Conveyor Technologies Unleashed

Integrating eight conveyor components creates case-packing area.

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It was a no-brainer for a prominent Midwest food producer to ask Multi-Conveyor (Booth C-2300) to build a semi-automatic case-packing
operation for a plant expansion.
Why? Because only a handful of companies are equipped to produce custom-designed conveyors to spec, meeting the package variability, speed, changeover and floor space limitations required. The fact is, this particular dairy manufacturer has been relying on Multi-Conveyor for years.

The new line called for empty boxes to discharge from an existing case erector onto single-lane conveyance to travel to a bi-level staging and packing station. The empty cases single-file through two space-saving 90-degree curves. A photoeye sensor works in tandem with a pneumatic stop-clamp to halt cases at the manual-pack operator’s command. The cases then seamlessly transition onto a non-powered roller section to be manually filled.An array of integrated conveyor components brings bagged product and cases together at an ergonomic, semi-automatic case-packing station.An array of integrated conveyor components brings bagged product and cases together at an ergonomic, semi-automatic case-packing station.Show Daily

Meanwhile, a product-loaded, continually moving, single-lane conveyor carries sealed bags to the hand-pack area, which is fed from an existing conveyor. The product arrives on a parallel bi-level conveyor that resides just above the roller section. At the point where the product and box conveyors meet, an operator manually loads product into the corrugated cases, which are perfectly positioned on the
non-powered roller section.

The shelving and bi-level sections were built at “standing height” for case packing. Conveyor speeds are adjustable but set to comply with package/min. rates and human packing ability.

A series of stainless steel collection totes were mounted to end-transfer product that may accumulate during the manual packing process. Or, to catch rejected, overrun product. Both shelves are emptied of excess product, which is inspected for reintroduction to the line or repurposing. This exercise alleviates waste at the highest levels while maximizing production output.

Once cases are filled, the operator manually sweeps the open-top filled cases onto an ARB (activated roller belt) conveyor section with a removable, simplistic bump-turn post. The bump turn is used to rotate filled cases 90 degrees for alignment to the customer’s existing case sealer. Product changeover for various size cases allows the operator to remove or replace the bump turn post in seconds. Angled roller belts facilitate the case-turning process.

The entire stainless-steel-constructed line meets the customer’s required sanitary and safety criteria. “Multi-Conveyor excels in agency compliance, giving customers peace of mind when it comes to regulatory conformity,” notes Cheryl Miller, director of Marketing at Multi-Conveyor.

To recap, the line has a total of eight conveyor features in one system:

  • Two independently powered single-lane conveyors
  • Two 90-degree curved chain sections
  • Non-powered roller section
  • Bi-level hand-pack station
  • Photoeyes to sense product cases
  • Pneumatic clamp to control case traffic
  • Removable bump case turner
  • Activated roller belting.

“For the end user, it was a one-stop conveyor manufacturing and purchasing experience,” reflects Miller. “Many of these technologies can be seen live at our booth here, including the single filer, curves, bump turn and activated roller belting.”
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