Linear motion expert delivers speed and reliability for client

When Packfeeder was developing a new machine - the Pickfeeder Twin 200 unscrambler system - linear motion company HepcoMotion was challenged to achieve a cycle of 200 containers per minute, while also ensuring high reliability and low maintenance.

Following the success achieved with its first version of the Pickfeeder system at 160 handlings per minute, Packfeeder needed to increase the machine’s positioning cycles and thus address the high production and greater flexibility demanded by the market.

“Innovation as a reason of being requires technological partners that share our vision,” explains Ferrán Martínez, ceo of Packfeeder. “In this strategic project for Packfeeder, the experience of HepcoMotion, Beckhoff and Delta robots, and the proven quality of their products, has provided us with the confidence with which we can address this industrial challenge.”

The technical specification of the application required a load of 0.5 kg for the weight of the product, plus the special design clamp and its relative position with respect to moving for the different sections of the circuit.  The total perimeter of the circuit is 3 m, including the straight sections for 5 x Beckhoff motors, plus 2 x 180deg curves. 

The circuit is mounted at 45deg to overcome the forces of gravity in the return of the movers.  With a cycle time of 2.4 seconds in an anti-clockwise direction, the system needs to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week with a guaranteed life of two years.

Given the high kinematics of the application, with speeds of 3m/s, accelerations of up to 30m/s2, as well as the 45deg mounting orientation, the application is demanding and Packfeeder required HepcoMotion to design and manufacture a new circuit with reduced weight movers and low friction, without compromising the load capacity, rigidity and precision of the system.

“To reduce the weight of the movers it was necessary to design and manufacture a lightened aluminium body without compromising its rigidity and special bearings that provide sufficient load capacity to withstand the demanding requirements of the application,” explains Steve Rendall, R&D director of HepcoMotion.

The company worked together with Beckhoff to develop a new version of its 1-Trak system to work with the Beckhoff XTS eXtended Transport System. This option meets the high-cycle needs of XTS applications where the requirements of long-term motion profiles and durability are particularly demanding.

HepcoMotion’s GFX guidance system for Beckhoff's XTS Transport System provides a good load capacity with precision movement, ideal for processes with high speeds and accelerations.

  • More in-depth information about this application will be covered in the January/February 2020 issue of Machinery Update which is published on January 27.