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Conveyor Types

New generation of carton and bin conveying system by SSI Schaefer increases energy efficiency and system availability

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Reliable, fast and with reduced energy consumption – this is how the SSI Schaefer carton and bin conveying system transports goods in the warehouse. The proven technology was further developed and at the same time the design was modernized. The new generation convinces with a powerful control system and electronics, and has been designed to meet Industry 4.0 requirements. 

Modern conveying systems are essential for warehouses that require high performance rates. They simplify processes, enable smooth material flows and supply the various storage areas with the right goods efficiently, and in a timely manner. Not only that, they can also sort, transfer, buffer and accumulate load carriers. The carton and bin conveying system by SSI Schaefer is suitable for small load carriers up to 50 kg, such as bins, cartons, trays and polybags, which are not only transported on the conveying system according to type, but also mixed. Thanks to an intelligent and modular system concept, the perfectly matched conveying system components can be individually combined, giving customers a highly flexible and scalable system. Application of the system in deep-freeze areas down to -28°C is also possible.

Energy savings with highest performance at the same time

SSI Schaefer boasts more than 15 years’ experience and know-how in the product area of conveying systems and can tap into a large number of successful projects in which over 1 million meters of conveyor technology have been sold and installed to date. The company is continuously developing its conveying system to optimally support its customers’ intralogistics. In times of climate change, topics such as sustainability and energy savings are becoming increasingly important. “The latest generation of carton and bin conveying technology by SSI Schaefer consumes significantly less energy than previously – and, at the same time, the new generation has an increased throughput,” says Christian Steiner, Product Manager for carton and bin conveying systems at SSI Schaefer. “This is made possible by the use of CAN bus technology, smart control and 48-volt drive technology. Due to smaller cable cross-sections and greater cable lengths, there are fewer waste losses with the same performance and increased energy efficiency thanks to larger and more efficient power supply units.”

The increased performance of the hardware, the new control system and the intelligent combination of components lead to an increase in performance of up to 30%. Thanks to the more compact roller design and the resulting savings in plastic, SSI Schaefer also avoids around 31 tons of CO2 emissions per year. In the future, the Speed on Demand function will also contribute to increased energy efficiency. Thus, the speed of the motorized rollers can be adapted to the current performance.

Higher system availability and orientation towards Maintenance 4.0

The new control unit for controlling the motor rollers in combination with the CAN bus technology provides the basis for interlinked data exchange between the systems and thus for a predictive maintenance strategy, which is planned in the next development steps. „By gathering, analyzing and evaluating system-specific data in SSI CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System), it will be possible to predict individually defined maintenance intervals in real time,” says Christian Steiner. In combination with the control software, the system function can be parameterized, even during operation. Thanks to the visualization with WAMAS® Lighthouse, the collected data in the warehouse can be made transparent in real-time. Thus, malfunctions can be avoided before they occur. Maintenance is only carried out when it is actually required and not according to fixed time intervals. Perfectly functioning components remain in use for as long as possible, which extends their service life and reduces investment costs. A central interface standard connects both the new carton and bin conveying system and all other conveying systems in the warehouse with the material flow system WAMAS® MFS and enables rapid implementation, commissioning and training with little effort.

Long-lasting durability, high safety standards and easy to use

High-quality components ensure long-lasting durability. The new motor roller is characterized by a robust, unbreakable roller design and the lifting carriage of the belt diverter has been given a more robust kinematic design. The new conveying system also impresses in terms of safety and ergonomics with new roller conveyor finger guards and reduced noise emissions thanks to the use of non-pneumatic technology. A standardized plug & play system, as well as slender cabling, enable simple installation and maintenance.

The new generation of the SSI Schaefer carton and bin conveying system convinces with its state-of-the-art design as well as sustainability thanks to energy savings, durability and the highest performance rates. The system uses the potential of digitization and is optimally geared to Industry 4.0 and the requirements of the future.

Belt Conveyors

A guide to the types of belt edge

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Used in rubber conveyor belts

Because of advances in technology and the types of materials used to manufacture rubber multi-ply conveyor belting there is often confusion concerning belt edge types.

