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Industrial Automation and Motion Control Blog | The Knotts Company

80/20 Aluminum Extrusion Application Story - Packaging Materials

Posted by Mark Howe on April 13, 2012 11:26 AM

Editor's Note: This is a post from Justin Sanford, a Strategic Account Manager at The Knotts Company.

Overview:

80/20 ApplicationThis application story is about a company that produces a wide variety of packaging materials including bubble wrap and packaging peanuts.  In addition to making the packaging material, they also sell a small machine that creates air packs.  Along with the machines for the air packs, they include add-ons including a stand for the machine and basket for filled air packs.

Problem/Application:

The process of creating the air packs, a length of empty packs are processed through the machine where they are filled with air and sealed.  As the packs pass through the machine, they are still attached to each other and needed to be gathered as not to end up on the floor and possibly damaged.  It is important to keep them contained and where they would not possibly be broken or accumulate dirt as they were being used for packaging.

Additionally, the stands for the air packs were made of steel and cost to make a sturdy stand that would not take up much floor space was substantial.  With a fully constructed stand, it proved costly to ship and did have a tendency to be top heavy.    

Solution:

Taking a look at the design of the steel stand, a similar structure was made from 80/20 aluminum extrusion.  The stand was ~35” in height with a single centered pole.  Using 3030 as the support and 1515 making up the base, along with key joining plats, a lower cost sturdy frame was provided.  The customer would include an aluminum plate on the top to hold the machine.  

To eliminate the issues with the air packs flowing everywhere, a small basket made of 1010, measuring ~38”x39”x36” was constructed.  With netting clipped on to the sides, the customer was able to provide to their customers a light weight, easy to assemble basket to collect the air packs during each run.  This allowed them to store the air packs safely until they were used.  

This design, in addition to resolving the issue with the cost, eliminated the issues with the stand being top heavy and significantly reduced the weight of the stand.  This, with the ability to build the stand in the field, allowed their sales men to carry a unit they could sell on the spot to their customers.  Sales of this add on increase ~20% compared to the previous stand.

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Topics: cost savings, aluminum extrusion in nj, steel frame