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Problem: An integrator was building a high-speed food packaging system for a chocolate and peanut butter cup candy product. They needed a feeder system that would deliver the products at 500 pieces per minute down eight lines that fed their packaging assembly line. The product had to be delivered at a high speed, but also had to be handled gently due to the softness of the product.

Solution: Fortville Feeders met with the customer and discussed the unique challenges of this feeder system. They designed a two-line feeder that sorted and oriented the products before diverting them into eight approach lines that fed the packaging automation. The product supply was regulated by an infrared vision sensor at the base of the eight approach lines. It controlled the feeder bowl and kept the eight approaches full of product and eliminated jamming when production slowed down. To keep the soft candy foil wrappers from being damaged, the high contact areas of the feeder’s inline tracks were fabricated with Delrin plastic guides. The track was assembled with an easy-cleaning removable top with handle grips.

Eliminating non-conforming products was also central to the feeder system’s function and the end-user’s quality control processes. Fortville designed jam gates into the tooling of the track to prevent any misshaped or over-sized products from entering the eight approach lines.

Fortville provided an engineered solution for the integrator’s food assembly and packaging system. Not only were they able to deliver the product at a high speed, the feeder system kept the product from damage while in motion. It also separated non-conforming products before they reached the supply lines.