Accumulators are installed between individual production units, compensate different production speeds and thus increase the efficiency of the entire line. Even if single machines are temporarily stopped the accumulator as a material buffer supplies the next machines with tubes or cans.
Hinterkopf plans the storage capacity in such a way that you can completely evacuate a dryer or an annealing oven if necessary. Damage to the cans or tubes due to long exposure times is avoided.
The accumulator is always driven and controlled from two sides. At the infeed the preceding machine fills the accumulator gradually. At the outfeed the subsequent machine requests parts so that the accumulator empties again. When filling, the carriages move separately to the top until all the chain pins are equipped and the carriages are located in the upper stop position. The controller then stops the preceding machine.
At different production speeds of the adjacent machines, the accumulator fills up or empties. If preceding and subsequent machines run synchronously, the cans move along the shortest way through the accumulator on the chain pins, the carriages remain in the lowest position.
Hinterkopf delivers every accumulator with individual dimensions as required by the customer. With a height of up to 7.5 metres and different widths, the accumulator uses the available space resources efficiently and provides maximum storage capacity. Alternatively, accumulators can be installed on platforms and thus superstruct other machines. The Hinterkopf standard equipment is plexiglas doors for accumulators up to a height of two metres - an advantage for cleaning and maintenance, or in case the accumulator has to be filled by hand once. Upon request the accumulator can also be fully encapsulated to protect particularly sensitive tubes or cans against contamination.
As a link between machine and accumulator, the transfer units put parts from the chain pin onto a conveyor belt or vice versa. This transfer can be done by rotating unloading drums with vacuum troughs or by angled infeed or outfeed conveyors.
Separate transport chains prove to be economically worthwhile. For example the transport chain of a washing machine has to be replaced regularly because it is exposed to chemical detergents, heat and moisture. Within an accumulator, however, it has a relatively easy and long life. To reduce maintenance costs it is useful to separate the chains of washing machine and accumulator by using the transfer unit TD64.
In the transfer unit TD64 with double drum, the parts are first removed from the chain pins and are then transferred to a rotating drum with vacuum troughs. If vacuum is shortly interrupted, the part falls into a second drum which is placed under the first one. There they are pushed on the chain pins of the following chain - an elegant task sharing.