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Article | December 31, 2001
Bottling built for the future (sidebar)
Descon Conveyor Systems and Consultants (Newmarket Ontario Canada) manufactured the air conveyor that takes LeNature’s bottles from bulk depalletizing down to filling. Elsewhere in the line various belt and roller conveyors were made by Hytrol (Jonesboro AR). Near the end of the line is a powered roller conveyor from Busse (Randolph WI) followed by a hydraulic pallet lift from Advance Lifts (St. Charles IL) that lifts full pallets about three feet up to the level of the warehouse floor. Last but not least in the conveyor configuration is Busse’s sister company Arrowhead Systems (Oshkosh WI) which supplied all tabletop and matte-top conveyor segments in the line. That includes a pressure-less lane combiner which single files empty bottles into the air conveyor and a rinser/lowerator.
Arrowhead also was responsible as controls integrator on the line for knitting the many pieces of the line together. Each major piece of equipment is controlled by its own PLC. But machines all up and down the line communicate freely among each other along an Allen-Bradley Data Highway Plus® network from Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee WI). Because upstream equipment “knows” the operating status of equipment downstream machine speeds are automatically ramped up or down not independently but according to overall line conditions and requirements.
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