Flexible packing

Douglas Machine’s new Vantra IM intermittent motion cartoner enables packers to setup, load and close cartons and trays at speeds as fast as 55 packs a minute within a single platform. The flexible machine can be integrated with various infeed options to gently handle cans, bottles, cartons, bags, flat-flow wrapped products and more, including applications requiring multiple manipulations, the company says. In addition, The Vantra IM is designed with a hygienic sheet metal frame and standoff bearing mounts to accommodate washdown requirements.

Douglas Machine Inc., 3404 Iowa St., Alexandria, Minn. 56308; 320/763-6587; douglas-machine.com.


Vision boost

Cognex Corp. released its PowerGrid technology, a texture-based location algorithm that takes an inside-out approach to reading 2-D matrix and Direct Part Mark (DPM) codes. Although conventional feature-based algorithms start by locating the finder pattern, Cognex’s PowerGrid technology, by comparison, looks for a pattern of alternating light and dark modules within the code, the company says. The new PowerGrid technology has been shown to increase read rates in 2-D barcode-reading applications where a part’s geometry, poor lighting, occlusion or print-registration errors make it difficult to capture an image of the entire code. Unlike previous solutions, PowerGrid technology can locate and read codes even when they exhibit significant damage to or complete elimination of the finder pattern, clocking pattern or quiet zone, it notes. PowerGrid technology now is available on the X models of the DataMan 300 series fixed-mount barcode readers.

Cognex Corp., 1 Vision Drive, Natick, Mass. 01760; 855/426-4639; cognex.com


More storage options

Liberty Technologies added the new HDX Storage Solution with EZ-Flow technology to its HDX family of high-density storage solutions. The new HDX-EZ incorporates EZ-Flow technology that allows for a wider variety of pallet sizes and weights in the same lane, the company says. The HDX family also is available in the HDX-PB push-back configuration, the HDX-CB controlled-brake configuration, and the standard HDX-GP with pneumatic breaking to safely secure unit loads, it adds. These machines apply pneumatic controls and deep-lane storage principles to design, build and retrofit material handling and storage systems for manufacturers and distributors. The OSHA-compliant systems also include lock-out/tag-out features for safety and offer superior first-in/first-out configurations and higher throughput than traditional storage systems, it says. Machine operation is activated and controlled by using barcode scanners, radio-control equipment or photo eyes and easily can be integrated with warehouse management and automated storage and retrieval systems.  

Liberty Technologies, a Millwood Inc. company, 3708 International Blvd., Vienna, Ohio 44473; 330/393-4400; libertytechnologies.com.


Stay in control

Sleeve Seal’s new SSL-600i vertical sleeve labeler includes new features that make it easy to operate and monitor. The system includes a built-in library of tutorial videos, exploded drawings, schematics with part numbers, and other references that all are accessible through the touchscreen PC. In addition, operators can watch the machine’s running conditions, which function at speeds as fast as 600 containers a minute using 25-micron film, on the machine’s overhead LCD panel.

Sleeve Seal, 3300 S. Woodrow St., Little Rock, Ark. 72204; 501/492-3893; sleeveseal.com.


Packed for craft

As an extension of its packaging equipment lines, Combi Packaging Systems introduced a complete secondary packaging line for bottles. The new lineup includes carrier formers, case and tray erectors, carrier inserters and case/tray packers that can be purchased as individual machines or pieces integrated into a complete bottling line. This line is especially suited for the craft beer market because it allows smaller breweries to start investing in basic automation and then add more pieces as their businesses grow, the company says.

Combi Packaging Systems LLC, 5365 East Center Drive N.E., Canton, Ohio  44721; 330/456-9333; combi.com.


Keeping order

To help businesses in omni-channel commerce manage inventories across channels, Softeon offers its Distributed Order Management (DOM) system. Designed for retailers and consumer goods manufacturers, the system can help prevent higher-than-necessary inventory levels or lost sales due to a lack of inventory, the company says. Through the system, users can set inventory allocation policies using its rules-engine foundation and allocate that inventory at multiple levels, including in-transit or on-hand levels, and by multiple attributes, such as forecast, history, actual orders and marketing allocation. It also offers flexibility in defining allocation formulas in situations where overall demand will exceed supply, such as proportional spread, minimum quantities, store clusters and more, as well as the ability to change allocations on the fly depending on actual sales results or changes in the supply plan. In addition, because the system has the same service-oriented architecture as Softeon’s entire supply chain software platform, the DOM system can be integrated into Softeon’s warehouse management system.

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


Heating things up

Charles Ross & Son offers its new custom Agitated Vessels with silicone heating blankets for processes that cannot accommodate the conventional jacket, which requires a heating fluid, the company says. Among this lineup is its portable 50-gallon Agitated Vessels Model VSL-50, which is fabricated in stainless steel 316 and designed for atmospheric operation, it says. Silicone heating blankets and temperature sensors are installed on the sidewalls and dished bottom of the vessel, and bolt-on insulation and sheathing also are included. Suitable for low-viscosity solutions and suspensions, the vessel’s propeller agitator is driven by a 0.5-horsepower inverter-duty motor and controlled from a National Electrical Manufacturers Association 4X stainless-steel panel that includes an emergency-stop mushroom head, cycle timer, digital heater temperature controllers and a high-temperature alarm. In addition, casters on the vessel legs are provided for easy movement, it notes. Ross Agitated Vessels are customizable and can be supplied with any number of sight or charge ports and process connections. 

