A manufacturer of electrical actuators for fittings starts campaigning against excessively high set-up times. Productivity during difficult and easy cutting work improves drastically with the clamping experts from AMF. The establishment of a labour-intensive third shift can still wait.

Zero-point clamping systems from AMF support the systematic action against high set-up times

Decisive action against high set-up times is often not taken. After bringing the machining centres up-to-date and designing products intelligently, there is still potential for productivity increases in the set-up times. For this reason, the clamping of workpieces in the heavy and light cutting work is being consistently optimised by the world's leading manufacturer of electrical actuators. The clamping experts from AMF have been assisting with this right from the start.
Called in early - best results achieved

Initially, all clamping operations are analysed in detail and the most efficient clamping operation is selected for each part. Improvements can be measured immediately. The set-up time of a large die-cast housing is reduced from 55 to 18 minutes. What had formerly devoured time manually and with mechanical clamping systems, is carried out today in a fraction of the time on changeover fixtures with zero point systems in conjunction with hydraulic clamping technology.

Hardly any actuator is the same as the other, with a resulting vast variety of products. The batch size stands at an incredible 1.4. Ten horizontal machining centres in heavy machining and four in light machining cut the different actuator, bevel gear and spur gear housings as well as various output flanges and aluminium control unit housings to size.

Zero point and hydraulics instead of biceps and spanners

The introduction of the zero-point clamping systems from AMF initially on two MCs and on one pallet each has brought many improvements immediately. Zero point brackets with fixtures for holding the workpieces are used. The easy-to-handle zero-point clamping system provides a uniform interface on all machines. It positions and clamps with high repetition accuracy in one operation. This means that almost 90 percent of the set-up time is saved. With high draw-in, locking and holding forces the modules also absorb it with real heavyweights. The large intake catchments make the positioning of the clamping pins easier. They fit into the holes effortlessly and without tilting. Afterwards, the workpieces are clamped hydraulically by means of disc springs. The safety system in the clamping module prevents blockages in case a piston seal ever becomes leaky and the spring space should fill with oil. This ensures permanent availability of the fixtures.

Swing clamps and hydraulic components (no suggestions) from AMF ensure that the workpiece fits securely. The complex geometry of the housing is the greatest challenge here. However, what previously required time-consuming and strenuous clamping with spanners and biceps is done within seconds nowadays at the press of a button. The time-saving is immense: Two thirds less set-up time is the rule rather than the exception.

Two thirds time saving - the rule rather than the exception

What initially is achieved on two MCs, will be established on all MCs afterwards. The investment costs pay off quickly with these effects. Furthermore, there is another benefit: By increasing the productivity on the machines so significantly, no third shift will need to be scheduled at first in order to meet the deadlines. Result: Only those who 'retaliate' against the set-up times in their production can question, change and improve competitiveness.