Carton control is the key

This California tea producer needed to run multiple flavors from four cartoners to one case packer simultaneously and quickly in limited space without damaging the product.

A series of pneumatic stops, escapements, and right-angle pushers ensure that cartons are released onto the trunk line at the right time.
A series of pneumatic stops, escapements, and right-angle pushers ensure that cartons are released onto the trunk line at the right time.

Family owned and operated, Yamamotoyama was founded in Tokyo in 1690. Since that time the company has expanded its operations around the globe while staying current with modern manufacturing methods.

Today, the company remains family owned and continues to specialize in manufacturing green tea and nori seaweed.

Recently, Yamamotoyama of America was seeking to improve its Pomona, CA, production operations to achieve greater productivity and flexibility in producing multiple products. The facility operates multiple IMA tea bag manufacturing and cartoning machines, each of which can produce 300 tea bags (which is 18 full cartons of tea bags) per minute.

Once cartons are produced, the next step in the process is packing the full tea cartons into shipper cases, then labeling the cases and palletizing them for shipment. As management at Yamamotoyama planned to expand production, they needed to add one more IMA automated case packer. A carton delivery conveyor system from four tea cartoners to the case packers was needed, with the ability to organize multiple flavors to the case packers in the proper groupings of 12 cartons of flavor A, 12 of flavor B, 12 of flavor C, and 12 of flavor D.

The solution the firm implemented was designed and integrated by TransAutomation Technologies. Essential from a hardware perspective is a network of VarioFlow flexible, modular, plastic chain conveyors from Bosch Rexroth. As a member of the Bosch Rexroth ProBuilder network, TransAutomation Technologies was plenty familiar with what the VarioFlow conveyors can bring to the table. Daniel Goldstein, COO of Yamamotoyama of America, was confident in the solution that TransAutomation was proposing. “We needed the system to be locally supported, and we were confident in the fact that the system would be built and completely integrated by the local ProBuilder,” says Goldstein.

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