Conveyors & Automation Ltd Projects Overview

  • Alcoa
  • Anglesey
  • Black
    & Decker
  • Britons

  • Delta
  • Ford -
    Tray Dispensers
  • Ford-
    Sand Handling
  • Ford -
    Inlet Manifold
  • Gen Motors
    Box Presenter
  • Gen Motors
    Twin Tracks
  • George
  • GEC
  • GKN -
    Skip Tippers

  • Glynwed

  • Goodyear
  • HuF (uk)
  • Hewlett

  • Polypipe

  • Jaguar
  • Lloyds
    of Burton

  • Luxfer

  • Mayflower
  • Nuts &
  • Perkins

  • Pirelli

  • Rover
  • Rover- Penham
    South Wales
  • ROF -
  • Searle
    Air Con
  • Star
  • Thompson - Oil Drilling Rods
  • Titan Steel Wheels
  • Wellman - Quench Conveyor


Automation of aluminium sheet rolling mill.

This new system reduced the manpower to roll a stack of aluminium sheets from 3 to 1. Previously one man had feed the front of the mill and the 2 behind had lifted the sheet high and passed it back over the top for further rolling.



The main rolls of the mill
And a man feeding a sheet through the rolls 
sheet_on_lowered_WW.jpg (17206 bytes)
Coming out of the back of the mill a multi strand conveyor removes the sheet and passes it onto a wigwag conveyor.
Sheet_on_raised_WW.jpg (17319 bytes)

This reverses the direction and pivots to feed back on a higher level multi strand conveyor.

Sheet_comong_over_the_top.jpg (13670 bytes)
Then back over the top of the mill back to the operator. The entire system is as one unit mounted on rails which powers back to allow for roll changes. 

Machine Drawing

Anglesey Aluminium

A 300M long conveyor for handling a Anodes for the production of Aluminium.
image The principle of the conveyor is simple: Twin �150 rollers carry the anodes and between them an RHS beam is carried and guided by bearing wheels. 
Looking down section The beam carries pawls at 7M crs and it is reciprocated by hydraulic cylinder. The pawls drive the anode forward and when returning they depress under the Anode and re-erect behind to carry the Anode on.
image Sections stacked in our works before despatch.
On site for years On site some years later...


Black & Decker

A Platen Conveyor System to assemble hedge trimmers:


The Parts are carries on platens which are puck based and index the platens from station to station.

hedge_trimmer_line.jpg (58302 bytes) Major parts are loaded at specific points and auto assembly includes vibro screw fixing:
screw_feeding.jpg (39813 bytes)

Grease filling:

Assembly_stations.jpg (34491 bytes) Electric flash testing and 6 other electrical tests:

hege_trimmer_close_up.jpg (36380 bytes)


To pass-off:


Brinton Carpets

Underfloor system

from_lift_into_tunnel.jpg (37861 bytes) A simple system to remove carpets from underfloor delivery under the loom.  
carpet_coming_off_lift.jpg (37045 bytes)  Convey out and elevate to roll onto either trolleys or roll out onto an inspection table. lift.jpg (37214 bytes)




Swarf Handling System

Componet_separation_from_autos.jpg (52188 bytes) Water fitting parts are machined on multi spindle automatics. Components fall with the swarf into screw conveyors which feed into vibrators. These allow the brass swarf to fall through and the separated components are feed into stillages. 
Drag_scraper_for_brass_swarf_and_oil.jpg (43740 bytes) The swarf is then conveyed underfloor by drag scraper conveyors, together with cutting oil and elevated from below floor level into a centrifuge.   Conveyors__Centrifuge_1.jpg (48719 bytes)
Swarf_centrfuge_system.jpg (49400 bytes) After centrifuge the oil is returned for re-use and the dry swarf is fed by a slewing chute to one of two skips for removal. Slewing_chute_dry_brass_swarf.jpg (41301 bytes)



Ford Motor Company

Tray Dispensers

image    image

These vacuum formed trays hold instruments for instrument displays: speedometers, rev counters, etc... 

