Easy communication and dosing

Vacuum Barrier Corp. added the EasyDose G2 Lite to its Nitrodose portfolio of liquid nitrogen injection systems. The EasyDose G2 Lite has a simplified design and incorporates user-friendly universal language symbols, the company says.  The system is designed to discrete dose up to
450 containers a minute but also offers single-dose capability lab testing, it says. It also features a National Electrical Manufacturers Association stainless-steel control panel, automatic synchronization, a no container/no dose function, self-monitoring with alarm outputs, and optional clean-in-place protection.

Vacuum Barrier Corp., 4 Barten Lane, Woburn, Mass. 01801; 781/933-3570; vacuumbarrier.com.


Efficient mixing every time

Designed for automatic ingredient additions and high-speed mixing, Charles Ross & Son Co.’s Solids/Liquid Injection Manifold (SLIM) Mixer can cut process times by 80 percent or more compared with traditional batch mixing, according to the company. A programmable logic controller recipe control panel incorporates flow meters, load cells, solenoid valves, level sensors and thermocouples for automated processing. In this way, each ingredient addition and each step in the mix, drain and clean cycles are pre-programmed so that mixer speed, mixing time, temperature, composition and batch weight are accurately replicated and recorded in every run, it says. The SLIM Mixer works by pumping liquid from the tank while simultaneously drawing powders from a stainless steel hopper. As the liquid stream enters the rotor/stator assembly, it immediately encounters the powder injection at the high-shear zone. The resulting mixture is expelled through the stator openings at high velocity and recirculated back into the tank. In just a few short turnovers, solids are completely dissolved or brought down to the desired particle size. Plus, by introducing solids sub-surface where they are instantly subjected to vigorous agitation, issues like floating powders, excessive dusting and formation of agglomerates are eliminated, it adds.

Charles Ross & Son Co., 710 Old Willets Path, Hauppauge, N.Y. 11788; 800/243-7677; mixers.com.


Handling third-party logistics

Softeon offers multiple solutions for helping third-party logistics (3PL) companies improve their performance. For example, Softeon’s Powerful Billing Management solution enables 3PL companies to account for and accurately charge clients for distribution-related services, the company says. The company also offers its Traditional Order Management capabilities, which can help 3PL companies take on more order processing responsibilities for their clients, it says. In addition, the Powerful Distributed Order Management (DOM) system enables 3PL companies to provide fulfillment optimization for their clients by intelligently selecting the optimal fulfillment point based on inventory, cost, service requirements, and other factors, it explains. The new Freight Audit and Payment module, along with Softeon’s Transportation Management System, helps consolidate shipments across clients and includes both a “buy” and “sell” view of each transaction, helping 3PL companies to allocate transportation costs to specific clients and products for more efficient operation. To manage a company’s manpower and resources, Softeon’s Robust Labor and Resource Management capabilities enable labor planning and reporting by individual client. Finally, the new Softeon Warehouse Management System (WMS) Cloud gives 3PL companies the ability to quickly and easily deploy WMS solutions to a wide range of industries across different levels of process complexity, it adds.  All of these solutions are collected on a single, completely integrated technology platform that can be run in the cloud or through traditional deployment. 

Softeon Inc., 11700 Plaza America Drive, Suite 910, Reston, Va. 20190; 703/793-0005; softeon.com.


Compact wine dispensing

Perlick launched its new Dual-Zone 36-inch wine dispensing and refrigeration center. The smaller model has been designed to fit under a typical bar and features side-mounted refrigeration to reduce cabinet depth. It also can dispense from four different one-sixth wine kegs, which can be stored in two different compartments that offer separate temperature controls within the range of 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This enables bar managers to store and dispense both red and white wines each at their optimal temperatures, the company says. When the unit is configured for storage, it can chill the wine to temperatures in the 34 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range. The system features 304 stainless steel components that protect the flavors of fine vintages, the company says. Like all of Perlick’s wine dispensing products, the Dual-Zone Wine Center is Winecertified, which is Perlick’s guarantee that it is manufactured to properly store and dispense wine. However, the Dual-Zone also can dispense an assortment of hard ciders, craft beers and mixed cocktails, the company adds.

Perlick Corp., 8300 W. Good Hope Road, Milwaukee, Wis. 53223; 800/558-5592; perlick.com.


