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Reduce to the max

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Germany’s most prestigious maker of clocks and clockworks has high demands for the coating solution used for its delicate and highly varied small clock components. The system has to run like clockwork. It has to offer extreme accuracy while also remaining flexible and easy to use. In the search for a suitable system concept, the two long-established companies Hermle and Venjakob got together.

In this place, time never seems to stand still. The production site and company headquarters in Reichenbach am Heuberg in the German state of Baden-Württemberg is where the medium-sized family company Hermle, which looks back on 100 years of clockmaking, manufactures its clocks and clockworks. Hermle runs one of the most modern clock production facilities in the world and is one of the last remaining clock manufacturers. Where production of mechanical clockworks for large clocks is concerned, Hermle is the only full range supplier in the whole world.

Request for a compact system made to measure

The clockmaker wanted a new solution for coating mechanical clock components to be installed in the facilities built in Reichenbach in 2021. The plan was to have this system replace the previously used but now dated machines. These included a manual spraying bench for special components, an automatic coating system with an overhead conveyor for coating clock frames and a spindle chain conveyor for coating

rotationally symmetrical clock components. “Ideally the new system should combine all the different solutions we were using before,” was the customer’s request.  But Heiko Dreher, Purchasing Manager at Hermle, only had a vague idea of what such a 3-in-1 solution could look like. Following detailed discussions, Kornelius Berg, the Venjakob Sales employee responsible for Hermle, submitted three different concepts for the new system, each offering different functions. “We came to an agreement quickly,” says Berg. The main differences affected the conveyor system. Heiko Dreher seemed taken by the ideas and the precise details of the concepts. In the end, Hermle chose the concept featuring a small, compact, fully automatic coating system with ABB coating robots and a floor conveyor with a rotary drive. The conveyor system accommodates the carrier frames that carry the clock components and is intended for cycled transport through each of the processing stations.

Set-up, install, and go

The selection criteria also included the available space. The function and design of the system were adapted to the dimensions of its future installation site. To facilitate quick commissioning, which was another customer request, the coating system was delivered in only a few separate parts. That way, only the platform for the supply and exhaust air and the spray booth had to be attached. “The customer even agreed to remove two walls from the room to make it possible for the system to be transported to the installation site in as few pieces as possible,” reports Venjakob’s Kornelius Berg. This small anecdote is sure to stick in the minds of all those involved for a long time to come.

Produktbilder, Hermle, Uhrwerkbeschichtung

Special master program for autonomous operation

The system concept developed by Venjakob allows Hermle to coat the greatest variety of small components in just one installation with a single conveyor system. The workpiece carriage is firmly installed on the tracks. The machine capacity was adapted to the application (with a cycle time of 5 minutes per item carrier) but an increase by approx. 20 percent remains possible. The entire system is designed to be flexible and as easy to use as possible. Venjakob’s software engineers programmed a special input interface for controlling the coating robot, giving the customer the simplest possible option for creating recipes of their own. “You simply copy the recipe, then enter the different parameters such as dimensions of the coated component, the coating speed or the angle of the coating gun,” Kornelius Berg explains the principle.  The ease of use and adaptation to customer requirements applies to the entire system. A central operating system is used to control the coating system including the conveyor technology. Training the machine operator likewise only required a basic training course for maintenance and service of the coating robot by its manufacturer ABB.

Function sequence and process steps

The coating system transports items counterclockwise, the feeding and removal station are at the same location. The clock components being coated are attached to the item carrier frames by hand. These are then positioned in a form locking manner on the workpiece carriage of the floor conveyor and are quick to remove after the coating process is complete. Prior to the coating process, the desired recipe is selected on the system control desk and transmitted to the controls. The system controls contain the parameters for processing the parts according to each recipe.

After selecting the desired recipe, a simple push of the start button on the control desk will start the system. The floor conveyor moves the item carrier into the coating booth. Once the first side of the part has been coated by the robot, the item carrier rotates automatically thanks to the rotary device to permit coating of the other side.  The next step is evaporation. The evaporation zone can contain two item carriers at once. After a 10-minute evaporation period, the item carriers are transported to the drying channel. The drying temperature is 80° to 120°C. The length of the through-feed dryer makes it possible for six item carriers to dry at the same time. The item carriers enter it in a 5 minute interval and remain there to dry for 30 minutes. The subsequent cooling process takes 10 minutes and happens outside of the channel at room temperature. Afterwards the item carriers are simply removed from the rods of the floor conveyor at the removal station.

