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Linear Motion Devices

WDS is expanding its conveyor components range

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The UK’s leading supplier of engineering components, WDS Components Parts Ltd. is expanding its range of conveyor parts, with new guide rails, bracketry, bearing mountings and guides. These will complement the existing skate wheels, omni-wheels, support bases, connecting joints, mounting brackets, head mounts and clamps.

“With the newest additions, WDS now offers a complete set of elements for the building, extension, maintenance and repair of materials handling systems,” Adrian Wells, Product Manager at WDS explains.

“Typically, we supply conveyor parts to two types of customer: end users and specialist conveyor design and build firms. The latter make the main conveyor beds complete with powered rollers and/or drives. Of course, many sectors use conveyors, so we have built a portfolio of products that can serve a wide range of users, including manufacturing companies, food processors, pharmaceuticals producers, electronics specialists, parcel and package distributors. The conveyors are also suitable for end-of-line operations, such as packing, stacking, palletising and transfer in any industry.

In addition to supplying a full suite of components parts, WDS simplifies the procurement process by offering a comprehensive online catalogue that features technical data, 3D CAD models and one-click ordering for all of its standard parts. Each component is available in a range of sizes, with options for variations such as shaft lengths, choice of handle type and metric or Imperial screw thread options. It also offers products in a range of materials, such as stainless steel for clean and hygienic environments, aluminium for weight sensitive applications, or plastics and ceramics as an alternative to steel, etc.

Its conveyor products are further supported by the full range of standard engineering parts such as fastenings, hinges, clamps; footings, mounts, casters and wheels; shafts and joints; levers, knobs, handles and hand wheels; locating pins, locks and latches. All of these are supported by the layers of technical help WDS makes freely available via its website (www.wdsltd.co.uk), telephone help line (08456 066677), email communications and on-line videos.

WDS’ headquarters combines a stock holding and dispatch centre with on-site manufacturing so that it can offer a bespoke service to customers that require special products rather than standard components. Thanks to this set up it is able to offer next day delivery on 98% of standard orders and extremely fast turnaround of bespoke orders.

Adrian explains the advantage of this: “Typically a conveyor system will be made up almost completely of standard components, but there may be a need for a customised bracket, special mounting or similar. At WDS we are able to produce these little extras and save our client all the effort of finding and dealing with a third party for just one or two parts.”

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Linear Motion Devices

Material flow perfectly reproduced in miniature

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WENKO’s logistics center in Baal, Germany, near Düsseldorf, was thoroughly modernized in 2017 by system integrator REMA TEC GmbH. Almost the entire Interroll solution portfolio was used for the expansion. For training purposes and to better illustrate the overall solution, an impressive model-made entirely from LEGO bricks—was created for the Interroll Academy in Baal.

The colourful building blocks are appreciated for their creative applicability around the globe, but the model in Baal is a real eye-catcher and perfect proof of performance even for experienced logistics professionals. A total of 135,000 LEGO bricks were used; the detailed rack levels with Interroll Carton Flow alone required 40,000 bricks. It is no wonder, then, that the model weighs over 120 kilograms.

Klaus Blumenschein was the project manager in charge for Interroll at the time of supplying the material flow solutions for the “real” WENKO distribution center and now also ran the project for the production of the replica model. “We used the optimum scale of 1:40 here, so we were able to present the Interroll solutions used optimally with LEGO. Miniature pallet flow storage systems and carton flow applications, belt conveyors, sorter with destinations and, belt curves have been recreated,” he explains. “This way, we can use the model to illustrate all material flow processes.“

Modular original – modular replica

The LEGO model occupies a space of 200 x 150 x 55 centimeters and provides lighting in all picking tunnels and above the sorting lines. The project took more than half a year to complete and the construction itself took seven weeks. Pascal Lenhard of Berlin-based Brickmonster was engaged for the project and has already been successful with objects such as the Berlin Airport, the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna’s Prater and similarly ambitious LEGO models.

The client, the Interroll Academy, and everyone else involved in the “real project” are delighted with the result. The model has been exactly adapted to the real WENKO project, but has retained the typical LEGO character. If you take a close look at the replica, you will discover a great deal of attention to detail, as well as surprising and entertaining details such as a LEGO pirate or the queen.

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Linear Motion Devices

Hygienic power transmission solutions

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Altra Industrial Motion Corp. will be well represented at CIBUS TEC 2019, with leading brands Bauer Gear Motor and Kollmorgen both showcasing hygienic solutions for the food and beverage industry. One of the world’s leading technology exhibitions for the sector, CIBUS TEC attendees will have the chance to view hygienic geared motors and motion control products on the Altra Industrial Motion stand throughout the event.

CIBUS TEC 2019 takes place from 22nd – 25th October at Fiere di Parma, Viale delle Esposizioni 393A – 43126 in Parma, Italy. Altra Industrial Motion will be located in Hall 06, Booth B 038.

Resistance to washdowns and minimising contamination risks are key provisos for power transmission equipment in the food and beverage industry. Reliability and efficiency are additional drivers, as operators want to maximise return on their product in a market that typically offers low profit margins per unit. Solutions on the Altra Industrial Motion stand directly address these challenges.

