Roll-Out Sheet Racks Compliment Laser Processing
A large manufacturer of electrical enclosures has installed eight Roll-out Sheet Racks in its Kentucky plant. The plant produces standard and modified general purpose and disconnect unibody enclosures. The Racks replaced an automated storage tower that was integrated to their first laser installation but it was overwhelmed by the increased cycle demand when a second laser was added to production. The Racks provide forty-six drawers to store work-in-process sheet metal inventory ranging in size up to 5′ x 10′ used for the enclosures. The Racks feed two CNC lasers, and they are arranged in a single battery with the roll-out drawers directly facing the lasers for convenient and immediate access to the machine operators. The manufacturing cell created has allowed material flow to keep up with the machines and maximize their output.
All of the Sheet Rack models feature a rear-load drawer design where stock bundles of sheet are loaded by a fork lift from the back of the rack. The drawers roll-out to the front and individual sheets are retrieved by the laser operators using an overhead crane and vacuum lift attachment. The sheet is placed directly on the laser table. The laser operators have immediate access to the crane and the racks permitting uninterrupted production. A unique feature to the installation is a flashing light that is activated whenever a drawer is empty. This signals the fork lift operator to replenish the drawer with more stock.