Saturn installed an Eagle Press & Equipment Co. press with a Linear Transfer Automation Inc. transfer system, coil feeder, and specially designed de-stacker.

The heavy-duty transfer system can accommodate a range of blank sizes from 78- by 50-in. (feed direction) to 18- by 10-in. and blank thicknesses of 0.8 to 3.0 millimeters. It has a dual-blank load station.

With the push of a button, the whole de-stacker automatically moves to allow the coil feeder to move into position. This makes the change from blanks to coil feed a more efficient process, Copus said.

The servo de-stacker unit is equipped with a single overhead pick and place head, a vacuum pickup system, dual robotic manual quick-connect tooling for end effectors, and servo-powered actuators. The maximum payload is 125 pounds—blanks and tooling.

Saturn company management chose a transfer system rather than a prog die press for three reasons, Lucente said. “First, transfer dies are what we build here.” Management wanted to leverage the many years of expertise already gained.

Secondly, management thought that a high-tonnage transfer press would help distinguish the manufacturer from the competition. “It’s more specialized. We thought transfer capabilities were needed in the marketplace for the large parts, thick-gauge, aluminum parts and high-strength, dual-phase materials,” Lucente said. The 2,750-ton press empowers Saturn to stamp very large and complex components needing high tonnage such as hoods, tops, and pillars. It is one of the largest and most flexible transfer press systems in southwestern Ontario, he surmises.

For the first six months or so after the transfer system and press were installed, a few adjustments had to be made. “Everything was very minor. Nothing major,” Lucente said.