Each tray holds a high factory cost and the trays are stacked about 15 high on trolleys. These dispensing units protect the instruments from damage, keep them clear of dust and rapidly present a fresh tray to operators - about 10 seconds.  

end_view_all_removed.jpg (13753 bytes)
End doors allow the trolleys to be wheeled into one side of the unit - an empty one in the opposite side collects empty trays.
trays_in_destack_unit.jpg (11633 bytes)
ford_work_station_right_hand.JPG (36067 bytes)
The stack is lifted from the trolleys and traversed in line with the feed line. The lowest tray is decanted onto the feed roller section. The trays then accumulate until called on. The photograph on the left is a left side feed unit.
Ford_whole_unit.JPG (52914 bytes)
When a new full tray is needed the lift levels and lowers to line up with the feed tracks. A new tray is released and loaded as the empty tray is powered off to be re-stacked on the other side.
Civered_unit.jpg (12945 bytes)
These stacker/dispensers are fully clad and controlled by a programmable logic controller.
Control_cabinet.jpg (13785 bytes)


Ford Dagenham

Sand Handling

under_tail_to_top_col.jpg (9872 bytes) An enclosed troughed belt conveyor carrying 600T per hour of foundry sand.
slope_from_side_and_walk_way.jpg (49854 bytes) The curve of the belt is prevented from chording purely by the weight of sand being carried.
back_down_walkway_colour.jpg (12185 bytes) The conveyor is complete with access platforming and inspection  panels at each section


Ford Motor Company

Inlet Manifold - Turn over, Clean, Load onto plattern on accumulation Conveyor.

pick_up_position__Jeff.jpg (15764 bytes)
An inlet manifold is presented by a walking beam conveyor at this point. Where two finger grippers pick it up.
It is then lifted and rotated through 180� whilst it is spun to remove swarf from the apertures.
compnoent_at_top.jpg (20743 bytes)
without_covers.jpg (20378 bytes)
The manifold is then placed in a plattern on a slat conveyor.
platterns_from_PP_to_tourn_round.jpg (21395 bytes)
Turning_on_conveyor.jpg (17428 bytes)
These are then turned and accumulated side by side.



General Motors - Liverpool

Box Stacking & De-Stacking Systems


dispensor_and_tray_with_gauges.jpg (18510 bytes)
These stacked boxes of instruments are placed from trolleys onto the unload feeds to the system. 
The stacks are indexed forward where the lowest is decanted and when called forward is conveyed onto the lift when lowered. At the same time and empty box is ejected.
lift_with_tray_on_with_gauges.jpg (17451 bytes)

As the lift raises the the full box is pushed over to the operator's side. Pivoting can be included as can enclosures.

These systems are used under and alongside twin track assembly conveyors


General Motors  - Twin Tracks

Assembly Conveyors in carousel form

end_view_works.jpg (25748 bytes)
Two conveyors, low width, with 180� turns for the assembly platterns. 
The platterns are used for assembling instrument displays.
end_elk_escapement.jpg (14022 bytes)
platterns_around_bend_with_belt_running.jpg (12205 bytes)
The tight turns require escapements to ensure correct feeding in between cross flights on belt
Because the process involves many fasteners collecting trays are included for these within the structure. Other features include foot rests and overhead lighting and tool suspension systems.
Eddie_fitting_trays.jpg (13367 bytes)


These twin track conveyors are also served by stackers for presenting the components.


George Carter Pressings Ltd

Plate De-stacking, Inspection and Stacking System

plate_turn_over_and_inspect_system_1.jpg (41551 bytes) This system receives packs of plate (to will be pressed into heavy wheels) and conveyors them on powered roller conveyors to a de-stack scissor lift...  
to_moving.jpg (41953 bytes) Then through a turn-over unit after which the underside is inspected...  
Slide_over_and_men.jpg (15676 bytes) The the stack is re-built and faulty material is powered off onto a stillage - see 1st photograph.  


GEC Alstrom - Stafford

Part of a system for handling 6M long laminates for large transformers

Drive_system.jpg (24039 bytes)
Laminates of trapezoidal profile are punched out and loaded endwise on to this powered roller conveyor. 
The conveyor is mounted on a powered bogie which enables it to power off the laminates into various apertures at different positions and heights before they are used for manually assembling very large transformers.
Lift_raised.jpg (21895 bytes) The laminates are up to 6M long and 1M wide. The scissor lift can raise to 1.5M


GKN Birfield Extrusions

3T skip tippers

Men were used to lifting 5Kg extrusions from floor level in the floor of a 3T skip then lifting and placing it in tooling. There were claims for back injury and on that basis we were able to supply a number of special tippers. The result of introducing these tippers greatly improved productivity but we understood afterwards that if the Capex application had been based on cost effectiveness it would not have been forthcoming: it is easier to get money for H&S or environmental matters than efficiency!

loading_3T_skip_into_tipper.jpg (12372 bytes) The 3 tonne skips are loaded by fork truck. 
whole_press_and_tipper.jpg (11369 bytes) They normally stand alongside presses.
sorting_from_tipper.jpg (14521 bytes) But are also used for inspection.
man_operating_hyd_tipper_with_components.jpg (13017 bytes) Operation is by a simple hand valve to the desired angle or volume discharged. 
tipper_in_works_raised.jpg (14115 bytes)
The tippers are sound proofed and have a small power pack mounted on one side. These units have a small catchment's tray. They are moveable or can be floor fixed.


