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FOOD MANUFACTURER INSTALLS CONVEYOR, IMPROVES WORKING CONDITIONS

FOOD MANUFACTURER INSTALLS CONVEYOR, IMPROVES WORKING CONDITIONS


The significance of finding ways to boost efficiencies, while improving employee work conditions, is becoming more noticeable in today’s tight labor market. Therefore, when a specialty food manufacturer reached out to a horizontal unloading systems provider, it needed a solution to quickly move palletized product into a cooling tunnel and minimize employee exposure to extreme, cold temperatures.

The food manufacturer’s DC had been receiving palletized product at one door, prior to transporting it through a chiller and out another door for packaging and shipping. Employees had to manually push loads with pallet jacks or move them with forklifts the entire length of the 110-foot corridor into the cooling tunnel, which was the case for loading and unloading.

To transport palletized product into a cooling tunnel in a timely fashion, a linear conveyance system was installed adjacent to the door on the manufacturing side. Since the food manufacturer’s facility was pre-existing, the ability to install the system with only a few adjustments to the facility floor was a bonus.

Product is now placed on the conveyor and as the system then indexes forward, it provides room for the next pallet. A first-in/first-out process is enabled, and the product moves through the cooling tunnel and out to the other door for distribution to the packaging and shipping departments.

The automation of the palletized product’s materials handling provides several benefits. First, the food manufacturer has noticed dramatic time savings, when compared to the manual process. It also allows the doors to be open for much shorter times during the transfer of goods into and out of the facility, increasing the efficiency of the cooler. And, most importantly, it reduces the time employees need to spend in the cooling tunnel.

The heavy-duty conveying system uses a series of rails with “runners” to handle loads of up to 30 tons. Speed is adjustable and weight capacity is variable with additional rails. In addition, the conveyor is designed for “drop-in” installation, requiring minimal facility modifications and fast installation.

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