Compact design with a central conveyor segment / Processes practically all standard market container sizes and formats / Keg system can be flexibly expanded thanks to the modular design.
More flexibility, efficiency and speed: with its Innokeg AF-C Transversal the KHS Group provides a sophisticated setup that washes and racks up to 500 kegs an hour. Thanks to its single central conveying segment the system is particularly compact and perfectly accessible. If required, it can adjust to different formats fully automatically.
Compared to standard market systems, the Innokeg AF-C Transversal kegging machine scores on not one but several counts, declares Roger Daum, keg product manager at KHS. “The biggest and most obvious difference lies in its innovative conveying system. The conventional transversal conveyor setup used to date has separate belts for infeed and discharge upstream and downstream of the actual machine. The KHS design is consciously different and transports the kegs through the middle of the paired opposite processing stations on a single conveyor belt. On this they are pushed in and out of the line to the side.” The great advantage of this concept is that on the Innokeg AF-C Transversal there are no conveyors separating the operator from the machine. The stations are thus freely and much more easily accessible for maintenance and repair. The space-saving system also has a smaller footprint in the production shop. Moreover, with its inverse ratio of conveying to processing stations (compared to standard machinery) the KHS system is more powerful and can process up to 500 kegs per hour.
Modular and flexible
Another key difference of KHS’ keg engineering is its modular design that means lower procurement costs and that the Innokeg AF-C Transversal can grow to accommodate rising production capacities. “We combine two modules with two respective processing stations in a single block frame. Thanks to its compact design the block fits into a standard overseas container,” is how keg product manager Daum explains the principle of the system. Within this frame all kinds of cycle are feasible. “A machine can be configured with up to four blocks with two modules each. This is equivalent to 16 treatment heads that can function as a pre-, main or combined washer or filler respectively,” Daum emphasizes. This provides plenty of scope when configuring the overall line: twelve washing stations can be combined with eight racking stations, for instance, to balance the different cycle times. Individual modules in the block can initially be left empty and simply fitted with further processing stations at a later date should the necessity arise.
All-rounder for all formats
Another distinctive feature of the KHS Innokeg AF-C Transversal is that it can process practically all standard market container sizes and formats. Apart from the fact that no format parts have been used anywhere on the conveying system, thus rendering changeovers superfluous, if required request the entire line can be adjusted to different keg heights and diameters fully automatically. This optional system also recognizes whether the incoming kegs are returnable or one-way containers. The latter then travel straight to the filler through the deactivated washing machines without any conversion or treatment.
Right down the line
Before the kegs on the kegging line reach the Transversal modules, they are lifted from the pallet by the KHS Innopal RK palletizer with its six-axis articulated robot and placed on the conveyor. An on-demand turner with a fitting position detector and decapper ensures that the kegs are properly aligned and prepared for washing and racking. They are again separated and centered prior to exterior washing. In the washing machine a height control unit makes sure that slim kegs especially aren’t downed by the high water pressure of the cleaning nozzles.
The counterflow and pulsed cleaning processes yield optimum results at the pre- and main washing phases. Between these two steps the kegs are filled with caustic and left to soak, with the length of the conveyor determining the duration of the soaking time.
Filling is precise and regulation-compliant – thanks to the KHS Direct Flow Control filling system and gross/tare weighing that complies with the European Measuring Instruments Directive. Finally, ‘bad’ kegs or incorrectly filled containers that fall short of their nominal filling volume, for example, are emptied and removed from the line.
The kegs are then checked for leakage before they are sealed with a cap – if intact – and labeled by inkjet. Faulty kegs are discharged where necessary. At the end of the line the kegs are set down on pallets by a second KHS palletizing robot. This is equipped with double keg grippers whose heads can also be changed over fully automatically. “With the Innokeg AC-F Transversal, when it comes to efficiency and flexibility KHS scores on the washing and racking of kegs right down the line, so to speak,” concludes Daum.
