Assembly in Action: Handling System Keeps Tires Moving
An overhead monorail conveyor system automatically retrieves tires that have been mounted on wheels in another area of the plant and brings them to the final assembly area. At this point, they are sorted to conveyors on opposite sides of the main assembly line. The mounted tires are accumulated in tire silos on each side of the assembly line and released to the operators for installation on the correct side of the vehicle.
The greatest challenge on the project was that, in planning the addition to the plant, GM allocated a smaller space than had previously been occupied by tire silos. GM greatly reduced the width that the silo could fit into, so instead of installing a standard round silo, it had to be oval. The main obstacle was to ensure that the tires did not get stuck. The tires follow a tight downward spiral, powered by gravity. No other power source is required. The silos are equipped with escapement stops at the top and bottom to restrain the tires and then release them as needed.
For more information on conveyors, call 513-241-5910 or visit www.tkf.com.