Based in Westphalia, Germany, W. Strothmann GmbH prides itself on ''constant innovation and getting things moving for its customers.'' The company is inspired by this motto when developing and implementing effective solutions in machine engineering and handling technology. The idea of constant innovation is what led Strothmann to look for a new solution that would transform its automation and handling technology for the automotive industry.''The market has requested reduced cycle times, higher reliability and increased flexibility,'' said Rainer Massow, research and development manager at Strothmann. ''Simpler designs and decreased costs are something we strive for in order to give our customers the best production results possible.'' Massow's department responded to these requests by immediately working on new conveyor that utilized vacuum technology.
Creating the flexibility to handle various shapes and materials
Strothmann designed a new conveying system to move metal blanks along the belt, utilizing both magnet technology and Piab's P3010 vacuum pump with blow-off function. The conveyor can either be used to transport flat blanks on the conveyor belts or in an ''overhead'' mode underneath the belt. ''While the magnets could handle the steel sheets, we faced a challenge when customers needed pieces made of aluminum or stainless steel. It was clear that vacuum was a necessary component.''
Achieving efficient and reliable transport with vacuum technology
Since implementing vacuum into the prototype design, production reliability has greatly improved. Strothmann has seen flawless transport without any breakdowns in the conveying system. Because the P3010 features patented COAX technology, an advanced solution for creating vacuum with compressed air, vacuum power can be placed directly where it is needed. This allows for increased acceleration, speed and reliability by eliminating line losses.
Continuing to lead the way
''Our strength in innovation is what allows us to continuously set new standards, making Strothmann a much sought-after partner in the industry,'' said Massow. ''This is why we found it necessary to not only work with another innovator, but a company that would lead to another trusted partnership.''