Latest Innovations from Güdel AG for High Speed Press Lines

The Press Automation division of Güdel AG is launching two innovative new products on the market: the Universal Tooling and the Positioning Unit. Both products supplement Güdel AG's proven automation solutions for high speed press lines.

Güdel's Universal Tooling takes the individual blanks from a stack and places them on a conveyor. The Universal Tooling allows that no part-specific tooling is required for the various different blank forms and sizes anymore. 

The patent-pending Universal Tooling consists of very light, high-strength aluminum arms with pneumatic position locking. It can be equipped with up to 22 vacuum suction cups (Venturi nozzles or vacuum injectors) and 4 double sheet sensors, and is able to process steel and aluminum blanks, single and multiple blanks, and contour-cut and welded sheet metal.

The suction cups are positioned by the various axles of the fully automatic fanner magnets. The Universal Tooling is monitored via a specific screen in the Güdel HMI, which displays the positions and status of every suction cup arm in real time. Activated and not activated suction cup arms are shown in different colors, and the required positions of the suction cup arms are saved in the corresponding tool group.

The Universal Tooling offers real customer benefits by eliminating the need for part-specific toolings, which means there is no need for a tooling changer or storage space for toolings. It is a fully automatic system requiring no manual preparation. The tooling change times are minimized by automatic setting of the tooling arms. 

Positioning Unit
The Güdel Positioning Unit detects and positions up to four blanks so that they can be taken by the downstream transfer device for quick and precise insertion into the first pressing tool. As with the Universal Tooling, there is likewise no need for expensive tooling changes here with the Positioning Unit.

The Positioning Unit, too, is patent-pending, and offers a new dimension of flexibility in the processing of steel and aluminum blanks. When fully equipped, the positioning unit can process up to four blanks simultaneously. As the name suggests, the positioning unit is not only capable of centering the blanks, but also of moving them throughout the entire working range and rotating them up to 90°. That allows the positions of the individual blanks to be optimized for the pressing tools, to make optimum use of the available tool surface area. 

The reference image of the blanks is shown on the Güdel HMI, and a user-friendly function allows the various suction cups to be positioned on the individual blank(s).

The Positioning Unit offers customers full flexibility at low cost. One advantage of the new arrangement is that it allows optimal use of the destacking and cleaning processes, before the blanks are then positioned correctly for the pressing tools. There is no need for part-specific tooling and consequently no need for a tooling changer. The customer can also make further cost savings on storage space, error avoidance, and manpower. This concept gives the customer the maximum flexibility and reliability needed to satisfy requirements now and in the future.  The Positioning Unit is a stand-alone product, incorporating the detection of blanks using a scanner and double sheet detection. It can therefore be easily integrated into an existing front of line as a retrofit solution. 

Both Güdel Universal Tooling and the Güdel Positioning Unit reduce the complexity and variety of part-specific tooling, and thereby also the total cost of ownership (TCO). At the same time, they also reduce downtime, resulting in higher productivity for the press line.

Successful project for Stellantis
“At our Sochaux plant, we only have an XL stamping line, and it is more than 30 years old. We were faced with the question of whether to renew the existing system or replace it. Güdel gave us very in-depth advice. We ultimately decided to get a complete automation and press solution,” said Julien Remy, project manager of the new press line in Sochaux, who was pleased with the outcome. “It was a pleasure to work with the qualified team at Güdel. Professional and highly competent,” Remy added.

“This collaboration with Stellantis was a success story. Naturally I'm proud of the advice we were able to provide and the solution we proposed, and I'm proud of our product. But at the same time, I was really pleased to see how the customer and our employees can come together to build a team that worked together with high efficiency and focus to meet the customer's requirements 100%,” said Hans Gut, CEO Güdel Group, emphasizing his satisfaction with the project.

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