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Automated format change with digital guides reduces waste, downtime

Eliminate human error with automated changeover

With frequent manual format change adjustments on their press feed resulting in wasted material and tool damage, a Michigan-based metalworking manufacturer sought a cost-effective solution that didn’t require replacing their aging machinery.

They were able to automate this process by connecting an existing PLC to a machine mount IO-Link mini master and installing Balluff Digital Guides (BDG) to the three straightener roll shafts. The PLC was programmed with the required positions for the straighteners for each changeover. To start a format change, a motor turns the shafts of the feed rollers into the desired position. Throughout the process, the BDG gives a visual indication when each shaft is in the correct position. Only when the BDG confirms all parts are correctly in place, can the job begin.

By automating this process on just one of their presses, they have saved significant costs and downtime without the need for a high-cost retrofit.