The container conveyor that focuses on operator safety
Conveyors perform important tasks in production operations as I’ve already explained in an article. To reiterate briefly: they transport, space and distribute containers in our lines. High levels of efficiency are assured by their fourth function: buffering.
If buffering sections required for smoothing over minor malfunctions are provided featuring standard conveyors, the assemblies concerned need a relatively large amount of space.
It’s precisely in terms of a reduced footprint that the Krones Accutable with its optimised features scores so highly. Recently the third generation of the sensor-controlled buffering system was launched on the market – a good opportunity for a brief portrait, I think.
As was the case with the first two generations, the Accutable is still in modularised design, permitting expansion in a two- and three-metre raster, and is suitable for all kinds of container. And the technology’s biggest advantage remains unchanged as well: thanks to the dynamically adjustable surface area, the containers have minimised distances to travel – only at need will buffering sections be maximised and filled with containers. Ultimately, we thus support our clients in their goal of increasing the entire line’s output, and can transport up to 90,000 containers per hour.
But not everything has remained the same: in terms of operator safety, particularly, there are quite a few upgrades to report.
All gaps and other dimensions have been designed with finger safety in mind. The new design accordingly allows us to dispense entirely with protective features like light grids or fencing. This improves accessibility while at the same time reducing the footprint required. An independent expertise from the technical inspectorate TÜV SOUTH confirms that the new generation of the Accutable exhibits no deviations from the currently applicable DIN standard for “continuous conveyors”.
In addition, numerous tests in-house and on Accutables of the previous generation installed in the field have verified that in future we can manage even without an actively driven transition from infeed to discharge and instead use roller guides. This obviates the need for the wear-susceptible gripper chain and the requisite drive with its drag chain. That saves our clients real money. At the same time, for moving the rerouting carriage (meaning adjustment of the buffering section) we have incorporated long-lived belts and field-proven PM drives – thus reducing the amount of maintenance required.
To ensure that in the event of a product change-over no bottles from the preceding batch remain on the table, a mechanism has been developed that in emptying mode pushes any remaining bottles towards the discharge – without necessitating manual intervention by an operator. A feature that’s so far unique on the market.
Do you have any more questions on the new Accutable generation or on container conveyors at Krones? I’ll be pleased to reply in the comments below the article.