Cylinder rod locks, such as Amlok devices from Advanced Machine & Engineering Co. (AME), Rockford, Ill., have been successfully appliedtopneumatic, hydraulic, and electromechanical actuators countless times. A recent example of their use was at a recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturer in the Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. area, where the Amlok devices were installed on worker lift platforms to increase stability.
Having more stability in the platforms — which bear the load of multiple workers, raw materials, and all the tools to perform assembly operations — allows workers to get their jobs done more efficiently and safely.
RV frames and axless move perpendicular to work stations on rail track-mounted dollies. The units can be rolled from one station to the next, allowing various build-ups to occur in sequence. As steps are completed, the platform is raised. Because of the platforms’ length (up to 30 ft) and load bearing requirements, stability was a key issue.
The Amlok design allows free movement of a piston rod during operation. When the lift system is stopped or when air pressure is lost, a locking mechanism secures the rod in position until released by the return of air pressure. The positioning of the work platform is controlled by workers and is adjustable. Each 134-in. diameter rod is mounted to the floor, and the rod lock follows it along a guide mechanism. When work is complete, the platform is raised to the top park position. The Amlok is locked, the RV unit is transported to the next station, and the platform is loaded with the next unit’s materials.
This application uses fourth generation Amlok rod locks that prevent common problems in many large-scale air movement systems — over-travel, bouncing, drifting, and reverse travel. The intensifier mechanism of the AME rod lock is spring-operated to lock and is released by normal 60-160 psi air lines.