Success rolls on for GRP Tools

With a new order underway for a customer in Dubai following success in supplying distributors across Europe, GRP Tools, a specialist producer of glass-fibre applicators and ancillaries to the trade, is well on its way to making 1500 rollers a day.

The hand-roller applicators form the bulk of the Totton-based company’s business. From steel wire feedstock, roller wires are cut and bent into the required shape. Before automating the wire bending and handle assembly operation, several staff were employed on manual, single-operation, wire-bending and crimping activities.
To address the situation, managing director Peter Hussey turned to the technical solutions of Whitelegg Machines, which offered great flexibility in wire sizes and lengths, speed of operation and rapid changeover, including intuitive touch-screen control.
The selected machine, designated the PRL-8, is loaded with previously cut wires of appropriate length. A single wire is released into the nibbing station where two hydraulic units form the handle nib and a second nib as required. The pick and place unit then removes the wire, indexes the blank and loads it into the bending head. Here it is clamped and the head forms the bend nearest to the handle; it then indexes, retracting to position to form the second bend. At this point, the handle is clamped and the third bend is formed.
The formed component is then moved to the handle inserter where a plastic handle has been collected from the magazine by the handle pick and place. The handle inserter pushes the plastic handle on to the wire frame, which is then removed from and dropped into the unload chute; the cycle time being 5-7 seconds.
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