Measuring the range

CO2 Meter offers a series of carbon dioxide and relative humidity/temperature (RH/T) gas analyzers and data loggers for measuring carbon dioxide in inaccessible areas in real time. The portfolio includes a range of three types of meters — 1 percent for enclosed environmental studies and for monitoring carbon dioxide uptake; 30 percent for measuring in incubators and during fermentation and curing processes, as well as for capnography; and 100 percent for fumigation and scientific tests of carbon dioxide purity, the company says. Each analyzer has a built-in battery-operated micro-pump with inlet and outlet ports. By connecting the included tubing to
both ports, users can sample up to
100 percent carbon dioxide in a closed system. The meters also include a leak-detect mode that makes a beeping noise and flashes the display when concentrations greater than the programmed level are sensed. These carbon dioxide analyzers also are compatible with CO2 Meter’s Gaslab software, which enables easy meter configuration, calibration, data collection and data exporting,
it adds.

CO2 Meter, 131 Business Center Drive, Building A, Unit 3, Ormond Beach, Fla. 32174; 386/310-4933; co2meter.com.


Flavored packaging

As a new way of adding flavor to a beverage, Groove Club LLC launched Flavor Ring, a process by which beverage manufacturers can infuse flavor into any beverage through the container. Through the Flavor Ring process, flavoring agents are applied to the container rim instead of added to the liquid itself. As the consumer drinks the beverage and makes contact with the package, Flavor Ring stimulates the consumer’s taste receptors to provide the flavor sensation, the company says. In this way, beer, carbonated soft drinks, tea and bottled water brands can add flavored SKUs to their portfolios by adjusting their packaging, rather than changing their beverage formulations, it adds. The patent-pending technology costs less than a penny a bottle, it adds.

Groove Club LLC, 552 Valleybrook Ave., Suite 1, Lyndhurst, N.J. 07071; 646/515-8902; flavorring.com.


Yielding yellow

Domino Printing Sciences plc created a new yellow ink for its A-Series range of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. The 2YL912 yellow ink is ideal for a wide range of challenging applications across a variety of sectors and remains highly reliable at temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the company says. “Our new ink provides superior performance on a wide range of substrates including [high-density polyethylene] (HDPE) and [low-density polyethylene] (LDPE),”said Nick Plaister, product manager for CIJ at Domino, in a statement. “Everyone knows that yellow ink in CIJ can be problematic, but we have used our knowledge and developed this new addition as a simple solution for coding onto dark or black surfaces. We expect it to be predominantly useful for personal care, food and beverage — where dark labels or glass are being used — as well as some industrial applications.”

Domino Printing Sciences plc, Trafalgar Way, Barr Hill, Cambridge, UK CB23 8TU; 011/44-19-5478-2551; domino-printing.com.


Automated crafting

Manitowoc Beverage Systems released its new Multiplex Manual Fill Blend-in-Cup System (BIC-MF), an automated and configurable system that can craft flavored drink products including ice, syrup and dairy-based recipes, such as fruit smoothies, frappes, blended ice drinks and flavor-over-ice drinks. The BIC-MF shaves and then dispenses cubed ice directly into 12- to 24-ounce serving cups while concurrently dispensing the dairy- or fruit-based liquids and any syrup flavorings directly into the same cup. In addition, the unit can add mix-ins such as cookie or candy bits during the product creation cycle for additional beverage customization. Once all ingredients are added, the cup then is transported to a mixing chamber where the blending shaft and blade are lowered into the cup to blend the drink. The system automatically ensures that the drink is rapidly blended without overflowing in approximately 40 seconds, the company says. For faster production, the system is designed to prepare as many as three different beverages simultaneously and includes eight flavor bins that can each hold one 2-gallon bag of beverage ingredients, it says. Because all of the mixing and blending occurs in the serving cup, fewer parts need cleaning and less waste is produced, it notes. Operators control the BIC-MF through a visual, icon-based control screen that prompts the user to select the type of drink and other customization options. To reduce the learning curve, the system also is designed to automatically mitigate entry errors to ensure proper beverage production. In addition, the system provides inventory and service feedback as well as data collection and offers step-by-step clean-in-place directions for easy sanitation, it adds.

Manitowoc Beverage Systems, 2100 Future Drive, Sellersburg, Ind. 47150; 812/246-7000; manitowocbeverage.com/us.


