Setting Up Power Conveyors
Power conveyors may be used to transfer, index, load or accumulate containers on a packaging system. Regardless of the task performed by these machines, proper set up will ensure smooth, reliable operation of not just the conveyor or conveyor system, but the packaging line as a whole.
LEVELING THE CONVEYOR
First and foremost, the conveyor must be leveled on the production floor to ensure ideal performance not just in moving containers, but also in the machines through which the containers pass. Filling machines, capping machines and other equipment simply will not perform consistently if the conveyor itself is not properly leveled. Most conveyors will be manufactured with leveling legs that can be adjusted up or down to set up the machine. The process simply involves raising and lowering the conveyor using the different legs until the entire system is level. Even with laning conveyors, cooling conveyors or accumulating conveyors, the process will remain the same.
ADJUSTING GUIDE RAILS
Once the conveyor system is level, the guide rails must be set up for the container being run on the production line. While this normally be done during testing of the machine or upon installation, packagers using more than one bottle or other container will need to make adjustments during changeover from one to another. Rails should sit almost snug against the container being run on the line, but not too snug as to impede movement. Additionally, the rail height may need to be adjusted for different containers to help with stability. Setting rails too high or too low can lead to tipping, bottle jams, shaking or other issues that will affect performance. Ideally, the rails should be adjusted so that the bottle runs along the center of the conveyor belt.
SECURING THE CONVEYOR
Some conveyor systems will be manufactured with a bipod or tripod base, while others will use leveling feet and casters for easy mobility. The design of the conveyor will normally depend on the specific project for which it will be put to use. If necessary, the casters should be locked once the conveyor system is leveled. Though sturdy machines, packagers should remember that the level of the conveyors should always be checked when performance issues arise. Performing a reset on the conveyor system may resolve issues quickly and easily.
Additional adjustments may be necessary for specific conveyors such as cooling lines or accumulating conveyors. Cooling conveyors, for example, may require adjustments or set up of fan systems to assist in the process. Laning conveyors may require adjustment of each lane for different bottles. For questions or troubleshooting assistance with conveyor systems or any of your packaging machinery, contact the Parts & Service Department at Liquid Packaging Solutions toll free at 1-888-393-3693. For more information on different conveyor types and designs, click here.