Tube Loader for Furnace Assembly
A manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment needed a system that would quickly dispense the stainless steel tubes needed to asemble a gas heat exchanger. To help the client achieve throughput goals and ergonomic improvements, Blue Arc designed and fabricated a custom solution capable of holding 2,000 of these tubes, while dispensing them at a rate of 100-120 per minute.
The tube loader uses drag chain conveyor to singulate each tube from a large central hopper. Then, each tube is placed into one of two shuttle cars that dispense 20-30 of the tubes into each of eight escapements. Operators pick up tubes as needed and place them into the heat exchanger assembly.
- Ergonomics: Instead of bending over to pick up tubes out of a large bin on the floor, operators can now grab the heat actuator tubes out of a waist-level escapement.
- Throughput: The unit dispenses up to 100-120 tubes per minute, allowing operators to assemble products much faster.
- Floor Space: Instead of large bins of tubes sitting around on the facility the floor, up to 2,000 tubes can be placed in one central hopper on the tube loader and be dispensed as needed.
- The unit holds up to 2,000 stainless steel tubes (18" long x ½" diameter) in the central hopper
- Can dispense at a rate of 100-120 tubes per minute out of 8 escapements (12-15 tubes per escapement)
- Uses a drag chain conveyor with a roller chain and attachments to secure Delrin blocks
- Delrin blocks were machined to allow the tubes to easily singulate from the hopper without rolling backwards
- Central hopper was constructed of 11-gauge, carbon steel and utilized a pneumatic vibratory to keep tubes moving toward the bottom of the hopper
- Hopper also had pivoting doors to allow for loading and a safety interlocked door to clear any tube jams