No Springs Attached for these Hydraulic Shock Absorbers

No Springs Attached for these Hydraulic Shock Absorbers

Image courtesy of Ace Controls

Synopsis:

IBT Fluid Power brought knowledge, physics and a little imagination to help a vehicle maker solve a lingering problem.

Background:

New vehicles start their way down the assembly line as an automobile frame mounted on four posts. As the frames move, parts are bolted or welded onto them, and the final product gradually appears.

Assembly lines are long, and sometimes it is necessary to shift the direction of the flow through a cross chain transfer.

In one plant, as the vehicle platform made the cross chain transfer, it was being jolted, causing possible damage, delay or safety danger.

Challenge:

Image courtesy of Ace Controls

IBT examined the situation and found that the original design for the transfer used metal springs for absorbing the shock of the movement. The momentum and inertia of the vehicle needed to be retarded, and the plan called for springs to do it.

Unfortunately springs are a good way to store and transfer kinetic energy. As the vehicle pushed against the spring, the spring would then push back – jarring the vehicle, causing the potential problems.

Solution:

The issue was to find a way to dissipate the kinetic energy. IBT determined that using hydraulic shock absorbers would provide a way to convert the energy input to heat, which could be radiated out of the device. So, as the vehicle contacted the shock absorber, instead of rebounding back – it merely settled onto the new chain and was ready to proceed down the assembly line.

Results:

The immediate effect of installing the hydraulic shock absorbers from IBT on one production line was the elimination of jolting the vehicle – and any subsequent problems that might result.

The longer term effect is that the maker is replicating the application on other lines in the same plant – and may find other plants where similar problems have arisen.

And, for IBT Fluid Power, the other long-term effect is making a customer very pleased.

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