Challenge

Since its inception 30 years ago, Dresohn has become the leading ductwork manufacturer in Switzerland. Despite running three shifts and continually investing in high quality machinery, the growing demand for ductwork from new and existing customers was however preventing Dresohn from further expansion.  Meeting customer demands for increased turnaround of ductwork orders was becoming more and more difficult.

Solution – Pro-Duct Evolution

Having previously invested in two Firmac Pro-Duct DRS duct formers, along with numerous ancillary machines, the two companies had established a good relationship. Owner and chief executive of Dresohn, Samy Nachmansohn, approached Firmac with their problem.

Samy explains the importance of the relationship. “When you’re looking to develop new technology, you can only do this with a supplier you trust completely. We worked on the concept of a fully automated duct forming machine for three years and both parties had to work extremely closely together to achieve this groundbreaking level of innovation.”

Lewis Firth, Director at Firmac, continues,  “We have introduced technology not previously used in the ductwork industry to create the first fully automatic ductwork machine in the world, the Pro-Duct Evolution. Once the material in loaded the operator can stand back and let the machine do the work. It’s fast, efficient and highly productive.”

New Technology

Improved speed and efficiencies were achieved by moving away from traditional PLC controllers and developing a fixed controller, capable of managing multiple axis over an ethaCAT network. By integrating 30-servo control axis the Pro-Duct Evolution has a superior level of intelligence and automation. New programming techniques were also employed and traditional PLC ladder programming was replaced with structured text based language.

These new techniques have facilitated the integration of new technologies never previously employed in duct forming. A robot, more commonly seen in the automotive industry, supports the duct during the folding operation and ensures that the male and female Pittsburgh details are put together correctly resulting in a fully automatic seamed joint. The robot is one of many features, which negates the need for an operator. Other new technologies include a plasma system with a 2-axis controller that is able to cut shapes in the side of the material before it is finished.

Results

Dresohn now has the capability to produce ductwork much more quickly, resulting in increased output, whilst reducing costs by moving from three to two shifts. Their customers are benefitting from these improved efficiencies. Dresohn can offer a better price, enabling them to win new and larger orders.

Firmac customers are also gaining from this project as the innovation introduced through the robotics, drivers, controllers and software is being applied to the standard range of products and enabling Firmac customers take their production to new levels.