Conveyors and scissor lifts are frequently integrated due to the fact that it’s such an efficient way to manipulate loads along a conveyor line. Loads can be lifted, raised or rotated on a lift table for a variety of activities. When you need to actively work on a conveyed item, it’s ideal. Here’s how to go about it.
Types of conveyor integrations
Lifts of all types can be integrated with conveyors. Scissor lifts tend to be used for load manipulation (left-right, rotate, up-down). Vertical conveyors are used for vertical pallet and package elevation and discharge.
In-line scissor lifts
In-line lift along a conveyor line lowers and raises loads in mid-transport.
Above: this scissor lift can raise to match conveyor line height or lower to the floor for access to conveyed components from more ergonomic positions.
These applications integrate a scissor lift into a conveyor line (power or gravity). The lift table is typically fitted with conveyor rollers or ball transfers. Items convey directly onto the lift table to be rotated or moved up/down. This can be done for ergonomic reasons, which let workers more easily work on the load, or to move it up or down to a perpendicular conveyor line. In-line lifts are often designed to sink below a floor-mounted conveyor and engage only when needed.
Lift tables sit line-side and can be adjacent or connected. Loads are diverted onto them by ball transfers, spurs or decline conveyor lines for further work or processing. As with in-line tables, this allows greater and more ergonomic access to the conveyed loads. In a distribution application, this may be used to move a load to a parallel line or to allow easier forklift access to a palletized load. In assembly operations, this allows workers to manipulate, rotate, lower and raise loads for work.
End-of line scissor lifts
Conveyors discharge their loads onto a lift at the end of a line. In these applications, the lift is in-line and can lower or raise the load as well as rotate it for further work. One way this can be used is to lower a pallet on a low-profile lift for pallet jack access. In some cases, the lift may be used to dump items from a conveyor line.
Vertical lift conveyor integrations
Vertical conveyor loading from a conveyor system to elevate packages to the next level.
These integrations transport pallets or packages directly onto or off of a vertical reciprocating conveyor for elevation to a mezzanine or another conveyor line. Unlike scissor lifts, which can integrate directly into conveyor lines, VRCs tend to be fed by conveyors and have a different set of criteria for safe and effective load transitions.
Loading techniques for conveyors & lifts
Conveyor loading tends to be one of the easiest ways to “slide load” a scissor lift. While sliding loads require forethought in lift design, conveyors lessen the impact on the lift compared to a rolling axle load (like a forklift). When loads convey onto lifts (fitted with conveyor rollers), the end roller will not need to bear the load’s full weight due to deflection within the lift’s mechanism. For instance, consider an incremental load like a metal or wood sheet. The edge loading and impact aren’t nearly as severe when conveyed onto the lift than if driven on with a forklift or cart. Here’s what you need to consider when conveying loads onto lift tops.
Friction and impact: Conveying a sheet, carton, tote or component onto a lift table eliminates most friction on the item being conveyed (that’s the nature of conveyors). Sliding something onto a flat lift has a coefficient of friction of right at 30%, but conveyance adds almost nothing. Certain items, like rubber, can increase the coefficient of friction. Impact on the lift may be a factor for very high-speed applications and should be evaluated when the lift is specified.
Horizontal impacts and stops: Lift-integration with conveyors often requires stops. With a stop, the horizontal force impact should be parallel to the lift’s legs and should never be perpendicular. If needed, add shock absorbers for particularly heavy or fast loads. Know the weight (or weights) of all conveyed loads when stops are involved.
Incremental layers: When you’re conveying loads that layer atop each other on the lift and conveyors, each individual load increment should be considered a percentage of the total required lifting capacity. The weight of each layer should be known as well as the maximum total weight the lift will accept. Small percentages are no factor and large percentages may dictate choosing units with higher edge load ratings. If the incremental layers are conveyed onto a lift in the raised position, see below.
Load increment footprint vs. overall platform size: If the load footprint matches the platform size, the load should roll into the lift gradually and the impact on edge loading is minimal. If the load footprint is smaller than the platform, it may have more of an impact on the lift and should be designed into the system during specification.
Load increment footprint vs. minimum platform size: The minimum platform size is equal to the support leg outline. If the lift has a minimum platform size, then the load will always convey onto a leg support. When there is an oversized top, the load should have at least half its footprint and weight over the “supporting leg outline” when it isn’t supported by the conveyor line that delivers it to the lift table (or other adjacent surface, if the load is slid off a table or workstation onto a conveyor-top lift).
Load increment center of gravity relative to minimum platform size: If your load isn’t uniform in dimensions, shape or weight, the conveyor integration must ensure that the load’s center of gravity is always within the supporting leg outline when it moves off the adjacent conveyor line and onto the lift table structure.
Consult with us to ensure a safe, stable and smooth transition that doesn’t overload the lift or stress its support structure. Remember that the load’s stability depends on load placement, weight and direction. When done correctly, these integrations result in highly productive lift/conveyor integrations that reduce labor, increase ergonomics, speed throughput and make the entire process more efficient.
