the commodities sector, energy generation, and many others operating globally or regionally.

SabriScan does not intend stopping here, either. The plan is to further develop this type of CAM expertise, particularly in the area of bevel gear wheels, using Internet technology and an opensource software architecture.

Packaging everything up

SabriScan is dedicated to bringing the benefits of the latest production technology to core areas of engineering and manufacture.

For companies manufacturing their own products, SabriScan offers not only its own advanced production capacity, but also technology packages, by networking with some of the leading players in a number of different fields. SabriScan can supply a customer with production cells, machine tools, software, and training for in-house manufacturing, for example, and produce strategic parts as part of an outsourcing contract to complement in-house work.

SabriScan’s project services can include OEM manufacturing on its customers’ behalf in Finland and access to capacity in China and India to meet the needs of specific projects or contracts, or the production of complete subsystems.

> Jari Kokkonen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)