Whether car seats, truck tires, electric motors, batteries or household devices, driven conveyors do not always have to handle heavy pallets weighing 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds). For automated applications that move goods weighing up to 250 kilograms (551 pounds), the Modular Pallet Conveyor Platform (MPP) is a suitable expansion solution that stands out for its cost effectiveness, uniform control ensuring the flow of goods with zero-pressure accumulation and plug-and-play functionality.
More and more companies around the world that are seeking to replace manual work processes with highly streamlined and automated material-handling processes are using the Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP) for conveying goods weighing up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds) or the MPP for pallets weighing up to 1,200 kilograms. However, some system integrators are unaware that they can also use the MPP solution to configure tailored conveyors for transporting goods weighing up to 250 kilograms – thanks to the Interroll modular platform portfolio. This is possible with the proven DC Platform products that consist of the 48V RollerDrive combined with MultiControl control systems and power supplies. Unlike the MPP variant for heavy pallets, this solution is driven by the 48V RollerDrive with a power consumption of 50 watts. It enables customers to build cost-effective, energy-efficient and safe conveyors, especially in industrial settings where truck tires, car seats, white goods and other products must be conveyed with zero-pressure accumulation.
The RollerDrive EC5000 is the key component of this solution. Combined with the new MultiControl for pallet conveying, these drives are the core element of zero-pressure accumulation conveyors for moderately heavy goods with individually driven conveyor zones. When equipped with the optional bus interface and combined with the right MultiControl (Interroll’s multi-protocol control system encompassing PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCat), the RollerDrive also enables users to read out a wide range of operating data in real time and visualize it on the screen via a web interface – an ideal solution for demand-driven maintenance. What’s more, the product can be positioned precisely on the conveyor line – a feature that is essential for seamless integration with robots or automated gripper arms. A huge advantage of the MultiControl is the control’s adaptability to specific customer needs thanks to its highly flexible nature. The MultiControl’s intelligent conveyor logic, for example, enables the set-up of zero-pressure accumulation conveyors without cumbersome programmable logic controller (PLC) programming work. It is also possible to build plug-and-play modules with no PLC at all. System integrators wishing to deploy a special logic for customer-specific applications, however, can also use the MultiControl as an input/output (I/O) device. The existing logic for zero-pressure-accumulation conveying will then be ignored. The connected PLC receives all sensor and RollerDrive information and adjusts the material handling as required by the user through relevant programming.
At the same time, more complex applications like those using additional 400V drum motors for turntables can also be integrated and controlled via the MultiControl. This means that even mixed conveyors with both 400V and 48V drive elements can rely on a uniform control solution that drastically reduces the cabling effort required to connect the drives to the PLC, among other advantages. The advantages of a standardized modular system for conveyor solutions are obvious. With the proven conveyor platform from Interroll, a high-performance, demand-driven material-handling solution can be very easily put together or expanded using plug-and-play modules. The user-friendly Interroll Layouter software for planning, 3D-visualization and simulation (see below) shortens and simplifies the project planning phase and decision-making processes for users.
The new Interroll Layouter features significant functionality upgrades compared to the previous version. It can now generate highly realistic 3D models that can visualize the planned material handling through animation and even simulate it based on machine specifications. Additional objects such as robot or production cells and control elements can also be integrated to conduct realistic controller and PLC simulations.
These features give system integrators the opportunity to design and plan system concepts in an even more descriptive way and virtually put them into operation, making for more informative and simplified presentations and decision-making processes for end users. The Interroll Layouter simultaneously improves preparations to ensure the seamless integration and system startup of the solution.