The circulating intelligent conveyor chain "Pikchain"By Igus with integrated energy, data and media supply offers completely new perspectives for complex Pick & Place solutions. This was also recognized by the company Hebenstreit Metal Decorating, which has realized a special production for a customer from the automotive industry with this conveyor chain.
Hebenstreit Metal Decorating GmbH from Pleidelsheim near Stuttgart develops and produces innovative printing and varnishing systems for the global market. In addition to high-speed printing and coating lines, the product range also includes UV dryers and panel conveyors.
Hebenstreit received an order from a customer in the automotive industry for a custom-made product: the aim was to increase the efficiency of a fully automatic linear feeder for a printing line. To do this, you should increase the number of passes from 1200 to 3000 per hour. The problem with this is that the workpieces are aluminum sheets made of a special alloy with a highly sensitive surface. The machine therefore had to guarantee complete scratch-free workpieces in fully automatic single-run operation.
Promotional chain links with suction lifters
"With a linear motion, we would not have made it. To drive back and forth at a distance of 700 mm, simply takes too much time ", says Hubert Winkler" this is only possible with a rotating system such as the new Pikchain from Igus. "For gentle handling of the sensitive metal sheets, individual conveyor chain links were equipped with suction lifters , In addition, the individual chain links run on low-wear skids from the long-lasting Plain bearing plastic Iglidur J without additional lubricant. As a result, contamination of the aluminum sheets is excluded before painting. "I do not know any comparable solution," says Hubert Winkler.
The Pikchain is the world's first continuously circulating conveyor chain with integrated media supply, such as electricity, water, air and data. Each conveyor chain link can be controlled individually by means of an internal, running energy chain. As a result, individual chain links can be equipped with grippers, tools, sensors, cameras, or suction cups up to a load of 5 kg per chain link. Due to the continuous circulation the Pikchain avoids useless empty runs. Because conventional linear systems usually require a round trip. The result is an acceleration of the pick & place times at a continuous speed of 2-3 m / s by up to 30%. The system can also be installed horizontally, vertically or laterally and offers a travel distance of up to 30 m.