The emergence of new crown pneumonia reveals the importance of automation: With the reduction of human resources in the metal stamping processing workshop, automating the waste stream and using the metal forming operation of the Industrial Internet of Things will be more efficient and thus more flexible. In addition, because automation supports the actual evacuation of employees and reduces overall contact with equipment and tools, it also improves workplace safety.

How to improve the level of automation in the metal stamping processing industry


  As the manufacturing industry gradually recovers from the effects of the new crown pneumonia, one thing has become clear: the shortage of skilled workers will continue to escalate, and the stamping industry needs to prepare and adapt to this challenge.

  According to the latest survey report of a large manufacturing technology company, 21% of respondents said that the emergence of new coronary pneumonia reveals the importance of automation. With the reduction of manpower resources in the workshop, metal forming operations that automate the waste stream and utilize the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will be more efficient and thus more flexible. In addition, because automation supports the actual evacuation of employees and reduces overall contact with equipment and tools, it also improves workplace safety.

  The addition of five areas of automation in the stamping and mold manufacturing process can not only help alleviate the shortage of existing skilled workers, but also facilitate the future development of stamping manufacturers. These areas involve waste, fluid management and monitoring.

 1. Moving scrap metal

 Conveyors, hydraulic dumpers and automatic loading systems eliminate some of the most laborious manual processes in metal scrap handling.

 Conveyor: The conveyor quickly and automatically removes stamping waste and debris from the beginning of production. When metal scrap and waste cutting fluid are automatically removed from the core operation, forklift transfer is no longer needed, and the production cycle is optimized.

 Automatic dump truck. They receive chip trolleys or drums from mold processing operations, and then raise and turn them over to the receiving hopper. Mechanical options are equipped with advanced transfer functions; hydraulic systems facilitate low-level metal scrap transfer. If the handheld controls are used to guide the operation, both systems can efficiently unload single-person trolleys.

 Loading systems: These systems automatically transfer scrap metal to distribution containers for transportation to metal recycling stations. The continuous back and forth operation of the reciprocating conveyor distributes the waste evenly in the container. When the container is full, the level sensor will alert the operator. Automated loading and unloading can even use machine-to-machine communication to send a signal to the scrap dealer that the container is ready to be picked up. The overall scale can track the overall waste production and help ensure that the container is full, but not to exceed the road weight limit. These systems greatly reduce the supervision required for effective loading.

 The automatic transfer of metal scrap from one production site to another can minimize employee intervention. Moreover, because these systems eliminate the hazards associated with manually moving metal scrap, they improve safety in the workplace. This can help attract and retain high-quality employees, while at the same time allocating resources for production-centric tasks in other areas of operation.

 How to improve the level of automation in the metal stamping processing industry

 2. Modify metal scrap

 Metal scrap processing equipment automates the task of reducing the turning and clumping of metal chips into flowable shovel chips. Equipment with vertical feed can provide continuous positive feed operation to reduce a lot of waste. Equipment with horizontal feed can accommodate a small number of small and large turns.

 These systems can help the workshop to keep free of hazardous substances and prepare metal scrap for more efficient production line processing.

 3. Monitor the machine

 With the departure of experienced older workers, automated machine monitoring and IIoT functions provide a way for the stamper to succeed, that is, they lack sufficient knowledge of facilities, equipment and maintenance resources. An automated machine monitoring system can continuously monitor equipment performance and capture data to support predictive maintenance. In the end, it can minimize the number of downtimes, reduce maintenance costs by reducing labor costs, increase productivity, and improve workplace safety during the entire operation.

 Since IIoT communication devices collect device data and send it to the cloud, they make device data accessible to any person or device anywhere. This can help new operators see the causes of machine failures in the past and make machine uptime more predictable. IIoT can even send emails to suppliers to automatically order replacement parts.

 4. Separate cutting fluid

 After die cutting, the wringer and centrifuge can separate the cutting fluid from the metal chips. Especially when they are inserted into the metal chip processing system, wringers and centrifuges help to automatically remove and recycle cutting fluid, thereby helping to speed up waste stream management. The wringer and centrifuge with an automatic cleaning design and an automatic lubrication system that automatically lubricates the bearings help support continuous operation while reducing operator-led procedures.

 5. Manage cutting fluid

 For shops lacking automatic fluid filtration systems, cutting fluid management requires repeated intervention by employees. The operation of using the flow oil separator does not need to manually clean the oil in the flushing tank. By automatically removing the free-floating and mechanically dispersed oil, bacteria, mucus and inverted emulsion in the oil sump of each machine, the central system and the washing tank, the oil separator can reduce the oil flow to less than 1% at a time.

 The turnkey centralized fluid filtration system can continuously eliminate bacteria by automatically controlling the concentration of the coolant and injecting ozone to further improve fluid management efficiency. These centralized systems require minimal operator involvement and training, thus making fluid management easy, seamless and easy. Cutting fluid recovery equipment can also reduce the amount of hazardous waste handled by as much as 90%, and reduce the purchase of new fluids by as much as 75%.

 Although automation provides a path for future resilience, it is still plagued by the stigma of the past. In order to take full advantage of the level of innovation provided by automation, the North American manufacturing sector (including metal forming operations) must first eliminate the misunderstanding that automation can only eliminate jobs, and it turns out that automation can help create new jobs. An automation study conducted by Deloitte in the UK showed that although 800,000 low-skill jobs were eliminated, 3.5 million high-paying jobs were created.

 Companies that have deployed automation technology in their operations tend to grow, while those that do not wither tend to grow. Therefore, automated waste streams are a way for North American stamping companies and their employees to make progress, and a way to increase operational flexibility, which will enable plants to grow even under the most challenging economic conditions.