Package your cream cheese, process cheese, or other food products more reliably and less expensively with the latest servo-controlled, polished stainless steel filling equipment from HART Design & Manufacturing. Avoid headaches and downtime. Enjoy the benefits of a customized, robust production line that you can be confident is going to get the job done.
HART uses proven technologies coupled with continual innovation to produce reliable, hygienic filling equipment to satisfy your specific processing or packaging requirements.
HART’s Filling Products
Improve the Speed and Reliability of Your Cream Cheese or Process Cheese Line with HART Filling Equipment
HART is best known for the quality and reliability of its cheese filling equipment. Following is a description of how our filling products work.
Carton-formers / erectors are used for cartoned packages, whereas pouches are inserted into stainless cavities if a soft pack is desired.
A carton-former erects a pre-cut cardboard blank into the particular form of the carton to be used. The HART packaging line can fill a one-piece or two-piece carton style. The formed carton is then conveyed to the infeed of the filling line. If the carton is a one-piece style, the scores are creased on an alternate infeed section.
The erected cartons then move on to the carton creaser section. Cartons are fed into the pusher lugs of the carton creaser automatically. As the cartons are indexed, flaps are folded down and held in such a position. The pusher lugs carry the cartons through the carton creaser and discharges them, with flaps down, into the carrier pockets of the indexing conveyor.
The auto-pouch section of the filling line forms a pouch from roll stock material by running it through a series of dancer rolls, forming board, and nose piece to ultimately make a gusseted bottom pouch of proper size.
The roll stock film has a maximum diameter of 24 inches with a core diameter of 6 inches. A powered unwind unit pulls the film web from the rolls. An optional servo web aligner guides the film through a set of stationary and dancer rollers into the forming board. Prior to the pouch forming board the edge is turned over to provide an “easy opening” feature. The turned over edge also adds rigidity to the pouch which enables the pouch to be more erect in the carton.
Side seal bars section off the film web into individual pouches. Servo driven nip rolls pull the pouches into the opener / inserter section. As a pouch is fed out over the opener / inserter it is held by a set of vacuum jaws. The pouch is then cut by a shear knife and opened by servo-driven vacuum boxes. An expanding mandrel then enters the opened pouch and inserts it into a carton. The pouch assumes a perfectly formed rectangular bottom, exactly duplicating the inside dimensions of the formed carton. The pouch has no creases or film wrinkles to mar the display appearance. The inserted pouches remain erect in all four corners of the carton.
The auto-pouch section is PLC controlled and has the capability to run registered or unregistered film. The pouchmaker section has a no carton / no pouch feature. Defective pouches or cartons are detected and rejected prior to the filling system.
Distinct Auto-Pouch Assemblies
Each core shaft has a roll side adjustment that is used to move the film roll to achieve top edge evenness.
The film is unwound by means of a nip roll. The speed of the unwind is controlled by a programmable variable speed DC drive. An additional nip roll is located near the film cutoff. Constant tension between the nip rolls is maintained throughout the pouchmaker.
The film runs through a former to make a C-fold and then bottom gussets it to the proper size. It will also turn over the top edge of the pouch. Advantages of the turned over edge are that if the pouch stays open during filling, it makes the pouch easier to open after sealed and if the film edges are not lined up, it minimizes wax build-up when the fin seal is made. An additional size requires the changing of the nosepiece.
The film goes through the heat seal station. The heating bars are held by a pancake assembly, which allows seal adjustment up and down as well as pouch length.
If a carton is detected the web is advanced to the opener / inserter section. The pouch is cut off by a guillotine knife at its proper length and held in place by a servo-controlled vacuum box. The knife is easy to set in place and inexpensive to sharpen. The pouch is then opened with suction cups and the pouch mandrel inserts it into the carton for filling. Upon insertion of the pouch into the carton or carrier, the carton / carrier is directed to the filler.
Distinct Filler Assemblies
The cartons are pushed into the conveyor section by means of line pressure on the continuous conveyor. A backlog eye stops carton from feeding. A gate opens upon a signal from the filler. A carton is released into the filler conveyor section.
The filler indexing conveyor is a single lane lugged chain conveyor, which indexes the pouches through the various stations of the filler unit. A servo motor or gearbox drives the filler conveyor. The main AC motor drives the forming ram, filler, flaring fingers, and fin seal.
In the insert section a forming ram inserts the pouch (made by the auto-poucher) into the carton. To make sure the pouch is inserted properly the forming ram block flares out with use of air cylinders as it is inserted. The forming ram retracts and releases the pouch formed in the carton. The pouched carton then passes through a reject station. In this station, if a pouch is not detected, the carton is blown off by means of an air blast.
The flarer unit is a vertically reciprocating unit with flare fingers or rods that extend downward toward the pouch interior.
After flaring, the flared, pouched carton is indexed through to the fill station. A servo motor will lower the filler head into the pouch for filling. If the viscosity of the cheese changes, the speed of the lowering action can be changed. The filler is a mechanically powered single piston that measures product by volume. The filler has four basic functions in its operation:
- First there is the fill piston reciprocation, which is accomplished by a shaft-mounted cam. The linkage contains a screw adjustment, which can increase or decrease the amount of fill piston travel, thus changing the product volume as required. The adjustment is done by a push button from the console. The button activates a stepper motor and turns the adjustment screw. Optionally, it can be tied to a checkweigher and adjusted automatically from the weighed packages.
- The second function is a rotary spool valve located in the hopper base. It permits product flow from the hopper into the piston-cylinder on the suction stroke, then upon actuation, allows the product to be pumped down through the nozzle. A photo-eye mounted before the filling station, looks for a carton. It will engage the no-fill lockout feature if the photo-eye fails to see a carton.
- The third function utilizes a double acting air cylinder to activate the rotary valve on the nozzle. Once the valve opens, cheese is filled into the pouch. The rotary valve is used with process cheese. For cream cheese application, a tapered nozzle would be used.
- A fourth function is an optional product agitator inside the hopper. The standard hopper is single walled and comes with a one-piece cover. The customer can purchase a two-wall hopper where warm water can be run between the walls to prevent the cheese from cooling or setting. A two-piece hopper cover can be added for simplicity in setting the level of cheese in the hopper especially during start-up.
Once filled, the carton goes on to the fin-sealing unit. At the fin sealing station, spreader fingers rotate downward and pull the ends of the pouch outward. This motion is caused by a lever and control rod system actuated by a vertical rod connected to a cam-operated level arm. After the spreader fingers pull out the pouch ends, two heated seal bars pivot down and effect a heated fin seal on the pouch.
The package is then indexed to a tamper assembly. The function of this unit is to plow down the fin seal and expel trapped air from the headspace of the package. The tamper is actuated by means of an air cylinder.
The package then goes to the ear sealing section. This section flattens the pouch ears out and turns them through an upper and lower anvil. Once the ear is between the anvils, an air cylinder brings the heated upper anvil down to seal the ear.
The package is then indexed to a carton conveyor. The filled packages will be discharged to a lidding operation or in the case of a one-piece carton, the package will be discharged to a carton sealer. The carton sealer will plow over the carton flaps, apply glue to a specified area, and then close the flaps upon themselves.