While major companies are investing in bigger and faster equipment there is a squeeze on smaller producers who don't have the capitol to streamline their operations at the same pace. This has prompted machine designers to develop more specialized products for niche producers.
UK-based Bradman Lake says its SL903 end-loader fills the gap between manual operations and large-scale end-loading by providing a speedy production line at a cheaper price.
"What this offers is more performance without frills," said company spokesperson Roy Honnor. "It is a strongly built machine that is easy to wash down and is perfect for middle-of-the-road production lines."
The SL903 can handle up to 130 cartons per minute and has the ability to load diverse size ranges (a minimum of W50 x D19 x L135mm adjusted to a maximum W254 x D100 x L304mm), which is valuable for a sector where different pack sizes are frequently required, said the company.
The machine is an upgrade on the Bradman Lake's SL902, which runs at half the production speed of the SL903. However, since many of the same components are used it is a cost-saving option for manufacturers looking to upgrade.
SL903 is fitted with a three head vacuum carton feeder and a longer carton magazine with a motorised hopper. The machine is also equipped with hand cranks to adjust carton flight chains and the pockets of the infeed conveyor.
The machine was especially designed for the rugged environment of the food industry with easy-to-clean stainless steel and machine guards that were carefully designed for easy access and maximum visibility, said the company.
The machine is run from a touch-screen control panel. Any jams can be fixed by lifting the guard over the product inserter, which allows for safe and quick return to productivity.