Schunk Electronic Solutions has developed Magnoplate – a universal workpiece holder for depanelling machines that places magnetic carrier pins with a milling head on a support plate. This results in fast brackets for new assembly groups. The advantage for users: You start new jobs faster without having to wait for the time-consuming production of suitable workpiece carriers. Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) service providers with a great product variance especially benefit from this automation. They are confronted with the challenge of processing thousands of assembly groups (panels) for the manufacturers of mobile phones, printers, and computers every month. „The trend in the era of individualized products is towards ever smaller batch sizes. This increases the pressure on companies,“ explains Jochen Ehmer, Managing Director. „With Magnoplate, even the smallest series can be machined quickly and economically.“ Zollner Elektronik AG from Zandt in Bavaria, which has established itself as a mechatronics service provider among the top 15 EMS service providers, is one of the users of the system.
Depanelling machines build suitable workpiece carriers in a flash
This holder consists of a support plate, magnetic carrier pins and computer-aided design (CAD) software. When a new order is placed, an employee loads the CAD data of the assembly into the software of the depanelling machine, and then virtually determines the position of the carrier pins. Now the milling head comes into play, in which a setting sleeve is clamped, not a milling cutter. With this setting sleeve, the milling head grips the magnetic pins, which are stored in magazines along the edge of the carrier plate and positions them on the base plate. In this way, the suitable workpiece holder is created step by step within two minutes and the depanelling can begin. „The production of a classic tool carrier, on the other hand, often takes several weeks and reduces the company‘s ability to react,“ says Ehmer. With this, however, users are not just more responsive. „You also save the purchasing, storage, and maintenance costs for classic workpiece holders. The investment pays for itself accordingly.“ The system is compatible with all depanelling machines from the company. Customized pin geometries are also available.
Patented fixing plate protects sensitive assemblies
A further component of Magnoplate is a patented fixing plate with holes, which is placed on top of the carrier pins – it can be produced using the CAD software and the milling head of the depanelling machine. The fixing plate ensures that the carrier pins do not move during depanelling. This ensures that small sensitive assembly groups are not damaged during the milling process. The fixing plate also ensure a faster workflow. The corresponding CNC program can be automatically loaded via a printed QR code that the machine reads. Given its thickness of just 1.5 millimeters, the fixing plate can be stored in drawers to save space.