Industry & Business

Span Tech Europe – Flexibility at its Very Best

Span Tech Europe – Flexibility at its Very Best

Span Tech Europe – Flexibility at its Very Best
April 10
17:00 2014

Today, material handling systems have become a fundamental part of a flexible manufacturing system, they must adapt to the product and production process, not the other way around.

Span Tech Europe provides custom systems for the packaging, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, wholesale, manufacturing and distribution industries, with about two-thirds of the company’s business currently concentrated in the packaging, food and beverage arena.

“One of the unique qualities of Span Tech is that we manufacture everything ourselves,” explains Enrico Berlenghi, Span Tech’s EMEA Director. “Most of our competitors buy parts and then assemble them together to provide solutions. However, the founder of our company had the wish to build the most efficient conveying system possible. To do so, we have engineered, designed and produce every single piece in-house to work perfectly together.”

Efficiency Through Engineering and Design

Span Tech’s systems offer the most innovative technology and flexibility of conveyor design in the industry. “We had to build a conveyor system that was better than anything else you could buy,” asserts Bud Layne, Span Tech’s founder and CEO. “We began to figure out a different conveyor design – one that was completely different than what we had. The result was a conveyor that has a tremendously long life in the field, hardly any maintenance, running trouble free year after year after year. I want it to run better than anything in the world, and it most certainly does.”

Continuous Innovation

Among Span Tech’s variety of innovations and custom-made solutions, certain examples stand out as clear advances in the material handling industry. The Span Tech TranSorter is a new system due to be launched inEuropelater this year. The TranSorter is a sortation product designed to handle products that are traditionally difficult to convey and sort – referred to in the industry as “non-conveyable.” The TranSorter utilizes Span Tech’s MicroSpan chain in concert with extendable nose technology to create openings while the conveyor continues to move forward, gently depositing items into a tote or onto a tilting device or cross-belt conveyor. This boundary-pushing technology seamlessly integrates with Span Tech’s other conveyor systems to meet specific needs, including end-of-line shipping, goods-to-man fulfilment, inbound sortation and returns processing systems. The modular design comes in both 300mm and 600mm widths.

Another example of Span Tech’s efficient solutions is the Topper Lift, designed to lower or elevate product while preserving product orientation. The upper chain drapes down and rides on a lower transport conveyor, acting as a moving top keeper to allow a much steeper angle of transport. “The chain hangs freely and comes into contact with the product, and because of this, we are able to achieve incline angles of 60 degrees or even more, depending on the product,” explains Keith Thomas, Research and Development Director. “The flexible chain allows us to run various shapes and sizes of products even in a continuous production run.” Like the TranSorter, the Topper Lift is also capable of handling “non-conveyable,” doing so within a compact footprint and with no adjustments needed.

True Modularity

Although more than 85 percent of the solutions Span Tech delivers are custom-made, these solutions incorporate proven, modular components and assemblies. “We observe the rules of symmetrical design, where a left-hand part is interchangeable as a right-hand part,” Bud Layne points out. “From a reasonably small number of parts, we can make a very wide variation of conveyors. That lowers your investment cost and increases your field flexibility.”

Given a few details – product specifications, rate, environment, temperature limits, speeds, weights and positioning – Span Tech will offer a system that will comply with your customers’ expectations, needs while ensuring a perfect flow and no product damage. “We can customise because we have the flexibility not to impose and push our range – we adapt to the needs of the product and equipment,” Enrico Berlenghi adds. “This is what makes the difference.”

Streamlining Software

Another of Span Tech’s advantages is its selection of proprietary software. “For the past 30 years we have developed and refined our own proprietary software packages,” Keith Thomas explains. “We have one for estimating, one for designing, and one for checking validity of designs. These programs – Estimator, Navigator and TorqueMaster – use the engineering principles that have been developed over the years. This allows us to create estimates and approval drawings very quickly.” The fact that Span Tech’s technology has been proven over time is yet another strength of the company, as Bud Layne points out: “We have built tens of thousands of these conveyors, so we know what they will do, and we know how they will run. We’ve got the people, we’ve got the talent, we know how to do it, we can predict what the performance of it is going to be.”

Exceeding Expectations

Berlenghi is proud to point out the prevalence of repeat customers that Span Tech enjoys. “The return business to Span Tech is extremely high,” he emphasizes. “We are already a leader in the North American markets, and our motto is ‘Once you go Span Tech, you never go back.’ Once the superior quality of our conveyors is seen throughoutEurope, there is scope for expanding our market and building relationships with new partners.”

Going Global, Growing Global

Enrico Berlenghi explains that there is tremendous opportunity for Span Tech to continue to grow, based on its values. “By offering the very best service and solutions, our company almost runs by itself, as quality always pays off,” he affirms. “We have extremely high ethical values and our partners know they can trust us. We are passionate about what we do, and we really care about our products and the relationships we have with our partners.”

Span Tech is already a leader in the North American market and has expanded into Central and South America. Span Tech Europe was opened in 2011 and since then has had a 35 per cent market increase every year. With subsidiaries in Canada, Mexicoand Japan, and an emerging presence in Africa and Central Asia, “we expect our market increase this year to be even higher,” Berlenghi adds. “The European market is very loyal to its business partners, so they need to embrace innovation and consider endless possibilities. It takes time for the market to accept that the impossible can become possible with Span Tech Europe.”

For further details go to or meet Span Tech Europe at the Interpack, Booth 13D79.

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