Power Conveyor Controls and Operation
One of the great benefits of Power Conveyor systems from Liquid Packaging Solutions is their ease of use. From set up to operation, the conveyor system will typically take very little time to prepare for running bottles, often requiring only the touch of a button!
Where only a single bottle is used, changeover will usually require little to nothing for conveyor systems. In the case of multiple bottle sizes, some adjustment to rails will usually be necessary to ensure bottle stability when traveling from machine to machine. In most instances, adjustment to the rails will require only the loosening of some hand knobs, relocation of the rail and retightening of the same knobs. In some cases, conveyor speed may be different for different conveyors as well, and speed will always play a part in the packaging process. The good news, however, is that in most cases the speeds will be set up prior to reaching the production floor.
Many automatic packaging machines, such as bottle rinsers and liquid fillers, will use indexing to properly place bottles for the task at hand. Conveyor speed must remain constant for such indexing to work. The speed of a power conveyor will normally be set using a simple dial on a controller. However, the speed for each bottle, if not the same, should be recorded, if necessary. Automatic machines use a PLC that will record and recall most settings, including indexing, for running bottles on a rinsng or filling machine. Changing the conveyor speed would mean the indexing settings, when recalled, would also need to be changed. So keeping the conveyor at a constant speed each time a specific bottle is used on the system and most machines will either be pre-set or have simple dials to easily identify and set the proper speed.
As for conveyor power, those not connected to an individual machine, such as a conveyor that runs through a filling machine, can usually be turned on and off with the flip of a switch. For power conveyors that are attached to a machine, and even some that are not, the machine touchscreen interface will often include a button for conveyor power. Including the conveyor power and other conveyor controls on a PLC for a filler, rinser or other machine allows the operator to access controls for different settings and machines in one centralized location, making operation and set up of the system as a whole more efficient.
While set up, control and operation of a conveyor system typically takes very little time, Liquid Packaging Solutions encourages packagers to take a few of those saved minutes for cleaning and maintenance of the power conveyors. The constantly moving belt can pick up debris from spills, splashes or just dust and dirt floating in the packaging atmosphere. A poorly cared for conveyor system will require more time on technical issues that set up and operation! Taking care of the conveyors helps to prolong the life of the entire packaging system (though other machines should be well-maintained too)! For more information on conveyor systems, browse the Conveyors and Turntables section of the LPS website or call LPS with questions today.