In sync with the plant

Article of 26 July 2019 

Flexible transport of workpieces

Screwing, gluing, testing: in assembly technology, there are often different stations within a plant. The transport of the workpieces through the machine is complex because they have to be moved, accelerated and precisely positioned independently of each other. In addition, the demands on the productivity of the plant are increasing. Using the multi-carrier system ensures that every workpiece is in sync.

In a production plant, a sealing compound is applied to a workpiece. Subsequently, partial assembly is carried out, which takes only half as long. This is just one example of the complex production processes. In such cases, the different cycle rates can often only be coordinated with two assembly lines. The multi-carrier system (MCS®), on the other hand, aligns the workpieces within the right cycle.

Maximum flexibility – with maximum dynamics

The transport system enables products weighing up to 50 kilograms to be moved, accelerated and precisely positioned independently of one another on workpiece carriers. Depending on the task, the carriers can move individually or as a group freely along a route and in sync with the process. All movement types on the track can be mixed. Moving backwards is also possible.

In addition, the MCS® enables the fastest possible product changes. Due to the dynamics of the system, almost the entire cycle time can be used for the processes. The transport and changing time of the workpieces is significantly minimised – even with higher weights on the carriers. In this way, the cycle rate, throughput and thus productivity are increased.

A transfer system from ELCOM with integrated MCS®.
A transfer system from ELCOM with integrated MCS®.

Linear motors at the heart

Festo linear motors form the technical basis of the MCS®. The electrical windings of the motors (stator) generate a wandering magnetic field when electricity is fed in. Magnetic plates driven by the magnetic field are integrated into each carrier (rotor). The carrier moves back and forth with its own feed force, whereby it can accelerate, brake or follow a defined motion profile. The workpiece carriers can also be coupled to a group of any size – which can be separated again at any time.

Seamless integration into existing systems

The MCS® fits into existing intralogistics systems and can thus supplement classic transport solutions in a wide variety of industrial segments, including battery production, assembly technology, filling technology and packaging. It can be combined with various conveyor belt systems. Digital kinematic data already obtained can be transferred into the controller programming. In this way, hardware and software together enable maximum flexibility.

The MCS® can be flexibly combined with almost any conveyor belt system.
The MCS® can be flexibly combined with almost any conveyor belt system.