More performance through automated set-up processes: Today's press plants are more concerned than ever before with the challenge of making tool changes or plant armatures as smoothly as possible thanks to a greatly increased variety of products. Of course, set-up time plays an essential role in productivity. Current sectional rail couplings can make a significant contribution to increasing the economy and safety of the plants.
'The demands on modern clutch systems are manifold,' says Dr. Ing. Arno Wörn, developer at JAKOB Antriebstechnik. 'On the one hand, they have to be lightweight but on the other hand they have to be extremely stiff and self-locking.' In addition, they must be electrically monitored and operated as intuitively as possible. Previous systems rely on hydraulic or electromechanical clamping solutions. 'Especially as a retrofit solution, these designs have disadvantages in terms of cost-effectiveness,' says Dr. Wörn.
In principle, it is advisable to use existing media for operating the automatic couplings already on the system. 'Hydraulics has proven to be very maintenance-intensive and time-consuming.' Finally, extra pumping systems and supply lines are needed. 'All in all, that's a rather expensive case.' Pneumatics, on the other hand, are often already available at the plant, much cheaper to produce and yet can supply sufficient forces. On the other hand, if the clutches are driven by electric motors, the scenario is completely different. Thus, the electric drives significantly increase the weight of the clutches. 'Problems occur when there is a power failure,' explains the developer.
'Because of the required high gear ratios loosening the clutches is then difficult.' The sectional rail couplings from JAKOB Antriebstechnik can do without these disadvantages and thus guarantee a highly dynamic transport and a precise placement of the parts. The systems are available for the axial and vertical separation of rails. The TYPE PKH can be adapted to all common gripper rail profiles. In addition to the pneumatic-automatic variant, the portfolio also includes a manual-mechanical version of the clutch systems. These are conventionally fixed with a screw. 'The couplings themselves close five-millimeter-wide gaps between the active and passive parts automatically,' says Drs. Wörn.
The couplings are electrically interrogated. The installation in the sectional rail couplings is done either directly or via simple adapter plates. In addition, energy couplings can be placed on the automatic systems. 'With the closing process, these make the electrical and the pneumatic connection to the exchange rail.' The advantages are obvious: The pneumatic solution TYPE PKH is light and like hydraulic systems independent of power failures, but is low maintenance and economical as couplings with electric drives. In use, the sectional rail couplings ensure significantly shorter set-up times - and thus increase the productivity of the entire system.