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Volkswagen’s (VW’s) Emden press shop in Germany, which manufactures the Passat vehicle, utilises Leuze products to identify pressings using RFID, to position high-bay cranes and to protect workers.

The press shop, which supplies 20,000 press parts each day, includes two large-capacity crossbar presses with a total press capacity of 73,000kN at a speed of up to 15 strokes per minute.

Utilising this high capacity requires a smooth material flow system and very high machine availability downstream.

A fundamental component of the material flow control is the RFID system from Leuze Electronic.

Once steel coils have been cut, the sheets are stacked onto pallets, where each of the pallets is fitted with an RFID transponder.

The assignment of the quality and product data of the pallet’s load into the RFID tag is an early stage in the process of ensuring the traceability of each pressed part back through the production steps all the way to the coil.

The RFID identification system also enables transparency in the material flow because it is dynamic and able to support automated interim storage.

An example is when the cut sheets are temporarily stored in a heavy-load shelving system.

This flexibility contributes to the optimisation of the material flow to match the production demand.

At the next step of the manufacturing process, when the sheet material is ready to be stamped in the presses, the RFID reader automatically captures the data from the transponder on the pallet.

There is an application-specific challenge facing the RFID system in a press shop, because high-power magnets are used within a press feed system to slightly fan out the sheets for pick-up.

This causes an extreme magnetic load for the pulsating magnetic field of the RFID system and, for this reason, the transponders have an application-specific design and are built into special plastic housings.

Another process within the materials-handling system that uses Leuze systems is the interim storage area, where pallets are handled by automated high-bay stacker cranes.

These cranes use Leuze’s barcode positioning systems to accurately detect both horizontal and vertical positions by scanning tapes of barcodes positioned along the crane’s floor track and also on the shelves.

The barcode positioning system, which uses laser light to read the code, is affected by stresses from the press environment.

‘The reading of multiple codes and the pitching of the scanning beam permit multiple redundancies and a very high error tolerance,’ said Mr de Vries, the electrical engineering manager of the press plant.

During tool change, pressing tools weighing several tons are driven on automated transfer vehicles.

To provide protection, the danger areas are guarded by Robust series safety light barriers from Leuze Electronic.

Within the tool-change areas, Leuze’s Robust multiple light beam safety light barriers are used to ensure operator safety.

In several locations the light barriers are installed in UDC equipment columns that use springs in their base to ensure an automatic return to the correct position after a mechanical knock or to provide immunity to vibrations from the presses.

Another example of an area using safety light barriers is the measuring room, where parts are inspected.

When material is fed into the measurement robot, the integrated muting function of the Compactplus safety light barrier suppresses the safety function.

Leuze Electronic

Leuze electronic the ‘sensor people’ are committed to being the supplier of choice by providing the best customer service and products.

Leuze electronic the ‘sensor people’ are committed to being the supplier of choice by providing the best customer service and products.

DETECTIONOptical Sensors: An innovative range from economic standard sensors to feature-rich special solutions.

Barcode, 2D and RFID code readers; Smart cameras and Vision systems; Optical data transmission; Optical positioning.

PROTECTION – Machine safety light curtains and barriers; Safety laser scanners; Door and entry interlocks and switches.
Leuze electronic also offer a machine Safety Inspection Service to ensure the correct guarding of machines using any brand of safety light curtains & barriers.

Virtual online catalogues, industry specific brochures, and extensive guidance on machine safety are all available on our website.
Please call and talk to ‘the sensor people’ for technical information, samples and advice.

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