Bayer Unleashes New Case Erectors
The distribution department at Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division Plant (Shawnee, KS) is now producing about 3000 boxes a day in ten different sizes, reports Larry Geivett, distribution supervisor. Two years ago, the firm invested in two Lantech case erectors and has since seen a fourfold increase in the number of orders shipped per day. The plant is the second largest in the company’s global animal health division, producing a wide variety of antimicrobials, parasiticides, and basic care products for dogs, cats, horses and livestock. The products represent about 40% of the division’s worldwide sales.
A change to its distribution about three years ago nearly quadrupled the number of orders the plant ships per day. “The change took us from 500– 600 orders per day to 1600–2500,” says Geivett. Hand-erecting and taping of boxes was no longer practical.
Geivett and his team looked at a number of other machines before Bayer colleagues suggested Lantech’s then-new case erector, which they’d seen a Pack Expo show. Two machines—one Model C-300 and one C-2000—were subsequently purchased. The C-300 operates in the 10-case-per-minute range, and it can run RSC and HSC single-wall cases sized from 77¼ in. long × 57¼ in. wide × 37¼ in. high to 195¼ in. long × 133¼ in. wide × 203¼ in. high. The C-2000 can produce up to 15 cases per minute with a wide range of case sizes, starting with the same minimum size blanks, up to 255¼ in. long × 173¼ in. wide × 237¼ in. high.
Lantech’s C-Series case erectors are intended to be virtually jam-proof, says Bruce Campbell, marketing product manager for the line. “We do quite a few things that are unusual for machines in the 10–20-case-per-minute speed range,” Campbell states. “The primary objective is jam-free operation while dealing with widely varying quality and size tolerances in the case blanks. This machine’s belt-driven infeed magazine controls delivery of blanks to a hinged pick-up frame where the case is grabbed on two panels by suction cups. By gripping two panels and squaring up with the pickup frame, even irregular, damaged or unglued case blanks are controlled through opening, then held erect for flap closing. Special slots in the major flap folders hold the case square and prevent sideways movement while it is pushed into the exit drive, where it’s gripped on the sides between two belt drives that pull it across the tape head.”
“The level of control over the box in the Lantech machine tipped the scale for us—that and the demo involving our own cases,” Geivett says. “Most machines use a lot of pushing motions, and this is almost always a cause of crushed boxes, we found.”