Fresh poultry producer Sanfelice, slaughters and processes 16,000 chickens a day, acquiring a large supermarket customer required Sanfelice to re-think their packaging line.
One of the two packaging machines Sanfelice used had only a maximum capacity of 20 trays per minute, preventing the plant's total output even though their other machinery had the capacity to boost production. Their second machine had a capacity of 45 trays per minute however it requires the trays arrive long end leading and uses a pneumatic pusher arm to turn the trays 90º.
The pusher arm presents a variety of problems including a maximum throughput of 35 trays per minute which can only be increased if the pusher arm is increased causing displacement of the poultry product and labeling.
The impact pushes products closer together, leaving no gaps and in essence causes blockages in the packaging machine that can only solved by manual labour and line stops. The pusher arm requires high maintenance and the cost of spare parts is expensive.
Blockages and displacement of products/ labeling cause a loss of production time and result in overtime having to be spent. Unreliability in gaping and displacement can cause labelled batches to sometimes combine which results in limited traceability of Sanfelice's products.
With the help of a 90º passive transfer from Intralox 's Activated Roller Belt technology, Sanfelice has been able to fulfill the new supermarket customers order by increasing througput.
No maintenance has been required since the installation of the ARB technology and has eliminated problems such as blockages in the packaging machine and the need for no overtime in maintenance is now required.
The 90º passive arm accurately gaps the products which ensures traceability in case of batch mix-ups.
“I did not have a lot of space. The ARB solution allowed me to solve the problem with a very small footprint compared to the pusher arm alternative," said Daniele Mariani, Plant Manager.
Return on investment for the solution was reached in just eight months, “By installing the ARB solution, we were able to increase the output of the line by 10%. It works for all products, no matter what size or weight the tray is. At installation, we set the speed of the accelerator conveyor for the largest tray we run on this line, and since then it has worked for all products. If the pusher arm in my other line needs to be replaced, I would choose the ARB 90-degree transfer solution," Daniele Mariani.