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A linear actuation system from Hepcomotion is enabling Dibro, a Liverpool-based company specialising in decorating glass bottles, to increase productivity at its recently opened printing facility.

Dibro, which applies decorative painted finishes, acid-etched effects and lacquers to a variety of glass containers, needed to automate a glass-treatment process that involves spraying the bottles with a slip coating after printing as they emerge on a conveyor from the kiln.

The linear system was required to transport a spray-nozzle mechanism across the width of the conveyor, coating a line of bottles on each pass; for this purpose, Hepcomotion suggested a complete system based on a hybrid version of its PDU2 profile-driven unit.

The system comprises a rigid but lightweight aluminium slotted profile, into which fits the toothed belt drive and carriage — an arrangement that effectively encloses the unit and makes it suitable for use in the damp conditions of Dibro’s bottle-production line.

Key benefits of product application

  • Hepcomotion’s compact linear system helps to ensure the consistent speed of the traverse unit in order to provide an even spray coating.
  • The system also ensures the accurate positioning of the spray head so that only the sides of the bottles are coated.
  • The PDU2’s Herculane wheels allow the system to run virtually friction free on the inside of the profile; this provides stable support for the carriage plate that carries the spray nozzle.

Designing a unique engineering principle and making it a commercial success is quite an accomplishment.  Developing that concept and embracing complementary technologies to the point where the business becomes a world leader in its field takes that achievement into a different league.  HepcoMotion has achieved both and in 2009 celebrates 40th year of trading.   

Today HepcoMotion is one of the world’s foremost innovators and manufacturers of linear motion technology.  And this can be attributed to the important tenet – continued investment in its people processes and products.  This has allowed the company to grow even at times of economical difficulty.  

Although its range of individual, linear motion products remains an important part of its business the growth area for HepcoMotion in recent years is in specials and assemblies.  Almost one fifth of its shop floor space is devoted to assembly and the company has invested heavily in flexible manufacturing to ensure that even last minute changes can be accommodated to customer specification.  

Constantly re-assessing its strengths against changing market demands continues to provide HepcoMotion with the momentum for business growth.  The culture of ongoing investment has certainly worked well throughout its first 40 years and will continue to underpin its business in the decades to come.

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