The SCM “Smart&Human Factory” comes to life

A new interaction between man and robot completed with the excellence of SCM’s technologies. The Italian group has partnered with the leading manufacturers of the robotics sector such as Universal Robots, KUKA and MiR. 


Following the excellent results achieved in 2018, with a record-breaking increase in turnover that allowed the entire group to exceed 700 million Euro, SCM began 2019 under the sign of innovation with the Open House “Smart&Human Factory”, which was held in the Technology Centre at the Rimini headquarters from 31 January to 2 February.

The event provided an exclusive window on the future of smart manufacturing, with new, flexible, modular and easily reconfigurable digital and automation systems. These were integrated with collaborative robots, designed to respond more effectively and quickly to the challenges of mass customization and Industry 4.0. The topic of the Open House “You will never work alone”, effectively summarised the aim of SCM’s new offer: to promote an automation that is “user friendly”, as much as possible, and that, as well as considerably simplifying the factory, rendering it more efficient, also creates a new model of interaction between man, robot and machine, in open and safe cells.

A further improvement was also achieved on the work front, with operators relieved from risky and repetitive activities, so that they can focus on tasks with greater added value.

“The SCM Open House”, explained the SCM Division Director Luigi De Vito “allows visitors to experience first-hand a new model of interaction between machines, industrial and collaborative robotics, logistical ground handling and software and digital technologies. A state-of-the-art project designed to resolve all the critical aspects of mass customisation, as well as to provide a considerable level of progress in the work of the operator. SCM will showcase the new frontiers of automation, without ever forgetting the human factor, as indicated with the title ‘Smart&Human Factory’. Our strength lies in not being solely a supplier but a partner ready to support our customers in their business”.   

During the three days, visitors saw a concrete application of the SCM “Smart&Human Factory”: an automated system for furniture production in all the stages of the process: from designing the furniture to generating the machine programmes with the software, from machining the panels to assembling the cabinet. 

In such a system the operator is relieved of the repetitive tasks, thanks to the use of KUKA industrial anthropomorphous robots and assisted by Universal Robots collaborative robots, in the final stages of the process (assembly, inserting the hardware, dispensing the glue and surface finishing) where man and robot share the work space in complete safety and without enclosures.

Moreover, the flexibility of the process logistics is improved through the use of MiR intelligent autonomous mobile shuttles. The whole system is managed and optimised by the Maestro Watch supervisor software, to monitor the state of each product being machined, from the start to the end of the process. This is integrated with the IoT Maestro Connect system that collects and analyses the data from the SCM machines and ensures, on the one hand, the full control of the production flow and, on the other, the implementation of intelligent and predictive maintenance models.

Visitors were able to see the production of four different types of cabinet, through a process that aims to optimise as much as possible the cutting, edgebanding and drilling operations of the panels, as if it were a standard production in order to reduce rejects, leftovers and changes to the machine setup when changing orders. It also recomposes the orders at the end of the process, moving the customisation to this phase. The process begins from the software and the Digital Hub, control centre of the “Smart&Human Factory”, that reproduces, like a veritable design office, all the details of the cabinet being produced. It also manages the sale and acquisition of the order as well as generating the data and machine programs for the production. 

The machining process starts in the cutting area where the nesting of the panels to size is carried out in the new morbidelli x200 and x400 CNC machining centres, presented in preview for this occasion, and designed to apply the outstanding performance of the “All-in-one” technology of the 5-axis panel machining centres to this type of machining operation.

The panels are unloaded on a MiR AMR shuttle and taken to the subsequent edgebanding area. In this technology, special importance is given to the stefanicell, the new generation of cells processing “batch 1”, with high technological content solutions, even with low investment, and to the new bridge system “pickback”, consisting in the automatic return of the panels, thus allowing simple management and “just in time” production.

After the edgebanding, the MiR shuttle transfers the panels to the drilling/insertion area, where the panels are not only machined in the new morbidelli ux200d CNC centre, but also processed with the exclusive new system with double dowelling unit with variable axis, which can be adjusted based on the distance between the holes. 

Once the machining process has been completed the panels are conveyed on a roller conveyor towards the KUKA anthropomorphous robot, that recomposes the kits ready for the assembly of each single order, thanks to the instructions of the supervision, control and data acquisition software Maestro Watch. 

The MiR then transfers the kit towards the assembly area where the operators are assisted by three Universal Robots collaborative robots in assembling the bases and applying glue on the panels.

The process ends with the passage of the pre-assembled cabinet in the action p clamp, to achieve a precise assembly and an efficient squaring of the furniture. The finished product is then transferred by a MiR shuttle towards the storage area.

Visitors to the Open House discovered the exclusive integrated project for surface technologies developed by SCM, at Superfici, with all the latest developments for the finishing and painting processes

The aim was to become the first and sole partner in Italy able to supply the full range of products and services, as well as exclusive and refined finishing solutions, to meet all the requirements of the process and types of final product. This project includes the new Surface Tech Lab for sanding and pressing in Villa Mare (Villa Verucchio), that integrates and completes the Superfici Technology Centre for finishing solutions in Villasanta  (Monza). One of the major new products that were unveiled at the SCM Open House in the new Villa Mare Technology Centre was the new sergiani 3d form membrane press, able to create unique three-dimensional effects.

Also showcased for the first time was the new morbidelli x range of CNC nesting machining centers. The new machining centres morbidelli x200 and x400 apply top performance, 5-axis “all-in-one” technology to dedicated solutions for Nesting machining processes that are in line with the requirements of a market that is increasingly oriented to “Batch 1” production and therefore, needs to combine high speed and outstanding flexibility in panel cutting patterns.

The footprint – from the worktop to the drilling heads to the innovative machine tool magazine for tool changeover in record time – is increasingly less invasive, smarter and more functional.  Every detail in these machines, including the restyled design, has been implemented with the utmost accuracy and care, ensuring optimal performance, efficiency, and the level of quality that is required for business growth potential. 

“The new morbidelli machining centres have been designed based on market feedback. All the most popular innovations of the m100 and m200 Morbidelli work centres have been transferred to these new designs,” confirmed Bruno Di Napoli, the SCM Machining Centres Business Unit Manager. “The new, highly innovative range is the perfect solution for the vast majority of larger and smaller furniture manufacturers.”  

With their improved-performance feeding magazines, different safety system options to meet any needs, and greater machining precision for even the most complex items, the new generation of Morbidelli machining centres can fulfil the requirements of the most demanding customers. Featuring the Maestro software suite, they can also be equipped with automated loading and unloading systems and used both in cell and in stand-alone versions.