Computer-driven machinery supplier improves stopping distance
Since purchasing a highly responsive brakemotor, MiTek has increased its workable floor space by 10%.
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As MiTek, a leading supplier of computer-driven machinery for the building components industry, prepared for the development stages of a new roller gantry press head machine and system for truss fabrication, it sought the services of a hands-on gearbox supplier.
Among other key requirements, the machine would need a highly responsive brakemotor with adequate torque output for frequent starts and stops. With this in mind, a drive technology manufacturer offered comprehensive engineering assistance to fit and refine an inline brakemotor on the machine that met MiTek’s strict specifications.
A trackless roof truss roller system is used for building roof trusses in residential and commercial construction and incorporates advanced safety mechanisms, such as a light curtain that detects objects in the way of the heavy machine. If people or objects are detected, the mechanisms will override the operator and bring the machine to a halt. The manufacturer was responsible for ensuring this occurred as quickly as possible through a minimized brake engagement time. After all, the press head traveled at a linear speed of 1.87 mph—pretty fast when you consider its 12,000-pound weight and close proximity to working personnel.
To estimate stopping distance and allow MiTek to design the rest of the structure appropriately, the manufacturer developed a system model that included friction and inertia. Once fully developed and tested, the stopping distance—with the inline brakemotor—improved by 30% when compared to previous designs.
The stopping distance is measured by “parking area,” a term referring to the physical space that must be left on either end of the system’s table arrangements (workspace where the trusses are laid while being fabricated by the moving press head) so that the machine does not run off the edge of the table. By reducing the stopping time in the interest of safety, a 10% gain of workable floor space occurs, thereby providing an additional value to the customer.
“We managed to get a higher quality motor and saved ourselves some dollars in the process, which we put into other areas of the machine,” says Gene Toombs IV, general manager of MiTek’s machinery division.
NORD Gear Corporation
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