A sponge manufacturer needed a system to unscramble, orient, accumulate and stack a variety of different sized and shaped sponges scrubber-side up at over 300 parts per minute.
The Shibuya Hoppmann Solution: We used a bulk elevating prefeeder to deposit sponges into a centrifugal parts feeder where the sponges were singulated and oriented in the feeder bowl. The parts unscrambler bowl was integrated with a parts conveyor - which handled moving the parts from the feeder bowl to the downstream equipment for automated stacking system. When the sponges exit the rotary feeder, the sponges (multiple sizes and shapes) transferred to the conveyor on edge, long axis on direction of flow and with scrubber side either facing toward or away from the feeder center. Sensors on the conveyor detected the sponge from scrubber surface and "backward" sponges are influenced to fall onto the belt with the scrubber side always up. Add multiple feed systems to the system, and sponges can be cascaded to provide two, three and four stack varieties. Parts accumulated end to end and the transfer turned them 90 degrees to side by side orientation for eventual stacking and transfer into flow wrapper, either as a single, one sponge stacked on top of another or two stacks of two side by side. The system was capable of handling various sized sponges from kitchen to automobile cleaning or large utility sponges. Rapid change over between sizes is provided by both mechanical and electronic (optical) means.
A variety of lip balm manufacturers have required different handling for their products. At varying rates from 150 - 450 ppm, we fed, oriented and pucked lip balm containers, handled empty containers, fed filled and capped lip balm barrels then labeled them, and so much more.
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