At a glance: the Innokeg AC-F Transversal
- Less space needed thanks to the central conveyor segment
- Optimum access for maintenance and repair
- Modular design for flexible expansion
- Suitable for almost all market-standard returnable and non-returnable kegs
- Fully-automatic adjustment to different formats
- Up to 500 kegs per hour
Mondi partners with Heiber + Schröder to launch the new high-performance machine eComPack for automated packaging of its EnvelopeMailer for eCommerce
Heiber + Schröder’s mechanical engineering combined with Mondi’s packaging and paper expertise enables eCommerce companies to automate the erecting, filling and closing packaging process using the EnvelopeMailer solution he state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations
The state-of-the-art eComPack doubles output per hour, responding to demand for the automation of paper-based packaging solutions in eCommerce operations
The new machine perfectly complements Mondi’s universal and fully recyclable corrugated EnvelopeMailer for maximum performance
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has worked on an innovative collaboration with German machine producer Heiber + Schröder to create a high-speed automated packaging machine that meets the process, efficiency and safety requirements of eCommerce fulfilment operations. The new eComPack machine is designed for mid to large size eCommerce operations seeking efficiency and reliability. It can process up to 500 parcels per hour thanks to an automated erecting, filling and closing process.
The technological expertise of paper and board packaging automation expert Heiber + Schröder forms a perfect synergy with Mondi’s innovative packaging solutions. The resulting high-output eComPack can automatically process a wide scope of goods using one height-adaptable packaging design that is available in different sizes. The equipment stands out for its compact floor space requirement and simplicity in operation and maintenance.
In the rapidly growing world of eCommerce, the combination of an excellent paper-based product and an efficient and economic automated packaging machine is a key differentiator for our customers. The successful introduction of Mondi’s EnvelopeMailer solution increased manual packaging output by 8% compared to standard C-folder packaging. With eComPack, we are now enabling our customers to double their output and optimise packing operations in fulfilment centres handling high volumes,
Tarik Aniba, Sales & Marketing Director, Mondi Corrugated Solutions
The eCommerce market has grown significantly in recent years, accounting for approximately 20% of global retail sales in 2021¹. This means a wider variety of goods is being distributed, which increases packing complexity and requires versatile packaging solutions of different sizes and shapes. At the same time, with the rising cost of labour, the desire for packing machines in eCommerce is more prominent than ever before. To help customers tackle these challenges, eComPack provides a solution dedicated to the automated packaging of Mondi’s corrugated eCommerce solution EnvelopeMailer.
Made to safely fit single or multiple items and rectangular as well as irregular shapes up to 7 cm in height, the EnvelopeMailer’s flexibility in the fulfilment process, efficiency in handling, and economical use of material and space have made it an all-around new standard in the market since its launch in 2020.
André Garmer, Managing Director Heiber + Schröder, adds: “Together with Mondi we developed the machine in a very dynamic co-creation process. The result is a robust, user-friendly machine with top-class usability. Through clever and responsible creation, we were able to synchronise packaging design and machine functionality into a solution that offers tremendous potential if combined with the right packaging solution.”
Berkshire Grey Research Finds a Leading Cause of the Labor Shortage in Warehouses
Berkshire Grey Research Finds 64% of Chief Supply Chain Officers Say Generation Gap is a Leading Cause of the Labor Shortage in Warehouses.
Nearly three-quarters of executives see robotics automation in warehouses as a solution for the growing gap in younger job applicants
Over half (51%) of executives confirmed they were in the process of adopting or planning to adopt robotics, and 78% expect order fulfillment cost savings of more than 10%
Berkshire Grey, Inc., (Nasdaq: BGRY) a leader in AI-enabled robotic solutions that automate supply chain processes, today announced their 2022 State of Retail & eCommerce Fulfillment Report. The research, conducted in partnership with Hanover Research, surveyed Chief Supply Chain Officers at retail and ecommerce businesses on topics including labor issues, costs, pain points, automation and predicted areas of industry growth to uncover how organizations are meeting increasing consumer demands in today’s always-on retail world.
