Bottle Reject Stations And Packaging Lines
Many different packaging machines can exist on any given packaging line. For example, a typical inline system might include a filling machine and capping machine as well as a labeler and coding equipment. To be ready for the shelf, each bottle or container must successfully run through each of the packaging machines. If not enough product is dispersed, customers may feel cheated and without a cap, product will likely spill before it ever comes close to reaching the shelf. A product minus a label or code means consumers are unlikely to purchase that item or may even unknowingly purchase expired product. So what happens in the rare instances where one or more of the processes is not completed correctly or consistently? Packagers are left with unsold product, returned product or even unhappy customers. Bottle reject stations can offer a solution to these issues.
Generally speaking, bottles flow down a power conveyor system to move from one packaging machine to another. Bottle reject stations are used to remove problem bottles from that flow, allowing only properly packaged containers to reach the stage where they will be packed and prepared for shipping. Bottles may be rejected onto an accumulating turntable, a separate conveyor or in any other manner desired by the packager, including a system to reintroduce bottles onto the main power conveyor line. Reject stations may be used not only in a number of different manners, but in numerous different locations along a system, depending on the issue to be resolved.
For example, some reject stations may be used almost as a type of bottle unscrambler in that only certain types of bottles will remain on the main power conveyor system. Bottles of a certain color or size might be rejected to allow only one container type to be used for a specific product. Some bottles may need to be properly oriented in order to be correctly packaged. Bottles with high handles could cause problems with capping machines or labelers if not placed with the handle in front or in back, as needed. A bottle reject station might be used to remove incorrectly oriented containers from the packaging line as well, thus avoiding missed caps or improperly placed labels. As another example, from time to time a bad cap or other malfunction may cause a container to move through the capping machine without receiving the necessary closure. Bottle reject stations can also be used to check for missing components such as caps, removing these items from the main conveyor so that the issue can be corrected. Even for products and containers that must hit a specific volume or net weight, reject stations can also be used to remove from the flow those containers that are too heavy or too light (under or over-filled).
While reject stations are not necessary on every packaging line, those that use unique bottles, a wide variety of bottles or even one-of-a-kind closures or labels, these machines can assist in keeping the packaging process consistent and reliable. To learn more about bottle reject stations and how they might be used on your own packaging system, contact a Packaging Specialist from LPS today!