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Conveyors are up to the need for speed
January 29, 2014
3 Min Read
The name of the game for Interpress Technologies (www.interpresstechnologies.com) is speed. After all, the Garland, TX-based manufacturer of folding cartons and formed paper containers can produce more than 500,000 items in one eight-hour shift.
Quantities in that high range call for a conveyor system to keep up with the pace at speeds of more than 400 ft/min. The company chose two 3100 Series conveyors from Dorner Manufacturing Corp. (www. dorner.com) to handle the job. Both 3100 Series conveyors, built precisely to Interpress Technologies' specifications of 18 in. wide and 10 ft long, have a load capacity of 400 lb and belt speeds of more than 430 ft/min. Installed in 2001, the conveyors typically perform two shifts a day, and sometimes operate around the clock during the company's busy summer months. The conveyors worked fine, but another issue threatened productivity—keeping the cartons on the conveyor in an orderly fashion.
It's not a really demanding application, but rather speed is critical to us.
By printing anywhere from 250,000 to more than a half-million folding cartons for food products, such as butter, in eight hours, cartons roll off the printing press die very quickly. While the outfeed conveyor travels at 430 ft/min, the second conveyor runs much slower as a way to collate the cartons for further processing down the line.
To keep the cartons running smoothly on the conveyors, Michel Williams, maintenance leader for Interpress Technologies, designed a set of wheels and positioned them above both conveyors. As the finished cartons roll off the die and onto the outfeed conveyor, they are guided by the first set of four wheels. This setup keeps them flat on the conveyor and prevents the cartons from getting out of line.
The fast-moving cartons then drop onto the second, slower-moving Dorner conveyor. Cartons roll under one final set of wheels on the second conveyor, as the belt's slower speed shingles the cartons for further processing down the line. Having conveyors that are reliable for everyday use is crucial to keeping the press running at full peak.
"It's not a really demanding application, but rather speed is critical to us," says Jesse Goodspeed, plant manager for Interpress Technologies. "The Dorner conveyors have performed just fine. If they didn't, we'd use something else."
Goodspeed says the company has used Dorner conveyors for the past seven years and has had terrific results. "We run them at high speeds, so we look for durability," he says. "We've only had to change one belt in that time—they've worked out nicely for us."
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