Case lead-in rails – Case Study

A large multinational beverage manufacturer is very familiar with Anysize Technology, so when they required a new case size for one of their lines in their Indianapolis hot fill plant, they knew to call AMT. The overall goal was to keep the cases straight throughout the case conveyor in order to prevent jams and damage to new smaller and lighter weight cases. Furthermore, with future plans to further lightweight and potentially pursue shrink wrap only, the plant understood they would need to adjust guide rails accurately in order for these future cases to make it to the palletizer without nesting and breaking themselves apart. Given the length, frequency of change overs, and difficult access to the conveyor, manual guiderail adjustment was not a viable option, they needed an automatic guide rail adjustment solution.

Initially, this large multinational beverage manufacturer asked for the option of retrofitting Anysize down the entire length of the case conveyor line. This option was presented; however, even though ANYSIZE positioners are the most economical way (by far) to adjust guide rails, based on a length of many hundred feet the cost to retrofit the entire line was outside of the project budget. AMT was tasked with finding a more economical solution.

Understanding the objective, the line was analyzed to determine which areas were the most problematic requiring precise guiding. Analysis showed that cases moved adequately without guides on the straight running belt conveyor except at transitions and where accumulated. If cases could be straightened and guided through the transitions areas it would not be necessary to utilize positioners elsewhere on non-accumulated transport conveyor. Doing so provided a significant materials savings and overall a more economical solution that fit A large multinational beverage manufacturer’s project budget.

To achieve the objective, AMT installed new six inch (150mm) stroke ANYSIZE positioners on both sides of the accumulation areas, as they have been very successful in other case conveying applications. For the rest of the conveyor AMT invented an innovative new product; case lead-in rails, powered by ANYSIZE technology. The lead-in rails were installed as case straitening solution, and were fitted periodically along the transportation areas wherever there was a drive transition or any other transition such as an incline, etc. that could cause cases to turn or shift.

As the industry decreases the amount of case packaging material in use, the cases become inherently more susceptible to turning slowly as they travel on the case conveyor. The case straightener is powered by ANYSIZE, so it possesses all of the ANYSIZE advantages, simplicity and long term reliability. ANYSIZE adjusts just like a servo without the complexity of electronics. Anysize is completely pneumatic, adjusting for different case sizes automatically simply by changing pressure, pressure = position.

A complete Case Lead in Rail package it comes with beaded rail and bracketry to bolt right on to the existing case conveyor frame with manual control options available.

About Anysize and Advanced Manufacturing Technology
The Anysize® automatic positioning system for guiderails was developed and patented by Flexibility Engineering in 2008. We have continued to expand the technology for the use in all packaging applications that include multiple product sizes. Anysize® products are sold through an authorized distribution network with technology management and R&D support by Flexibility Engineering.
For more information: anysize.com or call 970-624-6174.

Anysize Positioners Accommodating Full bottles

Morrison, an authorized ANYSIZE distributor, recently installed an automatic guide rail system at the large winery in Modesto.

ANYSIZE positioners have been used for years on empty plastic containers, but one potential weakness of the technology is that the rails will move when pressed. They spring back once the pressure is removed but the guides themselves are not ridged like traditional positioning systems.

The concern was that with the higher forces associated with full glass bottles the deflection would be too much.

The approach was to select a positioner with enough stroke to adjust the rails from one side only. With this design there is only one side flexing, the other is truly fixed. With the one side design theoretical calculations predicted a deflection of less than 3 mm which was confirmed in operation and well within the acceptable limit. This was possible even with standard 40 inch spacing on the brackets.

About Anysize and Flexibility Engineering
The Anysize® automatic positioning system for guiderails was developed and patented by Flexibility Engineering in 2008. We have continued to expand the technology for the use in all packaging applications that include multiple product sizes. Anysize® products are sold through an authorized distribution network with technology management and R&D support by Flexibility Engineering.

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