Spee-Dee Appoints Danny Harmann as Project Manager //

STURTEVANT, Wis., (April 19, 2017) — Danny Harmann has been appointed Project Manager for Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc. In his new position, Harmann will oversee the manufacture of custom auger, cup and rotary fillers, and new product lines, as part of Spee-Dee’s new Quick Response SPD-Danny-HarmannManufacturing (QRM) strategy.

Harmann has been with Spee-Dee for over a decade. He started in maintenance while still in high school, before quickly moving up to CNC Machinist during college. Before his promotion to Project Manager, he was Machine Shop Lead.

Harmann’s extensive knowledge of Spee-Dee’s product line will be key in guiding custom fillers from order to delivery with a minimal lead time. Listen, SET, Go is a customer-centric QRM methodology that allows for multiple flows of production. It focuses on giving each order the attention it needs to improve product quality and support on-time deliveries. Three separate manufacturing cells—Sustain (“S”), Enhance (“E”) and Transform (“T”)—mean even complex builds flow through the system uninterrupted. Harmann will be overseeing the “Enhance” and “Transform” manufacturing cells.

“I’m excited to move up at Spee-Dee as we continue to implement Listen, SET, Go,” Harmann says. “My job is to deliver high-quality fillers that meet our customer’s exact needs.”

Spee-Dee Appoints Gary Lowden as Southeast Regional Sales Manager //

STURTEVANT, Wis., (April 7, 2017) — Gary Lowden has been appointed Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc. In his new position with Spee-Dee, Lowden will be working with OEM and direct business customers to grow the company’s auger, rotary and cup filling Spee-Dee-Gary-Lowdenbusiness for the food, pharmaceutical and chemical markets.

Prior to joining Spee-Dee, Lowden held the titles of sales director and product manager at Tipper Tie, Inc., a supplier of processing and clip packaging systems from December 2011 to January 2017. Earlier in his career Lowden held various sales and marketing positions for other packaging equipment companies.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Spee-Dee and applying their auger, rotary and cup filling  systems to grow their business in the Southeast part of the United States,” Lowden said. “Spee-Dee is a progressive company and I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of them.”

Lowden will be based out of Cary, N.C. To contact him, call 262-321-5907 or email glowden@spee-dee.com.

Spee-Dee Showcasing its Revolution Auger and Cup Fillers in booth No. 1044 at Pack Expo East, Feb. 27-March 1 in Philadelphia //

spd-revolutionSTURTEVANT, Wis., (January 11, 2017) — Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery is exhibiting its servo-driven Revolution Series Auger and Cup Fillers in booth No. 1044 at PACK EXPO East, Feb. 27 – March 1, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. Spee-Dee is a leading supplier of dry product fillers for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The Revolution Auger is an extremely price competitive filler that can be delivered between four and six weeks. The Revolution Auger is designed for the more straight-forward, clear-cut filling applications, and is ideal for small to medium sized companies that don’t need a lot of options or customization in their filler. The Revolution Auger is perfect for customers who need a filler installed and running quickly in their facility, but at a reasonable cost. Food and beverage companies will be impressed by its speed, accuracy and easy maintenance.

So how does Spee-Dee build a servo-drive auger and ship it in just four to six weeks? It starts with the design. The Revolution Series Auger features a simplified design that’s in stock and ready for your specific column, stand and tooling requirements to be added. Spee-Dee builds your new auger to your needs and it’s ready to ship.

Spee-Dee’s volumetric cup fillers are the most economical way to accurately fill dry, free flowing particulate products such as rice, beans, cereal, candy, popcorn, nuts, coffee beans and others. Cup fillers have a dependable drive system, a minimal number of parts and feature very quick changeovers, allowing users to prep the machine to fill different size bags and containers, such as 1, 2, 5 or 10 pound bags of rice, in as little as 10 minutes.

To learn about these and other innovative dry product filling system solutions Spee-Dee has developed for the packaging industry, please visit them in booth 1044 at PACK EXPO East. For more information about Spee-Dee’s product offering, visit www.spee-dee.com, email info@spee-dee.com, or call 1-877-375-2121.

Accuracy Improved In Auger Filling //

A push for improved accuracy is what recently led Indianapolis-based Servaas Laboratories to replace an older model volumetric filler with a rotary powder filler.

spee-funnelsSupplied by Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, the filler ensures accurate fills of the powder cleanser ,which is critical to upholding the solid brand reputation Bar Keepers Friend has earned for more than 130 years.

