RUD, a manufacturer of integrated chain and component solutions, states that its new Tool Mover takes the strain out of tasks, such as unmounting heavy tools from injection moulding machines or dismantling machine parts weighing several tonnes, which previously needed a crane and at least two operators.
The new Tool Mover offers major benefits for operators, workshop managers, workplace safety inspectors and financial controllers, as it makes handling tools safer, more efficient and effective in terms of costs or processing. It also provides users with a much larger working surface at the lowest possible working height.
RUD’s Tool Mover can be supplied in configurations that suit exact requirements. For example, the smallest ‘slim version’ can handle weights of up to 10 tonnes on its sturdy 800mm table surface. The Tool Mover system has been designed for use in the tool and mould making industries, with injection moulding and pressing tools, and with pressing, bending and forming technologies. It is also ideally suited for applications in the automotive, electronics and packaging industries.
Designed to axially rotate tools and machine components weighing up to 64 tonnes, the Tool Mover rotates and turns over even the heaviest loads, reliably and safely – using their centre of gravity. The Tool Mover’s work table has a frequency regulated drive to ensure it stops and starts smoothly, without juddering. It is also fitted with a high-end drive system from the TECDOS range. An Omega Drive at the core of the system also ensures perfect rotation during turnover.
Plugs or cooling hoses that usually have to be dismounted for safety reasons during component maintenance using a crane can simply stay in place when the Tool Mover is used to turn over the components.
“If you’re looking for a win-win situation for everyone involved in maintenance, you can’t do better than Tool Mover,” explains Anne Kühling, product manager in the conveyor and drive division at RUD Ketten Rieger & GmbH und Co KG. “Financial controllers are also pleased, as the machine pays for itself in less than a year. Operational managers and workshop managers also benefit from much shorter maintenance processes and service teams can work more efficiently without risk of injury, thanks to the machine’s ergonomic design.”
When designing the latest generation of the Tool Mover system, RUD’s engineers reduced the height of the working surface on the smallest model to 595mm. “Enabling users to work as ergonomically as possible was really important to us. This lower working height means that opened tools can be maintained directly on the working table. Operators can also work more comfortably in a natural posture, and there are fewer set-up costs,” says Klaus Pfaffeneder, head of design at RUD (conveyor and drive division).
The Tool Mover has revolutionised maintenance procedures, enabling operators to work in full compliance with occupational health and safety regulations (such as the German BGV). “Anyone who uses a crane to haul or pull loads across the floor is not only creating a fire hazard but also working in contravention of current standards. For instance, paragraph §37 of the German trade association’s accident prevention regulations for cranes specifically prohibits this,” comments Kühling.
The Tool Mover can also protect existing infrastructure such as the production hall floor, because tools and machine components no longer have to be dragged over to maintenance points.
In some cases, users can save a great deal of money by installing a Tool Mover in a workshop instead of investing in an expensive crane system. The Tool Mover can be moved easily with a forklift truck or pallet truck, etc and installed exactly where it is needed. “This gives companies entirely new options for planning production sites. Maintenance procedures and logistics can be completely rethought to benefit from the potential for new hall layouts and innovative handling processes,” explains Anne Kühling.
RUD manufactures the Tool Mover at its headquarters in Aalen, Germany. Available in six standard sizes, the Tool Mover is ideal for a wide range of tool sizes. The smallest version, with a table area of 800mm x 1,300mm (L x W) can handle up to 10 tonnes. In contrast, the THS 64 (the largest standard version) can rotate tools and machine components weighing up to 64 tonnes safely and smoothly on its 3,500mm x 2,500mm table area (L x W).
Having joined the magazine in 2012, Claire developed her knowledge of the industry through the numerous company visits, exhibitions and conferences she attended both in the UK and abroad.
Claire prides herself on keeping readers well informed and up to date with the latest industry news.