Conveyors & Automation Ltd Projects Overview

  • Adwest
  • Britannia
    Refined metal
  • British
  • Ceramic
  • General
  • Massey
  • Raleigh

  • Serck
  • Sterling
  • Thompson

Adwest Steering

An automated system to take steering system parts through a wash system and then through the assembly process:
The system takes a special basket through the wash unit. The basket is galvanised, about 1000 long x 200 x 200 and has provision for positioning of all components so that washing is most effective.
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Infeed of a pair of baskets into wash machine.


The basket is filled from a live 2 tier GRT storage rack. They are then transferred via a roller track into a lift in line with the washing machine infeed. The baskets are accepted as pairs and injected into the machine automatically.
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At the outfeed the pairs of baskets are ejected singly onto a twin acetyl chain conveyor and conveyed to a next assembly area and accumulated awaiting call-on. 
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Wash outfeed onto mainline conveyor. Also the lower return line feeds empty baskets automatically back onto roller track filling line.
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Basket is fed from main line and accumulates prior to stainless steel work table. After assembly the basket is return automatically to the lower return strand of the mainline conveyor.
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3 assembly stations alongside mainline feed conveyor.


Walking beam conveyors with latch separation: these are for accumulation the steering units prior to test.

Britannia Refined Metals

A Drag Scraper Conveyor to remove lead particles from a tank of sulphuric acid.


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The sump tank was manufactured from 316 Stainless Steel 6mm thick. Here it is shown inverted in our works. It was to be concreted into the ground. It is feed from an adjacent building which, through slopes, allows H2SO4 to drain into the sump
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The incline and sloping part of the drag scraper conveyor conveys any heavy part such as lead which need removing. The base of the conveyor is replaceable but as the parts to be recovered is very small the conveyor is only run very slowly therefore the base should last for many years.
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The tail end of the drag conveyor
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The reverse bend of the conveyor
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A very small drive motor for a very slow speed
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Everything 316 stainless steel.



British Vita - A division of...

Extruded sheet stacking system

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This system receives plastic sheet from an extruder. As it cools twin hydraulic choppers cut the side trim into approximately 100mm long pieces. These are conveyed back to a granulator for re-extruding.
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After trimming the sheets are cut off and conveyed onto the stacking system conveyor.
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The sheet is conveyed on a telescopic conveyor to the calculated stacking point...
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At that point the the conveyor retracts and lays down the sheet onto the stack, and the stack lowers one sheet thickness.
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When the stack is completethe guarding is lifted and a fresh trolley is inserted.
The sheet thickness is from 3mm to 20mm and sheet lengths up to 4500mm. The system also can stack either 1,2 or 3 stacks on one pallet
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Ceramic Fibres Ltd

This system loads and stacks ceramic fibres insulation material into trolleys automatically.

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The trolleys are about 2M high X 2M long and can accept a board 1M wide. Thickness range from 5mm to 75mm. The material is wet and has the texture of uncooked pastry. Each thin mat takes about 1.5 minute to make and is much longer for the thicker ones. 
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The mat is made in a lower vacuum platen in  a constantly mixed slurry of ceramic fibres. When the mat is formed the lower platen lifts to mate with a fixed upper one. That then holds the mat whilst the other platen descends to start the next one.
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A thin wide conveyor then passes through the trolley which is lifted to the appropriate tray level on a scissor lift and collects the mat from the upper platen. The conveyor retracts and also reverses to leave space for following mats. 
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When the conveyor is holding the programmed number of mats it retracts through the trolley as the belt is running forward at precisely the same speed as the retraction. This allows the mats to be laid down, off a knife edge, onto the trolley tray without distortion.   The trolleys are conveyed around the system on roller conveyors complete with lifts to raise their castors from the floor.
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This system replaced 2 men who had to wait whilst a mat was made and then insert a board underneath the vacuum head before manually releasing it to drop on the board. The board and mat was then feed into the trolleys.



General Electric


Phosphorous recovery



In the production of strip lights a phosphoric solution is run down clusters of glass tubes standing vertically in wire baskets. The glass tubes are gently shaken rotationally to distribute the fluid which runs out below. The problem with the process is that the fluid is more expensive than its weight in gold and hardens in a very short time.

The solution was to produce stainless steel troughs with PTFE reciprocating wipers to convey the fluid to a recollection point, lifting over the liquid on the return. The liquid is kept fluid by a spray of chemical (also expensive) which allows the process to work well. It was previously caught on silver foil and then re-processed or thrown away.


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The first system was just a short single blade system with a rodless cylinder. The photograph on the right shown the blade lifting as it returns
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See full-size image The further development of this was a multi-blade system.





Massey Furgusson

Rotary quenching system.


This system resolved a number of problems. The unit below serves the end of a furnace where men used to drag trays - approx 600 X 600 - from the furnace exit and drop into an oil quench. There were problems of safety, fire, quality, mess and difficult recovery.
The trays carry gears mounted on spigots which after they have been through the furnace and oil quench are shrunk onto the spigots. After the spigots have been pushed out under a hydraulic press the bores are precise and clean.The quench system we built has a roller tack infeed complete with a rodless go-getter which transfers the trays from the furnace outfeed onto one of eight quenching platforms (Station 1) on a rotary carousel . This indexes round within a quench tank and is pneumatically controlled from a system mounted on the carousel to quench and recover at the correct point.

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At station 6 the tray is recovered by another go-getter and passed to a hydraulic press for process completion. Stations 2 - 6 are lowered quench and 7,8 and 1 are raised.

