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The customer is a contract packer located in Wales, United Kingdom. The application was the transfer of garden care product granules from bulk bag into form fill seal machine producing sachets. The customer is an award winning contract packing company, working in multiple sectors including homecare, health and wellbeing and personal care. They have the capability to pack anything from 5mg powder sachets to 1 litre glass bottles, along with strip and blister pack capsule packs. The customer was experiencing issues in transferring garden care product granules into a form fill seal machine, using a screw conveyor. This screw conveyor was degrading the granules into fine powder, resulting in the screw clogging and needing frequent interruption to production runs for disassembly and cleaning. As a result time and costs of production were unacceptably high.
During an initial site visit to look at the application, Piab proposed a piFLOW®i vacuum conveyor. This to be mounted above the form fill seal machine with a transition piece to allow product to flow directly into the machine. Control of the conveyor linked to a level sensor on the form fill seal machine, with a hand held feed wand used to pick up the granules from a bulk bag. Once agreed as a way forward, Piab conducted a trial on site to prove that the product granules could be successfully transferred with no product degradation or clogging.
There is no longer a need to halt production for cleaning the screw conveyor. That results in reduced downtime as well as improved controls on the conveying system. The Engineering Director at the customer commented “I’m so pleased with the conveyor I am ordering a second for another form fill machine and also considering a Piab vacuum conveyor for another application”.