A heavy-duty Class 1, Div 2 conveyor system for a medical device manufacturer that includes a special transmission and coupling system to accommodate exterior chamber drive requirements.

PROBLEM: Customer required a heavy-duty pallet conveyance system capable of moving ten pallets at a time through a multiple step medical sterilization process. The system was to reside in an explosion-proof (Class 1, Div 1) environment, needed to run automatically and be expandable for additional planned production lines. Additionally the main sterilization chamber needed to remain completely sealed during the process.

ANALYSIS: CHL analyzed several options for the pallet conveyance. The major components were sized and selected given the strict requirements of the explosion-proof area. These included the main electric drives, screw jacks, chain and couplings that would be needed for the complete system. CHL determined the process logic and basic functional specification for the system. CHL conceptualized a unique solution for the transmission of power to the pallet conveyance systems internal to the sterilizer and aerators. A basic animation of the process was developed to communicate the system operation to the end user.

ACTION: CHL designed and built a combination roller and drag chain conveyance system capable of being run automatically with standard electric motors and VFD controls. Sensors were located at various positions to space the pallets appropriately to fit into the tight space of the sterilizer and aerator chambers. A unique traversing power transfer sled was designed to reach into the chambers and couple automatically with the internal conveyance systems to move the pallets through the process.

RESULTS: Customer was able to bring the sterilization process in-house instead of outsourcing, saving valuable time and expense. System is readily expandable as customer’s business volume increases.

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