TTX’s Automated Conveyor Carrier System is designed for wireless, flexible operation.
Therma-Tron-X’s (TTX) Automated Conveyor Carrier (ACC) is an overhead material handling system that incorporates a wireless network to send instructions to individual, battery-powered carriers throughout an assembly line, paint line or anywhere in a facility.
According to the company, the ACC system is a flexible, energy-efficient, safety-engineered, maintenance-friendly solution for a variety of operations. “The system is 100% wireless and provides reliable and consistent point-to-point movement of everything from small parts to heavy parts,” says Chad Andreae, vice president of sales at TTX.
The vehicles are multidirectional, have individual acceleration and deceleration control, and are equipped with torque control, which enables smooth and precise control. “It’s scalable in concept, allowing for production volumes to be easily adapted for all scenarios,” Andreae says. “You can expand your system as your company grows by implementing the right number of vehicles for each job.”
The units are designed for energy efficiency. “Mass flow through the ovens is reduced thanks to the ACC system’s slot-top oven design which reduces chain and carrier loading,” Andreae says.
The vehicles are electrically controlled, have a fully enclosed power source and said to be much cleaner than traditional conveyors. “This technology is clean as it doesn’t need chain lubrication and no debris is carried over the product,” Andreae says.
The chainless ACC systems are also said to be much quieter. “We’re daring to call it ‘whisper-quiet,” says Lizabeth Bjarnarson, TTX marketing manager.
For safety, each unit is equipped with audible alerts and signal lights for situational awareness, and a collision-avoidance system. “As an option, it has an all-seeing eye that sees what’s going on all around it,” Bjarnarson says.
Carriers are hung on an overhead I-beam track in much the same way as a traditional overhead carrier and are propelled using an adjustable spring-loaded traction drive wheel. The I-beam and carrier drive are sized accordingly by weight with a range of capacities. The system is equipped with automatic charging stations located along the path and units can be swapped out with spares for easy maintenance.
“Troubleshooting and startup of these units takes little time as they are preprogrammed in-house prior to installation,” Bjarnarson says. “Future modifications and track maintenance is easily done.” The ACC vehicles are constructed using common, tried and tested components, that are easily accessible.
Each overall system is custom designed by TTX engineers who map the route and simulate the customer’s operation, helping to establish a cost-effective, efficient design for material handling.