Haumiller is working diligently to provide innovative solutions to our customers. We want our customers to be able to communicate the challenges they face, as they happen. If you are experiencing challenges related to automating your processes or products, especially where finding an appropriate solution has proven to be difficult, please take advantage of our Innovation Dropbox.We may or may not currently have a complete answer, but this information can help to direct resources for research and development. You can provide your contact information if you choose, and we will reach out to you to discuss the issue. Or just put down your thoughts, and know that we will consider them in our future efforts.
We are looking for a solution to automate an assembly that incorporates a spring at higher speeds than 60 parts per minute. The spring seems to be the bottleneck to achieving the rates we desire. We are currently doing the assembly with multiple slower machines, and as our need for volumes increase it is starting to become a floor space issue, as well as cutting into our margins.
When automating springs or other difficult parts at high speeds we believe it is necessary to break the problem down into distinct pieces. In these cases we typically look at: 1) Feeding and tracking from bulk, 2) isolating the parts from one another once they have been oriented, and then 3) placing the part into the assembly.
For a similar challenge with a spring, first we developed a hybrid feed system that sorted and oriented the springs in stages, giving us the required output. Using a common type feeder alone would not give us a reliable solution so we did some additional mechanical orientation outside of the feeder. Isolating the springs from one another once they were in the trackage provided an opportunity for us to create a unique mechanism that separated the end coils from one another at a rate of over 400 parts per minute. Lastly, placement into the assembly in this case proved to be a perfect fit for continuous motion technology. Multiple tools were used that controlled the spring into position. The continuous motion technology allowed us to optimize the speed of assembly to avoid damage or generating particulate. Feel free to give us a call or email us if you'd like to discuss the specifics of your challenge.
Our company is considering a new product that has multiple variations in color and features. It seems to us that many of these variations will run without any modification to the automation equipment, but some will not. Even those that will run without major changes will still require us to empty the machine of parts before introducing the next array. In our justification process we have identified that the changeover time of the automation will be a key issue. This is a situation we have struggled with in the past on other products lines.
By working closely with our customers and vendors, Haumiller has developed multiple solutions to reduce changeover time. Feeders generally use a lot of time. We have worked with our feeder manufacturer to develop a feeder that holds a fraction of part volume of a typical feeder. We also incorporated a conveyor system that automatically diverts parts from the feeder into a container during changeover. In addition we have developed numerous “quick change” and tool -less devices to assist in changeover. Lastly, and most importantly in our opinion, is the way in which we develop our change tools. We have heard feedback on several occasions from customers that the largest drain on time is getting the machine to run efficiently again after the changeover is “complete”. Our changeover approach involves accurate and repeatable tooling mountings along with separate control settings that are automatically programmed for specific parts.