Interroll’s new modular conveyor platform optimizes delivery processes at Liwayway in China – Power Transmission Systems: Gears, Bearings, Motors, Drives
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Interroll’s new modular conveyor platform optimizes delivery processes at Liwayway in China

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Liwayway, a leading snack food company, has placed an order to Interroll for a modular conveyor platform (MCP) system and three Pallet flow systems, which aim to upgrade its plant in Qingpu District, Shanghai.

 

Interroll’s new MCP system, which is about to be put into operation, will undertake the conveying of carton boxes from labeling, sealing and up to pre-stacking, with a throughput of up to 3,000 pcs/hr, thus completely breaking the bottleneck of Liwayway’s delivery issue.

 

The main element of the new platform is a fully modular system that incorporates the various key elements of conveying systems and can be assembled to form a complete material flow solution that renders the services needed. The modules include not only the straight sections and curves with and without drives; the portfolio also encompasses merge cassettes for loading and unloading goods, and alignment and belt conveyors for overcoming steep inclines, for example. Depending on the application requirements, the conveyor modules can be equipped with various drive systems and be combined with one another. Zero pressure accumulation conveyors can be realized by using the proven and extremely energy efficient 24 volt RollerDrive concept that operates without any pneumatic actuators. A 400 volt drive solution that has been optimized to handle high conveying speeds and extremely heavy goods (up to 50 kg) is also available for use in high-performance applications.

 

Moreover, the new MCP adheres to Interroll’s consistent open concept. All its modules can be seamlessly connected with the conveyor modules, greatly facilitating customers to upgrade and transform their existing systems. It is also the decisive reason for Liwayway to choose Interroll MCP because their own engineering team are able to design and change the delivery process according to the real and changing demands.

 

Liwayway has been a satisfied customer of Interroll Dynamic Storage Systems for many years already. Based on the layout of Liwayway’s Qingpu plant, Interroll will provide Liwayway with three pallet dynamic storage systems with a total of 2,160 pallet positions, including  960 positions FIFO storage system in the raw material warehouse and two LIFO dynamic storage systems with a total of 1,200 pallets positions, used in the two finished goods warehouses. The FIFO storage system uses Time-plus Safety Separators to ensure the controllable, uniform sliding of pallets and the highest safety of personnel. The LIFO dynamic storage system can make full use of the warehouse volume, greatly improving the storage density. Moreover, the system also uses Interroll’s new magnetic speed controller, greatly improving the safety and throughput of warehouse operations.

 

“We are grateful to Liwayway’s trust in us. Interroll couldn’t have made such great progress in China and in Asia without the trust and support of our customers. As a leading supplier of internal logistics, Interroll is committed to providing the Chinese market with better and more forward-looking products. We care not only about our customers’ today but also about their future,” said Dr. Ben Xia, Executive Vice President of Interroll Group, Head of Operations Asia. “The new modular conveyor platform is a very good example. The modular concept allows our customers to modify their conveyor systems at any time according to new market demands. Quick response to changing demands is the key to winning the future.”

 

“It has been a very successful experience to work with Interroll. Interroll’s FIFO dynamic storage system can not only ensure fast, energy-efficient inventory turnover, but also ensures that the first produced products are delivered first. This is extremely important in the food industry, and also the main reason why Liwayway chose Interroll.” commented Mr. Shi Xuezhi, Executive Vice Chairman of Liwayway (China) Co., Ltd. “Interroll is very innovative. The new modular conveyor platform is the most important product launch in the 57-year history of Interroll. Thanks to their support, our engineering team can successfully plan and design this conveyor system. We are looking forward to the MCP running and solving our pressing delivery issue eventually.”

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Linear Motion Devices

Collaborative effort amongst industry specialists creates best conveyor designs

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Conveyors are usually fundamental to the efficiency of manufacturing, warehousing and logistics operations and often they are built to a bespoke design. Adrian Wells of WDS Component Parts Ltd, a leading manufacturer and supplier of engineering parts and machine accessories, looks at the most efficient ways to design and build conveyors that exactly meet specific user requirements.

