Hard Working LPS Conveyor Systems
Power conveyors move product from one packaging machine to the next, basically making up the circulatory system for a packaging line. But conveyor systems can be manufactured to do other tasks related to moving bottles and other containers through the line. Unique packaging processes require unique packaging solutions, and below are a few that can be used in conjunction with conveyor systems to provide efficient and consistent flow.
Sometimes, straight line conveyor systems simply cannot be built. Not every production floor allows for such a system. Conveyor systems can be set to perform a side transfer, which allows containers to move from one conveyor to the next, even though those conveyor ends are not set in a straight alignment. In addition, conveyors can be built with curved sections to allow for a shift in movement. From time to time, tranfer turntables will also be used to accomplish a 90 degree turn. Whichever method is used, power conveyors can be manufactured to move containers in something other than a straight line when a necessity.
Similar to a transfer from one conveyor to another, some conveyors can be built to divert containers down one of two or more paths. For example, if two filling machines are used to meet production demand, containers may be loaded on to the conveyor system and then diverted to one of the two machines. Typically, a sensor is used to count containers as they pass by on the conveyor. After a certain number of bottles or containers are seen by the sensor, the conveyor will switch tracks (think of a train!) and send the next batch of containers to the second machine.
A number of different products, like some beverages and molten items such as candles, will be filled while they are hot, to provide for the necessary flow through the filling machine. Many times these products will need time to set or cool before the seal or closure is applied. Cooling conveyors can take a number of different forms, such as serpentine or multi-layer conveyors discussed in more detail below. Sometimes, however, a cooling conveyor will be a stretch of additional conveyor, often widened, that allows the product time to cool before entering the capping machine. Cooling conveyors can also include supplemental cooling systems such as fans to speed up the process.
There are a number of reasons why product may need to be accumulated, like quality control inspections or packing and shipping. One of the most popular types of accumulating conveyors is a serpentine conveyor. This type of conveyor, as the name suggests, weaves containers back and forth down a conveyor in a serpent-like pattern and can also be used to cool products as well. While other accumulation methods remain more popular, such as turntables, the accumulating conveyor can be a better solution depending on the product and the process (inspecting or method of packing).
Conveyor systems can not only adjust with left and right movement, but can also change elevation. While line heights are usually consistent throughout a packaging line, there may be times when containers or products need to be lifted higher or dropped lower. Though rare, conveyors may be dropped for case packers or lifted for ease in packing or any other number of reasons. Cooling conveyors may also use multiple tiers with elevation to provide a better footprint when cooling.
Of course, any of the above traits may be found in combination with any or all of the others. Conveyor systems from Liquid Packaging Solutions are always manufactured with the specific task at hand in mind. For more information on the different options available, visit the Conveyor Section of the website or contact LPS today.