To maximise process economy, automated systems need to operate at speed, around the clock and with the utmost reliability. Industrial automation specialist Knight Warner fully appreciates the design challenges these demands bring, and emphasises the importance of selecting components that are not only fit for purpose but also proven in the field.
The company’s semi- and fully automatic debagging machines remove the bag encasing empty bottles or containers and strip them in single file onto an exit conveyor that in turn feeds a filling line. A series of co-ordinated linear movements accomplish these tasks. To meet the key performance criteria of high speed and continuous production cycles, Knight Warner again chose HepcoMotion, a linear motion manufacturer whose products it has been using for more than six years.
Although the basic debagging machine construction remains constant for most installations, each is tailored to suit the container type and the customer’s exact production needs. However, in all cases, failure to operate reliably is both unacceptable to Knight Warner, whose reputation is based on efficiency and cost effectiveness, and also to its customers who expect minimum downtime from the investment.
Colin Powell, Knight Warner’s Technical Director, says: “The need for the linear movements to be reliable cannot be overstated. We know we can achieve the throughput the end users require by specifying a combination of belt and pneumatically driven linear products from HepcoMotion.” Bottle speeds vary according to size but can be up to 560 units per minute.
In essence, all versions of the Knight Warner debagging machine comprise a flat bed with a multi-station transfer carriage, belt-driven flight bars and a stripper mechanism. The HepcoMotion belt-driven Driven Linear Systems (DLS) are responsible for pushing the pack of bottles or containers into a holding position and then indexing them into the stripping position.
Driven linear systems
Widely used in a variety of environments, DLS employs the low-friction vee guide system based on the HepcoMotion GV3 linear guide. It provides a complete, off-the-shelf mechanical package comprising belt-driven linear modules and motor and gearbox options. HepcoMotion GV3 slides, the mainstay of the company’s linear motion range, are additionally used by Knight Warner as the basis of a pusher mechanism to index bottles into lanes.
Ejecting empty pallets from the load position on the debagging machine is the job of the HepcoMotion Powerslide, a popular, reduced-engineering product that combines proven slide technology with a choice of high-quality pneumatic rodless cylinders. The result is a high load carrying, lightweight prime mover that is supplied ready to mount.
The availability of all variants from one source is clearly an advantage to Knight Warner. Colin Powell concludes: “We are pleased that HepcoMotion is able to meet all the linear movement requirements on our debagging machines. These systems are working well in the field and proving reliable additions to the production environment.”
For more information about HepcoMotion’s belt-driven Driven Linear Systems, visit the website at hepcomotion.com.