A confectioner was concerned about the amount of labor spent in loading candy straws into canisters, with potential for repetitive-motion injuries. Since the 100 to 200 piece canister load was too great to grasp at one time, multiple handfuls of the soft, flexible product had to be put into the canister, while maintaining the proper product count, before pressing on a lid.
The Graybill solution includes canister and lid handling as well as candy handling in a two-machine configuration, where each machine handles 1,800 straws per minute. Each machine loads canister stacks into a denester which drops individual containers and carries them to the loading position, while incoming rows of candy straws are properly positioned and combined for the count desired, then loaded into the canister. Filled canisters travel to a lidding position where the lid denester separates a lid from a stack, drops it on, and presses it closed. The finished canister travels on an output conveyor where the other machine’s output is combined into one discharge stream.
A second canister size with differing candy row combination and quantity is run by HMI changes, adjustments, and change parts. Candy not intended for canister loading may pass straight through undisturbed or be dropped into a reject cross-conveyor.
Work to simplify the denester stack loading allowed Graybill to keep acceptable time between operator attentions while meeting the customer’s equipment budget. The customer commented “Graybill’s equipment works well, and was a fraction of the cost of other’s proposed solutions.”
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