Richland Manufacturing (Olney, IL)
Tiered Automotive Supplier Retools with New Stamping Press Cell to Facilitate Increases in Progressive Die Work...and Doubles Press Speeds in the Process
Richland Manufacturing, located in Olney, Illinois, supplies small stamping and nut-welded parts to the automotive industry. It is a subsidiary of Eagle Wings Industries, who is a tier 1 and tier 2 supplier of large underbody subassemblies.
The main unit of Eagle Wings Industries is located in Rantoul, IL. It has been in operation since April 1988, and has 313,000-sq. ft. of manufacturing space. Operations performed at this facility include stamping, welding, and painting. Welding capabilities include Arc and resistance welding. Painting is done on a 9-station wash and electro-deposition line.
Customers include Mitsubishi Motors North America, KTH Parts Industries (Honda 1st Tier), Topre America Corp. (Toyota, Honda, Nissan 1st Tier), FIA Corp. (Toyota 1st Tier), AISIN Mfg. Illinois (Toyota, Lexus, GM 1st Tier), Flex-N-Gate (Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, GM 1st Tier), and American Specialty Cars (Toyota, MMNA 1st Tier).
Products manufactured by Eagle Wings include chassis parts (front & rear side members, floor reinforcements, I/P assemblies, side pillars, and strut houses); painted trim parts (front suspension cross member complete, rear cross member complete, and center members); as well as numerous reinforcement and bracket stampings. Large tandem, progressive, and transfer press technologies are used to produce an active list of 550 different stampings.
Established in July of 2002, Richland Manufacturing 80,000-sq. ft. facility supplies Eagle Wings Industries and its customers with smaller stampings and welded sub assemblies. The Richland plant is located just to the south of Effingham, IL (the small town of Olney) and currently employs about 100 associates. Key personnel at this facility include:
- Joe Hunt, Plant Manager. Watches production numbers, works to get the resources available for associates on the floor, and keeps track of logistics and day-to-day operations.
- Greg Tinder, Quality Manager: Oversees maintenance and quality functions, coordinates welding production.
- Jim Schwartz , General Manager, Marketing and Project Management for Eagle Wings: Heavily involved in the selection/acquisition of equipment used at Eagle Wings and Richland Manufacturing.
“On a daily basis, we ship about 150,000 parts and that adds up to somewhere around three million parts per month based upon a 20-day work schedule—24 hours per day, 5 days per week,” Hunt reports. Two trucks go out every day--one to Eagle Wings and one to FIA in Vincennes, Indiana.”
“The part groups that we do for Toyota are basically instrument panels,” Greg Tinder adds. “For Honda and Mitsubishi, it’s underbody structural parts, chassis components, and instrument panels. A lot of our components go to Eagle Wings where they are used to make larger sub-assemblies.”
“We’re a stamping house,” Hunt explains. “Although, we’re doing a lot more nut-and-stud welding than we ever did. A lot of the parts we produce support Eagle Wings and their sub-assembly operations. What we call CB-1, CB-2 and CB-3, are blanking presses. C-1 and C-2 are tandem lines. C-2 is a 4-press line and the C-1 is a 5-press line.”
“Of course, our blanking presses produce blanks for the tandem lines,” Hunt continues, “but we also run progressive die jobs through them. On the tandem lines, we run anything from a 7-die job to 1-die jobs. On a 5-press line, we could be running a 3-die job and a 2-die job, or a 4-die job and a 1-die job. The real talent is in keeping all of the presses running with the variations in the number of dies we use for those 2 lines.”
Lot sizes might run anywhere from 500 pieces up to 8000 pieces. It all depends on the part and customer requirements. “A long run might go a whole shift,” Hunt says, “but a lot of times we might change over 5 or 6 times during a shift. Typically we can change over from one job to another in anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. It depends on the size of the dies and the number of dies we have to change.”
“At last count,” Tinder says, “we had more than 300 different jobs that we run through those presses. One of the biggest challenges we face is trying to make good parts at a competitive price. Most of our quality challenges are burrs—there are very tight burr tolerances for Toyota and KTH (Honda). Our tolerance is 0.2mm. The parts that we stamp usually have a dimensional tolerance of +/-.5mm. Some of the more technical parts may have 0.2mm tolerance.”
“Stamping quality is checked at the beginning, middle, and end of every stamping run,” Tinder continues. “We do a dimensional at the beginning of every run. Everything has to be in tolerance before we start up. Sometimes we get variation in the coil from job to job, so we may have to change setup standards just slightly to get the parts in tolerance. That’s why we do the first piece dimensional.”
