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john_mcclary · PRO
Mechanical Designer / I.T. Design & Build Prototype/Custom machines & factory equipment since 2005 Other CAD Software Experience: AutoCad R14 ~ 2012 AutoDesk Mechanical Desktop 2004 MasterCam X2 ~ X9 SolidWorks 2010 ~ 2019
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I saw this little guy at Pack Expo in Las Vegas this week:
I recognize it from your many excellent posts here. Is this from you guys? Or is this a common type of conveyance equipment that others make too?
john_mcclaryIf that is Dorner that is our partner. I designed that one :) thank you very much for pointing that out. My heart did droy for a second there :)
john_mcclarySorry, to answer your question, Yes it is common to have a spiral chute, but we have a patent on the "Bolt together" design that you see. The benefit is we don't require a welder to shut down your warehouse for a couple hours to patch and grind a worn out section (Cardboard boxes running over metal a thousand times a day is like sand paper and will wear holes into the metal after a while). A person with a wrench and a spare part can replace a shingle in about 15 minutes. Also with the flat step design we can simply bolt or glue the uhmw Surface to the shingle, or add high friction surfaces like felt to slow plastic totes down to a safer speed. We have also implemented rollers into some shingles to add even more speed for very shallow runs.
Every chute we make is drawn from scratch to match your warehouse's exact dimensions and every chute is drawn by me. (Well, I made a featurescript to quicken the "from scratch" portion 😉 ) The chutes you see at Dorner's booth are an attempt to sell some "standard size" models through a larger manufacturer, under their name. We gave them a spreadsheet with a bunch of options. They spec it out and work with their customers, then send us what we need to know to get it through our engineering and shop faster.
When I saw a photo of a chute that looked like ours, in a trade show in Vegas. I thought you found someone infringing on our patent 😊. But When I saw the Dorner logos everywhere I recognized the booth.
By the way, the Dorner nameplate with the laser etching I traced from a Dorner jpeg in Onshape, then we etched it with our laser table (first time etching for us 😁)
I can see they lost a bolt on the top connection there, I'll have to send them some spares 😊 Wonder what they will say when I email them about that randomly 😁