Handling Systems

FICEP's Intelligent Steel Fabrication Pioneers the Integration and Full Automation of Material Handling to Reduce Labor Cost and Enhance Productivity

In the 1990's FICEP engineered and introduced the full automation of material handling systems to the industry to expand the productivity of CNC structural steel fabrication. The CNC processes that can be integrated and controlled by Intelligent Steel Fabrication typically can include such functions as shot blasting, sawing, drilling, layout, and thermal cutting of a full range of structural shapes.

Prior to full material handling automation, operators were required for each CNC work center to confirm the sections length, determine the required systems material flow, select the proper machine program and operate each step of the material handling system. In material handling systems that are without automation the operator controls one process at a time which limits the systems throughput.

With FICEP's Intelligent Steel Fabrication the multiple machine operators are replaced by the function of an attendant or attendants based upon the size of the system to monitor the functionality of the line and to perform crane loading and unloading of the line. After a stock length has been loaded onto the system, and identified by the bar coded cut list, the system's powerful software then drives multiple material handling functions and the different CNC processes in the system simultaneously.

The challenges of developing the ultimate plant layout and system capability is unique to each manufacturing facility. FICEP's engineers and sales team are uniquely qualified to work with clients to develop different concepts. To address this requirement, FICEP manufactures a complete complement of conveyors and cross transfer systems to address a clients specific system layout and capability.

Depending upon the application, lift and carry transfers can be used to address the need to load or unload single or multiple sections simultaneously or to transfer material over the datum line of multiple conveyor lines.

Many applications are addressed with a traditional transfer system that employs a design of chain driven catches or dogs or the chain runner system which moves all the sections in storage simultaneously.