Friday, May 08, 2009

Spacefeeder Solves Sachet-Handling Problems

RNA has released a high-speed feeding system that eliminates the problems normally associated with handling sachets and pouches. Spacefeeder provides a long-needed solution to the handling of flexible packaged products, which are now growing in importance, especially in the food and snacks and process packaging sectors. Spacefeeder has been developed by Swiss friction-feeder specialist Rontech and will be marketed by RNA in the UK and Ireland.

The design can feed at speeds of up to 300 parts per minute and boasts quick and simple changeover between differing products. The capacity to easily accept changed or new products provides a genuinely future-proof investment. Each system is constructed of stainless steel and food-grade materials, suitable for full wash-down environments. Bulk parts are simply loaded into a storage hopper and gently elevated and fed onto the upper level of the system, where separation and singulation begins.

Intelligent servo-driven roller sections progressively space the product until the desired gap between products is achieved. Each roller segment is controlled independently and precise spacing of up to 1mm can be consistently attained, before onward transfer to the downstream processing line. The high-speed system has been designed so that the roller segments have no critical guarding issues and noise emissions are kept at low levels.

Spacefeeder is fitted with a compact HMI for control of the desired distance between products. Key features and benefits of the Spacefeeder include: the ability to handle a variety of pouches and sachets; fast changeover times with no mechanical intervention required; being based on a standard system with worldwide support; a simple HMI control panel; a robust design, heavy-duty rollers and standard components, ensuring a long operating life; high feed-speeds of up to 300 parts per minute; food and pharmaceutical design, suitable for wash-down environments; and simple integration via a Harting plug and socket for robotic systems and process lines.

The system can be moved from production line to production line. It has low start-up costs normally associated with special-purpose machinery in line with short payback periods.

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