A pharmaceutical company approached Wrabacon looking to open a line for a new product, where packets of product would need to be stood up and stacked in a tray. Without an automated solution, the new line’s demand would require multiple workers to tediously count and stand product packets — by hand — constantly throughout the workday. To maximize efficiency, the company required a solution that produced a neat, consistently numbered product stack, each and every time.
Wrabacon custom designed and manufactured a collating system that receives product packets at the rate of up to 120 per minute. The system stands the packets up on end, collates them, and presents a group of 60 to an operator for manual packing.
The product transfers from an existing X-ray machine to a short, inclined conveyor lying down with the wide side of the packet leading. The packets accumulate in a pocket on an indexing conveyor until 12 have been stacked, then the machine indexes, which stands up the stack. Once 12 more have accumulated in the first pocket, the machine indexes again, and pushes the first stack out of the pocket and then pushes it again 90 degrees where stacks will accumulate together. After five stacks have been pushed together this way, the combined stack of 60 is then pushed 90 degrees to the operator, to be manually packed on a tray.
A large international cheese company approached Wrabacon seeking improved efficiency when it came to their process of producing trays packed with tubs of cheese.
Cheese is one of the most popular foods in the world, and in general, most people will tend to have several types of cheese in the fridge at any given time, leading to an incredible demand on suppliers to be able to continuously stock a customer’s favorite forms of cheeses wherever they might shop for it — with these suppliers including restaurants, grocers, and convenience stores. In response, many companies turn to automated systems that not only must keep pace with this demand, but also be reliable and precise to ensure trays and boxes are fully packed every time. Maximizing efficiency and speed ensures that customers will be able to get the cheeses they want, when they want it, and continue coming back for more.
The numerous health benefits of fresh fruit are no secret. Low in calories and high in essential vitamins and minerals, fruits are a no-brainer as a snack or an additive to your favorite meals. The challenge, however, becomes keeping up with the high demand for these nutritious treats. To transport product in such bulk quantities, companies often turn to specially designed trays or boxes to help carry the load.
A company approached Wrabacon with an issue. Due to a labor shortage, the company was not able to hand stack and case pack their trays fast enough to meet demand. Wrabacon was up to the challenge, with an efficient, reliable solution.
The Wrabacon Solution
To fix this, Wrabacon custom designed and manufactured a 5-lane tray stacker to be used to receive trays from an existing dryer. The trays are 16.5” long x 12.5” wide and are produced at the rate of 25 per minute.
The trays exit an existing cold belt and transfer onto an accumulation belt and then onto the stacker infeed belt. The trays enter the accumulation conveyor which pulls a gap between trays. They then transfer to the stacker infeed belt which delivers the trays to each individual stacking module. Each stacker works independently from one another and stacks product on demand.
As the stacker continues to stack product, a top cylinder is continuously holding the stack in position. When the desired amount of product has been stacked, the plate/lift cylinder stays in the up position while air is applied to the top cylinder, pressing the stack. After pressing, the stack is pushed out of the stacker onto a conveyor. Once all 5 lanes have produced a stack of the desired quantity, the conveyor moves the product to a table for manual removal.
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