Unlike the early days, the metal forming industry today has to minimize production time in order to survive the competition in the market worldwide. Manufacturers not aim to minimize inventory cost by running smaller batch sizes to make production run shorter. And one way to increase the uptime to achieve so is to implement a quicker and more effective die change, such as the quick die change (QDC) system.
A quick die change system is an automatic die changing system that can be specifically designed to accommodate a mechanical or hydraulic power press, as well as press production lines. It is essentially a process wherein the die is automatically located and clamped in position in the same place and same way every time the material for the next part is set in place. And the change process is supposed to be as quick as possible, ensuring that the increased speed can yield productivity and efficiency to a workshop.
Metal forming manufacturers are always looking for ways to enhance productivity and reduce cost. And to make sure that this is achieved while retaining product quality, we need to ascertain that a smarter and safer way of handling dies is implemented. Let’s look at how a quick die change system can benefit a production run:
● Increase Productivity: The primary reason for ever implementing a quick die change system is without a doubt the ability to significantly increase productivity. With a quick die change system, the downtime associated with traditional changeovers can be eliminated to make sure that your production is always on time, while minimizing operator overtime should there be any. In most case, increased productive is inversely associated with cost, which is why many manufacturers opt for this system for the sake of cost cutting.
● Lean Manufacturing: Tooling can be susceptible to wear and damage during die changing, especially when it’s not undertaken methodically. This can in turn lead to increase costs from having to replace or repair worn tooling needs on a more frequent basis. With a dedicated quick die change system, lean manufacturing can be achieved which emphasize on monitoring controlled procedures relative to key performance indicators over time. During this process, dies are clamped with even forces on all clamps consistently, and are handled the same way for each changeover. Dies can then be registered to the press more easily with less time thanks to the enhanced die movement and handling.
● Worker Safety: Although often overlooked, worker safety is another reason why you should take advantage of a quick die change system. It has the ability to enhance the safety of employees by utilizing equipment that have been configured specifically for moving dies. It is said that at least a quarter of workplace injuries are attributed to overexertion (e.g., lifting, pushing, etc). And overexertion is said to have caused more adverse effect like slower reflexes, impaired judgment and so on. The implementation of a quick die change system will greatly reduce workers’ involvement in an injury, which allows workers to complete the intended tasks more easily. without risk and stress
The most important aspect of implementing quick die change systems is perhaps determining the best clamp for your specific application. To ensure quick clamping and unclamping, you’d want to standardize the clamping height and method for a specific machine. You may also do this by grouping presses based on the size and die type.
Generally speaking, standardizing the clamp plate thickness and clamping method for all dies going into a specific press will be helpful for your work. You will have a better idea of which clamp style you require to grip the clamp plate properly be carefully examining the current plate style.
Moreover, here are some of the questions you may ask yourself when choosing other quick die change systems equipment:
● What is the expected die change time?
● What are the production requirements in both short-term and long-term?
● What’s the layout like in your press rooms?
● Which presses are involved and how are they grouped?
● How many dies are used in each press?
● What are the minimum and maximum size and weight of the dies?
● What is the current clamping method and clamping points like?
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