Recently, a customer needed to improve their process of merging two lanes of frozen pizzas into a single line. Their existing equipment required an operator to manually intervene in order to keep product flowing through.
Dorner was able to create a new product merge that works automatically, keeping the process running smoothly and safely. This allowed the customer to reduce downtime and increase their efficiency.
The pizzas enter the merge system from an inline nitrogen freezer at a rate of 75 parts per minute. Then, they need to be merged into one lane for the downstream wrapping equipment.
Before the merge, the pizzas move down two conveyors equipped with sensors and product stops. The product stops ensure that the two lanes can merge seamlessly. In typical operation, only the final set of stops will need to be activated, but each lane contains three in case they are needed.
The stainless steel, overhead photoelectric sensors detect the product position and send a signal to the PLC which then determines if product needs to be lifted and for how long.
The product stops are all 304 stainless steel components. Pneumatic cylinders with flow controls adjust the lifting speeds. Using lifts for product stops ensures the product is handled gently so as not to damage the pizza.
The entire merge system has sanitary, easy to clean features. The conveyors are a customized version of Dorner’s 7400 Series product line with sanitary features including 304 stainless steel construction, welded frame, tip up tails and frame cut-outs.
The Dynamic Guide, which ensures the pizzas maintain their speed through the merge, is a new sanitary design. It has a welded 304 stainless steel frame and can run at speeds up to 275 feet per minute.
The solid urethane belt can be in contact with the base conveyor belt and the cantilevered design allows it to be pivoted off to the side of the base conveyor for cleaning and maintenance.
The overall system is only 10 feet long which provided the customer with a compact, space saving design that allowed them to increase their uptime and keep their system running efficiently.