Bottle Separators and Automatic Conveyor Systems

Material Handling - Automatic Conveyor Systems and Bottle Separators

When most people imagine an automatic conveyor system, they probably see in their mind a belt conveyor system with bottles lined up one after another up and down the packaging line.  While bumper to bumper bottles on a power conveyor may be ideal at certain points on the system, it is unlikely that this scenario will work on the whole system.  At certain points on an automated conveyor system, space may be required between the bottles.  Disc-type and belt-type bottle separators can be used to achieve the spacing.
While the goal of an automatic packaging line is usually high speed container cleaning, filling, capping and labeling, certain functions simply will not work well with containers lined up neck to neck.  For example, a wrap labeling machine applies the label around the entire container.  Containers abutting one another may cause labels to be applied incorrectly or may cause one label to be applied to two adjoining containers.  Not only can this cause unreliable labeling, but it may result in bottle jams, added inspection time and decreased productivity.  Using bottle separators on the belt conveyor system just before the labeling machine can remove the issue of tangled or inconsistent labels.  
A bottle separator will use either a disc or a belt to temporarily reduce the speed of the containers on the belt conveyor system.  This slight decrease in speed allows a specific amount of space to be placed between the containers.  Rather than continuously entering a labeling machine, the bottles will enter one at a time, each bottle receiving its own label.  Bottle disc and belt type bottle separators use a rubber contact surface to insure that bottles are not scratched or marred in any other way while passing through the machine.  The bottle separators can be manufactured to include a conveyor mounting kit for installation in one specific location, or they can be manufactured on a portable frame for movement along a belt conveyor system or from packaging line to packaging line.  Both belt and disc-type bottle separators include speed controls that allow adjustment to the amount of space between each conveyor.  
In addition to creating space between containers, bottle separators can be used to move containers through dead spots on a belt conveyor system.  On larger, or longer, packaging systems, several automatic conveyors may be connected to move the bottles from the beginning of the packaging line to the end.  Many times, these conveyors are connected using deadplates.  Deadplates are simply a piece of plastic or other material that connects two conveyors and covers what would otherwise be a gap in between the two belt conveyors.  As there is no belt in this gap, a bottle separator may be necessary to transfer bottles from one conveyor to another and keep the packaging line running smoothly.  Bottle separators generally come in four different configurations, though custom machines are available.  These four configurations are:
  • Single disc bottle separator
  • Dual disc bottle separator
  • Single belt bottle separator
  • Dual belt bottle separator
To learn more about the bottle separators and their use on belt conveyor systems, view the products listed above or call a Packaging Specialist toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.