Beverage Industry

Moving Right Along

November 1, 2006

Moving Right Along

By JENNIFER ZEGLER

The newest in conveyors advance more than just products on the line

Today’s global marketplace requires reliability, durability and flexibility from its equipment. The newest in conveyors fit that bill. From durable base materials to small-footprint machines, the most recent models exist to move products right along.
Base materials
Innovations in conveyors start at the base with advances in materials. Intralox, Harahan, La., released the new Series 1900 Flush Edge Raised Rib belt for pasteurized returnable glass applications in the brewery industry. The raised rib belt is made of Enduralox polypropylene material to slow down changes caused by chemical processes in pasteurizers.
Adding to its extensive lineup of conveyor chains, Rexnord FlatTop, Grafton, Wis., launched the new Wear Resistant (WX) and Platinum Series (PS) chain materials. Its WX chain material is formulated to handle tough applications such as glass bottles. The company also introduced the PS line, which was designed to accommodate the increasing speeds used on filling lines.
In addition, the company offers a roller upgrade system for case handling conveyors. With the system, a facility can upgrade its case handling productivity by switching from rollers to Rexnord MatTop or TableTop chains. The change can reduce product damage as well as increase line efficiency and flexibility, the company says.
Intralox also has roller innovations with its new Series 400 Angled Roller belt, which is licensed by Hartness International, Greenville, S.C. The angled rollers accurately control the movement of cases with greater precision, higher efficiency and in less space than traditional case handling solutions.
Finished products
Maximizing space is a concern in some facilities and new conveyors are taking that into account. Efficient use of floor space was one of the key design goals for the patent-pending Nautilus Conveyor by Arrowhead Systems, Oshkosh, Wis. The conveyor, which uses Rexnord chains, has first-in/first-out capability for accessibility, constantly adjusting buffer and few motors for low energy consumption.
Hartness Conveyor Systems offers several innovations and flexibility to bottle and case conveyance, says Scott Smith, vice president of sales and marketing. The company offers its own low back pressure case conveyor in addition to licensed products. The company-manufactured model is a pop-up style conveyor using a counterweighted actuator that engages a proximity switch instead of photo eyes.
For some, the only way to conserve space is to build up with new elevating conveyors. AmbaFlex, Bedford, Texas, has several models for beverages, including the SpiralVeyor SVM. This model is designed for bottling and canning facilities, and can accommodate a single lane to a mass flow of products.
From Ryson International Inc., Yorktown, Va., are the new Mass Flow Spirals, designed to handle full and empty bottle or cans. The spirals have a compact footprint to provide space savings in addition to quiet drive motors and 24/7 operability.
Offering both up and down options, Hartness Elevator and Lowerator systems can move a mass flow of bottles or cases in a compact footprint with low belt tension, Smith explains. The systems incorporate Intralox’s Series 2600 1:1 Side Flexing Belt for a compact turning radius.
Accessories
To help facilitate the design of new plants or lines, Rexnord created the interactive, downloadable 3D Powered Design. At its Web site, rexnord.com, customers can search, view and download three-dimensional or two-dimensional product images of its lines. The images can be downloaded directly into a CAD program to aid design.