Bauer Gear Motor’s HiflexDRIVE range is a well-established series of hygienic geared motors for conveying applications. Ingress protection can be specified at either IP67 or IP69K – ensuring the HiflexDRIVE is suitable for high pressure washdowns. The smooth exterior can be specified in full stainless steel or aseptic, ideal for areas with high or low mechanical impact risk respectively. All models are fan-less, which ensures potential contaminates are not spread through the application area during operation. The range is available in efficiency ratings up to IE5, allowing operators to minimise energy costs.

Stainless steel motors, servo motors and gearboxes form Kollmorgen’s offering at CIBUS TEC this year. The AKMH range of geared and servomotors both deliver IP69K ingress protection as standard, with the smooth durable exteriors excellent at resisting contamination.

Both are manufactured to EHEDG and 3A hygienic design standards. In addition, the Kollmorgen “Open” Gearbox features TRUE Planetary™ gearing to enhance load capacity, reduce backlash and allow for smoother operation than non-helical gearheads.  Highly precise, it also incorporates RediMount™ technology for efficient installation.

Altra Industrial Motion provides its customers with a global supply capability, paired with responsive engineering teams on hand to provide localised support where required. Leading brands combine to offer complete drive chain solutions, delivering interoperability to boost reliability. Visitors to CIBUS TEC will be able to meet with expert engineers on stand throughout the event to discuss application requirements.

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Linear Motion Devices

Interroll and Conveyor Handling Company provide a highly efficient shoe sortation solution in the US

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A modular material handling system for a new distribution facility in Cranberry, New Jersey for the end user Distribution Management Group Inc. (DMG) has been realized by Conveyor Handling Company (CHC). At the heart of this solution is the state-of-the-art crossbelt sorter technology from Interroll which reduces electricity costs, simplifies maintenance and makes product packing and distribution more efficient.

Since 1975, Baltimore, Maryland-based CHC has sold, serviced, and designed an impressive array of solutions for manufacturing companies, e-commerce and retail distributors, health care and clothing producers, and more. Past projects include crossbelt sortation systems, turnkey conveyor and racking installations, automated storage and retrieval systems, multi-tiered staging lanes, and even modular offices and mezzanines.

Despite this deep expertise, CHC recently faced an interesting challenge. One of its longtime customers, Distribution Management Group Inc. (DMG), was opening a new facility in Cranberry, New Jersey. The third-party logistics company (3PL) would be responsible for sorting, packing, and shipping products for its clients in the footwear industry and needed material handling equipment able to reliably process and ship 100 shoe boxes per minute.

 Benefitting from a new approach

Technically it was possible, just not in the way that DMG imagined.

“They originally wanted us to design a distribution center modeled after their existing facilities,” explains Rich Rittermann, Vice President of Operations at CHC. “In this instance, an employee would push a cart up and down each aisle, picking shoes as they went; when the cart was full, they’d move it to a central sorting area, where other workers would start pulling boxes off the different carts and packing them until each order was filled. There was nothing wrong with their process, except that I knew it would be too labor intensive and eventually become unmanageable at the volumes they were anticipating. They needed an automatic sortation system, and it was my job to convince them of that.”

Rittermann had previous experience with such systems, but the combination of high product volumes and the need to sort color, size, and style combinations by the hundreds led him to consult with the Interroll team, who told Rittermann that they were working on a shoe distribution center in Mexico, and agreed that Interroll’s horizontal crossbelt sorter would be an ideal solution.

Reliable, energy efficient and easy to maintain

Unlike traditional crossbelt sorters, Interroll’s solution uses a pneumatically actuated plate and drive wheel mechanism rather than a motor on each carrier to transfer goods to the appropriate chute. This reduces electricity costs and simplifies maintenance to increase reliability and the gentle motion means the sorter can be used with delicate products like eggs and yogurt and it still being powerful enough to move heavy sacks of grain or animal feed.

The system is both smart and accurate, with automatic recirculation of “no-reads” and overflow products. This is especially important in e-tail, where system demands are unpredictable, and customer return rates are much higher. The horizontal crossbelt sorter is also smart about floor space. Its modular design is compact yet easy to reconfigure based on changing needs. In this particular application, CHC “double-stacked” the conveyor, maximizing the system’s throughput without increasing its footprint.

Joining competences within an intensive and successful cooperation

“I was very pleased with the cooperation between Interroll, DMG, and the CHC installation team and project managers,” says Rittermann. “It was a big step forward for our customer. They’re using it every day and are shipping out 15 to 30 thousand pairs of shoes each day, with capacity for much more. They told us at the beginning of the project that they needed equipment that would be more efficient and faster for them, a system that would give them the ability to pick shoes and ship them out the door the same day, and that’s exactly what we provided.”

John Roca, Vice-President of Distribution Management Group Inc., agrees. “Conveyor Handling Company has consistently provided high-value, excellent-quality conveyors, racks, and material handling equipment for our distribution and fulfillment operations in multiple New Jersey facilities. In fact, CHC has become our only choice for conveyor systems, sorters, material handling equipment and integrations,” he says. “They have a highly skilled team that responds with practical solutions and reliable equipment, one that stands behind all of their work and offer outstanding after-the-sale service besides!”

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