The steel trade of tomorrow with the Partners for Steel

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Fully automated processing lines for drilling, sawing, blasting and surface treatment are the future for the steel trade, as they provide a substantial competitive boost in terms of a reduced time-to-market. All the component software for the entire system can be integrated in line with the Industry 4.0 vision into the customer’s materials management and production planning system. At the EuroBLECH, the Partners4Steel – BEHRINGER, VERNET BEHRINGER and RÖSLER OberflĂ€chentechnik – will be showcasing a pioneering plant system.

There’s plenty to be said for the use of fully automated plant systems when it comes to order picking girders in the steel trade. In a field where bulky items are being handled, the risk potential is high and the frequency of errors should not be underestimated. Where operations in the steel trade have been automated, just a handful of employees monitor the entire process, and practically no direct contact between personnel and materials or machines takes place from the goods-in process through to loading the finished parts into the truck for delivery. Every aspect from materials management, machining and order picking through to delivery follows a programmed processed sequence and a logical material flow without cross-traffic. High-powered sawing plants such as the HBP510-923GA-NAP mitre bandsaw with two cut section grippers divide the material. Some parts then pass through a preservation line for surface treatment, others are loaded immediately following sawing. Processing takes place on a program-controlled, bar-optimized basis. A transport management system ensures the material-saving assignment of starting lengths by matching them up to orders, and takes care of trouble-free material flow along the plant. The material and data arrive at the right time in the right place, enabling maximum output.
Alongside the sawing machines, Behringer GmbH supplies all the peripherals from its own in-house steel works. CEO Christian Behringer has a positive take on the trend towards networked plants in the steel trade: “Investing in networked plants pays off, also in view of the demographic changes currently taking place. We are already experiencing a shortage of skilled labour, and this is a situation we can defuse by introducing the wide-ranging automation of our plants.” Importantly too, future developments in the industry such as the interlinking of different machines mean that Behringer GmbH is on the right track with its networked systems.

Flexible drilling and marking with the HD-S series from Vernet Behringer

Three-spindle drilling plant models from the HD-S series (400x300 millimetres up to 1,000x300 millimetres) from Vernet Behringer based in Dijon (F) enable steel processors to simultaneously drill the web and flanks of hollow rectangular profiles. Profiles for windows and doors can be produced without problems with the aid of an extension package for the HD-S. The drilling-milling machine offers a unique clamping system with a CNC-controlled 150 millimetre stroke and a high-performance, energy-efficient spindle motor. It enables higher productivity when drilling carbide, as no valuable time is lost reclamping. It also ensures the vibration-free milling of profiles, for instance for oblong holes or openings. Precise, rapid part identification and marking of profiles is enabled by the exclusive V scoring system from Vernet Behringer. The HD-S drilling-milling machines can be automated using a variety of loading and unloading systems, and combined with a high-performance mitre bandsawing machine to create a machining centre.
Coordinated shot blasting and preservation lines from Rösler OberflÀchentechnik

Whether steel construction, the steel trade or shipbuilding – the temporary corrosion protection of sheet metals and profiles has a quality-determining role to play. Corrosion protection is applied with the aid of preservation lines. By using innovative developments, plants from Rösler OberflĂ€chentechnik GmbH are able to provide decisive process and cost benefits. At the EuroBLECH trade fair in Hanover, the company based in Untermerzbach in Germany’s Franconia region presented a preservation line with painting and shot blasting system. This ensures that finish bored and assembled parts receive the correct post treatment. Turn-key preservation lines are generally composed of individually adaptable conveying systems for the infeed and discharge of sheets, profiles and tubes, a pre-warmer, a roller conveyor blasting line, the automatic painting line with overspray separation and a paint dryer with chain conveyor. These are linked together to enable an automatic process. If the parts to be processed are stored in the open air, an air jet blasting station positioned in front of the pre-dryer ensures that loosely adhering dirt or moisture are removed.