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Automation at the heart of manufacturing

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Since its formation nearly 1 year ago, HepcoAutomation has attracted many new customers keen to benefit from the wide range of automation systems the company can offer. Providing advanced automation from specialised tooling to complete turnkey systems, HepcoAutomation will deliver the complete product from design to installation.

Automation at the heart of manufacturing The need to automate has never been more apparent, with manufacturers under pressure to increase output, lower costs and improve quality. There are now very few areas where automation cannot contribute to improving efficiency.

HepcoAutomation combines components both manufactured within the Hepco Group and from approved partners and suppliers. HepcoMotion, part of the Hepco Group, is a manufacturer of linear and rotary products and will provide the bulk of the mechanical content required in an automation project. The ability to manufacture in-house is a major contribution to lowering costs and maintaining price advantage in a highly competitive market.

In addition, HepcoAutomation has partnership agreements with worldwide robot manufacturer KUKA and automation controls company Omron – the expertise offered by these two specialists enable most application problems to be solved. Only proven components are used, ensuring high machine reliability.

Customers will not need to outsource any other parts – motors, controllers, robots, vision systems and general automation parts are all included in one package. Furthermore, as the project is controlled and mostly manufactured in-house, HepcoAutomation has complete control of the build at all times.

Turn Key machine builds will cover a wide range of possibilities including stand alone assembly stations with individual control, or linked multi stations reporting to a central control system. HepcoAutomation will include an initial assessment of the application, followed by a design study including a basic concept of the machine. The design capabilities cover the complete spectrum of industrial products, including multi-axis gantries for heavy load lifting to high speed pick-and-place operations for electronic components.

Robot installations have been gathering pace at record levels in recent years; purchasing the robot is the easy task, integrating it into existing equipment requires specialist knowledge and experience. HepcoAutomation can provide a complete service using partners KUKA’s wide range of robots, including the necessary machine guarding and the ability to move the robot to serve a number of machines.

Upgrades and modification to existing manufacturing plant is an area often overlooked in the push for automation. However, existing processes can sometimes be improved by the addition of extra tooling, new linear systems or installing new controllers. This service can be the first stage in bringing improved automation into a manufacturing plant.

Machine vision integration is often included in Turn Key machine builds, but the technology lends itself to be applied to machinery generally. Where components need to be measured or verified prior to a process, vision systems can improve quality and increase throughput.

HepcoAutomation recently provided a test system for measurement and setup of detection devices for a Nuclear development company. The system used a 20m long DLS5 belt-driven system from the HepcoMotion range, with Omron servomotor that had to run at a maximum speed of 11m/s, carrying a 25kg payload.

Owing to the speed and dynamics involved the application required a 15kw servomotor and used Omron’s EtherCAT communication capability. Considerable product testing was required to ensure the requirements could be met consistently.

The DLS5 was designed in modular lengths split into five equal sections and supported on a HepcoMotion MCS aluminium support frame specifically constructed to provide the required rigidity. The MCS system was also designed to allow for height adjustment, giving the customer maximum coverage for their test process.

As part of the Hepco group of companies, HepcoAutomation benefits from HepcoMotion’s 45 years of experience in the supply of linear products. This association has ensured instant recognition of the Hepco brand, with HepcoAutomation already widely recognised within the industry.

Indeed HepcoAutomation has recently quoted on a multi-million pound project with others in the pipeline. Sales are continuing to increase and the company is currently expanding in line with the growth of the business.

To learn more about HepcoAutomation’s advanced automation offering, please go to www.hepcomotion.co.uk.

 
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