A major tier one auto parts supplier stamps round sheet metal blanks into clutch hubs and clutch housings for automatic transmissions. The thin blanks range in diameter from 6- 14” and weigh up to 8 pounds each. They arrive in a bin and were being manually loaded into the transfer press.
In order to load the blanks into the press, operators had to bend over the edge of the bin, grab as many blanks as they could hold, and then turn and carry them to the loading turn table. By the end of worker’s shift, fatigue would set in and productivity would drop. Many workers complained of back strain and fatigue, however other injuries related to the process included cuts to the hands, and wrist, elbow and shoulder pain.
A new stamp press was being installed, and after an evaluation of injury risk for every job in its facility, the company decided to seek a better handling solution for loading the machine.
The Gorbel Solution:
A freestanding Easy Arm® Q
The company installed a 330 pound capacity Easy Arm® Q with an 8’ span in the loading bay of their stamp press. The project integrator, Pressline Equipment, worked with Starquip of Ontario, Canada to design a pneumatic gripping tool for the Easy Arm®, which enabled the operators to reach into the bin, grip about 150 pounds of blanks and effortlessly guide them into the spindles on the loading table. This allowed operators to move 5-times the number of blanks compared to the average of 25 pounds when done manually. The result was much faster cycle times with less worker fatigue and no productivity drop-off near the end of a shift.