How Morrison Container Handling Solutions, SaniLux Teamed Up to Fight COVID-19

Pioneer Tank & Vessel Opens SaniLux to Produce Sanitizer Using Custom Rebuilt 1970’s Pfaulder Bottle Filler.

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Manufacturing ingenuity and flexibility has never been more important due to the tremendous immediate need to produce COVID-19 virus fighting products. Morrison Container Handling Solution’s dedication to support this fight has resulted in their working with many different manufacturers of virus fighting products to help them quickly increase their efficiency or to help transition to new production. In one recent example Morrison Container Handling Solutions supported SaniLux, in their redesign of a retro-style filler, for their new line of hand sanitizers.

SaniLux was born in March from the team behind the craft beer industry solutions business Pioneer Tank & Vessel. James Esposito and Kevin McDowell (Founders of SaniLux) and their team at Pioneer wanted to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Pairing their equipment design knowledge with the downturn in beer equipment demand, they shifted their efforts to build this new company to help address the shortage of hand sanitizer.

“When we started producing SaniLux, we hired a mobile bottling contractor, but his equipment was for wine and used a gravity feed system that didn’t work well with the viscous nature of our hand sanitizer,” Kevin McDowell, general manager of SaniLux said. “We tried thinning it out and heating it up, but after three days, the contractor didn’t come back, and we were forced into hand filling bottles.”

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Needing a more reliable, automated solution, but not having a large amount of capital as a new brand, SaniLux purchased a “vintage” ‘70s Pfaulder Rotary Bottle Filler.  It had been restored in the 1980’s to be used to fill salad dressing and sat unused for nearly a decade and needed some serious work.

Digging in and providing a lot of TLC, Kevin drew upon his love for restoring old equipment and began fabricating various parts when he wasn’t able to find what he needed in the marketplace.

“I made a personal attachment to the piece,” McDowell said. “It’s one year older than me, and we bonded. Pulling the machine apart, inspecting every seal and bearing – it led me on a journey of fascination. Being an equipment designer, I’m intrigued with equipment built before CAD and endless internet suppliers.”

When it came to the timing screw, he knew he needed expert advice.  Timing screws are a unique container handling solution that moves the container for a variety of manufacturing applications, including indexing, filling, metering, capping, and more, by precisely positioning rigid and semi-rigid containers every time.

McDowell contacted Morrison Container Handling Solutions, “Not only did they know exactly what we needed, but they expedited our order, at no up-charge, for an urgent need during a national crisis,” says McDowell. “Bob Hansen, their local sales manager, came out and took precise measurements, and within one week, we had our screw that dropped right in and worked on the first try.”

True to form, having the right timing screw enabled the team at SaniLux to build the rest of the machine and make it capable of running 126 bottles a minute, much quicker than the intensive hand filling process they used before.

“When COVID-19 changed our way of life, we made a quick decision to expedite the production of orders for all COVID-19 related products waiving the normal expediting fee,” Nancy Wilson, CEO of Morrison Container Handling Solutions said. “It’s just the right thing to do, and with so many companies like Pioneer Tank and Vessel converting to do things like SaniLux, it was important to make them successful as quickly as possible.”

The combination of right machinery, right timing screw, and heart brought back to life a retro piece of equipment that is producing products consumers can use to fight COVID-19.

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“The restoration is not just a passion project, but also a statement that aligns with the values of our company to reuse, recycle, buy local, and support U.S. made products,” McDowell said.

This dedication is found down to every last detail of the product, even using an expensive, heavy to ship glass container as it encourages refilling instead of disposal.

“This is an analog machine in a digital world,” McDowell said, and it’s safe to say it’s been a labor of love for the team at SaniLux.

Working together, Morrison was able to support SaniLux’s commitment to get necessary products to fight an international pandemic into the marketplace quicker.

“As manufacturers, we have a responsibility and opportunity to make the world a better place,” Wilson said. “By working with companies like SaniLux that are dedicated to the right missions, we can fight the pandemic together and leave our communities better off than when we all started.”

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