Clever Integration: BvL Cleaning System in Production Cell Needs Less Personnel
Several automotive suppliers use decentralised cleaning in their production to reduce personnel hours and costs – these solutions do not have to be complex and expensive.
Everything centres around the process here – literally! In one example, grey-cast iron planetary carriers are first processed in a machining centre and then cleaned. To reduce handling times, a manufacturing cell was designed where the machining centre and cleaning system are supplied by a robot.
The operator only has to move the floor conveyor into the manufacturing cell and start the process and can then complete other tasks for the rest of the shift. From this point on, a robot carries out the handling. It picks a component from the basket and places it in the processing machine. A machining time of 12 minutes per component is defined. Then the robot transfers the machined or polished component to the cleaning system and places it back in an empty basket after cleaning.
One basket holds 8 components, and the floor conveyor can accommodate 5 baskets. A machining time of 12 minutes means that 40 parts can be machined within an 8-hour shift without worker intervention.
Small but clever: that is the best way to describe the OceanRW cleaning system from BvL. At first glance, it is a small, conventional single-tank cleaning system that uses the turntable principle. The parts to be cleaned are placed on the workpiece carrier at the top and rotate around the horizontal axis during the process. The special nozzle frame is individually adapted to the component to ensure thorough cleaning. Drying is also achieved with individually designed nozzles.
The cleanliness requirements for this intermediate cleaning step were quite modest. The parts had to be free from visible transport and manufacturing residue after cleaning, such as swarf, blasting materials or casting sand.
“It is important to us to design the perfect cleaning system for customers. And that includes much more than just looking at the parts to be cleaned. The entire process, the logistics and also the automation play just as important a role as the satisfaction of the system operators.
“In this case, we were able to implement the perfect process with a small cleaning system. That produced an optimum solution that was not too complex and not too expensive – all while relieving the employees in production.”
“BvL can implement a great variety of solutions and integrate these in the customer’s production line. Our consulting and competence benefit greatly from a wide range of experiences. Our IT experts have also linked some highly interesting interfaces to a variety of different system types.”
Many manufacturing companies are currently experiencing a major skills shortage in production. Manufacturing cells with a workpiece supply for an entire shift can be a practical option for using valued personnel efficiently. Integrating machining as well as cleaning is important for an efficient process and for employee satisfaction. It means that the parts will be ideally prepared for the next production step.
This article was originally published by BvL Oberflächentechnik.
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