Case Automation has been designed and engineered to aid specific elements of the production process
Germany - Flightcase and loudspeaker component manufacturer Penn Elcom highlights its new Case Automation machine on stand D20 in Hall 9 at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt this year, which is designed to assist case makers' operations become more efficient.

Case Automation has been designed and engineered to aid specific elements of the production process by speeding up some of the most difficult and challenging tasks associated with case making e.g. punching extrusion and others.

Penn Elcom's Case Automation system has a footprint of just one metre square and the machine costs around 10,000 Euros, depending on which sets of quick-change tools are selected from an array of available options.

Cutting 19 inch rack rails for example becomes extremely straightforward using Case Automation.

When doing this manually, the physical cutting is wasteful and long-winded as the rail has to be cut twice to eliminate the unwanted metal and establish the correct hole positions, which can only be done using a steel saw. This also leaves large burrs that then have to be removed. To cut a pair of 19 inch rack rails using traditional methods will normally take a case maker 3 - 5 minutes. Using the Case Automation system ... it's reduced to 5 - 10 seconds.

The same is true for cropping piano hinges - notoriously difficult to make accurately but an essential element of the flightcase industry - and also very time consuming. Again the process is reduced from minutes to seconds using the Case Automation.

It's reckoned that with an average 80% faster turnaround for these processes and the resulting increase in productivity, the average case making operation can potentially see an impressive return on investment in under 12 months.

Also at Prolight, Penn Elcom is launching a series of new patented locks and specifically the new MOL3 automatic cantilever butterfly latch. This is an upgrade to the MOL2, with all the control that made this a best seller plus the automatic locking facility.

In those frustrating situations when flight case locks are not quite lining up ... the flexible MOL3 allows crew and operators to more easily control the process.

Also new on stand D20 in Hall 9 is the NC EXO case system, a new high-end case system that utilizes all the standard components and enhances the construction of robust lightweight cases.

(Jim Evans)

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