Presspart - Packing


Background:

       The company is a world leader in the field of deep drawn pressings. The ability to offer customers a unique service in toolmaking, design and development has been the foundation for 25 years of successful growth and their export success has been rewarded with the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. 

They employ the latest technology in multi-stage transfer presses with its own highly-developed drawing techniques. This deep-drawing process ensures maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness and brings significant advantages in terms of output and quality over more traditional manufacturing. 

The Problem:

       Speed of production is a key factor in meeting demand from customers in a broad range of general and niche industries. A multi-stage transfer press converts precision metal strip into tubular components by a series of consecutive blanking, drawing and forming operations. 

These consecutive operations are simultaneous. For example, given that a press may be tooled up for ten production stages, then ten separate components are being drawn at any one time.

However, this efficient production method, refined over many years, was being constricted at the final stage of packing of a particularly large and delicate component. Manual packing was thought to be essential for careful handling as a good surface finish was a key element in this particular application for water pumps. The water pump components in question have one fluted and one tapered end, and require to be stacked the same way round – tapered end uppermost. 

Teams of packers working in fours could only pack 30,000 parts a week. With time also spent in making up special boxes, this was limiting the speed of output. 

The Solution:

       Aylesbury Automation engineers had worked with this company in the past and helped design production machines for them. They invited the specialist automation engineers with specific knowledge of step feeder systems to visit the headquarters at Blackburn, Lancashire and explained how they wished to simplify and automate their existing packaging bottle-neck. 

The Aylesbury Automation engineers recommended that a Schindler step feeder system would solve the problem by operating at a significantly faster rate than manual packing. The Schindler step feeder was installed and the linear orientation tooling manufactured in-line to fit the company's packing requirement precisely. Parts are now fed along the linear orientation track so that they are correctly orientated and lowered, in a controlled manner, gently into storage cartons, the correct way up. Any mal-orientated parts are returned to the beginning of the packaging process. 

Benefits: 

      They have seen major benefits in terms of more rapid packing, saving on time and cost, and increasing output. Whereas 30,000 parts were packed in a week by hand, now 25,000 – 30,000 are packed and shipped out in a single working shift. One machine minder controls the entire process and also makes up the boxes while the machine is operating, ensuring a constant packing line flow.

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