MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
Safety interlocking in the waste and recycling industry
A metal recycling firm was recently fined £35,000 by the HSE after a worker’s hands were severed while cutting metal strips on an industrial baler. Industrial balers are used to compress recyclable material into stackable, manageable pieces before they are sent for reprocessing. This type of machinery should be extensively guarded and interlocked to ensure operators can only come into contact with the machine when the power has been isolated.
Vacuums for pick and place: suckers for efficiency
Robotic end-effectors are a hotbed for innovation in pick and place lines right now, and attached to each is a powerful vacuum system that delivers the suction required to move products in an efficient and controlled manner. Effectively, any type of end-tooling, from suction caps to grippers, clamshell or magnets can work with these vacuum systems, emphasises Paul Wilkinson, Business Development at Pacepacker Services, and their flexibility also enables manufacturers and contract packers to opt for multi-use end-effectors which can perform multiple tasks, resulting in fewer tool changeovers. Vacuum systems are becoming increasingly popular with the last couple of years witnessing a 30 per cent increase. Here, Paul explores the four main types of vacuum systems, how they work and the benefits of each.
Solenoid valves – one for every occasion
Solenoid valves perform an essential task in the control of fluids and gases and the basic design has been refined over the years to allow them to be utilised in a wider range of applications. Modern fluid control systems present a number of challenges that require the correct design of solenoid to achieve a reliable and efficient control process. Kelly Booth, solenoid valve specialist at Bürkert UK, looks at the different valve types and their suitability to various applications.
Top 10 tips: industrial gearbox inspection and maintenance
To prolong the operational life of your industrial gearboxes, regular inspections and maintenance is essential. On the other hand, removal of the gearbox for a full inspection and a possible overhaul can cause undesirable lengthy downtime and breaks in shift work or production lines. Here are ERIKS UK’s Top 10 tips to minimise downtime and ensure your gearbox experiences as long an operational life as possible.
Specifying standard, modified or customised worm gear sets
Darren Reynolds, the Gears Product Manager at R.A. Rodriguez (U.K.) Limited, outlines the most important factors to consider when specifying either standard or custom worm gears sets for any type of machinery.
Getting the most from heavy duty brakes
Heavy duty braking system designs are as diverse as the different industries in which they are employed. From marine and mining to metal working and paper processing, systems are required to perform static, dynamic and emergency braking with precise controlled force. Quality is of the utmost importance in these products as the cost of a short service life can often be very high for the end-user. However, as with all things mechanical, it is possible to improve the reliability and life span of all braking designs with good specification, correct installation and correct maintenance procedures. Steve Powell, Product Manager at Twiflex offers some advice on installation and maintenance to optimise the performance and service life of these very important systems.
Gaining production efficiencies in food and beverage processing
By selecting, maintaining and monitoring critical components and inside rotating plant and machines such as gearboxes, electric motors, pumps and fans, food and beverage processing companies can improve their plant efficiencies, eliminate production downtime and increase the operating life and reliability of plant equipment, says Dr Steve Lacey, Engineering Manager at Schaeffler UK.
Powering cathodic protection
Often dubbed the inconspicuous killer, rust costs the global economy $2.2 trillion dollars every year. It accounts for anywhere between 3.5 to 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and is responsible for the structural failure of steel frames around the world. From bridges and cars, transcontinental and marine pipelines, to industrial machinery, tools and parts, rust contributes significantly to plant downtime the world over.