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Interroll’s second plant in Atlanta starts operation

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Interroll has completed construction on its second plant on their campus in Hiram (Atlanta) Georgia. The 11 million dollar investment gives Interroll a substantial increase in capacity for the region.

At Interroll, the Americas region continues to see a high level of project activities. At the same time, the company is quickly introducing innovative solutions to the markets. Key business drivers such as increased automation for warehouses as well as the rise of e-commerce and high demand in the courier, express and parcel business continue to support this positive mid-term outlook in the Americas region and worldwide.

“We have raised capacities in order to ensure low lead times for our customers and end users in the North American market in the years to come”, says Richard Keely, Executive Vice President of the Americas region and member of the Group Management. “We continue to see high demand for Interroll solutions in the areas of conveyors and sorters.  Therefore we have increased our fabrication footprint while creating several new lean agile assembly cells.”

The new building provides 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of manufacturing and warehousing area are as well as 25,000 sq ft (approx. 2,300 m2) of offices. It also includes training facilities as well as a Kaizen room and employee facilities such as a gym.

The new building provides assembly lines for the Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP), as well as for all sorters, including the new high-performance crossbelt sorter (HPCS) as well as sorter chutes. In the near future, it will also house a production line for Modular Pallet Conveyor Platforms (MPP).

“Over the last few months, capacity is more and more critical as supply chains are challenged with lockdowns and other restrictions. Through this challenging period, we have continued to see new opportunities because of our commitment to short delivery times” says Keely.  “Our team is fully committed to keeping this climate of excellence and looks forward to convincing more customers with our delivery performance in the future.”

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Belt and Belt Drives

Interroll receives major order in the US

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Interroll reports a large order received from a leading e-commerce platform in North America. The order includes the supply of vertical crossbelt sorter systems for 12 locations and amounts to a double-digit million US dollar volume.
The sorter systems will be installed at both new and existing end user facilities throughout the United States.

Increased consumer demand via e-commerce combined with the rising urgent need to comply with social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak created the need to expand the customer’s existing distribution infrastructure rapidly. Interroll’s simplified mechanical crossbelt platform sorter design enabled the end user and system integrators involved to plan with a six-month lead time. Interroll received orders for 12 sites with one system per site, amounting in total to a double-digit million US dollar volume.

“The Interroll vertical crossbelt sorter has been selected for its exceptional performance and proven success with large-scale projects in the American courier, express, and parcel market,” says Richard Keely, Executive Vice President Americas and member of the Interroll Group Management. “Moreover, the small footprint, throughput of 8,000 per hour through each single induction, as well as handling a wide variety of items have been decisive factors in being awarded this great opportunity.”

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Automotive

Continental Launches New Timing Belt for Special Citroen and Peugeot Engines

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Technology company Continental is updating its range of timing belts for the automotive aftermarket with the addition of the CT1228 timing belt. This will replace the previously available model, the CT1188, in all applications. It is intended for use in Peugeot and Citroen 1.2-liter engines built from the end of MY 2013 onwards.

Even tougher and harder-wearing

The timing belt runs directly in oil in some applications. Manufacturers use this design to reduce friction in the engine and thus cut its emissions. At the same time, this ensures low-noise operation with very precise timing. Operating in this way, however, places extremely high demands on the timing belt’s wear properties. Because even the slightest level of impurities in the oil can result in the formation of crystals. If such crystals get between the belt and the pulley, the belt can be damaged by the extremely hard crystals and, in the worst-case scenario, tear.

This prompted Continental to further improve the belt’s material properties: The glass-cord tension members have an optimized, oil-resistant coating and are embedded in an HNBR rubber (hydrogenated nitrile rubber) cross-linked with peroxide. This has an even higher acrylonitrile (ACN) content than before. The higher this content, the better the material’s resistance to certain carbon compounds that can occur as a result of friction between crystallized impurities in the oil. The aramid fabric on the inside face of the belt is also equipped with a multi-layer wear protection system. “The CT1188 itself was extremely tough and hard-wearing. In the newly developed CT1228 we have been able to improve these properties further still,” says Continental product manager Robert Franz. That means that even older engines with particularly high mileage can enjoy the efficiency and environmental benefits provided by a design featuring a timing belt running in oil. However, workshops must play their part in this by complying precisely with the manufacturer’s oil specifications, Franz continues.