New, aesthetic Conveying System for the future
The young Swiss startup Avancon SA (www.avancon.com) has set itself the goal to revolutionize the unit handling systems in distribution and logistics centers. They offer now a new modern and very innovative conveying system. This will be distributed worldwide by manufacturers of conveyor systems and logistic system integrators. The system has been developed by Dieter Specht, the founder of the Interroll Group.The car industry, the computer industryand even the machine industry presentevery few years new and moderndesigned models. Why? To be able toattack new markets and new customers.However, it is hard to see somethingnew in the conveyor industry.
Most ofthe unit conveyor systems weredeveloped 15, 20 or even 50 years agoand are still sold today in a construction,which remembers on the patents of theBritish toy manufacturer Frank Hornby,who has already registered his patent ofa “Meccano” kit in 1901.Now, the two young founders of the start-up Avancon SA are ready to revolutionize the conveyor industry with thisnew and streamlined concept. It’s full of innovative and functionalideas and has been patented worldwide.
Originally, Dieter Specht had developed this systemfor Interroll. But it didn’t fit to their philosophy. So hefound two enthusiastic entrepreneurs, Denis Ratz,he has a bachelor of science in business informaticsand Dr. Daniele Gambetta, who has a PhD inelectric machines. They established inTicino/Switzerland a new start-up under the name Avancon SA (from Avant-garde and Conveyor).
The CEO, Denis Ratz showed the new conveyor system to some large and important manufacturers of conveyor- and logistics-systems and got a very positive response.
“Of course, we wanted to see the reactions to our completely new and very modern designed conveyor concept,” says Denis Ratz. “Most were positively impressed about the outstanding design. I could answer all their questions about the functions and requirements of the market. After these meetings with CEOs and technical managers of big and well-known companies I was highly motivated. Now we are ready. Everything is finished and tested. We can deliver. Several potential customers will visit our large test facility here in Ticino. We believe that the functions and the many advantages of this innovative system will convince them.”
Avancon SA invested heavily into development, in machines, in molds, patents and in the production. With a clever marketing concept enables an exclusive group of Conveyor Manufacturers and System Integrators worldwide to promote the system under their own label/brand and house color to the final market, the operators of logistics and distribution center.
Denis Ratz explains: “We want to offer something avant-garde to the manufacturers of conveyors and intralogistics systems. But we don’t want to interfere with the market of our customers and we will not offer to distribution- and logistics-systems directly to operating companies. Even though this modern system will catch the eye of every manager of this industry.”
The partner and head of technique, Dr. Daniele Gambetta, is an experienced specialist for electronic control and DC-motors. He has patents of completely new DC-motors, which will also be integrated in the future in the Avancon Conveyor System.
“Today – in the digital age of ‘industry-4’ – the electronic connectivity is of enormous importance. I was very fascinated by the ideas of Dieter Specht, so I have joined this young start-up,” says Dr. Daniele Gambetta. “I have never seen such a convincing new concept in the conveyor industry. Everything is completely different, new, safer and much better. We believe that about 80 % of all goods up to 50 kg weight, which have to be transported millions of times worldwide every day, can be handled with this new system.”
Meanwhile, the design has been awarded by the internationally well known “Red-Dot” price in Germany and also by the very coveted throughout Asia, “Good-Design” award in Japan.
The two partners have a lot of courage to break into such an established market today. But who would not want to offer their customers something very aesthetic, even revolutionizing, which differs to all previous designs?
Why aesthetic? Well, ask yourself: would you buy today a machine, which is not modern covered? Now you can offer your customers something extraordinary that combines innovation with emotions.
Denis Ratz says: “We are very positive about the future. We have just moved into a newly built modern factory, which corresponds to our DNA. Here we have a daily capacity production of up to 400 meters conveyor tracks of our new ZPC- system. Anyone who builds conveyor systems by himself can obtain all individual elements from us and so use the patents free of charge. Several customers want to exhibit the new system at one of their upcoming trade fairs.
‘ZPC’ system means “Zone Powered Conveyor” system, in which each zone is controlled and driven separately. The system is extremely flexible and adaptable. It is capable of slow or fast transporting in any desired line and, where necessary, can accumulate without pressure. The system can also communicate with higher IT or Bus system very easily and at significantly reduced installation cost.
Of course it transports goods in all directions, with all the functions an engineer wants for logistics systems.
Last but not least it seems to be much cheaper than it looks.
Automated sortation system installed specifically to deal with “small traffic”
The UKs largest dedicated parcel carrier officially opened its new purpose built, 15,000 square metre, parcel distribution hub in Warrington back in 2014. Designed to support the continuation of growth of the company the new hub has a capacity of around 550,000 parcels a day – almost three times that of the previous site in Warrington.
The facility’s purpose was to help with the developing requirement for next day deliveries, playing a key role in plans for international expansion and to provide a platform for further innovation, as the company looks to introduce a host of new products to the market.