Genel

The most common conveyor belt issues and how to prevent them

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Like any type of machinery, conveyor belt systems will eventually experience issues from time to time. Regardless of how well-maintained conveyor belt parts are, it’s normal to face problems, especially given that conveyor belts are one of the most used pieces of equipment across many industries.

While some problems are bound to happen, there are ways to prevent common issues and extend the life of your conveyor belt parts. Below are some of the most common conveyor belt problems and ways to prevent them.

Material spillage

Material accidentally sliding, rolling, or spilling over is inevitable, especially for productions that move a lot of loose or heavy products. However, if your conveyor system is experiencing an increase in spillage incidents, it could be an issue with areas that are causing excess shaking or rattling.

To prevent material spillage, be sure to keep your conveyor system well-maintained. Clean the conveyor belt and parts regularly and consider installing impact beds.

Seized rollers

Excessive material spillage is the most common cause of seized rollers, which can halt production altogether. To prevent this downtime, we recommend installing Luff’s patented High Moisture Seal & Anti-Lock Shield. This polymer disc sits inside the end cap and remains stationary as the roller rotates around it, allowing the roller to turn freely, even with material built up between the roller end and the conveyor idler.

In addition to Luff’s High Moisture Seal & Anti-Lock Shield, you can prevent seized rollers by carefully inspecting them on a regular basis. This should be part of your regular maintenance routine.

Material blockage

Material blockage can happen due to wear and tear on the conveyor belt, sharp edges, and weak points in the system. When blockages happen, they can cause the conveyor belt to simply stop moving.

To avoid this issue, again be sure to keep a well-maintained system. Inspect your conveyor belt for any holes, weak points, and sharp edges that could potentially cause a blockage and have them repaired as soon as possible. Another solution to prevent material blockage is to install guide rollers which help reduce the chance of severe belt damage from sharp edges.

Mistracked conveyor belt

Mistracking happens when the belt moves too far to one side, which can lead to material spillage, material blockage, and cause premature wear on other conveyor belt parts. A mistracked conveyor can throw off the entire system The best way to prevent a mistracked conveyor is to have inspections and adjustments done on a regular basis. If you notice small signs of misalignment such as uneven belt wear, address them immediately before they become bigger problems.

To sum it up, some of the most seemingly small issues can turn into bigger problems that can halt operations. These common issues can be prevented and solved with simple conveyor belt parts and accessories.

Source: luffindustries.com

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Plastic load carriers from the automotive specialist

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A trouble-free internal material flow is one of the essential factors for efficient production of components for the automotive industry. Errors and faults in transport and storage systems result in time-consuming and costly interruptions. The Craemer Group, internationally established supplier to the automotive industry, is one of the leading manufacturers with large-scale production of automotive modules made of metal and large-volume load carriers made of plastic.

The automotive expertise of the Germany-based Craemer Group founded in 1912 has contributed to the development and production of injection-moulded load carriers made of sturdy plastic. Versatile plastic pallets and pallet boxes from Craemer reliably reduce downtime in the automotive and supplier industries.

Special plastic load carriers for customised applications

For more than 50 years Craemer has been developing and manufacturing durable pallets made of high-quality polyethylene (PE). Today, the extensive portfolio includes half pallets, Euro pallets and industrial pallets for a wide range of applications. One example from the company’s portfolio is the D1 plastic pallet with its 22-millimetre rim: It is specially designed for the automotive and supplier industry and ensures high load security when used with small load carriers (SLC) and clear packaging (blisters). Unlike wooden pallets, box elements can be transported precisely and safely, without strapping and fastening, thanks to the edge system.

Thanks to their 22-millimetre outer rims, the CS plastic pallets in Euro format and industrial sizes are also ideally suited for use with SLC. The ESD (electrostatic discharge) variants of the CS pallets are made of conductive material and protect sensitive components from uncontrolled electrostatic discharge. The CS pallet is optionally available with Palgrip® anti-slip runners.