A New Straight Side Press Cell Increases Production Rates, Job Versatility
Recently Richland Manufacturing went on-line with a new SEYI SAG 330 straight side press. It is equipped with a Tecnomagnete magnetic die clamping system and a Coe Press Equipment Model CCL-S3-15040 SpaceMaster Series 3 Compact Coil Feed Line. Even though it has been in production for only a short time, Richland already has seen the benefits of their new stamping system.
“Because the new SEYI press is a 330-ton unit, compared to our former 250-ton machine, it allows us to use larger tools,” Hunt explains. “Also, it is almost twice as fast--about 60 to 62 spm--compared to 33 to 35 spm on our older 250-ton press. We’re running a blanking job at 61 spm, compared to running it at 33 spm before. And with the Coe feeder, it’s easier on our associates because all they have to do is break the coil band and the rest of it is as automatic, or should I say hands free, as possible.”
“We have 3 goals here at Richland,” Hunt says, “and safety for our associates is Number 1. Quality is Number 2. We believe that if we perform those well, production (number 3) will come very easily.”
“With it’s new, up-to-date SmartPAC 2 control system, it’s an intelligent press,” Tinder points out. “We can tell it exactly when we want it to oil. We can tell it exactly when we want the conveyors to kick on and kick off. The operator is not reaching over to turn the conveyor on and trying to catch this and catch that.”
“Originally, we started out with mostly blanking and small tandem operations here at Richland, but as the years have gone by, more and more tooling has been coming in progressive, Tinder continues. “I can see progressive dies taking over within our operation. Over the last 5 years with each model year, more and more work comes in as progressive jobs. It takes less equipment and requires fewer operators. I’d say we’re probably about 50 percent progressive work right now and I can see that going to 75 or 80 percent in the near future.”
“We looked at a lot of different presses,” Schwartz says. “We knew we wanted a tie-rod style press. SEYI’s price was the price everybody was chasing. They’re aggressively priced and very competitive. We knew we wanted a compact line because of the space restraints and the Coe equipment looked like a very well built line. The people have been very good to work with and I thought I’d give them a shot.”
“Our other 2 blanking presses in this facility--our 200-ton and 250-ton units--are gap-frame presses,” Schwartz explains. “We have a lot of 2-out, front-and-back parts that are very difficult to hold tolerance. Some of them are the same part number, just a 2-out setup. It’s very difficult to hold the same dimensions on the front and back parts on a gap-frame press where there’s flex in the frame. That’s why we wanted to go to a 4-post, tie-rod press where we could maintain that relationship and improve the quality of the parts.”
“One of the things I felt from the beginning of our discussions with SEYI was that they were so willing to work with us on whatever we wanted,” Schwartz says. “We wanted to get something in the 60-spm range. Some of our shut height parameters, adjustability, and specs on the slide weren’t exactly what their stock machine had, but they said that they would build us a press to our spec.’s and hold the price at what their stock machine was. That was very attractive, and their willingness to work with us on tweaking everything exactly the way we needed it, far surpassed what other people were willing to do.”
“From day one, SEYI has been there for us, Schwartz says. “We visited several plants of current users and heard a lot of success stories about SEYI. Throughout the whole process, they’ve been really good about meeting our needs. It’s been a good experience throughout the whole process, and now we’re in mass production and I couldn’t be happier.”
SEYI Straight Side Press Features
SAG presses from SEYI Presses, Inc. Walnut, California, range in size from 220 to 1,100 tons. Some of the features built into this press series include the following:
- Wintress WPC 2000 control system meets or exceeds OSHA regulations, and is CSA and ANSI/UL certified,
- SmartPAC 2 automation control with 10.4-in. color touch screen, AutoSetPAC 4 tonnage monitor, DiProPAC 8 die protection, ProcamPAC 8 programmable cams and 200 job memory,
- Pneumatic high-torque combination wet clutch and brake provides low noise, long life operation with minimal maintenance,
- Fast-response hydraulic overload protection system,
- Variable speed main motor,
- Portable operator T-stand and control console.
