Hallamshire Engineering Services Limited (HES) offers a comprehensive design, engineering, manufacturing and development capability.
Our breadth and depth of resource give us the strength and flexibility to manufacture a wide range of products and services that combine well-proven engineering methods with the latest innovative technology.
The company is sensitive and responsive to both customer needs and requirements from product development through to after-sales service. HES is also committed to investing in the local community and the environment and through ISO 14001:2004 is working towards a sustainable future.
The main principles of our strategy are to:
- Focus on our customers’ future needs and requirements
- Offer our customers the broadest possible range of products and services
- Pioneer new directions and approaches through innovation, endeavour to fund better ways of fulfilling the needs of tomorrow's customers
- Enable our employees to do their best through teamwork and a continuous quest for quality and improvement in all areas of the business
Ceramic Drying Systems
Main Contractor to Hinton Perry and Davenhill (Ketley Brick Division)
Aiming to increase efficiency and improve product quality, while at the same time reduce manual handling and the percentage of product defects, Ketley Brick invested £3m into a new automated production facility. Hallamshire were approached by CDS to design and provide the handling equipment for the new state-of-the-art Drying, Setting and De-Hacking line.
- Labour saving of 50%
- Increase in throughput of 35%
- Better overall quality as a result of less manual handling.
- The improvements in Health and Safety e.g. comprehensive compound guarding incorporating safety interlocks lightbeams etc, vastly reduced manual handling, automated repetitive processes, improved flow through the process, all contributing to reduced accident levels, in particularly back injuries and repetitive strain injuries.
The Hallamshire Solution
Hallamshire worked closely with the main contractor (CDS), and Ketley Brick, to formulate a solution, taking into account all current production issues. The most cost effective solution was agreed between all parties and the bespoke turnkey package is as detailed below.
|Stage 1||Processed wet bricks, exiting the mulit-wire cutting machine, are loaded 15 wide onto sticks and driven into a lowerator, mounted at right angles to the cutting line, where they are placed onto a twin strand conveyor.|
|Stage 2||The conveyor transports the bricks forward and into an Ascender Unit, which is designed to create a stack of 'edge set' bricks (on sticks) 15 wide x 4 rows on each level x 14 levels high i.e. 840 bricks in total.|
|Stage 3||A fully automated finger car enters the ascender unit from the opposite side picking the bricks (on sticks) retracting from this unit and backwards onto the 'mother' transfer car.|
|Stage 4||The transfer car, again fully automatic, transports the finger car, containing the bricks along a track running alongside a bank of driers. The system PLC monitors the dryers and knows which dryer it is feeding and which it is emptying and both loads and unloads them accordingly. A hook system mounted on the front of the finger car allows the car to both take the doors off the dryers for loading and replace them before the drying cycle commences.|
|Stage 5||The bricks are then held in the dryer for approximately 66 hours before being removed, again by the transfer car, and transported back down the line and into a Descender unit, which is used to load the bricks, still on sticks onto a robot feed conveyer.|
|Stage 6||The bricks come to rest at a holding point awaiting collection by the robot, from where they are taken from the sticks and loaded 'en block' onto the Setting Line. The robot then returns to the hold point, removes the sticks from the conveyor and transports them onto a further conveyor to reload them back into the cutting machine. The cycle then recommences.|
|Stage 7||The bricks, now on the setting line (chain conveyors) are run up to a marshalling gate to ensure that the rows are all in line. The gate opens to allow them to pass through onto a faster running conveyor to space the bricks before entering a 'star wheel' to turn the bricks by 90°, laying them flat for 'face setting'.|
|Stage 8||After the star wheel the bricks come to rest against a marshalling gate to close the gaps again prior to being fed through a sanding station in rows of 6 deep x 4 wide. As they pass through, sand is sprinkled across the top of them to prevent them sticking to each other when stacked during the setting process.|
|Stage 9||The bricks, in blocks of 6 x 4, carry on down the line where they come to rest at the hold point awaiting collection by a second robot for loading onto kiln cars.|
|Stage 10||The robot is fitted with a spreading head which is used to take one layer of bricks at a time (6 x 4) from the setting conveyor and load them onto a kiln car making 4 stacks of 6 x 4 x 24 rows high totalling 2304 bricks on each kiln car. During the period from when the bricks are picked from the setting conveyor to being placed on the kiln car stack the spacing between the rows is created by the spreading head in order to ensure that they are placed on the stacks with the correct spacing to facilitate drying.|
|Stage 11||From the setting point the kiln car transports the brick load into the kilns where they are left to preheat for 24 hours and fire for 66 hours. (The kiln car system, and kilns existed and were utilised within the new layout).|
|Stage 12||After leaving the kiln the cars and fired bricks are transported to an unloading station where, as part of the new supply, the bricks are removed, from the car by a travelling hydraulic grab. The grab places the stack onto a raised slat band de-hacking conveyor for transportation to the de-hacking point where the packs are manually unloaded and packed.|