Media Release: Walker Industries & Smartech announce a partnership.
MEDIA RELEASE For Immediate Distribution
Helping engineered wood manufacturers cut costs, improve products
Walker named North American vendor for SmartWaxSys wax suspension technology
Walker Industries and Smartech are pleased to announce a partnership naming Walker as the exclusive vendor for North America of Smartech’s proprietary, patent-protected SmartWaxSys wax suspension system.
Serving Canadian and U.S. markets out of operating locations in Ontario, South Carolina and Oregon, Walker’s emulsions division provides a wide range of wax emulsions used by the wood product industry to provide water repellency characteristics and improve the dimensional stability of oriented strand board, medium density fiberboard and other engineered wood products.
Smartech SmartWaxSys transforms the way wax is used, enabling engineered wood manufacturers to reduce costs significantly, improve product quality and gain superior control over the manufacturing process.
“We’re thrilled to offer customers an innovative new solution that will help them produce high-performing products for less cost while also reducing their environmental footprint,” says Archie Reynolds, EVP, Walker Emulsions. “This technology has already proven its value in other markets, generating savings and numerous benefits for engineered wood manufacturers.”
Smartech’s patented and proprietary suspension technology allows manufacturers using SmartWaxSys to significantly reduce costs – typically by at least 20 per cent – for wax and emulsions for all types of engineered wood panels (MDF, OSB, Particle Board and others).
The system also provides green benefits. Overall consumption of hot melt wax is significantly reduced while maintaining performance standards. In addition, fewer trucks are required because water is added at point of production rather than being pre-mixed, resulting in fewer shipments. Reducing the number of trucks on the road translates to lower carbon dioxide emissions, which supports environmental sustainability.
“We are excited to partner with Walker industries, which shares our focus on providing real value to the manufacturers,” says Hanoch Magid, CEO, Smartech. “The combination of Smartech’s innovative SmartWaxSys technology, Walker’s extensive market reach, and both companies’ complementary areas of expertise will bring significant savings and advantages to Engineered Wood manufacturers in North America.”
To learn more, please visit here. About Walker Industries: Walker Industries is a fifth generation, family-owned Canadian company that has operated from its base in the Niagara Region for more than 130 years. With facilities across Canada and the United States the company employs more than 1,200 people in environmental waste management and recovery, renewable energy, paving and construction, aggregates, and emulsions. For more information about Walker, visit walkerind.com.
About Smartech: Smartech is an Israeli and American-owned technology developer of game-changing technology solutions that create transformational changes in the way manufacturing works. It provides proprietary technologies for the smart use of materials and offers Autonomous Manufacturing modules for significant improvement of critical manufacturing processes. Smartech is headquartered in Israel, and has a presence in North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. For more information about Smartech, visit www.smartech.com -30- For more information or for media inquiries, please contact:
The secret of MDI cost reduction?
Following the smashing success of our SmartWax system in reducing wax costs, we are now moving full-speed ahead to provide our customers with a new and revolutionary cost reduction solution, this time for MDI resin.
Smartech is on a mission to provide manufacturers with new technologies that will have a notable and measurable impact on their financial performance. We call production driven by these new technologies MaNEWfacturing™.
With this motion in mind, we have tasked the Smartech X-force, our research innovation teams, with a laser-focused goal – create a new technology that will significantly reduce engineered wood resin costs. The teams have started the race to meet the goal targeting all types of resins. We have not limited them in the type of technology nor we have limited them in the cost of the development process.
It is always a fascinating process to challenge what seems to be impossible, and we are excited and proud to come to our customers and friends in the industry with a real success:
MDI resin is commonly used in themanufactured wood industry in its liquid form. Some attempts to create MDI emulsions were made and several emulsifiable MDI types were developed, but these did not ultimately make their way to the industry and they faced priceand performance challenges.
We use our patented suspension technique just before the resin is applied to the wood, in real time in the production line. This enables improved distribution and better reactiveness. We test the boards to ensure performance parameters remain the same. These test shave confirmed that our unique technique provides the benefits of cost reduction and has no adverse effect on MDI responsiveness. It also has the added advantage of reducing dependency on the stability of the resin.
