Spotlight on ... Conveyors and Sorters
Here are some recent product announcements that have crossed our editors' desks.
Conveyor for sanitary applications: Dorner has redesigned its AquaGard 7350 V2 series conveyor (shown above) to enhance safety and performance.
The AquaGard 7350 V2 is built for sanitary applications within the baking, snack food, pharmaceutical, pet food, packaging, and other industries that require occasional wipe-down cleanings of the conveyor. The new conveyor comes in straight belt and modular belt straight and curve models.
The modular belt conveyor system is designed to maximize available plant space by keeping the footprint as compact as possible. Infeed and outfeed sections are a compact 18 inches.
The conveyor comes with an improved tail design for drive support. The addition of a tip-up tail on the modular belt (straight) gives greater access inside the conveyor for cleaning. (Dorner)
Powered and non-powered turntables: Industrial equipment manufacturer Lewco now offers a complete line of conveyor turntables. Turntables provide a method of rotating unit loads when material lines intersect or change directions. Unlike chain-transfer devices, they maintain product orientation through an intersection. They can also be used to reverse the orientation of a product or allow a pass-through, depending on application requirements.
Lewco's turntable line includes eight models, six non-powered and two powered. The non-powered models include the LPT and NPT, which can be used for loading or unloading pallets, tote pans, and boxes; the LPTG19 and LPTG25 heavy-duty turntables, which feature gravity-roller tops and concave transition sections that can be used in a pass-through conveyor line; and the NPTG19 and NPTG25 gravity-conveyor turntables, which provide a transition that can be used in a pass-through conveyor line. With the latter four models, the transition section can be reconfigured to make 90-degree turns at the intersection of two gravity-conveyor lines.
The company's turntable lineup also includes two powered models, PP90 and PP360, which Lewco says are ideal for heavy-duty applications requiring powered versus manual rotation. Both models can be fitted with various styles of powered conveyor, such as multi-strand chain or chain-driven live roller, to convey material on and off the turntable. (Lewco)
Sanitary conveyors: Packaging machinery manufacturer Deitz Co. has introduced modular food-grade conveyors designed to promote complete cleaning with no disassembly required. The food-grade conveyors set a dust-resistant, acetal tabletop chain belt a full 1.5 inches above the conveyor body to allow full access to the stainless-steel structure and to both sides of the plastic belting, while the variable-speed motor is mounted safely underneath the conveyor and away from the product. Ideal for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and other facilities, the unit allows for quick manual wipe-downs to minimize sanitation cycle time, withstands automated washdowns, and supports overall line uptime with virtually zero maintenance, the company says.
Designed for easy integration with filling and packaging machinery from any manufacturer, the modular conveyors are available in variable lengths from six to 30 feet or more for easy lengthening or shortening after installation, are height-adjustable, and include casters as standard for easy movement. Dual rails included on both sides may be adjusted in opening, height, and shape, while their industry-standard mounting hardware permits easy expansion or addition of reject stations, spacing wheels, and powered transfers such as turntables and bottomless conveyors. (Deitz Co. Inc.)
Conveyor drive technology: Lenze Americas, a manufacturer of electrical and mechanical drives, motion control systems, and automation technologies, has introduced drive technology for horizontal conveying. Conveyor applications have to perform diverse tasks, which places entirely different demands on the drive technology. The amount of torque required changes as a load travels on the conveyor. Lenze's fully integrated solution features a dedicated electronic control unit, providing up to four times the nominal torque during acceleration and alignment, the company says. The drive can be sized based on the required power during constant operation. (Lenze Americas)
Sorting conveyor: Eaglestone Equipment, a custom design and manufacturing company in the food-processing conveyor industry, has unveiled its Series 2300 large-volume sorting conveyor, which is designed to improve the efficiency of distribution operations. Sorting conveyors push or divert specific products from one conveyor line to specific totes or boxes, boosting an operation's shipping accuracy and speed. According to the company, the Series 2300 reduces sorting time and manpower by requiring only one operator for the entire process.
Adjustable-speed pneumatic sorting arms automatically divert products into waiting containers and shift to a different receptacle when previous cartons are full. Bright LED lights indicate when each container is near full or completely full. The Series 2300 easily sorts both random- and single-product production batches through the use of eye-safe infrared scanners, which identify bar codes.
The Series 2300 offers numerous options to match each individual application. These options include retracting ends, diverting chutes, blast gates, push-offs, and stainless steel casters. The unit comes standard with a modular plastic belt; other belt options, such as fabric and urethane, are available. (Eaglestone Equipment)
Sliding-shoe sorter: Netherlands-based VanRiet Material Handling Systems, a manufacturer of automatic transport and sorting solutions, has unveiled its improved HC Sorter. The sliding-shoe sorter is optimized to U.S. specifications but is also available in the existing configuration. Two important improvements are the single-sided shoes and the electric divert switch.
The HC Sorter has a closed deck that ensures no dirt or pieces of cardboard get stuck inside the sorter. The deck also results in low noise and promotes safe working conditions for warehouse staff, the company says. Product can be sorted at speeds of up to 9.84 feet (three meters) per second.
The HC Sorter can sort everything from small and thin products like mobile phones and polybags to large packages weighing up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms), according to the manufacturer. (VanRiet)
Flat belts: Dura-Belt, a fabricator of polyurethane belting for conveyor belts, says its stretchy elastic flat belts now come with a new matte surface that shuns dust, giving them a higher coefficient of friction (COF) even in dusty environments, while allowing the belts to move boxes and paper bubble envelopes on inclines and declines of up to 16 degrees, 33 percent greater than the company's older version. These elastic belts move heavy boxes and require no belt tensioners or V-guides. (Dura-Belt)
Zone-powered conveyor: Avancon has introduced its ZPC (Zone Powered Conveyor)-System, which works in zones with full zero-pressure functionality. Designed for use in warehouses and distribution centers, it transports cartons, boxes, trays, totes, bags, solar cells or panels, and furniture.
Avancon's omnidirectional transfer units provide a smooth and fast transfer where the box has to be diverted or transferred to another conveyor line or around a corner. The modular ZPC-System can be easily extended. The system also includes built-in safety features. The drive system and control system are protected inside the conveyor frame, eliminating the need for finger protection for each driven conveyor-roller. Nothing sticks out of the conveyor, not even a screw-head. Operators can work freely around the conveyor lines, which are designed to be smooth and streamlined with their aluminum anodized profiles.
The system also includes a looping feature. When a specific picking zone is full, the next box goes automatically around the loop and will try to enter the same zone later when free space is available.
The ZPC-System features a "plug-in" concept for fast installation, meaning the installation is automatically established simultaneously with the electrical connection, which includes the data exchange. All modules are pre-assembled, pre-programmed, and tested before shipping from the factory in Switzerland. (Avancon)
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