The DARB conveying system, which is the first to be installed in the UK, has recently been incorporated by BHL Conveyor Technology into a new robotic palletising system supplied to a cereal manufacturer in the UK.

The DARB sorter, also known as the Active Roller Belt Technology, is a conveying system that positions and sorts out the product.

In this system part of the palletising process required the need to transfer product from one orientation to another, without damaging the product or reducing line speed. The DARB sorter is a recent product offered to the UK market, and BHL Conveyor Technology had noticed a growing demand from the food and drink manufacturers for this type of system, as opposed to traditional pneumatic pusher arrangements.

The DARB sorter belt allows the machine to selectively sort, sequence and divert a product at a 90 degree angle on to the row forming conveyor, eliminating the need to void stops and breakages by product handling.

The system takes the pre-packed cereal boxes and positions them ready to be placed on the pallet. This method means the product is protected with a gentler handling system, which has close diverted centres to exploit all floor space and minimal moving parts, using only one drive per sorter and reducing the maintenance while increasing optimisation. 

The DARB sorter is a modular plastic belt rooted with rollers that spread above and below the surface. As the belt rollers are activated they begin spinning to sort products off. The rollers are fixed on to the belt in a manner that their spinning motion compensates for the forward motion (classed as kinetic energy) of the product that allows accurate sorting at higher throughputs. The roller surface provides a capable product handling solution to handle almost the same product range as a cross belt or a tilt tray sorter.

The system addresses common problems that are associated with traditional right angle transfer systems and tight curve conveyors, specifically the inaccurately positioned package, sensor failure which cause jams, bad bar code readers, resulting in line slow down and increased down time.  

The ARB technology can be used to replace a radius conveyor, pop-up transfer conveyor, transfer tables, right angle offsets and chain transfer offset in a layout offering a solution to increase productivity or operations. 

The ARB technology can handle and sort through a wide range of products within a small footprint. It can handle cases, books, mail, poly bags and has the capabilities to sort lighter items to heavy pallet loads. 

Through BHL Conveyor Technology, the system can now be introduced to all production lines.