Spee-Dee’s New Multi-Lane Filling Systems Improve Production Rates for Dry Product Applications //

Why fill just one cup, when you can fill two, four, eight or even 16 cups?

Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery has been wondering that as well, which is why it has developed multi-lane filling systems for a variety of dry product applications.

Spee-Dee’s multi-lane filling systems come with several advantages to help customers improve production. For starters, they can be built with two, four, five, six, eight, 10 and 16 drop configurations to boost production rates with accurate fills for a variety of rigid containers. But just how big of a production boost can a customer see? For example, filling with a 16-up configuration filler at 40 indexes per minute equals more than 600 fills per minute.

Features and benefits of Spee-Dee’s multi-lane fillers:

  • Easy access – cantilever design opens machine up for efficient tool changing and cleaning
  • Group tooling provides fast removal of multiple funnels to accommodate changing applications
  • Bosch Mi motor merges servo drive and servo motor into one integral unit, reducing the size of the electrical box and number of cables needed to connect to each individual filling lane
  • Machines attached to an optional hopper carts for easy hopper and tooling removal for cleaning and change over

For more information on Spee-Dee’s new multi-lane filling systems, call 877-375-2121 or visit www.spee-dee.com.

Spee-Dee’s Combination Filler Saves Customers Time and Money by Filling Two or More Different Products at the Same Time //

Sometimes, two is better than one. Spee-Dee’s combination fillers allow you the benefit of filling two or more different elements, such as dry powder products and particulates, into one container at the same time on an automatic pouch machine – saving you time and valuable space in your plant.

Using a combination filler on an automatic pouch machine greatly speeds up the process, filling pouches as fast as 120 per minute. This is a much quicker rate than a packager using multiple filling machines to put multiple elements into a pouch as it needs to move from filler to filler to receive each element – a slow, time-consuming process.

Another advantage of using a Spee-Dee combination filler is that they blend elements when dispensing into pouches for a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Pouches filled on a single-fill machine tend to layer or clump elements since they’re not being blended during the fill process.

Spee-Dee combination fillers also have a much smaller footprint in a plant than multiple fillers – saving valuable plant floor space. Plus, they use only a single electrical enclosure and one touch screen to operate multiple fillers.

For added flexibility, Spee-Dee combination fillers are available in formats such as two augers, two cups, auger/cup, and multi-lanes; they are designed to your specific application. Every Spee-Dee combination filler is custom made to customers’ exact specifications. The ability to fill faster and save space – those are two great advantages Spee-Dee can provide.

New Servo-Drive Revolution Series Auger from Spee-Dee Features Fast Delivery Time and Great Value //

Have an application that needs filling right away? Then the servo-drive Revolution Series Auger from Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery is the right answer.

The Revolution Series Auger is manufactured and stocked at Spee-Dee’s Sturtevant headquarters. When an order is placed, the appropriate column, stand and tooling requirements are added to the auger and it’s ready to ship. These quick additions are why Spee-Dee can deliver the Revolution Series Auger in just four weeks – making it the ideal filler for those form, fill and seal applications that need to get up and running quickly. Its simplified design makes the servo-drive Revolution Series Auger a price competitive option for dry-product filling within the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Features of the Revolution Series Auger include:

  • Servo motor precision auger control
  • Direct drive design
  • Full color touch screen operator interface
  • PLC based controls
  • Non-proprietary electrical components
  • In-line check weight feedback
  • 5g to 5lb fill range
  • 16 gallon hopper
  • 6” diameter hopper inlet
  • 24” x 30” x 12” NEMA 4-electrical enclosure

Available options include:

  • Hopper level control
  • Off-line check weight feedback with scale
  • Controls for flapper tooling

Come visit Spee-Dee in booth No. 3745 at Pack Expo, Sept. 23-25, in Las Vegas. For more information about the Revolution Series Auger from Spee-Dee, or to register for Pack Expo for free, visit www.spee-dee.com.

