Continuous improvement is still a main part of the mission for most manufacturers, and to one of the leading alkaline battery manufacturers, that meant upgrading press feeding technology from pneumatic roll feed designs to the servo feeds produced by Feed Lease Corp.
In an effort to improve the feed length accuracy and maintain the surface quality of the steel being roll fed to the battery can processing lines, manufacturing engineers at this battery manufacturer looked to the Internet to research advancements in servo roll feed technology and the suppliers who could provide that equipment. After comparing costs, roll feed speed, accuracy and surface quality capabilities, the Feed Lease EF Series roll feeds were selected.
Mal Bollman, Feed Lease general manager, says, “The key to this application was the ability to run surface-sensitive materials and not mar the steel. When we say surface sensitive, we mean polished, pre-painted or decorative materials … and the steels used in battery manufacture qualify as ‘surface sensitive’.”
Bollman adds, “We first performed test runs on the battery can materials at our facility for the customer to review. We then installed one unit at the battery manufacturing facility, and collected data over a three-month period to prove out the ability of the servo feed to improve speed and maintain the high level of surface quality required. The EF Series passed the test with flying colors and the customer has since added 10 more units on various other processing lines for other size batteries.”
The Feed Lease EF Series servo feeds are designed to provide an economical means of employing servo feed technology with the benefits of accuracy, durability and power.
The mechanical design features include a three-roll entrance material support section, solid matte-finished rolls, an adjustable stroke pneumatic cylinder for both roll pressure and pilot release, as well as a a planetary reducer, cluster gear power transfer, and a pivoting upper-roll assembly for full gear mesh (not a slide block). It also has C-framed, heavy-duty 1-1/4-inch edge guides (not flimsy shoulder bolts).
A Feed Lease 1000 Series control panel with a remote control job pendant includes four jog modes, a batch counter and a 3-inch touch screen for length/speed input and display. Information can be displayed in English/Spanish and inch/metric, and there is a memory capability for up to 200 different jobs. Furthermore, the micro adjust feature allows operators to make slight on-the-fly length adjustments in 0.001-inch increments.