Assembly in Action: Conveyors Help Handle Fuel Cells
September 21, 2007
Based in South Windsor, CT, the power division at United Technologies Corp. (Hartford, CT) manufactures environmentally advanced power systems for the transportation, space and defense industries.
Based in South Windsor, CT, the power division at United Technologies Corp. (Hartford, CT) manufactures environmentally advanced power systems for the transportation, space and defense industries. The company’s products have been used in everything from environmentally sound buildings to combustion-free buses to virtually every U.S. manned space mission since the Apollo era.
Recently, the company implemented a pair of modular conveyor systems from SmartMove Conveyor (Fall River, MA) to increase the efficiency of its fuel cell assembly line.
The first conveyor carries coated graphite fuel-cell electrodes from a conveyor oven to a machine that treats the assemblies with a precise matrix of phosphoric acid. The second conveyor then transports and lifts the treated electrodes at a 20-degree angle to a position 9 feet above the floor, so that they can be stacked for further processing.
United Technologies went with the SmartMove system because its modular, snap-link plastic belt is impervious to the acids being applied to the fuel cells. The company also wanted a conveyor that was easy to install and requires little maintenance.
“The conveyors have helped improve our production levels immensely from the previous nonautomated process,” says United Technology Corp. maintenance supervisor John Lane. “We started seeing improved production levels from the beginning of installation…. The conveyors were very simple to install and require little to no maintenance. We will continue to use SmartMove for all future applications.”
In addition to various basic conveyor sections, which are available in widths from 6 to 30 inches, the SmartMove line includes multi-level functionality, walk-through gates, 90-degree turns and workstation sections. Conveyor sections can be mounted on interchangeable, telescoping mounts, or simply placed on a table.
Because the SmartMove line is comprised entirely of standardized components, the system delivery time for United Technology Corp. system, from quote to installation, was less then 2 weeks.
For more on conveyors, call 508-679-5282 or visit www.4smartmove.com.