September 10, 2010
A Midwestern manufacturer sought to improve productivity on its nearly 10-year-old Verson transfer press. Although the press was in good condition, the original ETF transfer, which had endured 28 million press hits, was causing considerable maintenance costs and lost production. The stamper retrofitted the Verson transfer stamping press with a Schuler Automation AT series tri-axis transfer. This resulted in a 10- to 40-percent improvement in cycle times.
A Midwestern manufacturer sought to improve productivity on its nearly 10-year-old Verson transfer press. Although the press was in good condition, the original ETF transfer, which had endured 28 million press hits, was causing considerable maintenance costs and lost production.
Because of the transfer’s age, unexpected maintenance and repair had become more frequent, and components were sometimes difficult to replace. In addition, part mislocations in the die were becoming an issue, causing additional downtime.
The management team investigated investing in a transfer retrofit and modernization to improve the press’s productivity in terms of both throughput and uptime within a reasonable payback period.
The stamper retrofitted the Verson transfer stamping press with a Schuler Automation AT series triaxis transfer. The transfer system is designed for the stamper’s medium-duty part production. The high-performance direct-drive system is mounted directly to the transfer rails, which improved the output rate because it reduces the system’s reciprocating mass. This provided consistent, precise, and reliable part location in the dies.
A newly developed transfer rail guide, constructed with heavy-duty steel, improves the rigidity of the transfer so it can be operated at high speeds with minimal deflection to maintain consistent quality. This made it especially suitable for production of the company’s small parts and high stroke rates.
The system also has a special transfer-rail coupling with integrated sensors for rail changeovers.
The system’s compact and flexible mounting design fits within the stamper’s existing system, and its modular design contributed to the timeliness of the installation. The retrofit was completed on time.
Since its completion, the transfer retrofit has resulted in a 10 to 40 percent improvement in cycle times for production of various parts, according to the stamper.
In addition, the press increased productivity through reduced downtime related to fewer emergency repairs and part mislocation during the transfer process.
After operating full production for one month, the operations team projected a payback of the investment of less than 2.5 years. The stamper has installed a second AT3 transfer to retrofit another Verson transfer press.