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

Power-Core gear segment and pinion in high-speed card feeder

Posted by Simon Barrell on May 4, 2010 4:54:00 PM

A high frequency reciprocating gear and pinion being used in a feeder to insert postcards into magazines was suffering frequent breakdowns. Sealing the gearbox to permit lubrication that would prevent wear was not an option, and so Intech was approached to design a non-lubricated solution that could accommodate shock loads 5 to 10 times higher than the running torque of the application.

Intech Power-Core™ gears exhibit a high load sharing factor, an important quality when handling e-stops or shock loads. The load sharing factor, a measure of multiplying the load-bearing capacity of an individual tooth, is optimized for each application. Because the key way is cut into the metal hub and not the plastic, Power-Core eliminates the weak spot inherent in conventional plastic gears.

The metal hub absorbs all key way stresses, transferring maximum torque to the composite gear teeth. The teeth are made of a lightweight plastic composite, weighing just 0.037 pounds per cubic inch.



Intech Power-Core Segment Gear Pinion
A non-lubricated plastic pinion replaced a metal gear, eliminating breakdowns in a high-speed card feeder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Torque of Power-Core gear approximates that of cast iron, but without the brittleness, weight, lubrication, and teeth breakage. As a result, Power-Core gears can reach higher speeds, increasing the throughput of your equipment. We can precisely calculate torque capacity, allowing Power-Core gears to replace metal gears in many applications.

Power-Core gears can operate without lubrication at pitch line speeds up to 15 feet per second. When a special friction-reducing coating is added, you can double gear speed to 30 feet per second.

Tags: Power-Core gears, lubrication-free, shock load, non-lubricated, plastic gears, friction-reducing coating, load-bearing capacity, card feeder, composite gear teeth, gear speed, metal gears, plastic pinion, running torque

High speed rotating face cams machined from Power-Core™ outlast steel

Posted by Simon Barrell on Feb 2, 2010 1:23:00 PM

Exact steerage requires dimensionally stable cam tracks with narrow tolerances. Our cams are precision machined from solid blocks of cast Intech Power-Core™ material, offering a longer lasting solution than stainless steel.

In high speed machines Intech Power-Core™ cams exhibit damping behavior which leads to reduced stress peaks. Additionally the high performance plastic cam offers exceptional resistance to wear with limited or no lubrication, which is critical to avoid contamination.

The face cam converts circular motion to linear motion or vice versa, typically it is a disc with a groove cut in its face, in which a cam follower travels. The attached image shows such a cam used in a tableting machine.

In this case the customer required self-lubricating material performance and had experienced constant stress problems using cams machined from plastic materials with low levels of crystallinity, such as Delrin®. However they found that Power-Core™ material, with higher crystallinity levels, can be used to produce a more stable cam that does not suffer stress peaks.

Industries in which our cams have been used include packaging, food processing, printing, as well as stitching machines and other general engineering applications.

In high speed machines Intech Power-Core™ cams exhibit damping behavior which leads to reduced stress peaks. Additionally the high performance plastic cam offers exceptional resistance to wear with limited or no lubrication, which is critical to avoid contamination.


The face cam converts circular motion to linear motion or vice versa, typically it is a disc with a groove cut in its face, in which a cam follower travels. The attached image shows such a cam used in a tableting machine.

In this case the customer required self-lubricating material performance and had experienced constant stress problems using cams machined from plastic materials with low levels of crystallinity, such as Delrin®. However they found that Power-Core™ material, with higher crystallinity levels, can be used to produce a more stable cam that does not suffer stress peaks.

Industries in which our cams have been used include packaging, food processing, printing, as well as stitching machines and other general engineering applications.

Face Cam for Tableting Mach resized 600

Face Cam precision machined from cast Intech Power-Core™ material reduces inertia, absorb shock and vibration.

Tags: Power-Core, Self-lubricating, shock load, vibration, non-lubricated, stainless steel, cams, crystallinity, Delrin, face cam, stress peaks, tableting machine

Plastic Gear Train Design For Zipper Pouch Packaging Machine

Posted by Simon Barrell on Oct 5, 2009 1:59:00 PM

During the developmental stage of a new zipper pouch packaging machine, Hayssen, a division of Barry-Wehmiller, the largest packaging automation group in the Western Hemisphere asked us to devise a Power-Core™ non-lubricated gear solution to replace a structure of timing belts and pulleys that required frequent, lengthy machine shut-downs for maintenance and replacement service.

Hayssen’s Lead Developer for the integrated transverse zipper applicator noticed that the original timing belt and pulley design had significant problems with precision feed length, cut, placement and seal of thicker, higher profile zipper tapes. In addition, the difficult-to-reach timing belt and pulley assemblies stretched around tight radii and became prone to breakage and frequent maintenance.

Intech’s engineering team were able to determine a non-lubricated solution to the power train design using our gear system that capitalized on a truly unique power train design and resultant production uptime.

A pouch/pillow bag with integrated zipper is formed on the Hayssen vertical form/fill/seal machine using an exact amount of zipper material by applying it to the film before it is formed into the finished bag. Intech engineers responded to mechanical design issues that included overall clearance and tight-quarters required by the zipper tape pathway and a minimal backlash by designing small pitch diameter Power-Core gears for the gear train. In addition, concerns for USDA-3A compatibility mandated the use of stainless steel and non-corrosive gear materials.

Using proprietary gear life calculations and a special gear tooth modification to accommodate the set center distances and speed ratios of the rubber rollers, Intech was able to overcome the tight center distances and frequent stop and go requirements with a design solution that Intech calculated to last a minimum of 4 years in continuous operation without lubrication.


Hayssen geared roller assembly 

Geared Roller Assembly

Tags: Power-Core, non-lubricated, Power Train Design, Gear Tooth, Pulleys, Rubber Rollers, Tim Belts, Zipper Pouch Packaging