Innovative Rotary Accumulation Table Improvement Proves Valuable to Customers
March 1, 2021
Innovation and continuous improvement run deep in the MCE engineering team’s veins, which led to a desire to improve upon a rotary accumulation table conveyor solution that already had a robust and reliable design. The engineering redesign began in late 2020 and three months later, the team had a working prototype of a lighter, more flexible and faster-to-the-floor version of the prior design that customers had been asking for.
“What we started with was a tank,” explained Sam Konitzer, the lead mechanical design engineer on the project. “It worked exceptionally well. There was nothing wrong with it. But we knew we could improve the design to fit evolving customer needs even better.”
Improving the design included focusing on the five gear motor options that provided the torque that drove the table’s speed and performance. Using five different gear motors allowed the accumulation table to perform at five different set speeds needed for various conveyor lines across various industries. However, manufacturing it this way also resulted in a five-to eight-week lead time for customers.
“Customers today want a conveyor solution ASAP,” said Darrick Prill, engineering manager. “We asked ourselves how we could simplify the design to achieve various speeds and torque needs while reducing the amount of lead time needed for the solution. Using the new solution, we’ve reduced the lead time to 10 business days.”
The Innovative Solution
The team found the solution to reducing lead time in a variable frequency drive (VFD) used in tandem with a single gear motor.
“The new VFD innovation allows a single gear motor to be manipulated to a variety of speeds from 5-90 hertz,” explained Brian Henshaw, mechanical project engineer. “The result is a more lightweight, flexible version of the tank we had before—but still as reliable and durable as the prior model.”
The innovative new rotary accumulation table design is now more reliable at the extremes than it was before and as compared to many competitive models. Where most tables would run at 500 inch pounds of torque, the new model handles extremes of 1200-2700 inch pounds of torque with ease, reducing wear and tear on the motor that can lead to burnout at extreme loads and higher speeds.
Benefits of the Redesigned Rotary Table for Customers
The new rotary accumulation table design provides customers with the ability to de-accumulate product as well. Where most rotary tables provide for product coming off a conveyor solution and accumulating onto the table, the MCE rotary accumulation table is designed with an optional descrambler where a line operator can manually load products onto it that can then be funneled back onto the main production line.
“Our rotary accumulation table descrambles product accumulated on it and funnels it to the outside of the table to get back onto the original line in an organized manner,” Prill explained.
This de-accumulation feature allows operators to quickly and randomly place larger amounts of product on the table without worrying about lining them up one by one since the table handles that work and effort for the operator. The descrambler is especially useful for cylindrical products like bottles, jars, vials and cups, but is effective for any flat-bottomed type of material or product needing organization.
Additionally, the MCE rotary table is engineered with legs that are extremely flexible for a variety of heights so it can be adjusted to work on production lines with 12 generous inches of height adjustments, compared to most competitors’ two inches. With 36", 48" and 60" inch sizes available, the new tables are designed to accommodate a variety of product sizes and conveyor speeds perfect for smaller conveyor line needs. And because of the innovative redesign, these rotary accumulation tables are now readily available to ship in 10 business days so customers can increase production and efficiency in record time.
Early Sales Showing Strong Demand
The new designs have been well-received in the industry. Sales in the first few months have exceeded expectations, demonstrating that the new design was worth the efforts in improvement and that its new design is highly valued.
“We don’t put the MCE name on anything until we believe the design will exceed distributor expectations,” said Prill. “This is by far the simplest and easiest way to accumulate without using a lot more control work and advanced technology. It will perform exceptionally well for a long, long time for customers needing some type of accumulation solution in their product line.”
Looking to add a Rotary Accumulation Table to your product line? Email us for a quote and take advantage of our 10-business day delivery advantage.