MDI SmartResin is a proprietary technology and system that utilizes Smartech’s experience and success with suspension technologies. It is an inline, just-in-time MDI suspension system that overcomes all the hurdles of prior technologies and provides customers with a significant resin cost reduction. How significant? More than 15% – are duction that ‘moves the needle’ of cost of production and goes directly to the net profit margin of our customers.
While some may say MDI and water do not seem an obvious combination, our MDI SmartResin technology has overcome any and all obstacles and enables the provision of improved distribution, better resin reactiveness and superior performance.
Smartech MDI SmartResin Systems deliver:
Performance: Superior resin performance enabling the reduction of more than15% of the resin cost, translating to a reduction of millions of dollars per year.
Stability: Controlled MDI suspension stability enables a stable and fluent manufacturing process.
Reliability: A stable process, fully supported by the current MDI process, which remains as a backup.
Flexibility: Any type of MDI resin may be used.
Coming soon: A completely different technology and approach – PF SmartResintechnology.
LUEBKEN Automation will support distribution, service & sales in China
We are happy to announce the signing of a sale, distribution and service agreement with Mr. An Hui the owner of LUEBKEN Automation Shanghai. Mr. An Hui has more than 20 years of extensive experience in the wood panel industry in China.
LUEBKEN Automation Shanghai is a high-technical enterprise, it is refer to whole set technology about automatic process control and installation system for wood-based panel industry, assemble all kinds of control panel, cabinet, non-standard control box, and distribute-power cabinet. Founded in 2013, LUEBKEN Automation Shanghai has an agency agreement with Argos and Lubcon lubrication.
We are in the news: Smartech: transforming manufacturing with smart technology
As other major industries reap the benefits of technological advancements, how can the manufacturing sector keep up? Smartech is focused on bringing game-changing technologies to the industrial manufacturing world.
Andritz & Smartech to cooperate for promotion & support of SmartWax system
As Smartech expends its activity we thrive to collaborate with key members of the wood manufacturing eco-system in order to provide our clients cutting edge technology alongside premium support. Therefore, We are happy to share with you our latest strategic partnership with Andritz which was recently signed. The partnership will help us distribute our SmartWax Sys patented smart wax suspension systems, alongside our other technologies and provide our clients better and more responsive support.
We are in the news: In the absence of predictions, let's talk 2021 trends
It’s the season for predictions, and with 2020 having proved to be a year like no other, guessing what the new year will bring is even difficult than usual. The uncertainty of 2020 will likely spillover into 2021as our workspace, goals and manufacturing processes are reevaluated and adjusted to our new reality. In the face of such uncertainty, it’s particularly helpful to take a close look at existing trends and consider how they are likely to play out going forward. Click here to read more...
The age of AI and the changing role of machine operators
Everyone is talking about the fourth industrial revolution (IIOTor i4.0), in which the integration of smart technologies, machine-to-machine(M2M) communication and the Internet of Things (IoT) will enable highly automated production lines.
One of the most common questions raised is where will humans fit in the production of the future? Some people question whether the job of“ machine operator” will even exist once there are machines that can self-analyze and diagnose issues and entire production lines can operate without human intervention.
AI is already part of our everyday lives. It helps us make decisions about our financial assets, auto-finishes our internet search questions, and alerts us before we make deadly driving mistakes. AI for manufacturing is still considered as a challenge for some, but the journey toward autonomous manufacturing has already started.
How data is used today
Already, the first steppingstones are in place – in the form of the vast volume of data that is being generated by advanced machines and systems in many factories. The hottest trend right now is smart manufacturing –using that data to better understand manufacturing performance and utilizing data-based decision-support tools to help us meet production and business KPIs.
But that’s only the beginning of how data will affect the manufacturing sector.
Some manufacturing sectors have successfully implemented robotic process automation (RPA) processes and even use AI to support management decision-making. But the vast majority of manufacturers have not yet implemented such technologies on the production floor itself – even though doing so would enhance the control and decision-making capabilities of the control room operators regarding crucial production factors, including production speed and cost, and product quality. Often, the data exists, but they’re not using it.
How important are people, really?
