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After many successful projects with Vantage Foods, Tri-Mach was asked to create an improved tote handling solution.

Vantage Foods’ existing tote handling system was completed less than 5 years ago and has been problematic since installation. The design of the existing system causes the totes to free-fall down stainless steel chutes. The system is loud, damages the totes, is difficult to maintain, and most importantly, can create unsafe work conditions for the operators.

Tri-Mach was awarded the entire scope of Vantage Foods’ five-phase process improvement project. Each phase included new conveyor solutions and line reconfigurations to improve process flow and increase capacity. The final phase (Phase 5) included removing the existing tote handling system, designing a new state-of-the-art system, and installing the newly-designed solution. The new design had to solve each of the challenges presented in the original equipment supply.

The approved turn-key solution implements the latest ARB™ belting from Intralox to seamlessly direct and divert clean empty totes to one of five product loading areas. With efficiency at the forefront, the system is designed to deliver 1200 units per hour to ensure operators always have enough totes to keep production running smoothly. By way of an automated tote-release system, the turn-key solution is able to drastically lower operational noise and prevent damage to the totes, thereby making the environment significantly safer for operators.

Tri-Mach worked closely with Vantage Foods to custom-build a new HMI with greater functionality but a familiar user experience. Operators can now select different lines for production and control which lines receive totes at any given time. The improved HMI was designed from the ground up, using typical production scenarios, taking into consideration how the operators need the system to function, and ensuring the operators have a safe and ergonomically friendly means to retrieve their totes for loading.

As with every turn-key solution, The Factory Approval Test included a complete set-up of the system, fully wired, and tested at full line speed at the Tri-Mach Group headquarters in Elmira ON. Once Vantage Foods tested and approved the system, Tri-Mach disassembled and shipped the equipment. Keeping in line with our commitment to be a one-stop solution provider, Tri-Mach removed the existing system and installed the new turn-key solution during a weekend shut–down. This process included all mechanical services, wiring, and programming improvements.

Tri-Mach would like to thank Vantage Foods for their trust, and for including us in this exciting new project.