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HepcoMotion products work swimmingly in fish farm feeding application

03 August 2016

When Engranor were contracted to design a new hatchery feeder machine for the fish farming industry, it turned to HepcoMotion for the fully assembled frame with necessary guidance system.

Hatchery feeder machine

Engranor manufactures gear wheels and all kinds of mechanical components for different sectors. Fish farming is, like most other types of farming, a risky business that requires special knowledge, skills, and careful considerations. The use of automatic feeding systems on modern fish farms is a key consideration for fish farmers as they offer cost savings in two key areas; optimising the feed consumption through precise and planned doses, and in the reduction of manpower.

Engranor’s customer, FishFarmFeeder, had a requirement to design a small fish hatchery feeder. The feeder mixes different types of fish food and, after mixing, dispenses the food to the fish tank. FishFarmFeeder has many types of fish feeders, but the new system is required to be much smaller than existing systems. It is also its first portable feeder machine. 

Engranor was looking for an aluminium frame in order to have a light and consistent structure that could support the internal components. The lightweight frame was also important to ensure the system was portable. Quick delivery time and a minimal assembly time were further key factors for Engranor: two aspects that HepcoMotion was able to supply with its fully assembled MCS frame.  

By using 40 x 40 1NS and 40 x 40 2NS MCS aluminium profiles, Hepco was able to keep the system lightweight, whilst also reducing the material costs. Hepco designs and structures the MCS frames to the individual requirements of customers; a key benefit for Engranor who were looking for a specific sized unit. The MCS frame comes complete with lockable doors to ensure food can be kept secure, different door positions, and clear panels allowing the system and feeding tubes to be easily viewed. Moreover, Hepco provided the complete frame fully assembled which minimises the assembly time.  

Inside the machine there is an automatic dispenser that dispenses food to the fish tank – this requires a guiding system and a ball screw to drive the carriage. Hepco’s low cost MLG Linear Guide System was chosen to provide a smooth, durable and high performance system for this purpose. In this application, MLG is used to locate the pipe to a particular feeder. With different feeds available in each feeder, accuracy is imperative to ensure the correct feeding pipe is located. To drive the carriage, a Hepco Ball Screw is used. Working in conjunction, the Ball Screw and MLG complete the system, providing a smooth and accurate solution. 

Engranor’s requirement of having a lightweight frame delivered quickly and with minimal assembly time was easily met by HepcoMotion’s range of products. Hepco was able to supply multiple components within a tight time frame, making the order cost effective and highly convenient for the customer. Indeed, Hepco provided the complete system fully assembled in three weeks from order.  

Hepco’s fully assembled aluminium frame meets all of the requirements from the customer and includes the guiding system and drive to complete the machine. The frame is completely portable using the two handles at the front. The machine is working very well and due to the success, Engranor expect to sell many more machines like this. 

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