Industrial Washing Machines (IWM) chose engineering component supplier, R. A. Rodriguez and its Framo Morat Linear Chain system to satisfy its unique washing needs. This actuator was selected to provide a robust and reliable push-pull mechanism for a system designed to wash and dry a range of plastic and metal bulk transport containers.

IWM offers a range of standard washing and sanitising systems to manufacturers across the industrialised world. A large proportion of the company’s business however also comes from its ability to design and manufacture special purpose equipment. It was for a bespoke machine built to handle containers up to 1,000mm x 1,200mm x 1,200mm that Framo Morat Linear Chains from R. A. Rodriguezwere specified.

The size these vessels require them to be loaded onto the machine’s receiving station by forklift truck where the first of the Framo linear chain actuators pushes the item – weighing up to 300kg – into the washing cabinet. Its counterpart at the other end pulls the clean and dry vessel from the cabinet and onto a discharge platform, ready for unload by forklift.

“This actuator offered the necessary strength to do the job and enabled the design to remain compact and relatively simple to control,” explains managing director Carl Hollier. “The chain and drive units are identical on the push/pull ­systems with the only difference being the grabbers for the two functions.”

The device provides high positioning accuracy, constant stroke speed and shock-free motion, a vital ingredient for IWM as the smooth transfer of the ­container into a very precise rotating drum is crucial. The compact nature of the actuator was also important. As Hollier concludes: “This allowed the machine footprint to remain compact and for us to use less material in its manufacture. The actuator made an important contribution to the project’s cost-efficiency.”