TRUMPF to Launch Automated Unloading Interface at Tube 2024

Image Source: TRUMPF

Ditzingen/Düsseldorf, Germany – TRUMPF will be showcasing a new automated unloading system for its laser tube cutting machines at the Tube trade fair in Düsseldorf. Laser tube-cutting machines equipped with the ‘automated unloading interface with longitudinal belt conveyor’ can automatically convey cut tubes to an automation system, which then sorts the parts or delivers them to the next production step for further processing. This prevents errors and reduces the operator’s workload.

“This technology is another example of how TRUMPF provides solutions that address the real-world requirements of companies in the metal fabrication industry. Laser tube cutting involves a high operator workload, which can be very challenging for many companies. Our solution helps companies tackle the shortage of skilled workers while also improving capacity utilization. The result is higher productivity and greater competitiveness,” says Raphael Heinzelmann, Product Manager, TRUMPF.

Compared to many other technologies, laser tube-cutting requires significant operator involvement. TruLaser Tube machines are highly productive, which means a production worker needs to be available at regular intervals to remove and sort the cut tubes. With skilled staff in short supply, it can be hard for fabricators to find someone to carry out this task. In addition, the cut tubes tend to be large and unwieldy, so workers are often reluctant to take on this job. TRUMPF’s automated unloading system helps solve this dilemma. The solution is available for TRUMPF’s 5000 and 7000 series TruLaser Tube machines. 

Ideal for medium- and high-volume production

In machines equipped with the new solution, the cut tubes are automatically deposited on a belt conveyor. This transports the parts to the automation system’s safety enclosure. Here, the parts are retrieved by a separate machine known as an integrator, which might be a robot or some kind of handling device. TRUMPF uses integrators from well-known partners such as Starmatik and Transfluid. None of this obstructs or limits the open concept of the laser cutting machine: users are still free to unload parts manually, an option that continues to be particularly advantageous for small batch sizes and intermediate products. TRUMPF’s automated unloading system also features a digital interface that transfers all relevant information about the parts to the integrator. TRUMPF’s Programming Tube software makes this data available to the integrator automatically via the TruLaser Tube’s digital interface. This data makes the next stage simpler, for example, by enabling the Starmatik robot to sort cut parts or convey them directly to the next step in the process without having to teach individual positions. This digitalization solution also saves time and reduces the possibility of errors. TRUMPF’s automated unloading system is a particularly good choice for medium- and high-volume manufacturers, as well as for job shops that handle orders of various sizes. Typical applications include furniture, fitness machines, and agricultural machinery. 

Fully automating the tube process chain

TRUMPF’s automated unloading system is the final link in the chain that enables every step in the tube fabrication process to be automated, including laser tube cutting. The company’s automated loading system, which enables raw material to be taken directly from storage and automatically loaded into the machine, has already been on the market for some time. TRUMPF can also help users automate their tube-bending and welding processes. To achieve these advances in the tube processing chain, TRUMPF works with well-known industry partners, including Starmatik, Transfluid, and STOPA.

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