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The customer was experiencing short-life on their incumbent suction cups (vacuum cups). They were seeing cracks on the lip plus splits down the neck of the cup after about 700,000 cycles. The suction cups were inexpensive at about $3.00 (€2.7) and were made of a vinyl material. The plant was operating 24x7. The customer’s core need was a longer lasting suction cup at a reasonable price. The customer is handling cans, after being labelled, from a high speed rotary wheel, transferred to another station with the suction cups, before being put into an oven for curing the label. Four machines utilize 30 suction cups and the other two machines use 16 cups.
Piab’s Value Line® suction cups (suction pads) are an ideal solution for this customer as a low cost alternative. The Value Line® suction cups shows good performance at a value price.
Piab’s 40mm Flat Concave VL40FC suction cup was chosen for its size and shape to conform to the can’s side. The Piab cup lasted twice as long as the competitive version at over 1.4 million cycles. This translates for the customer less machine down-time due to less suction cup change-outs. The price was also less as compared to the competitive cup. Total yearly savings for the customer was calculated at $15,250 (€13,590) for both the cost difference of the cup plus the labor savings.