Dakota Growers Pasta Co.'s Carrington ND production plant doubled its pasta-making capacity to 240 million lb/yr early this year with the addition of a new Multi-Axis Conveying system. It transports more than 300 different SKUs of "long goods" in buckets from processing to three form/fill/seal machines (two vertical one horizontal). "This addition represented a substantial change for us" notes David Tressler plant superintendent for the growers cooperative. "It's the second material handling system we've put in and it helps us meet increased product demand by providing the critical link in moving product to our various packaging machines." The first system for long goods was added when the Carrington facility opened in late '93 (see Packaging World Jan. '95 p. 22). Each Pasta Elecon® system which measures approximately 400 linear feet is made by Gough Econ (Charlotte NC). The systems are customized for Dakota Growers to carry long goods vertically horizontally and around numerous bends. Among the key components that make this possible are bearings that measure 1/2" long with a 9/16" outside dia and a 7/16" inside dia. Small as they are they make a big impact in the system's ability to transport product. The Pasta Elecon system includes a frame with two tracks somewhat like that of a roller coaster. Pasta-carrying buckets are attached to chain and rollers on both sides of the frame. The injection-molded plastic buckets are mounted to metal spindles that are attached to rollers. These rollers must ride freely along the frame. Bearings are critical in allowing that to happen.