Monday, June 27, 2011

Material Handling: Flexible Product Demands Flexible Handling

Challenge: A good deal of ingenuity was needed to design a handling and assembly system for 9.84 foot long washing machine hosing. The system designer and builder had to provide the necessary operational flexibility needed by this application right up to the packaging station, requiring a complete integrated package that was cost effective in design and build time.

Application Description:
The plant occupies an area of 1076 square feet and consists of several sections. After being fed into the system and cut to the required length, the hose is sorted into two sizes and transported to an assembly station to be fitted with a threaded tube connector. It then travels into one of four press stations and eight pressure testing stations and finally into packing.

Installing the HepcoMotion DTS linear track system at the heart of the assembly was the ideal choice for this application. With a profile width of 1.73 inches and 24.1 inches diameter segments, the overall feed length of the DTS is 68.89 ft. It is equipped with a total of 36 fixed center carriages, each having two hose-gripper devices and an oval track with an integral belt drive. Carriages are positioned at equal pitches along the track and can be re-set at irregular intervals to ensure the precise control of the hose feed. Using the HepcoMotion PRT Ring Slides and Track System as its basis, DTS is a complete unit ready to be incorporated into any continuously positioning or dedicated assembly machine.