Aluminium Laufen AG
Round bars of aluminium, which are used as the starting material for forging operations, have to be delivered in the form of hexagonal bundles. For metallurgical reasons the leading, middle and trailing portions of the extruded bars have to be packed separately. This working step, which until now had to be carried out manually, has now for the first time been automated at the extrusion plant of Aluminium Laufen AG. The new round bar stacker with a sorting function was developed by H+H Herrmann + Hieber.
Whereas at the other presses in the plant, after the layer saws the profile sections are automatically stacked in racks and transported, until now round bars had to be handled manually. The necessary manpower incurs costs and with weights per metre of up to 10 kg or more, can be physically very demanding for the workers. Aluminium Laufen therefore decided to automate this difficult work station.
The preferred packing mode for such material is a hexagonal bundle, the number of bars in each bundle varying according to the dimensions. This form of stacking makes it necessary to use special holders with inclined sidepieces on both sides. Since the bundle size varies depending on the bar diameter, the sidepieces can be adjusted horizontally.
The important work steps during stacker operation are:
The new stacker for round bars began operating in September 2011 and has since then been working without problems. In continuous operation it replaces two workers who used to be subjected to considerable physical stress. The capacity of the unit is sufficient for the higher production planned for the future. A contribution to the economic success of this new equipment is that damage of the bars is virtually excluded.