Whether you are in the food, packaging or pharmaceutical industry, it's no secret that modern conveyor systems need to offer more for less. Equipment and running costs are rising, putting pressure on design engineers to build not only more energy efficient solutions but systems capable of handling a range of processes and offering the option of re-configuration should needs change.
This increasing trend towards efficiency and adaptability poses challenges for conveyor systems still relying on pneumatic or hydraulically powered components for positioning needs. They are more costly to run and less flexible when it comes to system modification.
To make the most of their capital investment and achieve the capabilities required, engineers must look to alternative solutions.
Kelston Actuation specialises in both manual and electro-mechanically powered, modular screw jack systems that can be deployed within conveyor system designs to facilitate positioning functionality in a more flexible, cost-effective way.
The advantages over hydraulic or pneumatically powered solutions are numerous. Here we cover why design engineers should consider transitioning to electromechanics for a simpler, more adaptable system.
The modular nature of our screw jack solution gives conveyor system designers ultimate flexibility. Like building a large-scale model railway, engineers can piece together interlinked screw jack components into any layout they need - ducking under or traversing over other pieces of equipment in their system, connecting it all together via extended drive shafts and bevel gearboxes.
If a conveyor line needs to be extended, extra components can be added onto an existing system. If lifting load capacity needs to increase or positioning distances altered, new components may be swapped into what is already there. You get a more fluid, adaptable way to modify your conveyor system and mould it around your unique production arrangements as time goes by - without having to completely dismantle and re-assemble from scratch.
Not only are electromechanical systems cheaper to install than hydraulic ones, but they are also considerably cheaper to run and maintain. While hydraulic and pneumatic systems require constant energy to maintain force, electro-mechanical systems only require power while the system is in operation. In some instances, power isn't even required to hold a load in place as there is an inherent self-locking mechanism natively offered via screw thread design. You can just adjust the system into position, and it will hold there on its own with little to no back drive.
Screw thread technology also offers a mechanical advantage in that it amplifies force. Less energy is required to lift and position heavier loads in the first place – a huge advantage when it comes to daily running costs.
And when it comes to operation, because all screw jacks and components are linked together in a synchronized system, actuation can be powered from a single place - normally a controlled motor or hand-operated crank. This delivers a simple and easy way to operate the motion required.
Hydraulic or pneumatically powered actuation systems are also more hazardous than electro-mechanical solutions. These types of components regularly need to be maintained and lubricated with harmful fluids. If there were to be any leakages it can potentially compromise the materials being processed on the conveyor - particularly if you are working with food or beverages.
The imprecise movements of hydraulic systems can also cause undesired stress on other components within the wider conveyor. This can compromise the structural integrity of the equipment and lead to regular system breakdowns where components need to be fixed or replaced. And there is also the opportunity cost of lost production time to consider.
In contrast, most electromechanical systems require only occasional lubrication with safe greases - or in special cases can even be supplied as sealed units for hygienic wash downs. The smoother and more precise translation delivered by screw thread technology also means very little stress placed on other components in the wider system. The result is less maintenance, part repair and replacement costs.
Kelston Actuation offers fully customised screw jacks and actuation systems for any conveyor need. We have successfully delivered modular screw jack solutions for conveyor systems in the food and beverage, packaging and manufacturing industries and have a wide range of jack specifications to deliver the translation dynamics you require.
We can consult with you on the loads that you are lifting, the length of translation needed and repeatability of movement - as well as any unique requirements you have (requirements for wash downs, durability etc).
Whether you are adapting an existing system or building a new one, talk to our UK-based design engineers today about how an electro-mechanically powered solution can help you achieve competitive advantage in your production environment.