Floor-level assembly platforms

The project

WALTER Maschinenbau GmbH, a world-leading manufacturer of grinding, eroding, and CNC measuring machines, opened a new assembly line in its factory in Kuřim, Czech Republic, which we fitted with our LOXrail® transport system including a pull-bar drive. We designed a special drive concept that allowed us to install the entire intra-logistics system under the floor and have the surfaces of the transport platforms on one level with the floor. Workers can freely step on the platforms, cross the assembly line without any obstacles, and have comfortable access to the machines being manufactured.

The drive design

Since the assembly platforms' surfaces were to be flush with the floor, the entire transport system had to be installed below floor level. For this purpose, we designed a new conveyor and drive concept and adapted the design of all components accordingly. We mapped out two LOXrail25 tracks of more than 80 m length each and for payloads of up to 15 tons. An innovative low-height pull-bar drive system moves the assembly platforms from station to station at a barely noticeable speed. The system, which spans the entire length of the line, is actuated by a chain conveyor at the end of the assembly line. After each move, the system is retracted to the original position and again coupled to the platforms.

The challenges

In order to ensure that our LOXrail system fits seamlessly into the new assembly line, we have adapted it to the individual project requirements in a four-month planning and construction phase. This way, we were able to install the complete system in the factory and implement a fully operational solution within a tight time frame of only eight days. We had to ensure maximum positioning precision, in particular at one station where the machines are lifted from the track for quality testing of their continuous grinding function. Our drive system precisely and repeatably positions the assembly platform so that the interfacing to the hoist system is on point.

The success

The machine tool maker WALTER was able to commission its new, state-of-the-art production line after only three months of construction time. Since then, CNC tool grinding machines weighing several tons are being manufactured in high-efficiency flow production at the Kuřim site.