In recent times, we have witnessed the rise of innovative technology and its widespread acceptance at diverse manufacturing units across the globe. The fundamental factor of success for any technology lies in its ability to mitigate users’ chronic problems. At the end, the one which suffices the purpose satisfactorily makes the way to the multiple markets. On that note, it becomes inevitable to have a glance at a few cutting edge systems, which are designed to address the common complications for many domains. These systems are metal sheet stacker and loading/unloading machines, accounted for instantaneous productivity boost at many facilities.
Automation is the technology, which has gone beyond contemporaries and empowered countless industries. The term automation signifies the self-operating diverse procedures, which otherwise used to be executed through the human efforts. The motive of the automation is to transcend the existing manual manufacturing procedures into the self-controlled process. By minimising human intervention, it aims to reduce the rate of error and significantly standardising the process. Though the technology has been there for quite a while, the widespread use of this technology has begun couple of years ago.
Automation as a business advantage
Automation is basically a blend of various control systems for operating tools such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilisation of ships, aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human efforts. Some processes have been completely automated. The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labour; however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.
The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic, was not widely used half a century ago when General Motors established an automation department. It was during this time that the industry was rapidly adopting feedback controllers. Automation has been achieved by various means, including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, usually in combination. Complicated systems, such as modern factories, airplanes and ships typically use all these combined techniques.
If we focus on industrial automation, it essentially deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes. General purpose controllers for industrial processes include programmable logic controllers, stand-alone I/O modules, and computers. One trend is increased use of machine vision to provide automatic inspection and robot guidance functions; the other one is a continuing increase in the use of robots. Energy efficiency in industrial processes has become a higher priority. Semiconductor companies like Infineon Technologies are offering 8-bit micro-controller applications, for example, found in motor controls, general purpose pumps, fans and e-bikes to reduce energy consumption and, thus, increase efficiency.
Rise of controllers
Engineers can now have numerical control over automated devices. The result has been a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities. Computer-aided technologies now serve as the basis for mathematical and organisational tools used to create complex systems. Notable examples of computer aided technologies include computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. The improved design, analysis, and manufacture of products enabled by computer-aided technology have been beneficial for the industry. Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes can assist in the design, implementation and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialised hardened computers, which are frequently used to synchronise the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.
Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers. Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments, they are called stationary engineers.
Automation in metal forming applications
The age of modern technology has brought great accuracy, speed and convenience to the manufacturing industry and has enhanced various procedures from the roots. The sheet stacker is effectively compatible with any sort of metal forming system likes of laser cutting, turret punch, water jet, etc by installing sheet data into the software; machine accurately recognises the sheet by their thickness measures from the inputs and makes the inventory tasks smoother. The sole purpose of the machine is to add a few jewels to the premises.
The sheet stacker transforms your factory into an efficient storage space. It esthetically manages diversified metal sheets, which leads to an accurate inventory management. The operation panel has been designed considering user-friendliness and while developing the panel, the whole emphasis was on enabling the machine users to operate machine in no time, regardless of their adequacy.
It is marvelous in its weight carrying capacity, which is 4000 kg per pallet with being fascinatingly energy efficient. Customised stocking options such as 10, 15, 20 floors make it really compatible at regardless of manufacturing facility, at huge warehouses and factories, it demonstrates remarkable space management. Elevator with dual linked chain allows strong holds over the sheets while transportation. A sophisticated space management leads to the streamlined process and inventory management and ultimately saves humongous area cost.
With the personalised software interface, it enables a holistic integration with software such as ERP and SAP. Apart from splendid usability, the machine has significantly low service and maintenance cost, thanks to highly durable pallet transfer system, which makes it righteous long-term asset worth possessing.
Enhancing shopfloor productivity
Lifting and shifting large metal sheets in metal forming plants is one of the rising concerns as per the latest study. The loading/unloading machine is introduced to eliminate the trouble causes in lifting and shifting the metal sheets. The fully automatic machine executes loading and unloading tasks effortlessly, and it reduces a lots human efforts and time consequently.
The aforementioned machine comes with vertical and horizontal alternatives, which fit into the premises exactly as per the requirements. It standardises the processes at the facility and decreases the rate of errors. The loading/unloading machine can be synced with any sort of metal forming systems such as laser; water jet, etc and the machine swiftly load/unload the sheets with all of those diverse systems. The mighty suction cups lift the metal sheets and places them on the machine as per the position exactly required.
By its immense power, loading/unloading machine can add the much vital momentum in the metal forming process as it gets along with multiple technologies. Though, the speed can be attained at the cost of high number of errors that is not the case with loading/unloading machine. The less time a process takes, the more productive it becomes eventually and with loading/unloading machine, it turns out be extremely easy by being fast as well as productive without actually disturbing the quality.