Danish crane manufacturer HMF is currently developing an innovative and streamlined factory and has in this connection made a cooperation agreement with the supplier Migatronic Automation to establish a new, high-tech, automated production section.
HMF is best described as a classic Danish manufacturing company, where digitalisation, automation, and the utilisation of data are becoming more important throughout the company’s value chain. As part of this development, HMF has chosen Migatronic Automation as its supplier and partner to create and establish a new, high-tech welding production area.
The crane manufacturer plans to develop a high-tech production facility where both production and data will play an important role in the company’s digital evolution. The ultimate goal is to create better customer experiences and also to ensure future production in Denmark and thus preserve jobs locally. The cooperation with Migatronic Automation is therefore an important step in this direction, and the two companies have started a pilot project called Future Lab, which means they are establishing a temporary factory section. The purpose is to test how to build a fully automated setup on some of the workflows HMF has in their welding production today.
“Automation is an important piece in our digital evolution to, among other things, create better customer experiences. Basically, we plan to create a digital flow for the entire process, from the creation of a new crane in R&D to the commercial launch of the crane on the market, so that we can support and help our customers throughout the life cycle of the crane. We have already implemented systems that enable sharing of crane data and information across online platforms, and now we are going a step further with more automation and robotics in our production,” says Christian Myrhøj, Project Manager at HMF Group A/S.
Overall, digitalisation and automation will help ensure a more consistent, efficient and scalable crane production. In addition, it will enable improved traceability of the cranes and their crane components, so that the head office, for example, more efficiently can find and send the exact spare part for the crane in question.
The Future Lab pilot project is being developed in an unconventional way, as it is not being built on HMF’s own site in Højbjerg, near Aarhus, but at Migatronic Automation in Aabybro in Northern Jutland. Here there are both premises and access to the specialists who are really going to push the boundaries of the factory of the future, explains Project Sales Manager at Migatronic Automation, Klaus Waenerlund Kristensen
“We are already well into establishing the new mini-scale factory area, where HMF’s future welding production will be refined with, among other things, tests of new welding robot solutions, automatic transport of workpieces, production control systems and much more. The data generated by the machines will form the basis for HMF’s further work on automation processes in crane manufacturing. Future Lab is an incredibly exciting project, where we have a strong focus on HMF’s future needs. This was also the main reason why we chose to make our own premises available, where we can, among other things, closely follow the development process and ensure that all of HMF’s requirements are met.”
Once the temporary factory section is up and running with a stable, data-driven production, the automated production system will subsequently be implemented in HMF’s current production facility in Højbjerg near Aarhus – and eventually in a new factory. The pilot project is expected to be completed during 2023.