ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020 - 24

P R OJ E C T

AC A D E M I C I N S T I T U T I O N

AltaSteel parallel
chain drive conveyor

NAIT
E N G I N E E R I N G T E C H N O L O GY D I S C I P L I N E

Electrical engineering technology

P R OJ E C T D E S C R I P T I O N
Our project explores the different causes of the desynchronization of a parallel chain drive conveyor system and the effectiveness of viable electrical solutions. Whether electrical
or mechanical, understanding and properly assessing the
root causes of desynchronization is essential for providing
the most effective solution to the problem.
For our case study, we focused on the tail end part of the
manufacturing process in the AltaSteel plant. This specific
process transports rebar bundles outside of the warehouse
where a crane operator picks up the bundles. This process
utilizes a parallel chain drive conveyor system, with two separate induction motors driving each conveyor.

To mitigate the conveyor belt desynchronization, we proposed a combination of:
*	 regulating the speed of the variable frequency drive
when loading
*	 incorporating a rotary encoder on the conveyor
shaft and blocking control of the PI loop to limit
dimensioning errors; and
*	 maintaining proper motor sizing and enforcing proper
electrical testing and maintenance.

P R OJ E C T PA R T I C I PA N T S

The existing problem that has been ongoing for about 10
years is that bundles come out of the warehouse misaligned.
The problem poses two issues. First, there is a safety issue
since misaligned bundles are at risk of falling onto equipment
or personnel when picked up by the crane. Second, there is
a productivity issue as this causes production delays. Therefore, the bundles must come out of the warehouse in an
aligned manner.

Gio Dominic Virtucio

The leading cause of the misaligned bundles is that the parallel chain drive conveyors are desynchronized. We explored
different possible factors that cause the desynchronization
of the parallel chain drive conveyor systems. We determined
that the underlying factors were dimensional errors, loading
issues, motor damage and power system issues, and induction motors undersized for the given application.

Bob Joshua Quilacio

We then analyzed the effectiveness of several electrical
solutions, specifically considering:
1.	 the bundles must stay aligned within the given
tolerance when exiting the warehouse; and
2.	 the need to respect the imposed limitations, which are:
a.	 the need to avoid significant mechanical
intervention such as coupling the shafts; and
b.	 the need to avoid the use of sensors.

24 | FALL 2020 | TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA

I was born in the Philippines and moved to Canada when I
was about 10 years old. I've always been interested in technology innovations and how we use them to push creative
boundaries to make something for ourselves or for the benefit of others. I chose NAIT because they offer a range of
engineering disciplines that would help me further my understanding in the electrical discipline.

Science and technology has always been a huge passion of
mine, as I have always been fascinated with technological
innovations meant to improve certain aspects of life. This
led me to the electrical engineering technology program at
NAIT. During my studies, I have gained a wealth of knowledge that encouraged me to continue discovering what
technology has to offer.



ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020

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