A key element in the operation of an efficient injection moulding shop is the ease and speed of changing moulds; mould transfer tables often provide the single most cost effective productivity improvement and are a key element in achieving Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED).
Maximising flexibility and productivity on injection moulding machines is essential in a competitive environment; minimising downtime on mould changeover provides one of the best opportunities to improve performance and profitability. Stäubli, the specialists in quick mould change solutions and clamping systems, also manufacture mould transfer systems suitable for all applications from lightweight moulds producing small electrical components through to large heavy moulds typically used for car bumpers or dashboards. Significant reductions in changeover times have been achieved using transfer systems, in some applications reduced by over 70%, even where quick mould change systems have already been installed.
Transfer tables provide economical and safe side-changing of moulds, especially where the workshop layout precludes the use of cranes or where access to craneage is difficult. They can be moved into place simply using a fork lift, eliminating any wait for the use of cranes and handling equipment. The mould is held securely on the table reducing the chance of damage to the mould or its connectors and operator safety is improved. Adapted to the specific needs of each application, incorporating manual push/pull systems for smaller moulds or powered transfer units for larger moulds, transfer tables offer one of the most simple, achievable and cost effective improvements to the operation of the moulding shop, giving rapid payback on investment.
For more automated systems a cost effective layout is positioning one transfer system between two machines; the two-directional loading table serving both machines and providing maximum flexibility and efficiency for each production cell, incorporating if required a preheating station. Where automatic mould changing is required then positioning a transfer system on each side of a machine is ideal and provides the fastest method of mould changing. On one side, the mould from the previous production run is unloaded, while simultaneously on the opposite side the new mould is loaded.
A further step towards complete automation, that is often included in new installations, is the use of rail carts; a rail mounted loading/unloading table transfers moulds from the storage area direct to the moulding machine.
Rail carts can service several or even an entire line of machines. More versatile are moveable carts permitting free movement of moulds between several machines and storage areas.
Adjustable height mechanisms built into the cart ensures adaptability to different machines or storage areas while mould locking devices on the cart ensures safe and secure transfer.
Maintenance and repair of moulds also needs to be fast and efficient to avoid production delays. Within Stäubli's range are maintenance stations fitted with turnover mechanisms that provide a convenient and secure platform, holding the mould in the correct position for the work required.
Stäubli, specialise on mould handling, clamping and connection solutions with years of experience analysing the critical parameters that need to be considered at each stage to reduce mould changeover times to a minimum. Uniquely, as manufacturers of all of the connection and clamping products needed to reduce mould change times as well as mould transfer systems, they are ideally placed to objectively analyse requirements and recommend the best solution. Stäubli's team expertise and knowledge is available right from the initial design stage onwards to ensure that the installed systems are effective, easy to use and will only require minimum maintenance.
More information: http://www.quick-mold-change.com/
Stäubli is an international family owned group founded over 100 years ago in Switzerland employing 4200 world-wide. The Couplings Division manufacturing facilities are located in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, USA and China with offices across Europe, North and South America and the Far East.
Stäubli Faverges SCA
Place Robert Stäubli - BP 70
FR - 74210 FAVERGES
Tél +33 4 50 65 60 60 - Fax +33 4 50 65 60 70
S.C.A au Capital 7 718 400 Euros
R.C.S Annecy B 325 720 720
N° Identification T.V.A FR 80 325 720 720