The Horseshoe Packaging Line
The "Horseshoe" Packaging Line
Automating a packaging line can require extensive space on a production floor. Packaging machines such as rinsing machines, filling equipment and capping machines take up precious space, as do the conveyor systems that move bottles between these machines. There are several ways to save space on production floor, including setting up a horseshoe or "U" type packaging line.
A packaging line set up like a horseshoe utilizes transfer turntables or curved conveyor sections to create ninety degree turns along the packaging line. Rather than set up the packaging machinery in a single, straight line, the turntables and conveyors allow for a more compact design, offering several advantages. For example, a bottle may be loaded onto the system and sent through a filling machine. Once filled, the bottle will make a ninety degree turn via a transfer turntable or curved conveyor and enter the capping machine. Another ninety degree turn after being capped will take the bottle through a wrap labeler and then allow accumulation of the product for packing and shipping.
The most obvious advantage of a horseshoe packaging line is the space required. A facility simply may not be large enough to handle a straight line made up of a rinsing machine, liquid filler, capping machine, automatic labeler and other equipment used to package a specific product. Using a horseshoe layout may allow the machinery to follow the walls of the production floor around the room, taking advantage of the exterior and leaving space for other activities. Running the packaging line up and down one side of the production floor may also be a way of creating additional work space at a facility. The set up of the horseshoe packaging line in any given facility will depend on the space of the facility and the needs and wants of the company.
In addition to saving space, a horseshoe packaging line can add efficiency to the packaging process as well. For example, if empty bottles are stored on the same side of the production floor as the shipping dock, a horseshoe packaging line can allow for loading of bottles on the packaging system as well as packing of bottles for shipping in the same general area. Depending on production levels, a single person may be able to handle both tasks as well. By removing the need to constantly transfer empty or finished bottles across the production floor, time is saved on each batch of product produced, which adds up greatly over time. Again, the specific set up of the horseshoe packaging line will depend on the specific goals of each facility as well as the layout of the facility.
To learn more space saving techniques or discuss alternative line layouts for packaging systems, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions toll-free today at 1-888-393-3693.