Power Conveyors - Faster is Not Always the Answer

Power conveyor systems are typically set up for packaging lines to move bottles from one packaging machine to another. At first glance, one might think that the faster the bottles move, the more product that will get filled, capped, labeled and otherwise prepared for the shelf. While this is 100% true, too much speed on a conveyor line may end up costing the packager consistency and reliability throughout the line as a whole.

First and foremost, moving bottles at the fastest possible speed may lead to instability in the bottles and the movement. Tipping or rattling bottles can cause problems up and down the line from jams, breaks or improper positioning when a packaging machine such as a bottle capper requires precision to seal a container. While guiderails and other stability features on different machines help with stability, running at full speed would render some of these components useless.

In addition, some packaging machinery will require bottles to stop and go in order for the equipment to perform properly. An inline filling machine, for instance, will typically use indexing to stop and position bottles under the fill heads, rather than fill as the bottles are in motion. Constantly running the conveyors at full speed would create a backup of bottles leading up to the liquid filler, leading to anything from inefficiency or inconsistency to bottle jams and breaks.

Of course, a fully automatic packaging line will only run as fast as the slowest machine in that line, so that full speed on a conveyor system would likely never be ideal anyway. Instead, packagers must find the ideal speed for the machines that make up their unique packaging system. If using a filling machine that runs 100 bottles per minute, the conveyor speed does not need to be set to pass 200 bottles per minute through the machine. Instead, the conveyor will be set to a speed to allow the bottles to be consistently supplied, stable while in motion and to be filled reliably and efficiently.

So when dealing with conveyor systems on packaging lines, faster does not equate to more efficient, as speed is not the only factor in efficiency. Solutions for both the conveyors and the individual packaging machines must be chosen for the product, the bottles, the caps, other components and speed. Finding the ideal equipment for all of the factors to be considered on any project is the only way to ensure efficiency.

For more information on Conveyor Systems and speed, simply contact the Sales Team at Liquid Packaging Solutions to discuss the different options.