Knowledge Center Article

Development and Evolution of the Filling Funnel

At OMNI Technologies, we pride ourselves in our collaborative relationship with our customers to produce new products and OEM tools. Our in-depth product development process is supported by years of experience to ensure compatibility with your operation.

It is important to us that each interaction is handled consistently, professionally, and with one goal in mind: creating value for you. We want to ensure that you know just what to expect from start to finish when you work with us. We call this the OMNI Process:

  1. Collaborative opportunity evaluation
  2. Designing your innovative solution
  3. Making your mold
  4. Manufacturing your solution
  5. Performing for you

OEM designed stainless steel funnel.
Second generation, a polyurethane molded funnel.

Achieve Cost Savings Through Customer Collaboration

One example of our Collaboration was when our customer’s customer had an issue with a line that was already in service. In this case, a customer had a piece of filling equipment that filled foil pouches with powdered cheese at a very high rate of speed. The platform had 32 filler funnels that transport the powder from the auger to the collated foil pouches. These funnels were designed originally as fabricated stainless steel parts.

As our customer refined the equipment to increase the speed from what was originally 160 per minute to the current 320 per minute, they were looking for ways to save weight, and possibly move away from the approximate $2000 cost of the fabricated stainless funnels. When they approached OMNI, we were simply asked to produce a molded direct replacement for the original fabricated funnel.

OMNI did some work with the design to maintain the approximate geometry of the stainless funnel. Once the customer saw the design, they loved the cost savings and weight savings they were going to be able to achieve by moving to a molded part. Once the tooling was produced, the parts were sold at a cost that was 95% less and provided a weight savings of 85%. The weight savings allowed them to reach higher speeds and also to extend the life of the chains that drive the funnels by 500%.

Reducing Product Waste with Design and Development

The original stainless funnels were also temperamental and if they were dented or bent, the powder would bridge and weights would be inaccurate. This made repairing them almost impossible. This new molded design eliminated denting and deformation completely.

After several years of successfully running the first version, there was a new directive to reduce the wasted powder that missed the funnel at such high speed. The complaint was that the equipment was usually covered with powder.

The next revision of the funnel was to design the funnel top to nest with the adjacent funnels to catch as much of the product as possible or a no-spill model. The picture of this funnel leaves virtually no gaps for the product to fall through. Waste was reduced significantly.

Third generation, hybrid polyurethane and stainless steel funnel.

Customized Solutions for OEM Challenges

With the new changes, some very powerful springs were replaced to hold the duck bill closed and the extremely thin cross-section of material (.050”) quickly would get deflected. We needed to improve the stability of the duckbill at the bottom of the funnel.

The OMNI team then got to work on designing a hybrid version that has a stainless bottom and molded top. The weight savings are still significant and the parts are much more durable.

The final revision was made to minimize the static transfer and build-up in the funnel top. To do this we use an FDA-approved additive “anti-stat” as well as a proprietary additive that not only helps with static but makes the molded funnel top metal detectable.

Choose OMNI Technologies

At OMNI, we work with our customers in real-time to address any process adjustments as they arise. Our OMNI process is in-depth and collaborative, ensuring only the highest-quality custom part that is guaranteed to be compatible with your OEM process. In addition to in-house tooling capabilities, our R&D team works with you to provide any additional resources

No matter your process, our innovative team at OMNI can help customize and deliver a tailored solution. From parts for funnel kits to gaskets, OMNI has the operational expertise to deliver any part necessary along the supply chain process. From design and material selection to execution and delivery, the team at OMNI is ready to collaborate with you to identify the best solution for your process.

Contact our sales team to discuss solutions to your unique OEM problem.

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