We are working with a manufacturer of adhesives and coatings. They are packaging their material in liners that fit inside 5 gallon pails. They set the liners in the pails under a filling station, fill up to the required weight, seal the liner, and then seal the pail. The pails are stacked on pallets to ship bulk orders. They came to us for assistance because their customer, for whatever reason, did not want the seal on the liner to be on top when they open the pail, they want it on the bottom.
What a conundrum! How to accommodate such a request? Of course you’d like to keep the customer happy, but is it that critical to have it just so? Maybe so! Maybe they’re dumping it out of the pail when they use it, and that puts the seal back on top. Maybe there is something unique in the customer’s application that requires it, or maybe they’re just being particular. Whatever the case is, our customer had to make this happen for their customer, and so that was an opportunity for us to provide a solution.
We custom-designed a small hopper attached to a rotary actuator, this enabled them to place the liner in the hopper, fill it and seal it, then place the upside down pail on top, roll it over 180° and TA-DAAA!! The seal was on the bottom and the pail was sealed and stacked on the pallet. It is one additional step, but it quickly and seamlessly integrated into the filling operation to minimize the impact on production time and efficiency for our customer.
Did we mention it was located in a hazardous area? The entire system is pneumatically operated, run exclusively on shop air with a mini filter-regulator-lubricator installed directly on the frame of the device. In addition, pneumatically-operated clamping cylinders are used to retain the pail on the hopper while it is flipped over. When they returned for a new upgraded model, we outfit the frame with conveyors and a built-in scale to further integrate the pail flipper into their filling operation.
This is all the excitement we get to enjoy as a manufacturer of specialty-type material handling equipment. You may not have use for a cute little device like this, but if you find yourself faced with some awkward or challenging situation requiring lifting, handling, or positioning, just remember that we can help.