Read here the January issue of Transformers Magazine! LAE is the first company designing and installing anthropomorphic robots for the automatic core stacking
LAE KEEPS ON LEADING THE CORE CUTTING LINES INNOVATION
LAE, Lughese Attrezzature per l’Elettromeccanica, has been leading the core cutting lines innovation since years, having been the first company to design and install anthropomorphic robots for the automatic core stacking and devices for the fast replacement of the lamination on the decoiler (FRS). The Italian company has always been devoted to innovation, still keeping a connection to tradition and craftsmanship, as a part of its history. Since its establishment in 1978 onwards, LAE has witnessed several developments of all the product lines in its portfolio: winding machines for transformers, including machines for foil, wires, flat wires and insulation strips; cutting lines for core magnetic laminations with Step-Lap technology, fin folding lines for the corrugated panels of the transformers tanks. The R&D department is fully inside the company: the customer- orientation being the focus and the guide of the research. The solutions suggested by LAE meet the transformers manufacturers’ requirements because their development arises precisely from their needs for performance, space and productivity. Ensuring in this way a safer and faster return of investment.
LAE Robot Stacker and core cutting lines
The major innovation regarding the core cutting lines consist in the anthropomorphic robots for the automatic core stacking. LAE has already tens of installed lines featuring this system and the results in terms of productivity are without precedents.
The robot stacker has been now operating for years on the core cutting lines model TO 25 AGILE by LAE. This core cutting line model has been designed and produced for the manufacturing of grain-oriented laminations of maximum 250 mm width, suitable for the assembly of distribution transformers cores featuring the Step-Lap technology. Consistently with the transformer design, this machine is suitable for the production of transformers cores ranging from 50 to 2500 kVA. LAE offers the possibility to install the robot stacker on this machine, covering a wider production range, till the assembly of cores of 1500 mm length (measured from tip to tip). Moreover, this automatic stacker can manage flat yokes, closed cores, E-cores or separate logs. The advantage is clearly the full coverage of the whole range of cores that the operator might need to assemble, offering the highest flexibility with a single totally automatic device. In addition, also on this machine the stacker offers unprecedented productivity.
TO 25 AGILE LAE
Having already revolutionized the 250 mm core cutting lines since years, the robot stackers are now doing the same with the cutting line model TO 45 VELOCE by LAE.
The TO 45 VELOCE by LAE has been designed and produced for the manufacturing of grain-oriented laminations suitable for the assembly of cores featuring Step-Lap technology. This machine is particularly recommended for the production of electrical transformers cores ranging from 160 to 6300 kVA. Unlike the other similar machines available on the market, the TO 45 VELOCE by LAE is exceptionally compact, thanks to its electrical cabinet placed on board. It is silent and low-maintenance thanks to its electronic cutting technology.
TO 45 VELOCE LAE
It is possible to install up to two robots on the TO 45 VELOCE, allowing to assemble up to 4 cores simultaneously, of maximum 2350 mm length (measured from tip to tip). The kinds of cores which can be managed be either closed cores or E-cores. Moreover, the robot can manage also the production of cores with separate logs, reaching in this case to a total maximum stacking length of 2650 mm. The operator is therefore provided with the highest flexibility and with the full coverage of the production.
In addition, the robot stacker designed by the Italian company, can work in two modes, according to the operator’s needs, meeting therefore any customer’s requirements. The assembling in fact can stop in a fully automatic way either once a certain predetermined number of laminations has been cut and stacked on each core, or according to a certain height that can be set by the operator and automatically calibrated by the robot. This offers the advantage to zero the probability of human mistakes and prevents the need to stop the machine, with significant increasing of the productivity.
Briefly, the importance of the automatic stacking turns into a consistent reduction of the assembly time. Comparing to manual stacking, the process benefits of a time reduction from 30 to 50%. The robot stacker allows moreover the improvement of the whole process logistic: cutting and assembling are performed in a single area, with a compact machine layout and with no need for intermediate storages, transportation of already cut laminations and above all labour. In addition, the precision and reliability levels turn into a quality increase of the final product, with a higher return of investment. Last but not least, the robot stacker permits the flexible production of different kinds of cores, with no machine downtime and no possibility of mistakes or mishandling of the production material.
FRS (Fast Replacement System)
LAE, however, has not only limited to speed up of the assembly process through the implementation of an anthropomorphic robot, as its effects could have been damped by the coil loading phase.
The second innovation concerns in fact the automation of the lamination replacement in the cutting machine, thus drastically reducing the average time for this operation, from current approximately 10 minutes to only 36 seconds, with significant advantages in terms of productivity. The Fast Replacement System by LAE clears the way to a productivity increase of 15-20% and allows a longer automatic running of the machine with no operator. The offered technical solution performs a fully automatic replacement of the lamination inside the cutting machine in 36 seconds. The device withdraws the previous strip and inserts a new one, according to a pre-set programme. These actions can be performed in safety conditions during the automatic running of the line.
The FRS installed on the model TO 45 VELOCE is already working and the results achieved by the operators confirm what had been predicted by LAE studies, whereas the R&D department of the Italian company has designed two different models for the TO 25 AGILE, with different layouts, to be installed according to the customer’s requirements.
LAE innovations are improving the core cutting process and they are fully modular. According to each request, the company does not only a feasibility study, but also offers the customer a solution designed for its particular process. The robot stacker itself can be installed on the two core cutting lines either in the first moment or in a second time, likewise the FRS device. In this way any requirement either in terms of productivity or in terms of investment portfolio can be fulfilled.