Glynwed Tubes

High speed tube handling systems

The speed was too fast for chain drives. Timing belts had to be used.
image Quadrant singulator for separating single tubes and loading a diablo conveyor. image


Goodyear Disney Land

Quite a bit of Roller Conveyor for handling tyres.

Goodyear Roller Works

HuF (UK) Ltd

An assembly system for Jaguar Door Handles

The 2 handed systems accepts a two part plastic handle. It inserts a hinge pin with a coil spring mounted in a plastic sleeve and also inserts 2 square nuts from a pair of bowl feeders.

Assembly Video

Hewlett Packard

Robot insertion into PCB - Ireland

IC_boards_on_conveyor.jpg (16332 bytes)
PCBs approximately 600 X 300mm had to be so positioned that a robot could insert components accurately. The size was so large that the cost of a robot to do the insertion was too much. 
Conveyor_and_Robot_platforms.jpg (19515 bytes) We decided that the innovative solution was to place the PCB
insertion_area.jpg (29551 bytes)
This 3 position slide is fitted with 3 precise needles which locate in the PCB: thereafter a double air cylinder precisely positions it for insertion. 


Polypipe - Tube Collator

This system collects and collates plastic tubes cut from a continuous extruder. The batches of up to 100 are indexed until an operator indexes them off the head end into plastic bags.

Rimg0021.jpg (317440 bytes)image

Rimg0001.jpg (335872 bytes)
The cut tubes pass through a collator which count and position the tubes.
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Rimg0019.jpg (390144 bytes)
They are tamped to square them and retained between two angled belts. The operator programmes the number per batch up to about 100 - �30.

The terminal chute is designed to accept plastic bags. The operator, with a foot control, indexes each batch into the chute. As this is being done batches being collated are held back to maintain the correct count.

The entire system is sheet cladded and has polycarbonate windows for inspection. The PLC control system is built into the panelling.    

Rimg0015.jpg (401408 bytes)
Rimg0011a.jpg (335872 bytes)
Apart from straight rigid tubes the system can receive flexible tubes but these cannot be collated in the same way and are received in loose batches which pass through the system but need a longer gap between batches.


Jaguar Cars

Engine Check System

Roller_slat_return_jaguar.jpg (40489 bytes)
Engines are built on the floor level jigged slat conveyor on the right of this photo. 
They are then loaded onto platterns on these roller slat conveyors which accumulate and deliver them to ball tables where inspection is completed.
Roller_slat_jaguar.jpg (46827 bytes) Return platterns are sent back to the start by using one of the return bands of the roller slats.



Lloyds of Burton


Casting steel used to be carried out in this shell moulding process by craning a 10T crucible of molten steel to each pouring point. These were 50mm diameter in a sand core resting ona bed of line stone on beams - shown on the left of the picture.

Spillage, slowness, waste and danger were all eliminated by the twin carousel and recovery system we supplied.

The moulds are now carried round on the 2 carousels which each can carry 100T of steel castings. Pouring is at the far end on both 90� bends. The support rollers are cast  iron and carried on quick change shafts in case of steel spillage.
The castings are carried on beds of limestone...

...on 1200 X 1200 carriers which also carry thermal shielding. Apart from the ends the carousels run within an extraction enclosure.
Trays_around_end.jpg (11661 bytes)
long_view_at_slat_level.jpg (47430 bytes)

At the unload area castings, shells, etc are pneumatically transferred to a vibrator. This breaks up the shells which with limestone drop through a hopper to a bucket elevator which feeds a triple screen vibrator.

Triple_screen_vibrator.jpg (15233 bytes)
This separates dust which is blown to an outside bunker, limestone which is screw fed to 2 bunkers for reuse and broken shells which are fed to outside scrap storage.
side_view_of_stack.jpg (48328 bytes)



Luxfer Cylinders

A system to automate the handling of medical cylinders.

