Reel Production Machines (page may load slowly)
Alas the Oregon plant is no more. It shut down Thursday August 17 2000. All reel production has moved to Mexico, but this is a little peek behind the scenes at the reel production process while the machines were still in Portland. For a peak behind the scenes at the new plant in Mexico Click This.


This machine inserts the film chips into the reels. At one end half of a View-Master Reel blank is picked up out of the left magazine by a pneumatic conveyor arm and moved to the first of seven stations (#1 reel pad).  Then the arm returns to its neutral position. The film heads advance the 16mm film, then come down to place it, followed by the tacking irons to secure the film to the reel half. The film shears cut the tacked film and the tacking irons and film heads go back up.

The cycle is repeated as the reel half moves through the seven stations. At the eighth station, a reel half “top” is added from the right magazine before going on to the sealing press then the printing press. Each cycle takes about 2 seconds, or on average 30 finished reels per minute. The machines will run continuously at this pace as long as the reel stock trips sensors throughout the cycles.


This shows the double arm picking the sealed reel up from the sealing press and the printed reel up off the printing press. This double arm then swings right setting the sealed reel onto the printing press and the printed reel across the sensor/counter onto the finished reel spindle to be removed and boxed by the operator.


This shows a robot picker placing a finished reel onto a four-station index table. What you cannot see is the table indexing to the next station where there is a sensor to detect a reel and then on to the next station where a labeljet labeler is applying a label sticker to the reel back. On the last station another robot picks it off and stacks it. This was something FisherPrice came up with just a few years ago to add some color and coolness to the product so you could tell what the subject was with just a glance.


This offset three-color press is printing reel cards for the packaging machine.


This is the phase two packaging machine folding the backs over on the reel cards before continuing under the sealing press. This machine replaced the “Packets” machines.



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