Conveyor Tweaks Deliver Faster Sweets

“There are very simplistic controls for the Hytrol E24EZ Conveyor. It allows you to install much quicker than doing fancy logic, photo eyes, PLCS, etc.. “

Material Handling Specialist: Scott Hartman

When Morinaga America’s Mebane, North Carolina candy manufacturing facility needed to design  its new conveying and packaging lines the project was put up for bid.  Advanced Equipment Company along with Atlantic Packaging won the bid to do the conveyor and packaging integration.

AEC’s challenge was to develop a system that would convey the product from the bagging machines into  the check-weighing system which would verify the weight of the bags. From there, the bags of candy were conveyed to an operator station where operators manually unloaded the bags from an upper belt conveyor into display boxes in cartons below on an accumulating conveyor.

“The upper belt conveyor is at chest level for the manual pickers,says AEC’s material handling specialist, Scott Hartman. “They load  the bags into display boxes  below the work table attached to the lower conveyor.. Once those cartons are full, they push them onto conveyors below and release the cartons  to be automatically transported down to a 3M Carton Sealer and then out into the warehouse where they’re manually palletized for shipment.

While the final solution is a straightforward and efficient system, the road traveled to wind up there  posed a challenge.

The  contractor’s initial design wasn’t compatible with Morinaga’s stated goal of simplicity and couldn’t get the system up and running as quickly as possible.  “The original design had all belts rather than accumulation conveyor for the cartons,” Hartman notes. “That’s a very outdated way of doing carton controls. Today’s technology accommodates work flow which greatly improves efficiency.Hartman suggested changing from belts to the Hytrol E24EZ Conveyor.

“We effectively communicated the benefits of accumulation conveyor and were able to change the design for a couple of problem areas,” Hartman says.

“We used the Hytrol E24EZ Conveyor with a special design.  The rollers were set lower than usual to accommodate pushing cartons onto the conveyor from the table.  One of the benefits of using  this system is that it’s got an automatic accumulation built into the conveyor – very user-friendly.

In addition to being a superior system for Morinaga’s candy conveying, the Hytrol system’s simple controls allow minimal safety oversight.

  • No PLC required for automatic accumulation
  • Very little electrical installation required
  • Zones only run when needed
  • Zones can be configured for loading or unloading

Not only is this system very user-friendly, it went a long way in helping Morinaga get up and running with very minimal interruption to their operation.

“There are very simplistic controls for the Hytrol E24EZ,” Hartman says. “It allows you to go in and install in a much quicker manner verses doing fancy logic, photo eyes, PLCS, etc.. They didn’t need a complex system like that.

Since installation on the project finished, Morinaga has been very pleased with the consultation and work that AEC  provided. The company is actually discussing Upgrading r it’s check-weighing system and having Scott and the AEC team reconfigure that part of the conveyor system as well.

“AEC professionals are true experts in operational efficiency and integration. Scott Hartman and his team have the experience and understanding of their clients to impact and improve operations. Their sound consultation led to a simpler and more efficient system as well as a faster installation time. ­”

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