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Moving heavy loads efficiently with the RoundTrack system

Innovativ track system enables heavy loads to be moved at floor level with minimal effort and energy

The challenge in terms of sustainability:

The challenge was to make moving loads around a factory as efficient as possible in order to minimise emissions. Potential for optimisation was identified in particular by avoiding the use of cranes, fork-lifts and other transport systems (e.g., using rubbertyred vehicles) which have the drawback of needing trained operators, thus further impacting on availability.

The initial position:

Moving dies and other heavy loads are often done with the aid of fork-lift trucks, cranes or other rolling systems,
also air cushion systems. However, their reliance makes air cushion systems less ecologically desirable and more cost-intensive, as compressed air is dearer than any other form of energy. The big demands made of the subsoil also push the investment costs up. Furthermore, such systems lack precision control of the travel ways.Conventional flat rail systems can be used for recurring transport routes. Flanged wheels, as seen on railways, tend to be used with these flat rail systems. If the wheels are not precisely gauge-true they will come into contact with the sides of the rails, considerably increasing the friction and, thus, the driving power required. Because of their wheels, rubber-tyred vehicles generally have a higher coefficient of friction
and therefore require greater driving power.

The solution:

The brief was to design a system for energy-efficient transport over level routes (as common in a pressing plant or on assembly lines) with comparatively low investment costs. The system to be developed must also provide precise control, be wear resistant and not create a trip hazard on the factory floor. This was achieved by taking proven elements of linear technology and adapting them. The patented Strothmann RoundTrack system consists of a round guide rail (in diameters 25 and 40 mm) which sits in a retaining profile and the retaining profile is set into the floor. The rollers that
run along the rail have a Gothic arch shape and are therefore in contact with the rail at only two points. That ensures precise system control, on the one hand, and low rolling resistance, on the other – almost in the range of ball bearings (max. 0.01; real 0.003). The driving power is thus significantly minimised and production becomes more sustainable. Loads of up to 10 t can be moved by hand, avoiding the need for drives completely.

The sustainable strengths:

RoundTrack-Technology enables a low rolling resistance which economises up to 90% driving power and also energy costs.

The inventor:

Innovation-team

Brief profile of the company:

Name:  Strothmann Machines & Handling GmbH
Headquarters: Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock
Year established: 1976
Employees: 118
Solutions: ProductionLogistics - PressroomAutomation - IndustrialAutomation
Internationality: Shanghai, USA
URL: http://www.strothmann.com