Programming a push-pull machine

What, you might ask, is a push-pull machine? To Birmingham-based GKN Driveline, a major supplier of drive shafts to the world’s automotive industry, it is a machine used for pressing a shaft into a constant velocity (CV) joint – this is where the push comes in – then testing the integrity of the assembly by trying to pull it out again. Drive shafts transmit torque from the differential outputs of a vehicle’s gearbox to its Read more

Needling machine for Carbon disc brakes

Q: What stops F1 racing cars from a speed of 200mph (320km/hour) in 4 seconds and slows airliners so they don’t run off the end of the runway when they land? A: Carbon disc brakes and pads. Carbon has replaced steel in these extremely arduous braking applications because: It is far lighter than steel It maintains its strength at high temperature It dissipates heat efficiently It has high friction at working temperature It is not Read more

Servos revolutionise packaging machinery

Flow wrapping machines, also known as horizontal form-fill-and-seal machines, are widely used for packaging a huge variety of consumables that are sold wrapped individually, in multiples or on trays, from chocolate bars to biscuits, and dishwasher tablets to sausages. Mars® bars are an example of a product that is flow wrapped individually and may then be flow wrapped in multiples. Flow wrapping machines incorporate three basic functional sections: An infeed section which takes product from Read more

Automating production of savoury pancakes

The original project to automate the production of savoury pancakes was undertaken in conjunction with Gainsborough Craftsmen who built six machines in the mid-1990s for Findus Ltd, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I was responsible for programming and commissioning these machines. Findus continues to use my services for supporting and upgrading the equipment to this present day. Three machines feed finished pancakes onto a conveyor to be taken to the freezer. Behind this line is another identical line Read more

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