Shop Floor Spotlight: Nercon’s Newest Servo Sweep
December 17, 2013
One of our most recent projects was a Servo Sweep system engineered to separate ice cream sandwiches of multiple sizes in order to achieve maximum cooling in the freezer. Servo Sweeps are typically used in conveying cartons, trays and small boxes applications, but can be engineered to sweep any product that can withstand the motion without being damaged. For this system, the sweep was designed to handle the relatively delicate product at a faster rate, yet be smooth and quiet.
As the video above demonstrates, alternate bars are discharged down the line. The challenge was to consistently create the spacing between bars and create the alternate pattern—which was accomplished by creating a stop block. Another challenge was to create a rapid sweeping motion to meet the required product rate of 180 sandwiches per minutes without damaging the bars. The use of the metal flights attached to the timing belt and dual-position product stops and infeed guides allowed for greater product and speed control in order to minimize damage and jams.
Multiple photo eyes were mounted to track the product and keep the timing of the sweep in line with the product. Also, a safety key attached to a movable guard cage was put in place to signal if the cage is in the down position.
Matt Smith, Field Service Supervisor for this project, spoke about the customer’s previous pneumatic systems that didn’t accomplish what they were looking for, “they weren’t happy with the performance of the pneumatics and wanted to go to a servo motor based system, which would be smoother, more consistent and more accurate.”
With this new system in place, the customer’s product can be properly conveyed with an air gap and frozen.
For more frozen food conveyor solutions, please review our “Frozen Food Handling with Cold Room Applications” brochure.