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Innovative material handling for high-performance saws - Air flotation tables make heavy tasks easy


The IMA Schelling Group equips the aluminum processing industry with precision saws for the highest demands. IMA Schelling's Precision division also automates material handling by means of intelligent, automated process handling. As a supplement to the fm 10 and fm 12 precision saws, the new Automatic Manipulation Device (AMD) takes over automatic material handling when cutting heavy aluminum plates. This makes AMD the ideal automation partner for processing solid aluminum formats.

Handling of the fm 10 and fm 12 precision saws from IMA Schelling can be largely automated with the newly developed Automatic Manipulation Device (AMD).

The integrated planning software adapts the Material Parameters to the sheet thickness and properties of the material.

IMA Schelling Precision calls its new combination of linear robot and air flotation manipulation surface an Automatic Manipulation Device, or AMD for short. Originally conceived as a special solution for a customer order, IMA Schelling has included the handling concept in its series production program due to high demand. The AMD shows its strengths especially when cutting full-size aluminum plates with heavy weights. It takes over the complete strip handling in the sawing process up to the discharge of the finished plates. After loading the saw, the automatic sawing process begins. The manipulation surface is equipped with air flotation technology and allows the aluminum plates to be moved without damaging the material. Sections on the manipulation surface allow the strips to be "parked" in between without them loosing positon.

The tool parameters adapt to the panel thickness and the material properties of the processed material. Since the AMD takes over the complete handling of the sawing process, the cutting works fully automatically. Finished parts and large offcuts are conveyed out of the machine on roller conveyors, where they are removed by a crane. The automated process significantly increases the utilization and thus the performance of the saw. The precise system control also increases the quality of the cut.

The central element of the AMD is the software-controlled production planning. It enables several orders to be cut in one work step. With foresighted scheduling, heavy plates have to be brought to the saw once. This is a significant plus in productivity and efficiency. The optimization software plans the cuts in such a way that only a minimum of offcuts and waste is produced. The machine automatically disposes of offcuts that cannot be reused in a container at the saw.

With the innovative combination of saw and material handling, IMA Schelling Precision achieves a new level of automation for aluminum plates. Users benefit from significantly increased productivity while optimizing the use of aluminum as a raw material.