New Releases:

This year, Pace is introducing two new innovations in unscrambling technology: Omni-line High Speed Unscramblers and Pharma-line M300 with a “No Change Parts” option. 



Omni-line M800 & M1000 High Speed

Using a newly introduced patented Pace technology, the M800 & M1000 High Speed unscramblers continue to push the envelope of attainable bottle speeds. This proven technology runs light-weight PET 500ml bottles at 675+ bpm.

Pharma-line "No Change Parts"

For the Pharmaceutical industry, the new “No Change Parts” option further decreases the time required for changeover, resulting in increased efficiency and production time.  This new system runs round bottles ranging from 30cc to 500cc, while bottles outside this range can be run by our standard systems.

Pace in the News:

Barr Laboratories' new integrated packaging line runs 10 bottle sizes and 60 different products at 100 bottles per minute.


Steady sales growth at Jamieson Laboratories made it obvious that a new vitamin packaging line was needed. Electronic tablet counting brings big benefits.


Rug Doctor prescribes equipment changes for overhauled bottles, labels.


Continuous conveyor cleaner reduces downtime and spill problems on its filling line for liqueurs. The mop-up team has been reassigned.


Single-source success


Barr Laboratories' new integrated packaging line runs 10 bottle sizes and 60 different products at 100 bottles per minute.


by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor


A new single-source integrated packaging line is providing big benefits for Barr Laboratories' solid-dosage tablet and capsule plant in Forest, VA.  Installed a year ago, the 100-bottle-per-mintue line runs all 10 bottle sizes (30 to 1,500cc capacity) and all 60 products packaged at the plant.  "With its toolless changeover capabilities, this equipment is ideal for all of the different packages we run," says associate director of packaging Chris Baker.


Runs 100 bottle per minute

Plastic bottles are delivered to the line in paperboard boxes, and an operator dumps them into a hopper, where they enter a Pharma-line 300 unscrambler manufactured by Pace Packaging Corp.  The bottles discharge from the hopper onto a conveyor transporting them past a series of wheels and belts that turns them to the proper position.  The unit at Barr Labs is equipped with an optional ionized air rinse with a concurrent vacuum.  Bottles are placed in an inverted position so that the air can be blown upward into them, and any solids will fall out.  The bottles are turned into an upright position before they leave the machine.



The bottles then travel to a Model CF-1220-D dual-head electronic tablet filler manufactured by Cremer Packaging Technology.


"NJM/CLI did an excellent job for us on this project.  Installation and startup went very smoothly, and the line has run very well right from the beginning," says Baker.

Bottles discharge from an unscrambler hopper onto a conveyor, below left, that transports them past a series of wheels and belts that turns them to the proper position.



Reprinted from PACKAGING DIGEST September 2002

Copyright 2002 by Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier


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quick changeover

Vitamin maker counts on electronic filler

Steady sales growth at Jamieson Laboratories made it obvious that a new vitamin packaging line was needed. Electronic tablet counting brings big benefits.


by Pat Reynolds, Features Editor


Unscrambling is first

Bottles filled on Jamieson's new line are either high-density polyethylene (primarily for contract customers) or polyethylene terephthalate. They enter the line by way of an Omni-line Model 350 unscrambler supplied by Pace (Fairfield, NJ).



Bottles are placed directly onto the customers conveyor by way of Pace's Omni-line Model 350 unscrambler.


As bottles reach the tabletop conveyor that carries them through electronic filling, a diverter sends them down one side or the other of a lane divider. This permits the Cremer to fill two-up.


The smallest bottle filled on the line has an internal volume of 60 cc, the largest 375. Products include gelcaps, tablets and two-piece capsules. All product is fed into the line through a bulk bin that holds the contents of seven 20-L pails. Once this hopper is full, an operator hits a switch to elevate the hopper up to two overhead hoppers that feed directly into the Cremer machine. Cook says the floor-level bin is a welcome improvement over the method used on the old line. "It's nice not having to run up and down manually filling an overhead hopper," he says.


Each side of the twin-fill Cremer machine has three 12-channel vibrating pans. As tablets drop from the hopper into the first pan, they're essentially in a bulk flow. By the time they're vibrated to the second pan, they begin to separate from each other. By the third pan, the tablets are neatly aligned end to end in their channels. All that remains is for the tablet to be counted as it drops out of its channel and passes the counting sensor.


"Once the correct number of tablets has been counted into the delivery chute, memory flaps are shut above the chute so that the product for the next bottle can begin being counted immediately," says Cook.


Exiting the filler, bottles are conveyed to a cottoner and then a capper, both from NJM/CLI. Each cap has a foil liner that's induction-sealed, shortly after the capper, by an Enercon (Menomonee Falls, WI) system. "It produces a nice, clean seal, and it's easy to run," says Cook.



