Newly introduced Partition Inserters (Model SF-400) from Wayne Automation Corp., Norristown, Pa., cycle once every second and travel 38 in. vertically. At every up-down cycle, the machine accurately inserts solid fiber or corrugated partitions into cartons that hold bottles and plastic containers for shipment to the marketplace.
These inserters maintain repeatable accuracy “24/7” through the use of servomotors connected to backlash-free Zero-Max CD couplings. The couplings damp out shock and vibration from the inserter’s vertical reciprocating and intermittent motion.
“To operate without problems, conventional vertical inserters require near perfect fiber or corrugated partitions,” said Jay Bachman, vice president of engineering for Wayne Automation. “In contrast, the SF-400 inserters have features, like the servo drive systems, that help deal with less than perfect materials. Unlike conventional systems which rely on gravity during the insertion process, the SF-400 maintains insertion control from the time the partition is picked off the magazine until it is fully inserted into the case to ensure correct partition placement every cycle.”
Wayne has been building innovative packaging machinery for 30 years, particularly partition handling equipment to the glass and plastic container industry. Its case erecting equipment, for example, is backed by a guarantee to operate with less than 1/8th of 1% material loss and efficiencies of 99% or better.
An Allen Bradley servomotor connected to a planetary reduction gearbox system powers the vertical inserter mechanism. The motor transmits torque to the inserter via a floating shaft CD coupling connected at both ends to two gearboxes. These gearboxes are connected to two timing belt drive pulley gearboxes.
“The combination of intermittent and reciprocating motions at 1000 rpm (38 in. one-way travel for every 1 second cycle) is demanding on the system’s drive train,” said Bachman. “Torque loads are a big factor in this setup with cyclical peak torques approaching 60% of the motor torque with vertical load lift up to 200 lbs. We needed a coupling that would handle these forces and one that we could position at both ends of the two gearboxes to equalize tension on both timing belts. We chose the Zero-Max CD 6F30-AC coupling. We have used CD couplings in our systems for nearly 10 years because of their features and dependability. They operate very well with servomotors and have become a key component in our systems from the time we changed from air cylinder actuation to servo drives. Servo drives save energy, are more reliable, and require less maintenance; the use of CD couplings contributes to those benefits.”
The Wayne Automation Model SF-400 inserts partitions into cartons at the rate of one insertion every second with repeatable accuracy and 24/7 operation. Servomotors connected to backlash-free Zero-Max Floating Shaft CD couplings assure these trouble-free, high-speed insertion cycles because they equalize tension on the right and left timing belts.
Torque loads play an important role in this coupling/servomotor configuration. Cyclical peak torques approach 60% of the motor torque with vertical load lift up to 200 lbs.
In this application there is a 28 in. span from one coupling’s outer connecting hub to the second coupling’s outer hub. This setup is a test of each coupling’s composite disc integrity with its rated torque of 800 lb-in. (90 Nm). With features similar to other good coupling designs, the CD coupling has one critical difference – its patented composite disc pack.
The unique open arm design of the CD Coupling disc pack enables it to handle misalignment and dampen shock and vibration. It is also made of durable composite material for long life.
The disc pack transmits torque like a conventional coupling, however, it does a better job of dampening backlash and shock without coupling fatigue, which can occur in a fast-moving, high torque system like the SF 400. The disc pack at each shaft end resists fatigue through its open arm disc design. Made of highly durable composite material, the disc pack absorbs any shock from the servomotor’s intermittent motion while maintaining zero backlash. Also, the coupling’s disc design and hub configuration support the floating shaft component without imposing excessive radial loads on the connected equipment and bearings. Precision machining of the coupling components also gives the connection good dynamic balance for smooth, quiet operation.
In addition to offering zero-backlash, the Zero-Max Floating Shaft CD Coupling is torsionally stiff. It supports the floating shaft component without imposing excessive radial loads on connected equipment and bearings.
Wayne Automation uses these couplings in other equipment, such as the VCE model case erectors that assemble corrugated cartons at the rate of 80 cartons a minute. Mounted to gearbox shafts, two standard model 6F45 couplings transmit horizontal rotary motion and provide zero backlash during operation and when the system’s clutch mechanism is actuated. This clutch mechanism is positioned on the vertical shaft of the gearbox and has a torque limiting clutch assembly and a special Zero-Max CD coupler. This device allows an operator to manually stop and restart the feeding mechanism as containers finish travel to complete a case packer run.
: Design World :
Filed Under: Packaging, Couplings