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Recently, print-mail automation specialist Capstone designed its large-scale Autoviri mail sorting and packing system, which included a PBC Linear actuator, to perform a critical transfer task.

After working through some initial design challenges, Capstone, with PBC Linear’s support, was able to produce an efficiently automated system that processed 1,000,000 pieces of mail per shift without shutdown or manual intervention.

The complete Autoviri packing system performed 99 per cent complete packing automation from beginning to end.

PBC Linear was contacted to provide a linear motion solution to transfer the mailing trays into the package-sleever.

Capstone required a system that was robust, could operate at high speeds and could run 24/7 with virtually no maintenance upkeep.

The linear motion system also had to fit into the already specified profile Ellison had specified.

Based on the initial loading and motion-profile requirements, Ellison chose PBC Linear’s MT series linear actuators for the critical transfer function – specifically the compact MTB042 as it fit into the narrow envelope of the transfer area.

Initial prototype testing showed that unplanned impact forces and higher-than-expected moment loads were being place on the MTB042 actuators due to variations in the reused mail trays and sleevers, which would sometimes cause interferences and jams.

This resulted in damage to the actuator’s carriage.

The stock MTB042 actuator did not have enough load capacity for the unexpected loading that was occurring and a larger actuator would not fit.

Ellison requested PBC Linear’s assistance.

After evaluating the application with an onsite investigation, PBC Linear used FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to model the loading and then designed and supplied special MTB042 actuators that were able to handle the impact loads and higher moments.

PBC Linear installed an external Mini-Rail linear guide support on the side of the actuator for more pitch moment capacity and robustness against impact load.

A reinforced carriage was designed.

PBC Linear outfitted the MTB042 with ports so that the actuator body could be supplied with pressurised air for creating positive body pressure and preventing the ingress of paper dust.

Internal bearing blocks with extra seals were installed for further robustness against dust.

The design still fit into the compact working envelope and provided the reliable mail-tray transfer that Capstone required.

The packaging system Ellison provided was able to continually run 24/7 without unplanned shutdowns, cycling up to one billion pieces of mail per year automatically.

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