TRUMPF and STOPA present new automated solution for transporting tubes directly from storage into laser tube-cutting machines. “Spatter Guard” simplifies task of keeping inside surfaces of tubes clean. Both solutions reduce non-productive time and increase the productivity of tube manufacturing.
High-tech company TRUMPF is set to unveil a new automated loading solution for laser tube-cutting machines at the Tube trade fair. Developed in collaboration with storage-system manufacturer STOPA, the new solution from TRUMPF automatically transfers tubes from the storage system to the tube-cutting machine. This reduces non-productive time and boosts overall productivity on the shop floor. “Our solution is an important first step toward fully automated tube production,” says TRUMPF product manager Dominik Straus.
“It gives companies a competitive edge by allowing them to use their production facilities more flexibly. And it’s another good example of TRUMPF’s pioneering role as a solution provider for digitally connected manufacturing.” The new method also makes it quicker to switch between different materials and offers economical processing whatever the batch size. It is available today for new TruLaser Tube 7000 fiber machines from TRUMPF and can also be retrofitted to existing machines. The automated system is suitable for tubes up to 8.05 meters in length. STOPA storage systems come in various sizes and configurations, which makes it easy to tailor them to existing factories. Companies can also use the automation solution in combination with TRUMPF’s new Oseon software for production scheduling and control.
A fully automated journey from the storage system to the cutting head
The solution developed by TRUMPF and STOPA harnesses a combination of three new components: a rack storage system for the tubes, a tilt-and-lift station, and a conveyor unit. All three of these components are digitally connected. The STOPA system stores the raw materials in special storage cassettes. When the operator needs more tubes, they can simply send a request to the storage system from the machine. A cassette containing the required materials is then automatically loaded onto the lift inside the storage system and transferred to the tilt-and-lift station. This moves into position next to the machine and unloads the storage cassette containing the tubes onto the conveyor unit. The conveyor then delivers the tubes to the TRUMPF LoadMaster Tube system as required, either individually or in layers. The clamps in the machine pick up tubes from the loading system one by one and automatically move them toward the cutting head, where they are processed. Any tubes that are not required for the job are automatically returned to the storage system.
Easier to program, simplified intralogistics
This is the perfect solution for any company looking to increase its production efficiency through automation. “The logistics and production teams no longer have to worry about getting the materials in the right place at the right time, and they spend less time going back and forth between the warehouse and the machine. What’s more, this solution handles many of the machine settings automatically, so it’s easier to program,” says Straus.
“Spatter Guard” simplifies task of keeping inside surfaces of tubes spatter-free
TRUMPF will also be taking advantage of the Tube trade fair to showcase its new Spatter Guard technology, which makes it easier to keep the inside of tubes clean during cutting. The laser tube-cutting process causes spatter to accumulate on the inside surfaces of tubes. For many applications, this spatter then has to be manually removed by workers, which is a laborious and time-consuming task. Spatter Guard from TRUMPF helps eliminate this problem by automatically spraying a spatter release agent onto the inside surface of the tube prior to cutting. Spatter Guard, which is mounted on the LoadMaster Tube, travels through the tube during the loading process and applies an even coating of the release agent to the inside of the tube. While the machine is cutting the first tube, Spatter Guard is busy preparing the next tube for cutting. This makes life easier for shop-floor workers, reduces the need for post-processing and improves the quality of the inside surfaces. Spatter Guard is available today for the TruLaser Tube 3000 fiber.
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