Cylindrical battery cells with a 46 mm diameter (80 to 120 mm in height) and a weight of 0.3 kg per unit needed to be delivered to the incoming goods department of an automotive manufacturer for the production of battery packs. In the incoming goods department, the cells were required to be sent to the assembly process in batches by robots and lined up on a belt conveyor.

There was a requirement for the DMC code of the cells to be scanned on this belt conveyor. In addition, the cell required cleaning, visual inspection and electrical testing in order to separate defective parts. The cells then had to overcome a height difference of approx. 2500 mm in a position-oriented, upright position in order to advance to the following process step.

The goods to be transported needed to flow smoothly, i.e. be transported without a pallet, with maximum throughput and high process reliability.

The customer approached mk who provided a solution using their Versaflex A06 flat top chain conveyor system which was ideal for safely transporting the upright battery cells. In the horizontal sections, side rails with a clearance of 48 mm hold the cells upright and in the correct position for the subsequent process steps.

A clamping conveyor, also known as a double-grip conveyor, has proven to be the best solution for transport on inclines. Two Versaflex A06 conveying tracks directly opposite each other with flexible cleats clamp the cells laterally and transport them vertically to another level. The conveyor climbs quickly and smoothly to a height of 3400 mm.

The conveyor speed is 480 mm/s (28 m/min), which corresponds to a cycle time of 0.1 seconds/unit or a throughput of 600 cells/minute. Including the horizontal sections before and after the incline, the conveying path has a total length of approximately 20 m. By using a clamping system, a large difference in height can be bridged over a relatively short distance with a steep incline.

The mk conveyor ensured very fast, safe and smooth transport of the cells whilst easily adapting to the spatial constraints the customer was facing. Use of the mk profile within the design offers rapid assembly and disassembly. This solution from mk provides interlinking with the entire system via interfaces that offer process reliability.

To find out more about the mk conveyor range please visit, call (01949) 823751 or email