A Packaging Machine A Day - Power Conveyors
Power conveyor systems put the automatic in automatic packaging lines. Without these systems, bottles could not move from one machine to another without the help of manual labor. But while the main function of the different power conveyors manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions is to move bottles from one machine to another, these versatile machines have other uses as well.
There are several options for conveyors used to move bottles along an automated packaging line and many times multiple options will work. However, analyzing the packaging project, including the space, product, bottles and more, will help choose the best conveying solution for the individual project at hand. Conveyor systems can run in a straight line or may include curved sections where necessary to fit on the packaging floor. Power conveyor height can also be increased or decreased to raise or lower containers on their journey. From the compact design of low profile conveyors to the easy clean-up of sanitary style conveyors and the corrosion resistance of HDPE conveyors, Liquid Packaging Solutions can manufacture a power conveyor system to efficiently transfer just about any container or product down the packaging line.
Power conveyors may also be used to load bottles or containers at the beginning of a packaging line. Loading, or laning, conveyors are typically designed with a loading table leading to a wide conveyor belt with adjustable lanes. These conveyors are most often used for non-round bottles that would make other loading options, such as turntables, difficult if not impossible to use. An operator can place bulk containers on the loading table and once moved on to the conveyor, the containers would enter different lanes, with rows of bottles then presented to the main transfer conveyor for movement from one machine to the next for rinsing, filling, capping and other preparation. The adjustable lanes on the loading conveyor allow the machine to efficiently handle a range of container sizes and shapes.
COOLING AND ACCUMULATING CONVEYORS
In some situations, power conveyors will also be used to cool or accumulate product on a packaging line. Cooling conveyors are most commonly used with molten products that are filled at a hot temperature. The cooling conveyors allow the products extra dwell time to set before moving on to the next phase of packaging (usually between filling and capping) to ensure that there is no damage to the product or the container. Power cooling conveyors may simply use time to allow for a product to cool down or they may use a fan system to assist in the process. Accumulating product will most often occur at the end of the packaging line, when items are fully packaged and ready to be prepped for shipping. However, the accumulation can occur anywhere on the line. For example, a packager that combines automatic and semi-automatic machinery may accumulate products after a fill to allow for semi-automatic capping of bottles. Both cooling and accumulating conveyors may also be straight line conveyors, but will more likely be seen in a serpentine design to add efficiency to the process and save packaging space.
Whether using one of these power conveyors or all three on a single line, each system will be custom designed to suit the needs of the individual packager and the specific project at hand. To learn more about conveyors from Liquid Packaging Solutions just visit the Conveyor Systems & Turntables section of the LPS website.