Designing Conveyor Systems for Specific Packaging Systems
Choosing the correct conveyor system alone for a packaging line can add an ample amount of efficiency to that packaging line. While the factors to consider will change from one project to another, there are a few common traits that should be analyzed before a power conveyor system is designed. While not an exhaustive list, the items below should at least be considered for each new project.
1. Floor Plan
When designing a power conveyor system, the production floor must obviously be taken into account. In other words, the conveyors must fit in the packager's building. Systems can be built in a straight line when space permits and when such a simple layout will benefit the customer. However, some buildings or processes may see increased efficiency from other shapes or designs. For example, a horseshoe design may work well for a system that uses one operator to both load bottles onto a conveyor while also packing finished product into cases. The building itself may require curved sections to move around posts or other obstacles. While such considerations seem obvious, the packager's focus may be on bottles, caps, orders, customers or any other number of concerns when setting up a new line. Part of our job as machinery manufacturers is to ensure these simple factors are not overlooked to avoid start up delays and increase the overall efficiency of the packaging line.
The product itself can also make a difference when designing a power conveyor system. While stainless steel is the go-to construction material for most conveyors, keep in mind that packaging machinery is used for just about every product imaginable. Now imagine products such as acid, bleach and other corrosive chemicals. Product may spill, splash or otherwise come into contact with the conveyor system during the packaging process. In some cases, simple fumes may cause stainless steel to corrode. In these cases, conveyors may be built using an HDPE material to protect the integrity of the machinery and lengthen the useful life. Just as LPS strives to increase efficiency, we also work to ensure the machinery we build will serve the specific customer for as long as possible.
3. Project Specific Factors
On a more general note, each project will have certain traits that are specific to that product and packager. For instance, some products may be filled hot, while others may use a heat shrink sleeve on the body or neck of the container. In this case, the conveyor system will utilize heat resistant belting on some or all of the line. Other projects may require the packaging of a large number of different products on a daily basis. In this case, clean up and washdown will be extremely important to minimize the downtime of the entire packaging line. As manufacturers, LPS must also recognize these project specific factors and ensure that the system is built to provide reliable transfer of product as well.
If you have questions about which power conveyor would best suit your own specific packaging project, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions today to discuss your needs.