Automated parts washers have been a major time saver on plant floors for years. Conveyor washers from walking-beam to powered belts move the products from station to station – from the time the dirty parts are loaded until it is time to package the cleaned and dried (and perhaps even passivated) parts, the conveyors move the parts through the entire process.
Some parts don’t lend themselves well to being grouped in baskets. Size, shape, mass (or the combination of all) dictate that the parts need to be handled one at a time. Mesh belt and powered rollers can still move these parts, but some portion of the part will remain in contact with the conveyor and sometimes that can impact how clean the part can get during the washing process.
Enter the monorail!
(Photograph taken by Malpass93 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons)
No, not THAT monorail!
An industrialized overhead conveyor system – often referred to as a monorail – can transport the parts through the washer AND move the parts through additional finishing steps AND deliver them to a storage or shipping area in your plant. Such was the case for a manufacturer of plows. The variety of length of the parts, together with the fact that immediately after washing and drying the parts needed painted, moved to drying racks and eventually to warehousing and shipping.
The process required employees to handle the parts going into the wash and dry line, coming out of the line, hooked to dip them into the paint tanks, unhooked from the dip tank station, moved onto drying racks and later moved to the warehouse/shipping area. At least 6 interactions from employees with each part after it was manufactured until the part was finally ready for shipping.
Standard in-line parts washer/dryer
The overhead conveyor system solution meant that the parts were hung once on the in-feed side of the wash/dry unit modified with a slot along the top of the machine (standard unit pictured above). The parts then travel through the wash and dry segments and stay on the hooks as the conveyor washer leads to the paint station where they travel down an incline, pass through the paint tanks, climb back up out the paint tanks and then transported – still on the hooks – above the plant floor allowing the paint to set until the parts finally reach their storage racks where they are stored until shipping to the end customer. 6 employee touches reduced to 2, all thanks to the monorail conveyor system.
How can a monorail conveyor system enhance your manufacturing process? Contact Best Technology today to discuss your application.
photo courtesy PaclineConveyor, CC-BY-SA-3.0