Laning Conveyors Can Make Loading Unique Bottles Easy
There are many different ways to load containers on to an automatic packaging system. Turntables, which allow an operator to simply place containers on the turntable top, are one popular choice among packagers using an inline system. The turntable uses a bottle guide system to move containers to the outside for delivery to the main conveyor. Bottle unscramblers, allowing operators to simply dump bulk containers in to a hopper, are a good choice for high speed applications. Bottle loading can become a chore, however, when non-round, heavy or other unique containers are the package of choice for a company. In these situations, laning conveyors may provide an efficient and effective alternative.
While turntables can work for plastic or glass bottles, they can become ineffective in some cases where non-round containers are being run on a production line. Square or other non-round containers may have a tendency to jam on the table rather than release consistently to the conveyor. They may also have a tendency to tip or spin, which can also lead to jams at the bottle guide or at the conveyor entrance point. Similarly, extremely tall or otherwise unstable bottles may have a tendency to tip when pushed toward the conveyor entrance point. In rare cases, extremely heavy containers can also damage a turntable over time. As for bottle unscramblers, some containers simply are not compatible with such machinery. For instance, dumping some bulk glass containers in to a hopper can lead to a messy outcome, including numerous broken bottles. Though an unscrambler can be designed to handle glass in some cases, laning conveyors can be a viable option such this and other projects described above.
A laning conveyor consists of a wide conveyor belt divided in to lanes. On most occasions, the number of lanes will correlate to the number of heads on the rinsing and/or filling machine of a given packaging system, though this rule does not have to be followed. On one side of the conveyor, a loading table will lead in to the wide conveyor belt. Those loading the containers simply slide the bottles from the loading table on to the laning conveyor. Bottles will align with the lanes, creating rows of containers that will be released to the packaging system's main conveyor. Rows are then released one at a time to the main conveyor to be delivered to the rinsing machine, filling machine and other packaging equipment found on the line.
Laning conveyors are one of many options for loading containers at the beginning of a packaging line. To learn more about these conveyors or any of the other container loading options, browse the LPS website or contact a Packaging Specialist at our offices today.