Handling of rice and pasta

The handling solutions proposed by MH are suitable for handling packaged food products, as for instance packs of rice

With its solutions in material handling and internal logistic, M.H. can propose the perfect automation solution for the various sectors of the food industry

by Giovanni Ferri

Material Handling is an Italian company with three decades of experience in material handling and plant logistics in all industrial sectors such as: food and dairy, pharmaceutical, electromechanical and mechanical assembly and production lines. Founded in 1986, with special focus on applications for the automotive and mechanical industry, the company’s range includes: lines of enslavement to machine tools; automatic and semi-automatic assembly lines for household appliances and electromechanical components in general. In the 1990s, the company turns its attention to the food and pharmaceutical industries, becoming partner of leading Italian and international manufacturers, and developing strong relationships with several manufacturers of packaging machines. As a result of this experience, MH developed an extensive range of products to meet any product handling need. These automation solutions are capable of easy interfacing with machines from other manufacturers, interchangeable and can be easily integrated in existing lines, thanks to their modular design. Among the available applications: conveyors, buffering systems, mergers, dividers, elevators, downlevators, rotating and tilting systems. Thanks to their modular design, all MH products can be supplied as a complete line or as stand-alone units. The company’s commitment to customers shows itself with the offer, when MH develops the preliminary project and proposes the most suitable solutions in terms of production efficiency and cost effectiveness. Systems engineering is performed thanks to 2D and 3D CAD systems, minimising the risks of interferences that were not known before installation. All systems are assembled and tested in Misino, registered office and production site of the company located midway between Milan and Como.

In addition to packs of pasta or rice in bags or boxes, MH proposes also solutions for handling other vacuum packed products

Packaging of boxes and bags. The production range covers a variety of customised solutions, including systems for handling packaged food products in bags or boxes, and even vacuum-packed. The conveyors that move the products between the various workstations of the packaging process are a critical part of the line. For this reason MH offers modular solutions allowing maximum flexibility in terms of assembly and future modification, and covering whatever requirement of conveying and handling. When a customer needs a new line to be integrated into an existing plant, and the floor space available is small, MH exploits the existing space even vertically with elevators, designed according to specific product handling needs: sloped conveyors, step by step or continuous elevators, elevators with opposed chains, or spiral conveyors. MH provides a wide range of solutions for products handling along the packaging line, as tilting or rotating units, designed to fit with existing machines. According to the type of product and the production yield, motor-driven solutions (high-speeds) or exploiting gravity (low speeds) are available. For vacuum packaged products, testing devices can be installed along the path that connects the various packaging machines in order to check the package without withdrawing it from the production line. Another typical issue of packaging lines consists in losses deriving from possible machine stops: a suitably dimensioned buffering system installed along the line might be the correct answer to this need.

Buffering systems. Over the years MH developed an extensive range of buffering systems covering the needs of whatever product. As for instance, the patented Bat-Buffer system, based on LIFO logic (Last In First Out). It provides for the continuous or discontinuous stocking/unloading of the buffering unit, without being forced to fill the buffer and without further stops in production. This system ensures complete flexibility, recovering losses due to machine micro-stops, and provides for a regular production flow. Furthermore, it reduces to zero the pressure between products, preventing any damage during stacking, for the integrity of package and content. This system achieves up to 150 m of buffer with one motor, thus cutting energy costs.