Material Handling

Inspection and Sequencing Line for Wheel Assemblies by Erica Bacon

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Recently Tuff Automation designed, built, and installed a conveyor system to transport vehicle sets of wheel assemblies through a final inspection sequencing line.  Besides the conveyor to transport the wheels through the inspection stations, Tuff also provided a de-stacker, escapement, and stacker, as well as the integration and interface with the test and inspection stations on this line.

The assemblies are placed in stacks of 4 to this line, then index to an escapement that releases one stack at a time to the de-stacker, where the assemblies are separated and released one assembly at a time to the test and inspection stations.  After these stations, the assemblies are re-stacked into the stack of 4, then released for transfer to the shipping area. 

With our full range of in-house services and experience, Tuff Automation met all of the project requirements, including mechanical design, fabrication and assembly, electrical design, panel build, and wiring. We also provided the controls engineering and programming required for the integration and data handling of all of the inspection and test stations on this line. 

After the project was successfully installed and in production, Tuff Automation provided the necessary on-site follow-up support, and has also provided remote support through VPN access.

Watch this system in action:

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Custom Carts by Tuff Automation by Erica Bacon

Tuff Automation has designed, built, and integrated many types of material handling carts for a variety of customers, for use with AGV’s and operator-driven tow vehicles, in a wide range of production, warehousing, and ASRS (automated storage and retrieval) applications. Designed for moving products on an assembly line or transporting goods throughout a plant or warehouse, Tuff Automation has the experience needed to build carts that will meet customer’s specific application requirements.   The type of cart that you choose depends on the weight, size, and shape of the load as well as plant configuration.  Some examples of the type of carts we have designed and built include AGV & tugger tow carts, hydraulic lift carts, and carts with automatic transfers.  Carts can be provided with quad steer design to provide positive tracking and trailing with precision steering to follow the exact path of the tow vehicle.

Tuff Automation can provide carts to any specifications, and also provide the other equipment required for AGV and tugger applications, such as custom fixtures for the tow vehicles, and custom guide fixtures and docking stations.  On a recent project, in addition to supplying the custom carts, Tuff Automation also provided a custom guide fixture so that when the cart is guided into position, the fixture on the cart automatically locks into the station, connecting power to the cart in order to operate the lift/transfer on the cart.

Carts offer a cost-effective alternative to fork lifts. They require less manpower than traditional fork lifts because they are able to carry a higher volume load in less trips. Loads of different shapes and sizes are easily moved with a cart system making it a flexible transportation option for changing production methods and products. Using a tugger/cart system is also safer than a fork lift because the driver has better visibility, resulting in less accidents.

Tuff Automation’s carts are custom designed for each application. Tuff also integrates the controls system required for any application. Our superior designs, heavy-duty fabrication, and quality components guarantee dependability. If you are interested in having us provide a quote for your cart requirements, or would like to discuss any other solutions for material handling, we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you. Contact us for more information.

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Tuff Automation is Expanding! by Erica Bacon

Tuff Automation has been providing custom material handling services since 1993. We are unique in that we custom build each order to meet our customer’s exact specifications. Our distinctive products cannot be found in a catalog. We are known for our quick turn-around times and lower prices. Over the last several years, we have been growing exponentially. Our sales have increased by about 35% in the last 5 years, and we expect them to increase by another 40% by 2022!

With growth comes new challenges, such as space and staffing. Due to our growth we have been leasing a second facility. This has allowed us to continue providing quality products to our customers and reach our goals. Although this space has helped, having all of our operations in the same location is ideal. We are happy to announce that we have begun construction on an addition to our main location. The project is set to be completed by October 1, 2017. We are excited about this new addition and the benefits it will offer. Once the construction is finished, we will be able to assemble complete systems on site. The building will feature a 30 foot ceiling which will allow us to build tall lifts on site as well.

So, why has Tuff Automation had so much success? We contribute it to the people working for us. We have been blessed with many caring and talented employees that make sure our customers are satisfied. As we expand, we will look for more talented people to add to our team. This will allow us to continue to provide exemplary service to our clients. We are looking forward to the future as we continue to grow.

Do you have a question or want to know more about our services? Contact us via email at or by phone at 616-735-3939.

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