July 31 is Jump for Jelly Beans Day. //

SPEE-DEE FAST FACT: The jelly beans packaged last year could circle the earth 5 times; and plenty were packed by a Spee-Dee volumetric cup filler!


For more than 60 years, Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery has provided quality cup fillers to fit the needs of food manufacturers. Spee-Dee Volumetric Cup Fillers have earned a well-deserved industry reputation for being reliable, accurate and durable. Spee-dee cup fillers economically fill dry, free flowing particulate food products such as rice, beans, cereal, candy, popcorn, nuts, coffee… and jelly beans… all without product degradation.


With Spee-Dee Volumetric Cup Fillers, cups of varying sizes can easily be inserted within minutes to address any variety of filling needs. Telescoping cups offer the ability to fine tune the fill weight to ensure adherence to specifications. For more information, contact us

Closing the Skills Gap //

The article below was originally published in Packaging World Magazine and appeared on www.packagingworld.com.


Timm JohnsonBy Timm Johnson

Vice President Sales/Marketing – Spee-Dee; Chairman of the Education and Workforce Development Committee – PMMI


I want to invite you to go take a walk out onto your shop floor. Go ahead. What do you see?

For starters you probably see engineering, fabrication and assembly cells, and some rather high-tech machinery used to support each of those functions. You also see employees working in those cells, using their skills and years of experience to get the job done professionally and on time.

Notice anything else about your workforce? Some of them may be graying and soon preparing to retire. The age of your workforce represents a good opportunity for qualified younger employees to step in and launch their career. The problem you face is finding that young person.

The skills gap

All around the country there are manufacturing jobs that employers are looking to fill, but the problem stems from not enough skilled workers to fill them. So just how many jobs are open? According to Businessweek.com, there are more than 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs that remain unfilled due to a lack of trained workers. In fact, in the United States, technicians and skilled trades represent two of the top three most difficult job categories for manufacturers to fill.

With unemployment still somewhat high in this country, why aren’t people looking at manufacturing as a viable career choice? It starts with perception. I think many people have a negative view toward manufacturing; dirty jobs, tall smoke stacks, hot factories. While at one time that was true, those stereotypes are decades old, and anyone who’s been inside a manufacturing facility knows it’s an environment filled with cutting-edge technology that requires skill and training to work. But that’s part of the problem – people don’t know what it’s like because they’ve never been inside a plant. Those antiquated, negative perceptions are hampering the recruiting efforts of young people into the industry and they need to be changed.

Engaging students

But just how do we go about changing that perception and getting young people energized about manufacturing? I’d say let’s start engaging kids in grade school and emphasizing mathematics and science – the foundations they’ll need to pursue a career in high-tech industries such as manufacturing, packaging, engineering etc. Organizations such as JumPPstart (www.pmmi.org) and Project Lead The Way (www.pltwy.org) are helping to pilot these efforts.

JumPPstart is an initiative between PMMI member companies in Milwaukee and Minneapolis that aims to connect with area high school students to promote careers in the packaging and processing industries. The goal is to engage students, parents and school administrators to demonstrate career opportunities within the industry. In addition to Milwaukee and Minneapolis, with a third soon taking root in Chicago.

Launched in 1997, Project Lead The Way is a non-profit organization that designs rigorous and innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricular programs taught in middle and high schools across the country. 

Teachers at participating schools receive extra instruction and become certified to facilitate the curriculum. Today, more than 4,700 schools in all 50 states are offering Project Lead The Way courses. And the results seem to be paying dividends as, according to its website, students completing these classes are studying engineering and technology at five to 10 times the average rate of their peers. Furthermore, on average, about 80 percent of participating high school seniors say they plan to study engineering, technology or computer sciences in college, compared to the national average of 32 percent.

PMMI’s role

This issue is front and center of the Education and Workforce Development Committee at PMMI as well. Our mission is to ensure the strength and growth of the packaging and supply chain workforce. The strategies we’re implementing to accomplish this include demonstrating all the career options available within the packaging industry; giving people a way to learn the skills that packaging companies are looking for; and providing programs that can serve membership and their employment challenges.