Guided performance

Yale Materials Handling Corp. partnered with Seegrid Corp. to create the Yale MO50T tow tractor guided by Seegrid. The visually guided tow tractor was designed to be simple to operate and does not require any additional infrastructure for navigation such as wires, laser targets or magnetic tape. An operator trains the vehicle by driving a desired route while programming selected behaviors. During training, the vision system captures images of the environment and compiles the images into a 3-D map for route navigation. The vehicle can learn and store up to 25 miles of routes, the companies say. Customers can use the Yale MO50T tow tractor guided by Seegrid to tow flatbed cars, trains or carts with payloads up to 10,000 pounds, they add.

Yale Materials Handling Corp., 1400 Sullivan Drive, Greenville, N.C. 27834; 252/931-5100; yale.com.


Shuttle storage

Intelligrated launched its Intelligrated OLS shuttle system, which is designed for operations with high-turn inventory storage and short order cycle times, the company says. The automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) system provides quick access to individual cartons, totes and trays in a minimal footprint for high-volume distribution, fulfillment and manufacturing environments, it says. It also can help with just-in-time inventory management as well as product sequencing and buffering to support mixed-unit load, full-case and break-pack order fulfillment, order consolidation, and route-based delivery. The scalable system design expands to meet storage and throughput requirements through additional racking height or shuttles. Intelligrated  also designs, integrates, controls, installs and commissions each OLS system and provides 24/7 after-sales service and support through its nationwide network of local support centers, customer service Dashboard incident and project tracking database, and OnTimeParts catalog.

Intelligrated, 7901 Innovation Way, Mason, Ohio 45040; 866/963-7300; intelligrated.com.


Quality control

Mettler Toledo CI-Vision developed a full-bottle inspection (FBI) system specifically for today’s high-speed beverage industry. The system inspects filled bottles at high production line speeds for proper fill level; cap position, including missing caps, misaligned caps, skewed caps, and under- or over-torqued caps; and tamper-band integrity. Defective bottles automatically are rejected, ensuring that only quality packaged products reach the consumer, helping to protect the brand image and avoid product recalls, retailer complaints and consumer harm down the line, the company says. The standardized design of the FBI system fits over an existing production line to integrate seamlessly into its layout, it says. Cameras and lights adjust for different package sizes, and an optional automatic height adjustment can help facilitate changeovers, it notes. The CI-Vision FBI system is simple to operate, enabling operators to set up inspections and perform automatic changeovers through a user-friendly touchscreen menu on the system’s human-machine interface. In addition, the system’s stainless steel frame stands up to washdowns and to an industrial environment, it adds.

Mettler-Toledo CI-Vision, 6005 Benjamin Road, Tampa, Fla. 33634; 813/889-9500; mt.com/pi.


Smooth handling

Emerson introduced its System Plast low-back-pressure accumulation belt, which is designed for gentle handling of PET bottles with petaloid bottoms, although it can be used for other packages as well, the company says. Consisting of half-inch acetal rollers, the conveyor surface is specifically designed to provide support and stability for PET bottles, it says. During operation, the conveyor surface provides forward movement of the product. During accumulation, the rollers continue to spin under the shrink-wrapped packs but do not push them forward, thus minimizing pressure on bottles at the head of the queue, preventing bottle damage and breakage, and eliminating the need for protective cardboard trays, it says. The belt can be coupled with the System Plast NG chain, which is a low-friction, flat-top conveyor chain that can reduce the amount of water-and-soap lubrication required in beverage handling. The NG chain also reduces costs and energy for water reclamation and eliminates the wear paste buildup, noise, pulsation and hygiene issues caused by mineral-oil-based dry lubricants, it adds.

Emerson, 8000 W. Florissant Ave., P.O. Box 4100, St. Louis, Mo. 63136; 314/553-2000; emerson.com.


Heightened security

Fortress Interlock’s new tGard range offers a different approach to controlling access to hazardous machinery and equipment, the company says. The compact, metal-bodied tGard systems can either be configured as separate devices or integrated into one device, and they can be completely customized to the needs of the end user. The range of tGard components includes safety switches, personnel keys, emergency stops and releases, push buttons, indicator lamps, and a choice of operating handles for both hinged and sliding guard doors. The required elements are user selected and then assembled into the housing for a custom system. The devices can be mounted directly onto flat surfaces, doors or extruded aluminum profiles without the need for mounting plates or brackets. They also are Ingress Protection 65 certified as standard and have been designed to be fully compliant with the latest machinery safety standards, the company adds.

Fortress Interlocks, 21 Kenton Lands Road, Erlanger, Ky. 41018; 859/578-2390; fortressinterlocks.com