This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Linkx arranges gentle ride for chicken nuggets

15 February 2011

Satisfied with the performance, reliability and ease of use of its first Matrix collator/shrink wrapper from Linkx Systems, Birds Eye decided to install a second machine

This time, however, there was a minor complication – instead of the cartons entering the machine at high level, which means that their progress into the machine is assisted by gravity, they would enter at low level.

With a little inspiration and a small software modification, however, Linkx Systems came up with a solution that involved no extra cost.

The performance of the Matrix machines, which are capable of handling up to 300 cartons per minute – as much as 50% more than typical machines with similar functionality – was an ideal match for this demanding application. The machine is also easy and convenient to work with, thanks to an electronic operator interface that is intuitive in normal operation and also provides access the powerful and comprehensive diagnostic functions.

Servo drives, which are used for all major functions, are the key to the exceptional versatility of the Matrix collator/shrink wrapper. A ten-axis precision servo system means that all motions are reliably and accurately controlled, giving total repeatability, even when the machine is operating at full throughput.

The most usual infeed arrangement for Linkx Matrix collator/shrink wrappers, however, is for the products to be presented at high level, from where they are carried by a slat band conveyor at a slight downward angle into the collator. For the new Birds Eye machine, however, which would be handling frozen chicken nuggets, this arrangement wasn’t possible.

As the new machine had to be fitted in place of an existing piece of equipment, infeed could only be arranged at low level, with the cartons conveyed upwards to the collator. While the design of the Matrix machine is sufficiently flexible to accommodate this revised arrangement, a small but significant difficulty remained – when the infeed conveyor started and stopped, the icy cartons had a tendency to slip.

While it would certainly have been possible to modify the mechanical design of the infeed to eliminate this problem, the Matrix machine is built around precision servo drives and incorporates a fully programmable control system, and this meant that a much simpler and more cost-effective solution was possible.

The control software was modified so that the infeed conveyor, instead of just starting and stopping, smoothly ramped up to speed and down to a stop. Incorporating the software change took just a few minutes and provided a complete solution. The machine is now in service and is fully meeting all of Birds Eye’s demanding operational requirements.

The inherent flexibility of the Matrix machine, which results from its incorporation of the latest control technologies, meant that Linkx Systems was able to provide Birds Eye with exactly the functionality it needed without the need for potentially costly modifications.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Quality coffee on the rise

After a £2.5 million investment in its Dartford site, UCC Coffee has doubled its roasting capacity and can now offer much more variety for their customers.Full Story...

Article image Industry isn’t putting its eggs in one basket

Dr Arnoud van Vliet, head of Campylobacter research group at the Institute of Food Research, looks at the Campylobacter problem and how industry can work together to solve it. Full Story...

Asda’s Simply Roast in the Bag chicken flying high with FFP

Unison against meat inspection change

World’s first stem cell burger unveiled


Article image Asda’s Simply Roast in the Bag chicken flying high with FFP

Great-tasting, succulent whole chicken, ready to be roasted in the bag with a variety of delicious added-value flavours have hit the chiller cabinets in Asda as part of their Butcher’s Selection range, with new ovenable printed packaging produced by FFP. Full Story...

Article image Snowbird management buys big ideas company

Snowbird foods has new owners. The manufacturer of fully cooked and frozen sausages, meat balls and other comminuted meat products has been bought by its management team.Full Story...

A high speed hot dog, New York style

Snowbird rides out horsemeat scandal

Report links processed meat consumption to premature death


Article image ERP system helps Kendal Nutricare hit the ground running

Suzanne Gill visited the Kendal Nutricare factory to find out how the plant has fared since it was bought from Heinz by entrepreneur Ross McMahonFull Story...

Article image Lubrication keeps the beer flowing

Automatic lubrication is one way to ensure that industrial machinery – including that used to brew beer – is not subject to breakdown, says Phil BurgeFull Story...

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

A recipe for continuous improvement success

Gardner Denver seals the deal with HACCP standard vacuum pump enclosure for Proseal