Destacking, transport, centring – these are the three basic functions that any FoL must be able to perform. Frequently, cleaning and lubrication are also required. The FoL design is a crucial factor for the speed and availability of the entire press line. Strothmann offers a wide range of blank loaders. From a low-cost basic model to a highly flexible, fully automated high-end FoL: Strothmann produces the right FoL for practically all requirements.
Depending on the customer’s requirements, Strothmann can provide practically any solution from simple frames to fully automated blank carriages. In the simplest case, the blank stacks are deposited on a frame directly or by means of pallets and are destacked from this frame. Blank carriages which move out of the destacking station and permit loading by crane or forklift truck are more convenient. Spreading devices such as magnets and blowing nozzles can also be attached to the blank carriage. If high destacking performance is required, lift tables which always keep the upper edge of the blank stack at the same height are integrated into the blank carriage in order to minimise the Z lift of the feeder. If desired, the blank carriage can centre the blank pallets automatically by means of powered roller conveyors and light sensors.
Manual or automatic systems are used, depending on the customer’s requirements. In the simplest case, magnets with a clamp base are manually positioned on the pallet or the table. Alternatively, we also offer pantograph arms with fixed or movable magnets. Automated spreading stations consist of servo motor-driven spreading beams to which servo motor-driven or pneumatically-driven magnet arms are attached. As an option the magnets can be pivoted around the vertical axis and clamped for optimal adaptation to the shape of the blanks.
Non-magnetic materials, e.g. stainless steel and aluminium, are separated by air nozzles or potentially by overbending the blank in tooling. We also offer mechanical separating units upon request.
We optionally offer tooling with an integrated peeling function. This makes spreading magnets unnecessary. This solution can be used when multiple blank stacks are located on the same pallet and cycle times are moderate, for instance.
Depending on the desired destacking capacity, 1 or 2 destacking feeders are used. Travel path limitations and destacking cells with independent safety circuits ensure that the feeder can be destacked in one cell while a new stack of blanks is fed into the other cell. It is thus possible to destack with no interruptions.
We use toothed belt conveyors, which are additionally equipped with permanent magnets for faster blank loaders, as standard. The permanent magnets are pneumatically retractable in the centring station area. Alternatively, we also use electromagnets in this area. If non-magnetic blanks are also transported, the belts are equipped with an additional vacuum function. Moreover, belts can be designed to be width-adjustable and telescopic. A belt cleaning system ensures that sensitive blanks, e.g. for body shell parts, are not damaged. An additional belt suction system can be installed upon request.
Whether it's washers, brushes, or lubricating units – we integrate all common brands in our blank loaders. We use our tried-and-tested RoundTrack system for driving in and out. Upon request, we can close the resulting gap(s) by moving the magnetic belts, adding additional belts, or through the use of folding and telescopic belts.
Depending on the customer’s requirements, centring is either done mechanically or optically. During mechanical centring, the blank is pushed to the correct position by centring fingers. During optical centring, a camera detects the blank position and it is subsequently corrected, either by the press loader (link to FP6neo) or by a centring robot.
The tooling change for the destacking feeder is usually performed automatically by means of a drawer or by means of a tooling change carriage with a turning device. If centring robots should be used, the tooling change is generally performed automatically by means of a revolving door. We can also implement other solutions upon request.
Additional hardware and software, e.g. sensors and evaluation units on linear motion blocks or measuring lines in energy chains, is used to detect early signs of wear (predictive maintenance). This ensures that only those parts that really need to be exchanged are replaced and that maintenance can be scheduled for non-productive periods. This reduces costs and increases machine availability. Moreover, precise detection and attribution of energy consumption rates is possible, permitting additional conclusions to be drawn regarding the machine condition. Furthermore, the actual production costs down to individual workpieces can be analysed in greater detail.