Conveyors for Automatic and Semi-Automatic Packaging Lines
Power conveyors are an integral part of automatic packaging lines, serving as the circulatory system that moves from one machine to another for rinsing, filling, capping and any number of other packaging functions to be completed without the need for labor to move the bottles. This movement from machine to machine is the most common and obvious use for conveyors on an automatic system, but not the only use by any means.
Power conveyors can be used for a number of functions other than simple movement. Using intermittent power, conveyors can team with an indexing system to ensure proper placement of bottles at crucial spots on a packaging line, such as under fill heads. The ability to turn the conveyor on and off helps with stability during the fill as well as placement. Conveyors may also be used at the beginning of a packaging line to load bottles onto the packaging line. Laning conveyors are especially useful when non-round bottles need to be quickly presented from a bulk source to the packaging line. On the opposite side of the line, power conveyors may be used to accumulate finished product and assist in the boxing or other packaging prior to shipping.
In between, some packagers may use a power conveyor for cooling products that are molten or filled hot. These conveyors are typically found between the filling and capping machines and simply add dwell time to allow products to harden or cool prior to the sealing process. The cooling process ensures that no damage will occur to either the product or the container if capped at too high a temperature. Conveyors can also be used to divert product to multiple locations for different packaging tasks. Allowing bottles to travel in different directions when leaving from a single source, or combining bottles coming from two different sources.
While conveyors are a given on almost any automatic packaging system, not all companies use completely automated processes. However, for those using a combination of automatic and semi-automatic machinery, or even those using all semi-automatic equipment, conveyors can still be useful and add efficiency to the packaging process as a whole. Just as they are used with automatic lines, conveyors may be used to move bottles from one packaging station to another even when using semi-automatic packaging machines. For instance, an automatic filler might use a power conveyor to complete the fill and that conveyor may move the bottles to a capping station where manual labor is used to place and tighten a cap on each bottle. Even if a single worker is filling, capping and otherwise preparing products on semi-automatic machinery, that worker may place finished product on a conveyor to later assist with preparing the bottles for shipping.
While conveyors move bottles from machine to machine on an automatic line, they have many other functions on both automatic and semi-automatic systems. Conveyors can be manufactured at specific heights and widths while also serving to change directions of containers, raise or lower containers and more. In addition, conveyors can be manufactured and installed to load, accumulate, separate or combine bottles as well. To learn more about the different conveyors available, including custom systems, browse the Liquid Packaging Solution website or contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS today.