Kansas City, MI -In the past, Electrified Monorail Systems (EMS) have typically been designed with two-speed gearmotors. Having only two speeds available required that a mechanically operated clutch be made integral with the gearbox to allow the carrier drive motor to be disengaged from the carrier. In conveyor production zones, a device was placed in proximity to the track to operate the clutch which caused the drive wheel to rotate freely. Then a power-assist chain engaged the carrier and pulled it through the production zone at a slow rate, as a standard power and free conveyor chain would work. At the end of the production zone, another device re-engaged the clutch, allowing the carrier gearmotor to drive the carrier to its next destination.
Automatic Systems, a North American supplier of EMS, has developed a low cost solution, eliminating the need for a disengaging clutch and power-assist chain through production zones. Using a rail encoding technique through production zones, coupled with onboard sensors and intelligence, the carriers are able to control speed and spacing, even allowing for production holds initiated by operators on individual carriers. The electrical items used are off the shelf components. This control scheme, explains R & D Engineer Michael Koop, allows the selection of an unlimited number of speeds-from a slow creep to high-speed delivery-by the onboard CPU within the frequency range of the variable-frequency drive and motor.
Since it is no longer necessary to be able to disengage the drive motor from the carrier, the ASI EMS system can use a simplified gearmotor without a clutch. For maintenance and safety reasons, a mechanical lockout for the gearmotor brake with a micro switch for indicating brake status has been incorporated into the new gearmotor design. The gearmotor, developed for this application by Lenze Corp., Hameln, Germany, has a helical-bevel gear set for both high efficiency and to allow for manual positioning of the carrier by maintenance personnel while the brake is released.
With a load capacity of up to 450 kg per trolley, a maximum speed of 90 m/min, and the ability to ascend vertical curves, the ASI electrified monorail system, known as Intellitrak, is a flexible, capable manufacturing solution. With the addition of these new capabilities, ASI offers even more flexibility to the growing market for EMS conveyor systems.
ASI Intellitrak...Contact Anthony Sgaraglino, Manager, Automatic Systems Inc.; 9230 E. 47th St.; Kansas City, MO 64133; Fax: (816) 356-5730.
Lenze Motors and Drives...Contact Lenze; 300 Petty Rd. Ste. E; Lawrenceville, GA 30043.