How simple life would be in business, if only you could standardize everything. Unfortunately, that's a dream that is never going to come true - and certainly not in an age when Industry 4.0 is helping to drive ever greater customization. The winners in this brave new world will be the companies that champion individualized solutions, or even make them part of their company name, such as Dutch company AmbaFlex, which specializes in material flow systems based on spiral conveying technology. When one of its customers - an international cookie manufacturer - had to extend its processes to meet growing demand, AmbaFlex was on hand to help. In this specific case, the customer had two lines converging just before having to cross a critical logistic pathway, after which they each had to split again in order to reach their separate packaging machines.
The solution AmbaFlex came up with was a three-way portal based on its patented Portal ONE - a system that resolves two issues in one go. First, it creates a reliable portal function that keeps the critical logistics paths open. Second, if only one belt is used along the whole path, this halves the number of transfers required. After elevating the two streams of cookies with just a single dual-lane spiral, the two streams separate at the upper end, where they each continue to their own spiral to transport them down again and deliver them to the right packaging machine. Creating one three-way portal instead of a traditional portal system for each line significantly reduces both costs and the floor space used. The end result is a happy customer with an efficient and reliable upgrade for its existing facility.
AmbaFlex BV (1689 AN Zwaag, Netherlands)