Keystone Automation was contacted to develop an automated trim saw for the plastics industry to replace a manual saw that was being used to trim the outer edges of sheets of plastic after being formed. There were a number of challenges that the machine had to accommodate. The sheets vary in size from 4’ by 8’ to 4’ by 10’ and 5’ by 10’ and thickness from 1/4” to 2”. The target production rate was 1 sheet per minute using 2 operators – one to operate the machine and the other to load product using a fork truck. Certain sheets needed automatic alignment and others needed to be aligned by hand – the operator needed to be able to easily position a 200 pound sheet of plastic to a certain position and then clamp it securely.
When being stacked after cutting, they need to be perfectly aligned vertically. Keystone worked directly with the plant engineer to solve all the conceptual and design challenges and built what was called the “super saw” by the operators. It met or exceeded all goals and has been operating 24/7 for the last 3 years. It features auto-positioning for setup, a heavy duty air table for manual sheet adjustment, four 20” diameter saw blades, a vacuum table to clamp the sheets while cutting, a trim removal system and dual gantries to load and unload sheets.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8XeLvG1PQU