Advanced motion control for product feed, unique packing needs

Manufacturers have motion control solutions available to decouple and buffer between components in the production line in an automated way that is efficient and cost effective as a result of Polytron software development and the mechanical design of Finesse Manufacturing Solutions.


To meet the needs of manufacturers to feed and handle flexible and odd-shaped products, Finesse Manufacturing Solutions and Polytron entered into a joint venture to provide a better solution starting in 2002. Through the development of proprietary code by Polytron and the mechanical design of Finesse Manufacturing Solutions, manufacturers now have solutions available to decouple and buffer between components in the production line in an automated way that is efficient and cost effective.

FlowTech feeder has a hopper (on the right) that receives products from a tote dumper, manual dump, or automated delivery; holds them in bulk; and reintroduces the product on demand. A metering conveyor gently spreads the product from bulk using load cell

FlowTech re-feeder

Stores and re-feeds flexible and odd-shaped products in a way that is efficient and cost effective. Equipment handling highlights include:

  • Receive product in bulk from tote dumper, upstream operation, or manual feed
  • Buffer product in the hopper
  • Spread the product into a consistent stream
  • Singulate product
  • Orient the product for the downstream operation
  • Inspect and sort product for specific graphic orientation or removal of damaged product
  • Correct pitch of product by increasing or decreasing the gap between packages
  • Synchronize feeding into the target pitch on downstream equipment 

Smart Stick

The Smart Stick accepts unevenly spaced product from upstream unit operations and delivers evenly spaced product at a consistent rate to the downstream unit operation, such as a check weigher or cartoner/tray pack. Easily retrofitted, the stick conveyor is made up of short, intelligent conveyor sections to provide a higher degree of correction and throughput compared to conventional “smart belts.”

iQueue dynamic queue control

An integral part of the infeed conveyor, iQueue provides isolation of back pressure and intelligent feeding of product to downstream equipment. A sophisticated sensing system monitors the number of trays between the iQueue system and downstream equipment, providing real-time tracking of product count whether in motion or stationary. The system adjusts the feed rate and maintains desired back pressure by maintaining the appropriate product count in the queue.

- David Hettesheimer, PE, PMP, is senior project manager, Polytron Inc. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,


No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
Industrial wireless cyber security: More complex than black and white; IIoT at the I/O level; Process modeling; Cyber security research
Robotic advances: Software, form factors; System-based ROI; Embedded control; MES and information integration; SCADA and cyber security; Position sensor; Controller, I/O module
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle