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Paumelles Liégeoises examines avenues for product innovation and automation

Paumelles Liégeoises, based in Liège, manufactures a wide range of metal hinges in relatively small production runs. It uses a multitude of older, conventional PLCs in its processes. In an effort to continue innovating, Paumelles wanted to explore possibilities for automation. The company opted to harness Sirris's expertise to support the innovation process.

Even in the world of hinges, new forms and functions arise. But Paumelles' existing machines, with their limited possibilities and high cost, could not anticipate or capitalise on these developments. That is why Paumelles initially sought out an appropriate NC machine capable of completely finishing hinges with a more complex geometry.

This meant a huge technological step forward for the company. It could not afford to make any wrong decisions. So Paumelles asked Sirris which new machines could meet its requirements. However, Sirris demonstrated that automating the entire hinge production process was impossible due to technological limitations. Which begs the next question: How can part of the process – loading and unloading hinge parts – be automated?

Informed decision

To test whether such automation was technically feasible, Sirris deployed a survey procedure developed in-house. Rik Belien (Senior Engineer Smart Production at Sirris), explains: “We mapped out the sizes of production runs and the production processes. With respect to automation, we also made a number of estimates: cycle time and changeover time, flexibility, possible disruption factors and more.”

Thank to tests run by Sirris on cycle times, changeover times and machining methods, Paumelles Liégeoises was able to make an informed decision: an NC machine was not the solution for improving the production process. That saved the company not only a lot of money, but paved the way for new innovations.