COE Compact Coil Line
The SEYI press at Richland Manufacturing is fed by a SpaceMaster Series 3 Compact Coil Line supplied by COE Press Equipment Corporation, Sterling Heights, MI. The Model CCL-S3-15040 can handle 40 KSI yield material ranging from 0.125-in. thick by 40-in. wide up to 0.250- in. thick by 10-in. wide. It can process 60 KSI yield material ranging from 0.100-in. thick by 40-in. wide to 0.210-in. thick by 10-in. wide, and 85 KSI material ranging from 0.080-in. thick by 40-in. wide to 0.187-in. thick by 10-in. wide.
Features of the Spacemaster Series 3 Compact Coil Line include:
- Compact size—approximate length of 17 ft.,
- Production speed—60 fpm with gear ratio of 20:1,
- Coil weight—15,000-lb. maximum,
- Coil hold down—Hydraulic operated with motorized wheel,
- AC variable speed drive—digital control (5KW),
- Hydraulic operated coil hold up for threading,
- Centralized controls for reel and feeder,
- Eight straightener rolls for optimum straightening capability,
- Full width upper and lower feed rolls,
- Remote jog pendant for material threading.
“COE’s been great, too,” Schwartz says. “We went with the coil-car option and tried to automate as many of the things as we could so that we could decrease our changeover time. Obviously it doesn’t matter how fast we run product if it takes us a long time to change over from one job to the next. We need to be making parts to make money.”
s “The pilot release feature is important for our progressive die work,” Schwartz continues. “It improves the quality of the part when we can allow the pilots in the die to align the strip. If we were only blanking, it might not be that important, but we do a lot of shaped parts, a lot of intricate parts, so pilot release is an important feature.”
“Another nice feature with the compact line is that all controls are on the pendants. For the most part, the whole threading process can be controlled from the handheld control pendants, and once the press is in operation, the whole interface is there so you’re not running over to the control panel all the time. It’s very efficient”.
“Our coils average anywhere between 100 and 400 mm wide,” Tinder points out. “We run anywhere from 0.7 mm thick to 3.3 mm thick. We use galvanized and non-galvanized in both hot-rolled and cold-rolled. On our old equipment, the average coil changeover time probably was 8 to 10 minutes. Coil changeover now is about 4 minutes--about half the time.”
Schwartz adds, “In the past you had to just kind of manually tweak everything to get the steel straight. Now it’s just enter the job number, one-button start, and the rollers are all set to predetermined settings, so the steel comes out flat and straight.”
Tecnomagnete Magnetic Die Clamping
Their buying team made the decision to purchase a standard magnetic die clamping system from Tecnomagnete, Inc., Sterling Heights, MI for use with the SEYI/COE press line. It is a permanent magnetic system that uses electricity for one second to energize and one second to de-energize so that if a loss of power occurs at any time the magnetic holding force does not stop. The system has no moving parts, and requires very low to no maintenance over the life of the system.
The custom system generates 36 metric tons of holding pressure in the upper platen. As a safety ratio of 5:1, it will handle upper die weights easily up to 14,080 lbs with all magnetic poles covered. Even on a 24-in. by 24-in. die footprint, it will still handle upper die weights of 3,520 lb. The lower magnet has 1-in. ANSI t-slots to accommodate pneumatic die lifters. The lower magnet plate also has several die locating pins that ensure accurate die alignment quick die change times.
Standard safety features of this system include:
- Proximity sensors in upper and lower die mounting areas that are set at 0.007-in. to prevent the mag cycle from operating if a slug is between the die and the magnet (shutting the press off should a die lock up and become separated from the ram),
- BDC enable switch to prevent accidental demag with the press open,
- Magnetic sensing device that measures the magnetic field each time the mag cycle is used to make sure it is working properly and to detect non magnetic material or a large air gap that would reduce holding power (and double checking what the proximity switch sees),
- Spring key switch to ensure a two-step process to mag or demag the system, and thus eliminate the possibility of anything other than deliberate operation of the magnetic clamp,
- E-stop relay that puts the press in the e-stop condition if a fault occurs,
- Current sensor that measures current flow during the mag and demag cycle to make sure all magnets are operating at full saturation or complete demag.
“When Jim first said we were going to put magnets in the new press to hold our tooling in place,” Hunt says, “I’m out there looking at dies that weigh 8,000 lb. and thinking, this can’t be good. But, after experiencing it for the last couple of months we’ve been running this press, I couldn’t be more thrilled…I’d like to have it on all of my presses now. It’s cleaner, easier, and faster. And, it’s probably safer by far because we can’t have a clamper hang up in the back and dump a tool out of the front. So it’s safer for everybody and that’s our number one goal here.”
Learn more about Richland Manufacturing/Eagle Wings Industries here.