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We where contacted back in February by Leicestershire boutique cheese manufacturer Long Clawson
They wanted two conveyors to go at the end of two cheese packing lines, allowing boxes of packaged cheeses to accumulate while waiting to be packed onto pallets.
Our solution was a hybrid conveyor: part powered (to clear the boxes away from the previous packing area and give them 'space'), and part gravity roller (to allow boxes to gradually accumulate). A box will trundle down the powered section, but roll to a halt on the gravity section. The next box will come along, and push the first box further down the gravity track, then the third box, and so on, until the first box reaches the end of the gravity section. (there is a stop-bar to prevent them falling off).
The accumulation zone featured small 40mm diameter gravity rollers with semi-precision bearings, whereas the powered section used larger 50mm rollers with precision bearings.
The powered section centred around a single 24v powered roller unit, linked by drive bands to its neighbouring unpowered 50mm rollers. Each neighbouring unpowered roller in turn linked to IT'S next neighbour, and so on along the line.
The drive bands also function as a kind of "slipping clutch". If the gravity section filled up, and overflowed onto the driven section, then the presence of a "stuck" box would cause the drive bands to slip, ensuring that the boxes where not damaged by a moving roller 'chewing' away at their undersides.
We've got a short snippet of (rather wobbly) video to illustrate this. Sadly, we took the video using empty boxes, so they tend to "judder" a bit. (this does not happen when the boxes are full of cheese... but the engineers ate all the samples that Long Clawson sent us ! )----------------------