grauer hintergrund schmalconveyor for automotive suppliers

Project 12

türkise pfleile nach rechts

Project 12

türkise pfleile nach rechts

Project 12

türkise pfleile nach rechts

Precise handling of workpiece carriers

Delivery period: April 2014

The client
Our customer is a company from North Rhine-Westphalia, which is specialized in the fields of automation and special machine construction. With innovative and customer-specific solutions, it acts, among other things, as a supplier for the automotive supplier industry.

The challenge
ALFOTEC GmbH is known as a specialist for the internal material flow of heavy unit loads. Usually customers and interested parties come to us with tasks that require intelligent engineering and high manufacturing quality for the development, production and assembly of individual, turnkey conveyor systems. With this order, on the other hand, our customer already had very concrete ideas about his plant, which was to be used as the basis for a fully automated production line with work stations. The goods to be conveyed were special aluminium plates weighing a maximum of 60 kg each. These were to function as workpiece carriers, which were to be transported on the L-shaped production line to several work stations arranged one behind the other. At these stations, the workpieces placed on the carrier plates were to be further processed by robots and machines, so that the highest precision was required in the production and operation of the conveyor system – whereby the control and safety technology was the responsibility of the customer. A further challenge was to collect the oil on the workpieces along the entire production line, which is a major factor in production.


The solution – the process

chain conveyors

1. The loaded carrier plates are first buffered on an accumulation chain conveyor and then separated. From there they are transported by chain conveyor and roller conveyor to the individual work stations.

conveyor line with oil pans

2. In order to collect the oil dripping off during the machining processes, oil sumps were installed along the entire conveyor line. These can be emptied manually via a drain connection as required.

production line with lifting stations

3. Thanks to the specially developed frame construction, the production line can be expanded with additional lifting stations.

4. Each of the seven working or lifting stations is equipped with a vertical stopper system which ensures that the carrier plate remains in position for a defined time interval.

production line with several buffer zones

5. To enable a high throughput, several buffer zones were set up on the production line.

conveyor system and conveyor elements

6. In order for the robots and machines placed at the work or lifting stations to operate precisely and without interference, the carrier plates must be lifted vertically. This initially posed a problem: The pneumatic lifting stations were originally equipped with four extended centering bolts. This resulted in the carrier plates becoming wedged during centering, so that precise machining of the workpieces was not guaranteed.

7. Since absolute precision is a mandatory requirement for avoiding rejects in fully automated work processes, another solution had to be developed. Two diagonally opposite centering bolts were left in their original design, while two support bolts were specially manufactured and installed for the other two centering bolts.

8. After processing at the lifting station, the vertical stopper system releases the material for further transport on the production line.

9. After the carrier plates have passed through the complete production line and machining centres, the workpieces placed on them are ready for further transport or processing at the take-off station and the carrier plates can be reloaded and components removed.

The customer benefits:

  • Very high manufacturing quality
  • High centering accuracy – no waste
  • Trouble-free access to the workpieces
  • Fast throughput times
  • The conveyor line can be easily extended
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