Project Description

On this project we were approached to upgrade a manual engine transfer line to a new semi automatic conveyor system.

The previous system required the operator to manually push the engine pallet loaded with an engine assembly on a ball transfer line to the end. Once it reached the end there was a scissor lift trolley to manually transfer the engine approx. 7 meters to the next stage (600kg total mass). The engine was then moved underneath the vehicles body for installation. Once the engine was completely installed in the vehicles body, the empty engine pallet and scissor lift trolley was manually returned back to the transfer line by the operator. This cycle repeated approximately every 5 minutes.

We were given a the design criteria, came up with some concepts, our customer decided which concept the preferred, then we got started on the design. The programming of this system was handled by a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), the AC motors were driven by VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) and a number of proximity sensors were used to provide the PLC with feedback. We produced a complete set of drawings, bill of materials, installation and operation manuals. Overall this was an interesting and rewarding project.

This new conveyor greatly reduced operator fatigue and the risk of a manual handling injury. The operator just needs to assemble the engine on the pallet then push a button to transfer the engine to the vehicle.