Intier Automotive in Redditch selected UPM Conveyors Ltd to automate the product handling from a bank of seven large tonnage Injection moulding machines which offered a payback time of only eight months against an investment of £150k by improving efficiency and reducing labour.
Originally an operator was employed on each machine to visually check and carry out secondary operations on the moulded parts which would then be stacked in a stillage ready to be taken to the assembly area via a pallet truck or fork lift.
The UPM solution allowed a robot on each machine to feed the moulding onto a belt conveyor located at high level which traversed for transporting to a main conveyor some 60 meters long for transporting to a central area where a vastly reduced number of operators would perform the same task that was previously carried out at each machine as per the enclosed photograph.
The UPM central PLC touch screen control programme was written in house by UPM Conveyors Ltd to ensure the system was user friendly and interfaced each machine robot cycle time for the complete range of mouldings produced and eliminated any possibility of a collision on the main conveyor.
Due to the success of this project UPM have since installed additional belt conveyors to further extend the system.
All aspects of manufacture are carried out in house at UPM including fabrication; programming and control build allowing complete control of quality / inspection and maintaining delivery promises.
UPM Conveyors offer a performance guarantee confirming that the equipment supplied will perform to the agreed technical specification but in the event of any issues then these would be resolved inclusive of all spare parts and labour required to the complete satisfaction of the customer allowing peace of mind on a worldwide basis.
Research and Development
UPM allocate circa 10% of their turnover for research and development to continuously improve their product range to cater for any food handling application and the trend is for UPM to act as system integrators offering a free of charge consultancy service which includes dimensioned layout drawings of the customers process hall to maximize effiency with ideal production flow conditions based on a total turnkey package.
This is demonstrated by a recent investment of circa £50k in 3D mechanical solid modelling design software for creating 3D digital prototypes using the design visualisation and simulation of products.
This will benefit their customers in being able to visualise the proposed solution for a product handling application as the image can be rotated through 360 degrees so eliminating any risk of the system not interfacing to existing equipment and being accommodated within the allocated production area.
The new software includes assembly stress analysis allowing UPM Conveyors input driving loads; friction characteristics and dynamic components then to run dynamic simulation tests to see how a product would work under real world conditions. The picture shown illustrates a Pepper Grader for the largest most high-tech greenhouse complex in the UK with enough glass to cover 80 football pitches for growing tomatoes; peppers and cucumbers with exceptional green credentials and as part of a continuous efficiency improvement programme consulted UPM Conveyors to automate the grading of Peppers at a rate of 3 tonnes per hour.