First shown last November at the Blechexpo 2019 exhibition in Stuttgart, a new Industry 4.0-ready system for automatically positioning and securing a tool on the ram of a power press and then feeding back production data has been launched in Britain and Ireland by Roemheld UK, Hitchin.
Flexline offers numerous configuration options for rapidly installing almost any tool on a variety of punching and forming presses. During operation, integrated sensors measure die or punch holding force and monitor it in real-time, allowing data to be transmitted continuously via an interface such as an IO-link to the press control. As an option, Roemheld supplies evaluation software that graphically displays the condition of tool clamping.
Andreas Reich, head of quick die clamping technology at Hilma- Roemheld in Germany says, “Many press operators like the fact that their systems can be digitalised and networked with little effort. Flexline is suitable for either factory installation or retrofitting. It is simple to operate and inexpensive to purchase, so is a practicable, innovative solution that is readily accessible to manufacturers.”
Industry 4.0-ready clamps secure the upper punch or die on the ram of an automatic hydraulic press. The operator then has access to information concerning the actual holding force on the tool and is immediately able to detect unusual clamping and stripping forces during production, as well as tool overload, wear and breakage.
A continuous log of the retaining force simplifies error analysis and enables rapid problem-solving when servicing is required. It facilitates predictive maintenance, helping to stabilise a process and avoid downtime. An additional sensor system helps to determine the degree of contamination of the hydraulic working medium, enabling preventive maintenance to avoid failure of the clamping elements. Remote maintenance is also possible.
Flexline Industry 4.0-ready has a modular design for mounting on the clamping edge or in the T-slot of the ram. With its double piston, a clamping stroke of 19 mm and a travel speed of up to 150 mm/s, it is suitable for many applications.