Custom Air Knives Save 120 Manufacturing Hours
Valley Packline Solutions & JetAir Technologies Deliver Unique Solution Using Custom JetBlast Air Knives
It’s no secret that putting wet product into secondary packaging causes problems. Air knives have been used for decades to address this issue. What happens, though, when the secondary packaging itself is wet? That was the question that Scholle IPN, a leader in bag-in-box and spouted pouch packaging, had to answer.
Scholle had cleverly designed reusable, collapsible bins for boxed wine bladders that the end user could return for refilling. Upon returning to Scholle’s facility, the bins needed to be cleaned and refilled. They dedicated three employees to re-erecting and pressure washing these bins to maintain a pace of 60 bins per hour.
Scholle IPN wanted to save labor and automate a system, so they reached out to the line engineering experts at Valley Packline Solutions. Valley Packline specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacture of produce handling and processing equipment. They introduced a system that pulled bins directly off the truck and fed them into an erector/wash system that eliminated the existing pressure washer. They didn’t stop there. They engineered a process to feed the washed bins into the facility to be refilled with bladders.
Because the bins would now be immediately refilled, a second problem arose. The bins needed to be dried.
Quickly drying collapsible bins proved a challenge. Common air knives left the bins wet and unusable.
THE AIR KNIFE SOLUTION
JetAir Technologies was there to help. As this was a unique application, JetAir Technologies methodically tested a wide array of solutions to find the ideal answer. Using a sample bin in house, JetAir tested a number of configurations of blowers and air knives to ensure the best results. Arriving at a solution, they designed, engineered, and manufactured custom square rings of JetBlasts (nozzled air knives). Valley Packline actuated the air knives to bathe the bins in high-flow, high-efficiency, blower-powered air. One set of JetBlast air knives ran up and down the outside of the bin, drying the exterior, while the other simultaneously ran up and down the interior. The bin then moved to a second drying system that used additional JetBlast air knives to address residual moisture on the bin’s interior and exterior bottom.
“It was quite an extensive project to put in a drying system,” said Valley Packline’s Sales Manager Adam Fehr. “Testing was very helpful in making a decision.”
Together, Valley Packline Solutions and JetAir Technologies delivered an extremely custom, extremely effective solution to the end user. The system not only replaced the three employees dedicated to pressure washing bins, it improved throughput at the plant and ultimately only required one employee to man. At minimum, 120 manufacturing hours are saved every week.
Of working with JetAir, Fehr said, “You guys did great. The timely testing helped us show that it worked. The equipment came out very nice.”
To see video of the installed bin washer and dryer including the actuated JetBlast air knives, click here.