Its story begins in 1882 when an Indianapolis chemist noticed how clean and shiny his tarnished pot was after cooking rhubarb. Using an active ingredient that’s found in the plant, he formulated a talcum-smooth cleanser and sold it to the city’s taverns. So pleased were his customers with how well it worked on bar fixtures, the product was dubbed the Bar Keepers Friend. Today, every container of Bar Keepers Friend is still formulated and filled in Indianapolis – although the process is much more automated than it was back in the late 1800s.

spee-augerThe process begins by gluing three strips of cardboard together and forming them into tubes measuring 2-7/8” in diameter. From there the tubes are cut to one of three sizes in whcih Bar Keepers Friend is available: 12-, 15- or 21-oz cans. Also applied is the appropriate label. Then a conveyor system moves the cans along a path that allows the labels’ adhesive to cure. Formed into a single-file line, caps are automatically applied to the bottom of the cans. Guiding along the single-lane conveyor then flips the cans right-side up, where they accumulate on a large roller conveyor. From there, they again get funneled down into a single lane in preparation for filling.

A conveyor moves the cans into the filling room, where they enter the rotary powder filler. The cleanser is formulated and manufactured on site, mixing in two-ton batches at a time. Bucket conveyors bring the powder cleanser up into a large holding tank, where it is then moved into the hoppers for filling.

A timing screw is used to create the proper spacing between containers. The servo timing screw is electronically synchronized with the infeed star wheel that transfers the containers from the infeed conveyor to the filler turret. As the cans are transferred, they ride up an inclined rail that compresses the can against one of the 18 sets of container adapters and funnels. Between the adapters and funnels are flexible urethane bellows that provide compression and a positive, dust tight seal without damaging the top of the composite cans.

The cans are filled continuously by the servo-driven twin-auger filler. Containers are then vibrated to settle the product and create head space for the cap. Containers are removed from the turret by the outfeed star and are placed back on a single lane conveyor where they transition to the integrated Spee-Dee checkweigher, which automatically compensates for trends in the product bulk density by increasing or decreasing the RPM of the twin auger filler.

Correct Sizing of Rotary Fillers – Is it Really Important? //

In order to deliver a rotary filler that meets a customer’s needs, it’s crucial to have a complete understanding of how to size a filling system as part of the initial application assessment. This not only includes the size and type of rotary filler, but it also means providing the optimal tooling for the entire range of products the customer will use in their filling application.

We don’t do that at Spee-Dee. Instead, we start with a 4-step methodology that we call Application Driven Machine Sizing:

  • Product Initial Assessment – Using various analytical tools, the initial product flow requirements are established as a baseline. Further product testing is performed to refine the product flow requirements.

  • Container Initial Assessment – By using a parametric CAD based model layout, the fit for the container is evaluated at critical points throughout the filler. Critical attention is given to how the container moves throughout the system at all transition points and elevations.

  • Experience Evaluation – The application engineering team combines these product and container assessments for a more thorough machine size determination. To verify settling time, further product testing is performed over an appropriate vibration stand using a sample funnel based on the container assessment. The engineering team then makes any additional adjustments as needed.

  • Application Driven Design. At this point, if all of the criteria are met, an appropriate filler size can be determined and a final layout drawing made. This takes the following into account:
    • Flow sizing calculations
    • Physical sizing layout/s
    • Product testing for vibration and settling
    • Sizing of the tooling
    • How much time is required to actually fill the product
    • How much time under each pocket
    • Number of augers required

It is only after this thorough assessment process that we can choose the size and type of filler needed for the application. At Spee-Dee, we believe a customer’s requirements should never be compromised to fit a pre-existing catalog selection.

Cezary Mroz

Chief Applications & Innovation Engineer


5 Questions Most Sales People Hate — But We Don’t //

For some sales people, asking too many questions make them nervous. At Spee-Dee, we believe that a good Q&A session ensures better performing products. The next time you sit down with a salesperson, make sure you ask these five crucial questions:

1. How will your equipment streamline my process and increase my productivity?

Spee-Dee fillers have fewer wear parts. Our packaging machinery is designed for quick and easy changeovers; saving you time lost to maintenance, repair and tool changes.

2. How do your machines do in terms of food safety?

Spee-Dee has become a leading expert in food safety. All of our fillers meet or exceed regulatory hygiene standards, and several of our sanitary fillers have earned 3-A symbol authorization.

3. How do you ensure an on-time delivery and that my machine will work as promised?

We use our test lab to simulate your exact production environment. This allows us to determine your fill accuracy and speed, and to specify the exact tooling your machine needs before it even gets to your plant.

4. What kind of after-sales service and guarantee will I get?

Each Spee-Dee filler is customized to your specific application and is extensively tested before shipping to ensure you’ll get the line efficiency we promised. Your purchase comes standard with regular product updates and 24/7 troubleshooting.

5. Is installation and training part of the deal?

We wouldn’t sell our products any other way. Like our machines, our training and support is tailored to your needs, whether that means developing plans for machine operators or 24/7 phone support.

