AIA: Modular Conveyors Facilitate Flexibility, Process Control
Continental Automotive Systems (Auburn Hills, MI), a division of Continental AG (Hannover, Germany), produces electronic control modules, including steering and brake systems, for the automotive industry. To cut production costs and the cost of accommodating new products at its newly acquired plant in Elma, NY, Continental decided to upgrade the conveyors it uses. The company also wanted to implement conveyors that could be easily combined with the controls software and communications systems that are increasingly a part of its production processes.
With these requirements in mind, Continental Automotive Systems began using Quickdraw MR conveyors from MagStar Technologies Inc. (Hopkins, MN). Because the conveyors are modular and sectional-with the sections coming in standard lengths from 6 inches to 5 feet-they can be quickly assembled and reconfigured to fit a wide range of production requirements. Each section contains its own motor, drive-motor card and cabling, so it can be directly integrated into a production control system with the help of Solid Model software. With track-and-trace software, Continental AG production supervisors can monitor the condition of each electronic control module that is being manufactured as it passes from station to station.
Continental Automotive also saves time on its initial conveyor installations, because MagStar Technologies fully tests each system before shipping to the manufacturing facility. The conveyors are also tested in concert with the equipment with which they will be working. As a result, each Quickdraw system arrives ready to be installed, which means it takes significantly less time to get the conveyor working than it does with conveyor systems that are assembled entirely on-site.
"Having the ability to integrate the Quickdraw transport system into each assembly machine at the equipment manufacturers' facilities including all controls aspects saves [us]...significant installation cost and engineering time," says Continental operations manager Glenn Everett. "It also significantly reduces the disruption a new line installation causes to surrounding production lines."
Other advantages of using Quickdraw MR conveyors include the fact that they are energy efficient and require minimal spare parts or maintenance. The conveyors also include prewired junction boxes.
The conveyors can be further customized through the use of accessories such as stops, sensors, lifts, lift gates and transfers. The Quickdraw MR's heat-resistant rollers are well suited to high-temperature applications. They are suitable for surface mount assembly applications, as well.
For more information on conveyors, call 800-473-8837 or visit www.qdraw.com.