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

“Green” Manufacturing Initiative from Power-Core

Posted by Simon Barrell on Aug 7, 2009 12:38:00 PM

As manufacturers, transport operators, processors and service providers seek to achieve more environmentally benign operations, Intech Corporation steps up to the challenge with the environmentally friendly Power-Core material and Engineering calculations to predict performance wear-life and cost-savings.

Specially formulated, self-lubricating Intech Power-Core™ composite material exhibits a characteristically tension-free crystalline-structure that provides exceptional stability, quiet performance and outstanding tensile and flexural strength.

Power-Core material reduces wear, noise, vibration, maintenance, lubrication and contamination.  A key characteristic of the Power-Core material is its exceptional self-lubricating, long-wearing performance in demanding high temperature, sub-zero, high moisture, high voltage, high friction and weight bearing applications that often cause metal components to fail.

Lubrication-free Power-Core components eliminate the need for hand or centralized lubrication and the attendant problems they cause when lubricating pipes or lines dry out or the content becomes too viscous or runny and clogs or overflows into the machinery—resulting in unscheduled production line shut-down, emergency cleanup, product waste and damage to machinery, equipment, personnel, plant facilities and the environment.

Similarly, the environmentally friendly Intech Power-Core products avoid safety concerns related to worker exposure to noise and direct contact with the lubrication, lubricated parts, hazardous odors, spills, falls resulting from spills and seepage from stored lubricant or wastes.

In addition, Power-Core materials are perfect for long-wear, accuracy and quiet performance like those required in ski lift operations, high speed paper processing and converting, airplane cargo door hardware, packaging equipment, elevator guides, neo-natal incubators, x-y linear positioners, electrically insulated car painting robots and in-plant equipment subjected to demanding high speeds or frequent wash-down cycles.

Power-Core rod with cast-in metal core for machining into gears

Power-Core rod with cast-in metal core for machining into gears


 

Our Engineering team at Intech offer custom sizing and design assistance for replacing cast iron, steel, nylon and Delrin® parts with Power-Core materials.

Tags: maintenance, Power-Core, Self-lubricating, wear life, production line shut-down, high temperature