Few industries are as competitive as automotive, where safety, consistency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness are paramount. Even small inefficiencies in the manufacturing process can slow the pace of progress.
One daily challenge for automakers? The frequent, rapid tool changes required to respond quickly to changing market demands. This is a complex operation: before the bolsters move to and from the transfer press to change dies, the dies must be lifted onto and off the moving bolsters – no small feat considering that a typical die weighs between 6 and 30 tons.
It's a challenge that Toyota knows well. The company's Toyota Production System (TPS) manufacturing approach has earned it a reputation for producing the highest-quality vehicles in the shortest lead times at the lowest possible cost. The company's UK manufacturing facility, Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK), follows this philosophy to the tee
The Derbyshire-based plant had been using heavy steel wire rope slings to handle the cumbersome process of lifting press dies. However, the extreme weight of the slings made them difficult to handle safely and efficiently … and with up to 128 lifts on a typical day, this was a problem that urgently needed to be solved.
Ultra light, ultra effective
“With steel wire rope slings, we needed two lifting team members during a die change. With the Ultra Light slings, a single team member can handle two slings at the same time. That means we’ve been able to free up a member of each lifting team to focus on quality.”
Dave Aston, Press Group Team Leader at TMUK.
Bolstering the bottom line
Driving toward success
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