Excerpted from "Vitamin maker counts an electronic filler" Packaging World¨ January 2000


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Rug Doctor prescribes equipment changes for overhauled bottles, labels


Prompted by a major overhaul of bottles and labels, Rug Doctor revamps an existing bottling line to handle the new packaging and creates a speedier setup in the process ... as visited by Rick Lingle, Senior Editor.


The equipment here is literally what the Doctor ordered- Rug Doctor, that is. Equipment upgrades made over the years at its Fenton, MO, plant accelerated in mid-'98 when the Plano, TX-based company converted to drastically redesigned bottles. Previously round and white in a look best described as industrial, those existing bottles were replaced with new asymmetric bottles with a flair and a look that is more solidly retail.  

Faster pace
Setting the pace for the faster speeds are the Omni-line Model M-500 unscrambler and orienter from Pace. Bolted together as an integrated unit, the machinery's compactness is a plus for the Rug Doctor's space restrictions, notes Brandel, along with service and the overall "heavy duty" design. Dumped from bulk corrugated bins, bottles travel from a 75-cubic- foot hopper onto a rotary table from which they discharge in an end-to-end position on the orienter's conveyor. The 16- and 32-oz bottles, molded by CKS Packaging, are provided by Berlin Packaging. Run on the adjacent line, 64- and 128-oz bottles are molded by Liquid Container.


Bottles are then uprighted and oriented, if needed, into a neck-leading position. Brandel calls the integrated Pace machines an "outstanding" system. RD personnel had focused in on the Pace machines at the Pack Expo West show, sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, in Las Vegas in '97.



Bottles then convey to the infeed starwheel of the Laub/Hunt air-operated, gravity flow filler installed in '95. It had been selected for its speed and "soft handling" of the company's foamy products, RD says. It was also customized with a "foam extractor unit" built in-house using one of the RD's own industrial vacuum cleaners. Mounted atop the filler in late '98, the "FEU" basically sucks foam from the top neck opening of the bottles on the discharge starwheel through the attached vacuum hose.


The capper remains the same: a Model NRC-30 unit from The New Resina Co., that applies the caps to the bottles and uses three sets of rubber wheels to tighten them. As Resina cappers have long been a favorite on Rug Doctor production lines, this particular model was added in '95 for its "simplicity, flexibility and overall durability and endurance." RD personnel note that it accepted the new bottle styles without upgrading.


Closures, obtained through Berlin Packaging, are manufactured by two suppliers: Seaquist produces the 28/400 polypropylene flip-top closures used on pint sized bottles while Top-Seal produces the 28/400 flat-top PP closures used on all other sizes. The flip-top closures have a foil laminate innerseal while the flat-top closures have a foil laminate on a polymer foam backing. For the two larger bottles, 38/400 closures are used. Several days a month, a purple trigger sprayer from AFA, also obtained through Berlin Packaging, is manually applied and run through the capper, although RD expects to automate trigger application sometime in the next several months.


Capped bottles proceed through a new addition to the line made in '98: A Filtec¨ Model FT-50 level detector from Industrial Dynamics. Brandel calls it a "very reliable, excellent piece of equipment that ensures that there are no underweights." RD claims overfills are under two grams on the pint bottle. Complete with reject station, the Filtec machine replaces a checkweigher that Brandel says "had maintenance issues and required constant operator adjustment. Once it is set, the Filtec unit requires no adjustment."


Bottles continue on through a "medium sized" induction sealer, an Integral II 2-kw system from Enercon Industries added in '97. Brandel says that it was chosen for its tunnel design head to allow them to seal the dispensing caps.


Bottles pass between twin Willett Labeljet¨ Model 230S labelers, one on each side of the As conveyor, for front and back label application that is made simultaneously. RD added squeegee wipedown to the labelers, which is now an option on Labeljet units, PD is told. Containers pick up labels on two sides as they pass twin peel plates from both sides of the conveyor.


The bottles sport front and back pressure-sensitive labels rather than the previous glued, wraparound paper labels, which RD managers say had a tendency to split on the larger bottle sizes. Leach acknowledges that the p-s labels are more expensive, but "they have enough off-setting benefits along with a better image that makes them a worthwhile investment." Advantages to the p-s labels cited by RD personnel include: cleanliness, appearance, chemical resistance and safety, the latter being the elimination of glue pots heated to near 300 deg F.


Rug Doctor uses three types of labels, all from nearby Foremost Printing. A white polyolefin substrate flexo-printed in four process colors is used as the facestock for all four bottle sizes as well as for the back labels on the two largest bottles, 64 and 128 oz.





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Seagram scrubs downtime

Continuous conveyor cleaner reduces downtime and spill problems on its filling line for liqueurs. The mop-up team has been reassigned.


At Joseph E. Seagram & Sons. distinctive flavor and elegant packaging play major roles in the success of two imported liqueurs, Vandermint and Cherry Suisse.


