Page 38 - MetalForming September 2016
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 “Where are you slow; where do you need to improve? Does it take a long time to find and retrieve dies, for exam- ple? Or do workers waste time looking for the tools they need to complete a changeover?”
We recommend that shops start by evaluating their biggest problem area and conduct a detailed case study. Time several changeovers to determine an average baseline time. And, video-
record the changeovers to obtain an accurate record.
MF: Are there common steps met- alformers should take to ensure they optimize their return on investment in QDC equipment?
Klimowicz: Without a doubt stan- dardization is the most important fac- tor in optimizing ROI. Before investing time and expense in QDC, we recom- mend that metalformers standardize
Booth C12114
on clamping height. In fact, they should consider mounting all of their dies on subplates standardized for clamping height, as well as for left-to-right and front-to-back dimensions.
There are basic practices that can be used to ensure quick and accurate die setting, such as use of locating pins or die guides on the press bolster. Whatever a metalformer does to its dies to optimize changeovers, make it the same on all dies. This might seem time-consuming and costly up-front, but it pays off in the end; the benefits from investments made in QDC equip- ment will compound.
MF: What can metalformers expect to spend to outfit a press with QDC apparatus, and what type of return can they expect from their investments?
Klimowicz: Spend per press depends on press size and the weight of the dies. To equip a bigger machine with heavy dies (10,000 to 35,000 lb.) can cost in the neighborhood of $40,000 for clamps, bolster extensions and die lifters. For a standard 500-ton press, we see an average spend of $10,000 to $20,000 on QDC equipment. ROI, meanwhile, often is measured in months, based on the number of times a press is changed over during a typical shift. And, as noted above, shops that do not take the time to standardize on their equipment will only optimize their changeovers on some of their dies, not on all of them. That can extend the ROI from months to years.
MF: What steps can metalformers take to ensure they’re prepared to work with a vendor of QDC equipment?
Klimowicz: Whether looking to invest in die clamps, bolster extensions or die lifters/rollers, we recommend that metalformers closely survey the equipment they’re using in their press- rooms. Die weight and die density (ratio of weight to footprint) are criti- cal, so that we can calculate the amount of lifting capacity needed per foot and ensure that the metalformer has sufficient lifting capacity for its applications.
Also, take the time to accurately and precisely measure T-slot dimensions—
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