Conveyor demand meets booming Pipfruit sector
The New Zealand pipfruit sector is riding a wave of success with the current season up four percent on last year, which is expected to increase by 17 percent next season.
With the growth has come many packing facility expansions and new developments and EQM’s strong track record of developing effective and efficient packing and processing systems has seen the company in high demand.
Just recently EQM swung into action and designed and then supplied a 28-metre EQM band driven carton packing system at one of Hawke’s Bay’s leading apple companies.
EQM’s Anthony Bloxham said the company was asked to draw up some designs and quote a new automated process that moved apple cartons along the conveyor to be closed and taped, then stacked on pallets. “The brief was to make the system ergonomically fit to minimise the lif ting of boxes on and off the system. Other considerations was that it be designed so that boxes could be taken off along the conveyor and quality checked as well as provisions for accumulating.”
The system used two STM three phase shaft mounted gear drives. The conveyor started at a height of 500mm and then had an incline to 900mm so that people could stand and tape at an ergonomic height. The company was also very much into utilising its branding and company colours in all parts of the facility, so EQM powder-coated the system to these corporate colours.
Bloxham said EQM had promised to have the job completed within a six-week timeframe and “we met the deadline” which was in time for the busy harvest and packing season.
Bloxham says that although there’s been significant technology advancements in food technology, there are still systems like this that you can rely on. “We did our first carton conveyor system in 1995 and they’re still one of the best systems to use,” he stated.