Liqueurs taste better than they run, however. On Seagram's filling line at Dundalk, Md., the sugar and syrup content of the products can play havoc ,with conveyors when unavoidable spills occur. This was especially true on an out-of-the-way spiral conveyor. Seagram engineers first tried a water bath but found that this created more problems than it solved.


Pucks (top) carry liqueur bottles through Seagram filling line. Spiral accumulating conveyor (bottom) has scrubber (left) on return side.

Eventually the big distiller discovered Pace Packaging's conveyor scrubber at a Pack Expo exhibit and has found it to solve most of the conveyor chain breakage problems as well as those that were created by the water bath.


The difficulty with spillage actually traces back to the packages themselves. The bottle shape makes them somewhat top-heavy. That presented conveying difficulties, especially at the filler.


"Our top-heavy bottles had a tendency to fall over when filling," comments Casimir Razulis, bottling development engineer. "That's why we developed special plastic carrier pucks." The pucks help to stabilize the bottles on the filling line, from filling through capping and labeling. After labeling, the bottles are picked up by their necks as they move toward the packing station; the pucks simply fall off onto a puck accumulation conveyor.


The accumulation conveyor was redesigned into a spiral-style conveyor filling capacity was greater than puck accumulation. Pucks would eventually back up onto the filling line and jam it. To fit this higher-capacity conveyor into the plant layout, it was necessary to run the conveyor through a wall and into an area normally used for storage.


Spills unavoidable
"Even with our puck bottle carriers, some spillage is inevitable," Razulis comments, "First the liquid drips onto the pucks and then onto the conveyor, often while the puck is negotiating the accumulating belt. When these liquid sugars dry, the plastic conveyor links are virtually welded together, Eventually, it will cause the chain to break. Then we have downtime."


This is especially true for the spiral accumulation conveyor because its design requires the links to flex around curves. "The long length of this conveyor makes cleaning even more critical for us. We have more drive, more pull-just more conveyor than the straight filling conveyor. By the time the pucks drop onto the accumulation belt, the sugars and syrups are already starting to dry on the pucks and are dripping onto the conveyor," Razulis adds.


As the spills build up between the links, the tendency of the plastic conveyor was to jump out of the track. That was precursor to a break, states Daniel Adamchik, packaging engineer.


To avoid these periods of downtime, which would force shutdown of the filling line, the plant first tried an open water bath for the accumulation conveyor. The return side of the plastic belt was run through a water trough, then blown dry by air jets. This technique did help to reduce conveyor breakage and line downtime. But its effect on plant conditions became a major drawback.


"The water bath was a mess," Razulis states flatly. "There was a tremendous amount of water on the floor because the conveyor had to be saturated to keep it moving. We had to assign two people to mop the floor to keep up with spills from the trough,"


Even with regular mopping, the wet floor surface became a plant safety hazard. And the engineers discovered that water seepage was beginning to cause deterioration of the wall that separates the filling line from the accumulation conveyor. The mess also caused damage to some of the supplies in corrugated cases stored nearby.


Minimal water now
"When we saw the Pace cleaner at a Pack Expo show, we decided that it was a more modern approach to cleaning the conveyor," Razulis recalls. In addition, the cleaner was so inexpensive that the engineers didn't need to work up a full economic justification for its purchase. Its payback has been both fast and apparent to plant operations.


"When you realize that we used to have two people mopping the floor. we've saved substantially on labor alone. And when that conveyor would break, we lost production time. So it's obvious that the cleaner did not take long to pay for itself," the bottling engineer comments.


As the return side of the accumulation conveyor moves over the Pace cleaner, the belt is pressed against a heavy-duty scrubbing belt that's moving in the opposite direction. A tension device on the conveyor keeps the two belts in constant contact. At one end of the cleaning belt. a controlled water dispenser wets the belt surface sufficiently to wash the conveyor surface and remove the spills. At the other end of the tank unit is a built-in squeegee that squeezes out absorbed solutions from the cleaning surface. The belt itself is slightly wider than the conveyor and runs on two interior pulleys. The drive pulley has an integral motor unit so no external belts are required.


"We only use a minute amount of water now," Razulis reports. "and it's discharged directly into our waste lines." Adamchik adds that the plant built a special drain to carry away the waste water. It's been cleaned once, he says, but there hasn't been any need for servicing the cleaner itself. The stainless-steel unit operates on standard 110-v electric service. It could be fitted with a germicidal drop unit; Seagram has found that water alone has been successful.


To further simplify operation, the engineers tied in the controls for the cleaner with those of the accumulation conveyor. Thus, when the conveyor is turned on. the cleaner automatically begins to work too. Since there is no splash or water carryover, the cleaner can run without any monitoring.


The most appreciated result, of course, is the more consistent, trouble free operation of the cordial filling line as it packages greater volumes of Vandermint and Cherry Suisse for discriminating consumers around the country.



Reprinted from PACKAGING DIGEST May 1983 Copyright 1983 by Delta Communications Inc.


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