Mastering Press Feed Line Layouts and Synchronization Techniques for Optimal Production
1. Understanding the Press Automation Line Layout
A press automation production line typically consists of a decoiler, leveler, and feeder, providing a highly automated workflow. During production, manual intervention is limited to loading and unloading coils and threading materials. Clients often find it challenging to grasp the space-saving features of three-in-one decoiler straightener feeders and two-in-one decoiler with levelers, as well as the synchronization between decoilers, levelers, and feeders. This confusion arises due to the presence of a buffer zone within the stamping production line. The basic layout of a stamping automation production line is as follows:
In this layout, the decoiler, leveler, and feeder of a stamping production line are not directly connected. A buffer zone separates each component, allowing for material arc buffering to compensate for any synchronization discrepancies. The space-saving benefits of three-in-one decoiler straightener feeders and two-in-one decoiler with levelers come from eliminating these buffer zones.
2. Utilizing “Buffer Zones” for Synchronization
The importance of buffer zones:The decoiler and leveler run continuously, while the feeder intermittently conveys material of fixed lengths. This process requires a designated buffer space. When metal material leaves the coil rack (or leveler), it forms a specific curvature. Upon expansion and contact with the sensor frame, a 24V current activates, triggering an intermediate relay within the coil rack (or leveler) that stops the machine. As the feeder moves material away from the sensor frame, the machine resumes operation. This cycle enables demand-based, quantitative distribution, and automated control.
Determining buffer zone size: Accurate calculations are necessary to establish the appropriate buffer zone size, which depends on feeding length, material thickness, and press speed. An overly large buffer zone wastes factory space and accumulates excess material, increasing the load on the buffer zone’s rear-end motor. A too-small buffer zone, however, causes frequent starts and stops of the leveler or decoiler, potentially leading to motor burnout.
Buffer zone control methods: The 24V sensor frame control is a common method, but only suitable for metal material stamping with automatic feeding. For non-conductive materials, alternative methods include photoelectric switches (which activate control devices when the material blocks the light beam) or micro switches (which trigger control devices upon contact with the material’s expanded curvature).
To reduce or eliminate buffer zones, consider using two-in-one models (coil racks with levelers) and three-in-one decoiler straightener feeder models (coil racks, levelers, and feeders combined into one machine).
3. Achieving Synchronization with Two-in-One and Three-in-One Models
Both two-in-one and three-in-one models are more compact than the traditional production line, yet they can produce similar results(when a two-in-one model is used alongside a feeder). Their synchronization principles differ slightly from one another.
Two-in-one synchronization principle: A two-in-one model integrates a decoiler and a leveler. Synchronization is achieved through an unpowered decoiler, driven by the leveler. Additionally, a counteracting friction force must be applied to the decoiler’s main shaft, opposing the direction of rotation. As a result, the material strip remains taut between the decoiler and leveler during the decoiling and leveling process, eliminating the need for a buffer zone.
Three-in-one synchronization principle: Theoretically, a three-in-one model combines a decoiler, leveler, and feeder. However, using a servo motor for feeding to drive the leveler and decoiler synchronously could result in excessively high power demands, possibly exceeding the combined power of the decoiler, leveler, and feeder. This configuration would lead to a significant increase in costs, which is undesirable. Therefore, the following practical solution is adopted: combining the leveler and feeder, sharing a single servo motor for leveling and feeding, while raising the decoiler’s center height. This arrangement allows the decoiler to be positioned closer to the leveler and feeder, ensuring adequate buffer zone between them. By implementing this approach, the servo motor requirements are substantially reduced, while minimizing the footprint of the three-in-one model.
A comprehensive understanding of buffer zones, two-in-one, and three-in-one models will help you choose the most suitable model for your factory size and budget constraints. For more information, please visit our official website.
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