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Semi-automatic packaging line minimizes operator touchpoints

Semi-automatic packaging line minimizes operator touchpoints
Cap torquer.

Take a virtual tour of the highly flexible packaging line at Endurance Technologies that handles packaging for adhesives ranging from rigid containers to stand-up pouches.

The procurement and installation of the semi-automatic packaging line at Endurance Technologies’ facility in South St. Paul, MN, was prompted after a time study of the previous manual packaging operation setup that president Dave Hoeffel had inherited.

“Operators were touching the packages six times to get it into the box to ship out,” he says. “With the machinery and our new setup, operators only touch a package twice: Once to pick it up and fill it and once to take it off the line and pack it.”

The central part of the packaging line—comprising a new capper, induction sealer, lot coder and the label applicator—was installed as an integrated system within the last two years. Along with the upstream and downstream components of filler, pack-off-carousel and case sealer, the entire line was supplied through Taiwan-based Pack Leader. The company’s U.S. location contact served as Hoeffel’s lead person.

“He was good to work with,” says Hoeffel. “He pieced together some used equipment with new to get me to the price we wanted.” 

The J-shaped line that packages jugs, bottles, tubes or stand-up pouches are filled semi-automatically by an APacks piston filler before the filled package is placed onto the infeed conveyor. An Apacks capper applies the cap, which has an inner seal, that is then induction sealed on a Pillar Technologies' Unifoiler system.

The container is date-stamped with production coding by Citronix inkjet coder then continues on to the Pack Leader Model LA2 Pro 250 label applicator, which can apply front and back labels. The labeler is capable of labeling 120 bottles/min, but Endurance operates at only less than one-tenth that speed.

Labeled packages continue on and around a conveyor turn onto a carousel for hand packing into a case.

Those are fed into a 3M Matic Model 800a case sealer, after which they are palletized by hand.

“We’re not huge, but this line works for what we do,” observes Hoeffel.

Hoeffel estimates that 90% of what’s run on the line is either an epoxy resin or epoxy hardener. Bottle sizes include a pint, quart, half gallon and gallon. The line packages 400 to 600 containers on the three or four days it runs a week. 

The day of Packaging Digest’s April visit, Endurance was packaging 32-oz F-style high-density polyethylene jugs supplied by Pretium Packaging.

See also the associated article that details Endurance Technologies' in-house label printing and laminating/finishing systems, DIY label-making benefits have instant ‘stickiness’

Pack Leader LLC, USA  816-581-4330

Pretium Packaging, 314-727-8200

3M, 651-737-9391

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