The Many Functions of Power Conveyors
The Many Functions of Power Conveyors
The first thing that normally comes to mind when a person thinks about a power conveyor system is moving container, bottles or products from one place to another. Obviously, a main function of a power conveyor is, well, to convey! However, power conveyors are capable of doing much more than simple transportation. Different packaging systems may require or want the use of a conveyor for several other functions as well, several of which are discussed below.
Loading or indexing conveyors can be used to orient and deliver a certain number of containers to the main conveyor system for a packaging line. These conveyors can be used to quickly and easily load bags or cartons of bulk containers onto a packaging line without having to place each container, one by one, onto the main conveyor system. As the operators place containers on the loading table, they are pushed onto the wide conveyor belting and into one of several lanes. The lanes are used to create container lines of a pre-determined number which are then delivered to the main pacakaging line conveyor. The main conveyor then delivers the sets of bottles or containers to the next packaging machine, normally a rinsing machine or liquid filler.
Once the containers have been moved onto the main conveyor, they are moved from one packaging machine to another until the entire packaging process is completed. At machines like container cleaners and filling equipment, bottles or containers must be properly positioned to complete the task at hand. Power conveyors, working with indexing systems and sensor, allow containers to be properly placed for each rinse or fill cycle. Obviously, without the ability to not only move, but also pause the movement of containers, the automatic packaging system would lose most, if not all, of its efficiency.
In some situtations, product must be heated to be consistently and reliably filled. Candles, some thick food products like jam and other products simply do not flow in their end state. These products will be heated to lower the viscosity and then cooled once they pass through the filling machine. Cooling conveyors can be used to allow products to return to their normal state before moving to the capping and labelign stages of the packaging system. Cooling conveyors may simply be a long extension of the regular conveyor, the may be a wider version of the main conveyor or they may take the form of a serpentine conveyor while utilizing both horizontal and vertical space within the production facility. Cooling conveyors can take on many different forms, but the goal of allowing the product to settle, gel or otherwise return to its normal state, remains the same.
Power conveyors can also function as accumulating points. Like the cooling conveyors, accumulating conveyors can take on many different forms. Some may be long extensions of the regular conveyor with packing tables added to allow product to be readied for shipment. Other accumulating conveyors may use the serpentine form mentioned above. While normally found at the end of a packaging line and utilized for packing products, accumulating conveyors may also be used to gather product at other points on the packaging system for quality control checks or any other reason.
While power conveyors are extremely important for moving bottles, container and/or product down a packaging line, their usefulness does not begin and end with movement. Choosing the correct conveyors for your packaging system can go a long way toward maximizing the efficiency of that system. If you have questions about which conveyors are right for your unique packaging project, call a Packaging Specialist toll free today at 1-888-393-3693!