The older pie shell stacker in one of the production lines of a large pie manufacturer was not able to keep up with the current production rate of 110 pies per minute. In addition, it was sensitive to pie position on the conveyor and could not handle pies that were not perfectly spaced. Frequent jams limited output, caused down time for clearing, and ruined the line’s efficiency ratings.
Graybill drew on its 60-plus years of experience with pie machines and pie manufacturing to supply a modern high-speed shell stacker. With multiple shell positioning devices and smooth servo-driven stacking action, this stacker was able to meet the speed requirements with capacity to spare and handles multiple sizes of shells by operator adjustment of shell stacking heads and guides. Stack quantities of 2 to 6 shells are set by the operator at a touch screen.
Depending on the manufacturing technique, pie shells sometimes have dough lumps, missed dough, or off-center dough sheets that make the stack irregular; however, the Graybill shell stacker is self-clearing so that these defective shells are passed through instead of creating jams that cause downtime. Because the shell stacker requires only a 6-foot length in the pie production line and discharges the stacks in line with the shells received, it was integrated into an existing production line with a minimum of difficulty.
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