The study found chief supply chain officers expect the labor shortage to continue to grow in their industry, with 64% noticing generational differences in employment preferences that will have a long-term impact on labor availability. Along with many warehouse laborers permanently leaving the field due to a multitude of factors including reskilling, pandemic-related illness and an aging workforce, the industry is also being hit with a combination of population forces: the lowest birth rate in U.S. history paired with Baby Boomers retiring out of the workforce, as well as a generational shift in what employees are looking for in their careers and workplaces.
“Labor issues across industries continue to vacillate, but unlike the temporary shortages seen in other industries, continued eCommerce growth and shifts in generational employment preferences are uniquely impacting the fulfillment industry and predicted to lead to long-term labor shortages that will only compound in the coming years,” said Steve Johnson, President and COO at Berkshire Grey. “In addition to compensation strategies, companies need to utilize robotics automation in order to stay ahead of this demographic shift. Not only is it a huge attractor for young talent due to the increased safety and specialized upskilling it enables, it is also a game changer in terms of cost reduction, throughput and ROI.”
Robotics Automation Improves Talent Attraction and Retention, Closes Generational Gap
With more than half (57%) of executives believing labor shortages have hindered their ability to meet demand, it’s critical for supply chain decision makers to find a way to bridge the gap. 76% of executives believe they’ll need to raise wages and 63% believe they’ll need to increase bonuses to attract and retain workers. Executives also believe robotics automation is a promising talent attractor.
- Nearly three-quarters (71%) of executives believe robotics automation is necessary to counter reduced applications from younger generations.
- Although less than one quarter (13%) of executives say they are currently using robotic automation, they are keenly aware this is where the industry is headed, as evidenced by over half (51%) of executives being in the process of adopting or planning to adopt robotics.
- Over half (51%) of executives believe implementing automation will increase employee satisfaction, and 43% believe it will lead to a decrease in employee turnover.
Consumer Demands and Expectations Are Rising
Rising consumer expectations and on-demand shopping resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are requiring retail and eCommerce companies to greatly step up their throughput, with experts predicting the eCommerce market to increase from $3.3 trillion to $5.3 trillion by 2026.
Free returns are growing to be table stakes — nearly three-quarters (72%) of executives believe they would lose customers if they didn’t offer free returns.
More than two-thirds (68%) of executives believe they will need same day or faster delivery speeds within two years.
More than three-quarters (80%) of executives that saw an increase in return rates in 2020 have needed to increase headcount to accommodate the increase of returns.
Automation’s Impact on the Bottom Line
Since 2019, the percentage of executives who believe automation is mainstream has increased by nearly 43%. This rise in awareness and adoption is no surprise given the huge cost savings and throughput increases robotics automation is providing amidst supply chain challenges.
- More than three-quarters (78%) of executives expect to save more than 10% on order fulfillment costs as a result of robotics automation.
- Most executives (85%) currently using robotics are planning to increase their investment.
- Executives are most likely to use automation to support packaging/labeling (62%), item sortation (59%), returns (58%) and goods retrieval (58%).
The results contained within the report are based on a survey of over 200 senior-level supply chain decision makers in the U.S. at eCommerce and retail businesses.
To learn more about Berkshire Grey, visit www.BerkshireGrey.com.
A guide to the types of belt edge
Guide to fire retardant conveyor belts for general use above ground
If a belt does not perform according to the manufacturer’s claims by wearing prematurely or ripping too easily for example, the risk to life is relatively small. But if a conveyor belt that is specified as being fire retardant catches fire but does not resist the fire the way that it should do then the consequences can be catastrophic.
