Engineered Material Handling Solutions
MHS offers a wide range of specialty engineered material handling solutions to solve virtually any material handling challenge. Over the past few years we have developed custom rotating conveyor system for BMW Manufacturing, a motorized textile beam storage rack system, and a motorized leveling lifting beam system for Bluebird Body Company.
Recently MHS developed an overhead crane and material handling system for the US Air Force that allows for the precise multi-axis positioning of the aircraft wings during assembly and dis-assembly.
The following case studies illustrate material handling problems in which MHS’s solutions increased productivity, reduced distribution space, and improved safety for our clients.
Our Clients Include
MHS and UST Design a Custom Multi-Axis Positioning System for the US Air Force
US Technologies Inc, (UST) based in Canton, Ohio has been supplying the military with blast media and related services for over 30 years. The blast media is a clean efficient way of stripping paint from aircraft in the refurbishment process. As part of providing the military with blasting media UST became involved with a solution to better access the plane with this media which would allow for a better, quicker, and safer solution.
The normal way to do this would be to use aerial work platforms (scissor lifts and articulating man lifts). The lifts would move around the plane, while operators sprayed blast media at it. This approach comes with its own problems though. Jack Hinsdale, owner of MHS, explains: “This was very time consuming and required a certain amount of clear floor space in order for the lifts to access the perimeter of the planes.”
Instead of using traditional man lifts that operated from the floor. UST helped develop a method that would allow a manned platform or cab fixed with a spray nozzle to be carried around the plane. This was suspended from an overhead crane which gave the operator access to every part of the aircraft. UST called this the Aerial Multi-access Platform, or AMP.
The Systems Design Concept
- AMP is comprised of an upper platform and lower platform.
- Upper platform is composed of 6 winches attached to the trolley frame. Winches will be placed in an equilateral triangle configuration.
- Lower platform is a fixture that will be connected directly to the center wing box to facilitate lift
- Lower platform will also exhibit pitch, roll, and yaw improving precision of CWB placement.
- Lifting frame displays full 360 degree rotation both CCW/CW.
- Lower platform and upper platform will interface with wire ropes.
- A conventional hook can be employed to utilize AMP as an overhead crane.
- System is operated by a belly box control.
The Systems Design Constraints
- Wing box working weight is assumed to be 9120LBF.
- Wing box will be broken loose from fuselage.
- USTS supplied winches will each have a capacity of 6000LBF.
- AMP module must be able to traverse all 3 aircraft bays in BLDG 110E.
BMW Rotating Conveyor System
BMW was experiencing their largest bottle neck in the production of the X5 sport utility vehicle in one of the manual weld floor pan stations.
This bottleneck was a result of the time it took the existing equipment to grab, clear, rotate, release and index the skid. It was proposed to provide a conveyor assembly that would lift, clamp, and rotate the skid without any hand off between the conveyor and rotating mechanism being necessary.
The result is the fully integral clamping and rotating conveyor shown below. This conveyor was built and tested in our shop. The conveyor was installed approximately two years ago and has had no down time. The conveyor solution reduced the index time of this station by 22 seconds. Since BMW’s index time is less than two minutes you can understand the impact this had on their throughput.
Textile Beam Motorized Storage Rack System
MHS was approached by a textile manufacturer that had the age old problem of the need to store more inventories than their floor space would allow. They needed the ability to access any of their inventory at any time in any order. MHS then was able to design and layout a motorized racking system to fulfill the customer’s needs.
In a mobile rack system each individual rack frame is mobile and runs on fixed rails embedded in the floor. Since the racks have the ability to roll back and forth there is only a need for one aisle for product access. These racks are fitted with a complex control system that creates any of eight possible aisles with the push of a button. The racks are designed to operate in tandem eliminating the need for timely indexing as found with a carousel or other like storage units and the need to have stretch wrap films holding together things.
Motorized Leveling Lifting Beam System
ASI Handling Inc. and MHS were asked by Bluebird Body Co. to help eliminate a decades old problem they had with lifting their bus bodies from overhead and the load shifting to one side or the other. As the various buses make their way down the line they are outfitted with any number of extras and adders that change the center of gravity of the bus from left to right as well as front to back.
In order to create a safe, reliable, and quick way to compensate for this varying center of gravity we provided a lifting beam that has a motor driven adjustable lifting bale. Now with a push of a button the lifting beam can be leveled by the crane operator as the bus is being lifted.
This custom designed leveling system saves Bluebird from body damage and creates a much safer and stable load during the manufacturing process.
Floor Pan Flipping Device
ASI Handling Inc. and MHS were ask by Bluebird Body Co. to come up with a method for flipping their floor pans once fully assembled. This would allow them to do the assembly from a comfortable above position. The request was further complicated by the varying wheelbases and the limited building height.
MHS was able to design and build a system with an adjustable frame. This would support the free span load in all rotational planes without deflecting and damaging the finished floor pan. This product then was integrated with a hoist suspended rotating flipping device to accomplish the floor pan rotation.
MHS LLC Office
106 Old Dominion Rd.
Duncan, SC 29334
PO Box 5023
Greenville, SC 29606
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