In another area of Sanford’s Bellwood IL facility another Alloyd (De Kalb IL) Model 8SC1616 eight-station automatic heat seal machine is at work in a cell operation. Installed in December 1998 this double-line packaging operation assembles the ‘2000’ line of products—including Major Accent® highlighters and Expo® dry-erase markers—inline then feeds them via conveyor to one of two packaging stations. Multiple colors can be run at once.
On the first line a 12-lane reversible conveyor sends markers to a pick-and-place machine and blister card heat seal machine identical to those on the Sharpie® line. These machines package one- two- or four-pen blister packs in multiple colors at rates up to 240 markers/min. Sealed blister packs travel along a conveyor to a collator then to a cartoner. Alloyd supplies all the machinery. Finally a 3M (St. Paul MN) case sealer tapes the cartons shut and they are ready to be palletized.
Line #2 packs four pens into chipboard cartons beginning with the same 12-lane conveyor. The conveyor leads markers to a pick-and-place unit both of which come from PMI Cartoning. Cartons are filled with four markers each. Then cartons are collated and case packed by Edson (Hamilton Ontario Canada) equipment at a rate of 4 cases/min. At this stage however both lines can only run simultaneously when the chipboard carton line is hand-fed.