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Norgren Automation Solutions: Transforming Tooling, Sensor & Transfer Tool Mounting Devices

Transforming Tooling

Optimize your business's tooling for all pick-and-place material handling applications with Norgren Automation Solutions' Transforming Tooling products.

Transforming Tooling is a series of arms driven by electric motion, providing a new way to move products in a repeatable, accurate, and reliable manner.  It allows manufacturers to gain capacity in press room  stamping, eliminates manual labor and ergonomic/safety issues, and provides maintenance for thousands of tools


  • One robotic tool covers any panel the press is specified for
  • Quick tooling changeover using pre-programed jobs
  • Remote adjustment of tool arms- pick points- through HMI
  • Intelligent crash mitigation and instant tooling recovery
  • Eliminate hundreds of thousands of dollars in recurring tooling costs
  • Free up hundreds of square meters of floor space
  • Eliminate manual tool change and optimize safety

How Transforming Tooling Works

Electric motor-driven joints with pneumatic clutches lock in place at to provide rigid tooling similar to conventional end of arm robotic tooling solutions.

  • Two-dimensional movement: In & Out, Side to Side
  • Utilizes two- and three-joint arms
  • Any number of arms or joint configurations for your job needs

Unlike conventional tooling which is configured to work with a single panel, Transforming Tooling is designed as a system capable of reconfiguring itself to handle all panel sizes and shapes the press line is capable of processing.

Flexibly engineered transforming tooling is applicable for small to large workpieces, light to heavy application and is optimizable for specific material pick points.

The system utilizes

  • Standard Arms/Joints
  • Fully integrated HMI
  • Optimized support structure
  • Software for creating and utilizing motion plans

The system is optimized to

  • Match your machine/material handling application
  • Arms and Motorized Joints determined to fully support your workpiece
  • Minimum/Maximum motion of each arm covers your range of workpieces and optimizes pick point location

Norgren transforming tooling how it works


Communication Highlights

Press Communication
  • Communicates what job, when to change, health, when to stop if there is loss of part or crash
  • Ethernet IP, PROFINET
  • Able to directly integrate on Sieman 1500 PLC
  • Consult NAS for other communication options

Supervisor Controller

  • Stores the library of motion plans, connects arms to press
Arm Communication
  • Supervisor Controller to arms via CAN bus
Number of Jobs
  • 100+ motion plans

Arm / Joint Highlights

Position Sensing

Absolute positioning technology joint to joint

Life Span
  • 15 years, 50,000 Changes
Arm Weight
  • 2-joint shown – 6.8 kg (15 lbs)
Dynamic Rating
  • 200 Nm (150 ft lb) when locked for part transfer
  • Clutch slips at 30 Nm (20 ft lb) when unlocked for job change
  • Power
  • 480 watt typical for 16 arm system, 30 watt per arm
Maximum  Arm  Reach
  • Variable to application needs

Crash Mitigation/Recovery Highlights

Arm motion to a new job
  • Arm collision will cause clutch slippage and notify operator to clear obstruction –no damage possible
Arm/Joint moves out of position
  • Sensor, Signal, HMI, Emergency Stop, Clutches, Auto Adjust – all provide protection
Severe System Crash
  • Swap the arm, restore communication within minutes

Watch: Transforming Tooling in Action

Transforming Tooling Ready for Installation in a Press Room Destacker

Transforming Tooling Crash Recovery and Mitigation

Pdf icon Download Norgren's Transforming Tooling brochure

Versa Mounting Devices

Norgren Automation Solutions transfer tool mounting devices include transfer finger rail receivers and tri-axis and crossbar tooling.

  • Versa is the standard line of modular tooling components for automotive stamping applications.
  • High strength tubular steel links coupled by aluminum ball-to-ball clamps provide low weight fingers rated for 250 ft. lb static/100 ft. lb. dynamic loads.
  • The ball-to-ball clamps allow infinite adjustability with up to a 90 degree angular offset.
  • In-line telescoping shovel and gripper mounts allow length adjustment while maintaining a low profile that reduces die clearance requirements.
  • Updated clamp designs meet full load capacity ratings when their bolts are hand tightened using a standard Allen wrench tool mounting devices and end of arm tooling.
  • Ready for use with shovels, grippers, fingers, or vacuum cups and NAS stainless steel proximity sensors.
Syron transfer tool mounting devices
Syron transfer tool mounting devices

Micro Versa

The Micro Versa line uses the same basic design features as Versa but at a 40% reduction in physical size. The reduced size is ideal for use on smaller transfer systems or applications requiring short low profile fingers in confined areas.

