8 December 2011

Greenfield order automated punch and forming cells

Greenfield Engineering, Devon has placed an order worth around £2.2 million for two fully automated systems from Amada. The move is seen as the first step to developing into “Europe’s most automated production facility”.

Replacing a nine-year-old punch/shearing cell that was slowly becoming less reliable, the first Amada system will consist of an Amada EM AC servo direct twin-drive punching machine (with automatic toolchanger) coupled to an Amada AS III Series automatic storage unit with load/unload capability and an Amada PR Series three-pallet part sorting and stacking unit. The cell will give Greenfield total flexibility with 220 tools and up to six different materials available at the press of a button, and adds to their other two fully automated systems.

“We thought long and hard about the decision to use Amada,” states Mr Green. “However, the technical capability of the equipment combined with Amada’s outstanding service and support levels swung the vote. Every facet of our team – production, maintenance, management – felt comfortable with the Amada decision.”

The second automated cell upgrades their existing Astro cell and consists of an Amada II 100NT robotic press brake centre with automatic tool changer (ATC), the first of its kind with the UK. There is also an automatic gripper changer (AGC) and automatic hand changer (AHC) for the robot. The new solution enables Greenfield to run 24/7 with total flexibility: job changeover now takes 2-3 minutes compared with half an hour previously.

“We firmly believe that now is the right time to be investing in the future of our business,” says Mr Green. “We are seeing many projects coming back from China and the Far East. With shorter lead-times, smaller batches, a weak pound and the fact that nobody wants to carry any stock, work is returning on mass so we need the versatility that our new investment will bring. Furthermore, interest rates are low, so why wait?”

Greenfield Engineering is a precision contract manufacturer offering completely finished, components shipped to many leading OEMs around the UK, mainland Europe, the USA, Brazil, South Africa and Asia. The company’s accreditations include ISO9001:2000, ISO14001:2004 and OHSAS18001.

“In the next 18 months we are planning an even more substantial investment in a new totally automated facility – we want to lead the way in our industry with our competitors playing catch-up,” concludes Mr Green.

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