Get More Productivity, Flexibility & Efficiency in Production
By Corey Foster & IAI
AbstractBy changing inefficient pneumatic and hydraulic systems to electric ones, companies can be more productive, flexible, and efficient in their production.
ProblemManufacturers face ever-greater pressure to support multi-variety, variable-volume production while improving their production efficiency. At the same time, companies are taking on initiatives to be more environmentally friendly with “green” efforts.
SolutionElectric actuators improve reliability and ergonomics, increase flexibility, and decrease cycle times compared to the fluid power alternatives.
In one analysis, production-line problems caused by air cylinders was broken down this way:
Reliability & Ergonomic Improvement
When compared to air cylinders, electric actuators…
- Last 10 times longer
- Are 90% efficient compared to 10%
- Operate more quietly
With an air-cylinder system, multiple product types (10 types in one case) may be supported by switching the three air cylinders at the stamping location of the work part inspection "PASS" stamp. By motorizing the system, more (25 in the same case) product types are now supported. With the motorization of the "connector press-fitting" and "electrical continuity test," these steps can now support 25 product types, as well. The time spent on setup went down from 150 seconds per day to 0 seconds.
Cycle Time Reduction
With an air-cylinder system, a "work part setting table" could not be operated faster because it would have increased the shock upon stopping. With an electric system, on the other hand, the maximum speed can be increased because the actuator stops without generating shock. In addition, it starts quicker than the air-cylinder system, which enables significant reduction of the cycle time.
With an air-cylinder system, an automatic switch is used to determine whether a work part has been pressed to the specified position, which makes the operation unstable and requires 4 seconds for the press-fitting action to ensure quality. With the electric actuator, on the other hand, push-motion operation can be performed using a zone function and consequently the press-fitting time can be reduced by 2 seconds.
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