Online, buffering gets a bad rap. But when it comes to buffering in an automation process, there’s a simple but incredibly effective solution that saves space, saves money, and saves lead time. I won’t leave you hanging; read on to learn more about the Machine Buffering Solution from Glide-Line.
Glide-Line’s Machine Buffering Solution is a vertical buffer. By stacking accumulated products vertically in a vertical sortation and storage device, this device is able to take the place of other accumulation or buffer solutions without taking up floor space. It can also be applied in an automation system as a racking or short-term storage solution. This simple solution is a standard option from Glide-Line, and it can be easily customized to fit your client’s automation process.
This solution allows an operator to load up a machine with unfinished goods and lets the machine automatically load pallets to the buffer device. It can even simultaneously unload pallets if that’s needed.
We’ve accomplished this using a DC electric motor, and clients are able to choose what kind of motor they’d like to use. An DC step-servo-driven conveyor can be programmed to stop at multiple positions, customizable to the millimeter, within a lift stroke. This innovative use of step-servo or servo-driven motor allows for multiple stops along a conveyor and in an elevator, instead of just two stops, which is the more traditional approach. This is what makes the Machine Buffering Solution so powerful: it is powered by conveyor motions through a servo-driven motor, making it a unique Vertical Transfer Unit.
Challenges Solved by the Machine Buffering Solution
1. Product Motion Control
The Machine Buffering Solution’s speed, precise motion control and accuracy are especially good for delicate products or products requiring precision movement, such as liquids. With a stepper or servo-driven conveyor programmed for multiple positions, you’re also able to start slowly and ramp up the speed, then reduce speed slowly without disrupting the product.
2. Precision Product Placement
Imagine using the Machine Buffering Solution to load and unload products into a large, multi-level storage system (like an empty library card catalog) using multiple positions in servo-driven conveyors able to stop at any location. That’s what one of our clients uses this device for, along with the Glide-Line 360 for added flexibility in motion.
3. Short Term Storage
Many clients use the Machine Buffering Solution for short-term storage as part of their automation process. Instead of holding up the line waiting for products to cure or set, loading them into the Buffer device gives them a short-term home and allows the process to keep flowing at a high rate. Once the curing process is complete, the products easily and automatically rejoin the line for the next operation.
4. Saves Floor Space
Storing or accumulating vertically helps reduce the floor space needed for that part of the process. It’s a more efficient use of space.
The Machine Buffering Solution is unique. Not only can it stop at varying heights vertically with absolute precision, it’s also completely freeform and configurable when it comes to size and timing. Lead times are fast, since this device is built from standard components. This cost-effective solution to challenges our integrator clients face makes it a natural fit in many automated conveyor processes.