Error-Proofing—It’s Your Fault, Unless You Can Prove it’s Not

More and more, press controls assist in error-proofing. Driven in large part by automotive poka-yoke systems, manufacturers not only want to verify good parts, they want automated systems to provide those reports.

“For example, an inspection station built into the die will report that a part is good,” says Phillips. “That part automatically routes to a parts bin, and if not, it diverts to a scrap bin. Sensors can verify parts entering the good-parts bin and generate a report for the customer. No longer does the control offer just a stroke counter, but a good-parts counter, as press controls can oversee the inspection station. Sensors on the throat of a chute can identify characteristics of good parts, and control where the part, good or bad, ends up. Thanks to controls, metalformers now have ways to confirm good parts and report exactly why the parts are good.”

Controls Mind the Materials

Press controls can assess coil entering the press and, via servo and stepper motors, automatically adjust wedges in the die to account for occurrences of thicker material. This capability assists as metalformers increasingly specify tapered coil, where thickness is varied intentionally on certain areas of the strip, reports Phillips.

Automotive trends toward weight reduction and vehicle safety make it more economical when producing in high part volume to move away from secondary welding of stiffening material to increase rigidity. With more customized material finding its way to the shopfloor, more will be demanded of press cells and their controls.

Customers Driving Flexibility

Automotive, aerospace, appliance and other sectors demand that their suppliers meet higher standards.

“Customers want to know what process controls are in place and how you can guarantee part quality,” concludes Phillips, hinting again at the future of press controls. “Your quality control can’t be someone standing at the end of the press line with a flashlight looking for bad parts. Increasingly, customers require automated quality control not open to human interpretation. That means more inspection performed within the press or surrounding cell, along with the required control. Even if inspection may not be an actual in-press operation, the press will be doing the reporting.”

Today, controls can set, run, correct and report across the entire cell, and will do more as customer expectations continue to rise. MF
Industry-Related Terms: Die, Point, Run, Scrap, Stroke, Thickness, Tolerance, Transfer
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms

 

See also: Link Systems

Technologies: Pressroom Automation

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