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Vitamin maker counts on electronic filler

Steady sales growth at Jamieson Laboratories made it obvious that a new vitamin packaging line was needed. Electronic tablet counting brings big benefits.
The electronic tablet counter (above) is a twin-style system that funnels tablets down two parallel paths and into containers. AThe electronic tablet counter (above) is a twin-style system that funnels tablets down two parallel paths and into containers. AThe labeler is versatile enough to handle squared-off PET bottles or round HDPE bottles like the one shown here.Bottles enter the line by way of this unscrambler. A short distance later, a diverter sends bottles down both sides of a lane diThe infeed section of the L-sealer has an automatic swing gate that channels bottles into three lanes.

A brand new filling line anchored by an electronic tablet counter is among the recent developments at the Windsor, Ontario, facility of Toronto-based Jamieson Laboratories.

Jamieson is the largest manufacturer and marketer of vitamins and nutritional supplements in Canada. Installed in April, the new equipment replaces an older line that included a slat counter rather than an electronic counter. The new tablet counter has added a welcome measure of flexibility to Jamieson’s manufacturing process.

“We looked at both slat and electronic counters, and we quickly realized that because we do so many different tablets and capsules, the electronic counter would suit us better,” says facility manager Ken Cook. “Slat counters would require a new set of slats for each different tablet. I know some companies that carry as much as a million and a half dollars in slats just to handle all their tablet varieties. An electronic counter, on the other hand, doesn’t require those parts, nor do you have to spend time changing or cleaning them.”

Available for about the last 10 years, electronic counters rely on scanners to count each tablet as it drops from a multichannel vibratory pan. When the appropriate number has dropped from the pan into a chute, additional tablets are blocked from the chute until it discharges its load of tablets. As this takes place, counting continues unabated. As soon as the chute is empty, the next load of tablets is allowed in.

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