As official Norgren suppliers, MGA Controls has unrivalled knowledge of the Norgren range, and our technical experts are fully trained in the whole Norgren portfolio of products. Some of the main products we supply here at MGA are Norgren pneumatic cylinders. Norgren offers a comprehensive range of pneumatic actuators, suitable for any industrial application. They are available in a range of materials, including stainless steel and aluminium, making them the ideal solution for hazardous environments. In this article, we will be retelling a success story in which a customer has been happy with our outfitting of Norgren pneumatics, and how a pneumatic cylinder has increased their machinery efficiency.
MGA was approached by a UK Manufacturer of structurally insulated panels for use within the construction industry. The panels have various uses, from external cladding for existing buildings, right through to being used to manufacture ‘flat pack’ houses or small industrial units.
The manufacturer of these panels is undergoing a very aggressive growth strategy, as they see an opening in their marketplace to offer a far superior product to their competitors. They approached MGA to help with the streamlining of their manufacturing process through the use of pneumatics and automation.
At present, they are able to manufacture approximately 500 structurally integrated panels per day, and the owner of the business wants to increase this to 4000 panels by 2020. They are in the process of designing and building a purpose-built factory to accommodate their demands and hope to move into these premises in 2018.
The automation of their manufacturing process involves a hybrid of complex robotics and pneumatic automation systems. The robots were already designed and the customer was looking to partner with a pneumatic automation company to control the interface between the robots and the product itself.
A member of the MGA Controls Ltd technical team visited the customer site with an applications expert from IMI Norgren. Together, MGA and Norgren fully understood what the customer wanted to achieve and implemented a project strategy for the customer’s application.
Over the course of 6 weeks, a pneumatic control panel was designed, and the new range of Norgren ISOLine double-acting pneumatic cylinders were chosen to control the tool on the end of the robot. The tool comprised of a large rectangle jig, separated into four parts. Two sides, and two ends, each had two ISOLine pneumatic cylinders fitted. The tool was to arrive in its place thanks to the robot, then needed to be inserted into pre-manufactured moulds, so that the insulation foam could be injected in-between two pieces of chipboard. The timing of the tool insertion was critical, so the complex Norgren pneumatic control system had to be accurate and reliable.
The project is currently in its trial phase and is performing as expected. The trial period will most probably last between 8-10 weeks. Due to the large quantities of pneumatic cylinders being implemented – approximately 4000 packages containing 10 x cylinders each – we will install the cylinders in phases, so the initial outlay isn’t so large.
We expect it to take around 18 months to purchase and install all the Norgren pneumatics required for the project. MGA’s role after that changes into a service delivery and support role, whereby we will provide spares and repairs, and assist with replacements or additional units on an ongoing basis.