Drum Handling Solutions in the Food Industry

Accumulation, Ergonomic and Passageway Solutions for Drum Handling

When no one else could provide a solution for four problem areas, Omni Metalcraft Corp. was willing and able to supply the right solution. The combination of API’s integration and Omni’s custom manufacturing was the perfect match.

The Challenge: Four Unique Drum Handling Applications with Four Unique Solutions

Advanced Packaging Integration’s (API) customer approached them with a need for a washdown conveyor line to transport empty and full fiber drums from 17″ to 22″ in diameter and 24″ to 39″ tall.

Challenge #1: Lining Drums

Each drum had to receive a lining that went around the mouth and into the bottom of the drum. Due to the height of the drums it was not ergonomically feasible to line the drums on the conveyor itself.

The Solution: Omni worked with API to build a Pneumatic Drum Tilter that would tilt three to four drums, depending on size, to a 45° angle. With a simple foot switch the drums would tilt back to a predetermined angle allowing the operator to position the lining within the drum. Once the process was complete, the operator would simply depress the foot switch and the drum tilter returned the drums to a conveyor.

Drum Tilter

Challenge #2: Sealing Drum Liners

All drums then needed to be sealed and lidded. With the drums varying in height by up to 18″, it was not a proper ergonomic height to seal the linings and place the lids on all size drums from one elevation.

The Solution: A custom Hydraulic Scissor Lift Platform was designed to fit into the filling and sealing room to raise and lower operators to a more ergonomic height for sealing the liners and placing the lids on the drums. The scissor lift was designed with hand rails on three sides to match the operator’s access needs. The lift was also a washdown duty design with hydraulic food grade oils for product handling in the filling room. Due to the washdown environment, a washdown duty hydraulic power unit actuated the lift and also utilized a food grade oil.

Scissor Lift Platform

Challenge #3: Drum Accumulation

The drum tilter operation was an intermittent action and the drum unloading from the trucks was a constant action, resulting in the need for some empty drum accumulation to create a buffer for appropriate work flow.

The Solution: A Chain Driven Live Roller Conveyor utilizing Ultrex Sleeves was placed prior to the drum tilter to create the necessary accumulation buffer. Ultrex Sleeves were chosen to provide a medium pressure accumulation solution. To accommodate drums of different diameters, the sleeves were placed in small sections, throughout the conveyor for an even load distribution.

Drum Accumulation

Challenge #4: Passageway for Operators

Due to the compact layout in the filling room, there was no easy way for operators to get from one side of the filling room to the other with the new conveyor system in place.

The Solution: Omni integrated a lift gate into the Chain Driven Live Roller Conveyor line to create a pass thru for the operators. To avoid operators lifting a heavy gate, it was hydraulically actuated with controls placed on both operating sides of the conveyor.

Lift Gate

Case Study Details

  • The Product: Drums
  • The Industries: Food Manufacturing
  • The Components: Transportation and Accumulation CDLR with Ultrex Sleeves, Pneumatic Tilter, Hydraulic Platform Scissor Lift, Hydraulic Lift Gate

The Providers

Integration, Controls and Installation
Advanced Packaging Integration (API)
9322 Dielman Industrial Drive
St. Louis, MO 63132

End User
1417 Exchange Street,
Keokuk, IA 52632
Website: www.roquette.com

System Conveyors
Omni Metalcraft Corp.
Alpena, Michigan 49707

Advanced Packaging Integration