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How to improve the automation level of metal stamping processing industry?

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  1. How to improve the automation level in the metal stamping processing industry

1. Mobile scrap metal

Conveyors, hydraulic dumpers and automatic feeding systems eliminate some of the most laborious manual processes in metal scrap handling.

Conveyors: Conveyors quickly and automatically remove stamping scrap and debris right from the start of production. When scrap metal and spent cutting fluid are automatically removed from core operations, forklift transfer is no longer required and production cycles are optimized.

Automatic dump truck. They receive chip carts or drums from die machining operations, then lift and flip them onto receiving hoppers. Mechanical options are equipped with advanced transfer capabilities; hydraulics facilitate low-level metal scrap transfer. Both systems are efficient for single-person trolley unloading if hand-held controls are used to guide the operation.

Loading Systems: These systems automatically transfer scrap metal into distribution containers for transport to metal recycling stations. The continuous back and forth operation of the reciprocating conveyor distributes the waste material evenly in the container. When the container is full, the level sensor alerts the operator. Loading and unloading automation can even use machine-to-machine communication to signal scrap dealers that containers are ready for pickup. Overall scales can track overall scrap production and help ensure containers are full, but also within road weight limits. These systems greatly reduce the supervision required for efficient loading.

Automatic transfer of scrap metal from one production point to another minimizes employee intervention. And, because these systems eliminate the hazards associated with manually moving scrap metal, workplace safety is improved. This can help attract and retain high-quality employees, while allocating resources for production-focused tasks in other areas of operations.

2. Modify metal scrap

Metal scrap handling equipment automates the task of reducing the turning and clumping of metal chips into flowable shovel chips. Equipment with vertical feed provides continuous positive feed operation to reduce bulk waste. Equipment with horizontal feed can accommodate a small number of narrow turns.

These systems help keep workshops free of hazardous materials and prepare scrap metal for more efficient line processing.

3. Monitor the machine

Automated machine monitoring and IIoT capabilities provide a path to success for stampers who lack adequate knowledge of facility equipment and maintenance resources as older, more experienced workers leave. Automated machine monitoring systems continuously monitor equipment performance and capture data to support predictive maintenance. Ultimately, downtime can be minimized, maintenance costs can be reduced by reducing labor overhead, productivity can be increased, and workplace safety can be improved throughout the operation.

Because 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 what has caused machine failures in the past and make machine uptime more predictable. The IIoT can even send emails to suppliers to automatically order replacement parts.

4. Separation of cutting fluid

Operating after die cutting, wringers and centrifuges separate the cutting fluid from the metal chips. Especially when they are inserted into metal chip handling systems, wringers and centrifuges help to automatically remove and recycle cutting fluids, helping to speed up waste stream management. An automatic lubrication system for wringers and centrifuges with self-cleaning design and self-lubricating bearings helps support continuous operation while reducing operator-led procedures.

5. Manage cutting fluid

For stores lacking automatic fluid filtration systems, cutting fluid management requires repeated employee intervention. Operation with a flow oil separator eliminates the need to manually clean the oil in the flush tank. By automatically removing free-floating and mechanically dispersed run-oil, bacteria, mucus and inverted emulsions from individual machine oil sumps, central systems and wash tanks, run-oil separators reduce run-oil to less than 1% at a time.

A turnkey centralized fluid filtration system further improves fluid management efficiency by automatically controlling coolant concentration and continuously eliminating bacteria through ozone injection. These centralized systems require minimal operator involvement and training, making fluid management easy, seamless and easy. Cutting fluid recycling equipment can also reduce hazardous waste disposal by up to 90 percent and reduce new fluid purchases by up to 75 percent.

While automation offers a path to future resilience, it is still plagued by the stigma of the past. To take full advantage of the level of innovation that automation offers, North American manufacturing, including metal forming operations, must first dispel the misconception that automation can only eliminate jobs, when it turns out that automation can help create new jobs. An automation study by Deloitte in the UK showed that while 800,000 low-skilled jobs were eliminated, 3.5 million high-paying jobs were created.

Companies that deploy automation technology in their operations tend to grow, and those that don’t wither tend to grow. As such, automating waste streams is a way for North American stamping companies and their employees to make progress, and a way to increase operational resiliency that will allow plants to grow even in the most challenging economic conditions.

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