At the time we were asked to solve the company's process handling their delivery times were running up to 2 years. This was not important until a German company started assaulting the Luxfer market.
cylinder_tip_up.jpg (21094 bytes)
The cylinders are extruded and passed through a number of processes including roll marking on the shoulder. internal inspection, turning of the top end, etc,. 
cylinder_tip_down.jpg (20076 bytes) Unload at the end of the line  
Cylinder_outfeed_for_stamping.jpg (19924 bytes) Lift up roller to allow the cylinder to rotate whilst on the diablo conveyor enview__through_station.jpg (22556 bytes)
transfer_between_lines_over_table.jpg (18346 bytes) Roll down table to allow the cylinders to accumulate  


Mayflower Vehicle Systems

Interpress Conveyor

A series of special conveyors to handle pressings between presses ranging from complete Jaguar side panels, Land Rover roofs to smaller pressings.

These conveyors solved various problems: prior to these innovative units large, heavy  flat bed belt conveyors had to be positioned by fork truck between the presses and moved whenever a tool change was needed. Also there was nowhere to store the old conveyors. They also damaged the pressings especially aluminium ones with rubbish being carried by the belts which became pressed into the skins.
3_together.jpg (16101 bytes)
The new conveyors could be interlinked to form any length of conveying surface required. They can be electronically interlinked with a stop facility at the take of point
Ron_opening_arms.jpg (10711 bytes)
They can also be folded up  and pushed about by one man.
Single_open.jpg (10264 bytes)
man_folding_arms_in_line.jpg (15971 bytes)
close_up_sift_belts.jpg (19902 bytes) The extended length is about 3M and the closed length about 1M
arms_sloped_in_press.jpg (12502 bytes)
The running urethane surface does not damage the pressings and sheds and debris carried through



Nuts & Bolts

Scrap handling conveyors and oil recovery system

A centralised system to recover scrap and oil from under 2 lines of cold headers and thread rolling machines.

One conveyor is 100Mlong and the other 50M. They both meet at a pit where the scrap is discharged and spun to recover oil.

head_end_from_pit.jpg (36196 bytes) The conveyors are drag scrapers formed from 50 X 25 steel formed alternatively into an 'H' link (scraper) and pairs of twin links locked by machined pins. The Head and Tail sprockets are hexagon castings. 
trough_about_to_be_lowered.jpg (11224 bytes)

The steel troughs were welded as one piece (100M !) and lowered into the floor pits from  a series of gantries. Each 6mm mild steel trough is lined with a 12mm continuous length of armour plate steel.  

trough_in_pit.jpg (13243 bytes)

The return chain is carried on flanged rollers.

head_end_with_chain_in.jpg (12907 bytes)






Perkins Engines

Cast Iron Underfloor Swarf Handling System from Engine Machining Line

Three main lines of malleable cast drag chain - approx 2,000ft in total - moving cast iron chippings from each line to the main line and into a bucket elevator. The chippings are then elevated into a 40T bunker which is emptied twice a day.
images Bunker 40T
images Clam shell doors
images View from transfer point at cross feed junction.



There are hotspots on the image below hover over the image to view




Cestelli Feed System. This system handles wire inserts for car tyres on cestellis (Italian). They are passed onto a twiple position lift and automatically positioned for feed into trollies. The wire inserts have just passed out if a coating process.



Cestelli_from_blackening.jpg (21960 bytes) Cestelli rolling down infeed conveyor
cestelli_on_raise_lift.jpg (16649 bytes) Cestelli being received at high level
Ceswtelli_pushed_off_lift.jpg (17266 bytes) Automatic transfer, by rodless cylinder and pawl, onto top level of trolley.
lift_down.jpg (18847 bytes) Lift at lowest level.



3 Twin slat conveyors for building Metro rear wheel assemblies

Twin drives and electromagnetic clutches to allow slates to be run jointly, separately or even one in reverse.

Jig_on_slats.jpg (35625 bytes) Jigs are bolted to slats at regular pitch.
Assembly_twin_slats_for_metro_suspension.jpg (10724 bytes) The twin tracks can run independently, even in reverse, or locked together
twin_drive_1.jpg (14080 bytes) Twin drive arrangement with electromagnetic clutch and fluid couplings
twin_drive_2.jpg (14433 bytes) Shear pin device on head shaft.



Rover - Penham, South Wales

A layout for handling & accumulating conn rods between machines.

Some 50+ conveyors, mostly stainless bottle slat but with walking beams and 12 accumulating rotating bowls with hydraulic lifting bases to assist unloading.

coo_rods_in_storeage_bowl.jpg (30234 bytes) Flap to detect height of components.
bowl_feed_system.jpg (42296 bytes)   Infeed to storage bowls
Bowl_in_works.jpg (28627 bytes)    Storage bowls in our works. One of 12
inter_machine_stals.jpg (50966 bytes)   Part of the network of interfeeding conveyors
long_view_to_storeage_bowl.jpg (44297 bytes) Feed into storage bowl
tt_full_and_empty.jpg (91801 bytes) Rotary storage bowls in raised and lowered positions.


