Don’t Blindly Standardize on Die Components

Another suggestion Hansen offers is to consider customizing the size and shape of gauges and other die components to alleviate interferences that can inhibit transfer motion and limit SPM. Stampers and die designers might be tempted to standardize on one gauge style and length throughout an entire die, regardless of function, just to save a little via bulk ordering. But, the modest additional cost to customize gauges based on their function and location in a particular die is easily justified if such a design enhancement allows for more efficient transfer motion and an uptick in SPM.

For example, an excessively tall gauge on the bottom die requires wasteful lift from the transfer system prior to pitch-forward. Gauges should be just tall enough to reliably locate the part in the die, especially considering that today’s full-servo transfer systems do a great job of accurately and repeatedly locating and positioning parts—anything taller will inhibit overlap and slow transfer speed.

“You get what you pay for with these dies,” Hansen says, “so the lowest price isn’t always the best idea. Look for die shops that understand this and will look to optimize die-lifecycle cost, not just purchase price.”

Other bottlenecks to transfer movement are upper-to-lower tool components such as pins and bushings or stop blocks (Fig. 3). “These should be positioned just below the transfer height of the panel when the die is open,” says Hansen. “Also, design lower tools to include die lift in place of transfer lift. Again, this adds cost to the die but will in many cases significantly boost SPM.”

Finally, Hansen recommends exhausting every effort to add auxiliary motion to transfer stations—use the transfer system to manipulate parts in place of dedicated tip or rotate die stations. Again, this complex motion can be simulated and optimized, including detailed design and placement of rotators and fingers. In the end, stampers can reduce the number of die stations, Hansen says, and the stamper receives detailed setup sheets providing setup instructions for the operators. MF

Industry-Related Terms: CAD, Die, Functionality, Gauge, Point, Run, Transfer
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: T-Sim Solutions, LLC

Technologies: Pressroom Automation, Software


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