Automated chip removal cuts machine downtime

Departments - Motion, Design, Automation

Jorgensen Conveyors MunchMan II system eliminates a production bottleneck for Detroit automotive supplier.

May 10, 2016

High productivity led to a gummy, stringy, entangled nest of chips for a Detroit Tier 1 automotive supplier that was running several automated twin-spindle CNC turning machines. The conveyors were jamming and failing to remove the large balls of chips, causing damage to the conveyors. At least one conveyor incurred a downtime delay that lasted an entire eight-hour shift.

After researching the problem online, the maintenance manager invited engineers from Jorgensen Conveyors to the plant. They visited and took measurements of the part samples, measured the machines for conveyor fit, and assessed the mild steel alloy that was causing the issues. Engineers decided that Jorgensen Conveyors’ MunchMan II conveyor was the best fit for the problems.

The MunchMan II employs two conveyor belts through the lower curve, incline, and discharge sections of the conveyor, removing the large stringy balls of chips that had jammed the old single-belt conveyors on the turning machines. Jorgensen’s UVS-EcoLogic Control provides constant load monitoring to protect conveyor motor and drive-train components from damage in a jam where excessive torque on the conveyor may occur. The control also features an automatic jam-clearing sequence of conveyor operation.

“We worked closely with the customer and machine tool builders to ensure proper electrical interfacing. They requested our UVS Jam Manager functionality, and also wanted our UVS to communicate with the main machine control,” says Kaytlen Rinaldi, lead engineer at Jorgensen Conveyors. “We removed the inverted V cleats on the upper belt to make sure the conveyor could pass a machined part through, in case it accidentally falls onto the conveyor.”

After installation and run-off, the company put MunchMan II on all of its existing machines and advised machine tool suppliers to put it on any future machines ordered.

“We were able to understand the needs of the customer, and by working together, we were able to provide a solution that will benefit them in the long run,” Rinaldi says.

The maintenance manager of the automotive manufacturer concludes, “We’ve never had a MunchMan II jam up or cause a downtime that was the fault of the conveyor itself. We currently have 20 in-house and have six more on order. When we’ve added MunchMan II onto all our machines, we’ll have over 50 total.”

Jorgensen Conveyors Inc.

IMTS 2016 Booth #NC-542

PartMaker software upgrades

With expanded cloud connectivity, integration to the PartMaker Multi-Channel Editor, and enhanced 5-axis milling fuctions, PartMaker 2016 R2 for programming CNC mills, lathes, wire EDMs, turn-mill centers, and Swiss-type lathes can directly download data from tooling vendors such as Iscar and Kennametal. PartMaker users can select the right tool for their application from the tooling-vendor specific tool database on the cloud, accessed directly from PartMaker. The tool or tools chosen from the selected vendor’s database are automatically downloaded in a format ready to use in PartMaker.

The software update offers enhancements for 4- and 5-axis milling on vertical machining centers, improvements to broaching functionality, and the 2016 launch of PartMaker Modeling, expanding direct modeling functionality.

PartMaker Inc.

IMTS 2016 Booth #E-3222

Energy chain

The E4.1L energy chain can reduce the weight of E4.1 systems by 30% for highly dynamic applications. It was developed for unsupported applications and long gliding travels.

Rounded edges of chain crossbars and separators increase service lives for hoses and cables. The rounded surfaces that come in contact with cables, gridding, and positioning scales separate the chain.

The snap-open mechanism of the crossbars in the outer and inner radius allows quick filling of the e-chain. Captive crossbars can be opened 115° with a screwdriver and latched into final position. If necessary, they can be removed completely, placed again, and closed by simply pressing in. Positive-fit, tongue-and-groove chain links and double-stop dogs with large stop surfaces were carried over from the heavy-duty E4.1 chain. A brake lowers rolling noise and smooths chain travel. Variable mounting of the outer links allows the chain to be installed with or without camber. The energy chain is available in interior heights between 31mm and 64mm.

igus Inc.

IMTS 2016 Booth #E-4521

Compact motion controller

The Lexium motion module (LMM) is an ultra-compact alternative to the Lexium MDrive integrated motor. Programmed via MCode, MDrive products can rapidly validate motion with a turning motor shaft. Motion system design can also be accelerated using 1- or 4-axis development boards. Boards include isolated I/O, locking pluggable connectors, serial RS-422/485 programmable motion, or CANopen.

A serial communication cable with mating DB9 connector is available for plug-n-play USB interface. Motors in NEMA sizes 8 (20mm), 11 (28mm), 14 (36mm) and 17 (42mm), pair well with 1.5A LMM units. Additional motor sizes and styles, LMM power levels, and communication platforms are available.

Schneider Electric Motion USA