BERCO: a new 3000 ton PRESS
This year, after 35 years of loyal service, the historic Lasco forging hammer line has gone into retirement; the hammering of ”Berta” (as it was known not just in the factory but all over the village of Castelfranco Veneto) bore witness to the fervent activity within the factory.
The fully automatic, rapid-changeover line was definitely futuristic in its time and up to the beginning of 2010 was allowing us to forge roller halves and wheel hubs of up to 60 kg.
After so many excellent years of service, however, the line was due for a major electronic retrofit which, in any event, could not have guaranteed the high performance levels now required. As the task of the forging line in the Castelfranco factory is to supply the roller and hub processing lines, at the end of 2010, as part of the restructuring plan, it was decided to start transferring the Eumuco 3000 unit from the Busano Canavese factory and complete the line.
The salient aspects of the line are many and regard all the components: the Saet heating furnace (the first ever on a Berco line), the robotized cell (manufactured by a completely new external supplier) serving the trimming press and the main Eumuco 3000 press itself, fully overhauled with state-ofthe-art electrical retrofitting. The result is a technologically evolved, extremely high-performance production line, conforming to the latest workplacesafety regulations and capable of producing large-size items already hardened in-line. The Saet heating furnace, equipped with the latest IGBTbased 1500 KW static converter model, also has a filtration/ rephasing system to upgrade the power factor.
The robotized cell is structured around two Kuka KR 150/2000 heavy-duty handling robots, which, thanks to the lay-out, is able to supply the trimming press in very competitive times; in future, it will be possible to add a further upset forging press, as the cell for this is already designed. The main item in the line is obviously
the extremely powerful and newly retrofitted Eumuco 3000 ton press, which, despite its many years of active service, still has much to offer. The electrical control panel has one of the most modern PLC control devices available, with a builtin safety system that guarantees complete operator safety in forging operations. Retooling is fast and safe thanks to a totally new rapid forging tool change device, installed on one of our lift trucks.
When the performance of the new line is analysed and matched to that of the old forging hammer, the advantages are clear to see: an approximately 15% saving in forging time for 30-ton class rollers, which increases with the increase in size up to 25% for 40 tons; as the forging of net-shaped rollers is possible, there is also a saving in steel consumption and roughing time. We can safely say that, with the implementation of this new hot forging line, the factory's potential in this strategically important process has been considerably increased and improved.