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Optimised luxury vehicle production
3rd Quarter 2015, Electrical switching & drive systems & components

Bosch Rexroth recently supplied a high end German motor vehicle manufacturer with a more efficient handling and distribution solution for the conveyance of interior roof trims along the production line. The solution incorporated the customised VarioFlow plus chain conveyor system to provide simplified, automated handling capabilities while optimising the use of space.

Instead of being laid upon the conveyor belt, the roof interior trims, each weighing around six kilograms, are hung vertically from the conveyor about three metres above the floor. To achieve this, the VarioFlow plus chain conveyor system was fitted with a longer version of the hanger to which the carried roof interiors are attached.

The workpiece is then floated directly to the robot at the machining station, which removes the item from the conveyor for machining at the laser cutting station. Once machined, the robot collects the item and returns it to the conveyor, from where it is transported to the removal point and placed in buffer storage.The delivery and collection of units to and from the laser cutting station occurs in a completely automated logistical sequence – only the initial deposit and final collection require manual intervention.

The facility processes around 20 different interior roof trim styles across three vehicle model lines. This new conveyance system, unique in this form, enables the carmaker to serve four complete assembly lines. The VarioFlow modular chain conveyor system offers a highly efficient conveyance solution for indoors material handling operations in the food and beverage, automotive, packaging, assembly, electronics and material handling industries. It offers a fully user-defined conveyance network that moves, accumulates and distributes items across a production floor with maximum space utility, delivering improved productivity in today’s manufacturing facilities.

The VarioFlow range includes the VarioFlow plus and VarioFlow S chain conveyor systems. VarioFlow plus offers easy to design and assemble conveyor solutions with low noise operability, in widths of 65 to 320 mm to support item loads of up to 20 kg. VarioFlow S, ideally suited to maximum-hygiene packaging applications, can be procured in several width variations, from 80 mm to 320 mm, which support item loads up to 22 kg.

Bosch Rexroth manufactures several different chain types to handle a wide range of workpieces, each of which offers high strength and flexibility for long-lasting, reliable performance. Using advanced resin formula, the VarioFlow chains have a high tensile strength up to 1250 N.

VarioFlow’s state-of-the-art drive and gearbox infrastructure means 90% of the motor rotation is delivered to conveyor motion, providing a highly energy-efficient conveyor solution. Low friction coefficient designs also reduce energy load requirements and require fewer drives, while delivering a smooth conveyor motion.

The VarioFlow’s aluminium or stainless steel frameworks provide a high degree of flexibility, allowing operators to adapt and adjust the conveyance system to changing workshop parameters. The VarioFlow range can be combined with RFID for enhanced identification, management and data storage capabilities.

For more information contact Greg Calder, Tectra Automation, +27 (0)11 974 9400,,

Supplied By: Tectra Automation
Tel: +27 11 971 9400
Fax: +27 11 971 9440
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