CASE STUDY | Lantech Q-1000 Receives Custom Retrofit For Seamless Line Integration
Best Packaging had recently installed a refurbished Lantech Q-1000 conveyorized stretch wrapper in a large beverage canner’s Goodyear, AZ facility. The corporation was pleased with the installation in Arizona and recommended Best Packaging to their partner facility in Hawaii. The Hawaii facility, however, required an additional custom retrofit, which we were obliged to deliver.
Say Aloha to the World's Leading Beverage Canner
Our customer, the world’s leading provider of aluminum packaging for beverage, personal care, and household products, has highly sophisticated production lines at both their Arizona and their Hawaii facilities. They were rather discerning about what stretch wrapping solution would best fit their end-of-line, rightfully so. It was determined that they would need 10 feet each of infeed and outfeed conveyor, rather than the five feet that comes standard on their preferred stretch wrap machine, the Lantech Q-1000. In addition to the conveyor requirements, the Hawaii plant endeavored to upgrade their packaging system’s PLC to become part of their automated industrial network.
The Challenge of Retrofitting Machinery for Seamless Integration
It was clear from the start that our Hawaii customer needed more than just a standard refurbishment. They needed additional conveyor and upgraded controls, including a new PLC and variable frequency drives. Each piece had its own challenges.
We initially reached out to the stretch wrap machine’s manufacturer to order the additional 10 feet of conveyor. Lantech’s team informed us that this is more than a simple parts order. Since they do not regularly sell conveyor, they would require an engineer to custom retrofit the parts for our client. As the representatives at Lantech explained, this process would have taken them about 10-12 weeks.
The Lantech Q-1000 typically comes with a good programmable logic control, like a Schneider Electric, or Seimens system, but our customer wanted an Allen Bradley Compact Logix PLC for smooth communication with their existing equipment.
For the additional sections of conveyor, variable frequency drives (VFDs) needed to be installed for improved function. By having both the PLC and VFDs controlled by ethernet, the speed of the conveyor can be adjusted, even remotely. Variable speed is needed to bridge the gap between the plant’s existing conveyor speed and the Q-1000’s conveyor speed. Without a smooth transition from the existing line to the new stretch wrapper, the mechanisms on both ends are prone to damage.
Why They Chose A Refurbished Stretch Wrapper with Allen Bradley PLC
It was wise of our customer to take this opportunity while sourcing new equipment to update their end of line to become part of their IIOT network. Industry 4.0 technology is becoming more accessible and the time to update is now. As we learned from previous customers, inaction can be even more costly when the PLC is so obsolete that manufacturer support is no longer available. Since their current equipment utilizes Allen Bradley controls, our customer’s maintenance team was most comfortable with this system, making it an obvious choice to be installed in the refurbished Q-1000.
There are many reasons to opt for certified refurbished equipment, including cost savings, and/or lead time compared to OEM equipment. In this case, what mattered most was the record of success we established with their partner facility as well as other plants like it.
Restored Electrical Panel
How We Delivered
Best Packaging’s team found conveyor compatible with the stretch wrapper within 2 weeks, compared to the OEM’s 12. Both the original conveyor and additional 10 feet received restoration, including rust removal and paint touch-ups. Photo eye sensors were also added to each 5-foot section of conveyor so that it detects the load and moves accordingly. Essentially, this feature enables the line to run on an accumulation basis rather than one product at a time, as they previously ran it. “It’s a smarter system that waits for the next spot to be available, ultimately increasing their production rate,” says Best Packaging service manager, Nick Egan.
The stretch wrapper also received a complete electrical panel overhaul, including total replacement of circuit boards and wiring, housed neatly in a NEMA 12 enclosure.
Our experience with this beverage canner epitomizes the expression, “The first step in a long journey of perfection and success starts with a good job.” After two successful installations, Best Packaging is regarded by the canning company as their top resource when it comes to packaging equipment repair, maintenance, and sales. When manufacturers have multiple plants throughout the nation, it’s important to have a dedicated equipment resource that understands the ins and outs of your production line.
For great, customized solutions that can be repeated in each facility, call the Packaging Equipment Specialists! 888-930-BEST.