Our customers mean the world to us. We know how important it is to be able to reach your vendors with questions anytime. We are available anytime via phone or email. We maintain accurate documentation on all parts we supply. Sample slats and products are kept on hand in a secure storage area. We can evaluate a new product for use on an existing slat, or help evaluate any changes in slat performance over time. Most questions can be answered within an hour or so. Our unique and exclusive parts numbering system makes it very easy to identify the key specifications of each part so that we can easily determine if parts are interchangeable and can be used with new bottles or products. We maintain documentation on all product contact materials that is always available upon request. Give us a call with any change part related question and we will be glad to help you any way we can with the knowledge base of information we have accumulated.
Customers often ask us about the best way to transport change parts from the packaging line to the cleaning and storage areas. Usually, a wheeled stainless steel utility cart with one shelf on top to hold the slats and one on the bottom for the chute, divider or manifold assembly is what is used for transport.Unfortunately, slats, chute, divider, manifold and other fragile components like pin bars can be damaged if they fall off a general utility cart onto the floor. To overcome this problem, Berkshire Packaging makes a stainless steel cart with pins that hold the slats firmly in place while in transit. The bottoms of the slats rest securely within a recessed tray. Brushes on shafts are held in a cradle at the top of the cart and fragile components are set safely within custom-designed holders.
As part of the quoting process, we can evaluate the machine set up for each product presentation you are considering. Whether you are trying to maximize output speeds, or minimize the number of change parts needed, we will review each set up and present our recommendations in an easy to understand Change Parts Worksheet submitted with the quote. If you have existing bottle handling parts and need new slats, or slats that you will need new bottle handling parts for, we will factor the existing parts into the new quote.
We can repair or rebuild any number of change parts, including upper and lower manifolds, pin bar sets, divider assemblies, chute sets, feeder screens, brushes, etc. If you have older parts that are still needed and could be refurbished, we will be glad to evaluate them and give you an estimate of the repairs.
Berkshire Packaging Services suggests storing slats in a temperature-controlled environment of 70° F, +/- 5°. Place slats face down on a flat, fully-supported level surface between layers of cardboard, heavy paper or sheets of stainless steel. Berkshire Packaging Services makes a stainless steel slat & change part storage cabinet specifically designed to safely store your components. The cabinet has ten adjustable slat storage shelves and a pull-out shelf for chutes and dividers. It is avail-able for 39″ and 16″ size slats.
Another problem customer’s encounter is the shrinkage of slats due to being washed at too high a temperature. Every slat shipment from Berkshire Packaging Services includes “Slat Handling Instructions” with the following recommendations:
- Handle slats with the same care that you would for any other precision component. Avoid dropping, hitting or banging the slats against hard objects. Dents or burrs on the machined surfaces may affect the tablet handling characteristics.
- Do not use sharp metal objects to scrape, clean or remove broken product. The machined surfaces can be damaged and affect the performance of the slats.
- Use care when installing or removing slats from the filler. Do not force the slats onto the carrying pins. The slats should fit snugly but not tightly. Slats may have bushings on one or both mounting holes to reduce the effect of wear during installation and removal. Berkshire Packaging uses flanged bushings to prevent them from popping out.
- Install tongue & groove slats with the tongue facing you. Install non-tongue & groove slats with the stamped part number facing you. Ensure that the slats are fully seated on the slat chain. Minor bowing of 39″ slats is not uncommon. If slats are bowed, remove the bow by gently flexing the slat in the opposite direction.
- Remove slats at the top of the machine just as they pass the upper sprocket. Carefully place slats on a flat surface taking care not to damage the machined surfaces.
- Clean slats with a soft, non-abrasive brush in warm, soapy water or an alcohol solution (120° F or less). It is very important that slats be washed in water temperature that is under 120° F. They can also be cleaned in ultrasonic or automatic washers.