Rugged linear guide used throughout bonding machine

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Finishing Design Services (FDS) has specified the GV3 linear guidance system from HepcoMotion for multiple applications on a bespoke machine for bonding insulation board to plasterboard.

Rugged linear guide used throughout bonding machineHaving used the HepcoMotion GV3 linear motion system for similar applications in the past, Finishing Design Services (FDS) was confident in the GV3's reliability to meet the needs of a project that demanded no manual intervention. The fully automated machine in question is for bonding insulation board to plasterboard using a 2K gluing system. FDS engineer, Matthew Hudson, explains: "We required a heavy-duty linear guide that could handle the dusty environment. And to minimise spare-parts storage, we wanted to use just one type of linear guide throughout the machine. GV3 ably met both requirements."

Finishing Design Services, a special-purpose machine builder, has a broad customer base supplying machines to most industries and, in particular, into the bakery, automotive and construction sectors. Its philosophy is to subcontract as little as possible, hence its in-house disciplines include every aspect of machine building from project management, design and manufacture, to panel building, installation and commissioning. This translates into providing its customers with a more economic machine within a shorter time frame.

Machine architecture

The automated bonding machine for which the GV3 systems were specified comprises two in-feed conveyors to handle virgin boards, one out-feed conveyor to discharge the finished product and three pallet handling conveyors to feed the line.

Above each conveyor, a vacuum pick-and-place system operates to position boards accurately onto the main conveyor. This conveyor moves the board through the glue application booth and into a pre-heated oven before it is presented to the jigging station. In this station the top board is picked, jigged, and placed onto the pre-glued bottom board. Once bonded, the two boards are conveyed through a belt press before being transferred to the finished-work pallet.

The HepcoMotion flagship GV3 system is responsible for linear guidance in several of these processes. In addition to moving the product alignment guides and guiding the expanding conveyors that traverse the product through the spray booth, GV3 guides are also responsible for ensuring smooth and accurate movement of the glue spraying applicator across the board. The same type of GV3 system is also used as a linear guide in both the vertical and horizontal servo axes on the pick-and-place systems.

Sealed bearings

To ensure operational efficiency in the dusty environment, all of the GV3 linear guides are equipped with cap seals to prevent any ingress of plasterboard dust from the sliding surface while providing positive lubrication to extend system life. On the machine, the GV3 systems are taking loads in excess of 220kg and moving them at typical speeds of 1.6m/s with acceleration/deceleration rates of 10m/S2.

Matthew Hudson concludes: "As we needed a number of linear guideways to complete this machine, we wanted a product that was both competitively priced and robust enough to do the job effectively and reliably. GV3 has proved its ability before and we had no hesitation in using it again.

In addition to the GV3 systems, HepcoMotion also supplied elements from its Winkel range for this project. These components are excellent for heavy-duty applications that have very high radial and axial loads. Fully assembled handling systems with a range of drives systems and suitable for loads up to 50 tonnes can be specified and it is due to this high capacity that FDS chose Winkel components for use in its pallet stacking stations.

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