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Upgrade, Don’t Replace, Your Bar Line (Part 1)

February 7, 2017

Almost every snack bar manufacturer we work with is constantly looking for ways to increase production or make existing operations run smoother. And while a completely new production line can accomplish this, it’s often just not feasible for financial or scheduling reasons. Today, we’re sharing two solutions for upgrading your snack bar line without completely replacing it.

 

 

Often, the focus of making great snack bars is in the mixing and forming process. Be careful not to overlook how your bars are cut. When perfected, efficient bar cutting can greatly improve production. After all, what good does it do then to extrude nice ropes onto the belt or form a perfect slab only to have your efforts damaged by the cutter?  Do you get angled, jagged, or pinched ends on your bars?  Are the cut lengths not repeatable?  We see these issues often when our customers use simple guillotine cutters with a pneumatic cylinder or double eccentric cutters.

 

Servo-Cutters

 

 

After years of engineering, Egan has fine-tuned our 2-axis servo-controlled cutter to provide perfect 90 degree cuts at speeds that work on both low and high volume production lines.  Depending on the size of the bar line and available space, Egan Food Technologies can upgrade your existing bar cutter to 2-axis servo.

By using servo actuators, we can create a custom motion profile which allows the blade to move in coordinated motion both horizontally and vertically.  This means we can track the speed of the bars underneath the blade, start moving the blade horizontally to match the bar speed, and then move in the vertical axis to cut straight down through the bar onto an anvil.  Changing the bar cut length is easy and can be done on the fly by using an operator touch panel.  That’s all there is to it.

 

The simplicity and ease of adjustment with servo control make these cutters even more attractive if you are currently using a double-eccentric cutting mechanism.  These cutters have a lot of moving parts, are difficult to adjust, and require higher maintenance dollars to maintain.   Most pneumatic guillotine cutters typically only move straight up and down and are better suited to slower speed lines.  By upgrading your cutter, you may be able to increase speeds, which in turn will increase your output.

 

Ultrasonics

 

Do you struggle with bars that stick to your blades or find yourself stopping the line often to clean the blade? If so, adding ultrasonics to the 2-axis servo-controlled cutter is a valuable upgrade.  This system replaces your standard blade with titanium blades that are attached to a booster.  The booster is powered by an ultrasonic generator and converter that vibrate the blade at up to 40khz.  This vibration produces a nearly friction-free surface on the cutting blade.  This improves the cut quality, minimizes sticking to the blade, and reduces the cutting force required.  With less downtime for blade cleaning, production can again be increased.

 

 

 

If you have any questions or are wondering if upgrading your bar cutters is right for your production line, please contact Egan Food Technologies today.

 

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2040 Walker Court NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49544

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