Maintenance Tips to keep your conveyor system running smoothly
Conveyor Maintenance Tips was posted to Words in Motion - A blog created by Product Handling Concepts, your source for conveyor, conveyor equipment, and automation solutions.
Conveyor maintenance can and should be a straightforward, predictable process — not an emergency event.
Manufacturing Safety Tips you can employ today for a safer, more productive manufacturing process.
Though we tend to think of automation as a modern phenomenon, it's history is quite extensive.
Step 1: Ensure the Shear Point area(s) is clear of product and the safety circuit is reset.
How can you ensure you have the workforce necessary to keep your operation humming in the face of a Manufacturing Skills gap?
Keeping our conveyor motors cool is usually not a problem. They can get warm but the ambient air and their onboard fan or is enough to cool them off. These types of motors are called ‘totally enclosed fan cooled’, or TEFC. Counterintuitively, heat can become an issue when we are not running our motors fast enough, as the fan connected to the drive shaft is not moving a large enough amount of air.
Even in tight compartments, such as our Laners, where we can have 8 or more motors in close proximity, we don’t need a lot of cooling. We have equipment installed all over the world, such as Mexico, and even there its not making anyone sweat.
Say you do have a heat concerns with your motors. Bill Bertram, writing on Engineering Live, has a good rundown of various ways for motors to beat the heat.
The simplest form of heat dispersal is through conduction into the surrounding air or structure of the driven machinery. To assist with this, a heat sink – usually a finned block of aluminium with a large surface area – can be affixed to the motor to absorb the heat and dissipate it quickly to atmosphere. A variation of this is found on many industrial motors, which have a finned cover over much of their body length.
There are several things to consider when deciding to either machine mount controls or take a more traditional cabinet controls approach. At Product Handling Concepts we treat look at each production situation independently. For instance, our VantageCaser Case Packer uses on machine controls, while many of our food grade conveyor systes and laners use control cabinets due to wash down requirements.
Hank Hogan, writing for Control Design, points out some of the most important things to consider when determining where to put controls.
Machine mount — the placing of everything from I/O to PCs directly on factory floor equipment instead of in a cabinet — is increasingly being used. The benefits are less cabinet space and wiring, as well as reduced commissioning time and expense. Other advantages are easier maintenance, greater modularity and more flexibility.
As we, in America, sit down to our annual Thanksgiving feasts, we give thanks for the parts of our lives that are truly important. Family. Community. Love. The things that will stay with us through the years. The things that we would truly miss
One thing that is never on the top of peoples minds when giving thanks is automation. Why should it be? While it is present in almost everyone's lives in one form or another, it is not in the spotlight. In fact, if it is good at what it does, automation is invisible. It should be lurking in the background, doing its tasks with no interaction from the outside.
So, PHC would like to give thanks to automation and all those who keep it running!
Do you know what "Table Top Conveyor" is? Need some help understanding "Accumulation"? Perhaps "Collapse Factor" is a term you have just never run across. Then these 10 basic conveyor terms will be a great starting point!
When creating a production system layout it is important to understand how a package is traveling along any part of a conveyor line. Is it moving in a way that makes it more difficult to stay straight? Is it standing up an a thin end, making the package likely to tip? Does the shape of the packaging affect how the product can be accumulated to make up for variations in equipment speed? These are all questions that need to be answered to create an effective product handling solution.
To facilitate better communication on how a product is moving down a line, here is a list of 9 orientations for common package types along with a diagram to visualize them on a conveyor.
This orientation has the package resting on its smallest side and moving with its largest side facing forward. This is the most difficult orientation to manage as it is both top heavy and likely to skew if force is applied to either side of the package. This orientation likely requires close fitting and tall guide rails so that the package does not fall over or skew.
This orientation has the package resting on the medium sized side while still traveling with its largest side facing forward. While not as difficult to control as a package in the tall hard orientation, it is still likely to skew if any force is applied to its front face.
The easiest of the hard orientations, this package is not likely to fall over due to it resting on its largest face, giving it a very low center of gravity. However, it is still likely to skew if any force is applied to its leading face.
Oriented with its medium side facing forward, this product is not likely to skew left or right, but is still easily tipped over.
Resting on its medium sized face, this package is still at some risk of falling over if it is particularly narrow, but is not at much risk of skewing on the production line. This orientation is best for going around curves as it is less likely to fall than a product oriented tall easy and is easier to turn than a package oriented short easy.
The easiest way to travel in a straight line. This product is very unlikely to tip or skew as it has a low center of gravity and a small leading face.
Cylindrical packages change things up a bit due to their curved sides. While having a high center of gravity, a vertical cylinder is often the preferred orientation of transport for products such as non woven wipes canisters, as it will not roll when a force is applied to it. It is also very easy to accumulate on bidirectional or flow thru tables as the cylindrical shape evenly distributes forces applied to it.
The worst way for a cylinder to try and travel; a package of this shape is likely to skew or simply stay in place by rolling if the product is too heavy.
This orientation is often seen on tissue and towel production lines for naked or single roll product. It allows for decent accumulation on single file lines, though any sort of guide rail needs to be close to the product as the pressure would otherwise twist the product. Other equipment such as in line side transfers may be needed to prevent the product from rolling or getting stuck on dead plates.