Department of Mechanical Engineering

Cost Reduction and Product Innovation

Department of Mechanical Engineering in collaboration with Schenck Process Group (Stock Redler).

Redler chain for conveyors and elevators

Challenge

Stock Redler, part of the Schenck Process Group, design and manufacture machines for bulk materials handling of products such as grain and coal. These make use of the well established ‘Redler chain’, a core product for the company.

The requirement of this Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) project was to reduce the cost of producing and assembling the chain without compromising its engineering integrity.

Solution

The project has undertaken extensive modelling - using the finite element approach - to assess the strength of the existing link design. This has been supported by the testing to destruction of physical links.

The conclusion of this analysis was that significant reduction of material could be achieved without compromising strength. A novel type of link flight was designed and tested to take advantage of material reductions. Significant weight savings and assembly simplifications have been achieved through the project, leading to reduced costs and power consumption within the machines.

 

Benefits and outcomes

Through this project, research is contributing directly to the development of smarter manufacturing processes. Through achieving significant cost reductions, greater efficiencies and flexibility, and by developing capabilities within the company, optimised chain product lines could improve the competitiveness and profitability of Redler both locally and globally.