No conveyor belt is fire proof
The most important thing to bear in mind is that conveyor belts cannot be totally fire proof. The rubber used for the covers and the rubber skim between the fabric plies can be engineered to resist fire but the complete structure of the belt cannot be made fireproof. When choosing a fire retardant conveyor belt, deciding on the actual level of fire retardancy needed for a specific application or environment is of crucial importance.
Envıronments with inflammable dust and gas
The most basic electrical and flammability safety requirement for general use (not underground) is EN 12882 Category 1. For ATEX regulated areas where coal dust, gas, fertilizer, grain or other potentially combustible materials are involved, it is essential that the conveyor belt cannot create static elericity that could ignite the atmosphere. At Dunlop we decided some time ago that the safest approach was for all of our belts to be anti-static and conform to EN/ISO 284 inter-national standards. This means that they can all be used in ATEX 95 (94/9/EC Directive) classified zones.
Above-ground and general service applications
Because fire safety is such an important issue there are numerous safety classifications and international standards for which there are many different tests used to measure the self-extinguishing properties of conveyor belts. The basis of most tests for belting used in normal industrial applications is EN/ISO 340. This standard makes the distinction between fire resistance with covers (K) and fire resistance with or without covers (S). The relevance of “with or without covers” is that wear reduces the amount of fire resistant rubber that protects the flammable carcass. The best way to decide between ‘K’ and ‘S‘ grades is to consider the material being carried. For moderately abrasive materials, grain for example, the ‘K’ grade is usually perfectly adequate. However, if the material is abrasive and tends to wear the top cover quite rapidly, or if carry-ing biomass (which can self-combust) then the safest option is to choose the ‘S‘ (Class 2B) grade. In both ‘K’ and ‘S’ grades, the rubber skim that bonds the fabric layers of the carcass together must also be fire resistant. In the case of ‘S’ grade (fire resistant without covers), the rubber skim should be thicker than the skim used for ‘K’ grade.
Fire and wear resistant
The ingredients used to create a fire resistant rubber compound generally have an adverse effect on its wear resistant properties. As the thickness of the rubber reduces so does the level of protection. At Dunlop our rubber compound technicians have developed fire resistant rubber compounds that are extremely resistant to abrasion. Buyers should always request a technical datasheet that shows the level of abrasion (wear) and should demand an average of less than 150mm³
EN/ISO 340 testing EN/ISO
340 tests involve exposing 6 individual samples of belt to a naked flame causing them to burn. The source of the flame is then removed. A current of air is then applied to the test piece for a specified time after the removal of the flame. The time it takes for the belt sample to self-extinguish after the flame has been removed is then measured. The duration of continued burning (visible flame) should be less than 15 seconds for each sample with a maximum cumulative duration of 45 seconds for each group of six test samples. This determines how fire can be carried along a moving belt. Even if a manufacturer states that their fire resistant belt has passed the ISO 340 test, the buyer should still exercise caution. A typical conveyor belt can easily spread the fire more than 40 meters within 15 seconds. For this reason Dunlop’s required time limit standard is no more than one second, ideally 0 seconds. Buyers of fire resistant belts are recommended to ask to see copies of the test results and to check that the laboratory that has carried out the tests complies with EN ISO 17025 (chapter 5).
What standard of fire resıstance do I need?
For the vast majority of belts being used in the open air, Class 2A or 2B is perfectly adequate. Class 2A demands that the belt is able to pass the ISO 340 with the covers intact on the belt samples (‘K’ grade). Class 2B requires that the belt can also pass the ISO 340 test with the top and bottom cover rubber removed (‘S’ grade). The electrical conductivity of the belt also needs to fulfill the requirements of ISO 284.
Don’t play with fire
Although manufacturers and suppliers provide test certificates, in some cases the certificate may only relate to the belting that the manufacturer produced for test certification purposes. The actual belt delivered to site may well not be up to the required standard. For greater peace of mind we rec-ommend ordering an extra meter of belt for testing by an ac-credited testing authority or laboratory.
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