How can you make parts for machines that have patents?
It is important to note that many machines used in the food industry today were designed and patented in the first half of the 1900's. These machine designs were very robust and durable. However, some of the machine designs were so good that many of the companies that produced them were driven out of business by their own ingenuity! We support these machines which are no longer supported and other machines which have expired patents.
When should I rebuild my filler?
Unfortunately, there isn't a simple answer. It depends on several variables:
1) Frequency the machine is used (24-7 or 1 shift).
2) Product properties (watery like brine, abrasive or grainy like ketchup, etc).
3) Quality and frequency of maintenance (greased properly and often).
4) Type of product (seasonal or year round).
5) Fiscal considerations (end of year/first of year projects)
Now to explain the variables. Machines which are used more understandably wear out faster. The properties of the products are a large factor in how fast the areas of the machine which are in contact with the product wear out. Frequent and proper greasing of the main bearings, rollers, slides, pistons, and plungers will certainly extend the life of your machine. Also make sure that the all the numbers are matched when disassembling/reassembling the machine for cleanup. The parts of your filler wear together over time and become mated. Mixing them up creates additional unwanted wear. If your product is run year round, it may be necessary to work with us ahead of time so that we can be prepared to have a speedy turn around for your rebuild. If your product is seasonal such as vegetables, the filler can be rebuilt during your few months downtime.
What are some strategies my company can institute to decrease machine downtime?
The strategies your company will use depends greatly on the number of locations and machines your company has at it's disposal. Generally speaking, the strategies can be divided into those used by small companies (cannery with one location, 2 fillers) to large companies (cannery with 10 locations, 17 fillers ) :
1) Small companies
Keep spare parts in inventory and be proactive with problems. Preventative maintenance is an easy way to decrease downtime. Waiting for parts to fail probably means you will be waiting for parts to be delivered to you for replacement. For smaller companies, it is probably not possible to have an extra filler waiting on standby so it is especially important to treat your production machines with respect.
2) Large companies
Almost every large company has an extra machine laying around in some state of functionality. This machine is often picked over for parts to keep all the other machines running. We recommend that instead of having a "spare parts" machine, you have a 100% functioning machine on standby that can be exchanged with another machine which is wearing out. This spare machine can be shipped to a location which has a failing machine. The failing machine can be switched out and sent to us for rebuild. This strategy is best suited for fillers, clinchers, and closers and may not be suitable for all types of machines and production situations.
What types of machines/brands do you currently support?
If you don't see your machine listed here, that doesn't mean we don't support it. If you have a piece of food processing or packaging equipment you are unable to get parts and services for, or you are dissatisfied with the support that is currently available- let us know!
I have a part I need made. What do I need to do?
If you are requesting a part for a machine which we are already familiar with and have had a chance to reverse engineer the part already, nothing is required on the user end. However, it should be noted that many food processing and packaging equipment manufacturers produce machines which are extremely variable in their design. It is not always safe to assume that a part number on your part is the same part we have in our records for the same machine. Since this is the case, we always try to get a part sample when possible to make sure we are selling you the correct part. If the part you are requesting is completely new to us, we will require a sample to reverse engineer the part. We can come on site to measure the part if it is impractical (large part) to ship or is currently being used for production, but under most circumstances we prefer to have the parts shipped to us. Sample parts will be returned.
Why are we still using metal cans? Isn't there a better way?
Although metal cans may seem bulky and unmanageable to some consumers, they are still a better choice than alternative plastics at this time. Metal cans are more environmentally friendly as they biodegrade in nature much more rapidly than plastics. For producers which must stock some of their product before distribution, metal containers provide a clear advantage as they can be stacked much higher to reduce the footprint of the stock in inventory. Most importantly, it is a constant battle with food processors to eliminate air from their containers. A double seamed metal can is air tight and provides an excellent shelf life. Plastic containers may be sealed just as well, but plastics are molecularly porous. This means that small molecules such as oxygen are able to diffuse through the plastic. Although this rate of diffusion has been slowed substantially with advances in polymers, it contributes to shorter shelf lives of food in plastic containers. The structure of the atoms in metal alloys does not allow this same diffusion to occur.
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Last update 11/25/2005