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Case story

The solution for two production processes

One thing was clear when Schneider Electric applied to the firm of Krikke de Wit Technische Tiloplossingen from the Netherlands. The physical burden for employees in the production line for server racks and large steel computer patch cabinets, needed to be considerably reduced. The solution provided was an adjustable and tiltable assembly table named project N111. This proved not only to be a solution for the production process itself, but the application was also introduced to protect employees against overburdening.

Three LA36 actuators used to adjust and tilt the assembly table

‘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 means that tilting cannot be performed too many times within a certain period. This regulates the employees’ pace of work and even slows it down sometimes. Reducing the pace of work also reduces the physical burden and it proves 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. These are controlled by PLC.  

The server rack held in upright positionSafety during operation
It is no surprise that the Schneider Electric employees were taken into account in other areas as well. In addition to the logical CE certification, several other safety aspects were considered. For example, the system reads what type of server rack is being worked on, and 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 and clear training is offered and supported with a manual. 

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

  • Work height settingsThe PLC control system compatible with the LINAK actuators
  • Read-out; model to be assembled
  • Representation Countdown next tilt and the Counter Reset
  • Representation tilt height and ‘safe to tilt’
  • Representation Emergency Stop 
  • Fault diagnosis

Control and implementation
One of the reasons for selecting LINAK Actuator Systems as a supplier is the compatibility of the LA36 actuators  with the PLC control system. In addition, the actuators can be controlled in parallel and they provide the required power. This applies to the height adjustment and the tilt features. “Selection is based on the 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 request. 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 view production ergonomics at LINAK.


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