Instead of having the markers loaded into bins Sanford can direct them from the clip conveyor to an integrated cartoner. The cartoner feeds a case packer both from PMI Cartoning. Engineering manager Marc Colavitti says that demand has been so high for blister packs that the output on the line thus far has been entirely into bulk bins. Although Sanford has only made test runs of the cartoner early in the project Colavitti expects cartoning to become a regular function sometime around mid-’01.
At the point where the clip conveyor makes about a 200° clockwise turn to the bulk loading station markers destined for cartoning are removed by the same type of mechanism for bulk loading: a pair of interconnected pneumatic levers. Markers drop directly into an infeed flight to the PMI indexing cartoner.
Carton blanks are erected and loaded with 12 markers and tucked without glue or tape. Cartons are conveyed around a U-bend to the PMI case packer that loads cartons into shipping cases in a 12 x 6 pack pattern and glue seals them closed.
Colavitti strongly prefers glue application rather than tape sealing for cases. “Glue is good news for distribution” says Colavitti. “With tape you can end up with pieces tangling on conveyors or wrapping around a sensor. Glue also provides an extremely clean exterior for labeling.” Gluing is done by a hot melt applicator from Nordson (Duluth GA).