TUBE NEWS TN September 2017 - Page 10

Smaller quantities, lots of automation transfluid develops a highly flexible production cell for complex pipe variants This nearly seems possible: automatically producing tubes in small quantities. Prompted by increasing demand, the trend meets expectations for economy and efficiency to allow the sort of production that transfluid has now made possible as part of a current project. “The most important thing for automation in small quantities is process reliability and the ability to read out data precisely. They key word is Industry 4.0,” explains Stefanie Flaeper, Managing Director at transfluid. “In addition, there is employee-independent production. And with automated processing, the process has a strong influence on subsequent procedures, such as assembly of component groups. Here, automation offers a good deal of planning certainty.” 10 TUBE NEWS September 2017 Tube surfaces are retained and stay flexible In the transfluid project, the customer wanted a precisely coordinated automation system — one for processing chromium VI free coated tubes, as well as tubes with powder-coated surfaces, which are very sensitive. The workpieces can be relatively short (150 mm) or relatively long (up to 3,000 mm), and loading was to be automatic. Moreover, cutting ring assembly was required, along with mounting of flanges, production of hose connections. Precisely coordinated process Altogether, it was very demanding, but transfluid has met the challenge with an automation system in which, after the separation process, the workpiece can be loaded into a slide conveyor for automatic