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Pallet Handling

Interroll expands Modular Pallet Conveyor Platform (MPP) with flexible and powerful control solution



Interroll’s powerful MultiControl, the world’s proven control solution for container conveying, can now also be used for automated pallet conveying: When used with the Modular Pallet Conveyor Platform (MPP), this solution unifies and simplifies the control of 400-volt and 48-volt/24-volt drives. This significantly reduces the planning and installation effort for material flow projects. Depending on the customer’s requirements, system integrators can use it to implement a wide range of automated applications, from autonomous plug-and-play pallet conveyors without a programmable logic controller (PLC) to complex applications in the Industry 4.0 environment.

The new MultiControl for pallet conveyors is a multi-protocol-capable controller (PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT) through which up to four drives (i.e., 400-volt drum motors or RollerDrive as well as corresponding sensors) can be integrated into the fieldbus level and controlled. Interroll’s integrated conveyor logic enables, for example, autonomous and zero-pressure-accumulation pallet conveyors to be implemented without the use of a PLC, which drastically reduces the effort required for planning and commissioning a large number of standard applications in pallet logistics. If required, the MultiControl can also be connected to a PLC in order to centrally retrieve the ongoing operating data of the conveyor in real time or to adapt the material flow to specific customer requirements by means of appropriate programming. “With the consistent expansion of the application areas of the MultiControl, which has become the industry standard for automated conveying systems, our customers benefit from the advantages of our modular platform strategy, which is aligned across solutions and industries. The implementation of automation requirements in pallet conveying is now even easier and more efficient. As a result, we are improving the
competitiveness of our customers—regardless of whether they are dealing with standard applications or challenges in highly complex, networked operating environments,” says Marcus Dörr, Head of Engineering and Development and Global Product Manager at Interroll Conveyor GmbH. The MPP is the technological basis for driven pallet conveyors characterized by a highly flexible, modular design. Depending on the design of the conveyor line and the choice of conveyor modules, pallets weighing up to 1,200 kilograms can be transported at a maximum speed of 0.5 meters per second. In combination with autonomously operating storage and retrieval machines, transfer carriages and the Pallet Flow flow storage system, this allows highly dynamic and compact pallet warehouses to be set up with a handling speed of 100 pallets/hour per storage and retrieval machine or transfer carriage. The temperature range is 28 to +40 degrees Celsius, so that the MPP can also be used in deep-freeze areas. The MPP has proven itself in daily use at numerous well-known customers. The new MultiControl for pallet conveying is also available with a matching and preconfigured control cabinet, which further reduces the planning and installation effort. It is being launched simultaneously worldwide and will be delivered immediately

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Pallet Handling

Pallet system for round battery cells



Definition of the task

A manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles joins together individual round cells to make battery modules. The manufacturer would like these round cells to be inspected fully automatically in the goods receipt area. To this end, it requires a pallet circulation system with different interfaces. A robot removes several individual round cells as a set from the packaging and places them on the conveyor technology. The cells first need to be separated in order to ionise them against electrostatic charge. They are then to be placed in individual compartments of a tray. Along the circulation system, the individual cells undergo various inspections. The trays need to be stopped at the stations and positioned in such a way that the inspections can be performed automatically. The circulation system also needs a mechanism by which to separate defective parts. A tray holds 14 cells and must have run through the compete circuit within 15 seconds. On account of the many test and robot stations along the circuit, the space available on site is very limited.

Solution from mk

An mk ZRF-P 2040 timing belt conveyor was used to implement this pallet circulation system. Index stations allow the trays to be positioned within an accuracy of +/- 0.2 mm. This ensures that the automated checks can be performed reliably. A ramp feeds into the conveyor technology. The robot places the cells onto this ramp. They are separated and then slide into the individual compartments of the tray. Due to the short cycle times and limited installation space, a shuttle was constructed to transfer the trays to the pallet return. The conveyor technology transports the trays into the shuttle where they are then quickly transported to the parallel conveyor system for the return journey using a linear unit. At the end of the line, the cells are removed from the trays so that they are available for loading again.

Pallet system

Benefits for the customer

• Individual design from a standard construction kit

• Short cycle times for high output quantities Products used

> ZRF-P 2040 timing belt conveyor > LZR linear unit

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