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Flexible Conveyor System may Reduced Operator Involvement and Raised Productivity
:: 10 July, 2008
Plastics moulding company had installed a 'FlexMove' conveying system, serving robotically served injection moulders, which reduced operator involvement and raised productivity.
Automation Supplies reported that a recent application of the 'FlexMove' conveyor system involved the user switching from a leading supplier of modular conveyors to the FlexMove product and being more than pleased with the end result The application was in a plastics injection moulding shop where the company wanted to increase the productivity of its moulding machines and reduce operator interaction within the process.
The idea was to have enough capacity in the handling system to increase the speed of the process and reduce downtime.
The idea was to pick multiple parts from the moulding machine and set up the whole process at the start of a shift.
The idea was to take the whole production run from the machine at much less frequent intervals, thereby freeing up an operator to control two or more machines.
* Versatility - using the versatility of the FlexMove system, it was possible to set up a 5m long twin lane loop high capacity conveyor system that could handle large pallets 500mm square.
In turn, it allowed the factory to mould four impressions in one machine cycle, remove them with a robotic handling system and place them precisely onto a pre-engineered pallet.
When full, the pallet receives a signal and moves a new pallet into position and so on until all 10 pallets are full, making the total mould capacity on the handling system, when full, 3600 pieces.
The previous capacity per pallet was 60 pieces.
Consequently, operator involvement was reduced drastically and productivity was improved.
Automation Supplies told manufacturingtalk that with FlexMove there are 'no barriers to change'.
Chain widths and design are compatible with the leading plastics chain systems, the quality of design is exceptional, the range is comprehensive and the prices reflect the maturity and accepted reliability of the product in the modern production environment.
Automation Supplies delivered the conveyor in simple to re-assemble modules, having been previously pre-assembled and load tested before shipping.
With clear re-assembly markings and an easy to use assembly guide, the two conveyor systems delivered were assembled in three days.
* About FlexMove conveyors - FlexMove is designed to provide highly competitive, cost effective, incredibly flexible plastics chain (or slat) conveying options for a wide range of industry applications.
These include filling, packaging, inspection, storage, general manufacturing and assembly in industries such as automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical, labelling and many more.
With a wide range of options, chain designs and quality of manufacture, Automation Supplies said that FlexMove gives the end user real choice when investing in a modular conveying system.
Note for Injection Molding
Injection molding is a manufacturing technique for making parts from both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials in production. Molten plastic is injected at high pressure into a mold, which is the inverse of the product's shape. After a product is designed, usually by an industrial designer or an engineer, molds are made by a moldmaker (or toolmaker) from metal, usually either steel or aluminium, and precision-machined to form the features of the desired part. Injection molding is widely used for manufacturing a variety of parts, from the smallest component to entire body panels of cars. Injection molding is the most common method of production, with some commonly made items including bottle caps and outdoor furniture. Injection molding typically is capable of tolerances equivalent to an IT Grade of about 9–14.
The most commonly used thermoplastic materials are polystyrene (low cost, lacking the strength and longevity of other materials), ABS or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (a ter-polymer or mixture of compounds used for everything from Lego parts to electronics housings), polyamide (chemically resistant, heat resistant, tough and flexible – used for combs), polypropylene (tough and flexible – used for containers), polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride or PVC (more common in extrusions as used for pipes, window frames, or as the insulation on wiring where it is rendered flexible by the inclusion of a high proportion of plasticiser).
Injection molding can also be used to manufacture parts from aluminium or brass (die casting). The melting points of these metals are much higher than those of plastics; this makes for substantially shorter mold lifetimes despite the use of specialized steels. Nonetheless, the costs compare quite favorably to sand casting, particularly for smaller parts.