The STROTHMANN FeederPlus concept is now installed in eleven press lines worldwide. During transfer from one press to the next one, the system performs several superposed movements and can use its additional rotating axes to position parts in different directions. The FeederPlus is particularly suitable for press lines in the mid-range price and speed segment. STROTHMANN has developed the CompactTransfer for retrofitting presses. This compact, electronically controlled transfer system permits stroke rates of up to 16 strokes/min. The seventh press was successfully retrofitted in 2019.
The basic features of the CompactTransfer are also implemented in the HighSpeedTransfer, which is used in new tandem press lines and retrofitting projects. In both the CompactTransfer and the HighSpeedTransfer, the tooling unit is mounted on a crossbar made of carbon-fibre reinforced material. The carbon-fibre reinforced crossbar is light-weight, but very sturdy and has a low resonance frequency. This means high acceleration rates can easily be realised.
The FeederPlus6neo is an innovative single-arm feeder for press lines of up to 16 SPM. Its modular design makes it suitable for press gaps of between 5,200 and 12,000 mm. Due to its design principle, it is equipped with integrated vertical rotational axes (C1 and C2) that allow it to position pieces in the FoL and EoL. This is an important cost-saving factor, as it permits simplification of the FoL and EoL. It also reduces the space required for FoL and EoL. The FeederPlus6neo is suitable for all press types (hydraulic, mechanical, servo-mechanical).
The HighSpeedTransfer is an electronic transfer system with 6 axes for the automation of press lines. It builds on the highly successful CompactTransfer. It is mounted on the front of the uprights of one press. Redundant timing belt drives with automatic tear detection further increase the already extremely high availability. A light-weight and high-rigidity crossbar made of carbon fibre accommodates the tooling.
The CompactTransfer is an electronic transfer system with 6 axes, developed especially for modernising crossbar presses. It is distinguished by its extremely compact design, so that it can be integrated in the available tight space between the upright and the ram. A light-weight and high-rigidity crossbar made of carbon fibre accommodates the tooling. The individually programmable servo axes make the CompactTransfer significantly more flexible than mechanical cam-controlled transfer systems. Moreover, the output capacity is significantly increased with the aid of a press ram phase offset.
On the FeederPlus6neo and the High Speed Transfer, the tooling change is performed automatically by a tooling change carriage with a rotary device, which enters the press gap. On the Compact Transfer, the tooling bar is automatically deposited on two swivel arms fitted on the press moving bolster.
StroCon PL is an innovative simulation software which makes it possible to optimise a movement curve for a specific Strothmann press automation system. It uses “PLS” software from Siemens to visualise the course of movement and possible collisions. Optimised movements by the automation unit significantly increase the output. In addition, it permits testing and optimisation of die designs. All in all, this reduces costs significantly.
Additional hardware and software, e.g. sensors and evaluation units on linear motion blocks or measuring lines in energy chains, is used to detect early signs of wear (predictive maintenance). This ensures that only those parts that really need to be exchanged are replaced and that maintenance can be scheduled for non-productive periods. This reduces costs and increases machine availability. Moreover, precise detection and attribution of energy consumption rates is possible, permitting additional conclusions to be drawn regarding the machine condition. Furthermore, the actual production costs down to individual workpieces can be analysed in greater detail.
In special cases, 3-axis or 4-axis feeders are used for linking presses. This is the case, for example, when workpieces have to be turned between two pressing steps or when an additional automation system is to be added to an existing press line. In other cases, transfer presses are equipped not with bar transfer units but with feeders. This makes it possible to implement any flow direction in the press. In these cases, maximum flexibility is prioritised over maximum speed. Strothmann has a large variety of solutions for applications like these.