With fewer human resources in the workshop, metal forming operations can automate the waste stream and take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), thereby increasing efficiency, resulting in a more resilient future and safer workplaces.
As the manufacturing industry restructures from the chaos caused by COVID-19, one thing has become clear: the shortage of skilled workers will continue to escalate, and the stamping business needs to be prepared and adjusted to meet this challenge.
A recent survey report by a large manufacturing technology company stated that 21% of respondents indicated that automation is an area where COVID-19 reveals innovation opportunities. With the reduction of manpower resources in the workshop, metal forming operations that automate the waste stream and utilize the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will be more efficient and thus more flexible. In addition, because automation supports the actual evacuation of employees and reduces overall contact with equipment and tools, it also improves workplace safety.
The addition of five areas of automation in the stamping and mold manufacturing process can not only help alleviate the shortage of existing skilled workers, but also provide convenience for the future development of stamping manufacturers. These areas involve waste, fluid management and monitoring.
Conveyor, hydraulic dumper and automatic loading system eliminate the most laborious manual process in metal scrap processing.
The conveyor quickly and automatically removes stamping waste and debris from the beginning of production. When metal scrap and waste cutting fluid are automatically removed from the core operation, forklift transfer is no longer needed, and the production cycle is optimized.
These receive the chip trolleys or drums from the mold processing operation and raise and turn them over on the receiving hopper. Equipped with mechanical options for advanced transmission; hydraulic system helps low-level metal scrap transfer. If the handheld controls are used to guide the operation, both systems can efficiently unload single-person trolleys.
These systems automatically transfer scrap metal to a distribution container for transportation to a metal recycling station. The continuous back and forth operation of the reciprocating conveyor distributes the waste evenly in the container. When the container is full, the level sensor will alert the operator. Automated loading and unloading can even use machine-to-machine communication to send a signal to a scrap dealer that the container is ready to be picked up. The overall scale can track the overall waste production and help ensure that the container is full, but also not to exceed the road weight limit. These systems greatly reduce the supervision required for effective loading.
Automatically transfer metal scrap from one production site to another, minimizing employee intervention. Moreover, because these systems eliminate the hazards associated with manually moving metal scraps, safety in the workplace is improved. This can help attract and retain high-quality employees, while at the same time allocating resources for production-centric tasks in other areas of operation.
The conveyor quickly and automatically removes stamping waste and debris from the beginning of production.
Metal scrap processing equipment can automatically complete the task of reducing the turning and clumping of metal chips into flowable shovel chips. Equipment with vertical feed can provide continuous positive feed operation to reduce a lot of waste. Equipment with horizontal feed can accommodate a small amount of fine and coarse turning.
These systems can help the workshop to maintain the presence of hazardous substances and prepare metal scraps for more efficient and effective processing on the production line.
As experienced older workers leave, automated machine monitoring and IIoT capabilities provide a way for the stamper to succeed, that is, they lack sufficient knowledge of facilities, equipment and maintenance resources. Automated machine monitoring systems continuously monitor equipment performance and capture data to support predictive maintenance. In the end, the number of downtimes can be minimized, maintenance costs can be reduced by reducing labor costs, productivity can be improved, and workplace safety can be improved throughout the operation.
Since IIoT communication devices collect device data and send it to the cloud, they make device data accessible to any person or device anywhere. This can help new operators see the causes of machine failures in the past and make machine uptime more predictable. IIoT can even send emails to suppliers to automatically order replacement parts.
After die-cutting, the wringer and centrifuge can separate the cutting fluid from the metal chips. Especially when they are inserted into the metal chip processing system, wringers and centrifuges help to automatically remove and recycle cutting fluid, thereby helping to speed up waste stream management. The wringer and centrifuge with an automatic cleaning design and an automatic lubrication system with automatic lubrication bearings help support continuous operation while reducing operator-led procedures.
For shops lacking automatic fluid filtration systems, cutting fluid management requires repeated intervention by employees. The operation of using the flow oil separator does not need to manually clean the oil in the flushing tank. By automatically removing free-floating and mechanically dispersed oil, bacteria, mucus and inverted emulsion from the oil sump, central system and cleaning tank of a single machine, the oil separator can reduce the oil flow to less than 1% at a time.
The turnkey centralized fluid filtration system can continuously eliminate bacteria by automatically controlling the concentration of the coolant and injecting ozone to further improve fluid management efficiency. These centralized systems require minimal operator involvement and training, thus making fluid management easy, seamless and easy. Cutting fluid recovery equipment can also reduce the amount of hazardous waste handled by up to 90% and reduce the purchase of new liquids by up to 75%.
The loading system automatically transfers the metal scrap to the distribution container for transportation to the metal recycling station.
Although automation provides a path for future resilience, it is still plagued by the stigma of the past. In order to take full advantage of the level of innovation provided by automation, North American manufacturing (including metal forming operations) must first eliminate the misconception that automation can only eliminate jobs, and it turns out that this can help create new jobs.
The UK’s automation department said that although it eliminated 800,000 low-skilled jobs, it created 3.5 million high-paying jobs.
Companies that have deployed automation technology in their operations tend to grow, while those that have not died tend to grow. Therefore, automated waste flow is a way for North American stamping companies and their employees to make progress, as well as a way to increase operational flexibility, which will enable plants to grow even under the most challenging economic conditions.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Sign up and be the first to learn about the latest industry news, products and events!
Now, with full access to the digital version, valuable industry resources can be easily accessed.
Enjoy full access to the digital version of
, To serve the metal stamping market with the latest technological advancements, best practices and industry news.
Learn how to use additive manufacturing technology to increase operational efficiency and improve the bottom line.
©2021 FMA Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
2135 Point Blvd., Elgin, IL 60123
Not yet registered?