L.A.C Conveyor Systems Ltd is now entering its 4th year, working closely with the multinational delivery company, in the development and implementation of innovative, flexible technologies to suit the ever-evolving challenge of handling parcels from a wide range of shapes and sizes whilst achieving faster processing times.
L.A.C Conveyor Systems innovative
The latest challenge was to introduce a sortation solution specifically designed to accommodate small sized parcels. Prior to the new solution the sortation of “small traffic” was a combined sortation process, with larger parcels. This combined automated parcel sortation approach meant that smaller parcels were harder to control and ultimately ended up being manually sorted. This system required a lot of human intervention to gain full control, proving not the most efficient approach, as the accuracy of the sort could not be guaranteed. Separating smalls from larger parcels meant higher throughputs could be achieved utilising a more streamlined solution with a 100% accuracy of sort.
L.A.C Conveyor Systems innovative “Automation Toolbox” meant a combination of technologies could be combined to satisfy the required solution and could be delivered and implemented within a small footprint and with minimal disruption to current operations.
The solution utilised L.A.C designed induct/feed conveyors, handling bulk parcels on infeed for initial parcel separation, which were then separated further utilising a flighted belt conveyor, leading on to a horizontal conveyor with 5 moveable ploughs and 1 fixed. The parcels were then broken down further spread across 6 chutes, presenting parcels to an operator platform. Operator interaction at this stage of the process provided a means of orientating parcels and placing them onto a Equinox split tray sorter with barcode labels accessible for automated scanning and verification.
The Equinox split tray sorter is a tray-based “bomb-bay” sorter developed specifically to handle flat goods such as packets, books, garments, parcels, and accessories, making it the ideal choice for L.A.C to integrate as part of a turnkey solution. The system offers the capacity to sort 10,000 trays per hour exceeding the requirements, but offering scope for future growth. It has a characteristic oval-shaped conveyor on which the trays circulate. This “open oval” design allows operators and further automation to integrate with ease.
An overhead scanning system ensured parcel identification and location could be achieved at high speed. L.A.C’s modular software design structure offered a seamless link with the host IT system, completing the final piece of the puzzle.
This unique automation approach has ensured a fast and flexible response to future e-commerce demands and has enabled an increased ability to handle parcels of such a shape and size in such a controlled manner. L.A.C’s diverse inhouse skill set has offered a solution that is cost effective providing faster processing of incoming “small” parcels.
Modernising the supply chain network
System to handle small sized parcels only
Cost effective and efficient flow of goods to consumers
Selecting & implementing the best technology
Allow for more next-day delivery
Increased order accuracy
Overall reduction in costs
Integrate with latest supply chain technology
Key services & Technologies
Feed conveyor – shaft mounted motor, tapered hopper to allow product to fall onto flyted belt conveyor.
Modular belt conveyor with hopper
Discharge conveyor with high side for product control
5 off moving ploughs and 1 fixed. Underslung braked motor with pivot arm connected to plough
6 off discharge chutes
6 off operator stations
Each discharge station offering PTL button light module
Double tray wide oval sorter
Sorter gross capacity (10,000 trays per hour)
Tray type 7 DT Double Tray – (Bombay also known as split tray)
Sorter direction – Clockwise
Barcode label control linking carton to station
Item detection sensing
Omni Camera Scanner – Overhead system for barcode label capture
L.A.C IT hardware and Software integration
Wireless network connection
VPN Remote Access
100% Accuracy of sort.
Increased supply chain efficiencies
Sortation direct into shipping cartons
Easy to use, simple efficient design and low maintenance decrease cost and increase uptime.
Design allows for the highest accuracy as well as a very small footprint without losing throughput.
Overhead Conveyor Automates Electroplating System
PACLINE Overhead Conveyors has developed a pre-engineered system for handling the 10 to 12 foot long copper bars used in Electro-Plating shops. This sophisticated design has eliminated the necessity of using hand operated trolleys for the transfer of workloads to and from the hoist lines of plating tanks.
The PAC-LINE™ overhead conveyor, using our standard No. 175 Bar Carrier Trolley, can transport loads in excess of 400 lbs. Our special design allows the 10 to 12 foot long work bar to manoeuver the standard radius curves of the overhead conveyor with ease. Loaded racks can be easily transferred from the overhead conveyor to the hoist for dipping as required.
This system is designed to allow the transfer of the loaded work bar directly from the hoist to the overhead conveyor. This loading signals the conveyor to run until the empty No. 175 trolley is in position to receive the next loaded work bar from the plating line.
The same system applies to the opposite end of the plating tanks. Loaded work bars are automatically delivered to the front of the line of plating tanks. The hoist can quickly pick up the loaded bar carrier, beginning the plating process.
The entire conveyor system is synchronized to allow both the empty bar carrier and the loaded carrier to stop automatically at opposite ends of the elecroplating line, so that the loading and unloading of the hoist can be completed simultaneously between the conveyor’s cycles.
This proven Electro-Plating system can substantially increase your production and at the same time eliminate unnecessary labor.
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