From Start to Finish, Turntables Can Increase Efficiency

From Start to Finish, Turntables Can Increase Efficiency

Most automatic packaging lines will consist of multiple machines connected by a power conveyor system.  One aspect of packaging that is often taken for granted, however, is the loading and unloading of bottles and finished product off of the line.  While turntables may be unnecessary for very low production facilities, or replaced by unscramblers and automatic packing machinery on high speed systems, there exists a wide, wide range of applications where turntables play a crucial part in the speed and efficiency with which product is packaged.


Loading turntables are most commonly found at the beginning of a packaging line.  In most cases, operators will use these tables to introduce bottles to the line.  Bottles are simply set on the turntable top and a bottle guide will then be used to move the bottles to the power conveyor system.  From there, bottles will be delivered to the filling machine, capping machine and other equipment found on the line.  The loading variety of this packaging machine, unlike other turntables, will usually include a loading deadplate.  This deadplate extends from the turntable top, allowing the operator that is loading the bottles to have extra containers at the ready, or simply place a box or bag on the deadplate for ease in placing containers. 


Accumulating turntables are most often found at the opposite end of the packaging line from the loading turntable.  That is to say, they are used to collect finished product and assist in the packing and shipping process.  For instance, individual bottles, after being filled, capped and labeled, will accumulate on the turntable at the end of the system.  From the accumulation table, multiple bottles may be placed into a box or other shipping container to prepare them for market.  Some systems, however, may use accumulation turntables for a different purpose.  For example, a semi-automatic system may consist of a liquid filler and a labeling machine.  After the fill, bottles may be accumulated for capping purposes.  Once sealed, the bottles may then be sent through the labeler.  In other words, accumulation turntables can be used anywhere on a packaging system where the need to gather product occurs.


Transfer turntables may be found at almost any point on a packaging system.  These simple turntables are used to change the direction of bottles as they move through a packaging system.  Typically, these machines will be used when a packaging system is set up in a non-liner fashion, such as when space limitations require a horseshoe design for the entire system.  Bottles may move through the filling machine, then cross a transfer turntable to make a ninety degree turn before heading into the capping equipment. 
Turntable tops can vary in size, allowing the equipment to be manufactured to handle the containers for any given project.  In addition, different materials can be used based on the product being packaged.  For example, HDPE turntables can be built for harsh chemicals or environments that may not work well with stainless steel equipment.  For more information on turntables, browse our conveyor and turntable page.