Continental also grants its 5-year guarantee to registered workshops for the new CT1228 timing belt. Please visit www.continental-ep.de/5 for further details.

Continental’s Watch and Work video series, which, among other things, addresses the principle of the timing belt in oil, is available to professional automotive mechanics: www.continental-ep.com/bio

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Belt and Belt Drives

Survey reveals German production companies’ unrealized demand for automated material flow systems

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There is still a high potential for increasing productivity in medium-sized German manufacturing companies: Not even one in five manufacturing companies in Germany achieves a degree of automation of more than 75 percent in internal material flow. At the same time, end-users attach particular importance to simple and robust systems for pallet handling. These are some of the findings of the Production Logistics in Medium-Sized Businesses survey, which Interroll conducted in Germany in 2019 to identify what users want in terms of appropriate solutions.Automation and robotics are key technologies for greater competitiveness, quality and sustainability in industrial production. In order to optimally tap the productivity potential of these technologies, the internal flow of materials plays a central role. This applies not only to the supply of materials to assembly lines or robots, but also to the most seamless connection of storage and picking areas with incoming and outgoing goods. Most large companies have recognized this challenge. But what is the actual situation with automation in medium-sized companies?

Only a minority is already highly automated

Interroll’s survey ”Production Logistics in Medium-sized Companies” identifies a clear need to catch up in this area: The average degree of automation of internal material handling at the companies surveyed is only 53 percent. Not even one in five companies (19 percent) achieves a level of automation of over 75 percent for these processes. Nearly one in 10 companies (9 percent) has been very reluctant to invest in these processes and has an automation level of just under 25 percent. In the case of handling processes, this even applies to every fifth company. This situation in the companies suggests that there is a backlog demand for the appropriate equipment. If this reluctance to invest is not broken, these companies are likely to face competitive disadvantages in productivity.

Interestingly, the survey also shows this situation in the susceptibility of warehouse processes to failures, which the respondents reported. For example, the number of companies with a degree of automation of less than 50 percent doubles to 48 percent compared to 24 percent of companies with a higher degree of automation. But even those who automate are naturally not completely safe from disruption. Here, software malfunctions (40 percent) and the incorrect operation of complex systems (32 percent) are among the most frequent causes of impairment.

Simplicity and robustness are particularly important for users

Incidentally, easy operability of conveyor modules also plays an important role for the survey participants in pallet handling. Sixty-one percent of the production planners even consider this feature to be the most important factor in these processes. Across all those surveyed, the durability and robustness of pallet conveyor technology (58 percent) accounts for the decisive advantage of a solution. And those who believe that those responsible in medium-sized companies are not open-minded about future trends are mistaken: 67 percent consider predictive maintenance and professional service to be the most important criterion for ensuring smooth production processes, even before applications with a long service life (53 percent) and modularized products (50 percent).

In the survey commissioned by Interroll and conducted by the agency Faktenkontor (Hamburg), a total of 200 production companies in Germany were surveyed by telephone in 2019.. The focus was on companies with 50 to 500 employees and a turnover of up to 500 million euros. The companies came from a wide range of sectors, including mechanical engineering and the food and consumer goods industry. Technical decision makers, such as technical managers, production managers and production planners were particularly addressed.

With the results of this survey in mind, Interroll is actively working on a new solution –  the Smart Pallet Mover, or SPM-  to better organize and automate the “last mile” in manufacturing areas.

This new interface will improve the connection between the different phases of the material flow, that is, the movement, organization, input and output of pallets. The SPM can be deployed not only in proximity of manufacturing machines but also between different production cells within the same manufacturing process.

Find more information here:

https://www.interroll.co.uk/products/spm/

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