COVINGTON, KY. — R.A Jones, a packaging solutions company owned by Coesia, has introduced a new automated magazine loader (AML) to automate carton systems in light of continued labor shortages caused by COVID-19.

The company’s AML is a compact, cost-effective and easy-to-use system designed to increase output speeds and help manufacturers decrease dependency on physical labor. The system automatically pulls carton-filled cases off a conveyor, adjusts them for loading, then extracts the cartons from the case to load them onto a magazine. The system them disposes of the case.

This mechanism minimizes time and interaction for typical carton loading and unloading processes, R.A Jones reported. It also eliminates some risk of injury by automating the pick-up and rotation of each individual case.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for manufacturers, asking them to meet elevated production levels with limited resources,” said Jeff Wintring, chief technology officer at R.A Jones. “When a technology can help ease that pressure and do so in a way that also addresses important needs such as workplace safety, it becomes a gamechanger. We look forward to supporting our customers’ goals through our new AML technology and setting new standards for the cartoning industry.”

The AML system features R.A Jones’ proprietary carton correction technology, which helps catch and reload any fallen or misplaced cartons to prevent bottlenecks. According to the company, this automated solution can present significant time and cost savings for a typical 300-carter-per-minute process.

R.A Jones also offers an automatic depalletizer to further automate case loading processes.

The AML system is a server-driven mechanism — as opposed to a robotics-driven mechanism — which allows for a smaller operational footprint and an integrated control system. This provides needed flexibility and simplicity for operators, while maintaining scalability for future production needs, R.A Jones said.

Find more articles about the latest pet food processing technologies on our Equipment page.