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According to an analysis by Statista, Germany-wide sales in the refrigerator segment will increase to almost 1,625 million increase. However, the production of the housing components of refrigerators is extremely complex, because despite their high residual stress, the materials used must be completely flat for the subsequent processing steps - a time-consuming process. In order to meet the increased demand nevertheless, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH has replaced an aging system in its Giengen plant with a modern b+s multi-blanking system. It levels and cuts in a single pass, so that even changing cut sizes can be produced in-house quickly, efficiently and with the highest quality without additional logistics effort. The new system enables a speed of up to 30 m/min with mating limits above 300 N/mm2 and material strengths above 500 N/mm2.

Since the housings of refrigerators are visible parts, perfect processing of the sheet metal used is essential and the blanks must not be scratched during production. . This can only be achieved if the components are absolutely flat, but due to the high internal stress they tend to corrugate and therefore have to be leveled first before being cut to size. "Due to the sharp rise in demand, our previous system reached its limits and led to a capacity bottleneck," reports Dominik Schiffner, project manager within the Prefabrication Production Planning department at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH on-site in Giengen. „We have therefore decided to replace it with a modern multi-blanking facility of the b+s group. It allows several precise and individual sheet metal cuts to be made in one pass". Thanks to this plant, BSH now has a greater vertical range of manufacture and can therefore react more flexibly to changing market requirements.

Efficient multi-blanking plant with a SCHNUTZ leveler.

Since June 2019, the new plant at the BSH factory in Giengen has been running smoothly. It combines a cut-to-length line with a slitting line and is designed for sheets with a material width of up to 1,650 mm and a material thickness of 0.35 to 0.6 mm. Thanks to the leveling expertise of SCHNUTZ, the world's first leveling machine manufacturer, it is particularly suitable for strengths above 500 N/mm2 and yield strengths above 300 N/mm2. "Before the first cut, the coil is first leveled and only then divided into longitudinal strips," explains Mr. Baral. "These strips are then cut transversely, resulting in up to two sheet metal blanks of the desired length per segment". Due to the high number of sheet metal blanks with small dimensions, the area for stacking and packaging plays an important role. Therefore the b+s group has paid attention to different stacking techniques such as a blow air stacker. Compared to the old system, the new multi-blanking system is about 70 percent more efficient, which has increased daily throughput. The leveling result also corresponds exactly to the desired specifications from BSH - for example, the result is extremely low-burr. "Our employees appreciate the ergonomic advantages of the new system," says Schiffner. "It also works at less than 75 dBa, which significantly reduces noise emissions. This of course contributes to a much more pleasant working environment". Based on this positive feedback and the extensive support throughout the project, further lines of the b+s group are already planned in other BSH plants.

Intensive consultation on site and individual special designs

Initial planning for the project began in 2016, and in order to optimally adapt the new plant to the requirements, the team from the b+s group first visited the BSH plant in Giengen. "Every machine park poses different challenges when designing a new plant," explains Thomas Baral, Managing Director of Burghardt + Schmidt GmbH. . "Therefore, on-site appointments are essential for our service - this is the only way a new plant can be optimally integrated into existing production processes. In addition, individual requirements can be discussed much better in a personal meeting and we can support you with our many years of know-how. "  The control and drive technology, the straightening technology and the production speed of the plant played a decisive role in the conceptual design. Further requirements could be taken into account directly during the design phase thanks to the efficient preliminary planning. "For safety reasons, for example, it was important for us that the new system enables automatic strapping with edge protection," reports Schiffner. "Likewise, the new plant was to do without a pit, but had to have a sample drawer so that the quality of the blanks could be checked. In addition, the lowest possible noise level was desirable in order to minimize the burden on our employees through unnecessary noise emissions". Once all requirements had been recorded, the construction of the individualized multi-blanking system could begin. Thanks to the synergy effects of the individual companies of the b+s group all special requests could be implemented promptly, so that the plant could be delivered ready for operation in March 2019.

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