Columns

Field Report
Got milk? Palletizing system
has it and moves it--fast

March 4, 2004
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Fluid milk plant improves efficiency on its processing and packaging lines.

The Currie LSP-7 includes a heavy-duty rack and pinion-operated stripper plate that moves throughout the cycle without flexing, which allows the unit to run Turner’s corrugated or plastic cases with equal efficiency and minimal changeover time. Source: Currie Machinery.
The mission? To transform the former Gold Star Dairy plant into a state-of-the-art facility that would not only produce 190,000 gallons of milk each day but also be versatile enough to do so in long and short runs and in corrugated or plastic crates as needed. Sound tough? It did to Mike Flagg, operations manager for the Little Rock, AR plant owned by Turner Holdings. "We needed a machine that would interchangeably palletize corrugated cases and plastic crates on our four filling lines and that would readily integrate with the other new equipment, like rotary stretch-wrappers, that we were installing as part of the remodel," says Flagg.

Built in 1981, the plant was completely stripped and rebuilt without shutting down during the 18-month long project. Turner Holdings' goal was to create its largest, most technologically advanced processing facility out of the Gold Star Dairy plant. The renovation needed to expand capacity for existing products, reduce maintenance costs, replace older machinery to increase efficiency and production, and improve ergonomics and worker safety. "We were looking to make our processing and packaging lines more cost efficient and do long runs for our own brands and our larger customers and shorter runs for our smaller customers," says Flagg.

To help solve the company's palletizing issues, Flagg consulted a manufacturing rep firm that recommended Currie Machinery. Impressed by the Currie LSP-7 palletizer's ability to handle changeovers, Flagg selected the equipment as part of the plant's renovation.

The plant installed four filling lines with an accumulation and conveying system that feeds into three Currie LSP-7 palletizers with layer squaring or "squeezer" units. The squeezer holds a layer of plastic crates in position after it is formed until it is dropped into position and nested on the previous layer in the stacking process. The palletizers run 30 to 60 cases per minute and their multiple product memories were programmed by the dairy's production foreman to run the various crate and carton patterns required for both Coleman products and customers' private label products. The plant typically runs a 3x3 or split seven case pattern at a mean case rate of 25-30 cases per minute. Currently, the largest cases running are 12x18 corrugated palletized on 40x48 pallets. The smallest are 12x12 plastic crates holding four gallons of milk that are palletized on 40x40 pallets.

If necessary, the LSP-7 units can be upgraded to process 30-50 cases per minute, reaching quantities upwards of 60 cases per minute. "The palletizers can be programmed to run various crates and cartons in a variety of patterns and they required no modifications other than the addition of the squeezer unit," says Flagg. "We expanded our palletizing operations from one to three without requiring any additional employees, and we met our goal of improving worker safety and reducing the potential for work-related claims."

For more information:
Currie Machinery
408-727-0422
www.currie.net

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +