Line Loading and Unloading Equipment

Glassline has produced a variety of systems for automated loading and unloading of production lines. The choice of the type of system will depend on several factors; for example, the part orientation on the racks relative to the orientation required for the production line, the part sizes, and the cycle times required. Glassline can customize a solution to meet your needs.


Overhead Shuttle Loading / Unloading Machines

The overhead shuttle system is a simple and cost effective solution. This system should be used when the glass is oriented on the rack such that the outside surface of the glass is in the 'up' orientation on the line. The system also is easily configurable to different configurations, either loading/unloading in-line or perpendicular to the production line. The unit also lends itself easily to the use of a turntable for automated rack change.

The shuttle consists of a main horizontal beam, which has been machined and mounted with a linear motion slide arrangement. A carriage unit is mounted to the slide arrangement, and is driven along the beam via timing belt and AC motor. Attached to the carriage is the vacuum frame subassembly. A pneumatic cylinder is used for tilting of the entire assembly from vertical to horizontal. A vacuum cup sub frame is bearing mounted to the tilting frame. An air cylinder is used to pick the glass from the rack, and, after tilting, set the glass back onto the conveyor. The vacuum cups are mounted to aluminum extrusion via T-nuts and handles, which can be loosened, and the cups easily adjusted to a new position. Air hoses are attached to the cups via manifolds and shut-off valves, in order to place some cups out of service for various sizes and shapes of parts. A control panel can be included depending on the needs of the Customer.

Standard systems can be modified with a multitude of subassemblies, allowing the Customer to choose the functions and/or level of complexity required. For example:

  • Horizontal Rotation - depending on the application, a simple pneumatic or motorized device can be used for 90 degree rotation, or a servo motorized system for precise unlimited rotation can be fitted. Rotation allows the glass to be presented in different orientations depending on the size and or process requirement.
  • Vertical Axis - provides the ability to pick parts from different heights. For example, if parts are stacked on racks in tiers or levels.
  • Servo Shuttle Axis - typically, an AC motor can be used, but in fast cycle rate applications, a servo motor will be fitted, allowing for faster start/stop and accurate positioning.
  • Part Location - depending on the application, various squaring systems can be applied.

Underline Loading / Unloading Machines

The Underline Loading/Unloading system is a simple and cost effective solution especially suited for high speed/cycles, and also well suited for coated glass. This system should be used when the glass is oriented on the rack such that the outside surface of the glass must be in the down orientation on the line. Therefore the inside surface is not touched by vacuum cups or conveyor belts.

The system essentially consists of a rack advance system, and a rotationally driven vacuum cup frame. The rack advance mechanism consists of a main weldments which is machined for mounting linear ways and screw, and a moving platform. The racks rest on top of the moving platform. As each piece is taken from the rack (or set onto the rack), the rack advance mechanism adjusts itself for the action on the next part. Therefore, the rotational arm is always acting on the glass in the same location, minimizing glass movement and cycle time.

A vacuum cup frame is used for gripping the glass. The vacuum cup subassembly is mounted to a shaft driven via gearbox and servo motor (standard). The servo allows for optional programming of alternate rack angles if needed. The vacuum cup frame is also pneumatically driven in a linear fashion, both as a means to move toward the glass in the rack, and as a means to set the part onto the conveyor or other horizontal surface.

Alternative systems are possible, but for standard systems, the vacuum cup frame sets the glass onto (or picks the glass from) a horizontal belt conveyor.

A linear rack change system can optionally be quoted. This system incorporates two of the moving platform systems described above. The two platforms are mounted to a moving support frame, mounted to rails, and driven via timing belt or lead screw (or optional ball screw). The system will automatically shift the full / empty rack so that the other rack is in position. At which point, the new rack will be positioned relative to the un-loader.

For Overhead Shuttle Loading / Unloading Machinesbrochure click here

For Underline Loading / Unloading Machines brochure click here