Ski production line gets a lift
17 April 2018
MULCO partner TransDev is the UK & Ireland distributor of BRECO PU belts. In this application example a Mulco partner in Germany utilises BRECO linear belts with attached profiles; TranDev undertakes similar projects via its expert Special Belts manufacturing facility
Since 1939, the Swiss company Montana has been supplying machines to ski service providers worldwide, enabling them to provide optimal support to winter sports enthusiasts, and has now branched out to offer its innovative services for ski production.
The fully automatic sanding line presented here is designed for medium-sized batches. The control system suitable parameter sets for any type of ski, with users selecting the required parameters for the ski type and starting the machining process on the display. Initially, the only manual steps were positioning the skis on the cross transport belt and removing the skis from the machine.
Johannes Höfflin, Montana's chief designer says: "As the production requires that the skis are stored between the individual processes, we wondered whether these 'buffers' could simultaneously be used for automatic feeding of skis into the sanding line. This led to the idea of a mobile paternoster lift as a ski carrier and intermediate storage system."
This method is independent from the timing and location of the sanding line and its cycle rate. The loaded paternoster lift is simply moved to the sanding line, aligned approximately and connected to the control system. Two studded timing belts transport the skis from the paternoster into the sanding line. A second paternoster receives the skis in the same manner after machining.
Two endless joined BRECO timing belts with welded profiles are used for transport on the paternoster. Engineer René Preßler of MULCO's sales partner Hilger u. Kern explains: "Basically, we had two options. Either we weld the profiles to the back of the belt or we use BRECO's ATN system. The latter had a higher load bearing capacity, but requires double bolting for each individual profile. Montana decided on the welded variant."
The solution for fitting and dismantling the ski carriers from the profiles is particularly elegant and practical: Spring-loaded balls lock the holding bolts in place axially, making bolting unnecessary and making it possible to replace the ski carriers without tools.
The timing belts and customer-specific profiles were manufactured and the profiles welded onto the belts directly at the premises of the manufacturer and Mulco member BRECO Antriebstechnik in Porta Westfalica. The profiles also consist of high-quality polyurethane.
A keyway and a drilled hole are sufficient for fastening the coated ski carriers to the profile. Although the load of the ski weight is relatively low, the belt requires a relatively strong tension for problem-free guiding of the skis. Bearing supports on both sides of the pulleys provide a stable support for the drive shaft and prevent excessive bending. A 24V motor with a worm gear unit is used for the drive. The self-locking mechanism of the worm gear unit ensures that the paternoster lift remains at a standstill when the motor is switched off.
The 24V DC voltage has several advantages. First of all, it reliably prevents danger to the operating staff, even in case of an electrical fault. Secondly, a 24 V battery permits mobile operation of the paternoster independently from the sanding line. This is a major simplification of ski handling and the manufacturer’s workflow and permits an ideal utilisation of the sanding line capacity.
Like BRECO, MULCO member TransDev also offers a wide range of profile shapes which can be adapted to their specific task through mechanical reworking (drilling and milling) and can offer customised profile shapes.
- TransDev also offers a wide range of timing belt profile shapes which can be adapted to a specific task through mechanical reworking
- This application uses two endless joined BRECO timing belts with welded profiles for transporting skis on a paternoster
- Although the load of the ski weight is relatively low, the belt requires a relatively strong tension for problem-free guiding of the skis