Sometimes the perfect solution for a project is a standard product; this will have known dimensions and guaranteed performance levels and be easily available. Other times a bespoke solution is required, for which size and performance criteria must be established before a suitable design can be developed.

Many conveyor projects require a bespoke or partially-bespoke solution. In this case the first task for the end user is to identify performance requirements and to convert these into a technical specification relating to power, speed, load and other key parameters. That’s the easy part. The second task is to realise the design parameters by sourcing suitable components.

Realising the design often requires the integration of three different specialisms: a drives specialist to select the motor, gears and power transmission elements, plus possibly a variable speed drive and/or an electronic controller; a conveyor specialist who will help identify the best type of conveyor – belt, chain, screw, gravity, etc and the materials from which they are made; and finally a mechanical engineer who will help with the detailed work of defining the frame of the conveyor and selecting and sourcing all the many different components associated with it.

Five years ago, WDS recognised the increasing importance of conveyors as automated production became mainstream and efficiency was increased in materials handling operations. It therefore established an operation to supply the passive mechanical parts used in conveyor build projects, and to back this up with experienced technical advice. While WDS has its own manufacturing capabilities it recognised the expertise involved in making specialist conveyor parts and decided the best route was to form relationships with dedicated manufacturing partners. This partner resource can be drawn upon by specifiers through WDS to tailor a solution beyond the range of components displayed on their website.

At that time the product range WDS offered included support bases, mounting brackets, connecting joints, rods and tubing for constructing conveyor frames, plus guide rails, conveyor ball transfer units and rollers, skate wheel, omniwheels and other specialist components used in conveyors. These were complemented by WDS’s wide range of general engineering parts such as anti-vibration mounts and casters; joints and connectors; nuts, bolts, screws and pins; knobs, levers and handles. This wide product portfolio coupled with its deep expertise in engineering and design allowed WDS to address all popular requirements for building conveyor frames or bases.

Five years on WDS recognises that nearly all conveyor systems contain at least some bespoke elements of design, so as of 2018 it has expanded its range of conveyor related equipment even further so that it can offer end users and OEMs a much more adaptable range of building elements and accessories for gravity materials handling equipment, with partner expertise available to develop driven systems to meet customer needs.

A typical conveyor design has to fit into the available space, carry loads within an identifiable range and run at a speed dictated by other elements of the process. Further, there may be environmental considerations such as a chemical atmosphere, the possibility of extra heavy loads, the presence of damaging materials, exposure to outdoor weather conditions, safety of personnel, etc.

Through the recent range enlargement WDS is able to meet the needs of both general industrial conveyors and those applications that are more demanding due to harsh working conditions. The new accessory products are ideal for applications such as food conveyors, roller conveyors and belt conveyor systems and include a host of new products that enable conveyor builders to easily construct bespoke conveyor lines that exactly meet the needs of the user.

Material options include aluminium, polypropylene and stainless steel all manufactured to the most rigorous quality controls. The conveyor accessories complement the broader range of WDS machine parts, including levelling feet, ball transfer units, index levers, digital position indicators, gas struts and shock absorbers.

Like all WDS components, the full range of conveyor components can be viewed on the company’s website, www.wdsltd.co.uk, where there are also 2D drawings and 3D CAD models for download and easy access to on-line ordering for rapid delivery.

WDS Component Parts Ltd. is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of engineering component parts. It runs its manufacturing, stock holding and supply operations as one integrated organisation, allowing it to optimise all parts of its business and thus maximise service levels to customers.

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Linear Motion Devices

ECO series linear stages for the lowest cost of ownership in linear motion

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High performance in a cost-effective, economic package Rugged mechanical design Direct-drive linear motor, rotary servomotor, or stepping motor to meet your needs 44 models with travels from 50 mm to 800 mm Vacuum and cleanroom versions available.

The ECO linear stage series builds upon Aerotech’s long tradition of producing low total cost of ownership motion designs. Excellent positioning specifications, high stiffness, and a variety of options and features combined with economic pricing make ECO stages an ideal choice for applications where robust motion performance is needed.

