When you are planning on installing a complete robot system, many times, part of the design includes infeed and outfeed conveyors. When selecting a conveyor, there are a few options available.
One option is a Motor Driven Rollers (MDR) which is a type of conveyor system where there are rollers individually driven by internal motors. Meaning there is control over the movement of individual rollers allowing for precise and customizable handling of products. MDR conveyors provide a flexible and efficient way to transport materials and products within manufacturing, distribution, and material handling facilities.
Many facilities select MDR conveyors because they are:
- Safer for personnel – with no exposed sprockets, chains, pinch points, etc.
- Quiet and energy efficient – motors only run when needed, reducing noise levels and saving energy.
- Low maintenance with sealed bearings – what maintenance there is is easily accomplished, individual rollers are simple to replace, and drive o-rings are easily serviceable.
- Good for zone control and gapping/accumulating product with precise control of roller braking
- Can work with a wide variety of product types for flexibility to accommodate changing needs within a facility.
Now that you see the benefits of selecting an MDR conveyor, did you know there are both 24V and 48V options? Let’s look at whether to select the 24V or 48V option.
24V MDR or 48V MDR Conveyors
Going from 24v power to 48v power requires a higher voltage power supply, but gives you the same power output, while essentially decreasing the current load by 50%.
Or, 2x the power, for the same amount of current.
This allows for flexibility in the cables chosen for installation as well as many other advantages.
48v MDR Conveyor advantages:
- High starting torque-useful for accelerating unit loads and heavy product.
- Increased torque across the RPM range of the MDR.
- Precision control over acceleration, positioning, and braking for peak efficiency.
- Longer cable runs can be used without voltage drop issues.
- More powerful conveyor transfers and diverters can be powered off the 48v system for moving heavier products faster.
- Potential reduction in the number of power supply units required for an application.
- Higher overload capacity.
- You can potentially use smaller gauge conductors due to the decreased ampacity required, or longer cable runs due to less voltage drop.
Similarities: 48v MDR Conveyor comes with the same proven operational features as traditional 24v MDR.
- Tough, integrated brushless DC motor design with internal gearbox.
- IP54/66/69K/deep freeze & washdown ratings available.
- Standard connectivity.
- External motor controller.
- Variety of roller diameters available.
- Pallet handling MDR rollers are available to support unit load conveyance up to 70” wide and over 1 ton.
- On-demand control of each conveyor zone for reduced energy consumption.
Sustainability of MDR Conveyors
There is often an initiative developed at corporate headquarters to improve environmental impact and reduce energy consumption – all in a goal to keep each facility more sustainable. There are definite arguments for installing 48v MDRs to help promote this goal:
There is efficiency benefit of going to 48v MDR due to less voltage drop in the cabling, and a reduction in the number of power supplies.
Lower Cable Losses
Higher voltage systems experience lower cable losses during transmission. This means that less power is lost as heat in the transmission cables, making the system more efficient. The reduction in the number of power supplies means there are less failure points.
Smaller Cable Sizes
48v systems can use smaller cable sizes compared to 28v systems for the same amount of power. Smaller cables are easier to install, require less materials, and are more cost-effective.
Overall, the use of 48V conveyors can contribute to improved sustainability in manufacturing and logistics operations by reducing energy consumption, heat generation, and environmental impact while increasing efficiency and safety.
Motion Controls Robotics’ experience in designing robot systems can help you to integrate the best conveyor for your needs into your total automation system. The answer might not always be MDR Conveyors, but our experienced team can help you determine the best solution for your application. Contact us to get started with your automation solution.