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.

Feature: Sliding rails eliminate contamination

02 April 2013

How installing an automated packing system has helped an Essex factory to overcome space issues and eliminated product contamination.

An automated packing system designed and installed by Pacepacker Services has enabled the UK's second largest horse feed manufacturer, FH Nash Ltd, to bag 22 different products within its factory. The integration of a single Pacepacker Total Bag Control bagging system (TBC) has enabled the company to toggle between two separate production lines.

For a quarter of a century Pacepacker has supplied packaging equipment to FH Nash, assisting in the packing of more than 50,000 tonnes of horse feed per year. This is then supplied directly to leading racehorse trainers. In 2005, when FH Nash introduced 22 additional products to its Braintree site - following the acquisition of Clark and Butcher Ltd - FH Nash consulted Pacepacker again to assist in overcoming several limitations hindering the efficiency of its packing process.

Operations director of FH Nash, Joe Venner, explains: "Within a limited space, we had to pack many different varieties of horse feed and two products with completely different handling properties - a dry product and molassed product, which is syrup like in texture. As a result we felt we had no option but to establish two separate lines in order to eliminate the risk of cross product contamination which would be both cost and space prohibitive."

To minimise FH Nash's outlay, Pacepacker designed a bespoke C21 Multi-Pile Sack Placer and a TBC on sliding rails, in order that the system could toggle between the two production lines. Pacepacker's sliding rails solution was interlocked into the weighing system on each production line to work in unison and enable Nash to pack two separate products.

Paul Wilkinson, business development manager at Pacepacker Services, observed: "It's many manufacturers' perception that fully automating a line will be expensive - particularly if they are packing products of varying consistency. However, the TBC has been designed with features that make it easier to integrate into existing lines. For Nash we created a bespoke space saving and cost efficient solution, whereby a single TBC machine built on sliding rails to aid quick positioning, could toggle between the two production lines. Because it was only the TBC moving between lines, Nash was able to use two separate weighing systems to keep the different product consistencies apart - completely eliminating the risk of contamination. The TBC's flexibility meant that as the system was moved, product recipes could be called up instantly and downtime eliminated."

Pacepacker has programmed the TBC to be locked into place with each of the individual weighing systems - once it has been transported via the sliding rails system - before operation begins. At this point the C21 Multi-Pile Sack Placer presents the bag to the sack clamp under the weigher and, once filled, the TBC transfers the filled bag to the belt feeder and stitching unit. According to Pacepacker, this results in the bags and conveyors operating in perfect timing.

Completing the line, FH Nash used Pacepacker's experience as a FANUC Strategic Partner to explore robotic palletising options which could palletise both bags of horse feed. "We specified the highly flexible six-axis FANUC M410iB/160 with a payload of 160Kg, repeatability of 0.5mm and a working reach of 3143mm," stated Pacepacker sales manager, Chris Francis. "Inside the robot grippers we incorporated an integral top grip pressure plate, which pushes down on the levelled bag as the grippers pick it up, so that the bag does not distort during palletising. This design feature ensures that the product is not displaced and overcame the problem of handling F H Nash’s two completely different products."

"Palletising is no longer a labour intensive process; the robotic system has enabled us to make better use of our staff in other areas of production to aid our expansion," noted Venner. "I'm pleased to report that it consistently creates an accurate and uniform stack on each pallet and has increased our throughput by 30%. The 'sliding rails' system implemented by Pacepacker has enabled us to achieve a consistent pack presentation every time - without the risk of product contamination. The Pacepacker equipment has also been seamlessly integrated to work with our existing equipment and is running at an output of 500 bags per hour."


More information...

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

RELATED CONTENT...


Article image Schoeller Allibert takes bulk containers to the max

Schoeller Allibert has further enhanced its commitment to help companies reduce their environmental impact with the launch of the MaxiLog® bulk container range.Full Story...

Article image Vertical tray packing solved

Incorporating the very latest FANUC M-710iC/45M robot and Pacepacker’s own-design shingle feed end-effector and tray denester, the STL can vertically pack everything from fresh produce bags (e.g. salad, chopped vegetables, stir fry mixes and noodles), to FMCG ambient goods (coffee, dried pasta, flour) and household cleaning products. Full Story...

Thortons stays sweet on Linx

Seaweed chips in compostable NatureFlex™ packaging

Pacepacker’s new Compact Cartesian Palletiser is a fitting solution

RELATED SPONSORED ARTICLES...


Article image Thinking outside the box…

The design brief for this product was to bring ‘bag in box’ wine into the 21st century. In order to do so, it was decided that wine in a box had to become ‘fashionable’. With the knowledge that 8 out of every 10 bottles of wine bought to drink at home are bought by women plus the knowledge that handbags are at the top of a woman’s most wanted list, the Vernissage Wine Handbag was, without doubt, the most obvious fashion choice.Full Story...

Article image Thinking thin: it pays to consult a specialist

With more and more manufacturers looking for lighter, cheaper and more sustainable packaging, it is no wonder that demand for thin wall mouldings is showing a healthy upward curve. Full Story...

Kliklok announces new Managing Director

Dumpy doesn't have to mean frumpy!

Renting plastic RTP from PHS Teacrate is logistical cost-saving solution for SMEs

MOST VIEWED...


Article image Spray and save on the glazing process

Food glazes are widely used in the bakery sector to improve the look and taste of baked products. Traditionally, this coating process has resulted in substantial waste. Technology advances mean that this is no longer the case. Full Story...

Article image Your flexible friend in the food factory

Suzanne Gill finds out where thermal imaging technology can help around the factory. Full Story...

Self diagnostics: an enabler for predictive maintenance

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

A dry-ageing process improvement

http://www.appetite4eng.co.uk