This information bulletin is designed to provide up-to-date guidance and clarification. There are basically three types of edges available: moulded edge, (cut and) sealed edge and (plain) cut edge.

Moulded Edge

Many years ago, moulded edges were the norm because cotton was used as the reinforcing fabric in multi-ply belts.

A moulded edge was necessary in order to prevent moisture penetrating the cotton fabric and causing it to rot.

However, since the inception of synthetic ply belt carcasses using polyester and polyamide, this problem effectively no longer exists. As a consequence, belts without moulded edges are now the most commonly used.

Moulded edges can only be created when a belt is manufactured (assembled and vulcanised) to an exact width, usually a specific width required by the end-user. A small strip of non-reinforced rubber is attached to the side of the carcass during the calendaring of the belt. The strip is formed as an integral part of the belt during the vulcanizing process. This typically provides 5 to 15 mm of rubber on the belt edge without fabric reinforcement.

Moulded edges do not provide any structural advantage and can be susceptible to damage if the belt wanders off-track.

Non-reinforced rubber can easily be cut off so when a belt with moulded edges gets damaged, large pieces of rubber are often torn off.

Most ‘non-stock’ belting in special grades (fire resistant for example) and/or non-standard sizes are made to order at the specific width requested by the customer. These will therefore naturally have moulded edges unless the widths and length combinations requested by the customer allow belts to be slit (cut) from a wider, more cost-efficient production width.

Sealed Edges

To maximise efficiency of production, standard productionbelts are usually made as wide as the production machinerywill allow and are then subsequently cut to narrower widths.At Dunlop we automatically create belts with sealed edgesusing a special cutting process involving cutting knives thatrotate at very high speed. The heat created by the friction ofthe rotating knives melts the carcass fibres and the rubberon the edge of the belt, effectively creating a seal. This isreferred to as a ‘cut & sealed edge’ or simply ‘sealed edge’.Apart from a better visual aspect, the sealed edge means thatthe belt is not sensitive to moisture penetration and cantherefore be used in wet conditions and is better suited tolonger-term storage outdoors.

Cut Edge

Belts with cut edges are produced in the same way asdescribed previously but are cut (slit) using conventionalrotating knives. A ‘cut edge’ is therefore not sealed.At Dunlop we do not recommend the use of unsealed (raw)cut belt edges as wet conditions and outdoor storageconditions can cause water to enter the carcass from theedge due to capillary forces. Although the carcass fibres arehardly affected, moisture can cause vulcanising problemswhen making splice joints.

Steelcord Construction Belts

All steelcord belts are manufactured to a specific set ofspecifications which fully embed the steel cords and aretherefore only available with moulded edges. In the caseof steelcord and steel reinforced fabric ply beltingit is necessary to use moulded edges in order to preventmoisture from causing the steel to corrode over time.

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Conveyor Types

Interfloor Conveyor system for Ingram Micro

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Client: Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, Northampton DC

The Global Leader in Logistics, Commerce Enablement & Device Lifecycle Services.

Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services provides supply chain solutions that connect supply and demand. From cross-border fulfilment to dropship and returns management, IT asset disposition, remarketing, distribution etc, their solutions drive growth, enhance ROI, and protect their clients.

They serve customers across a broad spectrum of industries — from fast-growing brands to Global 2000 enterprises — and are dedicated to facilitating their customers success through their global warehousing network, world-class technology, strategic partnerships and decades of expertise in the logistics and fulfilment for technology and eCommerce products, customer support and ITAD industries.

Brief

Ingram Micro required a solution to streamline the packing and dispatch element of their Daventry operation and utilise space with a brand-new 3 tier mezzanine. The system requirement was to handle boxes, cartons and poly bags from all 3 mezzanine levels after they picked/packed and then deliver to the ground floor for consolidation prior to dispatch.  

The Ground floor pick/pack operation is to be undertaken on standalone conveyors.

The client required the system to be fully reversible for replenishment and alternative operation, which required each line to have 3 different operating functions.

