Running Multiple Size Containers on Belt Conveyor Systems

Running Multiple Sized Containers on Belt Conveyor Systems

If you are purchasing automatic packaging equipment - filling machines, bottle cappers, rinsing machines, labeling equipment or any other machine - an automatic conveyor will be a necessity.  Belt conveyor systems easily move containers through these packaging machines and allow for bottle indexing where necessary.  Truly, without the automatic conveyors, the efficiency and productivity of automatic packaging machinery would be lost.  But what about companies that are using automatic packaging equipment to fill small and large containers alike?  Belt conveyor systems from Liquid Packaging Solutions allow for quick and easy changeover from one container to another to preserve the efficiency and productivity in these situations.
In order to move containers in a smooth and consistent manner, the conveyor system must stabilize and direct the bottle as it transports it.  In general, conveyor guide rails are responsible for ensuring the stability and direction of the bottles.  These rails will run the length of the conveyor system, using brackets set at specific intervals to keep the rail sturdy and stabile as well.  Guide rails are normally aluminum or stainless steel rods with an HDPE wear strip.  The HDPE wear strip is used to ensure that the bottles being run on the automatic conveyor system are not scratched or marred as they move down the system.  For tall or oddly shaped containers, a double guide rail system may be added to the conveyor, simply using a second rail for another contact point on the bottle.  
Assume an automatic packaging system consists of a container cleaning machine, liquid filler, capping machine and a wrap labeler to package a liquid soap.  If the soap is available in only one container, the conveyor system guide rails could be set once to handle the container each time production is run.  However, if the soap is packaged in 8 ounce, 12 ounce and a large 21 ounce container, there will probably be some adjustment of the conveyor guide rails necessary each time a different container sized in placed in production.  If the 32 ounce container is seven inches wide at its base, the conveyor belt used on the conveyor system may be 7.5 or 8 inches.  The guide rails would be set up toward the outer edge of the conveyor system to support the 32 ounce bottle.  However, the 8 ounce bottle may only measure 4 inches wide at its widest point.  Obviously, to support the 8 ounce bottle, the guide rails will need to be adjusted prior to the production run.  Automatic conveyor systems will normally use stainless steel rail brackets with quick adjust knobs.  Resetting guide rails for a different bottle size is usually as easy as loosening the knob, positioning the rail and tightening the knob once again.  In rare cases, where the change from one bottle to another is drastic (think 2 ounces to 64 ounces), it may be necessary to loosen a bolt to make the necessary adjustment. The simplicity of the changeover process helps keep the automated packaging system efficient by reducing the downtime necessary when switching out one bottle for another.
Your bottle rinser, filling machine, capping machine or labeling equipment can only work when the automatic conveyor system is consistently delivering the bottles.  When multiple container sizes are used in production, quick changeover time can have a major effect on the number of completed bottles per day.  If you have questions regarding belt conveyor systems or any of the other packaging equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, call a Packaging Specialist toll free at 1-888-393-3693.