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Electric tug flow line solution delivers safety and efficiency

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The benefits of flow line manufacturing systems are well publicized, but for many companies making low volume or very heavy products, an automated production line is nothing but a pipe dream.

That was the case, until recently. Now, MasterMover has developed a range of modular, semi-automated tugs that offer heavy equipment manufacturers a cost-effective flow line solution.

The clarion call from management in every corner of the manufacturing industry is for businesses to increase productivity while cutting costs. In response, project engineering teams in companies of every shape and size look to the automotive sector as being the paragon of production efficiency.

However, they are often left scratching their heads wondering how automotive techniques could possibly be applied to something like a 50,000 kg mining machine or a 15,000 kg medical scanner.

This is where MasterMover comes into the picture. For the last twenty years we have been the market leader for specialist tug systems that mobilize heavy goods through factory and warehouse environments worldwide.

Our technical teams spotted a rising demand from customers producing heavy, low volume products for flow line systems. Scared off by the custom engineering costs being quoted by system integration companies, those customers started turning to MasterMover for a solution that didn’t send CAPEX budgets spiraling out of control.

Where existing solutions forced manufacturers to invest in entirely new production jigs with integral drive systems, MasterMover chose to offer an external drive system that can easily be connected to existing wheeled jigs. This approach not only frees up capital that would otherwise be spent on expensive, custom engineered MGV systems, but also provides a level of flexibility and productivity protection that a traditional MGV cannot match.

The base design for the PS3000+ is centered on a modular principle that allows users to wirelessly connect up to 12 tug units. With each unit being capable of moving a 30,000 kg load, the power of 12 machines working in concert opens up the possibility of moving single unit loads weighing up to an incredible 360,000 kg.

The same machines can then be deployed independently on smaller and lighter loads. For those customers looking to mobilise a heavy weight product through a flow line, PS3000+ units can be used to power a series of wheeled production skids.

Communicating wirelessly and using state of the art scanning systems, the PS3000+ units work together to form a pulsed production flow line. Should any unit fail on the line, it can be swapped out for another in seconds. The same cannot be said for a traditional MGV.

There are countless examples of production lines grinding to a complete halt while engineers try frantically to either fix or remove a failed MGV unit. The PS3000+’s flexibility also allows it to be deployed elsewhere on the production line in between pulse intervals. Any wheeled load within capacity and featuring the required hitch plate can be moved using the PS3000+.

For manufacturers of low volume, heavy weight products the MasterMover system opens the door to implementing flexible, flow line manufacturing systems with accessible capital costs. At the same time, it helps those manufacturers to move away from the time consuming and unsafe methods of moving loads using fork lifts and overhead cranes, swapping instead for a highly safe and efficient pedestrian operated system.

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Published : 22/02/2019

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