At its booth in the South Hall, HSA USA introduced an automated vertical feeding system designed to feed difficult-to-handle bags and pouches for conveyance to downstream labelers and printers. The system can handle zippered pouches and bags, coffee bags, foil pouches, gusseted bags, and auto-bottom cartons. According to HSA, the feeder is ideal for short runs and frequent changeovers.
The system comes standard with a 3-ft bulk-load infeed conveyor. The bags are advanced to the pick and place automatically, where they are picked one at a time and placed on the pusher transfer system. The bag/pouch aligns while being pushed onto the labeling or printing conveyor. The system is fully adjustable for a variety of pouches and bags. Loading new pouches can be done while the machine is running, with no need to stop—in fact, the system is designed for non-stop operation 24/7.
As HSA enumerated, the vertical feeding system features a user-friendly design that requires minimal maintenance, a PLC that controls the system and provides stored recipes and product counts, and a pick verification system comprising an infeed conveyor that advances until a bag is detected—if a bag is not detected, the conveyor times out and alerts the operator. The standard machine can accept pouches and bags from 3 x 5 to 10 x 13½ in. at speeds to 60 cycles/min.
Said HSA, the system is similar to a reciprocating placer, but the design of the vertical feeding system allows it to move the infeed conveyor in/out for smaller or larger bags, shortening the stroke length and enabling the machine to operate faster. The bags and pouches are placed at the same location no matter the length. The system can be configured to place bags and pouches onto a moving conveyor that is 90 deg to the placement.
Other equipment from HSA includes downstream labelers, ink-jet printers, thermal transfer overprinters, inspection systems, reject systems, and shingling conveyors. It also offers horizontal feeding systems where the bags/pouches lay flat. This machine is designed for bags that cannot stand on edge because they are large, odd shaped, or very thin.