Quality mechanical construction

Long-life precision recirculating linear bearings, along with Aerotech’s machining and assembly craftsmanship, enable the best geometric performance per unit price on the market today. Unlike other low-cost competitive motion stages, ECO stages can be integrated into complex machines with the assurance they will perform at a high level and outlast other machine components.

ECO-LM direct-drive linear motor stages

The ECO-LM series direct-drive linear motor stages are optimized with high precision, noncontact linear encoders. The precision noncontact encoders enable minimum incremental motion to 10 nm with micrometer-level repeatability. The optional HALAR factory calibration improves positioning accuracy to ±1.5 µm. The ironless forcer coil provides high force with zero cogging for smooth velocity and position control, ideal for applications requiring outstanding contour accuracy and smooth velocity profiling. The linear motor has zero backlash, no windup, zero friction, and excellent dynamic responsiveness. ECO-LM stages are available in 17 different models with travels ranging from 100 mm to 800 mm and speeds up to 2 m/s. Configurable cable management solutions are available for single and multi-axis systems as standard options.

ECO-SL ball-screw stages with stepper motor or brushless servomotor

For even more cost-sensitive applications, the ECO-SL series includes several NEMA 23 stepper motor and brushless servomotor options. The ECO-SL series is designed with many standard features and options that make the design adaptable to specific applications. Several encoder options provide electrical resolutions ranging from 0.5 µm down to sub-nm. A holding brake can be added for vertical applications. A motor fold-back kit is available for space-constrained applications to reduce the overall stage length. ECO-SL stages are available in 27 different models with travels ranging from 50 mm to 800 mm and speeds up to 300 mm/s.

ECO series stages offer many options to fit the exact requirements of numerous applications. The flexible, cost-effective design easily makes them the best value linear stage series available today.

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Linear Motion Devices

Moulding machine OEM opts for NSK´s NH linear guides

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A leading manufacturer of blow moulding machines has recently replaced its linear guides with the NH series from NSK. The move comes after the OEM received complaints about the poor service life exhibited by its previous linear guides, which are used to move the mould platens.

Blow moulding machines, which are used to manufacture hollow objects such as plastic bottles, feature linear guides that are subject to very challenging operating conditions. As a result, service life can be compromised if the optimum linear guide is not selected, as this particular OEM discovered. The manufacturer began receiving complaints from customers who were unhappy that the linear guides were showing visible signs of wear after just 12 months. As blow moulding machines operate with fast cycle times and high clamping forces, any wear to key components such as linear guides can be extremely detrimental to the manufacturing process.

To investigate the situation, the machine manufacturer challenged its existing supplier of linear guides, but was told the wear had resulted from alignment errors. In other words, the supplier was intimating that the OEM had made errors when assembling the linear guides to its machines.

Dissatisfied with this answer, the manufacturer turned to NSK, requesting that the company undertake a full assessment and failure cause analysis. Once the investigation was complete, NSK discovered there were in fact some very minor alignment errors but that these were not the principal cause of damage to the guides. At the same time, NSK technicians established that the load factors given by the linear guide supplier had been calculated using a method which produced results quite different from the values calculated using industry-standard ISO formulae.

The recommendation was made to replace the existing guides with equivalent ones from the NSK NH series, which offer higher load capacity and very long service life due to their optimised design, especially in cases of dynamic stress, overloading, impact loading and shock loading. These effects are often unavoidable in blow moulding systems, so linear guides must be designed accordingly.

For the NH series, the relevant load factor values are calculated based on ISO standards, which is not always the case for linear guides. Very often, values are calculated from tests which have not been made under ISO conditions. The values may appear to be better, but for NSK, a comparison based on the ISO standard is the correct method and one that users can replicate.

A growing number of reputable moulding machine manufacturers, as well as builders of machine tools and handling systems for semiconductor production, are benefiting from using NH series linear guides. In the case of the blow moulding machine manufacturer, the switch to NH guides led to a significant reduction in the wear susceptibility of the clamping units. As a result, the OEM has now equipped its entire range of machines with NH series linear guides from NSK.

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