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A Guide to the Manufacturing Production Process
When a manufacturing company begins production of a new material, it has a choice as to the manufacturing process it uses. The type of process depends on the facility, the staff, and the information systems available. Each process has its advantages and some are best at certain tasks, for example, large batches of finished goods, or small numbers of custom items. When the decision is being considered about which manufacturing process to use, there are a number of questions that should be asked; what are the volumes to be produced, what are the requirements to make the product, and does the company manufacture a similar product? There are a number of basic manufacturing processes that they can select from; production line, continuous flow, custom manufacturing, and fixed position manufacturing.
A production line is a traditional method which people associate with manufacturing. The production line is arranged so that the product is moved sequentially along the line and stops at work centers along the line where an operation is performed. The item may move along some kind of conveyor, or be moved manually by staff or forklift. For example, operations along the production line could include assembly, painting, drying, testing, and packaging. If needed, some parts can be removed from the production line and stored as semi-finished goods.
The production line manufacturing process is very suited to high volume manufacturing of a single product or product group. For example, a production line may be used to manufacture a range of vacuum cleaners, where the only difference between the models is the color of the plastic assembly and the attachments that are included in the final product.
There are disadvantages to using the production line manufacturing process. The fact that the production line manufactures a single product or similar products limits its ability to manufacture anything else. For example, if the company manufacturing vacuums wanted to make kitchen mops, it would not be able to use the same production line. The second issue with production lines is that there is a high cost involved in the initial setup of the production line and it requires a large volume of goods to be produced to justify the capital investment.
The continuous flow manufacturing process is similar to the production line, but the products that are manufactured cannot be removed from the production line and stored, but require to have been through each process. For example, materials that are suited to continuous flow include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. The continuous flow process is more inflexible than a production line as it does not allow for other materials to be produced on the line without significant changes and the cost involved.
Magnetic separation takes advantage of differences in the magnetic properties of minerals. Minerals fall into one of three magnetic properties: ferromagnetic, paramagnetic and diamagnetic. Ferromagnetic minerals are themselves magnetic (i.e., magnetite and pyrrhotite) and can be easily separated from other minerals with a magnet since they will stick to the poles of the magnet. These minerals can be separated by wrapping the poles of a magnet in paper, passing the magnet over the mineral mixture. The ferromagnetic minerals will stick to the magnet and may be easily separated by removing the paper covering the magnet. Paramagnetic and diamagnetic minerals are not magnetic, but they differ in how they interact with a magnetic field. Paramagnetic minerals are weakly attracted into a magnetic field and diamagnetic minerals are weakly repelled by a magnetic field. Thus, if a mixture of paramagnetic and diamagnetic minerals is passed through a magnetic field, they will be pulled into the field (paramagnetic) or repelled from the field (diamagnetic) and may be separated. Furthermore, paramagnetic minerals with different degrees of paramagnetism can be separated from one another in the same way. The device used to separate minerals based on their magnetic properties is called a Frantz Isodynamic Magnetic Separator. The magnetic separator consists of a large electromagnet through which mineral mixtures can be passed on a metal trough which is divided near its exit end. Varying the strength of the magnetic field and/or slope of the separation trough is used to separate minerals.
All forms of mineral separation suffer from one difficulty. It is impossible to completely eliminate impurities. Depending on what the impurities are, that may or may not be a major problem. For example, if you were separating hornblende from a granite for Zr analysis, potential contamination by zircon inclusions in the hornblende might be a major problem. A typical hornblende crystal might have a Zr content of 50 ppm. A zircon crystal (ZrSiO4) has approximately 500,000 ppm Zr. Thus, if the hornblende separate contained only 0.01% Zr, the hornblende would contribute 4999.5 units of Zr and the zircon impurity would contribute 5000 units of Zr. The resulting concentration you would measure would be 100 ppm, which is twice the correct result. This is a major problem that cannot be eliminated when mineral separations are involved in the analysis.
