One of the USA’s most well-known candy manufacturers needed to replace its slat switch. The plant had to set aside two hours every other week for slat switch maintenance, boosting annual labor costs for this application alone to $11,000. Complicating matters further, the model was discontinued, and outsourcing spare parts was both expensive and inconvenient. The slat switch had not been replaced as no other equipment could handle the manufacturer’s small, fast product (5.75 in x 3.75 in, 1-in tall, conveyed at 200 parts per minute [ppm]).
The candy manufacturer turned to Intralox for a solution: the Intralox® Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB™) Switch S7050. A factory acceptance test of its product on the ARB Switch S7050 convinced the candy manufacturer that it had chosen well. Plant officials liked the accessibility and product control that the ARB Switch provides, as S7050 equipment is designed to handle small products at high speeds—perfect for the manufacturer’s package size and desired throughput. Also, the ARB Switch S7050 features an improved finger plate transfer that enables proper product orientation, thus reducing the risk of skewing, jamming, scrap, and waste.
In the 10 months since installation, the candy manufacturer has completely eliminated maintenance cost and time, allowing past scheduled downtime to be used for production. The ARB Switch has not required any spare parts, though parts are in stock with a short lead time. Throughput is at 200 ppm and can increase by 50% if needed. The candy manufacturer is so pleased with Intralox’s products and service that the same plant is retrofitting conveyors in other areas to Intralox ThermoDrive® belting.