Following on from previous successful handling projects, Conveyor Systems Ltd (CSL) was awarded a contract to design and install a heavy duty materials handling system for a leading tyre manufacturer. The project was to design a solution to provide a conveying system for inbound lorry tyres carried in purpose designed steel cages. Safety was of paramount importance and CSL's design proposals incorporated many features to ensure the protection of operatives during transportation of tyres in the tread stripping process.
Incoming lorry tyres supported in the customers transport cages are positioned by fork lift truck on to one of six CSL heavy duty twin chain driven conveyors that are located at floor-level. Each conveyor has its own drive zone with floor mounted infill plates and strategically positioned light curtains, to ensure safety and prevent operatives entering the area when the conveyors are ìliveî and/or transporting product.
A fork lift truck carrying either one or a stack of two cages will drive into a loading station, passing over an induction loop in the floor that mutes the light guard and causes the in-feed system to stop. In the case of two cages, the forklift truck operator lowers the stack on to the first section of the chain conveyor, before lifting off the top cage and reversing off the induction loop.
This allows the first cage to index along the system and stop in the second position. A green light informs the driver to safely place the second cage onto the loading position. Guides at the entrance ensure that the cage feet are accurately positioned before the load moves forward. On completion of loading, the FLT driver reverses out to automatically re-activate the safety light curtain.
There are six accumulation positions on the infeed line and each cage load could weigh up to 650kg with a full load of tyres. At the discharge end of the line, a heavy duty trolley car transverses at 90 degrees to transport full cages on to the final stages of retreading.
The trolley car is fitted with an integral pneumatic tilting device which pivots the conveyor to provide a 15 degree tilt of the cage in order to present the tyres in an ergonomic position for removal and stripping of old tyre tread.
Once the cage is empty of all tyres, the operative releases the cage via a button on the touch screen to return folded empty cages to the beginning of the operation via a second set of outfeed indexing conveyors.
Once back in operation, the light curtain is automatically activated preventing the operatives moving into the working zone as the next cage in line moves forward.
The system is operating on a 24/7 basis and therefore needed to be robust, durable and reliable in operation and past experience with CSL conveyor systems, having received repeat business, has shown that they have proved these criteria to the full.