Product news: August 2012
Magnetic curves conquer stick-slip on flat-top chains
The German chain manufacturer iwis has developed a new design of magnetic curves for flat-top chains that, it claims, almost eliminates the stick-slip effect, allowing products to be transported smoothly and with much lower noise levels than other systems. The Flexon system aligns the magnetic fluxes across all of the tracks, minimising any pulsations and thus transporting products with minimal jerking.
Magnetic curves are single- or multi-track plastic guides for flat-top chains that hold the chain in the curves while flexing around a radius. A series of magnets placed around the bend act on the chain pins. As the pins transfer from one magnetic field to the next, the holding force decreases and then increases again. This usually produces a slip-stick effect, resulting in vibrations that can be transferred to the goods being transported, sometimes causing them to fall over.
With the new magnetic curves, the slip-stick effect has effectively been eliminated by optimising the arrangement of the magnets and their field strengths, and increasing the size of their fields.
This is said to reduce the forces created in the curves by up to 60%. The new magnetic curves do not need as much driving power, and the same drives can operate longer conveyors, thus saving energy and cutting conveyor costs. The magnets are configured individually for each track according to the pin diameter and chain pitch, thus achieving almost identical magnetic forces in each track.
The track systems have low friction characteristics, ensuring that the wear rates are low. The reduced friction also helps to reduce the need for lubrication, in come cases allowing dry running.