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Rodriguez has supplied two space-saving linear drive systems manufactured by Framo Morat for an automated sliding-door mechanism at the restored East Lancashire Railway Castlecroft Goods Warehouse.

The new system installed at the restored warehouse, in which the Bury Transport Museum is located, had to be extremely compact and robust enough to drive a door weight of 2,000kg for a distance of 4m.

The two space-saving Framo Morat products were recommended as a combined solution by Rodriguez.

Although the Castlecroft Goods Warehouse, which dates back to 1848, eventually became the Bury Transport Museum, the deteriorating condition of the roof led to its closure seven years ago.

In 2008, however, a GBP3m grant allowed the Grade II-listed warehouse to be restored to its original state.

This building has 12 large sliding doors – three in each of the four walls.

All of the doors were required by English Heritage to be restored to open and function as they would have done in 1848.

However, it was agreed that the sliding door that secures the main visitor entrance could benefit from modern drive technology.

The problem of minimal space still presented a problem to the design team, as there was a gap of approximately 90mm between two adjacent door tracks in which to mount the door drive.

The Framo Morat linear drive system that Rodriguez proposed comprises a slip-on Compacta rotary actuator that drives a Linearchain, whose specially designed chain links allow it to push as well as pull heavy loads.

The links have a special profile with interlocking fingers at one end, enabling the chain to roll or fold up in one direction only.

When unfolded, the fingers latch together to form a rigid thrust device.

The close-tolerance manufacture of the links and other components means that both push and pull linear motion with low backlash and high repeatability are achieved.

A key feature of the Linearchain for the museum application is that the chain folds up into a magazine to occupy minimum space, approximately 1m, in relation to the stroke of 4m.

The Linearchain drive system comprises a special housing with internal chain guides, a sprocket drive wheel and a keywayed drive shaft.

It is connected to the Compacta geared brake motor, which contains integral limit switches; a handcrank has been supplied in case of power failure.

Compacta is claimed to provide a neat drive solution.

It is smaller and lighter than conventional geared motors but it provides the same output torque and speed, according to Rodriguez.

The Framo Motor Linearchain drive system proved to be the most appropriate solution.

The chain magazine and motor chain drive have been installed discreetly to the right of the main entrance, sandwiched between the framework for the heavy wooden outer door and the adjacent glass-panelled inner door.

There is less than 50mm separation between the two.

The system actuates the outer wooden door at a speed of 100mm/sec (approximately 40 seconds to open or close).

It provides added security without the need to move the very heavy inner glass screen door, which incorporates a glass wicket door and forms the normal visitor entrance.

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