L3 ExMac Automation, the UK’s leading manufacturer of material handling equipment, supplied conveyor systems for two new cab finishing lines at the JCB Cab Systems plant in Rugeley, Staffordshire.
JCB, the family-owned manufacturer of construction, agricultural and groundcare machinery produces more than 300 different products on five continents in some of the world’s finest engineering factories.
The company’s Cab Systems business in Rugeley, Staffordshire, which manufactures cabs for other plants within JCB, recently completed an assembly facility housing two new automated cab finishing lines designed to produce fully trimmed cabs for JCB’s backhoe and Loadall ranges. The conveyor systems for both lines were designed and manufactured by L3 Excel Automation.
The backhoe line is 80 m long with 21 stations. It features accumulating conveyors at the load and unload ends to allow buffering and operates at an approximate speed of one metre per minute. The Loadall line has 20 stations, is 71 m long and operates at slightly less than one meter per minute. It is also equipped with accumulating conveyors at load and unload ends to allow buffering. In addition, the Loadall line features a shuttle car system powered by an inductive loop. This provides an extremely neat solution as there is no solid conveyor forming a barrier across the assembly shop, and no power feed centenary system or loose dangling wires.
Commissioning was carried out in two stages with the backhoe installation completed in the spring and the Loadall line during JCB's September shutdown.
Commenting on the service and support provided by L3 ExMac Automation, JCB’s Project Manufacturing Engineer Steve Cartwright says: “ L3 ExMac was very responsive to the pressures of the program, and the input from its engineering team ensured that from design to manufacture we received exactly the systems we specified.”
The fully finished cabs produced on the lines are delivered to the main JCB assembly plant in Rocester. This plant was previously supplied with cab variants from Rugeley, that were then configured and trimmed on its own trim lines to suit particular customer requirements. Now the Rocester plant simply unloads fully trimmed Backhoe and Loadall cabs from transporters and fits them to the machines on its assembly lines.
Says Cartwright: “The lines previously used at Rocester for final cab trim now provide additional production capacity to build Loadall and backhoe machines.”