Industrial Roll Packager
Client: Dycem Limited
Item/s: Industrial Roll Packager
Bristol based company Dycem Limited got in contact regarding a need for a roll loading device for their new laminating machine. The basic premise of the process was that the laminating unwinder would reel off a fixed amount of product onto the target roll, which in turn would be be lifted via a winch and air chuck off and into protective cardboard tubes ready for shipping. The current process involved sliding and shuffling the product roll into these protective tubes on the floor using up to three people, (which has inherent risks of damage to both product and persons involved). The brief was to create a steel-frame loading device for these product rolls that could be used effectively with the minimum amount of man-power possible.
My initial thoughts revolved around the unit needing to not take up much space. My first design was a fixed base framework (where the cardboard tube was placed) with an extendable concertina on wheels at one end (where the product roll was winched onto). The concertina end was slowly pushed in on itself, thus sliding the product roll into the tube. My thinking being that when the process was complete, the framework would compress down to the bare minimum of footprint. Saving much needed space in the factory. This, unfortunately didn’t take into account the sensitivity of the product roll to pressure marks however. The 5-or-so acrylic concertina supports at their 500mm spacing would impress marks into the product roll, even during the short time it would take to insert the roll into the tube. Another solution had to be found.
My second design iteration separated the two separate components. The mobile loader framework and the static cardboard tube framework. Roller tracks were added to the central axis of mobile loader framework along with angled support guards to avoid the pressure marking highlighted previously. This allowed the roll to be dropped down onto the loader, and rolled up and down with relative ease. Laser-cut end shields were also designed to facilitate the need for the air chuck to be removed without the product roll sliding off as well. This all worked well, although a comment was made that both units would be better off being mobile (but with brakes) so that they could be tucked into a corner when necessary. This modification was added later on in the design process, after the renders and CAD drawings you see here were submitted.
Note: The associated renders give you an impression of what the frameworks would look like in-situ, and attempt to convey the intended process of packaging outlined in the brief.