Our engineers have almost 100 years of combined experience, and we’re proud to share it. Our focus on innovation means we’re not afraid of the hard questions. Ask away! That’s the only way you’ll find the trouble-free, money-saving solution you need to satisfy your filling challenges.

Explaining the Art of Elegant Refinement //

Tony Stefanelli, VP of Business Development

Elegant refinement doesn’t mean we’ve gussied up our work shirts with cufflinks and bow ties. We’re talking about more refined and sophisticated product design.

The technical definition of elegant is something that is, to paraphrase Einstein, “simple as possible, but no simpler.”  For Spee-Dee, that means fewer—but better—parts. A part that’s not on a machine is one that never needs to be cleaned or inventoried, is never out of stock and it will never break.

Over the last few years, we’ve made elegant refinements to our drive heads and many of our accessories. Parts are now easier to make and to assemble, and some of them perform more than one job.

But we’ve been careful not to lose the forest through the trees, remembering that elegance needs to apply to maintenance as well: five simple machines that all need their own specialized tools and equipment aren’t simple at all.

Minor modifications and tiny tweaks might not sound impressive on paper, but they all add up to a more fine-tuned design. Elegant refinement means Spee-Dee fillers are easier to assemble, clean and service. Looking through the lens of elegant refinement has helped us tighten up other processes as well, like communication and tracking. This can lead to reduced lead times and lower product costs.

When a customer looks at their new machine and thinks, “that’s a nice looking machine,” and the people servicing them think, “this machine is easy to work on,” and when the assemblers think, “that was really easy to put together” — that’s elegant refinement!

3 Simple Steps to Satisfied Customers //

The difference between a good brand experience and a great brand experience is quality customer service; and quality customer service is all about building a relationship with your clients. If you’re not sure where to start, here are three steps that have served us well at Spee-Dee:

  1. Reach out and get personal. A personalized experience makes it more likely that customers will become regulars. Get to know how your customers prefer to communicate, what they value and how their company works. See the big picture beyond their day-to-day business needs.
  1. Give them options. These days, people expect to be able to tailor products to their needs. Show them how you can customize your products or service to better fit their requirements. It tells them that you understand their business.
  1. Treat them like VIPs. Reward your customers’ loyalty with standout service. At Spee-Dee, ongoing support is crucial, not just to make sure things work as promised, but to see if we can help our customers further optimize their line efficiencies.

Knowing your clients on a fundamental level means you’ll be prepared for every call and request. By giving them the options they need, you’ll be repaid with repeat business. Clients who trust you aren’t afraid to give feedback, and that feedback leads to continuous improvement.

Knowledge Speaks, But Wisdom Listens //

Three things differentiate Spee-Dee from our competitors: personalized customer care, customizable product lines, and the skill that brings those two things together, which is listening. Our long-term customers stay with us because we adhere to the old adage that knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

Whether it’s a big job or a small one, always make it a personal experience. By treating every customer like a partner, your customers will see you as more than a vendor.

Listen closely for your customer’s real need. Don’t listen for which products you can sell them; listen for what they want your products to do.

Respond quickly. A slow response can make your customer feel unheard, unseen and unimportant. Responding quickly—even if it’s just to say you got their message—says “I hear you. Your needs are important to me, too.”

Whenever possible, give your customers options. Your perfect solution might not be theirs. Even if it is, letting them evaluate their options shows you respect their judgement. Give them options to compare, and review the pros and cons of each alternative.

Finally, follow through on your word and follow up on your promises. Everyone means to follow up; but few actually do. Spee-Dee prides itself on taking care of people before, during and after every project. What we learn from past projects helps us improve future ones.


Reduce Downtime With Spare Parts Planning //

Constructing an effective maintenance program includes developing a strategy for your replacement parts inventory. Whether those tasks are preventive or predictive, having the right parts on hand can save hours and, sometimes, days or weeks in downtime.

Consider these three things when planning a spare parts inventory:

Restoration – These items are spare parts that need to be replaced as part of your planned maintenance program. Wear parts like bearings and seals should be on your checklist, but also remember longer wearing items like the clutches on rotary fillers.

Lead Time – Items like tooling can take weeks to order. Because there are so many different sizes, manufacturers produce these by order. To keep your operation running smoothly, you might consider stocking those items that could cause catastrophic downtime if they ever failed.

Phase Outs – Finding spare parts for an older machine can be difficult. Finding them immediately can be next to impossible. If you have an older generation machine, check in with your Spee-Dee account rep to see if any parts are planned to be phased out in the near future. If you discover certain parts will be phased out, you can choose to upgrade those components, or add them to your spare parts inventory.

Do you have any specific spare parts questions? Talk with your Spee-Dee account rep about developing a proactive, long range maintenance plan for your facility. It will help improve the availability of your machines and boost the value of their output.