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Astec provide the missing link at Honeytop Speciality Foods

22-Feb 2010 - Press Release

Founded in 1984, Honeytop Speciality Foods Ltd, Europe's leading volume manufacturer of high quality, authentic naan breads and various types of flatbreads, recently invited Astec Conveyors to present efficient and cost effective proposals for the integration of the new packaging equipment into their production halls.

At its modern production centre in Dunstable, where product is made in a controlled environment, two new RG Luma Automation lines were installed side-by-side to improve productivity, maintain hygiene standards and increase speed of production utilising Flexpicker robots for the picking and packing of crumpets. The stacked crumpets are fed to four independent flow wrapping machines.

Honeytop Speciality Foods wanted Astec Conveyors to design a conveying system from the discharge of the flow wrappers in the production hall, through to the warehouse for packing into baskets or cases ready for hand palletising.

In principle this appeared to be simple, but in practice was less so, as the flow wrappers were located between the RG Luma lines and the space restrictions created difficulties for access and integration. Also, a clear passageway had to be maintained to allow pallet trucks free movement between the lines.

Astec Conveyors designed, manufactured and installed a stainless steel, food quality modular plastic belt conveying system, combining a series of 4 1/2" slat conveyors plus 90 & 180 degree bends. Initial thoughts of incorporating a new spiral elevator to transport product from the flow wrappers to overhead conveyors had to be abandoned due to the space restrictions and the need to maintain clear access.

This challenge was overcome in co-operation with RG Luma, as the outer guarding of the robot machines had to be modified to create a passageway through the machines. This allowed wrapped product to be discharged from the flow wrappers down a chute to a low level conveyor, to be transported through the machines, up an inclined modular belt conveyor and onto the warehouse via overhead modular plastic slat conveyors. This system optimised the available space and maintained clear access for pallet trucks

On entering the warehouse, product was conveyed to low level where it was transferred into a checkweigher, prior to being packed and palletised.

Astec Conveyors in-house controls department designed a bespoke control system which would allow the conveyors to change speed depending on the production conditions. As one RG Luma Automation Flexpicker can handle the total production if required, the conveyor system automatically adjusts speed to suit.

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