Brad Kuvin Brad Kuvin
Editorial Director
Lou Kren Lou Kren
Senior Editor

MetalForming Live on the Shop Floor 2024—Virtual Event: Automation Case Studies

February 26, 2024

Back for a second year, MetalForming magazine’s popular MetalForming LIVE on the Shop Floor includes interviews with metal forming executives discussing their companies’ use of forward-thinking technology as well as videos from their shops featuring such technology in action.

Be sure to register—it’s free—for our next live, virtual event, covering automation, on April 24, 2-3:30 p.m. ET. Attendees will experience two excellent examples of leading-edge metal forming and fabricating companies leveraging transfer automation and robots to optimize efficiency and productivity. An expert-panel discussion follows that includes audience Q&A.

Automated Press Line at Clover Tool

First up, Clover Tool Mfg. Ltd., a Tier-Two automotive stamper with locations in Concord and Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The metal former currently is adding a 1200-ton, 240-in.-bed mechanical press from Eagle Press to its pressroom. Slated primarily for transfer work, the press is being outfitted with automated blank- and coil-feed equipment from Mecon Industries as well as a Linear Automation front-and rear-mount transfer system. 

George Zini, president of Clover Tool Mfg. and son of its founder, will discuss the need for a large-bed press and transfer automation to handle large automotive structural parts. And he will provide a live walk-around tour of the facility. 

Joining Zini are Paul Stirrett, Linear Automation vice president of sales, and Corey Chamberlain of T-Sim Solutions, to discuss best practices for proving out press-line automation concepts.

The press’ large bed will help Clover Tool meet capacity and capability needs for its high volumes of large structural stampings. And, as a contract stamper, the company also requires the flexibility inherent in this new, automated press line to handle whatever comes down the pike. After the project overview, a roundtable discussion will focus on how to optimize transfer-system performance.

You’ll find out much more on April 24, as well as in a MetalForming feature article due out in summer 2024.

Automation for Laser Cutting at Nelson Steel Products

Following Clover Tool, MetalForming LIVE on the Shop Floor will highlight automation efforts at Nelson Steel Products, Holland, MI, a single source for complete metal fabrication, including laser sheet and tube cutting, robotic welding, stamping, and assembly and packaging. The company recently automated loading/unloading of its laser cutting operations, courtesy of Mazak Optonics and Remmert Automation. We’ll discuss the company’s progressive automation philosophy and dig into the details of its laser cutting automation. Joining the panel discussion: Ross Ryzenga, Nelson Steel Products president and fourth-generation company leader, and Jacob Fogarty, an automation expert from Mazak Optonics.

As Nelson Steel Products added higher-power laser cutting machines, it adopted automation for material handling and storage to keep the hungry machines fed.

“Now, all of our flat-sheet laser cutting machines—the 3- and 4-kW machines and the two 10-kW machines—have automation,” Ryzenga tells MetalForming in a December 2023 feature article, “Smooth Moves via Laser Cutting Automation. “We switch through multiple gauges of steel every day on those laser cutting machines, so we try to batch jobs with the same material thicknesses. The material-storage towers (added as part of automation efforts) really help with organizing all of that—switching out gauges and having access to all of our material while saving floor space.”

A roundtable discussion follows the Nelson Steel Products overview, exploring automation for laser cutting and other fabrication processes, and why it makes sense.

The session wraps with Q&A, as MetalForming editors and you, event attendees, have questions and comments parsed by the assembled expert panel. 

Register for April 24’s MetalForming LIVE on the shop floor.

Mark your calendar, too, for our December 11 MetalForming LIVE on the Shop Floor: Servo Presses Add Flexibility to Stamping Operations. Here we’ll discuss with two metal stamping companies how their investments in servo-driven presses are helping to increase throughput and quality, optimize tool life, and drive new business opportunities. Stay tuned for details.

Hot Topics in MetalForming LIVE This Summer

MetalForming LIVE on the Shop Floor has its roots in MetalForming’s signature MetalForming LIVE, an annual three-part interactive webcast. First held in 2022, MetalForming LIVE virtual events bring together multiple metal formers to discuss topics, technologies, trends and more. Each session includes a short presentation followed by a roundtable discussion, moderated by MetalForming magazine editors, with metal formers dispensing their expertise gleaned from extensive experience. And, attendees can participate in lively Q&A discussions. 

In 2024, this three-part, interactive webinar series features industry experts and dives deep into end-of-line automation; how newer, stronger and lighter materials affect press-line equipment; and press-brake selection and tooling optimization. The schedule:

  • July 10—End-of-Line Automation. Innovative and productive technology efficiently handles parts and scrap exiting presses to ease downstream operations, no matter the line speeds. Find out how. 
  • July 24—Material Effects on Press-Line Equipment. The latest materials, stronger than ever, test press-line equipment like never before. Learn why, and learn how to equip and run lines to best process these materials. 
  • August 6—Press Brake Selection & Tooling Optimization. Press brakes have come a long way, offering impressive precision and accuracy. Team these capabilities with effective tooling strategies to get the most out of bending operations.

More on any and all of these events. MF

Industry-Related Terms: Bed, Bending, Forming, LASER, Lines, Run, Scrap, Transfer
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Eagle Press & Equipment Co. Ltd., Mazak Optonics Corporation, Linear Transfer Automation Inc.

Technologies: Cutting, Management, Pressroom Automation


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