Just as programs like Project Lead The Way target students through high school, we’ve tailored our outreach efforts to include partnerships with both technical schools and traditional four-year colleges. One area of study that’s gaining traction with college students looking at a career in manufacturing or packaging is mechatronics engineering.  Although it’s a relatively new concept, mechatronics is a result of the changing landscape that engineers are facing in the workforce.

Mechatronics focuses on the design and production of automated equipment and combines mechanical, electrical, systems design, computer and control engineering – elements that nearly all packaging equipment contain. The advantage of studying this career field is that students gain hands-on experience with engineering disciplines such as pneumatics, hydraulics, electricity and the design and manufacturing process of mechanical parts. Students studying mechatronics can test and receive a PMMI certification in several disciplines within the field, including pneumatics, electricity, fluid, power, etc.  

Beyond the classroom, we give students enrolled in a PMMI-related course hands on exposure to the industry by inviting them to PACK EXPO. There, they participate in events like The Amazing Packaging Race and PACK Solutions Challenge – both of which test their engineering knowledge while serving as a great networking opportunity.

Another program we coordinate is called How it’s Packaged, a summer tour in which a group of college students tour several PMMI-member companies in the Midwest and see the process from the inside out. I like to say we show kids how the Cheerios get inside the box – which is something they never even thought about. Since almost none of these kids have even been inside a packaging plant before, knowledge like this give them exposure in the real world of packaging.


There are many career opportunities with great chances for advancement just waiting to be filled within the packaging and manufacturing industries. But people need to have the right skills and qualifications to get them. That’s why finding skilled labor is major concern with PMMI members. The solution isn’t going to present itself overnight. We need to continue breaking down negative stereotypes about the industry and get young people excited about the possibilities. Organizations like Project Lead The Way are proving to be a great resource in getting kids interested in sciences and technology, and the partnerships PMMI has with post secondary schools will soon begin closing the skills gap. Now is the time to be involved in packaging and manufacturing – we just have to package it the right way and get the word out.

One of Spee-Dee’s Original Employees Retires After 42 Years //

When Spee-Dee fist came to Sturtevant, WI in 1975 as part of the Franklin Electric Company, Roy Lira was welding stainless steel delicatessen tables. When James Navin, then General Manager of Franlin Electric’s Sturtevant plant, bought the Spee-Dee line and started Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc in 1981, he brought Roy and his younger brother, Bob Lira, along. Roy has been welding for Spee-Dee ever since. Now, after working with Jim Navin for 42 years, Roy retired on his 65th birthday. All of us here at Spee-Dee want to thank Roy for his many years of service and his constant dedication to quality, and we wish him a very happy retirement.Roy and Jim

Oldest Operating Spee-Dee Cup Filler has been found! //

Winner poster

Service Enterprises, of Marshall, MN is the winner of our Oldest Operating Filler contest.

Service Enterprises will receive the prize of $1,000 towards parts, service, or new machinery.

Sanitary Auger video at Packaging World magazine //

Watch Mark Navin talk about our Sanitary auger with the new washdown drive head enclosure over at Packaging World.


WANTED: Oldest Operating Spee-Dee Filler //

For Spee-Dee’s new contest.
The Oldest Operating Spee-Dee Filler.
If you have a long-running Spee-Dee:  Turn in the location of your longest operating filler, the application it’s being used on and its decades of filling efficiency.
Reward waiting for the oldest operating filler.
Visit our contest page to learn more about the contest details.


The Search for the Oldest Operating Spee-Dee Filler //

Spee-Dee is happy to announce a contest we are starting to find the Oldest Operating Spee-Dee Filler.
We’ve been building our fillers since 1946, and while the technology keeps changing, our track record of reliability has never wavered. We know there are fillers that have been running for decades, and we want to find the one that’s been running the longest. As an incentive, we’re offering up $1,000 in prizes to find the oldest fillers still running strong today. Click the image below for contest rules and more information.


The buzz for our contest already started late last week, as our press releases started getting posted immediately at sites such as Powder Bulk Solids.