Page 16 - MetalForming December 2019
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Part-Handling Choices for
Advancing Automation
 When it’s time to step up your automation efforts, don’t overlook material selection for tooling.
When talking of automation advancements in manufac- turing circles, software, con- trols and robotics often take center stage. However, how about the tooling necessary for transferring parts to and from forming presses?
The material from which such tool- ing is made can be a game-changer when it comes to automating part flow, say Tom Garant, general manager of Bilsing North America, a Roseville, MI- based provider of carbon fiber tooling solutions. Garant says such options as carbon fiber crossbar beams, loading and unloading beams, destacking beams, panel loading t-booms, and tooling supports are lighter, stiffer and vibrate less than tooling made of steel and aluminum, resulting in improved production rates and longer life for the robot “with lighter end effectors saving on overall wear and tear.”
While automotive companies such as Jaguar and Chrysler accept that the carbon fiber design is more expensive than aluminum and steel, they recog- nize that more parts/min. and
This comparison of steel, aluminium and carbon fiber automotive cross bars (photo) shows carbon fiber as having a slightly higher stiffness profile (lower deflection) than steel and significantly higher stiffness than aluminium.
 Crossbar Profiles
3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5
3000 4000 5000
 100x100x8 – Steel (23kg/m) 100x100x8 – Aluminum (8.2kg/m) 100x100x8 – Carbon Fiber (5kg/m)
 0 1000 2000
Crossbar Length (mm)
14 MetalForming/December 2019
Deflection Under Load 20kg (mm)

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