The Electrolux plant in Motala, Sweden, manufactures white goods of the very highest quality and precision, and the fit of the parts is of great importance to the feeling of quality of the finished product. It is therefore extremely important that the stamped metal sheets are not dislocated during their travel through the various steps of being stamped.
Electrolux has found that the grip on the oily metal sheet has not been satisfactory when using the existing suction cups made of Nitrile rubber, and that the life cycle of the suction cups has been short due to the influence of the drawing oil. When there has been a need to stop the whole stamping line in case of an emergency, for example, the robots have lost their grip on the metal sheets due to their slippery surface and the sudden reduction of speed. This in turn has resulted in the need to empty the whole line and start again from zero, something that required unnecessary waste of time and thus loss of production.
Electrolux has been able to improve their efficiency in the production. The metal sheets stay in place in the end of arm tooling of the robot, even at emergency stops. This has been achieved by using Piab friction cups.
Apart from that the metal sheets stays in place, the new friction suction cups from Piab have a life span that is many times longer than the Nitrile suction cups from the competition.
In concrete terms this means that the costs for unplanned stoppages, service and re-start of the press line have been radically reduced leading to an increased productivity! While the old suction cups aged very quickly and wore out at contact with the drawing oil, it seems that the new friction cups from Piab just feel fine from the oil!
The customer has even pointed out that the suction cups stay as if they were new after having been used in production for six months! Economically this has resulted in a 50 per cent reduction of the vacuum related maintenance costs for the rebuilt press line.