Replacing Belt Conveyors with Vibratory Conveyors.
A leading supplier of fresh salad needed to replace an existing system of a belt conveyors feeding tippers and feeding 11 multihead weighers. The belt concept was unproductive and not feeding the weigher efficiently by dumping a mass product onto the weighers which resulted in large amounts of spillage and wastage. The QA department equated that total loss was the equivalent of 1 of the 12 lines total throughput.
The current belt conveyor system had issues around hygiene as it had mechanically driven motors with oiled filled gear boxes which was a contamination risk. As with all belt conveyors the maintenance costs were high due to having to replace the bearings, belts and motors. This had to change.
An added boost to their efficiency was the inbuilt Cox and Plant synchronisation software which uses parent and child logic to ensure a constant regulated and evenly distributed product stream to the multihead weigher.
After critically appraising with the client we looked at the pros and cons of using vibratory conveyors versus belt conveyors.
Having carried out a full site survey we presented our fact finding mission and analysed the data. From this we proposed the best value solution for them would be:
Customised metering conveyor with buffer hopper
- Bin tipper to stage tip the euro bin (300 litres) into our metering conveyor, which then allows the product to meter out to a mono layer of product ready for the next stage of packing equipment
Customised cross head feeder to feed the multihead weigher
- This conveyed the product from the metering conveyor over the transfer point to feed the weigher with spherical discharge point to fully utilise the weigher dispersion plate
Customised common support stand
- This housed both conveyors on one frame, positioned between the bin tipper and the multihead weigher alleviating a sea of legs
All the conveyors were supplied with a hygienic design and with a castellated sub frame assembly. They were built with rigidised grade 316 litre tray material and fully constructed using stainless steel. As our vibratory conveyors use electromagnetic coil drive (IP67), removing the need for any mechanical drives (which are maintenance heavy) and they are suitable for heavy wash down environments. This also minimised maintenance costs and reduced the electrical duty needed.
We dramatically reduced the product wastage as our system utilised the full tray width and maintained the required throughput with a fully flexible variable speed control and 0 – 8mm amplitude working in tandem with the multihead weighers demands.
The start/stop synchronisation software harmonised with the weigher feed / call rate to produce optimum results by alleviating any starvation on the weigher.