Multi Carrier System: driving flexibility

The Multi-Carrier-System (MCS) is a new, award-winning product transport solution. Keith Thornhill outlines some of the production benefits it offers.

As demand for more choice drives the need for manufacturing flexibility, manufacturers are seeking production systems that combine flexibility with increased efficiencies and productivity gains.

Satisfying complex product diversity and shorter life cycles, as well as the ability to quickly customise products and adjust manufacturing processes to deliver a variety of options to satisfy consumer choice is becoming increasingly important.

Keith Thornhill, business manager - Food & Beverage, Siemens UK & Ireland.
Keith Thornhill, business manager – Food & Beverage, Siemens UK & Ireland.

Just think of the variety of current choice within some consumer goods categories such as cosmetic packing, or food and beverage processing. There is a need for quick seasonal changes and varied pack formats, or even industrial manufacturing of customised, bespoke products.

This places significant demands on the production process, and a system that can truly aid customisation through flexibility, high productivity and high performance will be invaluable.

A new kind of flexibility

The new Multi Carrier System is an innovative packaging solution that gives manufacturers real flexibility. A linear motor track system, it’s a flexible and modular transport solution for industrial automation purposes based on the controls expertise of Siemens and the linear motor and mechanical guidance technology of Festo.

The Multi Carrier System is based on a configurable linear transport rail that is easily integrated into existing intralogistics and standard conveyor systems. It offers precise synchronisation and seamless in feed and out feed of transport carriers.

The movement of the product carriers within the system can be rapidly adapted to deal with different formats, sizes and types of product – even down to batch sizes of one – or the particular requirements of seasonal demands.

Motion profiles can be defined for each carrier, enabling them to move freely and independently of all other carriers at speed. They can be started and stopped at any position and moved towards each other without risk of collision, as well as being grouped together and moved synchronously at fixed distances.

Siemens Multi Carrier System PQ - Dec 2016The carriers can even transfer between linear motor sections and a standard recirculating conveyor, so that production can benefit from shorter set-up times, seamless format changes and reduced maintenance costs thanks to lower system wear.

Future-proof accuracy

The Multi Carrier System offers a level of accuracy and flexibility that assists the manufacturing and production process. Through total control and modularity, the system supports productivity targets by allowing the process to do more in less time, while also offering businesses the option to introduce as much or as little of the system as is required.

This in-built system flexibility is in contrast to bespoke systems that come as complete one-off packages, which are often over specified.

Finally, as an off-the-shelf solution, buyers have the peace of mind of knowing that the Multi Carrier System is totally supportable into the future and they have the ability to customise and add to the system as their needs change.

For a variety of manufacturers across many sectors, the future will be characterised by a need for flexible, accurate, timely and productive production process to satisfy the increasingly complex demands of customers and consumers. The Multi Carrier System can help them achieve this multifaceted manufacturing goal.