Many packhouses are looking to reduce the amount of forklifts operating on the floor. Thus Somerset West-based Gossamer Packaging Machinery have designed an automated shuttle car for the circulation of empty and full pallets or bins without the use of pallet jacks or forklifts.

The shuttle car can be used in combination with other Gossamer equipment for example bin stackers, bin de-stackers, pallet magazines and pallet and bin holding stations, ensuring a streamlined operation within the packhouse, says the company.

A Gossamer shuttle car has been installed in the citrus packhouse of Ambrosia Estates in Hoedspruit, to automatically feed empty bins into the 42 DBF-C citrus bin fillers. When Ambrosia Estates changed the layout of their packhouse two years ago, they installed a new sizer, and now they are sizing directly to the bin, which is not done at many packhouses.

After the success of their first shuttle car, Ambrosia Estates are planning to install another shuttle car to transport full bins to the bin tippers onto accumulation tables to auto packers PP-300 range.

The operation is fully automated with no personnel required, this system is ideal for situations where the transport of bulk fruit happens in space restricted areas, as in this case under conveyors. Р