Hewitt and Booth, a manufacturer of pipecleaners, reports that four HepcoMotion DualVee linear motion systems are still performing as required after 23 years in service.
A service life in excess of ten years is good for any wearing part, but at 23 years old, four HepcoMotion DualVee linear motion systems must be setting a record. Steve Lunn at Hewitt and Booth states: "Almost all other wearing parts on our special-purpose machines have been replaced at least once, and some more often, but the HepcoMotion systems are still going strong."
This Huddersfield-based company is a long-established manufacturer of pipecleaners. It began expanding its markets in the 1980s with the introduction of more colourful and thicker cleaners for craft and school use. In the last ten years the medical sector has become a significant customer for its single-use apparatus cleaners. Hewitt and Booth's continued success is borne out of this diversification and by its ability to provide consistently high-quality product on minimum lead times.
The original pipecleaner cutting machine was designed by Hewitt and Booth in 1982 to meet its specific needs. Four machines of this type were built in-house and are still fully occupied. Each accommodates 25 bobbins of the manufactured product. The ends from the bobbins are fed through the machine by hand and clamped in place onto the carriage mounted on the HepcoMotion DualVee linear slide system. Since their installation, each machine has produced in the order of 34million pipecleaners.
A motor drives a cam drum and this transports the carriage back and forward for a set distance. Attached to the cam drum is a cutting mechanism that crops the pipecleaner to length. The mass of the carriage is 5kg and the maximum speed 0.325m/sec.
DualVee has been an important part of the HepcoMotion product programme for many years. It is a proven, economical method of tailoring an accurate linear motion system to the exact needs of the application using single-edge tracks and matching wheels. DualVee components are available in a range of sizes to suit most applications with high-temperature and vacuum/clean-room options to complement existing stainless steel components.
To enhance the linear slide's ability to resist the dusty environment, the Hewitt and Booth DualVee systems were fitted with in-house manufactured cap wipers. This option was not available when the components were bought in 1982 but is now offered on all HepcoMotion linear slide systems. In addition to preventing the ingress of dirt, the HepcoMotion cap wipers provide positive lubrication that increase load capacity fourfold and life by 25 per cent.
Steve Lunn concludes: "There is very little sign of wear on the DualVee linear systems on our pipecleaner cutting machines. They have really given us exceptional service."