From the era of the great pyramid of Giza, and well before that, the challenge of conveying heavy materials from ground level to the top of a structure has been a monumental challenge. While similar efforts today might not result in something quite so monumental, companies across the globe are able to lift agricultural and industrial materials safely and efficiently thanks to 4B Components, Ltd.
Based in Morton, Illinois, 4B has been manufacturing elevator buckets and materials conveyance products for over 125 years. Through their network of distributors, 4B now supplies a wide range of products throughout Europe, Africa and Asia as well as here in the USA. Transporting elevator buckets from Morton to locations around the world requires special protective packaging. Knowing this, 4B turned to Berea, Ohio-based Clamco (a PAC Machinery company) for a packaging solution. For nearly 20 years, 4B used their Clamco constant heat shrink sealing system day in and day out, and as the machine drew closer to its end of life, the company began looking for a replacement. And where better to begin the search than at Clamco?
Bruce Howell, PAC Machinery Regional Sales Manager, met with the executive team at 4B to access the requirement. Over the years, like so many other industrial assets, elevator buckets had grown in size. Even if the old Clamco machine could survive another year or two, the bucket size had outgrown the capacity of the old machine. Bruce had an idea. If the design team at Clamco could engineer a shrink packaging system that was big enough and robust enough to handle this as well as the next generation of products – equip the system with the most modern controls, and deliver it at a reasonable cost – 4B Components could enjoy a packaging solution for the next decade… or two!
The packaging pros at Clamco set to work. “We had a proven l-bar sealer platform from which we could base the new machine,” commented Bruce Howell. “The next task was to scale everything up, make it super robust, and equip the sealer with the latest control systems available,” Howell noted. The result was the new 8L custom L-bar sealer and the massive 8T custom shrink tunnel system. The Clamco 8L L-bar sealer provides a 39” end seal and an 88” side seal, which was perfect for a stack of Jumbo™ CC-S® elevator buckets. The powerful new 8Tx3 shrink tunnel (230V – 92A – 36,000 watts) boasts a tunnel inside length of nearly 100” and a tunnel opening width of 46”. “It’s perfect for doors, windows and other large panels as well as for elevator buckets,” adds Howell.
The Jumbo CC-S is an ultra heavy-duty version of the CC-S High Efficiency™ bucket range. It is designed for the most severe applications, including port terminals, ethanol plants and highly abrasive materials. These buckets offer increased capacity and thick lip, corners and walls. The unique front face delivers impact resistance and long life, plus the buckets feature the benefit of stackability, which saves on freight costs and storage space. The Clamco 8L and 8T system was designed to accommodate packaging the large buckets stacked up to 6 buckets per package using extremely durable, 5 mil, poly film. The thick, secure, UV-resistant film presented another challenge: it was black, and black pigment can be tricky to seal. Sealing the thick, black film required a special temperature control system that would maintain sealing parameters to a very tight tolerance. Switching from a constant heat seal system to an impulse sealer had other advantages a well. The cut wire was eliminated as was the hot sealing bar setup. The new system was much safer for the operator, plus the automatic seal arm reduced repetitive motion fatigue.
With a proven product platform and some keen engineering, Clamco was able to solve some tough shrink packaging challenges. Like 4B, Clamco is a proven resource for reaching the top of the heap.