Materials handling specialist Interroll has created its modular conveyor platform (MCP), with decentrally controlled RollerDrive drive technology, fit for use in environments as cold as –30 ºC. Deep-freeze logistics can now benefit from an efficient, zero-pressure-accumulation material flow.
The company says the MCPs are smart, economical and flexible. “Interroll’s new generation conveyor modules are the most versatile and durable systems available, assuring highest availability and scalability for future growth.”
Between production and consumption, frozen foods must kept at temperatures below –18 ºC. To ensure that this cold chain is not broken even with short-term interruptions, frozen goods are, in some cases, chilled to –30 ºC, a temperature at which most of the processing and transportation steps are carried out.
At the same time, more and more demands are being placed on the performance and efficiency of the material flow under these extreme conditions. System integrators that provide the conveying solutions for their customers can now benefit from far more extensive options. “For decades, conventional continuous conveyors have been dictating – and restricting – the possibilities for material flow in deep-freeze logistics,” says Interroll global product manager Christian Hagmaier.
“Interroll now offers a flexible alternative. We have designed the critical components of our high-quality conveyor platform to operate at temperatures as low as –30 ºC. “The specially modified curves, straight sections, diverters and the highly efficient drive allow a zero-pressure-accumulation, standardised material flow to be achieved in deep-freeze logistics.”
As with the proven conveyor platform from Interroll, a high-performance material flow solution for the deep-freeze area can also be flexibly put together or expanded using standard plug-and-play components. This not only increases work productivity under these extreme ambient conditions but also facilitates installation and mainte- nance, and gives system integrators decisive advantages in the planning phase.
As a result of the user-friendly planning software, which Interroll provides free of charge, work steps can already be simplified in the project planning stage, and new customer requests can be taken into consideration. In addition, the proven standardisation of the interface technology ensures an easy integration into higher-level information technology systems. All modules are pre-wired and can be configured for the desired fieldbus technologies, for example, ethercat, profinet or ethernet/IP.
According to Interroll, the robust and tested design of the conveyor modules reduces the maintenance effort and ensures the reliable operation of a conveyor system. The platform offers a selection of modules and key elements so that the material flow can be planned efficiently from a single source and with expert consultation.
To ensure that the modified conveyor platform can be used without problems in the deep-freeze area, engineers at the Interroll Research Centre conducted extensive trials as well as endurance and start-up tests at temperatures as low as –30 ºC. “The engineers at the research centre left nothing to chance because at different temperatures, the expansion behaviour of the metals and plastics can lead to functional defects,”concludes Hagmaier.