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


Going up

Ryson released a new line of spiral conveyors designed to handle double the capacity of its regular spirals. These high-load spirals can carry loads as heavy as 75 pounds for each linear foot of conveyor at speeds as fast as 200 feet a minute, the company says. In addition, the spiral conveyors have multiple in- and out-feed options that allow loads to enter or exit the spirals at intermediate elevations. More specifically, its new induction and divert conveyors are individually adjustable to match the spiral pitch, assuring a smooth entry and exit, it says. The conveyors are driven by a single drive motor, resulting in substantial energy savings, and are shipped in one piece, pre-assembled and pre-tested to reduce the time and cost of installation, it notes.

Ryson International Inc., 300 Newsome Drive, Yorktown, Va. 23692; 757/898-1530; ryson.com.


Secure seal

Texwrap introduced its new Texwrap Versa Seal side-seal system for automatic shrink wrappers. This new-generation seal system offers secure seals across a broad range of film types and film gauges, the company says. For added flexibility, the system also automatically compensates for changes in film speed from 30 to 300 feet a minute instantly and automatically, it says. Also, for ease of use, the sealer’s rugged yet simple design allows for consistent production with little to no adjustment or maintenance needed, it adds.

Texwrap Packaging Systems, 525 Vossbrink Drive, Washington, Mo., 63090; 800/886-7421; texwrap.com.


Centralized control

Rite-Hite’s new Dok-Commander Control System integrates the controls of multiple loading dock devices into a centralized, easy-to-operate control system. Specifically engineered for a loading dock environment, Dok-Commander can power a variety of equipment at each loading dock position, including a vehicle restraint, dock leveler, dock door and dock light. The system includes an interlock feature that ensures that equipment is engaged in the proper sequence of operation. The green light interlock disables the use of a hydraulic leveler or overhead door until the vehicle restraint has achieved a safe engagement, an overhead door interlock requires the overhead door to be opened prior to leveler operation, and a stored leveler interlock ensures the leveler is safely stored before the restraint is able to release a trailer. It also can be linked with an active building security system to alert operators whether an engaged restraint has been tampered with. Because it is designed for dock environments, it is able to withstand harsh conditions and meets the requirements for noise, electrical and environmental conditions and chemicals, the company says. In addition, Dok-Commander’s narrow design allows for tight door centerlines at dock position.

Rite-Hite Corp., 8900 N. Arbon Drive, Milwaukee, Wis. 53223; 888/841-4283; ritehite.com.


Water check

Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., designed the Water Application Value Engine (WAVE), a new digital modeling tool for customers that will save time and increase efficiency for evaluating components as well as designing water-treatment systems, the company says. The modeling software combines ultrafiltration modules, reverse-osmosis membranes and ion-exchange resins into one fully integrated tool that enables users to project accurate water-quality predictions for single- or multiple-unit water treatment designs utilizing DW&PS technologies. The WAVE tool uses a powerful hydraulic modeling calculation engine that improves the accuracy of the model compared with previous technology and helps engineers and original equipment manufacturers configure water-treatment components better and faster by integrating all DW&PS technologies into one tool, it says. The WAVE tool also delivers accurate water-quality predictions for multiple components simultaneously, reducing calculation errors and data re-entry from one calculation tool to another, it adds. The WAVE tool is expected to launch commercially this year and will be hosted on an IBM cloud platform, which will allow users to operate the tool on a variety of devices including Windows and Mac computers, tablets and even mobile devices.

The Dow Chemical Co., 2030 Dow Center, Midland, Mich. 48674; 800/258-2436; dow.com.


Pressed clean

Harper Corp. introduced Anilox Surface Cleaner to its lineup of HarperScientific products. This specially formulated cleaner is designed to remove surface stains and residue blemishes from the surface of ceramic anilox rolls as well as printing press components and accessories, the company says. The proprietary emulsifier helps to break down and loosen surface stains including water and ink marks, surface line blemishes and coating residue, it explains. It is especially effective on coatings containing silicone, it notes.

Harper Corp. of America, 11625 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28273; 800/438-3111; harperscientific.com.


Going mobile

Schneider Electric released Wonderware SmartGlance 2014 R2 mobile reporting software. The updated version includes a host of new features that make monitoring, visualizing and analyzing real-time plant and industrial process data through mobile devices easier, the company says. These features include support for wearable technologies, a modern user interface for any browser, self-serve registration, support for multiple time zones for a global user base, and full import and export capabilities for even faster deployment. MyAlerts, the software’s newest mobile app feature, notifies users of process events so they can stay current with real-time information based on configurable thresholds for tag reports. The software can be used with smart watches to alert mobile and remote field workers, plant supervisors and managers of critical production and process information in a real-time, hands-free manner.

Schneider Electric United States, 1415 Roselle Road, Palatine, Ill. 60067; 877/342-5173; schneider-electric.com.


Multi-purpose lubricant

Klüber Lubrication introduced its Klübertemp GR AR 555 multi-purpose lubricant that offers corrosion protection and high evaporation stability. Developed for high-temperature applications up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit and applications exposed to aggressive media, Klübertemp GR AR 555 is a white, homogeneous, long-term grease based on perfluorinated polyether (PFPE) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) oils. Lubricants based on PFPE and PTFE are inert and generally regarded as neutral toward most elastomers and plastics, the company notes. The National Sanitation Foundation H1 registered lubricant can be used for lubricating pillow blocks and bearings, seals, rotary joints and ball bearing chains.

Klüber Lubrication North America L.P., 32 Industrial Drive, Londonderry, N.H. 03053; 603/647-4104; klueber.com