Solution

It was concluded during the consultation/design stage that keeping it simple is often the most practical and best method.   Our design evolved such that each of the mezzanine floor systems operated independently from each other albeit managed and controlled from a common control panel.   The control panel, through the HMI, allowed each line to be independently controlled and operated completely autonomous from the others. This reduced the overall risk, simplified the operation and provided flexibility during planned maintenance. 

The Ground floor packing belt conveyors had their own standalone control box.

CSL opted to use proven equipment and designs, which had been utilised on countless installations on past successful projects.

Level 2 and 3 were identical in design and both required to handle the full product range inclusive of poly bags.  Each level consisted of a 20m long packing conveyor belt, which fed onto an AmbaFlex Ambaveyor slat conveyor, which provided a small footprint radius to fit within the special constraints.   Following in the need for a compact footprint, products are delivered to the ground floor via an AmbaFlex Spiral – the most compact spiral on the market. 

Level 1 pick did not include the requirement for handling polybags, only cartons and totes.  For this level, CSL utilised a 20m packing conveyor belt feeding some powered roller conveyor.  The design of the solution and space suited the use of a decline belt conveyor to deliver the product to the ground floor. 

All of the 3 mezzanine levels, had sections of conveyor which sited off the mezzanine floor area and CSL designed and supplied a multi-tier support structure encompassing all three levels.

The client wanted the system to have 3 modes: decline to dispatch, reverse incline for stock replenishment and a back up mode in case of a system issue, the line can be reversed and ran out to clear the line into wheeled magnums.

A spokesperson from Ingram Micro commented that “the new conveyor system matched the brief and the benefits will be quickly realised, the new CSL system will speed up interfloor product transits allowing for an increased throughput with lower operating costs”.

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Belt Conveyors

Plastic modular belts reach new heights

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Two new modular belt solutions from Habasit bring new possibilities for industrial packaging applications, especially in applications where space is at a premium. The HabasitLINK M2592 raised deck radius belt saves up to 5 times the space needed for a traditional radius conveyor. The HabasitLINK M0870 HighGrip Micropitch delivers 50 per cent lower minimum transfer distance, enabling use of grip top plastic belts on nosebar applications with a knife edge down to 6 mm.

Conveyors for use in the packaging industry face several challenges including limited floor space for machines, meaning belts must operate in tight spaces and at tight angles. It is crucial that conveyors are optimised for the space, so they don’t harm production layout. Furthermore, the relatively large transfers achievable with traditional grip top modular belts led to many customers being unable to take advantage of modular belts. The two new products from Habasit help to overcome these limitations.

“Plastic modular belts with a grip top feature are ideally suited for incline and decline solutions. However, until now they were unavailable for tight transfer conveyors,” explained Anders Nilsson, R&D portfolio manager for HabasitLINK. “The new M0870 HighGrip Micropitch 0.3” provides reliable product positioning with no slippage and transfers as narrow as 23 mm, a 50 per cent reduction compared to other grip-top modular belts.

“With its high grip surface, this micropitch belt also allows for higher operating speeds in some applications because of the reduced product slippage on the belt. It also copes better than traditional modular belts in incline and decline applications.”

The second novelty by Habasit is the M2592 Radius Raised Deck 1”, which allows to optimize line layout and reduce the conveyor system footprint.

“We understand that, for many businesses, space is at a premium and this has caused problems in finding suitable plastic modular belts for packaging applications,” continued Nilsson. “The M2592 space saver belt allows customers to save up to five times the floor space compared to alternative solutions. This permits increased flexibility in terms of plant and production layout.

“Furthermore, thanks to the raised deck surface, customers can transport products with a wide range of sizes, from small boxes to wide pans, without interference from lateral wearstrips. This is in addition to the fact that it is one of the most robust belts available for radius applications, enabling longer conveyors and less drives and delivering an overall lower cost.

“Finally, it is worth noting that plastic belts emit less noise when transporting crates and pans compared to using rollers or chains. This facilitates a better working environment while also helping to protect the pans and crates being transferred from damage,” concluded Nilsson.

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