How to Find a Vacuum Cup in Allen Park ?
Whether the fabricator’s store is large or small, the Ironworker is the backbone. The Ironworker isn’t a single machine; it is five machines united into an engineering wonder. It has much more versatility than most people would imagine. The five working sections that are involved in the make-up of this machine are a punch, a section shear, a bar shear, a plate shear, and a coper-notcher.
A number of the cheaper ironworkers are constructed to employ a fulcrum where the ram shakes back and forth, constructing the punch go into the die at a small angle. This normally leads to the eroding of the punch and die on the front rims. The higher quality machines incorporate a ram which moves in a direct vertical line and employs modifiable gibs and guides to ensure a constant traveling path.
When you look for a End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) that develop a Vacuum Cup in Allen Park, looks for experience and not only pricing.
That devotes more life to the tooling, and allows the punch to penetrate the die right in the middle in order to capitalize on the machine’s total tonnage.
When looking for a design house that designs a Vacuum Cup in Allen Park don’t look just in Michigan , other States also have great providers.
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Blacksmith Power Hammers or Trip Hammers
If you have ever worked with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through different eyes. Power hammers really fall into 3 basic categories, Hydraulic Presses, Mechanical Hammers, and Air Hammers. They are all designed to increase the amount of force that you can apply to the steel. This means you can do more work in a given amount of time and you can work bigger bar. Suddenly this opens a whole new creative reality with the steel.
I don't use one in my shop but I have used one years back in another smiths shop. Hydraulics have tons of power (literally) and can force the metal into many different shapes very effectively. They are useful for extreme controlled force applications such as forcing steel into preshaped dies, or cutting at specific lengths or angles etc.
This is not an impact machine such as mechanical hammers or air hammers, and is not fast. It can be used for drawing out steel but this is tedious. Although it would save time from drawing out by hand and allow you to work bigger bar I would go crazy with the slow process.
Essentially the machine is a hydraulic ram mounted on a frame with an electric pump. You use a foot control to squish the metal. Step with the foot apply more force. Release the foot the dies back off then you can move the bar and apply the force again in a different spot.
There are a couple of positive aspects of a hydraulic press. They have a small footprint, and require no special foundation. Prices are manageable for this type of tool. About $2000.00 in my area. There is no impact noise or vibration with this type of machine. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud but it doesn't have the same annoyance factor for neighbors as the impact from a hammer. Presses are rated by the number of tons pressure that the ram can produce. 20 ton, 40 ton and 60 ton are common sizes.
Most smaller blacksmithing shops use 50 lb to 150 lb size. There are two subclasses of air hammers that you should be aware of. The self contained and the air compressor version. The self contained uses two air cylinders. One is the compressor cylinder and is driven by a motor. This cylinder provides air to the hammer head cylinder. So every up stroke of the drive cylinder forces the hammer head cylinder down and every down stroke forces the hammer head cylinder up. Valving causes the air to be either exhausted or sent in varying amounts to the hammer head cylinder. This provides the control on the stroke and force applied to the steel. This cyclic timing is governed by the speed of the electric motor.
The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a constant line pressure and has a feed back circuit built into the design. The hammer head travels up and trips a switch that tells it to go back down. Once it reaches a certain travel point another switch tells it to go back up. The amount of the exhaust dictates both the speed and the force applied to the steel.
Although air hammers appear to be a bit more complicated than a mechanical hammer there are actually less moving parts and less to wear out. I find them to be more versatile. You can adjust your stroke and force just by moderating your foot peddle. With a mechanical hammer you have to make a mechanical adjustment to change your stroke height. Your force is controlled by the speed of the impact or the speed of rotation.
This job is among one of my favorites. It’s because the entire project was mine. I started by going out to their facility and seeing their inefficiencies. One cell that they were very excited to revamp was their Silica dump cell. I was able to come up with the initial concept, quote the project for materials and labor, and then do the engineering myself. I did, not only the mechanical design and detailing, but also the electrical and pneumatic schematics. I felt in charge of the whole thing- high risk, but high reward.
A HUGE 6 axis robot (ok, not that huge, I’ve used bigger) but an R2000 robot picks up these paper bags filled with Silica. The end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) used vacuum suction to hold onto the bag.Solidworks Rendering of EOAT
It bring it over to a hopper, where a smaller robot uses a knife to cut the bags. The larger robot then flips it’s tooling to dump the Silica into a hopper. Seems pretty simple and for the most part it was. However, the Silica is so densely packed into the bags that even when the bags were cut wide open, the Silica wouldn’t dump. To help the Silica loosen and fall, we stick needles into the bag and blow air through these probes which moves the Silica powder around. We then (for a lack of engineering terms) flap the bag to further empty the Silica. It may sound tedious, but any powder or residue left in the bag is money wasted for the company.
An SMC slide cylinder pushed the air probes through the paper bag, and the fittings attached to the other side provided air to go through to the holes in the probe.
Another part of the project was to add a tool changer to the smaller robot. It was originally just equipped with the knife, but by adding a tool changer with a “Silica break tool” the robot was able to then go into the hopper and break up large clumps of Silica helping the contents of the hopper drain. Imagine a giant potato smasher. (Which is in fact what we ended up often calling the tool.)Potato Smasher Robot
I had a lot of fun working with my machinist and builder on this project. I did everything I could to help them succeed, but also knew they had my back on this as well. I understand that that dynamic not all that common in the work place, so I really appreciated it. The install is happening currently and now the programmer is up to bat. The EOAT has a camera and laser to locate the bag. The camera locates the XY location of the bag and the laser the Z (height) location. I can’t wait for the tooling to be fully power, programmed, and running. I really think the customer will be happy with this addition.
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