Three LA36 actuators used to adjust and tilt the assembly table

The solution for two production processes

One thing was clear when Schneider Electric visited the firm of Krikke de Wit Technische Tiloplossingen from the Netherlands. The physical burden for employees within their production line for server racks, large steel computer patch cabinets, had to be reduced considerably. The solution provided was an adjustable and tilting assembly table called Project N111. This proved to not only be a solution for the production process itself, but the application protected employees against overburdening. 

‘Schneider Electric has several subsidiaries all over the world where these racks are assembled. Each subsidiary has a solution for these problems in accordance with customary, local practice. The Dutch subsidiary went the furthest in this connection,’ says Geert Krikke, director of Krikke De Wit Technische Tiloplossingen.

‘In addition to avoiding the physical burden, a timer was also built in. This prevented tilting from being performed too many times within a certain period. That regulates the employees’ pace of work, often slowing it down. Reducing the pace of work also reduces physical burdens and is proven to have a positive impact on the quality of the product,’ he continues. The assembly table adjusts and tilts by means of LA36 actuators from LINAK Actuator Systems, controlled by PLC. 

Safety during operation
It is not a surprise that the Schneider Electric employees were taken into account in other areas as well. In addition to the CE certification, several other safety aspects were considered. For example, the system reads what type of server rack is being worked on, the system stops the tilt function if the position of the retention clips is inconsistent with the dimensions of the rack. This is how accidents are prevented. 

Of course there are other risks as well. The LINAK LA36 actuators provide a great deal of force and that has to be handled in a very deliberate manner. This is why the control is located more than an arm’s length away from the assembly table. In addition, the tilt function has to be activated using two hands. Extensive training is offered and supported with a manual. 

The server rack held in upright position

Handy options
Control by the PLC means that various options are available in addition to the safety characteristics. 

  • Work height settings
  • A read out of the model to be assembled
  • Representation countdown next tilt and the counter reset
  • Representation tilt height and 'safe to tilt' specifications
  • Representation Emergency Stop 
  • Fault diagnosis

The PLC control system compatible with the LINAK actuators

Control and implementation
One of the biggest reasons that Schneider Electric selected LINAK Actuator Systems as a supplier was the compatibility of the actuators LA36 with the PLC control system. In addition, the actuators can be controlled parallel and they provide the required power. This applies to the height adjustment and the tilt features. “Selection is based on several characteristics: Compact installation, simplicity of PLC control, simple to work synchronously and the price when compared to other solutions.” Explains Geert Krikke.

The handy assembly table has proven to be a solid solution to the initial problem. Since the introduction of the N111, Schneider Electric production workers in Helmond have been working at the correct working height, at the correct speed and in an automated environment that is as safe as possible. 

Learn more about how we improve production ergonomics at LINAK.