In the extremely competitive world of automobile manufacturing, the production team was being pushed to run the transfer presses at faster speeds to increase production. Sheet metal is moved through a press or series of presses and formed into a panel or a car part. Suction cups are used to first load and then transfer the sheets from one press to another. Due to the higher need for capacity, the parts were being dropped off the suction cups as the holding power of the cups was insufficient. The speed was at 8 to 8.5 strokes per minute and management wanted the speeds to be increased to 10-11 strokes per minute. The ability to run at the faster speeds would allow the plant to take on additional jobs. If Piab could come up with a solution, management would add us to the Stamping Specification and possibly force the tooling builders to use Piab.
Piab were able to show the automobile manufacturer in their testing lab that DURAFLEX® friction cups have a tighter grip than the cups that were being used. After reviewing the lab results they added friction cups to one of their lines on one of their presses. This allowed them to increase press speed from 8.5 to 10 strokes per minute. Both corporate and plant management are continuing to monitor the results.
The automobile manufacturer is now able to increase the press speeds without dropping parts through the better holding forces from the DURAFLEX® friction cups. Faster cycle times are now achieved. The jobs on one line have an average of $60/part. Basing the numbers going from 8 to 10 strokes a minute allow them to run 600 parts per hour vs. 480, a difference of 120 parts per hour. This works out to be $7,200 worth of extra parts per hour and makes it much valuable to use Piab's friction suction cups.