Reinventing the Wheel

At UNEX, we’re probably most famous for our Span-Track wheel bed configuration in our carton flow product line. It is the most durable product on the market and is a key component that makes us the pickability people. But as you have seen in the last few weeks, 2013 was a year of introspection here at UNEX. We examined anywhere we thought we could improve and then acted swiftly and decisively.

And while our Span-Track wheel bed was a very good product, as the saying goes “good is the enemy of great.” And greatness is what we strive for. So we set to work determining where improvements could be made to Span-Track. To be the brand and the product that sets the bar for the market, we had to have the product that is not only the most durable but also the one that flows the easiest and is the most flexible.

So we asked ourselves, “What would cause the wheels to not spin as freely as they could?” It all came down to friction. So we became experts on friction. And with our findings in hand, our design engineers came up with the Hex Hub Wheel, which we believe will be the standard in the industry.

The Hex Hub Wheel reduces friction as much and in as many places as possible while still retaining the form and functionality required to stand up to the weights and conditions our to which it will be subjected. We narrowed the wheel to approximately half its former width. From there, it was all about reducing the hub’s friction with the axle. We tapered the hub to create a natural V in the hub, which reduces contact with the axle, thus reducing friction. The next improvement we made is actually the namesake of the Hex Hub. The six-sided design of the hub reduces surface contact between the hub and the axle. We also tapered the spacer end to minimize contact with the wheel and added a powder-coated additive that acts as a lubricant for the axle.

Now, the Span-Track wheel bed is able to more freely recreate the inertia necessary to flow down the gravity conveyor with less friction and therefore fewer issues. It’s an improvement that we are very excited about and since its debut in August has drawn rave reviews from our customers. This is the evolution of the wheel and we’re very proud to be able to bring it to you. It’s just one more thing that makes UNEX the pickability people.

You can request a sample of our Hex Hub wheel beds here and experience the power of pickability first-hand.