A custom parts manufacturing plant needed to improve its scrap handling process on a 1,000-ton stamping press operation that required seven to nine die changes per shift, three shifts per day over a six-day period. Because the stamper did not have an underground pit, all of the scrap came off the press onto manually placed conveyors.
The challenge of manually placed conveyors were the power source for the conveyors lay on the production floor in the path of workers and other plant staff. In addition, some of the scrap fell off the conveyors during the stamping operation, and workers had to manually pick up sharp metal pieces. Workers also were involved in a labor-intensive, manual process of disconnecting conveyors from the power, manually moving to a temporary location, and moving back again to reconnect for each die change. This process consumed about 20 to 30 minutes per die change and cut into production time as well, being unsafe for workers.
The stamping realized a change needed to be made, and they reached out to PRAB. PRAB then custom-engineered a mobile, 6-inch pitch traversing steel belt conveyor with an enclosed frame that spanned 50 feet and safety lifted the scrap 13 feet to a bin. The mobile steel belt conveyor is operated with a hand control that moves the conveyor across a rail system – getting the equipment and the scrap out of the way during die changes.
As a result of the stamping plant adding a steel belt conveyor to their process, they have seen an operating savings of 12 to 18 percent per job, and cut the die change process time in half. On top of this, the engineered approach improved plant safety.