Cremer’s HQ Series counting & dispensing machines provides 100% accuracy for packaging laundry pods and dishwashing pacs, eliminating wasteful giveaways.
Towaco, N.J. – Cremer, a leading supplier of product counting machines in the U.S. for a wide array of applications, recently helped a prominent manufacturer of laundry pods and dishwashing pacs virtually eliminate product wastage due to overage. The project, which also included mitigating the effect of detergent products’ inherent stickiness, centered around Cremer’s HQ Series, a line of compact counting and packaging machines providing fast, reliable and cost-efficient counting solutions for a variety of items.
The detergent products manufacturer, which has facilities in North America and Europe, enjoys an exemplary record of customer satisfaction. But despite having converted much of its end-of-line inspection to counting operations, some lines were still using traditional weighing techniques. To prevent reputation-damaging undercounts, the detergent manufacturer was erring on the side of caution.
The result was an abundance of overage; in fact, for every 20 dish detergent pacs it was giving one away for free – an attrition rate of an unwieldy 5%. Considering the high-speed nature of its filling process, this amounted to more than a million giveaways per month, at a cost well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Stickiness was another concern. Liquid laundry pods are made by water soluble film through a mold. The film is placed over the drum and vacuumed, then filled with the liquid detergent or combination of detergent, softener and/or scent. When the product emerges it is sticky, making precise dosing a challenge – one only exacerbated by the product’s exceedingly light weight of just 25mg.
The detergent manufacturer decided to forgo weighers or robot picking entirely, and instead install several machines from Cremer’s HQ Series. Available in HQ, HQF and HQI models, the versatile counting machines can be used for a wide variety of pods - either in bulk quantities or single piece discharges into any package. The HQ Series is scalable for varying production levels depending on product type and output, including the high volumes typically found in detergent manufacturing.
Importantly, the sophisticated new Cremer HQ Series counters are even better at separating stickier items than preceding models. Solutions such as these have given many suppliers the production freedom and versatility to develop and manufacturer more innovative, aesthetically pleasing detergent pods and pacs – including multi-ingredient and multi-color versions. The laned system also helps diminish downtime associated with maintenance and cleaning.
“Optical counting – as opposed to weight-centric quality control – guarantees that the net content count is 100 percent accurate for both wholesale and retail packages,” said Brian Pomponio, Business Development Manager of Cremer North America. “In addition, a lane-based approach to sorting helps make even sticky items simple to separate.”
The counting machines were placed at the same spot as the original multihead weighers directly atop the bag filling machine and over the existing conveyor belt for precise positioning and discharge of product counts into plastic tubs.
At one of its production sites, the detergent manufacturer also invested in a buffering system that takes eight full minutes to fill – mitigating the downtime expense of sudden machine stops. Considering this, the partnership with Cremer produced not only an exacting counting system unaffected by minor product weight deviations, but also a line management solution that helps absorb “time is money” revenue loss incurred by unscheduled downtime.