A novel solution

18 March 2013

A new conveying system was integral to a book distributor extending its next day delivery deadline from 11am to 5pm

A new conveying system was integral to a book distributor extending its next day delivery deadline from 11am to 5pm

As e-commerce continues to grow book distributors need to expand customer services to profit from the trend. Therefore, Pemic Books a.s. looked to restructure its distribution processes to enhance customer service and speed up next-day deliveries. In a new distribution centre, the conveying solution incorporates the latest Interroll components and control technology for roller conveyors.

Established in 1991, Pemic Books is a major distributor of over 40,000 titles. It set itself an ambitious goal to extend the order slot for next-day deliveries from 11am to 5pm. To achieve this, Pemic decided to relocate its activities from six old warehouses to a new centralised distribution centre. In addition, the new DC would have to provide a silent, energy-saving working environment facilitating and accelerating the whole distribution process.

The solution that Pemic opted for and Logsys spol. s r.o. installed, included zeropressure accumulation (ZPA) conveyors for cartons and totes in the picking and packing/dispatch zones. The ZPA conveyors in both areas use Interroll RollerDrives EC310 with ConveyorControl technology and Rollers 3500 with PolyVee 3500 as well as roller conveyor lines equipped with Rollers 1700.

"We installed the latest control technology for ZPA conveyors," says Petr Michálek, managing director of Pemic Books a.s. "The solution significantly facilitates our operations and helps increase productivity so we can achieve our distribution goals." Quick and flexible installation ConveyorControl is a technically advanced control system for RollerDrivebased conveyor modules using piercing technology for hassle-free cabling and easy software configuration for all parameters. The solution helps cut energy costs, is scalable and can be easily reconfigured to new layouts. Modules only run when there are goods to be conveyed. As soon as a section is empty it will stop running, which saves energy and ensures above-average operational lifetime.

ConveyorControl consists of: SegmentControl, a two-zone controller for RollerDrive; ComControl, the I/Ointerface; and CentralControl for USB configuration. All units are IP54-rated and well protected for full industrial usage. Strong and well-designed enclosures guarantee an outstanding robustness and ease of installation.

In addition, ConveyorControl can be linked up to ProfiBus by using GatewayControl instead of CentralControl. This represents the smartest way to control ZPA conveyors driven by RollerDrive through ProfiBus.

The installation also saw the use of Interroll RollerDrive EC310, a drive for unit handling conveyors. Its 24 V DC brushless motor, integrated in a tube based on Roller Series 1700, delivers continuous power of 32W and is an ideal solution for a wide range of conveyor applications.

It is fitted with an electronic holding brake which allows it to be used on incline and decline conveyors. Due to the recovery of braking energy up to 30% of energy can be saved in the system. The energy efficient drive guarantees perfectly coordinated functions for zero-pressure accumulation conveyors using straight and curved sections.

The typical operation of zero pressure accumulation conveyors with RollerDrives is also energy-efficient: the individual conveyor modules only run when there are containers present; once these have been moved off, the conveyor modules no longer run but continue to be ready for transporting product. Compared with this, a typical zero pressure accumulation conveyor with a flat belt or line shaft has much higher energy consumption and noise emissions.

The Interroll RollerDrive EC310 is ideal as a drive for all zero pressure accumulation conveyor applications for use with lightweight to heavyweight containers. The versatility of the electronically commutated drive roller with its compact integral 24 VDC motor, electronics and gears, makes the planning, construction and operation of systems much simpler.

The RollerDrive EC310 has nine gear speeds, enabling the drive to be adapted ideally to all applications. The integral controller guarantees a constant conveyor speed in the specific load-bearing area.

When the material being conveyed brakes, the EC310 feeds back energy, not only improving the energy balance of the system and reducing costs but also ensuring that the motor heats up less in operation. However, thanks to the incorporation of brake choppers in the Interroll Drive and ZoneControls, the feedback of voltage is restricted to a noncritical level.