St. Louis, MO –Beckwood Press Company recently delivered a 50-ton gib-guided bulldozer press to Haven Steel Products to bend and straighten heated steel to form industrial rotary blades. Haven Steel is a leading fabricator of heat-treated steel components for the agricultural and construction industries.
The side-acting press features an 8-point square gib-guidance system that minimizes lateral movement under load to ensure parallelism throughout the cycle. Presence-sensing safety mats and a hydraulically-actuated unloading mechanism provide additional protection from the heated parts.
The custom press is integrated into a fully automated work-cell that includes a preheat oven, part handling robots, and an automated chute. Automation integration of the press with a custom part loading machine and unloading mechanism was performed by Wichita-based Techam Solutions, a provider of operations management solutions and engineering services to manufacturers. This process takes a part through a segment of the overall forming and heat treating as required per customer specifications.
The automation sequence coordinates a robust machine tending function for the press. Techam Solutions worked with Beckwood to connect the part loader and unloader to the press’s PLC using a remote Input/Output (I/O) module, allowing the system to be controlled from a central HMI and eliminating potential communication issues with the ancillary equipment.
“The installation of the custom Beckwood Press is an integral part of the overall automation project and allows for parts to be formed and directly inserted into the heat treat process untouched by human hands. The completed project improves workplace safety, work environment, productivity, and quality,” said Haven Steel Products Special Projects Manager, Tom Oxley.
“We are continuing to see an increase in automation requests from press users in nearly every industry,” said Beckwood Sales Manager, Caleb Dixon. “By working with both the integrator and the end-user on this project, we were able to ensure the press met Haven Steel’s production needs while providing Techam with the programming infrastructure they needed to incorporate the automation components.”