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How You Can Ensure Smooth Motion Between Assembly Stations

Posted by Ryan Beerley | Friday, September 20, 2019

When it comes to smooth handling, traditional conveyor transportation leaves a lot to be desired. 

This is especially the case when moving and accumulating product between assembly stations. A stop in the line can easily cause pallets to bang into each other, leading to product damage. Many are searching for a better solution, so we introduced Glide-Line’s Zero Pressure (ZP) / zero contact zoned accumulation conveyors

With Glide-Line’s ZP solution, “hard stops” are a thing of the past. With products moving smoothly from station to station, partially and fully-assembled products can be handled without the risk of product damage.

Minimize Product Damage via Smooth Motion

Single-belt conveyors employ hard stops. A delicate product (say, a partially assembled Medical Device) moves down the line, and BAM! It hits the stop. This is anything but “smooth motion!” In addition, with single-belt conveyors, the belt keeps on running. This means upstream pallets will bang into other pallets, leaving products exposed to product damage. With a ZP zoned conveyor system, this issue is eliminated. Instead of a single-belt, we use separate zones to move products down the assembly line.

In addition, the ZP does typically typical “pop-up” stops for traffic control. Instead, each zone has a sensor. When each separately-transported pallet reaches the zone, it triggers the sensor, telling the conveyor to stop. The conveyor (which typically uses its own dedicated DC motor and drive card) turns off. This means the separately-zoned conveyor makes a gradual deceleration until it makes the stop. The sensor also triggers the upstream pallets to stop, preventing them from banging into the stopped pallet.New call-to-action

ZP conveyors have built-in accumulation logic. This means you can automatically index products zone by zone, seamlessly moving product from station to station. This alone makes ZP a great choice for production line conveyor systems. For specific acceleration/deceleration needs, the ZP’s analog input functions can provide a wide range of controlled speed.

ZP zoned conveyors run only as needed. With separate zones preventing product contact, you can eliminate the risk of damaging your product.

 

ZP Logic Controls and Configuration Options

Most users are accustomed to using their PLC controls for their conveyor systems. But the ZP comes with logic controls of its own, which can save you on code, VFD’s, wiring, and many associated costs. Here are a few considerations worth exploring:

  • ZP Logic controls are easy to install. All you need is a 24vDC source power
  • With ZP controls, there is no programming required for automatic queuing and accumulation
  • ZP controls are robust, with a low failure rate.
  • ZP controls are cost effective - no need for a centralized control system with a panel full of VFDs and dedicated wiring to the motors on the system.
  • Additional zone specific control is available by means of local I/O on the integrated driver cards
  • NOTE  - you can also use the PLC to control all motion if you prefer

Using the ZP’s built-in controls improve conveyor performance and most certainly is the best way to keep products from banging into each other on the line. Keep this in mind when choosing the right conveyor solution. Concerned about configuration? Don’t worry, the Glide-Line team can help you develop the customized solution you need. Thanks to our IMPACT! configuration software, we can deliver a cost-effective solution in half the time of our competitors! 

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Ready to get started? Check out our FREE eBook, How To Manage Backpressure From Accumulation.

Topics: Solutions for Applications Engineers, Conveyor System Designs, Flexible Conveyor Solutions

Written by Ryan Beerley

Ryan Beerley is an Applications Engineer for Glide-Line. Thanks to his degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Business, and relevant experience in the controls industry, Ryan has a strong arsenal of skills and knowledge to help with selling conveyor systems. He loves to embrace new challenges big and small, whether they’re related to project design or an opportunity to help the Glide-Line business unit move closer to being the top-tier conveyor supplier in the world. When Ryan isn’t at work quoting conveyors or solving project problems, he enjoys playing basketball and softball with friends, attending concerts with his twin brother, and learning to play new musical instruments.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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