Feltre have designed an automated machine which is able to palletise wet-blue hides pre-weighed, area measured, ID stamped and sorted into grades. Graded hides can then be shipped directly to the customer or transferred within the tannery to the next operation. Feltre specialise in making labour saving, tailor made machinery suited to individual customers.

Leather International has been given exclusive access to view the machine at Feltre’s factory in Chiampo, close to Arzignano, Italy. The new machine, known as PAL 30 L4 F2, was launched at the end of last month following tannery trials.

The machine is placed behind the sammying/setting-out equipment and is used to stack whole hides along four pallets located under a conveyor. The four stations correspond to four different sorting grades with the rejects being transferred directly to the front of the machine where they fall straight into a bin. The PAL 30 L4 F2 is able to operate in two directions and hides can be stacked flat on to a pallet or be automatically folded ready for shipping.

The machine has been designed for stacking hides onto a pallet with dimensions of 1100mm x 2200mm, also known as a double europallet. Whole hides are automatically folded, first along the backbone (grain inside) and then topped and tailed to the centre. Backbones are piled in alternating positions at right angles to each other. The automatic folding of the hides has been designed to eliminate damage to the hides during folding and transportation.

Located underneath the pallets are four hydraulic platforms that automatically lower as more hides are added. Except for the rising platforms and the drive motors, the equipment features a solid stainless steel 304 aisi structure. The belts are made of heat sealed polyurethane with a high grip surface.

Feltre anticipate that the throughput of the machine will be approximately 220 hides per hour. The surface area is automatically measured using the Loto measuring equipment from GER. Only two operatives are required to run the machine and all the data and machine settings are computer controlled and recorded.