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a Closer look at the Omnia grading machine

The Moba transfer

Moba egg graders are packed with technology. Some designs are worth further investigation as they represent crucial customer value. In this series of articles, we will be zooming in on these "hidden gems". This time, we take a closer look at how the comparison with a ski-lift explains how the Moba transfer is between 2 and 3.5 times more gentle than anything else on the market.


In almost all egg graders of all brands, the incoming eggs arrive on rollers. These rollers are very suitable to transport eggs in a controlled way to various stations where the eggs are being weighted and detected to look for off-grades but also washed and dried. After this, the eggs need to be transported to packing lanes. This is commonly done via carrier systems in the form of grippers or pockets, depending on the brand and type of grader, housed in the main transport track. However, in all graders some kind of mechanism is needed to transfer the eggs from the infeed roller section to this track. This technology is referred to as "transfer".


The total cost of ownership

When deciding what type of egg grader is the best for your operation, it is wise to look not only at price or performance, but at the total business case, or as any student learns in school: "the total cost of ownership". After various studies we know that the cost of ownership of an egg grading and packing operation is highly influenced by:

- Packaging costs
  • - Labor costs
  • - Losses throughout the process

These three factors have also a relation to the equipment. At Moba we focus on all factors that have an influence on the design of the machines.

For instance, the packaging costs: Moba graders are known to handle the largest variety of different pack types so that you can easily choose the packaging material with the best price-performance ratio while it runs smoothly on the machine.

As for keeping the labor costs down, of course an obvious strategy for many packing stations is to look for further automation with case packers or palletizers, but a very important thing is often overlooked: availability or uptime of the equipment. And especially this KPI (key performance indicator) depends on simple and reliable processes. If a stuck egg shell or leaking egg forces you to stop the machine regularly, you will be shocked to know that the net availability of the grader easily drops to 70% or lower. So you pay a lot to buy a faster machine but in the end it is the equivalent of a much slower version. Due to iMoba, we have learned that by using the right technology, the average of our graders shows availability numbers of over 90%. The transfer is an example of this "right technology". It is a simple but highly reliable technology that never stops and never fails to deliver, a sharp contrast with other existing technologies on the market.

Also, the number 3 on the list, the losses throughout the process, are highly impacted by the transfer. In many grader designs, multiple layers of eggs cross each other with the risk of contamination, so that egg handling results in damaged eggs. Next to that, the timing is of high importance. A mechanism that handles eggs should be gentle and as slow as possible.


The transfer system of an Omnia FT 500: After one million eggs only a few empty shells and misshaped eggs are found under the system, and because of the construction these did not cause any stand-still.

Many mechanisms on the market are constructed as "back and forth movement". This may seem logical, but when you think of it, the system is only used half of the time. Simply because it needs to make a reverse movement but always without eggs. So 50% with eggs and 50% without eggs.


Moba chose a completely different approach for the Omnia series and recently also in the Forta, an egg grading machine with a capacity up to 36,000 eggs/hour. Instead of one single big transfer unit like most brands, Moba’s transfer consists of many smaller units. This results in a construction where the available timeslot is fully used for transporting the eggs. The return of the empty unit takes place later, outside the timeslot. This means that the Moba transfer takes place at a 50% slower speed but with the same capacity compared to the most gentle competitive machines. Compared to more aggressive systems, the Omnia can be much more gentle with its transfer! And this contributes to fewer losses and fewer operational stops, two of the three points on our cost-of-ownership-top-3.


You can compare the technology with a ski-lift. Suppose you want to bring 100 people per minute to the ski-slope. If you would have one cabin holding 100 people, one ride would be 30 seconds because in the other 30 seconds the cabin has to return empty to the valley station before picking up the next 100 people.


Compare the transfer to a ski-lift. The more cabins, the slower the lift can go in order to transport the same amount of skiers.

Now imagine that instead of one cabin, we have two. The complete ride can use the full minute because the empty return is no longer in the critical timing window. This means it only needs to go at half speed to do the same job. The more cabins we add to the ski-lift, the slower the lift can go while moving the same number of skiers to the top.


The Omnia PX has 44 transfer units of which 7 units are filled with eggs. That is the equivalent of our ski-lift with 7 cabins that are full in the uphill trajectory. Other machines have a transfer with only "one big cabin" holding for example 72 eggs. This "cabin" has an empty return, so on average the net capacity is 50% being 36 eggs. Despite the fact that the "cabins" in the Omnia only hold 18 eggs, the Omnia can reach the same transfer cycle with a speed that is 7x18/36 = 3.5 times as slow!! Because of the advantage of no empty return, the Moba transfer moves at least twice as gentle as anything on the market.


And the most important feature of the Omnia transfer is that it smoothly makes the required 90-degree turn. No start and stop movements, no back and forth movements, no complex gearboxes to control the moves; only a simple forward movement creates a complex 3D curve that has the absolute lowest possible impact on the egg and is simple to maintain.

test-1The Omnia PX transfer with its multiple arms is not only between 2 and 3.5 times more gentle than any other system on the market, but it is also easy to clean with foam and high pressure as the system rotates away from under the frame.


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