Unlocking manufacturing excellence: Sandvik Coromant Centers as advanced testing facilities

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Knowledge sharing in manufacturing has never been more important. Sandvik Coromant Centers are not only used as advanced testing facilities. They also act as a global network for metal-cutting expertise. PHOTO courtesy Sandvik Coromant.

By Per Alfsen, global knowledge and center manager, Sandvik Coromant

For the manufacturing industry, collaboration has never been more important. Navigating new technologies, global crises and the pressure to become more sustainable and productive can place a lot of weight on a manufacturer’s shoulders, and those working in the industry shouldn’t weather the storm alone. Fortunately, tailored processes, developed by seasoned experts, can pave the way for manufacturing success.

Since 2020, the manufacturing industry has risen to several challenges. Be it supply chain issues, geopolitical strife, talent shortage or economic instability, a successful manufacturer doesn’t batten down the hatches and go it alone. Instead, they look to their supply network to collaborate.

An important time to learn

Knowledge sharing in manufacturing has never been more important. Take 2023’s Collin’s Dictionary Word of the Year for instance — AI. While awareness of the technology is high, many businesses remain unsure how to implement it.

According to Cisco’s AI Readiness Index, 84 percent of companies think AI will have a significant impact on their business, but just 14 percent feel ready to integrate it. As we navigate new technologies, no manufacturing business should go it alone. And it’s not just about AI — when dealing with any new challenge, collaboration is key.

For machine shop operators, there are many occasions where collaboration is best. For instance: when working with advanced materials that require specialized cutting techniques; when facing machining challenges, such as tool wear, vibrations or poor surface finish; or when optimizing toolpaths to maximize efficiency. The need for collaboration is where Sandvik Coromant Centers come into play.

On-hand expertise

Sandvik Coromant’s commitment to collaboration can be felt across the globe, with Sandvik Coromant Centers throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, including Center Mebane in Mebane, N.C., providing dedicated hubs for product demonstrations and technical training. Customers can attend sessions to learn about a particular area of metal-cutting, or about integrating digital machining solutions into their machine shops. From hardware to software, Sandvik Coromant Centers cover the whole manufacturing value chain.

Customers can also use one of the centers as a test environment. When dealing with complex projects, customers can trial new machining tools and strategies without disruption. Experienced experts guide every step to ensure project success, from tool selection and cutting parameters, to machine tool optimization and selecting the right coolant. Production processes remain uninterrupted, saving time and resources. With seasoned experts and advanced center capabilities, customers experience shorter development times, ultimately reducing resource and staffing costs.

Sandvik Coromant Centers are not only used as advanced testing facilities. They also act as a global network for metal-cutting expertise. The Sandvik Coromant Academy provides tailored and standard metal-cutting training, along with e-learning courses, closing the skills gap and future-proofing processes, taking a holistic approach and offering an enriching experience.

The Sandvik Coromant Academy is about so much more than teaching customers how to use Sandvik Coromant products. In 2023 alone, 36,000 learning interactions took place as a result of the Academy’s work. Training sessions are developed with solutions in mind, whether that’s how to increase manufacturing productivity, reduce waste or make machining operations more cost-effective. The training approach is less about instruction, and more about a holistic approach that acknowledges manufacturing challenges beyond machine use.

While physical training offers a wealth of benefits, the centers extend Sandvik Coromant’s knowledge to those who cannot visit in person through Digital Live Machining. With this feature, it is possible to remotely connect to actively participate in training and observe live machining without the need to travel. Customers can drive projects forward and tap into the full potential of the Sandvik Coromant Center without physical presence.

Sandvik Coromant’s approach to manufacturing resilience — Manufacturing Wellness — takes a holistic approach to the challenges the industry faces. We believe successful manufacturing companies deliberately do certain things. These include benefitting from strong partnerships and developing the workforce. For Sandvik Coromant, these are two healthy manufacturing habits we feel manufacturers should follow, and our Sandvik Coromant Centers, training academy and dedication to metal-cutting training help support that.

In 2024, collaboration will prove a key to success in the manufacturing industry. While the sector — and indeed the rest of society — faces a stream of ongoing challenges, there is also a wealth of opportunity. When greeted with new technologies and ways of working, coming together to unite expertise and harness the knowledge of one another will undoubtedly pave the way for a brighter, more resilient manufacturing future.

Per Alfsen is the global knowledge and center manager for Sandvik Coromant

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