Filling machine manufacturer Riggs Autopack Ltd, has recently completed two projects with their established client The Tracklement Company Ltd.
Tracklements of Malmesbury, Wiltshire, is one of the UK’s leading providers of chutneys, dressings and condiments, which are as good on the side of the plate as they are when used as dips, marinades or as an ingredient in cooking.
As part of the company’s on-going investment and expanding production requirements, Riggs Autopack was selected to install a new filling line to accurately dispense a variety of new products and to cope with an increase in demand.
The new line incorporated a fully automatic twin head filling machine with interlock doors, selectable dipping head assembly for container neck entry, and clamps to locate the smallest bottle necks within a millimetre tolerance. The filling machine 200 litre hopper was fitted with an agitation system to keep particulates within dressings in suspension.
All change parts are quickly and easily detachable to allow for rapid cleaning and fast product change overs resulting in minimum down time. Riggs Autopack’s filling machines provide highly accurate and reliable filling with quick strip down and simple cleaning features that require no tools and involve minimal parts. Ideally suited for hot or cold fills, these machines have been used by Tracklements in various forms for nearly 10 years.
The project scope included a 6 metre continuous running conveyor through the filling machine and a new automatic capping machine suitable for twist-off lids (the capping machine was sourced from a third party supplier, integrated and project managed by Riggs Autopack as part of the scheme). The conveyor was employed to effectively transfer tall, thin and therefore relatively unstable containers through the line, before finally being taken off to the labelling machine.
The new line was configured to handle many different shapes and capacity of containers for maximum flexibility of fill. During installation and commissioning, Riggs Autopack worked closely with Tracklements engineering department to optimise the line to meet site working practices and therefore provide efficient production speeds.
Production Manager Malcolm Hudson commented “I am very happy to have worked with Riggs Autopack to obtain what I believe is the best production line set-up, and very pleased with the partnership between the two companies”.
Future upgrades are also planned to allow for hybrid filling, by introducing a stop-to-fill routine allowing the filling of awkward shaped containers which would otherwise be unstable within a conventional conveyor gating system.
During the time on-site, Tracklements also asked Riggs to look at upgrading an existing Riggs Autopack filling line supplied 6 years earlier (as shown below). This twin head automatic filling line was used on standard glass jar filling operations and regularly ran at around 32 – 34 jars per minute. Over time, some of the control enclosures and components were in need of attention and the dated pneumatic control logic was at times limiting performance.
Riggs Autopack offered to replace all pneumatic switch gears on the filling machine with electric sensors and upgrade the PLC control to meet current standard routines. Tracklements placed an order for this work and within four weeks the line had been upgraded. It is now running consistently at rates of 62 – 64 jars per minute on their products.
Malcolm Hudson further commented “Tracklements is extremely pleased with the upgrade. The near doubling of production capacity on this line is extremely welcome as we strive to meet an expanding client list and order book. Riggs Autopack upgraded the line within 4 weeks and delivered immediate performance benefits with no unplanned loss of production time; we were very impressed”.