The dilemma of how to rotate parts upside down is common for companies in the steel and plate-processing industry. At most metalworking companies, heavy parts are inverted using a crane or various levers such as a crowbar. This manual operation is time consuming, requires a lot of physical effort from the employee or employees and can lead to dangerous situations.
Teqram (Zwolle, Netherlands) solves the problem with EasyFlipper, a machine for flipping heavy plates or sheet metal parts within five seconds, 10 to 20 times faster than conventional methods. It consists of two tables that are moved by pneumatic cylinders that require an air pressure of 6 bar. The parts are placed and lifted on one table, after which the other table ‘catches” the parts during “flipping.”
“The industry suffers from a shortage of skilled workers. And creating safe working conditions is more important than ever,” says Frans Tollenaar, director of Teqram. “With the help of automation, employees get more time for valuable tasks. In addition, an automation solution such as EasyFlipper facilitates physical distancing which helps flatten the curve of the corona pandemic.”
The process works in both counterclockwise and clockwise directions, and the entire cycle takes less than 5 seconds, while manual part rotation, depending on size and mass, takes between 60 and 120 seconds. The result is more productivity, a fast ROI and the elimination of a safety hazard.
The EasyFlipper is robustly designed and weighs approximately 400 kg. Its rubber surface prevents scratches and damage to the workpiece, resulting in less scrap or costly post-processing.
It can flip workpieces with a mass of up to 500 kg, one of the most common workpiece masses in metal processing production environments. The system is suitable for workpieces with a maximum size of 1,200 mm x 800 mm x 100 mm (XxYxZ). For heavier workpieces exceeding those dimensions, operators can combine several EasyFlippers.
The EasyFlipper can be loaded using a conventional crane and operated manually. However, the EasyFlipper can also be integrated with a vision-guided robot by Teqram thanks to its open I / O connectivity. Companies can make the machine part of a complete production cell for even more efficiency.
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