Handling

Handling of biscuits, base cakes or crackers often starts with an organized pattern coming from the oven/cooling conveyor. Houdijk engineers product handling solutions to connect the oven with many different applications, including:

  • Product pattern presentation to depositing/capping systems.
  • Stacked arrival and feeding into stencil creamer sandwiching machines.
  • Stacked arrival and feeding into volumetric slug length measuring loaders.
  • Stacked arrival and feeding into (flow)wrappers featuring pile/stack feeders.

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Feeding sandwich machines

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Feeding wrappers

Eliminate permanent interference of operators using highest level of automation

Houdijk offers the highest level of automation in handling systems eliminating the need for permanent interference of operators. Often the word automation is misused for production lines which are semi-automated or mechanized. As a consequence operators are still required to assist and/or relax the system in case of an up- or downstream stop.

As far as Houdijk is concerned, automation means that only supervision will be required, thus reducing the number of operators to a bare minimum.

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Feeding depositors, enrobers and moulding lines

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CLIPPER™ slug length measuring loaders

Heavy duty design

Extensive expertise with high oven outputs, where speeds of 1.000 products/minute per lane are not exceptional; the system’s heavy duty design is suitable for a 24/7 production.

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Main components of the system

A typical handling line consists of the following functions:

  • Discharging of out of specification products using a PULL NOSE CONVEYOR.
  • Receiving and guiding of incoming product via a DRIBBLE BOARD and conveyors.
  • Inverting of products e.g. when feeding stencil creamer by DRIBBLE BOARD.
  • Lane expansion or reduction, manipulation by air pulses.
  • Individual lane reject when reaching maximum buffer levels.
  • Stacking (shingling) either using a pennystacking FLIP ROLLER or a ROTARYSTACKER.
  • Buffering by vibratory conveyor optionally with twist to discharge products lying flat underneath the product stack.
  • Line control by centralized operating system.

Vibratory feeding

Houdijk’s proprietary vibratory feeding design offers clients unique advantages.

The vibratory conveyor tracks are equipped with level sensors to control the product flow. They measure the buffer level of the products in case of a downstream machine stop. After the machine is back in operation, it directs the machine to surge speed to empty the buffer.

The system features either central PULL NOSE CONVEYOR or INDIVIDUAL LANE DUMP facilities to automatically relax the associated leg when the system meets maximum buffer levels.

Each section is speed controlled via the HMI control panel of the system. This execution assures synchronization between the different sections, quick start up curve and easy tuning and maintenance.

With only one drive per track section with amplitude feedback sensor, it allows:

  • Easy synchronization and speed set-up between the different sections of the complete system.
  • Controlled back pressure.
  • Dynamic vibratory speed variation via the loading level sensors of the system.
  • Amplitude feedback to guarantee a constant speed during the life cycle of the spring package.
  • Very even distribution of the vibrations over the product tracks of the system.
  • Easy maintenance as leaf spring packet can be mounted separately, enabling a stress free mounting of the spring leafs.
  • Quick change tracks for easy changeover for different product dimensions and shapes.
  • Easy and quick installation and commissioning.

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Operation and maintenance friendliness

Houdijk’s systems are specifically designed to allow access by operators to all areas of the system. All product lanes can be ergonomically reached.

To maintain the system, the HMI provides valuable information to maintenance personnel about the condition of the system like the belt tracking management system.

Attention is paid to the layout of the system. All parts are easy accessible for maintenance and cleaning purposes. Conveyor belts are continuously scraped to keep the surface clean and to maintain line performance. Residue is collected in crumb trays positioned under the scraper to keep the system area clean. The frame structures of the system allow elevated platforms to enhance accessibility of the system.

Side guiding over conveyors is mounted in firm and sturdy supports. Optionally side guide structures can be executed in liftable or in removable ergonomic sections. This enables easy access to conveyor belts for cleaning the surface.

PENDULUM™ system

In order to optimize the cooling of freshly creamed products, the PENDULUM™ system spreads the sandwich flow and reduces the speed/length of the cooling conveyor. The PENDULUM™ system maintains a high hygiene standard as it is composed solely of conveyors.

In contrast to traditional creamer multipliers, The PENDULUM™ system carries products on the stable and clean base cake surface. The product remains untouched on its most sensitive side in order to manipulate the lane. The belts are continuously scraped and are easy to clean maintaining an optimum performing condition.

The belt structure of the PENDULUM™ can be used to angle the line to fit in the available space of the factory.

Pendulum™ System

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The Houdijk conveying and vibratory handling systems are the connection between oven and downstream equipment. Products need to be delivered in a stacked (rotary or penny stacked) position. The handling systems are key for the performance of the total line and determine to a large extent the overall production line efficiency. Houdijk offers ultimate automation and high efficiency to handle the product flow.

System performance

The downstream system performance is heavily influenced by the performance of the product handling system. Some main features are:

  • Avoiding lane migration: always apply distinct product lane separation and control.
  • Uncompromised sequential use of conveyors to control product travel speed, avoiding uncontrolled product behaviour.
  • Controlled product arrival to the stacking function, to avoid interruptions in stacking.
  • Evacuation of flat positioned products in the stacked product flow.
  • Buffer functionality to absorb automatically incoming production, whilst the downstream is temporarily stopped.
  • Speed control of the downstream systems to relax and empty the buffer after a stop.
  • Back pressure control in product stacking under all circumstances, the back pressure is continuously monitored and controlled.
  • Product waste is minimized by means of the pressure control, avoiding stack explosions in lanes.
  • In case of an interruption in the product stacking, round products will automatically re-stack due to the design of the vibratory tracks.

BISCUIT SELECTOR™

To maximize the line efficiency, Houdijk offers the BISCUIT SELECTOR™. On rotary moulded/cut biscuit lines, the BISCUIT SELECTOR™ discharges products, which are in length wise not properly cut and are still connected. Only individual products will enter the downstream handling system.

To evacuate connected products before the handling line, the number of potential jams is minimized and interference of operators is scaled down.

The system includes an automatic crusher system for the discharge and is easily adjustable for different product sizes. When activated, the selector can also be used as an overall emergency exit.

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Feeding from bulk

Infeed system to depositor/capping system in case products require offline conditioning. The products are supplied in bulk and manually fed into a hopper. By the Houdijk handling system the products are brought in lanes stacked and fed to magazines which feed the downstream equipment. Optionally the system can be executed with camera control system and a flipping system to load the biscuits with the correct orientation (top/bottom).

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