Spiral conveyor to optimize material flow.

MiniTec’s spiral conveyor takes goods from one level to another and simultaneously serves as a production buffer. It was designed for use on smallest areas, while cost-efficiency was the major requirement. Usage of high-quality components allows a largely maintenance-free operation. The latest version allows the material flow to be upwards, downwards, reversible or clocked, what results in further fields of application. The spiral conveyor is based on the modular design principle of MiniTec and is compatible to the various other conveying solutions of the German manufacturer.

Conveying systems have to transport goods across distances, levels and different climate zones. Modern solutions for material flow have not only to adjust to the material conveyed, but also to the spatial conditions as well as economic circumstances of the companies. For challenges like these, MiniTec offers the efficient and compact spiral conveyor WF 3000 as an addition of its’ material flow solutions. More than 50 metres of conveying distance on a surface area of less than three square metres can be achieved by using the spiral conveyor. This allows buffering of numerous transport goods in production, as well as overcoming of height differences of up to three metres in production plants.

Due to further development of the spiral conveyor for reversing mode, completely new fields of application have opened up: The latest version of the spiral conveyor allows the material flow to be upwards, downwards, reversible or clocked, what results in further fields of application. The material flow in the latest version of the spiral conveyor can be upwards or downwards, reversible or clocked, with a continuously adjustable speed of 5 to 50 m/min. The tower is designed for a load of up to 20 kg/m conveying distance and a total load of 300 kg.

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Various possible fields of application

Various possible fields of application

At the site of a MiniTec customer who is in the food-industry, the spiral conveyor is used to take the goods from the packing station up beneath the ceiling. There, a chain conveyor, also manufactured by MiniTec, takes over and transports the goods to the truck loading station, which is located in a distance of 700m. At the truck loading station, another spiral conveyor WF3000 takes the goods back to the floor level, where a robot places them on palettes. This way, the complete warehouse space stays vacant for the forklift traffic.

Another example is the application in a production facility for automotive components. At this production site, the tower is manually loaded with steel parts. The capacity of the tower is large enough to autonomously supply an attached production machine for 90 minutes. The finished parts are removed by a MiniTec portal robot, which then supplies the subsequent process modules. With a total height of 2000 mm, this tower has a conveying distance of 40 m and a variable conveying speed of 5 to 11 m/min. The conveying process can be variably clocked.

Cooled cosmetics

Cooled cosmetics

A customer in cosmetic industry uses the conveyor with the new possibility of reversible mode as a production buffer and simultaneously as a cooling tower. More than 4000 products are cooled in the tower from 65 °C to less than 30 °C within an hour. At a constant conveying speed of 5m/min, the cooling process takes eight minutes. The complete tower is enclosed and cooled down to 5°C by a cooling unit. The volume of the tower is 5 m³ and it cools 300 kg of the product in one cycle.

Another challenging task the spiral conveyor solved came from a customer in the food industry. In order to react to different speeds of the upstream and downstream processes, the tower must be dynamically controlled from 5 to 50 m/min conveying speed. The unit weight of the packages is 1000 g and the conveying height is 3500 mm.

Economic conveying

Economic conveying

All spiral conveyors were designed with particular regard to maximum efficiency. Only two electric motors are necessary to operate the system, what has positive effects on the expenses for energy. For synchronizing the drives, state of the art control technology is implemented, which also allows applications with dynamic speed. In order to save energy, the system can be optionally equipped with an automatic switch-off in case of no-load. The distance between the conveying levels can be varied according to the dimensions of the product to be conveyed. Optimized sliding strips ensure minimum noise development. Due to the exclusive use of high-quality components, the system is largely maintenance-free. The latest version now also includes interfaces for remote maintenance and display of service intervals.

For the ideal use as a production buffer, cooling tower or logistician a variety of options, according to the task, is available. When used for feeding production systems, part identification with image processing can be pre-connected. A fill level control and display is also available as an option. In case of frequent product changes, the controlled no-load is a helpful option.



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