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IEF10613cover story

That effective automation in manufacturing companies is increasingly becoming the decisive competitive factor is particularly evident in assembly and test lines: The parts must be provided quickly and very precisely so that they can then be fed in a predetermined position of a test or assembly station and possibly removed again . For IEF Werner plays in the development of automation solutions therefore also the energy efficiency an increasingly important role.



IEF30613Anyone who speaks of energy efficiency, above all means cost savings. Today, the changing needs of cost-conscious machine builders are key drivers of modern drive concepts. According to a study by the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektroindustrie, more energy-efficient electric drives can save around 15% of the current electrical energy consumption in German industry. IEF-Werner GmbH, headquartered in Furtwangen in the Black Forest, relies on its solutions such as the Palletizing system "Ecostack" on energy-saving ways of working.

Drive technology as the linchpin

Therefore, IEF Werner is already investigating in the planning phase of the plants which measures and combinations of drive technologies are most efficient in using energy. A considerable cost advantage is achieved, for example, by the fact that the palletizing systems manage with little or no energy-intensive and therefore expensive compressed air. The Ecostack is completely operated without compressed air. The electricity costs for the one-shift operation could thus be reduced below 20 Euro per year. In addition, the systems are designed so that components that are not currently needed automatically shut down. In addition, the power supply is interrupted whenever possible, for example at machine standstill, end of shift and breaks.

Energy-efficient palletizing made easy

The Ecostack is able to process pallets of various sizes between 300 x 400 x 20 mm (W x L x H) and 400 x 600 x 150 mm. The pallet stacks can be up to 60 kg when filled. His pallet change time is 5 s. The arrangement of several palletizing systems next to each other also complex processes can be facilitated - for example, the separation of good and bad parts or parts that need to be reworked.

The compact design also ensures energy-efficient handling Palletizing System "Variostack". It is open and modular. As a result, it can be tailored to any task. The lateral loading by conveyor belt is for example just as possible as the band loading from the front. The provision of trays on pallet trucks can also be realized. Depending on the task, single or multiple grippers are integrated to handle the pallets.

IEF20613The Variostack can handle different pallet sizes - from 300 x 200 mm (W x L) to 300 x 400 mm to 600 x 400 mm and heights from 20 to 80 mm. The system processes loaded pallets with a maximum weight of up to 10 kg. The control cabinet is integrated and thus requires no additional space. This is made possible by intelligent components - for example, motors with integrated amplifiers or intelligent cabling.

Repeatable and extremely fast

When designing its handling equipment, the automation specialist uses a simple yet innovative approach: the less mass that has to be moved, the faster and the less energy is used. IEF has developed the linear unit of the module type 55 ZOM, which takes over the Z movement. The comparatively heavy engine is not mounted on the linear unit but externally.

The drive of the Z-axis takes place via a suitable kinematics. This weight saving reduces the cycle time by up to 15%. On a complex energy management system can be omitted. A simple, small-sized robot hose is enough. As a result, no cable wear occurs during movement, and the construction of the system is time and cost saving. All of its products are constantly subjected to intensive consumption measurements by IEF. Only in this way can a permanent improvement in energy efficiency be achieved.

Picture above: Fast and to the point: For the drive of the Z-axis neither motor nor cable are moved.


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