A food processing customer who makes custom marinades and sauces for a national food retailer needed a net weight food grade filling solution for filling totes. Their existing manual filling regimen was becoming tedious for their employees and was not able to keep up with the rising demand for their products.
Customer requirements included; accurate filling, easy operation, reliable, filling recipe generation and storage, stainless steel (food grade) construction, sanitary fittings, and cost effective. The filling solution needed to provide a way to load empty totes and unload filled totes in an extremely tight space in addition to the need for a safe and compact operator station. Due the tight plant footprint, separate in-feed and out-feed conveyors were not possible for this installation. Ideal-Pak® engineers came up with a simple but effective filling solution. This solution included a compact semi-automatic, net weight, two-conveyor system with integrated and raised operator station – the Ideal-Pak® PT-IF.
Empty totes are loaded onto a single powered in-feed conveyor where they are auto-transported onto the powered scale conveyor. Once on the scale conveyor the operator, while holding the filling arm handles, depresses the air break button on the filling arm control box and moves the filling lance directly over the opening of the tote container. A simple push of the fill button on the hand-held control panel activates the filling process using the recipe previously generated and stored in the system’s AB plc control system. The tote is auto-tared and begins rapid filling instantly followed by a slower fill rate once the ‘dribble set point” is reached. The system continues to fill the tote until the total target fill weight is less the “pre-act” setpoint. At this stage the air-valves close and the filling stops allowing what liquid remains in the system to fall into the tote for an accurate fill – +/- 1.0 lbs. from the target fill weight recipe. After completing the fill, the tote is capped and the powered scale conveyor moves the filled tote to the exit conveyor for off-loading via forklift. The compact and raised operator station allows a single operator to safely program and run the filling machine operation from a single secure and safe location.
Ideal-Pak® engineers took a current semi-automatic tote filling machine design and customized it to fit this customer’s requirements. The result was a cost-effective filling solution for the customer that met their unique filling requirements without the added cost of a total custom solution and the longer lead-time required for delivery. This Ideal-Pak® solution was delivered fourteen weeks after the receipt of the purchase order.