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Case Study: How an innovative electromechanical actuator can improve workplace safety – The Mecvel success story

Today we look at the success story of Mecvel, a company specialized in the design and production of linear actuators and screw jacks.
This case basically shows how Mecvel’s ability for product innovation and integration of different specializations was decisive in securing the job order. The customer, who operates in the high voltage business, required a solution that could reduce worker exposure to electromagnetic fields and drastically knock down response/issue resolution time in case of emergency, through faster access to the high voltage lever.

What was the challenging request that the customer made of Mecvel?

“A company in Northern Europe that produces high-voltage cabins asked us to improve the electromechanical system they were using to turn power on and off.Mecvel - Actuator
Their system entailed maintenance and control by their technical staff. These operations were considered somewhat dangerous to the maintenance staff and the company wanted to guarantee greater work safety for their employees.

They then turned to Mecvel to seek a motion automation solution that would enable them to remote control the high voltage lever.
The Mecvel company specializes in the production of actuators, adaptors, jacks, shafts, couplings, and customized solutions for linear motion through the use of electronic systems combined with mechanical engineering.”

What were the main issues?

“The main issue of the customer’s current system at the time had to do with the health and safety of the maintenance workers and high voltage technicians.
In order to act on the high voltage control lever, they had to work inside the cabin, which is subjected to electromagnetic fields under normal working conditions.
Moreover, in case of an emergency, operators would have to remove mechanical parts and related cam levers in order to disengage the lever actuator by hand and turn power on and off.
Therefore, the challenge was to come up with an innovative ad hoc project for a new actuator, not currently available on the market, which would guarantee the safety of the crew. This solution also led to the reduction of maintenance management costs for our customer”.

What solutions did you propose and what were factors that helped you in getting the job order?

“Thanks to Mecvel’s many years of experience and the positive partnerships we have established with other member companies of the CAMSER Consortium (consortium for the promotion in international markets), namely the companies Telcomec and Milltech, we studied the problem and created a special actuator.Mecvel - Actuator components
We designed an actuator that lets operators turn power on and off remotely, thus not having to go into the cabin and be exposed to electromagnetic fields.
Mecvel also designed and built an actuator that uses an internal electric clutch (Telcomec), which releases the actuator’s thrust axle from the adaptor, thus freeing the voltage lever so that it can be easily operated by hand in case of emergency or in the absence of electricity. By contrast, to disengage the lever’s actuator, the conventional system requires that mechanical pieces and related cam levers be removed, which entails time and delays to solve the issue. Furthermore, only specialized operators may be employed in the performance of this activity.
MecVel assisted its prospective customer from the planning stage of the new actuator until its final test, performing tests and verifications during the building process (through the use of software that calculates the actuator’s correct sizing and its activation by remote control)”.

What advantages did the customer gain by entrusting the job order to Mecvel?

“Thanks to our system, the customer improved the working conditions of its employees, who are now able to activate and deactivate voltage remotely, without being exposed to electromagnetic fields.

Additionally, in case of emergency or power failure, response and issue resolution times improved considerably, for the reasons outlined above.

The final result was that both costs and risks for the maintenance workers were reduced, to our customer’s great satisfaction, who is now able to market high voltage cabins whose performance is much greater than similar products from other competitors”.

What are Mecvel’s overall distinguishing features?

“Mecvel’s distinguishing features may be summed up as follows:

  1. Experience: MecVel has been working in the field of linear motion and electrical automation since 1986. From design to final inspection, our technical staff can communicate and interact dynamically and purposefully with customers from different industries (medical, military, electromechanical, wind, marine, solar, etc.) so as provide innovative and customized solutions.
  2. Innovation: our technical department is constantly keeping up to date; it follows closely the technological evolution in the field of industrial automation and is also constantly stimulated by the issues brought up by major customers while in the process of designing new models of actuators, jacks, shafts, etc. Finding synergistic solutions between the world of electronics and mechanics is MecVel’s response to customer needs, making everything more effective, efficient, and economical. Constantly updating our technical and technological know-how means improved technical performance for the equipment on which MecVel actuators are mounted.
  3. Technical and organizational partnerships: over the years, Mecvel has established positive working relationships with other companies both on the technical and the promotional side. All this translates into a complete service to the customer; innovative products and solutions through our coordinated team work. On the promotional side, our membership in the Camser Consortium allows us to create marketing economies, which makes us internationally competitive.
  4. Free basic technical support: by using sophisticated software that can detect critical and weak points in a specific piece of automation, MecVel can provide free basic technical advice as a starting point from which to arrive at the most suitable solution as far as lifting and/or moving”.

What are Mecvel’s overall main strengths?

‘Turnkey’ service from initial planning to final inspection

Customers that turn to MecVel can count on expert advice from the very beginning, which then evolves into a design stage leading to the accomplishment of the most appropriate technical solutions and the final testing of the products.
Experience and versatility

Being in business since the 1980’s, Mecvel has gained expertise in various sectors that enable it to move with extreme flexibility and offer innovative and customized solutions in various fields.

Wide product range

Thanks to the know-how described above, Mecvel has been able to work on numerous product lines specific to various industries, offering solutions for the provision of clean energy, high levels of silence, large degrees of lateral and vertical motion, etc.

Partnerships with our customers and confidentiality

The industrial applications of the MecVel actuators require that orders be processed on a confidential basis. Many of our deliveries involve industrial patents and projects achieved through the close partnerships Mecvel enjoys with its customers.