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RUD's new generation of Tool Movers

24 March 2020

The latest Tool Movers from RUD are designed to take the strain out of tasks such as moving tools from injection moulding machines or dismantling heavy machine parts that previously needed a crane and at least two operators.

This latest generation of Tool Mover provides users with a much larger working surface at the lowest possible working height. RUD says this isn't just 'cool for tools', but has major benefits for operators, workshop managers, workplace safety inspectors and financial controllers: with Tool Mover, handling tools is safe, efficient and effective in terms of costs and processing. 

RUD's Tool Mover can be supplied in configurations to meet exact requirements. For example, the smallest Slim version can handle weights of up to 10 tonnes on its sturdy 800mm table surface. The Tool Mover system has been designed for use in the tool and mould-making industries, with injection moulding and pressing tools, and with pressing, bending and forming technologies. It is also well suited for applications in the automotive, electronics and packaging industries. 

"If you're looking for a win-win situation for everyone involved in maintenance, you can't do better than Tool Mover. Financial controllers are pleased that the machine pays for itself in less than a year. Operational managers and workshop managers benefit from much shorter maintenance processes and service teams can work more efficiently without risk of injury, thanks to the machine's ergonomic design", explains Anne Kühling, Product Manager in the Conveyor & Drive division at RUD Ketten Rieger.

Ergonomics and workplace safety at a glance

When designing the latest generation of the Tool Mover system, RUD's engineers reduced the height of the working surface on the smallest model to 595mm. "Enabling users to work as ergonomically as possible was really important to us. This lower working height means that opened tools can be maintained directly on the working table. Operators can work more comfortably in a natural posture, and there are fewer setup costs," says Klaus Pfaffeneder, Head of Design at RUD Ketten (Conveyor & Drive division).

In maintenance procedures, the Tool Mover enables operators to work in full compliance with occupational health and safety regulations (such as the German BGV).

Anne Kühling comments: "Anyone who uses a crane to haul or pull loads across the floor is not only creating a fire hazard but also working in contravention of current standards. For instance, Paragraph §37 of German trade associations accident prevention regulations for cranes specifically prohibits this."

With an integrated Omega Drive

RUD's tool-handling machine is designed to axially rotate tools and machine components weighing up to 64 tonnes. It rotates and turns over even the heaviest loads, reliably and safely. The machine turns over loads smoothly in their centre of gravity. The Tool Mover's work table has a frequency-regulated drive to ensure it stops and starts smoothly, without juddering. RUD's Tool Mover is also fitted with a high-end drive system from the TECDOS range. The Omega Drive at the core of the system ensures efficient rotation during turn-over.

RUD says the Tool Mover can turn over objects at least twice as quickly as a crane, in less than a minute. Plugs or cooling hoses that usually have to be dismounted for safety reasons during component maintenance using a crane can simply stay in place when the Tool Mover is used to turn over the components. 

New options in planning

In some cases, RUD believes you might save a great deal of money by installing a Tool Mover in your workshop instead of investing in an expensive crane system. The Tool Mover can be moved easily with a fork lift truck or pallet truck, etc., and installed exactly where it is needed.

Kühling adds: "This gives companies entirely new options for planning production sites. Maintenance procedures and logistics can be completely rethought to benefit from the potential for new hall layouts and innovative handling processes." 

The Tool Mover also protects existing infrastructure such as the production hall floor, because tools and machine components no longer have to be dragged over to maintenance points.

Extensive range

RUD manufactures the Tool Mover at its headquarters in Aalen, Germany. Available in six standard sizes, the Tool Mover is suitable for a wide range of tool sizes. The smallest version, with a table area of 800 x 1300mm (L x W) can handle up to 10 tonnes. In contrast, the THS 64 (the largest standard version) can rotate tools and machine components weighing up to 64 tonnes safely and smoothly on its 3500 x 2500mm table area (L x W). 

RUD can also fit the Tool Mover with different tabletop surfaces (e.g. polyethylene) to suit individual customer requirements. Anti-slip polyurethane surfaces are available on request. Optional add-on parts for added workplace safety, such as guard brackets or a protective sheet to prevent operators reaching into the machine, are also available. A light curtain or protective fence can also be supplied to optimise safety in the working environment. A special working platform for ensuring operator safety when attaching attachment points and lashings is also available as an option.

The Tool Mover's wireless control units have been designed with practicality in mind: with them, operators can control the rotating table safely and conveniently from outside the danger zone. 

For more on the Tool Mover, visit: www.rud.com.