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Saturn system simulates transfer.

Moving stamped sheet metal through a press equipped with an in-press transfer system can mean difficult and time-consuming setup and tryout procedures. The reasons: tight clearances (from transfer tooling and part to the die) and precise timing required to efficiently and safely synchronize the press ram with the part transfer motions.

In some production situations, too much valuable press time is wasted adjusting the strokes, resetting the fingers that contact the parts, and performing other trial and error setup. Die problems (involving clearance for automation, for example) may not be identified until tryout on the press. This can hold up production while modifications are being made.

Saturn Corp, Spring Hill, TN, found that it was cost-effective to invest in a programmable transfer press simulator that allows Body Systems personnel to create and modify tooling outside of production presses during this setup phase. The simulator is a Flex 5000 three-axis transfer, designed and built by Atlas Technologies, Fenton, MI.

It looks like an in-press transfer without the press. Dies are supported by a bolster and located just as they would be in the press. Unlike the two 2000-ton and two 3000-ton transfer presses it serves, however, the Flex 5000 uses an electric servo-drive for infinitely variable strokes (in all axes), including forward-return (stroke), up-down (lift), and in-out (clamp) motions.

This allows Saturn to simulate virtually any transfer motion to check for interferences and avoid damage to the parts or to dies when the job moves to the press. Problems such as bouncing parts, or loss of parts during transfer, can also be detected and corrected.

The Flex 5000 was designed as a modular, free-standing in-press transfer that is equally well-suited to production or simulator use. When used during stamping, it allows optimized acceleration/deceleration since each of its independently servo-driven axes runs independent of the press ram. There are no mechanical connections to the press. This enables the press to run 10% to 25% faster, depending on the application.

This programmable format also simplifies tryouts on the press. Operators can repeatedly advance and return transfer finger tooling to see how parts are engaged and disengaged.

Transfer paths and speeds are stored and can be selected to suit the part being run. Individual transfer finger rails--stored and moved into position along with their corresponding dies--are quickly changed, connected, and the appropriate program accessed to handle different parts.

When used with a press, the Flex 5000 rolls on floor tracks to allow easy access for die change or for die maintenance. This portability makes it possible to use the system as both a simulator and an inpress transfer.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Manufacturing Update; Saturn Corp.; programmable transfer press simulator
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:May 1, 1992
Words:435
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