Product-Handling Equipment Keeps the Line Moving

Equip your line with accumulators, indexers, and other systems to avoid troublesome bottlenecks.

A two-lane indexer, designed for multipack applications, features an adjustable dual overhead product brake to allow spacing of products. The brake also functions as an infeed to shrink wrap and overwrap machines. Built on an aluminum frame with tubular legs, the 1.5-ft-wide (450 mm), 6.56-ft-long (2 m), Unit 4 indexer uses cored black rollers and has adjustable center and side guides. Its motor and variable controller are prewired to a junction box. Shuttleworth North America, Huntington, IN.

A compact pick-and-place system is capable of single and multiple tiers utilizing a single dual-purpose arm to position both a corrugated pad and the products on top of it. The PadMate can also top load, and is tray, wraparound-case, and RSC compatible. Heavy-duty welded tubular steel construction, robotics employing multiaxis servos under PLC control, and a two-stage conveyor enable automatic operation via an easy-to-use operator interface panel. Options include lane dividers and shrink wrappers, and the unit can be custom configured. Vantage Pak International, New Britain, CT.

A line of preassembled pick-and-place components includes high-speed blow-off vacuum pumps, levelers, and cups designed for accurate placement of irregularly shaped objects in dusty or dirty environments. Four models of Fastbreak pumps, each of which can be fitted with 12 different venturi capacities and four different port connections, interface with any of a variety of spring-level and cup combinations to lift and place parts from uneven surfaces. The high-speed blow-off action continuously self-cleans vacuum lines. Choices include stainless-steel or anodized aluminum construction, and vacuum sensors are available. Vaccon Co., Medfield, MA.

Conveyor belt solutions have been developed specifically to address familiar problems common with old-fashioned conveyors. New-Tech roller-top, friction-top, and radius models for roller replacement, and flat-top, flush-grid, and raised-rib lines for retrofit and other applications combine with EZ Retrofit components to address maintenance and noise concerns, worker safety, and conveyor performance. The range of styles and load capacities enables the company to offer solutions for a wide variety of applications. Intralox Inc., Harahan, LA.

Vertical-carousel drive motors now offer lifetime warranties. Under the terms of the warranty, the company will replace free of charge any of its covered vertical-carousel drive motors that fail while being used under standard maintenance and operating conditions, for the life of the carousel. The company is a provider of a wide variety of automated storage and retrieval systems, including vertical and horizontal carousels, vertical lifts, and inventory- and tool-management software. Remstar International Inc., Westbrook, ME.

Cast urethane materials for packaging and material-handling applications are customized for hardness, wear resistance, and electrostatic dissipation to suit particular requirements. The proprietary and patented conductive formulations can be used in the manufacture of lightweight, highly durable high-speed belts and rollers for packaging and material-handling equipment, and they include FDA-approved materials. The manufacturer can provide standard components as well as high-performance product-handling elements for critical parts. Components made from the custom polyurethanes include infeed and handling rollers, label-application rollers, conveyor parts, shock-absorbing elements, trays and bins, load-bearing wheels and gears, vibration-damping components, heavy-duty covers, mounts, belts, sprockets, and seals. The company's engineers and material specialists work closely with customers to develop materials and parts that fit their needs precisely. Mearthane Products Corp., Cranston, RI.

A high-speed robotic tray-loading system with vision recognition may be configured to handle either single or multiple products wherever high-precision pick-and-place capabilities are needed. The SNC-F44 system operates at up to 125 parts per minute and features three different arm sizes for payloads up to 11 lb and 60 in. The system's end-effector design and human-machine interface menu allow for quick changeovers. The company also offers carton erectors and case packers as well as system integration services. Schubert Packaging Systems LLC, Addison, TX.

An accumulator is designed to safely handle and buffer containers that are easily damaged, like empty PET containers. The Infinity-series accumulators use a built-in combiner and a proprietary infinite-loop storage system to constantly recirculate the product, providing one or more constant outfeeds to downstream operations. The recirculated product never changes direction relative to the chain's surface. As containers go around the turns of the accumulator, a variable velocity curve separates the containers in such a way that the containers never bump into each other, thereby avoiding label damage. The unit can be configured to provide single-file outfeed, multiple-lane outfeed in divided rows, or en masse outfeed. Suited for round, square, or tapered glass, PET, HDPE, polypropylene, aluminum, or steel containers, the unit is claimed to increase total line throughput by as much as 40%. Garvey Corp., Blue Anchor, NJ.

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