Efficient and Flexible product handling equipment
Systems handle and transfer product smoothly and quickly.
Mini bellows vacuum cups are available in sizes as small as 3 mm diameter to fit virtually any type of vacuum equipment used for small part handling. They easily adhere to convex, concave, and uneven surfaces and are suitable for pick-and-place operations. The cushioning effect inherent to the bellows designs can replace external devices like springs, height or level compensators, and mechanical devices used to smooth the handling of uneven surfaces. Many materials and sizes are available, including antistatic materials for handling of electronic components. Vi-Cas Manufacturing, Cincinnati, OH; 513/791-7741; www.vi-cas.com.
A plastic container unscrambler unscrambles and orients irregular containers within the same unscrambler and machine footprint. This technological advancement eliminates secondary orienters down line, which results in savings in equipment, space, maintenance, and down line container transfer issues. The new Bauman NG technology eliminates the need for change parts, and the machine will unscramble containers with different diameter and height measurements without the need for any adjustment. Rormac Packaging Systems, Reading, PA; 610/370-0861; www.rormac.com.
A medium-duty conveyor system is made of high-impact plastic modules. The 18-in. modules are assembled in a Lego scheme of interlocking sectional units. These modules include belts, sides, legs, motors, and accessories. A wide range of modules available with the DynaCon system enables virtually limitless configurations, including radius turns, overhead, and any incline or decline. The ability to fine-tune configurations can also provide important ergonomic benefits, such as in packaging operations where workers must make repetitive movements that can be alleviated by positioning the conveyor for maximum worker comfort. Dynamic Conveyor Corp., Muskegon, MI; 866/249-2641; www.dynamicconveyor.com.
A compact horizontal case packer handles corrugated or folding board materials in a variety of case styles. The machine features heavy-duty construction, caster mounting, single load station (optional autoloading), and pressure-sensitive tape or hot-melt. Master shipping cases are automatically pulled from the supply magazine and erected onto a single load station. Product may then be manually or automatically loaded. Following loading, the machine cycle is initiated and the loaded case is transported to the closure section for either glue or tape closure. Econocorp Inc., Randolph, MA; 781/986-7500; www.econocorp.com.
A flexible, high-capacity, feeding storage system has been developed to increase productivity in packaging lines. The new SIGFS ensures trouble-free operation and is suitable for a wide variety of products, including those requiring delicate handling The SIGFS carries products gently through its storage system using a “first in, first out” principle, without the need for infeed units or transfer points. The system makes the subprocesses of an automated system, such as filling, feeding, distribution, packaging, and cartoning, independent of one another. These subprocesses, as well as the overall packaging system, can then be optimally loaded and operated. The simplicity of the system is due to an endless tabletop chain, which is driven at two points. The drive at the entry to the store is synchronized with the rate of supply, while the other drive at the discharge end is synchronized with the next downstream process. The SIGFS can be used for products in trays, pillow packs, boxes, bottles, and unpackaged goods. SIG Pack Systems AG, Beringen, Switzerland; +41 52 6747419; www.sigpacksystems.com.
A company has combined a case packer and a palletizer into a compact, cost-effective solution. The robotic packer-palletizer uses a five-axis Motoman robot with XRC controller capable of moving up to 176 lb. The machine’s compact footprint allows for pallet sizes of up to 48 ¥ 48 in. and unit loads up to 72 in. high. Capable of running single line applications, the robotic packer-palletizer’s production rates depend on numerous factors, including the product being packaged, the number of products per case, and pallet patterns. The custom-designed end of arm tooling is flexible enough to grab and pack various-sized objects, including boxes, bags, bundles, bales, cans, bottles, and jars. The machine has a programmable Allen-Bradley Logix controller with a touch screen operator interface. It features a product and case infeed conveying system, enabling simple integration with other equipment. Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Brewerton, NY; 315/676-3035; www.schneiderequip.com.
A company’s plastic pallets offer a lighter, more durable alternative to wood pallets. High-pressure injection molding allows the company’s designers to strategically vary wall thickness to achieve lighter yet stronger pallets compared with other molding processes. Features include high-impact plastic resin, four-way entry, consistent dimensions, textured top deck, and no loose fasteners or splinters. UL-listed flame retardant pallets are also available. Rehrig Pacific Co., Los Angeles, CA; 323/262-5145; www.rehrigpacific.com.
A company designs, manufactures, and integrates turnkey robotic systems for individual automation cells and complete production lines. The systems are used for material handling, robotic positioning, and robotic processing applications. Specialties include case packing/cartoning, tray loading, palletizing/depalletizing, conveyor, and order picking. The company offers full-service support on its systems as well as the systems installed by others. PaR Systems Inc., Shoreview, MN; 800/464-1320; www.par.com.
A new belted accumulation conveyor will accumulate products at more than a 15-degree pitch, enabling easy accumulation on inclines and declines. By combining belted technology with the proven Accuzone conveyor system, the new belted system provides a solution for dependably handling products that would typically be difficult to handle on a standard roller conveyor since packages can reliably start and stop and package sliding is eliminated. The belted Accuzone system allows for conveying rates of up to 30 cartons per minute and carton weights of up to 75 lb in flat zones. Its ability to accumulate on inclines and declines allows seamless integration with traditional single-level Accuzone or other 24-V conveyor systems. FKI Logistex Automation Division, Danville, KY; 877/935-4564; email@example.com.
An alternative to roller transfers, a powered transfer features a tight-knit MicroSpan chain providing a stable, flexible base for the smooth transport of small, delicate products. It maintains orientation and has a maximum speed of 140 ft/min. The stainless-steel construction along with MicroSpan plastic chain is suitable for washdown applications and can be either slave-driven by another conveyor or independently driven. Both ends of the transfer have a profile height of 14 mm so smooth transfers are assured. Additionally, because it is sprocket-driven, there are no tracking problems as with standard belt-type conveyors. Multiple chain widths are available for a variety of applications. SpanTech LLC, Glasgow, KY; 270/651-9166; www.spantechllc.com.