An Element for all directions
With the new and versatile OTU (the Omni-directional Transfer Unit) from Avancon one determinates the transporting direction. Similar to the railway track, all goods are guided into different directions by moving in line of a natural curve or a crossing with OTU. These new key elements allow to build easily any size of crossings or diverters in conveyors systems with versatile OTU-bricks. But it is also possible to build crossover transport, sideways movements or even sorters.
“Have you ever wondered as to how train changes track while running? The train switching is a fascinating event and many people enjoy watching part of train moving onto another railway line from the window. Most times the process is so smooth, that one even doesn’t notice it. However, an experienced traveler can make out by the sound, that indeed the track is changed.
To make a train change its track, a special mechanical switch is made. As the name suggests, the switching rails can guide the train, either on straight path or on the diverging path which is established by a curved rail line.
It is very important that the switch is set up carefully. Most train derailments take place at the points when trains go from one track to another track.”
In a similar way goods have to be moved in distribution and logistics centers.
In modern internal conveyor and distribution systems, millions of cartons and boxes are moved daily worldwide, whether for postal and parcel services, online shops, logistic companies, pharmaceutical wholesales, in internal distribution or at airports.
The flow of goods is growing all over the world: between Asia and Europe and America as well as within the European Union. What is loaded somewhere and shipped in a container, has been previously been sorted, distributed, palletized and has to be de-palletized, sorted and distributed in the destination country again.
Of course everywhere in the internal logistics one need conveyors, which have to be equipped with switches, diverters and crossings and sorters in order to change the direction in order to transport goods to the different destination.
But how did this all work so far? –There have been many expensive constructions; for example, transfers which lift pneumatically, diverters that slide sideways, drive belts with built-in wheels, which are moved by an underlying belt, diverters, which are moved by means of pneumatics and their wheels are driven by a shaft mechanism and many other complicated systems. These pneumatic cylinders, pneumatic controls and pneumatic pipe installation and compressors become obsolete through this new invention. Also special shafts mounted below the transfer tables with twisted round belts, fall away.
Because now there is something very simple from the Swiss Avancon. This so-called “OTU” Omni-directional Transfer Unit is an ideal component that moves goods in almost any direction and that you can use for all those purposes as infeeds, switches, diverters, crossing, transfers, sorters and so on. These OTUs can be universally combined to “OTU tables” in any length and width, adjusted respectively to the largest product to be conveyed as cardboard boxes or plastic boxes or anything else with flat bases.
The single element, which consists of several detailed parts made of valuable and strong Techno-Polymers, is 75 x 75 x 133 mm in size, is assembled together in dovetail similar forms and over-head confected with the belt and combined with a toothed rack. Where the toothed rack, which causes the movement of the rollers in any direction (nearly 360°). Fore instance in a diverter/switch the transporting rollers build a natural curve to transport the goods into the right or left direction. So the transport can be done very fast but smooth and uses less space.
The wheels have tires of PU (Polyurethane) and are powered via bevel gear system within each element. This cannot be seen from outside.
Particularly ingenious is the idea to drive and move everything electrically directly with the standard DC gear-motors of 48 V and 40 W. The whole construction can be build very small in height. Here one can save space and a lot of money!
Sure Avancon offers also a complete control system, based on the field bus AS-interface. This guarantees a smooth but very fast movement. It is also able to communicate with other bus- or higher IT- topology.
Such an “OTU table” can be easily installed in any conveyor construction because the individual assembled “OTU” elements are all pushed onto a substructure of aluminum profiles – no other attachments are necessary. So you can either screw the whole assembled table between or under the frame construction of each conveyor track.
This OTU-element is also available with a fixed direction, slightly to the right or slightly to the left, for the lateral move of different sizes of goods before a barcode reader. The whole thing is very easy to install. It will keep the distance near to the barcode reader and requires just a few of those OTU elements.
Furthermore, one can use this OTU-brick to build crossings, transfers, crosswise movements between two conveyor lines or even a U-turn for very small curves; but also sorter-lines are possible.
Instead of using expensive pneumatics and / or mechanical liftings, only some of these simple elements are needed for every application: “OTU”. It’s easy to install – and much lower in cost.
Producers of conveyor systems can buy this versatile OTU element as individual parts for self-assembly or as the fully assembled OTU table including motors and control units to be mounted under or between any type of conveyor frame construction.
This OTU element was developed and worldwide patented by Dieter Specht, co-founder of the Interroll Group and is manufactured and sold worldwide by Avancon SA, Riazzino /Switzerland via Conveyor Manufacturers.
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”