Too often manufacturing companies view
repetitive downtime consisting of replacing failing systems as a
necessary procedure rather than a process that requires improvement.
This was not the case for a major domestic brewing company, who
recognized their problem of failing ball bushings on their
de-palletizing system as requiring an immediate solution. After
investigating the application, PBC Linear recommended switching out the
competing linear bearing and cam roller system with their proven
Simplicity® and Redi-Rail® products for assured compatible and reliable
linear motion on the de-palletizer.
After brewing, beer is filled into cans using an automated
de-palletizing system. The cans are set up in stacks of pallets with
several layers of empty cans in the stack—waiting for the cantilevered
de-palletizing arm to move the empty cans into the filling station. The
forward movement of this arm is propelled by a cam roller and linear
bearing system. This allows the arm to cycle through the pallet stack,
feed the cans through the filling station and remove any plastic
interleave material from the stock. This linear motion application
required a tolerance for high shock load and vibration under constant
reciprocating stroke for optimum performance of the palletizer.
The original linear motion system on the de-palletizer was composed of
linear rollers and ball bushings. High shock loads and vibration
resulted in severe fretting corrosion. The high loads created by the
cantilevered weight of the pallet stack would wear the ball bushings and
spall the shafting—creating accumulated particulate. These fine metal
shavings would build-up within the ball bushing housing, causing the arm
to stall and bringing the whole palletizing process to a grinding halt.
Replacing the parts and stopping the production process resulted in
significantly increased production costs and time; along with steadily
Redi-Rail® cam rollers and Simplicity® pillow block housings were the
solution recommended by PBC. The smooth, sturdy anodized rails of
Redi-Rail® provided rigid linear guidance of the palletizer. Steel
inserts along the rail ensured tolerance of vibration and load—allowing
the Redi-Rail® rollers to glide smooth, quick and accurate.
For the linear bearing system, PBC used
plane bearing pillow blocks to replace the ball bushings. Composed of no
rolling materials, Simplicity® technology provides even disbursement of
load as opposed to the small point of contact created by ball bearings.
This wide point of contact eliminated damage to the shafting and
ensured smooth, wear-free operation. Simplicity® products are also
designed to absorb vibration, handle 20 times the load capacity of
conventional ball bushings and push potential contaminants off the
shafting, making them an ideal product for the application.
The final installed Simplicity® and Redi-Rail® solution performed above
expectations. Coincidentally, Redi-Rail’s mounting holes were perfectly
lined up with the previous ones, making the replacement that much
easier. Unscheduled shut downs and stalling were eliminated; allowing
for more cans to be filled and profits to increase. The brewing company
manufacturer was so pleased they immediately began integrating the PBC
solution in plants across the country.