Advantages of Electric Shaker Conveyors
Properly installed and maintained electric shaker systems eliminate the common causes of operating failures noted above while providing years of trouble-free service. In addition, they also deliver significant performance and cost advantages over their pneumatically driven counterparts. Advantages include the following:
- Efficiency. Electric shaker conveyors eliminate disruptions caused by maintenance and repairs frequently required by pneumatic shaker systems, thus providing immediate and significant boosts in shop-floor efficiency. Also eliminated: wasteful leaks in air tubing, which can run thousands of feet, along with the need for air compressors, thus freeing valuable floor space.
- Reliability. Given the harsh operating conditions encountered in metal stamping plants, electric shaker conveyors are designed, engineered and built to be extremely reliable. Some systems, including MPI’s M-series models, for example, avoid using seals and damping components that require maintenance and repairs. More-complicated pneumatic models feature more parts and assemblies that can break down. Except for the need to clear infrequent jams, electric shaker systems can provide years of trouble-free service.
- Simplicity. Pneumatic systems require compressed air from compressors, often located far from stamping presses. The compressors, tubing and connections required with these shaking systems constitute a complicated infrastructure that requires lubrication, plus periodic and as-needed maintenance and repair. Electric shaker systems operate virtually maintenance-free with much longer service intervals and fewer required spare parts.
- Energy savings. Electric shaker systems use 71 percent less energy as compared with 3.4-ft.3/min. pneumatic setups. Given the number of stamping presses in a plant and how long they run—assuming similar run times for their scrap handling systems—annual energy-cost savings from electric shaker conveyors can total tens of thousands of dollars. Less energy consumption means a lower carbon footprint for stamping plants.
- Maintenance. Electric shaker systems, virtually maintenance-free, save hundreds of hours in plant maintenance over a year’s time, enabling staff to focus on other maintenance tasks possibly deferred due to upkeep required on pneumatic shaker systems. Pneumatic conveyors require regular lubrication of air lines and seals to prevent leaks, and this maintenance must be conducted over many thousands of feet of tubing typically found in medium- to large-sized stamping plants.
- Flexibility. Electric shaker conveyors offer flexibility to meet a variety of production configurations, and ease reconfigurations as well. For example, MPI’s M-series units are engineered for industry-standard T-slot configurations—common in stamping plants. Pneumatic units prove more difficult to install, and reconfiguring production lines also requires reconfiguration of long-run air lines.
- Less noise. Noise in stamping plants is a given—an environmental condition subject to limits set by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Pneumatic shaker systems emitting loud air bursts with each trim clearing present a bigger issue. Electric shaker systems operate almost noiselessly via relatively small motors.
- Extensibility. In the age of IoT and Industry 4.0, as stamping operations increasingly utilize plant-floor sensors and controllers that communicate with higher-level manufacturing execution systems, electric shaker systems can be configured to connect with these networks. For example, although most electric shaker conveyors feature simple On/Off switches or wire directly to the press, a variable-frequency drive can provide finer control of the shaker motor’s operation. Also, sensors can monitor shaker amperage to alert operators of a jam. A technician then can clear the jam before scrap backs up. MF
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms
See also: Magnetic Products, Inc.
Technologies: Pressroom Automation