The carousel is driven from a braked geared motor unit via a necklace chain K1 mounted

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Safety features include an automatic oil level compensating system, a CO2 flooding system controlled by heat detecting fuses.








A system to feed a heat treatment plant. 

The products are made in an eight hour shift but to heat treat takes 24 hours. The solution was to produce two heavy slat conveyors with deep side walls and cross flights. The pockets thus formed accept different batches of components over the 8 hour shift. For the rest of the 24 hour period the system reverses and feeds the heat treatment systems.


Primary slat conveyor feedinto pocketed storage conveyor

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Clam shell discharge chutes to allow the pocketed store conveyor to reverse out individual batches of components.
Discharge end of buttin g slat conveyor on pocketed conveyor. Not the lack of gap between slats
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Components arrayed on heat treatment conveyors at discharge point.








Copper Billet feed to pre-heat furnace before tube extruder.

Billets of copper are turned and bored to approximately 4.5"O/D X 8" long. They are then fed into an elevator which lifts them and feeds them onto a twin chain conveyor with attachments. This conveyor is high up above a mezzanine floor.

It feeds the billets endways onto a Diablo slewing device which slews and tips them in pairs down a chute for feed into a pre-heat furnace. Thereafter the hot billets are feed into a vertical extruder which produces copper tube horizontally


The billets having been turned faced and bored are loaded onto this twin chain elevator.

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See full-size image The billets are tipped onto this twin chain conveyor with rabbit ears whichon this heavy slopping section of diablo roller conveyor. See full-size image
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The diablo section slews 90° and tips onto a table for furnace heating.

thereafter with a mighty whoosh the vertical extruder shoots a long length of Cu central heating tube across the floor below!

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Sterling Tubes - Sandvik

Tube finishing line

Seamless stainless steel tube is debundled and  passed through a straightener. Then it is sawn into required lengths and and conveyed out on a diablo conveyor. 

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Thereafter it is transferred sideways and lined up ready for end de-burring. This is achieved by singulating the tubes and passing each tube across the face of a de-burring machine. 


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To maintain correct de-burring the tubes are elevated by a series of dogged chains and passed over a series of belts which drive the tube against the de-burring face.Close_up_tube_in_diablo.jpg (16195 bytes)

tube_being_repositioned_between_de_frazers.jpg (23830 bytes)After this 1st pass the tube is placed on a diablo conveyor and it is then conveyed to a point in line with the second de-burring machine which in the same manner de-burrs the other end of the tube.sterli3.gif (15883 bytes)

tube endAfter de-burring the tubes are passed into a clean out area to remove debris. A pair of lances automatically blow and then brush out the tubes ends.defraze_unit.jpg (18964 bytes)

 overhead_view_of_dust_extraction.jpg (19315 bytes)A blow out section with a a hinged lid is also included

lift_out_unit_from_diablo.jpg (13236 bytes)


Thereafter further lateral and longitudinal elements convey and transfer the tubes through ink jet printing, inspection collating and bundling


Bundler_full.jpg (22336 bytes)

along_bundling_loops_empty.jpg (18549 bytes)Bundling is either just into cradles for lifting out by crane or into a series of belts which cradle the tubes into a roughly circular profile. These belts are fixed to a shaft which and allow the bundle to be assembled straight off a runout table.Overhead_tubes_on_run_out_table.jpg (22892 bytes)




           Below are various transfers, laterally and longitudinally, together with singulating and accumulating methods. 

Tube_coming_off_Veed_belts.jpg (15688 bytes)  Overall_low_view_of_whole_scheme.jpg (19049 bytes)  single_tube_lifters_down.jpg (17754 bytes)  single_tube_lifters_up.jpg (19313 bytes)  Bundler_empty.jpg (17741 bytes)  bundle_arrestor_in_runnout_tables.jpg (21645 bytes)  defrazing_line_with_lift_and_run_rollers.jpg (23583 bytes)

end_view_of_lift_out_arms_in_line_of_diablos.jpg (18958 bytes)  overhead_veed_belts.jpg (22852 bytes)  tub_on_red_diablo_prior_to_ejection.jpg (21397 bytes)  lift_out_arm_in_diablo_close.jpg (16706 bytes)


Friction Welding of Truck Back Axles Housings

A 5 line system for presenting truck back axle housings with wheel spigots for friction welding - Supplied into Russia

isometric view

2M long rear truck axle housings are loaded onto the tail end of five accumulating conveyors. The housings are pressed from 6mm plate and are relatively crude. The only precise region is a machined annulus which is presented face down and is about 500mm.

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The axles are conveyor on heavy duty deep link chains which allow accumulation. The side stringers of the conveyor is fitted with gravity latches which normally allow the heavy housings to be transferred towards the head end of the conveyor
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When a housing reaches the end lift-up point it depresses a latch which is cocked up such that the following housing is stopped and itself depresses latches which hold back, and separate, the following housings
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At the head end of the conveyor is a hydraulically operated grip and lift system. This locates on the machined annulus and lifts the housings to a datum where the flanged wheel mountings  are brought into line prior to being transferred, as a three element assembly, to the friction welder.
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The axles having been lifted upare presented with the flanged wheel spigots. These are conveyed to pick and place units by stainless steel slat conveyors. 
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See full-size image Hydraulic escapements and pushers perform segregation and transfer  
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The dedicated robots  accept a variety of diameters of flanged housings, lift, slew and present to the ends of the axles housings
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