Other technologies


Flying shear upgrade more than doubles output

Third Quarter 2004 Other technologies

Outdated equipment and the need for increased cutting accuracy at varying speeds have prompted the upgrade of a flying shear system at an automotive accessories plant, where the company manufactures exhaust systems for various makes of automobile.

The latest EcoDrive 03 range of servo drive from Tectra Automation
The latest EcoDrive 03 range of servo drive from Tectra Automation

"There are two inter-linked aspects of this project that made it quite amazing - the fact that we had an off-the-shelf solution available to satisfy the client's requirements, and the speed of implementation," says Tectra Automation's technical manager, Georg Venter. "As a result of having a standard package available, we were able to install the system comprising a control unit, HMI and servo drive in just two days!"

The application in question is a cut-to-length system of exhaust pipe components. This cut-to-length happens 'on the fly' at 150 cuts per minute. High levels of accuracy, repeatability and the power to function at high speeds over extended periods of time. It employs one motor to drive a planetary, in-line gearbox, connected to a rack and pinion that drives the cutter mechanism back and forth. Following the successful installation of Tectra Automation's Indramat solution, volumes of metal processed by the system increased from 9 km per shift to 27 km per shift. This came as a direct result of the new components being able to cut very accurately at speeds of up to 2,5 m/s.

"An important improvement on the previous system can be found in the fact that our solution does not require any adjustments for cutting at varying speeds," Venter points out. "Previously, an operator had to make certain changes to the machine set-up before allowing material to flow through at a different speed. Now, the process can continue at whatever pace is required, no matter how many times the speed of material flow changes. Further flexibility has been engineered through the ability to change material sizes on the run. The system was also configured to be Profibus compatible."

The hardware

Tectra's standard solution includes a CLM 1.4 control unit, a 200 A Ecodrive servo solution with a peak torque of 187 Nm, and a BTV human machine interface. Using existing optical equipment from the customer, the new solution is also able to detect predetermined painted lines on the material and actually cuts along these marks.

"I am confident that we will be awarded two similar projects by this client in the near future, based on the improvements that translated from our speedy and inexpensive solution," Venter enthuses. "Although the system is virtually maintenance free, our local branch in the area will be available for any support requirements that may arise."

For more information contact Georg Venter, technical manager, Tectra Automation, +27 (0) 11 971 9400, georgv@tectra.co.za, www.tectra.co.za



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