As an industry, food processing covers a lot of ground. It’s candy bars in wrappers, potato chips in bags, shrink-wrapped meat, and any number of prepared products in cans and boxes. It’s beverages, too, with production and bottling of everything from water to beer or wine in plastic, glass or aluminum containers. And these containers must be flawlessly sanitary.
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If you're in the packaging industry, you've likely heard of the PACK EXPO, which just wrapped up this past week in Las Vegas. Whether you’re new to the industry or a packaging veteran, the PACK EXPO is a great opportunity to explore manufacturing options or start a conversation with others in the industry.
Here at W.C. Branham, we are especially proud of the role our company and products have played over the years in helping improve packaging equipment design and functionality. Versatility is critical when it comes to equipment design options, because “packaging” covers a lot of ground. Products come in all sizes, shapes, and weights, all of which present certain design challenges. But all equipment requires actuators to move the process along and stop/hold at certain points.
Things happen and sometimes repairs are inevitable. That’s part of life when you’re working with any type of equipment. Pneumatic cylinders used in industrial applications operate in high-stress environments, so it's likely they will need repairs at some point—even if they are built to last.
Here are four things you can do to extend the life of your pneumatic cylinders:
1. One thing you should get in the habit of doing is regularly inspecting and maintaining your pneumatic cylinders. There are times when something just breaks or goes askew, but most often, repairs become necessary due to wear and tear. Cylinders that receive regular attention perform the best and last the longest.
Topics: Pneumatic Cylinders
During the engineering design process, you have to map out every component you'll need. If you need a gearbox for your application, how do you know which type? These products are very popular with design engineers because they are extremely versatile, but that also means there's a lot to choose from.
Some styles are particularly well-suited for certain applications. For instance, W.C. Branham makes continuous recirculation lubrication (CRL) models that are an excellent choice for heavy-duty, high-cycle applications, whereas our spiral-bevel models are ideal for high rpm applications. For packaging and similar applications, you may want to consider our Include-A-Shaft gearboxes.
Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes
Actuators move or control devices or system components. Linear actuators operate in a straight line. They can be powered with air, fluid, electricity, or even the human hand—although for industrial applications, a hand crank is a bit rustic. Let us clarify for you the differences between pneumatic and electric linear actuators.
In some ways, both types of actuators are the same. Both electric and pneumatic designs are compact, and they are both cost-efficient, though in somewhat different ways. Electric actuators offer excellent design flexibility when it comes to control options, good for when you need extreme precision. Pneumatic actuators are known for their quick response and defined stroke. They can deliver force anywhere between 4,000 and 2,000 pounds.
Increasingly, space is a major consideration when designing equipment for industrial applications. Compact air cylinders are becoming more popular than ever, because of their short stroke and low profile which can accommodate tight spaces where traditional cylinders would not fit.
Hydraulic spring applied caliper brakes are an ideal choice for applications that require emergency stopping or static holding. This type of brake is used in industrial machinery as well as heavy off-road vehicles. However, this braking method is not a good choice for continuous slip applications, because friction pad wear results in reduction of spring force and braking torque.
Every design engineer knows that you have to get all of the details right. If not, the device or equipment you’ve designed won’t perform as expected. Or, at least, not as well as expected. That won’t do, especially when you’re designing machinery for industrial applications.
Right angle gearboxes are a good example of this. They're popular because of their versatility and value for a wide range of industries and specific applications. However, that versatility can be your downfall during the design phase.
Right angle gearboxes fit many different situations because they can be configured and installed in multiple ways. It is essential to spec your gearcases correctly in order to avoid unfortunate design errors. So, let's look at four of the most common mistakes.
Topics: Right Angle Gearboxes
An actuator is a device that converts energy into movement. A linear actuator moves a load in a straight line. The energy source that operates an actuator can be hydraulic (fluid-based), pneumatic (air pressure-based), or even electric.
Topics: Pneumatic Actuators
Worm gears work like a screw, with “teeth” that form a continuous helix. Worm gears are not necessarily the most efficient choice, but for certain industrial applications, they offer distinct advantages.
Topics: Worm Gears