"As we were going for quality and robustness, we knew Lan was the right place for us to be"
Robert Vrinssen, Project Engineer, was our point of contact during the first project that we carried out at Partner in Pet Food (PPF).Designing a compact but highly advanced pouch handling system for a production plant in the Czech Republic. Partner in Pet Food (PPF) is an innovative and leading European pet food producer. They offer a full range of high quality cat and dog food products including; dry food, canned food, snacks and salami.
Thinking in possibilities!
PPF about Lan
Robert Vrinssen about Lan:
“From our first contact with Lan all the way to the installation onsite we have experienced a professional and committed team that takes full responsibility for its product and all that is related with it. Lan really stands out from the crowd where it comes to communication, project planning and work done by the technicians onsite.”
During the installation of the first pouch handling production line at PPF, we were confronted with various challenges.
Ultimately, there is always a solution that works!
Limited space The first pouch line PPF ordered with Lan needed to fit inside an existing production hall that had limited space available. Partly thanks to the robotics, the third party filler combined with Lan’s handling system could be built in a compact way.
Transport of stacks The next challenge was the physical transport of the stacks with pouches to the batch steriliser. Due to the lack of space, an automated solution like a shuttle would not fit. In order to make this work an extension of the building would be necessary. PPF finally decided to go for a manual solution allowing them more flexibility against lower costs in the end.
Specific pouch supply The pouches come in from the supply belt seal to the front and gusset to the back. This specific pouch supply requires a different pouch stop mechanism. A stopper, which is more commonly used, would not function well in this particular case. We solved this with a push rather than a stop solution. The pouches are pushed in the right position on the conveyer belt. Once the pouches are in position, they slide from one to the other conveyor belt directly in the correct position for printing.
Quality control features Lan integrated a printer into the line and designed a flattener that shapes the pouches in the correct form for an imprint. Another quality control feature we added, is a sample pouch conveyer which is controlled from an HMI panel and enables the operator to take random samples. Lastly, in the unloading part of the system, Lan designed a tray turning unit which prevents pouches from being left behind on the trays before these will be stacked for manual transport back to the loader.
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