Innovation At Work
August 1, 2006
Innovation At Work
Dyco helps dairy minimize labor with innovative storage and retrieval system.
When Martins Ferry, Ohio-based United Dairy Inc. needed a storage and retrieval solution, Dyco delivered satisfaction with the installation of its new Mini-Bin Bulk Storage and Retrieval System.
“United needed a system that minimized labor and consumable materials such as corrugated boxes or bags,” says Scott Seversin, technical salesperson for Dyco. “They had a blow molder on order, but needed the system between that and the filler. In other words, United needed to get the bottles from the blow molder to the filler.
I was responsible for discovering the wants and needs of United, and later working with Dyco’s application specialists and engineering department to come up with a solution for their needs. We presented all of the features and benefits of the Mini-Bin System to United, and later received an order for installation.”
The dairy was actually purchasing a new Rocheleau 10-head blow molder to manufacture their own 8-ounce bottles instead of buying from an outside supplier, Seversin says.
“They needed a bottle handling system to convey bottles from the new blow molder to their filling line,” he says. “The system also had to have the capability of storing bottles from the blow mold machine when the filling line was not running and later feeding bottles back on line, supplementing the blow mold when filler was running. Supplementing the blow mold allows for desired filling speeds. The system had to be fully automated with minimal operator intervention.”
With Dyco’s newly designed and implemented Mini-Bin Bulk Storage and Retrieval System, bottles are fed into and stored in mobile bins from a blow molder. These mini-bins are then easily moved around on their integrated casters and stored in a warehouse or shipped to another facility for filling. When the containers are required for filling, a bin is pushed into position, attached to a specialized elevator, and conveyed into an unscrambler. The Mini-Bin System minimizes the labor associated with unloading containers into a descrambler and consumes no materials such as plastic film or banding used in other shipping or storage methods.
“The Mini-Bin Bulk Storage and Retrieval System from Dyco provides us an automated, innovative alternative to storing and retrieving small, empty plastic containers,” says Gary Cowell, vice president of operations for United Dairy. “The system has helped minimize the labor and time associated with hand loading bottles for orientation. It has helped eliminate the cost associated with materials such as corrugated boxes, plastic film and banding consumed in other shipping or storage methods.”
The stainless-steel framed bins, made from FDA-approved materials, are equipped with integrated casters for easy maneuvering and the loaded mini bins are easily warehoused to await filling or can be transported off site to be filled at another facility, Seversin says.
With this system, containers are conveyed directly from a blow molder and are directed to multiple mini-bin load stations. Once a mini-bin has been filled to capacity, the containers feeding from the blow molder are automatically redirected to another empty bin. “The full bin is then easily removed from the loading position and replaced with an empty bin, providing a constant alternate bin filling process,” Seversin says. “This allows for a non-stop, smooth running, continual blow-molding operation, eliminating waste and overhead.”
United’s Cowell says Dyco did a great job. “Besides the benefits I already mentioned, I really like the trouble-free operation, more specifically the bulk conveyor,” he says. “I don’t have to deal with any issues of bottles being tipped over or jamming up.”