Building a Power Conveyor System
If an automatic packaging line is going to function to its' full potential, then a power conveyor system is nothing short of a necessity. The literal circulation system of any packaging line, the power conveyor system ensures that bottles get from the rinser to the liquid filler, capping machine and any other individual machine in a reliable and consistent manner. Often, the importance of choosing the correct conveyor system is lost in the analysis of the individual machines mentioned above, but choosing the right power conveyor can positively influence the efficiency of the entire packaging process.
Among the several traits that must be analyzed in designing the system is the length and width of the conveyor. While this may seem like a no-brainer, packagers should think about the present and the future when choosing a power conveyor. First, of course, the conveyor must be designed to handle the range of bottles to be run during production, assuming more than one container will be transferred on any given project. Simple adjustments to the rails will typically allow a wide range of conveyor widths to be run. Also seemingly obvious is the fact that the conveyor system must be long enough to allow the different machines and processes to occur on the system. Not always so obvious, however, is thinking about how the process will change in the future. If new containers and/or equipment will likely be added to the process in the future, a packager may want to plan ahead for these changes. Of course, additional conveyor length can always be added in the future, space permitting, but adding width can be a harder problem to tackle. When designing a conveyor system, it will always be beneficial to at least consider the future and the possibility of additional components.
The type of power conveyor to be used should also be taken in to account when planning a packaging system. While more than one conveyor type can typically be used for any given project, the different designs have different benefits. So a project that needs simple to clean or washdown ready conveyors may not use the same design as a system that needs to squeeze all of the machines in to a tight space. Different materials can also handle different loads, and packagers must remember to take in to account full containers, not just empty containers.
Finally, belt material must also be considered when setting up a power conveyor system. Belts are available in a wide array of materials, from stainless steel to plastic and wire mesh. The key is to choose the best material for the project at hand. For example, when dealing with molten products or shrink tunnels that produce heat, a heat-resistant belt may be the best option. For harsh chemicals that corrode metals, a packager would steer clear of stainless steel belt. Choosing the correct belt will avoid downtime for maintenance and replacement in the long run.
Though the specific task of a main conveyor system for a packaging system will not vary much, the type of conveyor that can do the job best will vary from project to project. For assistance in identifying the best conveyor system for your own project, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions today.