“Old girl” gets a new lease on life

The teams from Meleghy Automotive and Schuler worked extremely well together in modernizing the 1,500-ton press.

After a complete electrical and mechanical modernization, a 50 year-old press at Meleghy Automotive is as good as new again.

The 1,500-ton press at Meleghy Automotive wasn’t so young anymore: The “old girl”, as the machine is affectionately referred to by the automotive supplier’s workers in Bernsbach, was built in 1968. The aging machine’s days appeared to be numbered, as last year saw teeth break off of the pinion shaft and cracks were also found in the crown and press uprights. Despite these signs of wear, Meleghy Automotive wasn’t so eager to put its trusty system out to pasture – and instead opted for a complete modernization.

Schuler performed a complete electrical and mechanical modernization of the “old girl”, as the machine is affectionately known at Meleghy.

“When a machine like this one is removed from everyday production operations, the additional costs quickly pile up,” says CEO Dr. Thomas Werle. This made an on-schedule completion of the extensive overhaul project even more important for Werle: “That’s why we decided to go with the original manufacturer for modernization.” As the producer of the Müller Weingarten machine, Schuler offers the necessary expertise.

The team in charge of maintenance at Meleghy Automotive actively supported the preparation, supervision and overhaul work. In late April 2017, the experts from Schuler completed welding work on the crown and proceeded to install the new drive parts. They also replaced motors, control cabinets, wiring, and the straightener cassettes and feed rollers on the coil system.

In the process, Schuler merged and updated various outdated controllers as well as the entire worker safety precautions on the machine. To ensure that system operation would be intuitive, Schuler revamped the entire visualization system. This makes both the equipping process and fault diagnostics much simpler for production employees.

The experts from Schuler repaired the crown and installed new motors and drive parts.

Since September 2017, the “old girl” has been restored to its former splendor. “A new machine also would have required a new foundation and a die modification,” notes Dr. Werle. “That’s why the decision in favor of a complete overhaul was the right one, especially since the press is basically in great shape. With the proper care, it will give us many more years of solid service.”

Image source: Schuler.