Automatic dropdown sheet support developed to reduce the time taken at sheet changeover

The automatic dropdown sheet support system has been developed and manufactured by Crabtree within our Gateshead, UK facility, in response to customer requests to increase automation and efficiencies.  

At the push of a button, this latest innovation adds even more flexibility to our FastReady models – arguably the most versatile machines on the market. 

Would you like to benefit from fully automated sheet size changes?  

We’re not about a one size fits all approach as we recognise that you have individual challenges and requirements – which is why we can offer a variety of options and can develop a package around your needs.  

For example, you may want to benefit from:  

  • A full sheet size range of 710-1200mm without the need for manual input 
  • A push of the button/CNC operation 
  • A rigidised anti-scratch, reduced friction, improved sheet transfer support surfaces 
  • Both CNC or manual retract options available  

In addition, we have developed a new sideguide bobbin configuration which can easily be maintainedcan mitigate the risk of sheet tracking and reduce friction with a free running mechanism.  

This solution can reduce the risk of damage, mitigating human interaction, risk of failure and wear.  

Our innovation can also deliver a higher quality lead screw and linear slide mechanism. This can provide accuracy and longevity and an increased durability via robustness.  

What’s the actual efficiency gain? 

We’ve had a test rig running continuously for several months equating to approximately 25,000 cycles (changeovers – 75 seconds per cycle/speed limited for testing). If we use this against a typical scenario of 20 changeovers in a shift, 7 days a week, the test rig has ran /simulated 3 years’ worth of production with no mechanical failures. Wouldn’t you like to benefit from this reliability? 

To further demonstrate its capabilities, we have compared the time taken at changeover of a manual process to our push of a button approach with the automatic dropdown sheet support.  

Customer example has a typical 4-unit press configuration with 8-10 changeovers per shift, with the average time to remove the supports at 5 minutes per unit, totalling an average of 200 minutes per shift.  

A typical plant running 2 shift, 6 days a week, equating to 2400 minutes per week, some 40hrs. 

Retrofit Auto retracting push button example taking approximately 35-40 seconds for all units at the same time, totalling an average of 6 minutes per shift, 72 minutes over 6 days, effectively 1 hour 12 minutes. 

With this typical example it’s clear to see the time benefits our automatic solution could have on your processes.

If you’re looking to make time efficient savings but still enjoy the flexibility you’re used to, contact us to discuss your automated package.