Packaging Resource Center: The Latest in Product-Handling Equipment
A company offers palletizing machines designed to provide end-of-line processing from up to four different production lines simultaneously. The A+F standard and robotic palletizers feature a single-gripper system that processes products, layer sheets, and pallet handling. The four-axis, arm-type robotic machine features a pick-and-place unit. The layer palletizers are designed to handle trays, cartons, cases, shrink-wrapped packs, and stackable trays with externally or internally tapered stacking corners. They operate at a rate of up to 500 layers per hour. IWKA Packaging USA, Morganville, NJ; 732/536-8770; www.iwkapackagingusa.com.
A line of loss-in-weight, portable-bin unloaders is designed for accurate discharging and metering of materials stored and transported in side- or bottom-discharge portable bins. A low-deflection, nonwearing, force- measurement suspension system (FMSS) flexure scale measures vertical loading and is capable of handling overloads. The FMSS scale uses counterweights to negate the tare weight of the support structure, feeder, and bin. The scale’s full capacity is used to weigh material to provide a high-quality weight-signal resolution. Thayer Scale-Hyer Industries Inc., Pembroke, MA; 781/826-8101; www.thayerscale.com.
A shock detector is designed to monitor shipments during transport throughout the supply chain. The ShockTimer-Plus 3D can be attached to a shipment and is designed to record the exact time a package is abused. Once installed and activated, the device detects and logs the time and date whenever a shock exceeds a preset threshold of 2, 3, or 4 g. The device can also indicate in which axis or axes the shock is detected. The recorded shock dates and times can later be extracted from the device using a wireless USB-IRDA dongle and then analyzed using MS Excel. The device is reusable and is self-powered by a five-year battery. An optional temperature and humidity data-logging feature is available. Instrumented Sensor Technology, Okemos, MI; 517/349-8487; www.isthq.com.
A company has added a linear belt feeder to its line of bulk feeders. The VersaFeed features the company’s V-Smart belt systems designed to improve product control to provide gentle product handling and eliminate damage to products. The feeder is designed to handle sealed flexible packages, pouches, parts, and components. It operates at speeds up to 600 parts per minute. The unit occupies a small footprint and features an open design to permit visual inspection during operation. Toolless changeovers are performed via an electronic recipe system. Self-tensioning and tracking belts are designed to reduce maintenance requirements. MGS Machine Corp., Maple Grove, MN; 763/425-8808; www.mgsmachine.com.
A conveyor system for cleanroom applications features a compact design and integrated sensor controls designed to provide flexibility in tight spaces. The Quickdraw conveyor system can be configured to any layout, and the controls are built into the rail for convenient operator access. The control system is also self-contained, requiring no PLC for setup or operation. The only moving elements of the system are the sealed ball bearings that are part of the company’s clean-roller technology designed to eliminate the need to service or replace belts. The sensor, logic, and motor controls built into the conveyor rails are integrated to provide control over specific conveyor zones, as well as to allow for variable speed, bidirectional transport, changeable layouts, and precision stopping. MagStar Technologies, Hopkins, MN; 952/935-6921; www.magstar.com.