A selection of square tubing and clamps have also been developed to allow immediate right angle offsets while eliminating tube rotation. The Micro Versa line is rated for 120 ft. lb. Static/50ft. lb. dynamic loads. All clamps meet these ratings when hand tightened with a standard Allen wrench.


The Simplified line of components consists of high strength steel tubing, aluminum branches with integral right angle clamps and swivel ball clamps for basic right angle finger designs. Some stampers prefer designing, building and adjusting fingers using three simple right angle components.

Fingers fabricated from simplified components are rated for 150 ft. lb. static/50 ft. lb. dynamic loads. All clamp bolts must be tightened to 28 ft. lbs. to meet these load capacity ratings.

Featherweight Tooling

This NAS line is up to 70% lighter than traditional tooling and increases line speed and productivity without sacrificing durability.

Allowing for quick and easy adjustments, Featherweight Tooling offers improved ergonomics and is compatible with all of the press transfer systems that PRI distributes.


Offering greater flexibility, this slip-free tooling system can be coded for faster and easier tooling adjustments during job changeovers. Fingers can be adjusted or built without special fixtures or skill due to its unique numbered component joints.

Vacuum Cups

NAS vacuum cups allow you to handle and move parts with increased care. Design features include anti-slip treads for oil surfaces and optional vac-lock mount for easy cup storage.

Double Blank and Hidden Part Detection Sensors

Contact style pass through ferrous and non ferrous styles. Manual and automatic versions with integral memory. NAS’ DBA systems prevent damage to dies and stamping machinery by detecting multiple blanks during the load sequence.

Contact style sensors detect multiple blanks in the destack mechanism allowing early removal or reject sequences. Pass-Thru or pneumatically extended sensors monitor sheet thickness in the magbelt, roller feed or centering station for additional protection throughout the feed process.

Quality control checks can be performed in-process to verify the presence of multiple components during an assembly sequence. Bracket, stiffener plate and stud/nut presence can be verified prior to assembly.

Gasket or sealant presence between metallic sheets can be checked after hemming, crimping or spot weld operations. Quality issues are detected early for reduced scrap and shipment rejections.

Parts can be sorted by material thickness during automated feed or unload operations. Hydroformed components are often fabricated in light and heavy duty versions. Sensors in the loading mechanism can automatically direct thin and thick tubing to the appropriate pressline. Sensors in the unload automation can direct finished product to the appropriate storage container.

Inductive Part Present Proximity Sensors

NAS’ pressroom duty steel-faced sensors survive where proximity switches fail. Our inductive proximity sensors feature impact resistant potted electronic circuitry and abrasion resistant .035″ to .048″ thick stainless steel faces designed for continuous contact with parts being sensed. All housings are sealed to IP67 rating making them impervious to contamination from coolants and oil. Robust electronics provide protection from short circuit, overload and weld field environments. 3 wire 10-30VDC NPN/PNP and 2 wire 24-140V AC/DC outputs are available as well as a full line of mounting accessories and signal converters.

Mechanical Part Present Switches

NAS’ mechanical part present switches are designed specifically for use on tri-axis transfer press applications. Part contact with the probe rod causes retraction of the part probe plunger and switch activation. A minimum of .35″ retraction from the resting position is required to ensure turn-on. Less than .10″ retraction from the resting position is required to insure turn-off. Custom length and shape probe rods can be constructed and installed. The N.O. contact of the switch is wired to its electrical connector for direct compatibility with existing proximity switch cabling.

Inductive Nut / Thread Detection Sensors

NAS Series SNP nut detectors use inductive proximity detection technology to sense the presence of a welded nut through a blind hole in sheet metal parts. This unique sensing probe develops a radial detection field to verify that the nut totally surrounds the probe and is properly positioned. The system can often be tuned to verify thread presence and quality. The all stainless steel probe resists weld splatter, and the sensing circuitry will not be damaged by the weld field environment. This allows the sensor to be used very close to the welding operation for detection of an incorrectly built part early in the assembly process. NAS offers a complete line of sensor spring mounts and output converter modules.

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