Willems Baling Equipment invested in a Q2S double-sided finishing solution, with rotating unit, for its sheet metal parts production.
ISMR says: "A novel feature of the automated deburring line is a rotating unit to automatically turn large workpieces or heavy sheet metal parts."
Dutch deburring machine builder, Q-Fin Quality Finishing Machines, has installed an automatic deburring line at Willems Baling Equipment in Hapert, The Netherlands. A novel feature is a rotating unit to automatically turn batches or heavy sheet metal parts. This enables the parts to be deburred and edge-rounded on both sides in one pass, rapidly and with high finishing quality.
Willems Baling Equipment builds machines for the compressed packaging of bulky products. Typical machine products include bulk handling machines (such as gravel, coil, sand etc.); balers and log shavers. Willems supplies complete production lines to its customers, from production of the raw material to the complete packaging of the product in handy bales ready for sale on a pallet. Engineering, production, assembly, control and service of these production lines are carried out in-house as a total package. Willems values user-friendly operation, sophisticated logistics and maximum safety. Innovation is a key strength, as it continuously works on the development of new machine features and technologies.
Quality in focus
“We want to keep our reputation for high quality so we continuously improve and innovate,” explained Bram Willems, technical sales engineer at Willems, a family business. “We need the best machines to produce efficiently and with high quality. We therefore have a modern machine park, expanded in recent years, with a press brake, a 5-axis milling machine and the Q-Fin deburring line.” A lot of sheet metal parts are needed for the machines that Willems produces, including several large and heavy steel plate parts (up to 25mm thick). This is necessary because considerable force is applied when the products are pressed into bales. A high-quality finish is important for all these parts. “Willems builds to CE quality and no sharp metal edges are allowed. Part deburring is therefore essential. In addition, many parts must be rounded off before electrolytic galvanization and powder coating. All parts of a press installation that are exposed to the open air are, in any case, given a powder coating. By rounding the edges to a radius R1, the paint flows nicely and evenly over the entire sheet metal part. This ensures good adhesion, even at the edges, and prevents peeling and rust", Willems told ISMR.
The search for a solution
Willems already had a deburring machine for deburring and rounding off the large sheet metal parts, which processed the material on one side. Since the sheet metal parts had to be processed on both sides, the material had to be fed through the machine twice and turned in-between. This was done by hand or using an overhead crane, which took a lot of time and was strenuous work for the operators. It was also not one hundred per cent safe. "A crane can slip through the brake and that is dangerous," said Bram Willems. Willems therefore found an alternative solution for processing steel, stainless steel and aluminium parts at Q-Fin Quality Finishing Machines in neighbouring Bergeijk. He was searching for a machine that could process both sides of a part as well as deburr and round-off both sides in one go. However, this concept did not fit Q-Fin's philosophy, as Q-Fin account manager Patrick van Scherpenseel explained. "We like to do things differently. We differentiate ourselves by incorporating the right ratio of power, abrasive and speed into our machines. We call this essential combination 'GrindingPower' and, with it, we achieve the highest output and consistently high quality. This is our starting point and we did not want to dilute it by making concessions," he explained. "However, in a double-sided working machine, you do have to make these concessions. For example, you cannot push as hard with the brushes when working on the product from top and bottom. We therefore looked for a solution that added something to our machines, so that we can still work on both sides of a part in one pass without human intervention. That solution has become the Q2S turnaround unit."
The deburring process
The reversing station is available for two-sided finishing of sheet metal parts up to 600mm, resp. 1200mm and 1500mm wide. The Q2S turnaround station provides batch-wise double-sided finishing at high throughput speeds. The system can be controlled by just one operator. The Q2S1200 turnaround unit is now part of the deburring line at Willems. It is positioned between two F1200 deburring machines. The operator loads the 3m-long and 1200mm-wide table in front of the first machine. He/she enters the correct settings on the control panel on the front machine, which allows him to control the entire system. Sheet metal parts pass through the first deburring machine and are deburred and edge-rounded on one side. They come out the back of the machine and are conveyed straight into the turnaround unit. A sensor registers that all parts are in the reversing unit. The two tables in the turnaround unit are next to each other and a carousel turns them at 180 degrees. All parts are then fed into the second F1200 deburring machine to process the other side of the parts. At Willems, the deburring line is set up so that the operator initiates the turnaround unit. This way, he gives himself time to load the system on one side and unload it on the other. He can work at his own pace and still achieve high throughput.
By choosing two deburring machines and a reversing unit, Willems can now process parts batchwise. “There is a nice flow. This would not have been the case if a rotating unit and one machine had been chosen, into which all the parts would then have had to be fed back. That would mean waiting times,” said van Scherpenseel. “Now, the system works with batches in a continuous process which saves a tremendous amount of time.” The deburring line came with two IOC1200 driven input and output conveyors as well as two WES6000 wet operating extraction systems. The latter are placed on a platform high above the installation so that they take up no space and noise is minimal. Willems also installed an F200 XL machine for the rapid deburring, grinding and rounding of small sheet metal parts and a Skipjoint machine designed for the easy and safe removal of microjoints. Together, these machines form a complete system for deburring and rounding of sheet metal parts, which can be operated by one person. The company is also investing in its future. Due to continued growth, the adjacent plot to its factory in Hapert has now been purchased. The plan is to build a new industrial hall there to create more space for the production and assembly of machines.