Our customer, Rotobec Inc., a material handling equipment manufacturer, teamed up with Creaform Engineering to design and verify the structural performance of a new loader with a maximum lifting capacity of 37,000 lbs. The size of the stationary machine developed means it can be operated in a confined space. The new loader is designed with the same strength and durability criteria as current Rotobec loaders, which have been the #1 choice of North American consumers for many years. The loader, which was installed in a foundry at the end of a line molding spare parts for the mining industry, also needed to withstand an abrasive environment and high temperatures.
Creaform Engineering was tasked with all the engineering and design phases. Working from preliminary specifications, Creaform’s objective was to deliver the manufacturing plans, sealed by an engineer. However, getting there was a multi-stage process, requiring input from a variety of design and engineering experts.
The optimization of pivot points, sizing of power and hydraulic cylinders, and preliminary establishment of mechanical structures is carried out by structural and numerical simulation engineers. Once a viable concept has been established, the computer-aided design (CAD) work can begin. The mechanical designers then work together to create the mechanical structures, select and integrate the hydraulic components and accessories, and plan the electrical and hydraulic routing. Several systems must be selected and integrated, requiring rigorous project management to avoid any surprises. Drawing on its specialist expertise in structural numerical simulation, Creaform analyzed the structural performance of the new loader using the finite element method. The load cases were established using system-wide simulation (1D System modeling), thereby optimizing the machine’s operating capacities. Detailed calculations of each component help optimize the structure, making it safer and more reliable in the long term.
With a direct remote connection to Rotobec’s database, Creaform Engineering’s designers and the mechanical engineers worked closely with the Rotobec engineering team. Rotobec is thus able to rapidly and temporarily boost its engineering and development capacity. With the help of its experts, Creaform Engineering accelerates and catalyzes its clients’ product development needs.
- Project management
- Mechanical and hydraulic design
- Materials and component selection
- Establishment of manufacturing and assembly sequences
- 3D and 2D CAD drawings, manufacturing and assembly plans
- System modeling to optimize geometry and lifting capacities
- Finite element modeling and calculation
- Linear/nonlinear static analyses and fatigue evaluation for critical components
- Calculation and configuration of hydraulic connections, bolts, pivot points and wear components
- Technical documentation and expert reports, signed by engineers
TOOLS AND METHODS USED
- NEi Nastran
- Static linear and non-linear analyses