The great challenge in designing the cleaning basket was the large variety of over 1,000 parts, which differ greatly in geometry and size. In addition to high flexibility, the other important criteria were safety, ergonomics, and short loading and unloading times. The maximum size of the basket was also specified. With this catalog of requirements, Messier turned to METALLFORM Wächter GmbH in Bretten, Germany, which had already developed and manufactured product carriers for another Safran Group company.
The solution: A basic pallet and various fastening tools
The METALLFORM design team then took a look at the huge range of parts during a visit to the Molsheim plant. However, we were unable to provide concrete data on the various workpieces, says Francis Schnepp. On this basis, the specialist for cleaning baskets developed a 1200 x 600 mm basic platform. Thanks to a grid pattern with a spacing of 40 x 40 mm, the parts can be placed on it as desired and fixed in any position. With the help of CAD, it was possible to simulate the movement of the pallet with various parts in the cleaning system. This revealed which forces occur during the process and how they affect the workpieces. Based on these findings, METALLFORM designed different fastening tools such as prism tool holders, quick clamps and angle fixings. Among other things, the prism toolholder can be used to fasten tubular parts in the diameter range from approximately 80 to 300 mm. In order to also securely fix curved tubes to the platform, this tool has an additional bearing. It allows the prism to be rotated in the direction of the curvature after it has been fixed to the pallet. As a result, the part is completely flushed outside and inside in the cleaning process. The angular fixings prevent transverse forces from acting on the part and displacing it as it rotates. METALLFORM has really put a lot of know-how and development work into this solution, praises Francis Schnepp.