Bespoke Gearbox Design Automates Lorry Scanning Machine
A company in the UK has designed and constructed a huge X-ray machine capable of scanning an entire articulated lorry, in one go, for a government in the Middle East. The machine has been installed to increase efficiency at a border crossing by scanning entire lorries like suitcases at airport security points. The machine increases the speed with which lorries are processed and eliminates the risk of error, which is inherent with manual security checks.
The driverless lorries are taken through the X-ray machine on plattons driven by a unique power transmission system designed by Renold Gears of Milnrow, Lancashire. The huge plattons glide smoothly across a series of wheels driven by gearboxes secured to spring loaded base plates. The wheels are fitted with tyres to create the right degree of cushioning and friction within the plattons. As the platton carrying the lorry moves from one set of wheels to the next the weight of the lorry depresses the spring-loaded plate creating tension with the driving wheel sufficient to propel the platton forwards. A long line of gearboxes takes each lorry from a start point, where the driver disembarks, through the machine and out the other side where he rejoins his vehicle and waits for security clearance to continue his journey.
The gearboxes had to be fitted in pits below ground with limited space so Renold's engineers selected PB50 and PB40 helical bevel helical gearboxes that provide maximum torque from a compact design. A special case was designed for the gearboxes, which included removing the corner of the standard case to ensure they were an ideal fit for the limiting space of the pit. Renold Gears also supplied the gearboxes that open and close the huge lead doors that protect security personnel from harmful radiation while lorries are being scanned inside the machine.
The innovative new conveyor system is advantageous in its speed and efficiency but it also aids in protecting the security of the country. Simon Mclean, Renold Gears' Project Manager said: "It was Renold Gears' ability to provide complete design solutions and supply within the given timescale that helped us to win this contract."