American Kuhne has applied its Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) to key tasks in extrusion job changeovers, creating three options that reduce downtime in tubing, profile, wire and cable and other small-die production lines.
SMED Quick-Change options can reduce changeover times by nearly half an hour. The options are available with new American Kuhne extruders, or they can be retrofitted onto equipment from American Kuhne or other suppliers.
American Kuhne, of Ashaway, R.I., showed the SMED at NPE 2015.
The company offers three innovations:
Quick collet screw pusher, a device that reduces the time needed to pull screws from five minutes to less than one minute, using a spring-mounted locking nut and a sliding collet to fasten the nut onto the threaded screw-pushing rod at the rear of the drive shaft. According to American Kuhne, normally the rod is affixed by spinning a nut into position and installing and tightening six screws.
Rotary hopper, which can be pivoted away from the feed throat for rapid dumping of excess material and easy access for vacuuming our residual material, and adding purging compound or new material. This cuts cleanout time from about six minutes to just one minute.
Dual-head arrangement, which cuts the time to change dies from 20 minutes to two minutes by having a pre-heated head with breaker plate ready for fast replacement of the one that was in use. Both heads are mounted on pivoting support structures on either side of the die area. They have separate electrical connections. To replace a head, the operator simply loosens the clamping nut, opens the clamp and pivots away the previously used head.
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