The CR plastic pallets are ideal for heavy loads. They permit versatile solutions thanks to a load capacity of up to 1750 kilograms and an anti-slip coating on the deck which makes them ideal for high rack warehouses. On the other hand, Craemer H and TC pallets offer optimum hygiene conditions for sensitive processes. The H model is also available in a conductive version. The pallet portfolio for the automotive and supplier industry is complemented by the lightweight SL pallet in Euro format with an overall height of only 120 millimetres.

Safe transport and easier handling of commodities

For the automotive industry, particularly impact-resistant and splinter-proof pallet lids are an ideal complement to Craemer plastic pallets. They are available in Euro format and industrial sizes and are suitable for all common returnable containers (such as SLC). Thanks to their precise fit they close perfectly flush. Integrated strapping grooves and locks on the short sides of the lid optimise the load security of sensitive commodities. As conductive ESD variants, they also reliably protect electrostatically sensitive components from uncontrolled discharges.

Other products of the Craemer automotive range: CB pallet boxes. Thanks to the one-piece injection-moulded production and their sturdy construction, these large load carriers made from PE convince with their high resistance and long service life. They are available in Euro format and industrial sizes. In addition, they are UN-certified and thus approved for the transport and storage of hazardous goods. Precisely fitting lids are available as additional accessories. With its complete portfolio of load carriers and accessories, the Craemer Group supports safe transport and storage processes in the automotive industry.

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Mondi partners with Heiber + Schröder to launch the new high-performance machine eComPack for automated packaging of its EnvelopeMailer for eCommerce

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Heiber + Schröder’s mechanical engineering combined with Mondi’s packaging and paper expertise enables eCommerce companies to automate the erecting, filling and closing packaging process using the EnvelopeMailer solution he state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations

The state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations

The new machine perfectly complements Mondi’s universal and fully recyclable corrugated EnvelopeMailer for maximum performance

Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has worked on an innovative collaboration with German machine producer Heiber + Schröder to create a high-speed automated packaging machine that meets the process, efficiency and safety requirements of eCommerce fulfilment operations. The new eComPack machine is designed for mid to large size eCommerce operations seeking efficiency and reliability. It can process up to 500 parcels per hour thanks to an automated erecting, filling and closing process.

The technological expertise of paper and board packaging automation expert Heiber + Schröder forms a perfect synergy with Mondi’s innovative packaging solutions. The resulting high-output eComPack can automatically process a wide scope of goods using one height-adaptable packaging design that is available in different sizes. The equipment stands out for its compact floor space requirement and simplicity in operation and maintenance.

In the rapidly growing world of eCommerce, the combination of an excellent paper-based product and an efficient and economic automated packaging machine is a key differentiator for our customers. The successful introduction of Mondi’s EnvelopeMailer solution increased manual packaging output by 8% compared to standard C-folder packaging. With eComPack, we are now enabling our customers to double their output and optimise packing operations in fulfilment centres handling high volumes,

Tarik Aniba, Sales & Marketing Director, Mondi Corrugated Solutions

The eCommerce market has grown significantly in recent years, accounting for approximately 20% of global retail sales in 2021¹. This means a wider variety of goods is being distributed, which increases packing complexity and requires versatile packaging solutions of different sizes and shapes. At the same time, with the rising cost of labour, the desire for packing machines in eCommerce is more prominent than ever before. To help customers tackle these challenges, eComPack provides a solution dedicated to the automated packaging of Mondi’s corrugated eCommerce solution EnvelopeMailer.

Made to safely fit single or multiple items and rectangular as well as irregular shapes up to 7 cm in height, the EnvelopeMailer’s flexibility in the fulfilment process, efficiency in handling, and economical use of material and space have made it an all-around new standard in the market since its launch in 2020.

André Garmer, Managing Director Heiber + Schröder, adds: “Together with Mondi we developed the machine in a very dynamic co-creation process. The result is a robust, user-friendly machine with top-class usability. Through clever and responsible creation, we were able to synchronise packaging design and machine functionality into a solution that offers tremendous potential if combined with the right packaging solution.”

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