Solutions for Retrofitting Automotive Stamping Lines image

Solutions for Retrofitting Automotive Stamping Lines

Within the press and press automation industry, flexible manufacturing means utilizing the latest motion and control technologies in a manner that increases throughput, uptime, and quality. Morrell’s proficiencies in retrofitting existing stamping lines encompass all of the processes related to metal forming. By upgrading the motion control technologies within stamping lines, our customers realize measurable improvements relative to their return on investment. This means the opportunity for shut down or downtime is decreased due to properly and consistently feeding the presses with steel or aluminum at an incredibly high rate of speed. We assist our customers in the manufacture of literally millions of parts per day by retrofitting the automation systems of existing transfer press lines for the automotive industry.

Engineering, Manufacturing, and Quality Support

The vast majority of stamping lines Morrell is tasked to retrofit involve presses that are in the middle or near the end of their lifecycles. As a result, much of the documentation is either incomplete or, in some cases, non-existent. We have the capabilities to conduct field studies within the facility and reverse engineer the existing systems in their entirety. The results are the creation of 3D smart CAD models and virtual prototypes that serve as the foundation for all future improvements. Morrell’s competitive advantage rests in large part with our ability to concept, design, and test the upgraded automation systems and components of stamping lines well before the build and installation stage begins, thereby providing considerable cost savings and shorter timetables for our customers.


The first step to retrofitting existing stamping lines is to understand how plant personnel will safely interact with the machinery. Once the documentation is updated as a result of our initial field studies we are able to design, prototype, and test the ergonomics of the line. Ensuring that safety is inherent within the layout of the stamping line is of utmost importance. Utilizing the latest in sensor technology our facility planning experts analyze the placement and function of safety mechanisms including switches, gate boxes and light curtains. Morrell’s customers benefit from our comprehensive engineering and virtual prototyping capabilities in a manner that allows for the validation of safety systems well before a single component is sourced.

Operator Consoles/HMIs

Morrell designs and builds operator consoles incorporating industrial instrumentation integrated within the overall controls of each stage of the stamping line. Since the key to efficient, safe function is maintaining and understanding the diagnostics of the entire process, our electrical control capabilities include centralized or decentralized Fieldbus connectivity relating to the function of the press. Operator consoles from Morrell are configured to receive diagnostic data and provide simplified controls for all aspects of the stamping process. Total machine control solutions from Morrell are a central facet to maintaining efficient operation through monitoring and controlling the precise motion of each area of the stamping line.

Electrical Control Panel Design/Build

Morrell relies on Stegner Controls to provide fully certified electrical control panel design and build capabilities to our customers. This partnership has resulted in the manufacture of literally thousands of industrial grade electrical control panels for use within a host of manufacturing environments around the globe. Each stage in the stamping process involves centralized and decentralized control protocols and must be constructed within the constraints of the footprint of the existing stamping line. Our electrical control panel design and build offerings place a premium on maximizing space within enclosures that enable unimpeded access for trouble free maintenance.

Destacking Station

Flexible manufacturing allows for the production of multiple parts throughout a shift on a single stamping line. This means the size of steel blanks varies depending on the part being run at any given time. Morrell provides innovative solutions for retrofitting the destacking station with the latest in automation technologies by developing specialized fanner magnet systems that quickly adjust for the height, weight, and thickness of blanks during the changeover interval. Our experience with industrial motion control allows for up to 64-axis synchronized motion that performs in perfect harmony regardless of the size of the material being handled. Additionally, Morrell’s experience in industrial motion allows for clean and efficient function utilizing centralized or decentralized Fieldbus connectivity. Our approach to re-engineering the destacking process focuses on efficiently optimizing usable space by incorporating the most lightweight and durable pneumatic systems and components in the industry.

Washing/Oiling Station

During the journey to the stamping plant, blanks are subjected to a host of contaminants such as dirt, grease, oil, adhesives, and other foreign substances that must be removed. Also important is the application of lubricant to the blanks to prevent the destruction of the material in-press that can lead to compromising the system. Failure to properly prepare the material will cause the entire system to come to a halt. Since the size of the blanks varies on the part being stamped it is important to modulate the pressure of the washing fluid and application of lubricant in accordance to the specific part’s dimensions. During changeover Morrell utilizes proportional technology that automatically alters the washing and oiling process to match the specific geometry of the material immediately prior to stamping.

Centering Station

In order to keep presses moving at the pace required, it is essential for material to enter the press in absolutely perfect position each and every time. Failure to properly feed to the press will result in the destruction of tooling, compromising the function of the line itself and causing significant production delays. Morrell’s ability to synchronize the function of centering stations within existing stamping line architectures is amplified through our extensive in-house engineering capabilities, a portfolio of best-in-class automation components and motion control expertise. Providing 18-axis motion for consistently feeding a wide array of blank sizes to the press is assisted with built-in sensors to ensure proper placement is a crucial step to increasing uptime and avoiding catastrophic press failures.

Conveyors and Transfer Bars

Material handling expertise is crucial to retrofitting stamping lines. Our engineering capabilities and extensive experience leads to pairing the perfect servo motors with the ability to accommodate a wide range of part sizes and loads. Preventing system downtime and shortening changeover intervals rests on precise motion control synchronized with the total function of the line. Our advanced knowledge of available servo motor offerings and other efficient motion control solutions are geared to accommodate a wide range of blank sizes within the desired rate of the stamping process. The outcome is fully proportional control of the processes in accordance to the fluctuating production demands of our customers’ manufacturing requirements.

From small presses used in the manufacture of frame supports to super large presses dedicated to stamping body components, Morrell’s reputation for retrofitting the automation systems and components within existing stamping lines for our customers in the automotive industry is unrivalled. A partnership with Morrell is crucial to maximizing throughput, uptime, and quality within existing transfer press architectures. We are able to leverage a host of in-house engineering proficiencies in conjunction with world-class automation component manufacturers to serve as a single source provider of every aspect of retrofitting presses within the automotive industry.

Solutions for Retrofitting Automotive Stamping Lines:
  • Safety
  • Operator Consoles / HMIs
  • Electrical Control Panel Design / Build
  • Destacking Station
  • Washing Station
  • Oiling Station
  • Centering Station
  • Conveyors & Transfer Bars
  • Universal Stations
Engineering, Manufacturing, and Quality Support:
  • Facility Planning
  • Process Planning
  • Product Planning
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Laser & White Light Scanning
  • Ergonomic Studies
  • Virtual Prototyping
  • Component Sizing & Selection
  • Engineering Support
  • Manufacturing
  • ISO 9001:2008
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Field Wiring
  • Electrical Control & Panel Design
  • Full System Installation
Build, Engineering, and Quality Standards:
  • UL Certified
  • NFPA
  • CE
  • CUL
  • OSHA
  • 2003 ISO 9000/2000
  • 2004 TE 2000
  • 2006 ISO 9001:2000
  • 2009 ISO 9001:2008

Additional Information:

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