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Cam Follower Troubleshooting

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The Problem
During my previous co-op, we had a machine that used nylon and metal brushes to deburr a flat green energy part. It had cam followers lining the conveyor belt to hold the part in place as it travelled along the conveyor getting deburred.

Deburring the part caused powdered metal to cover the cam followers,
jamming them so they no longer turned. This led to part jams and long down times because the cam follower mounting blocks were very difficult to disassemble. The aluminum mounting blocks were also frequently damaged by worn down brushes.



The Solution

There were three major changes that I implemented to this machine to prevent all of the problems stated above. Please see the solutions below.

1. Upgraded Cam Follower

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Old Cam Follower

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New Cam Follower

I researched many different types of cam followers that still had the same dimensions as the original and a similar price. I was able to find a cam follower with all of the right specifications that has seals on the top and bottom to protect it from powdered metal. See the red circles above for the main difference. 

2. Changes to Existing Design

Below is an assembly drawing of all of the changes that I made to the existing mounting design to improve performance. Along with these, the material of the blocks was changed from aluminum to steel so they will not get damaged if the brush does hit them.

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3. New Changeover Procedure

I implemented a bi-monthly change of all cam followers on the machine to prevent jamming  and designed a method to allow for the smallest amount of down time possible. Extra top blocks were ordered and assembled with cam followers to be stored in the spare parts room. When the blocks need to be changed, maintenance can take the pre-assembled top blocks from the storage room, replace them by unscrewing the two socket head cap screws, and then turn the machine back on. They would then return to the storage room to assemble the next changes set. 

Along with the above changes, I designed tools to be used to ensure the two sides of cam followers are the correct distance apart from each other when installing. Slots were implemented on the top blocks on request from maintenance so they can make small adjustments, so there needed to be a way to install the top blocks the same every time. Below are pictures of the tools in use. I created a Standard Working Procedures and ran or organized training for the entire procedure described in this section.  


Drawing Package


As the sole project lead and designer I was responsible for the design, ordering and implementation of this project. Below is a button leading to the drawing package I created for all of the custom made parts.

Disassembled Parts


Assembled Parts

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