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Application of the Month: Easy Arm® Dramatically Increases Productivity in Work Cell
Susan Griepsma

“When we tried doing this manually, we could only get a few done per hour, and our people were exhausted. Now we can do 15-20 pieces per hour with just one operator who doesn’t get exhausted at all.”

We make a lot of great overhead handling products at Gorbel, but I think the coolest one is our Easy Arm® Intelligent Lifting Arm.  Here's a case study that shows just how dramatically the Easy Arm® can improve productivity in a work cell.  Pretty impressive!

A components supplier of commercial lawn mowing equipment installed a new press brake to form sheet metal into the decks for large mowers. The brake bends the ends of pre-cut sheet metal to form deck plates measuring 42-72 inches and weighing up to 125 lbs.

When the new brake was installed, two operators would manually lift and hold the sheets while they were formed. The piece had three bends, which required the sheet to be loaded, then turned 180 degrees to be folded the second time, and then repositioned again for the third bend. The process to make all three bends was slow and difficult, and was a major drain on labor resources.

Easy Arm in action

The company started looking for a better process for forming the mower decks. They chose a 330 lb capacity Easy Arm® Q model with an 14' span and 10' height under boom. Customized magnetic tooling from Industrial Magnetics coupled with a remote mount handle, now allow just one worker to pick up the sheet metal, engage float mode, and easily position the sheet into the press brake. The G360™ collector on the handle even allows the sheet metal to be spun and positioned so that all three bends can be completed without setting the load down.  Click here for a video of the Easy Arm® in action.

"Float Mode makes this all possible,” said the Senior Manufacturing Engineer. “When we tried doing this manually, we could only get a few done per hour, and our people were exhausted. Now we can do 15-20 pieces per hour with just one operator who doesn’t get exhausted at all.”

Not only was the process cut from six minutes down to two, the extra worker was moved to another application to further increase company productivity.

“We had some people who didn’t want us to bring this process to our facility. Now, everyone involved is very happy with the Easy Arm® and the new process.”

I love a story with a happy ending.  Check out more Gorbel success stories here

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