Soraluce demonstrates leadership in turnkey projects to meet specific customer requirements, providing an automated production system for machining forklift truck masts.
One of the world´s largest manufacturers of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment decided to automate and digitalize their production system to reduce the production cycle time; they evaluated various proposals and then chose Soraluce to provide the turnkey solution.
Soraluce builds up a bespoke solution starting from a standard machine, adapted to the customer’s specific needs, who has been engaged in the specification and design process.
At the start of the project, experienced Soraluce engineers made a detailed study of the production and machining processes in order to offer professional machining engineering advice and develop an optimized solution to meet the technical requirements defined by the client.
Particular cycles were designed and developed for 19 different references and suitable tooling and clamping system solutions were selected based on Soraluce experience and in close collaboration with the main suppliers.
Machining tests during the pre-acceptance and final acceptance of the machine have also been included, to guarantee the optimum supply.
Fully automated solution
Soraluce designed a fully automated solution that integrates machining and raw material inspection equipment, managed by Soraluce Control System.
The solution designed by Soraluce is based on a customized fully automated SORALUCE TA-A 25 bed type milling machine that requires no manual intervention during the machining process.
The machine is equipped with a loading conveyor which transfers the workpieces from a straightening machine to a measuring table. Rollers transport the workpieces to the end of the measuring table, ensuring the correct final positioning. The measuring table consists of a masts profile measuring system which uses a laser to confirm the correct profile according to the programmed machining cycle.
A loading transfer collects the workpiece from the measuring table and places it in the entrance buffer, designed for a maximum of 6 mast profiles, through driving chains.
A loading roller conveyor with elevating system loads the workpiece from the buffer to the machining area, enabling one or two workpieces to be loaded at a time.
The system incorporates a moving clamping system for the workpiece loading and unloading process. This moving clamping system provides additional support for the main clamping system (cross and vertical clamping device) during the machining process, ensuring a correct fixing of the profile.
Workpieces are unloaded by following the same process in reverse. The unloading roller conveyor with elevating system unloads the workpiece from the machine to the exit buffer, transferring it to the unloading table through driving chains.
In order to optimize production, tools loading / unloading is done during the machining process, enabling non-stop machining.
Digitalized production process
One of the key requirements identified by the customer was the digitalization of the machining system. Soraluce Digital platform helps to improve operational efficiency, integrating the machine into the customer’s production processes.
It incorporates a monitoring system, Soraluce Data System, a data-driven analytics tool that extracts valuable insights from the data generated by the machine and monitors the machine status and condition to ensure that the operational performance of the machining process is as high as possible, displaying machine status in real time.
In addition, Soraluce has developed a solution that facilitates the connection of the machine to the ERP system implemented at customer’s factory, according to the customer’s specific requirements, ensuring an integrated production process.
Soraluce is also supplying customized Control System Software to manage the complete loading, unloading and machining system using the job list concept.
Based on a Siemens Sinumerik 840 D SL control placed in one pedestal at the back of the machine, the Soraluce Control System simplifies operation by managing the job queues, loading process, workpiece measuring system, machining cycle and unloading process.
A Real Commitment to our Clients’ Technological Progress
Our focus is to ensure that our customers are successful. This leads us to develop highly innovative solutions to support our customers’ technological progress, and ensure that the most demanding machining challenges can be met efficiently and with high levels of productivity.
The solution provided by Soraluce has reduced the cycle time of the workpiece handling process by 30% and made unattended machining a reality.
The layout of the machine and complete system has been analyzed in-depth, ergonomically optimized for the operator, and adapted to the customer’s facilities.