When a customer comes to us with a unique assembly line project, we’re always up for the challenge. Recently, TCA faced a number of challenges in the design of an assembly line for an automotive components manufacturer. Floor space was limited, the production cycle time was aggressive and the parts were conveyed on large custom pallets. This meant that the system in-feed could not be handled by a typical power and free accumulation system.
TCA met these demands by designing and producing a custom pallet transfer conveyor. The solution combined the speed of an indexing conveyor with the flexibility of a pallet conveyor. The result was a high speed indexing belt design capable of transferring the large pallet .8m in under 1 second while allowing pallets to engage and disengage as required. This provided the reliability and speed of supply required to feed the assembly system.
Using a standard indexing belt from TCA’s preferred belting supplier allowed for a shortened lead time and considerable savings. But the positional requirements of the process required more accurate locating than the belt alone could offer. TCA developed and implemented a simple solution by incorporating a lift-and-locate system in the conveyor structure. These lift locates were designed with very short strokes to minimize cycle time impact, falling well below that of other standard pallet conveyor vendors. Since the system was designed to be positioned anywhere along the conveyor structure, the design and build cost of controlling the positional accuracy of the stations serviced by the conveyor were drastically reduced. The addition of the external lift and locate system also allowed for increased running clearances of the conveyor drive dogs and pallets underside; long term this means more cycles between inspection and service.
While other conveyor vendors can supply standard conveyance with a fixed product selection, TCA was able to supply a custom solution to a unique challenge using standard product and creativity. The result is a tailored solution at a standard product cost to the end user. The conveyor has already completed over a million cycles and is still performing according to customer demands.
Innovative custom designs can take full advantage of standard resources while maximizing return on investment. At TCA Technologies, this is always our winning formula.