The business success of TCI Cutting laser cutting machines is closely linked to their commitment to R & D. Innovation in both laser cutting machines and water-cutting machines is the basis for long-term sustainable growth. That is why we dedicate 10% of our sales figure to it, a figure that is higher than the average of the machine tool sector in Spain.
Along these lines, we are also investing in the development of our laser cutting machines and water cutting machines with the permanent collaboration with the Institute of Automation and Industrial Informatics, AI2, of the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Technological innovation is key to being able to develop another of our fundamental pillars, such as the continuous improvement of manufacturing processes through our own equipment and software.
TCI Cutting has jumped to Industry 4.0 with a new production model: an intelligent factory to produce laser cutting machines and intelligent water jet cutting machines. The challenges posed by the so-called fourth industrial revolution have been solved with software solutions that allow constant analysis of data and information to increase the productivity, flexibility and efficiency of the production of our laser cutting machines and water jet cutting machines.
With the powerful specialized software, the company has been digitalized by connecting all the elements of the production process of laser cutting machines and water jet cutting machines: people, intelligent storage systems, machines and equipment, being able to independently exchange information and data. In this way the integration of all levels and departments of the company and the complete identification of the raw material, resources and final product have been achieved, always controlling and optimizing the processes in real time.
Currently, our R & D department works with AI2’s automation and electronics, vision and mathematics departments to develop various automated vision system for laser cutting machines. Among its applications, we can highlight the detection of the position of the sheet to be cut as well as figures and contours and the monitoring of the process in the laser cutting machine. Previously we have collaborated on various projects, some of which, the HMI, later moved to a Spin-off of the same university. We also jointly conducted a study on various kinematics and calibrations for the 3D cutting head of the water cutting machine, one of our technological milestones. It is the only patented system in the world that allows an infinite turn and maintains the focal point, cutting volumetric pieces like spheres, cubes, cones and cylinders. The millimetric accuracy of this water-cutting machine has provided customers of the likes of Airbus or DCNS.
For a company to be at the forefront of innovation it has to be in contact with the external R & D sources, and the main one, undoubtedly, is the university. In that sense, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, through its research structures, is a leader in the generation of knowledge. Many of his researches have a high potential interest for companies. We are always aware of their new developments in the field of robotics or automation of operating control because they can involve joint development projects and business opportunities for our laser cutting machines and water jet cutting machines. Tightening the links between the research centers of universities and companies is one of the keys to boosting business innovation and with it, our economy.