ROF - Birtley

A shell case annealing system

A system which carries �150 shell cases around a carousel conveyor and rotate them as they pass through a heated area. This to relieve the stresses set up during their production. 
shell_cases_and_coolers.jpg (16061 bytes) Shells on rotating jig heated section. Vertical coolers in the background.
Turning_systems_for_shells.jpg (13529 bytes) Close up of rotating jig section.



Searle Air Conditioning

A system for conveying Air conditioning units.

Assembly_Line.jpg (15851 bytes)
Up to 1 tonne and 3M long X 1.5M wide X 800 high air conditioner units. Roller conveyor, Turn over unit, Slewing system and storage tracks.
Ball_Tabesl_in_test_area.jpg (19425 bytes)
Ball tables and roller conveyor with units on boards
Inside_TO_Unit.jpg (14051 bytes)
Control_panel_and_Outside_TO_unit.jpg (10945 bytes)
Whilst the Air conditioners as large the enclosures on them are made from quite light material. This turn-over unit accepts any size of air conditioner on powered roller conveyor. It then closes together the upper and lower sections of conveyor to prevent the product moving and then turns through 180� before opening up to allow the inverted unit out.




Star Aluminium

Scrap aluminium collection and transfer system.

images This powered mobile container collects end cuts of aluminium. When full it moves to  position above a inter floor access...



Bomb_door_container_horiz_movement.jpg (12195 bytes) In this photograph can be seen the cam followers and the ends of the bomb shell doors. The container is traversing towards the lowering point
Bomb_door_container_verticalmovement.jpg (11323 bytes) This shows the container being lowered before the bomb shell doors are opened automatically
hydraulics_opening_mechanism.jpg (11109 bytes) This is at the base of the lowerator. The twin chains can be seen as can the hydraulics which open the doors.


Thompson - Oil Drilling Rods

An automated  system to unbundle 2T of 6M drilling rods and present them with male or female end fittings for friction welding. Thereafter re-bundling.
end_gripper.jpg (11917 bytes) Gripper on 7M Hepco linear slide to feed rods forward
over_vee_chains_to_tatil_end.jpg (20142 bytes) Linear slide and poly Vee blocks on multistrand chain indexer.  overhead_towards_welding_machine.jpg (21062 bytes)
Rod_lift_and_spin_units.jpg (17250 bytes) Raising support wheels to carry rods


rods_being_fed_in.jpg (14717 bytes) Male and female ends for welding to each end on infeed side conveyor.
welded_rods_cooling.jpg (20022 bytes) Welded female ends at cooling position
rod_end_feed_unit.jpg (20267 bytes) Infeed conveyor to pick and place unit which loads friction welder chuck.



Titan Steel Wheels

A turn over unit

A special device to lift and turn over heavy wheels for land working machinery.
images The way it used to be achieved was with a hoist, a grab and a steel toe-capped boot! images
images The hydraulic system we made gripped, lifted and turned these wheels images

Click the images to view the video


Wellman - Quench Conveyor

A Heat Treatment Quench Conveyor for RHP bearings.

The basic tank is made from 6mm plate mounted on an rolled steel channel base frame. The conveyor is guided into the tank with flanged wheels that run in channel guides.  The conveyor had to be folded to enable it to be fitted within a low roof height.
almost_in.jpg (56607 bytes) The tank holds oil and the conveyor top cladding is sealed to the tank. The infeed chute is sealed by a ceramic granular seal. This is to preserve an endothermic atmosphere above the oil to maintain quality.
Wellman_-_RHP_con_beong_out_in_jeff.jpg (25424 bytes)

The oil in the tank is heated by 48 immersion heaters around the edge of the tank and pumped through a heat exchanger to control the temperature. The tank also has a 50mm air gap around and an outer skin of sheet steel which holds 50mm of ceramic fibre insulation. Explosive discs are also included as a safety aspect.

The mesh conveyor is a chain edges woven balance mesh with cross flights and side plates to retain components being handled.


lowering_into_tank.jpg (53914 bytes) One aspect of this trial assembly was that the contracts crane - Iron Fairy - could not lift the conveyor high enough for insertion and a second one had to be brought in to tip the tank up to accept it. An aspect of planning which had been overlooked!



© Conveyors & Automation Ltd
Creative Industries Centre, Wolverhampton Science Park, Glaisher Drive
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV10 9TG