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Case Study: Bolts and Adjustable Width Conveyor

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Recently, a customer came to mk North America with a material handling challenge involving various-sized bolts with four different types of head options. The bolts ranged in size from 6.25-inch to 36.25-inch. The bolts were threaded for either ⅝ or ¾ inch. The common material handling requirement between all of the bolts, 49 types in total, was to control the bolt end opposite of the head.

mk North America's Challenge

A conveyor solution was necessary to align all of the bolts to the datum and move the product forward. The bolts, which are placed on the conveyor by hand, would be driven to a robotic picking station. Here a magnetic tooling arm would remove two bolts at a time and feed them to a packaging line. It was necessary to simultaneously pick up two bolts within a six-second cycle time.

Only one part was to run on the conveyor at a time, so this simplified the solution for mk’s Sales Engineer working on the project. Due to the need to positively place and identify the parts in a continuous repetitive motion, the ZRF-P 2040 was chosen as the base conveyor platform for this particular Engineered Solution project.

How the ZRF-P 2040 Offered a Solution

The ZRF-P 2040 is a timing belt conveyor, specifically designed for fixtures to be added to the belt. This set-up provided the tolerances the customer needed. Working with drawings supplied by the customer, mk then developed a part fixture, or nest, that worked with all of the products being conveyed.

In order to accommodate the various widths of the products, it was determined an adjustable width conveyor was necessary. mk used a spline shaft along with linear slides, handles and a pin-in-bushing locking system. This made the customer's requirement for a quick changeover between parts as quick as possible. The pin-in-bushing system also allows for the conveyors to be locked at a desired width to accommodate a specific part.

This engineered conveyor solution had a fairly short turnaround time. The concept was brought forth by the mk sales representative in early September. By November 8th, the project was fully built and being tested on mk’s shop floor before shipping. From the initial quote, which was then revised, the order was designed, built, tested and shipped in less than 10 weeks. This is just one of many examples of how mk strives to offer their customers not only better products, but also better solutions. Each customer's project presents its own set of specific needs or unique challenges. But with mk’s many years of experience and a vast array of standard, modified or fully custom conveying solutions, mk has the solution you've been looking for.

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