Interfloor Fabric Belt Conveyors
Aldo Shoe Stores, Nationwide
As well as production and packaging operations, Mobility Engineering have supplied and installed conveyor systems for many retail outlets. An example of such a system is a Canadian shoe company (Aldo) who entered the European market via the UK.
Their first two shops were in Central London (zone 1), and Mobility Engineering supplied the conveyors to transport the shoes from the front entrance (via trap doors on the main high streets) down to the basement where the shoes were stored. The third shop (Camden, London - zone 2) had two conveyors, the first was for the same function as previously supplied, but the second conveyor was designed to be a focal point of the store, being located at the front of the store in the main window, travelling from ground floor to first floor.
Since then, Aldo have opened many stores throughout the UK, and all of their shops, situated on high streets, house our interfloor belt conveyors.
Gravity Infeed and Outfeed System
Futaba (Car Parts Manufacturer), Burnley
Futaba-Tenneco UK Ltd (Burnley), who produce steel components for one of the world's largest car producers, had their facility full of fork trucks and steel stillages. There were 2 distinct areas which needed to be looked at. Firstly, the health and safety implication of the sheer amount of fork trucks travelling around the facility, and secondly, their need to organise and increase productivity.
After initial trials, using simple gravity tracking (rollers), it was obvious that a more bespoke system was required, given that we needed to utilise 2 and 3 tiered conveying, coupled with trying to achieve a more cost effective result.
As the tote bins (weighing around 20Kgs) and wooden slave boards (weighing around 200Kgs) were flat bottomed, the first 2 cells were installed using a mixture of steel and plastic skatewheels, which worked incredibly well.
The rest, as they say, is history. In total, Futaba's capital outlay for both phases of the system was in excess of £600,000, with increases in efficiency and organisation/planning, together with a much safer and aesthetically pleasing materials handling solution.
Twin Chain Conveyor
LuK (UK) Limited (Brake Disc Manufacturer), Sheffield
When LuK first approached us to look at a current system they had for transporting brake discs from their machine to end of line (for packing), they were using a very expensive power and free loop system, which was having frequent motor burn out (overloading) problems.
After the initial site visit, it became evident that such an elaborate system wasn't needed. Instead, a more simple indexing system could be used. This would have been an ideal situation using modular belt conveyors, but unfortunately, the underside of the discs have a boss that hangs below. With this in mind, we decided to use twin chains (with rubber tops).
The system needed to be capable of hand 40 off double stacked discs, which led to us using 2 twin chain conveyors, with a traversing unit at the infeed which could deliver parts to either line, depending on the type of disc. This has worked extremely well, freeing up man hours, no down time and a much smaller footprint than the original system, allowing more free area around the machine.
24vDC and Lineshaft Powered Roller Conveyors
JD Williams (Catalogue Company), Oldham
Mobility were asked to attend site and offer recommendations and solutions to their existing logistics problems within their mailing room. All the mail sent to customers is from one room where they have 2 mailing machines. Once the mail has been printed and enveloped, it is placed into small Royal Mail tote bins and transported to a low level mezzanine floor, where it is then sacked.
They already had a system in place, which was a mixture of different conveyor types, but could not be indexed. Plus, once the tote boxes were emptied, they had no way of returning the boxes to the beginning of the system. They also wanted to buffer store 60 stacks of three boxes, freeing up the manpower used to return the boxes.
After a detailed site evaluation and discussions, we proposed a lineshaft, 24vDc and pvc belt conveyor infeed line, delivering the totes to the mezzanine, and allowing for a buffer/indexing system. To return the boxes, we offered a top tier lineshaft conveyor system, allowing the buffering of 60 stacks via blade stops and a control sequence, and then pusher units to deliver back to the infeed personnel at a sensible working height.