After years of working closely with manufacturers, mainly in the wood processing business through my role here at Smartech, I’ve come to realize that AI, innovation and the human factor together play a crucial role in meeting the goals of the plant. In plants that rely on operator experience, knowledge and skill, the operator has a huge impact on the performance of the machine or the line. Along with that, the operators in a given shift massively affect the performance of the whole plant.
One of our customers, a large wood manufacturer with multiple plants, allowed us to track and review manufacturing process data for60 days at a processed wood boards plant. We took data from one production line and compared the performance of the three different shifts. Oddly enough we found huge differences. All the shifts worked on the same line, operating the same machines, and manufacturing the same products, and yet performance across multiple parameters varied greatly.
Among many parameters we analyzed, we discovered a 35%difference in the quantity of grade-A products from one shift to another. We found a 5%-6% difference in the density of the boards that were produced, depending on which shift was working. And we saw that one shift drove significantly higher productivity than the other shifts during the same period. Additionally, wear on the wood-shredding knives differed according to shift.
Imagine if the entire production performance baseline could be as good as the performance of the best shift… or even higher.
This can be achieved by combining the human factor with smart AI capabilities.
The enduring value of human knowledge
As you can see, the human factor has a huge impact, for better or worse, on the production line. Human operators are vital to the success of the plant as a source of knowledge for troubleshooting malfunctions and when creative thinking is required. Even when AI algorithms are ‘operating’ the production line, human ingenuity and action will still be needed.
Rather than replacing operators, autonomous manufacturing will create a new role for them, as ‘mentors’ to the algorithms. The AI algorithms, as they are designed to do, will continually learn from human behavior and optimize it.
Instead of fearing the future, we need to embrace AI and other advanced technologies, and use them to reduce costs, improve the quality of our products and become more productive.
How Smartech Turns Ideas into Reality
We are often asked how our unique R&D process works. How do we take a vision for solving a seemingly impossible challenge and turn it into a real solution?
Consider this your backstage pass – a chance to look behind the scenes and understand SMARTECH’s four-part process, from the technological research stage, to the proof of concept (POC), to the technological examination and prototype.
1. Technological Research
In our initial research stage, we scan solutions from many different verticals and industries, sometimes combining more than one technology to create a hybrid solution that addresses the challenge and fits our customer’s need.
Once we have found a solution that looks promising at the theoretical level, it goes to our validation team, for experimentation. We build a laboratory model that is sensitive and dynamic, providing a proof that can answer the research question.
2. Proof of Concept
The POC stage is divided into two parts:
A. Scientific research – This is conducted by our chemical, material, and polymer engineering experts, who examine the potential of developing the technological idea and clearly define the research questions.
B. Lab testing – We conduct deep research in our unique, multidisciplinary laboratory, which has extensive capabilities for in-house experiments, physical testing, and analytics in chemistry, mechanics, and process engineering.
3. Technological Examination
The technological examination stage enables us to go from the laboratory scale to the factory scale, where we can execute the technology in sequential parameters similar to the factory ones. This stage has several purposes:
· Confirm the technological process can be executed in a way that is suited to the factory.
· Confirm the technological effect in a sequential process.
· Assess the substantial risks involved with implementing the technology.
· Define the requirements for building the prototype that will be installed in the actual factory.
Building the laboratory model is a significant challenge because of the difficulty of aligning the laboratory scale to the factory scale. Laboratory tools, as good as they are, cannot replicate the exact process in the factory. So, while they do enable us to minimize uncertainty as much as possible, it’s important to later fully evaluate the solution in a factory setting.
The prototype is a working solution that can be installed in the factory, enabling final proof of our technology while already delivering high value to the customer.
The synergy between all four stages is key. It enables us to find out-of-the-box technological solutions and focus our product to better address our clients’ needs.
Each solution is then build according to the customers need and the plant’s unique production requirements.
All of the processes mentioned above, from the research stage to the final prototype product are handled by SMARTECH’s researchers, process engineers, machinery, data experts and labs in our R&D center in Israel. With our extensive knowledge about traditional industry and our multidisciplinary team and research assets, we are able to create high-impact, high-value solutions to some of the most pressing and complex manufacturing challenges.