Descon Conveyor develops products A Toronto-area maker of air conveyors for PET bottles has developed two new products — a space-saving bottle-accumulation system and an automatic layer-forming system that can be bolted onto any existing bulk palletizer, eliminating the need for an operator.
According to Descon Conveyor Systems & Consultants Inc., the accumulation system on an air conveying line allows both the PET blow molding machine and end-of-line equipment, such as fillers and palletizers, to run at optimum speeds. Also, the blow molding machine can continue running while the other operations are stopped.
Descon has sold a conveying line to a Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and one at Amcor PET Packaging North America in Mississauga, Ontario, said Steve Nixon, sales manager at Descon which is based in Newmarket, Ontario.
Descon's conveying lines can run bottles with neck diameters of 28 millimeters, the standard size for soft drinks and water; or 38mm, the size of wide-mouth bottles, such as sports drinks. Air conveyors support the bottles by the neck, instead of the traditional way of setting the bottles on a belt-type conveyor.
For most single-serve PET bottles, the lines can run up to 2,500 bottles per minute with complete bottle stability, Descon said.
Traditional air conveyors are made by forming and bending sheets of steel, but that process cannot maintain close tolerances, and the bottles can end up swinging and jamming, Descon said. In a patent-pending design, Descon uses machined cross-block and base assemblies to guarantee the bottles are level and parallel. Nixon said the design also allows the conveyor to handle two sizes of bottles, instead of just one.
Neck guides are made from a continuous roll of plastic composite material, which eliminates joints between adjacent sections of the conveyor.
Nixon said a key selling point is the small accumulation system, which is placed in-line along the air conveyor.
According to Descon, a typical accumulator would require 1,000 feet of air conveying line to build up 10 minutes' worth of 500-milliliter bottles. Descon's system takes up floor space of just 8 feet by 20 feet.
When bottles are air conveyed from the blow molding machine, they enter the accumulator. Rows of bottles, arranged in 50, 20-foot lengths, are shuttled around all four sides of the accumulator structure.
"It will automatically re-insert bottles into the production flow" when needed, Nixon said.
Descon calls its second new product the voidless layer-forming system. In traditional systems, the company says, bottle makers have to post an operator at the palletizing station to handle bottles that have fallen over or become misaligned on the conveyor. The Descon equipment first diverts bottles from the single line of the air conveyor into four separate lines. As the containers are lowered onto a moving belt conveyor, the neck guides release each bottle and a side clamp holds them in proper alignment.
Tel. (905) 953-0455, fax (905) 953-1335, e-mail [email protected] conveyor.com.
D-M-E introduces line of leader pins
D-M-E Co., a unit of Milacron Inc., has introduced a line of leader pins designed for guided-ejection applications. The company also launched MoldBasics, a same-day shipment program for smaller, simple mold bases in 26 sizes.
The leader pins have short press-fit lengths from 33/4 inches to 61/4 inches. Diameters range from three-fourths inch to 11/2 inches. D-M-E's guided ejection system holds the ejector assembly in alignment and supports the weight of the ejector assembly, according to the company in Madison Heights, Mich.
Tel. (248) 398-6000, fax (248) 398-6174.
Solid Controls offers SmartSet controllers
Solid Controls Inc. has introduced a line of SmartSet controllers for injection molding presses priced at less than $3,000.
The Hopkins, Minn., firm said SmartSet provides a low-cost retrofit option for molders with smaller or older machines.
"Our studies show that nearly 80 percent of the existing machines in the United States are less than 300 tons," said Kevin Kokesh, SCI's vice president of sales and marketing. "For that market, you have to offer something that does the job, but with a low price tag."
The lowest-priced version of SmartSet, called the Genius, sells for $2,950. It offers 32 digital inputs and 32 outputs, four zones of temperature control with auto-tuning, four analog inputs for linear positioning, four analog outputs to run proportional valves, five mold setups and a keypad interface.
A midrange Wizard works with a customer's input/output control and adds closed-loop control of injection speed and pressure, and temperature and position control. The high-end Prodigy combines the features of the other two controllers, with full closed-loop features.
Each controller comes with a set of Windows-based programming tools on a CD-ROM, at no extra charge. The CD-ROM includes sample programs and input/output diagrams for typical makes and models of injection presses, so the user does not have to create entirely new programs from scratch, SCI said.
Tel. (612) 939-9053, fax (612) 933-8961.