Linkx Systems provide Unilever with a bespoke conveyor system which carries boxes of tea vertically over a new walkway.
Unilever’s Trafford factory produces the countries beloved PG Tips tea range. As the nation’s favourite manufacturer of tea they rely on efficiency and reliability to keep up with demanding production requirements.
To maintain efficiency, it is important that operators can easily gain access more than one production line during their shift.
Previously, the access between production lines E and F were blocked and not easily accessible to operators except via a starcase. This left Unilever with safety issues as operators had to use the steps frequently.
To overcome this Linkx Systems and Alpha Chase Engineering partnered up to offer an innovative new solution. The bespoke packaging automation solution consisted of an inverted U-shape conveyor which carries product vertically.
The bespoke conveyor straddles the infeed slat conveyor which holds the side of the individually wrapped boxes of tea bags using rubber fins. These fins are mounted on the conveyor drive chains which means the conveyor can run vertically up and over the required access route and back down to the tray packer infeed.
“This was a different project for Linkx to take on which was more about innovative engineering, rather than using our standard range of packaging machinery.” Says Tom Whatling, Technical Sales Manager. “We enjoyed working alongside Alpha Chase on this project and we’re pleased with the solution we have provided for Unilever.”
The conveyor was designed to allow enough space for an operator to walk underneath and access the other side of the production line with increased ease and safety. By designing the conveyor to travel vertically upwards a clear an unobstructed path was created.
The conveyor chains are run syncronised using the SEW range of LSPM permanent magnet motors, which allow the motors to run at 1500rpm with no lag, and a Siemend G120C variable frequency drive.
Due to this upgrade, the access between Unilever’s production lines E and F have been improved for operators, in turn, increasing the efficiency and productivity within the factory.