Customer Information - The customer is a world leader in the manufacture of highly engineered, automotive powertrain powdered metal components.
Application - The automated loading of a 220 ton sizing (coining) press.
Background - The current process for running the sizing press required 2 operators, 2 shifts per day, 5 days per week. One operator is used to manually load the press at an average stroke rate of 12 strokes per minute. This operator also had to verify orientation of the part prior to loading to ensure no damage to tooling or parts would occur. The second operator is used to pack the parts from an accumulation table and perform in-process inspection.
Problem - Customer demand for piece price reductions year over year require innovative ways to reduce manufacturing costs. The use of 2 people to operate one machine has become cost prohibitive. In addition, the need for orientation control reduced the stroke rate in the press to ensure a part is not misaligned. Even with reduced (slower) part rates, part misalignment still occurred resulting in significant tool breakage costs and press down time to reset the tooling. Also, in the event the misaligned part does not damage tooling, it will be rejected at the customer as a defective part resulting in QA sorting costs.
Solution - Implementation of an Automated Cells & Equipment Sizing Press Loader Model 220 to allow bulk feeding of product and automated loading of the coining press.
Results - The Installation of the ACE Sizing press automation enabled the customer to use only 1 operator, rather than 2 to run and pack the coining press. In addition, the use of FANUC iR-Vision allowed the stroke rate to be increased by 25%, from 12 to 15 strokes per minute, without any risk of part misalignment to tooling. Since the implementation of the automation, there have been zero tool breakages and no customer concerns due to part misalignment.
Customer Testimonial - “ACE’s experience and knowledge in the P/M industry proved invaluable with regards to execution of this project. The installation and runoff were completed in less than the estimated time. The ACE employee on site was efficient and personable. We are very impressed with ACE’s work and looking forward to working with them again in the future.”