R.A JONES Customizes Cartoner for Legally Blind Operators
Horizon Industries, a division of East Texas Lighthouse, is one of the largest converters of industrial cleaning towels for the U.S. government with strong initiatives towards rehabilitating and supporting America's blind community. Their mission is to empower the visually impaired population to succeed through rehabilitation, education, training, and, most prominently, employment. Horizon Industries currently has over 40 legally blind employees working at their facility, making them in need of uniquely modified cartoners in order to achieve their work and safely fulfill their production lines. When they set out to upgrade old equipment, Horizon Industries knew of our reputation and reached out to learn more about our reliable machinery.
According to Lee Tillson, Horizon’s VP of Sales/Business Development, they ultimately chose to do business with R. A Jones, because of our “quality and reliability, machine capability, and brand recognition.”
We worked with Horizon to determine and execute the modifications necessary to make our machines work best for their needs. Our already versatile Criterion CL-240 cartoner was then enhanced with safety features, which allow Horizon's blind employees to successfully operate the machinery.
The orange buckets are just one example of a customized solution we incorporated into our standard Criterion CL-240 cartoner to help keep Lee's employees safe.
Because over 75% of the Horizon operators and workforce are legally blind, minor but significant changes to our current machine design were required to make usability safe and effective for their workers. These alterations included a safety lift gate and a lifeline emergency stop for added protection and assurance. Colors that easily reflect light are easiest for the legally blind to see, therefore, bright orange sheet metal plates were added between the article bucket openings as a color contrast to aid the operators in loading the article bucket pocket and preventing access to the bucket conveyor chains.
The CL-240 was already equipped with a number of other carton configurations that are ideal for these particular working conditions, including Acc-U-Change and Fault Zone Indication. Acc-U-Change provides validated changeover, which ensures setpoints are placed for vertical start-up, while Fault Zone Indication illuminates the work area and highlights the area of the machine where a fault may occur. We also were able to modify our machine features to fit the packaging needs most important today, but with the ease of changeover capabilities for the future. We were able to extend the carton depth maximum on the machine from 14 to 16 inches, elevating the bucket conveyor over 36 inches, and adding 10 feet of said bucket conveyor for hand-loading.
Future packaging requirements for the company were also considered in the design, providing the ability to easily modify or enhance as their needs may grow. Lee noted the machine’s versatility and flexibility to change carton sizes and speeds were important features for their future business. By working with our customer, we were able to retrofit a safe, reliable, and broad range of features to our existing machine design and bring their packaging needs to life.
If your company is in need of specially modified equipment, additional safety features, unique product requirements, or other custom modifications to suit employee needs, please contact an R. A Jones representative by completing/submitting the form below or email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.