L.A.C. Conveyors & Automation who are based in the East Midlands were given the opportunity to develop and install a converge solution for a major ready meal salad producer in Boston, Lincolnshire.
A major UK salad producer needed a technical solution to help solve a product merging bottleneck with very little space to work with.
Having provided many ingenious resolutions over the years L.A.C. Conveyors and Automation were more than happy to develop a resolution.
The customer’s main hurdle that had to be overcome was the limited space in which to fit a resolution for an existing food processing production conveyor line. Utilising the skills and expertise of L.A.C.’s own large and vastly experienced design office an innovative and cost-effective solution was produced that could fit into the limited footprint available which included the following equipment
- Stainless steel modular belt conveyor
- HMI control screen
- Factory acceptance testing (FAT)
The converge unit was applied to an existing twin lane stainless steel chain peg conveyor designed to handle two different sizes of pre-prepared salad bowls with small pot bases. Empty salad bowls are filled on either side of the two chain peg conveyors prior to the converge unit. As the bowls are presented to the converge unit they pass a sensor which is set to temporarily stop one of the converge conveyors allowing the other conveyor to carry on until a gap appears when the stopped conveyor is then automatically restarted and the bowl is fed in-line onto one conveyor. The unit had to be able to handle a throughput of 80 to 100 units per minute into a single lane conveyor and onto a packing machine.
Full automation of the unit was supplied with a small HMI operator interface that allows operators to quickly and easily set the required speeds of the two conveyors for the different bowl sizes.
The successful implementation has resulted in costs savings through a reduction in labour required to manage the production line, a higher throughput of units was achieved and a reduction of waste product.
The customer was so pleased with the results of their new converge unit that they have already ordered another one.