Directing the feeders and closely synchronizing their motion to that of the servo press: Dallas’ ServoPressSelect feed control, a variation on its ProfileSelect controls designed to provide a smooth sinusoidal feed profile that minimizes stress on the feed’s mechanics while using 100 percent of the available press-feed window.
“And, the feeds provide more torque than we would ever need,” adds Wierenga. “They provide brute force that we can tame to match our needs. While we’re only feeding 0.090-in. material, I’d bet that they easily could handle 0.150-in. stock.”In addition to their brawniness, Wierenga points to their use of rack-and-pinion drives, rather than ballscrews, as a reason for relying on the feeds to meet demands for reliability and optimum uptime. The pair of servo-press lines runs 24/7 to keep up with growing demand for airbag housings.
“The rack-and-pinion drives are bulletproof,” Wierenga says, “and they’re perfect for zig-zag double cuts. With the new feeders, we’re running all of the jobs that used to be single cut as double cut, with the blanks staggered to optimize stock width. That’s reducing material use by as much as seven percent.”
In addition to the DRFM feeds, Wierenga also notes a number of custom-engineered subcompact zig-zag feeds recently installed on a handful of its standard gap-frame mechanical presses.
“Dallas redesigned the subcompact feed just for us,” he says, “using the same controls as on the larger feeders. That allows our toolmakers to work efficienctly and seamlessly throughout the plant. And, the components are off-the-shelf Allen-Bradley, so we have minimal issues with performing timely maintenance procedures and keeping the lines running.”
The redesigned subcompact feeds feature an aluminum feed structure for weight reduction. The feed and zig-zag drives mount below the feed rolls to reduce the width of the units by 10 in. And, operators use an eight-button control pendant to quickly set up new jobs and to thread-up stock during coil changes.“We need uniformity in the equipment we buy,” Wierenga summarizes,” and the new feeds support that mission.” MF
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Brad Kuvin Tuesday, November 29, 2022