Adjustable packaging line accommodates employees

Worker at conveyor belt

Written By Josh Bond. Originally posted on June 9, 2020

Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion has specialized in cheese packaging since 2005, serving customers throughout the United States from its facility in Monroe, Wisc. When it came time to expand its contract packaging services by adding a second tray line, the company took the opportunity to improve working conditions by installing an adjustable conveyor system.

Managers agreed that the original tray line gets the job done by moving packaged cheese trays to the pack out station for shipping, but it could have been designed better. The main issue was the height of the conveyor and position of the rotating table, both of which are a few inches lower than the ideal height. This forced employees to constantly bend over to grab cheese from the conveyor, or reaching out to get cheese trays from the rotating table.

The new system (Dorner) is designed around two sanitary conveyors and a packaging table—all of which are adjustable in height to accommodate employees.

The new conveyor system, along with the attached pack-out table, can be raised or lowered to best complement different employees for better ergonomics. Trays arrive to the pack station properly oriented, making it easier and quicker for employees to handle and pack, as opposed to handling twisted and turned trays from the rotating table. Finally, adjustable conveyor guiding means the line can be adjusted to accommodate different sized trays.

“I have been struggling for years to find a good conveyor company,” says Jim Natzke, manager of Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion. “Out on our plant floor, we have conveyors by several different manufacturers, but our goal is to work with a partner that we can grow with. So far so good.”

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