Palletizer offers flexible patterns and eliminates hand stacking

High-infeed palletizers at Producers Rice Mill increase production and uptime while reducing expenses.

By ·

When Producers Rice Mill was formed in 1943, it milled 143,500 barrels its first year and had assets of $125,000. Today, its annual milling rate is more than 60 million bushels and sales have topped the $500 million mark.

One of the plants contributing to the companies success is the packaging parboil rice division plant in Stuttgart, Ark., which packages raw rice into a commercial grade, consumable product to be distributed throughout the United States. Unfortunately, its hand stack line and old palletizing equipment were contributing to high labor costs and limited throughput.

So, Producers Rice implemented a new system that conveys two finished products out of the packaging room up to an elevated height to new palletizing machines. Previously each line discharged on to a common hand stacking line. Now, each product moves on a conveyor and is then automatically fed to two high-infeed palletizers (vonGal, vongal.com). The new palletizers eliminate the hand stacking line as they stack the cases before discharging them on a pallet.

By installing a new conveyor and two new palletizing machines, Producers Rice was able to increase productivity from 8,000 cases per day over a 12-hour production shift to 13,000 cases over an eight-hour shift and decrease its workforce by two people over a two-shift period. 

Jeremy Herring, parboil packaging manager at the Stuttgart facility says, “I was very impressed with the easy installation and start-up of these machines.  We installed the system over the weekend and both lines were running full production by mid-week with no issues.”

Also impressed with the palletizers’ flexibility, Herring says the pattern editing software allows them to make changes to patterns and machine functions on the fly, which cuts down on machine downtime. As a result, Herring reports, “We’re at a steady 99% uptime to date.”


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Ergonomics · July 2012 · Packaging · vonGal · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Special Digital Issue: Packaging in Successful Fulfillment Operations
A comprehensive look at the software, hardware and equipment that ensure packaging processes are as efficient as possible.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
E-commerce and the New Pallet Paradigm
Driven by emerging streams of supply chain data, shifting customer demands, and an industry obsession with eliminating every sliver of waste, pallet usage continues to evolve. During this webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers are adapting to current challenges while positioning themselves to meet those that lie ahead.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.

Lift truck operators: Drivers of change
For all the advances in lift truck technology and fleet management, operators will always be the...
Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...