At the cutting edge: SawControl module from PIXARGUS

Measurement technology specialist PIXARGUS has taken the next step in network-based, integrated production. The new PIXARGUS-developed SawControl module makes profile cutting an integrated element of quality control, minimizing waste as a result.

Networking of data plays a key role in achieving Industry 4.0 in production, a fact that measurement technology expert PIXARGUS, specialized in digital inline inspection systems, is also well aware of. This was reason enough for PIXARGUS to further enhance its intelligent profile inspection systems’ capability to communicate with the cutting unit in the extrusion line. The new SawControl software module uses the results provided by PIXARGUS’ ProfilControl 7 inspection systems to optimize profile cutting. SawControl ensures that all profiles cut to the lengths specified by a customer are free of defects and any profile sections that contain flaws are cut out at minimized lengths.

One control for all: PIXARGUS system plays pivotal role

Even in its standard version, the ProfilControl 7 inspection system can send defect signals to the cutting saw to ensure that all flaw-containing profile parts are cut out. However, with the new SawControl module, PIXARGUS has taken this capability to a new level: The new software ‘tells’ the saw at what spacing the cuts for a customer order have to be made. “We have integrated all inspection and defect detection activities, such as defect marking and the spacing within the cuts, into one control loop,” explains a PIXARGUS Product Manager. “Therefore, the PIXARGUS system now plays a pivotal role for this process step.”

Profile cutting done the clever way achieves profiles ready to pack and reduces waste

The new SawControl software makes for more intelligent profile cutting. It tells the saw to continuously cut the profile at a specific interval, let's say one meter. “Inspected, defect-free sealing or window profiles will thus leave the extrusion line virtually ready to be packed,” describes a PIXARGUS expert the process. If ProfilControl 7 detects a flaw in the product, SawControl will instantly cause the saw to make an extra cut in real time at a shorter spacing. After this part has been cut out, the saw will resume cutting at the regular interval. This minimizes waste and saves time. As all out-of spec portions of the profiles come in short lengths, they can be more easily recognized and sorted out.

SawControl successfully in use at COOPER Standard

COOPER Standard, a US-based supplier to the automotive industry, is already using the new module at its location in Lindau, Germany, where the company produces sealings for body shells. “The PIXARGUS module integrates the profile cutting process into our quality control system. This provides a number of benefits,” explains Dr. Dominik Schramm, Senior Manager Global Center of Competence – Sealing Extrusion at COOPER Standard. “With the module, we can establish a straightforward link to the sawing unit control, even in existing lines using older models.” COOPER Standard relies on efficient, automated processes. Therefore, the digital measuring technology from PIXARGUS fits in here seamlessly. Defective portions of the profiles are cut out with the highest precision in an automated inline process. “This helps us reduce waste to an absolute minimum,” summarizes Schramm. “We are very impressed with the performance of SawControl.”

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The new SawControl module, developed by PIXARGUS, makes profile cutting an integrated element of quality control. The software module performs two control functions for the cutting device: It sets the regular spacing for the continuous cutting process and cuts out defective profile portions at short lengths.
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IMG 2: The operator can follow the cutting process on the display: Lines of different colour visualize the current sawing position, the standard cutting length and any short lengths in real time.