Industry: Food Plant & Distribution Center, South Carolina
Challenge: Improve an inefficient manual lid placement process
Solution: A fully automated filling system with lid placement and sealing
Product: Automated Lid Placer & Lid Press System with Hytrol 190-E24EZ Accumulating Conveyor
Always Improving Automation
Advance Equipment Company (AEC) has been servicing the Carolinas with conveyor, storage and other material handling solutions for over 55 years. In that time, they’ve developed strong partnerships with industrial solutions companies with whom they’ve worked together to design bold solutions to manufacturing challenges.
One such partner is Anthony Barber Associates, Ltd (ABA), specialists in volumetric and net weight gravimetric liquid filling machines. “Basically, if your company produces a liquid – such as food, beverages, paint, chemicals, coatings, etc. – and sell it in a bucket or a pail, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Anthony Barber and his family business,” said Charlie Williamson, material handling artist with AEC.
Our partner had a customer with a caustic wash down process – something common in the food and pharmaceuticals industries where it’s often necessary to sterilize equipment – who needed a new system to stage and place lids on five-gallon pails.
Their existing filling system required lids be manually placed and sealed on each pail individually. To keep up with demand, however, they needed to upgrade their process with a fully automated one.
This meant completely replacing their old system with a new filling machine and lid placement solution.
Elegant Solutions Make for Efficient Results
Working with the filling specialists at ABA, Charlie focused on the best way to design a system for conveying lids for placement and sealing. The results were rather elegant.
Net Weight & Volumetric Filling Machine with a Rotary Infeed Table, Lid Conveyor, and Automated Lid Placer and Lid Press
AEC installed a Hytrol 190-E24EZ accumulating conveyor with 16-inch overall width of frames and 13 inches between the frames. Ten feet in length all together, it has:
- Eight 15-inch zones
- 9 rollers per zone on 3-inch centers
- Low, 8.5-inch deep frame
The conveyor is divided into accumulation zones. Incredibly, this allows for a single, energy saving 24-volt DC motor power supply, “That’s the 24 in Hytrols’ E24EZ,” said Charlie, “and one of the reasons this is such a great conveyor system to start with.”
Hytrol’s EZLogic® zone controllers sense product presence and control the accumulation and release. Each motor may be turned off to cause product in that zone to stop.
As you can see in the video, the final solution is simple and effective. Not only is the process now fully automated, but the zone control includes an external photo eye for a sensor to monitor when the chute is full and therefore, no need for an additional and costly PLC (programmable logic controller).
When asked how the customer likes the results, Charlie admitted, “They liked the solution so much that they’ve placed another order.”
About the author
Charlie Williamson has been a Material Handling Specialist with AEC since 1996. Prior to AEC, he spent an additional sixteen years in the material handling industry. Charlie invests his time and ingenuity into every project as well as gains a real sense of fulfillment to see all projects through to final working solution. As an Integrated Systems Specialist, he welcomes the opportunity to be of service for solutions involving single conveyors, complex turnkey systems and everything in between. Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.