Adding Efficiency to Loading and Packing Phases of Packaging Systems
Hand placing empty containers at the beginning of a packaging line and hand packing finished product at the end are two ways to handle the loading and packing phases of a packaging system. However, even where a company desires to use manual labor for these tasks, there is machinery that can assist in loading and packing to add efficiency where needed or desired.
Hand placing single bottles on a power conveyor for an automatic packaging system can be a daunting task that may leave many people struggling to keep up with the machinery. However, there are a number of packaging machines that can help an individual load the bottles. The best solution may differ for each packaging project based on how the empty bottles are packaged, the shape of the bottles, the speed of the line and a number of other factors. For some, a simple loading turntable can make the process of placing bottles or containers more efficient. A loading deadplate can be added to the turntable so that boxes of bottles can be placed on the deadplate. Bottles can then quickly be placed on the turntable top, which then delivers them to the main power conveyor.
For non-round bottles, a better solution may be a laning conveyor, which allows a bottle loader to place containers on a wider conveyor which creates lanes of bottles running perpendicular to the main conveyor. The laning conveyor then delivers rows of bottles, one by one, to the main power conveyor for delivery to the various packaging machines. On both of these machines, the efficiency comes from the loading tables and the ability to quickly unload multiple containers versus setting one container at a time on the main conveyor.
Other options also exist for loading bottles on to a packaging line, such as unscramblers to quickly set up and orient bottles on the main conveyor, bottle hoppers to allow quick access to bulk containers by an individual setting containers on the main conveyor and custom solutions when all others fail!
Once bottles are filled, capped, labeled and otherwise prepared for the shelf, hand packing such containers for shipping can also be a time-consuming task. Just like with loading, the efficiency for unloading and packing at the end of the line can be improved in several different ways. An accumulating turntable can be used at the end of the line to gather finished product, complimenting the loading turntable at the beginning of a line. From the accumulating turntable, line workers can pack and prepare containers from a centralized gathering point, rather than try to grab them one by one as they move down the conveyor.
Accumulating conveyors can also be used to gather bottles, and may include packing tables along the side, allowing labor to pull multiple containers on to the tables and prepare them for shipping. And just like with the unscrambler, end of the line packaging machinery exists to automate the shipping preparation as well, from box erectors to case packers, bundlers, pallet wrappers and more.
Adding efficiency to the loading and packing phases of a packaging system really breaks down to making the process faster. The machine or machines that will achieve this goal, whether the goal is a necessity or a desire, will differ from project to project. To see a few of the options, visit the Conveyors and Turntables section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions website. To discuss custom applications for loading and unloading, contact a Packaging Specialist at the LPS offices today.