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Jan 11, 2013

What Type of Conveyor System do you Need?

There is a wide variety of conveyor systems available for movement of various products.

You may have a containerized product or have a food product which is being manually moved from one location to another.

Even though there might not be a high volume of product requiring such movement, this can obviously transfer into ongoing safety and labor cost considerations affecting the bottom line.

easy to clean conveyor

Easy to Clean Conveyor with Open Frame Design

You may have previously thought your area was insufficient in size for conveyor utilization, but that may not be the case.

Although some readily available conveyors may not meet your needs, a custom built conveyor may be more economical when all things are considered.

When dealing with raw food, or ready-to-eat food products, this type of conveyor design and construction needs to be focused on hygiene and environmental durability.

Stainless steel frame construction and plastic belting provide the most desirable aspects for longevity and cleanliness.

In addition, easy access for inspection and simplistic cleaning are attributes highly desired for such applications.

Additionally, options such as belt washers and a belt lifting apparatus greatly enhance sanitation efforts and reduce cleaning times.

You may wish to review the configurable design of “Easy to Clean” conveyors!

Perhaps you need to convey machined or boxed products in a dry environment.

This need could possibly be filled by a conveyor constructed of either steel or aluminum.

The need may be to move a product on an inclined conveyor using friction top belting, or a decline area where rollers are utilized with the force of gravity.

In some situations, powered rollers may be the desired choice for conveyor product movement.

As you can imagine, the belting or method of conveying products can accomplish a great amount of work.

Transferring a product from one place to another can introduce other requirements.

For example, items may need to be specifically positioned or spaced. 

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There are various types of conveyor belting which can accomplish such actions when implemented correctly.  You can even establish a small sortation area by using two side-by-side conveyors moving in opposite directions with roller top belting. Even if you’re transferring boxes or product only a short distance, consider the efficiency of a conveyor and the medical expenses of back problems!

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Jan 10, 2013

Trolley Vision® RF

Recently I wrote about a tool called Trolley Vision® that helps meat plants with Country Of Origin Labeling, Traceability, and operational efficiency.

There was no mention of the technology behind that tool, and that is the subject of this entry because there are two different approaches; one that is appropriate for large plants and one that might be better suited for small facilities.

Trolley Vision RF Tracking Components

Trolley Vision RF Tracking Components

Trolley Vision® is a system of assigning a specific identify to every trolley.

The method used in most plants has been the drilling of the trolley straps with a unique nine-hole pattern.

With over 40 million numeric identities available, no duplicates will ever be made.

The other approach is Trolley Vision® RF, with RF standing for Radio Frequency.

As you can see, each trolley is assigned a transponder configured for the trolley wheel.

This injection molded insert is carefully mounted for the best attachment possible.

As a trolley passes the industrial reader, the trolley is read and the information collected via the communication computer.

Antenna installation is simple.  And the transponder installation can be handled by plant personnel.

When transponders need to be replaced, that is easily handled.

Traceability, yield and grade tracking, shrink measurements, and COOL requirements mean that meat plants today need a tool that accomplishes these goals.

Depending on the size of your plant and your budget, Trolley Vision® RF may be preferable over standard Trolley Vision®.

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Jan 8, 2013

Continuous Belt Weighing with Conveyor Flow Scales

Continuous Belt Weighing of a certain product can be done and has been done for quite a period of time.

It has been done in the Meat Industry, as well as other Industries for at least the last 10 years; it may fit your needs!

Single Conveyor Flow Scale

Single Conveyor Flow Scale – Measures total bulk or aggregate product weight

Why would you want the gross weight of a certain product that is being produced in your facility?

It could be that you:

  • Want to know the total weight of a certain product being ran down a certain line in a specific period of time
  • Need to know the weight of certain products going different directions
  • Need to know the gross weight going into a line before the product is going down a cut line
  • Want a tool to measure shrink

A flow scale can provide you with an accumulated weight of any product that flows with the exception of liquid materials.

single conveyor flow scale

Conveyor Flow Scale

If it can be ran on a belt, it can give you a weight of total production within a given period of time.

The flow scale is not dependent on spacing, nor does it care if the conveyor is empty for a period of time.

A true flow scale takes weighments at regular intervals, accumulating the weight to give you a total weight reading at any point you need it.

The flow scale is a versatile scale that is extremely reliable.  It can replace stations where you have people gathering static weights for production totals.

It can provide you with accumulated weights to control product movement. It can give you an accurate weight within <0.5% of a total run of product.

These Belt Scales are being used today in a number of different applications.

Do your homework, check out what is available for your specific application and then spend some time thinking about savings and better product control!

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Jan 7, 2013

Box Indexing Conveyor Systems

The role that indexing plays in maximizing your plant’s throughput can hardly be overstated.

Without proper spacing of products on an in-line conveyor scale, weighments will not be accurate because more than one product could be on the live section of the scale at the same time.

indexing conveyor

Box Indexing Conveyor

But to rely on an operator or production rates to create enough space between boxes or cases is in actuality depending on luck.

It is only a matter of time before your luck will run out.

The approach we take when Indexing for Box Merging or for Automatic Case Labeling applications is to place a photo eye just ahead of a box stop to sense the arrival of a box or a case.

This box stop section consists of a powered section on the conveyor with roller top belting that drops down to hold back the boxes.

The roller top belting helps prevent damage to the box bottom by greatly reducing the amount of friction applied to the box bottom.

At a settable time or length interval, the Indexer rises, allowing a box to progress down the line.

Our preferred method of restarting boxes down the line is through the use of a speed up roller to help pull a gap.

speed up roller uses friction belt and runs at a faster rate of speed than the In-feed conveyor.

As soon as a box reaches the midway point over the stop, the indexer drops again to detain the trailing box or boxes.

Drop down indexer

Drop Down Box Indexer

This process continues unless box spacing is great enough that detaining a box is not necessary.

An indexer puts you in control of the vital function of proper spacing of your products, while eliminating the labor expense associated with staffing someone to perform this function.

Rather than slowing down your process, proper indexing helps ensure that you are getting the most throughput possible.

Box Converging Conveyor

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Jan 6, 2013

The Patented Transition Rail: Speed & Sensitivity In Monorail Scales

There is a reason that our High Accuracy In-Motion Monorail scale gives you more capacity, faster chain speeds, AND the smallest division size available!

This amazing performance is made possible by the patented transition rail. (US: RE 38,233E / CA: 2229237)

When the live section of an in-motion monorail scale is shock-loaded, vibration is sent through the entire scale system.

To visualize this phenomenon think of what happens when you first jump onto a trampoline. Your body shock-loaded the trampoline and the resulting oscillation requires time to settle down.

That is essentially what happens when a trolley suddenly rolls from a dead rail directly onto the live section of a scale.

Although it is not visible to the human eye, the trolley wheel “bounces” as it rolls along the live rail, sending an oscillating signal to the weight indicator.

in motion monorail scale

High Accuracy In-motion Monorail Scale

All that vibration greatly shortens the available weighment averaging time and also increases the amount of filtering required to give a weight reading.

Learn how our patented transition rail can increase your profitability!

Our patented transition rail eliminates most of that loading vibration, greatly increasing the amount of space available for weighment averaging without filtering.  Less filtering and more time for averaging results in faster chain speeds (up to 2,150 drafts per hour) and more precision (0.2 lb increments compared to 0.5 lb for most competitors’ systems).

Take all that performance and add stainless steel construction, sealed load cells enclosed in a steel tube to repel moisture, and you’ve got an in-motion monorail scale that is designed and built to give you years of reliable service!

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