Intech Power-Core Thermoplastics Engineering Blog

Actuator Redesign For High-Speed Belvac 795 Can Making Machine

Posted by Alexander Bartosch on Feb 25, 2013 12:01:00 PM

Though the necker on a can making line performs a very specialized task, the mechanical subsystems found on this machine offers a number of design lessons that can be applied more broadly by any engineer working to improve the performance and reliability of high-speed equipment.

Consider, for example, the necker’s cam-driven ram actuators. Mounted on a rotating turret and moving at speeds up to 250 strokes per minute, these rams push the round can shell onto a series of shaping dies that gradually reduce the diameter of the can to form its neck.

Traditionally, these Belvac rams have consisted of a round moving pin that translates axially within a barrel-like steel housing, with a machined keyway to keep the pin from rotating. The ram was driven directly via a pair of metal cam followers that mount on the rear end of the pin and engage a stationary cam.

That design, however, suffered from three problems in the field. For one, it required an aggressive lubrication regimen to combat ram and cam wear. For another, it allowed the pin to lift and twist in the barrel, causing premature wear that extends all the way back to the can. And lastly, the traditional design limited the operating speed of the necker.

We eliminated all three problems with a radical redesign of the ram that:

  • Eliminated the need for lubrication. The redesign replaced lubrication-hungry metals with lube-free polymers wherever possible. The redesign completely does away with the metal-on-metal wear between the cam and cam followers, which had been the primary failure mode with the traditional ram design.

  • Optimized the geometry of the ram. The redesign features a square ram, rather than round. The square ram does a far better job at managing the actuator’s on- and off-axis forces. It also guides the pin more effectively, reducing wear.

  • Removed moving mass. Thanks to the use of polymer components and structural aluminum, the redesigned ram weighs in at less than half the weight of the traditional round ram design. Total reduction of moving mass on a 10-stage line is nearly one metric ton.

Now in use by can makers around the world, the redesigned ram has offered a compelling payback. It has resulted in reduced maintenance costs, including the elimination of expensive automated lubrication systems. It has also contributed to reduced defect rates and faster line speeds.

Learn more about the redesign in our latest design case study, Redesign Improves High-Speed Can Making Machine. The case study offers a deeper look at our design process, including a glimpse at the finite element analysis (FEA) work that guided some of our decisions. The case study also highlights the side-benefits of designing for lubrication elimination.

 

Download the design case study

Tags: Belvac 595, cam follower, cam followers, reduce noise, reduce shock, reduce vibration, Self-lubricating, non-lubricated, cams, PA12GC, iCamFollowers, Cast Nylon, can making, low inertia, high load capacity, friction-reducing coating, production line shut-down, Belvac necker, Belvac 795, Belvac super k

Energy efficiency improves export chances - linear motion products

Posted by Georg Bartosch on Mar 30, 2011 11:52:00 AM

I recently attended a round table discussion with Mrs. Beryl Blecher, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs U.S. Mission to the European Union based in Brussels. One topic stuck in my mind – energy efficiency. Mrs. Blecher emphasized that energy savings are very important to European governments, industrial buyers and consumers alike. She also said that US manufacturers often lose in competition with European manufacturers as their equipment does not exhibit the same energy efficiency, perhaps even if the price is lower. Here are links to details about the energy ruling by the EU commission you might find useful.

Current action plan

New action plan coming

CSEU Market Research Report   (Please note that EU law on energy performance of buildings has since been adopted).

While it is a somewhat lengthy reading, it speaks of ambitions goals of 20% in saving energy by 2020 and I believe, points out a big opportunity for US manufacturers. The lower value of the Dollar is already giving us a head start and energy efficiency built into your equipment could help to close the sale.

Relying on our 30 year history, we at Intech Corporation would like to be a part of your efforts to design and produce energy efficient equipment by providing low inertia, high efficiency gears and linear motion products.

iCamFollowers for energy efficiency High efficiency gears

Do you have an application we can help you analyze to see where we can identify energy efficiencies? The analysis is free. Please give me a call at 201-767-8066 or Toll-Free on 1-877-218-2650 and ask for Georg.

Tags: Linear Motion Devices, energy efficiency, low inertia, high efficiency gears

Low inertia Power-Core spur gear increases caplet machine output

Posted by Simon Barrell on Jul 27, 2010 2:18:00 PM

One of our customers, who manufactures packaging machines for the pharmaceutical industry to produce caplets, sought to improve its competitive standing by eliminating the need to lubricate the 16” cast iron main drive gear and replacing it with a lubrication free Intech Power-Core™ gear.

Upon installation of the lubrication free Intech gear, the engineers ramped up the output to 600 caplets per minute (cpm), the industry standard, and discovered that there was no vibration previously experienced with the heavy cast iron gear. Encouraged by the performance of the low inertia Intech Power-Core™ gear, they increased the output to 700…800…, all the way to 1200 cpm. Even at this speed the machine was running smoothly and without vibration.

This was in contrast with all the previous experience using the cast iron gear which reached its critical RPM around 700 RPM, at which point the machine shook violently, and the reason why the output had been established at 600 cpm.

The customer settled on an output of 800 caplets/min as a standard for the company’s brand, a 25% increase over competitive machines. The first reward came shortly after introduction of the new machine. A company producing caplets used in automotive air bags sought to increase its capacity by 2400 caplets/min. Our customer was able to satisfy that demand with three machines that don’t require lubrication, where all its competitors quoted four machines that required constant lubrication and frequent shut down for maintenance.

Low inertia often becomes the dominant, albeit unexpected benefit of changing to self-lubricating Power-Core™ gears. The main drive in the DaVinci surgical robot is another good example.

Low Inertia Spur Gear Installed in Caplet Machine

Tags: Power-Core gears, vibration, self-lubricating gears, low inertia, machine speed, packaging machine, Spur Gear