When it comes to solving problems in the production and conveyance industries, the ingenuity and invention of our team of highly experienced technicians and engineers stands out from the competition. Here is an overview of the patents currently held by AMT, with more innovations happening all the time.
Position Control Apparatus and Methods (2008)
Pain Point: The need for guide rails to be accurately and reliably positioned on a conveyor system has been rapidly growing over the last decade, thanks to advances in technology that make it practical to run a large variety of products on the same line. Attempts to address these needs were often fraught with problems of lengthy changeovers for new product runs and equipment that did not offer the degree of control required for a fast-paced production facility.
Solution: AMT unveiled its novel positioner design which is at the heart of our Anysize technology. Every Anysize positioner contains an engineered spring, called a biaser, designed for linear rate and infinite life. Pressurized air is supplied to a piston which in turn applies a force to the biaser. The biaser moves proportionately to pressure applied, thus force equals position. The key advantage to Anysize is that a multitude of positioners can be supplied a given pressure from the same air line and they will all move the same required distance.
Pressurized Fluid Positioner Control System (2010)
Pain Point: Adjustable conveyor guide rails have historically been unreliable in terms of absolute positioning control. Motorized and pneumatic could not maintain a tolerable difference in actuation, leading to skewed rails and mismatched sections of rail. Repositioning of rails was an ordeal of trial and error, and product runs suffered from time-consuming jams and setbacks.
Solution: To address these issues and harness the full potential of our patented positioners, a pneumatic network was invented to coordinate operation of valves and regulators. With this network, it is possible to use pressurized air to remotely control guide rails and groups of rails, all responding to pistons moving in unison to facilitate highly accurate positioning. This proprietary system of pneumatic line routing offers simplified & reliable control from a remote unit called a RAD Box, which stands for Regulated Air Distribution.
Novel Positioner Apparatus and Methods (2009)
Pain Point: Discrete positioning of conveyor guide rails is a common requirement for many facilities, but achieving this with pneumatic pistons has been prohibitively complex, expensive and inefficient. Previous designs made use of multiple pistons operating independently within the same cylinder. These systems often required a cylinder that was as much as four times the length of the maximum stroke. And with at least one air input for each discrete position, complicating the problem of pneumatic control. These systems required more material to build and more time to manage, inflating the cost of operation.
Solution: Our multiposition cylinder simplified the discrete positioner design and offered more capability. Starting with our patented spring-biased positioner, we added an internal ratchet mechanism to provide not only discrete positioning across the piston range, but the ability for incremental adjustment relative to the discrete positions. With only two air inputs and a much shorter piston length, this system simplifies control and delivers enhanced positioning capabilities in a space-efficient design.
Flow Restricted Positioner Control Apparatus and Methods (2017)
Pain Point: It was common for conveyor guide rails that are controlled pneumatically to get knocked out of adjustment when transitioning the pistons to a new position. This occurs when a sudden change in pressure causes the pistons to move (and then stop) abruptly, creating impulse forces capable of loosening components and creating other problems related to the ability to achieve the required level of precision.
Solution: By incorporating a dynamic valve into our patented positioner design, AMT has been able to achieve smooth, controlled motion throughout the guide rail positioning process. That means no repeated monitoring and adjustment during changeovers, saving significant amounts of time between runs. Another implication of the design is that it’s possible to use smaller-diameter actuators and a lower operational pressure, ultimately contributing to reduced energy costs.
Conveyed Bottle Guide Apparatus and Method (2017)
Pain Point: Bottles conveyed by neck ring are known to chatter and jam at high speed, resulting in unsightly scuffs on containers and production down time. As bottles move through a neck ring conveyor line, they have a tendency to swing up, potentially interfering with the bottles around them. Previous attempts to prevent these issues using guide rails were limited in their range of adjustment, proving inadequate at controlling the diverse varieties of container shapes driven by fast-changing markets.
Solution: AMT’s Dynamic Side and Shoulder Rails feature dual-axis positioning to conform to any bottle shape and prevent problematic motion. As with our other conveyor guide rail systems, pistons are fluidicly linked and can be controlled in parallel for simplified transitions between different containers. Guide rails can also consist of powered or unpowered rollers for enhanced scuff prevention while allowing for smooth, controlled bottle flow.
A Growing List of Innovations
These inventions grew out of the unique needs and challenges faced by our clients. To this day, we operate by delivering custom-engineered solutions that are tailored to the unique production needs of the companies we serve. If we can’t draw from our repertoire of existing technology to solve a problem, we go back to the drawing board to invent a new solution. It is this spirit of innovation that will carry us forward to develop ever-more powerful technology to give our clients the advantage they need to stay competitive in the modern production industry.
If you’re experiencing a problem in your production line that nobody’s been able to solve, it’s time to call in the experts. Contact us today!