Welcome to the 2024 Janus Perspective, a unique feature that includes a wide cross section of global fastener business leaders. Named after the Roman God 'Janus' – who had the ability to look to the future and to the past, and was often depicted with having two faces – this feature brings together thought leaders from every facet of the industry, from around the world, to give us their retrospective on 2023, as well as prospects and challenges for 2024.
Joachim Krüger, head of sales support forming and stamping
Due to several global uncertainties, including the issue of energy costs, we are seeing a shift in production facilities to regions such as southeast Asia and India, with markets in Europe and North America also benefiting from this trend. This shift will continue in the coming years and our customers will invest in new locations, including in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia or in eastern Europe – such as Hungary or Romania.
The global supply chain problems and resulting shutdowns at car manufactures led to an economic downturn across the Eurozone in 2023. Automotive suppliers continue to face major challenges that will continue to accompany us in 2024. The pressure for cost savings on the one hand, and innovative solutions on the other, is still very high. At the same time, however, due to the uncertainty of supply chains and political instability, Germany has become more attractive again for non-complex products. For example, there is a pleasing trend that companies are taking the step of producing fasteners themselves in Germany instead of relying on pure trade.
Process monitoring units are a driver of innovation in the field of cold forming. Many fastener manufacturers are constantly pushing ahead with this topic and thus the complete networking of all machine tools. Interfaces such as OPC-UA or MQTT have now established themselves on the market as a standard solution and offer an ideal tool for exchanging production and process data. The evaluation of process data is gradually becoming standard and enables our customers to carry out targeted analyses and evaluations of their process signals. Almost every machine is delivered directly with an interface to the existing IT system and the process monitoring system is always available to the customer – with new functions and connection options. This partnership is leading into new product developments based on the data exchange between monitoring unit and IT infrastructure of the production company.
The process monitoring solutions from Brankamp and Schwer + Kopka, which are part of the Marposs Group, are of great importance for cold forming and are part of the daily manufacturing process. In this way, the monitoring devices provide detailed information about the forming processes, which can be used to further optimise them and thus ensure high-quality production of the fasteners. On the other hand, the stored process data can be used for a complete evaluation of the signals. The monitoring devices from Brankamp and Schwer + Kopka have all of these functions and have become popular worldwide – establishing themselves in customers’ production sites. The proximity to the process enables a corresponding evaluation of the force, acoustics or vibration signals, which is supported by new sensors in the machine part like fillers. The intensive cooperation with our customers is always in the foreground to search for new applications.
As the leading trade fair for cold forming, wire® 2024 in Düsseldorf will once again be showcasing new innovations, and Marposs Group will also be presenting new products for the first time at the trade fair. We are very excited and look forward to exchanging ideas with our customers, partners and machine manufacturers in April.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.