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Article | October 31, 1998
Jar line is a royal flush (sidebar)
Drop packer provides smooth operation
One thing that Bob LaJoice packaging engineer at Universal Foods learned from this project is that drop packers have come a long way from what he'd been used to.
"Having spent thirteen years of my career in the beer business I know what high-speed packaging is and I thought I knew what drop packers were like-all mechanical jamming all the time just a mess."
Not so with Universal's new drop packer from Hamrick (Mogadore OH). "It's highly electronic and there are many electronic safeguards" says LaJoice. "If boxes aren't there to meet up with the jars it will shut down. If the jars aren't filling the three side-by-side lanes to collate the jars for the packaging it will not run. The speed of jars the proper infeed of cases the proper positioning of those items in the machine all of that is monitored and controlled. Rather than continue and jam it will just stop."
The packer places 12 jars into a case three lanes of four jars apiece. When the proper number of jars accumulates on the case packer's infeed conveyor the jars drop down through centering fingers that guide jars into the waiting case below. Next a flap-closing mechanism closes the top flaps in preparation for automatic sealing via p-s tape. The bottoms of the reshippers are already glued.
LaJoice concludes: "I was quite impressed with that degree of sophistication and the compactness of the unit. And Hamrick made the flap-closing unit. That itself is quite impressive also." Total cost for the whole machine including the flap closer was about $35 says LaJoice. "This is a lot of equipment for the money" he says.
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