What is it ?
Gravity Separators are used to separate products of the same size but with a difference in specific weight. They can be used effectively to remove partially eaten, immature and broken seeds to ensure maximum quality of the final product. They may be used to separate and standardize coffee, peanuts, corn, peas, rice, wheat, sesame, and other food grains.
How it works ?
These Gravity Separators have a rectangular deck so that the product travels a longer distance resulting in cleaner separation of light and heavy particles and the lowest percentage of middlings.
The product flows over the vibrating deck in which pressurized air is forced through causing the material to stratify according to its specific weight. The heavier particles travel to the higher level and the lighter particles travel to the lower level of the deck.
In order to obtain efficient separation by specific weight, the pressurized air supply needs to be accurately adjusted and this is accomplished by having individually adjustable air fans to control the volume of air distribution at different areas of the vibrating deck. The table inclination, speed of eccentric motion and the feed rate can be precisely adjusted with ease and minimum of operator training.
Destoner - Removing Heavy Contaminants
A destoner machine is used to remove heavier contaminants or debris from a product stream or flow. Generally, it removes a small percentage from the flow, but it can be large items including: stones, glass, metals or other heavy items. Using a fluidized bed of air and a vibrating deck to move the heavier materials uphill is what the machine does to separate the products into light and heavy materials. In the conditioning process, the destoner can be used ahead of a gravity separator or behind it.
This machine will allow for you to have a better quality product in a shorter amount of time. Allowing you to have more focus on other things in your day-to-day activities. On top of that you will have the ability to produce better quality products and unbeatable end results.
Still want to know more about behind the scenes of what we do at Oliver? have a question for our engineering team? Click on the video above for a full overview of the product, what it does, and how it can help you today. Or contact us today in the link at the top of your screen so we can answer any questions you may have!
What are the Different Types of Conveyor Belts?
There are many types of conveyor belts out there, but what are they?
According to Carol Francois with WiseGeek:
“There are three different types of conveyor belts: the basic belt, snake sandwich belt and long belt. A basic belt conveyor consists of two or more pulleys that hold one continuous length of material. These types of belts can be motorized or require manual effort. As the belt moves forward, all the items on the belt are carried forward.
“A common installation sites for conveyor belts include packaging or parcel delivery services. This industry often requires a method of relocating materials from one place to another, quickly and with minimal human intervention. The belt is typically installed at waist height to improve the ergonomics for the staff that are interacting with the materials.
“The conveyor structure consists of a metal frame with rollers installed at various intervals along the length of the conveyor belt. The belt is typically a smooth, rubberized material that covers the rollers. As the belt moves over the rollers, the items placed on the belt are transferred with a reduced amount of friction, due to the use of multiple rollers. Basic belt conveyors also have curved sections to allow the belt to move product around corners.
“The snake sandwich conveyor consists of two separate conveyor belts that are set up parallel to each other and hold the product in place while moving along the belt. This type of belt is used to move items up steep inclines, up to 90 degrees. Created in 1979, the snake sandwich conveyor was designed as a simple, efficient method of moving rocks and other material out of a mine.
“The system was designed to make use of widely available hardware and used simple principles to ensure that it was easy to repair. Any type of mechanical system intended for deployment to mining operations must recognize the limited access to parts in remote areas. This system offers the ability to move a high volume of material at a consistent rate. Smooth surfaced belts allow the conveyor belts to be cleaned automatically with the use of belt scrapers and plows. The design is flexible enough to allow the materials redirected off the conveyor belt at any point through simple redirection.
“The long belt conveyor is a system of three drive units used to move materials over a long distance. The most important feature of this system is the ability of the rollers to handle both horizontal and vertical curves. The long belt conveyor system can reach up to 13.8 km (8.57 miles) in length. This type of conveyor belt is often used in mining operations to transport materials to remote construction or building site locations, such as the bottom of a mining pit.”
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