Page 36 - MetalForming September 2016
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Quick-Die-Change Strategy Q&A with an Expert
   Standardize—your dies, processes and QDC equipment—is the common rallying cry heard as metalformers seek to optimize their return on investment when purchasing clamps, bolster extensions, die carts and other products.
Here’s a sign you’ll likely not find in a press shop: FOUND—EXTRA PRESS TIME
Instead, at the end of a shift you’re more likely to wonder why actual pro- duction failed to match what was scheduled. And while the causes of this dilemma can be many, a likely one is overly time-consuming die changes. They can occur for any number of rea- sons—lack of forklift availability, man- power shortages and missing/hiding tools, for example.
Making quick, efficient transitions from stamping the last part of one run to first-part approval of the next run continues to take on a growing level of importance, as stampers strive to squeeze every vestige of productivity from their equipment. This in the face
This QDC installation at Racine Metal-Fab, Ltd., Sturtevant, WI, features eight hydraulic ledge clamps (four upper and four lower), two swing-away bolster extensions (40 in. long, 6000 lb./pair load capacity), spring-loaded ball cartridges in the bolster, and a hydraulic power and control module. The company employs a standard clamping plate on all of the dies that run in this press, helping the changeover team to complete die changes in 1 min. (roll a new die into the press, position and clamp).
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of more frequent changeovers due to the need to run smaller lot sizes and minimize work in process. As a result, the industry has made a tremendous push in recent years to wring out every last bit of die-change waste from the process. This has stampers making unprecedented investments in quick- die-change (QDC) equipment, accord-
ing to Chris Klimowicz, sales manager for PFA Inc. Here, Klimowicz shares his perspectives on QDC strategies with MetalForming.
MF: Where should metalformers begin their quick-die-change journeys? Klimowicz: Start by setting goals for die-changeover times, and identi- fying specific pain points. I always ask,

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