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Origa cylinder technology helps Wrigleys.

Origa Cylinder Technology Helps Wrigleys

By utilising the speed and power of Origa rodless pneumatic cylinders, engineers at The Wrigley Co, the chewing gum manufacturers, have developed a machine to improve the efficiency of inspection on its packaging lines. Not only has throughput been significantly increased but two inspection operatives have been deployed to more productive duties within the factory.

For more than half a century boxes of Wrigleys chewing gum have been a familiar sight on sweetshop counters but, until recently, checking the contents of each box prior to dispatch has been a laborious task. Now, however, a machine which features Origa P210 Series rodless cylinders can automatically inspect up to ninety boxes per minute, and reject any that fail to meet Wrigley's standards of quality control.

Each display box contains twenty packs of chewing gum arranged in a double layer, each comprising two rows of five. The boxes are filled mechanically at the end of a line which wraps the individual packets of five or seven sticks of gum. Boxes are checked to ensure the correct number of packets are included and all are lying correctly in the box.

Suspended horizontally at right angles above each conveyor is a 25mm bore Origa cylinder with a stroke length of 200mm. Attached to the yoke is a simple pusher bar. If a packaging defect or shortfall is detected, a signal via the PLC controller activates the cylinder, causing the pusher bar to 'sweep' the offending box off the main conveyor and along a side chute into a collection bin from which the individual packs can be recovered and repackaged.

The speed of operation the Origa cylinders are required to cycle in is just 300 milliseconds - that is, to sweep across the conveyor, thus removing the box, and back again before the next box passes.

Origa Ltd of Tewkesbury, Gloucester recommended end-face porting to achieve the cycle time, the inclusion of Viton seals and reed switches to operate the controller. The rigidity of the cylinders' aluminium bodies has enabled Wrigley engineers to mount the units above the conveyors without the need for additional secondary support hardware.

The result is a simple tidy design which makes the machine easy to clean and maintain, and therefore ideal for processing foodstuffs. As chewing gum is coated with finely powdered sugar or sugar substitute, a fine airborne dust is always present. This could have posed a problem for conventional 'roded' cylinders or electromechanical devices. However, the self-cleaning stainless steel sealing strips of the Origa rodless cylinders are unaffected and pose no threat of contamination.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Wrigley Co.; Origa Ltd.
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Previous Article:Ink-jet coders make dairy products more accountable.
Next Article:Vision technology - meeting the challenge of food quality standards.

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