The Many Uses of Turntables in the Packaging Industry
Packaging lines come in many shapes and forms, with different equipment for different projects, bottles, products and more. But one piece of equipment that can be found without much change across a variety of packaging systems is the turntable. The many different uses for these machines make them a staple of systems both large and small.
Loading bottles onto a packaging system is probably the most common use for these simple machines. Using a turntable to load bottles offers a quick, easy and efficient way to keep containers flowing to the rinser, filler, capper or other packaging machinery being used. This technique works for both automatic and semi-automatic systems as well, with the goal of both being to keep enough bottles available to complete the packaging task at hand. Loading turntables include an adjustable bottle guide that will allow both small and large containers to be delivered to a conveyor and, ultimately, to the machine or operator that needs the bottles.
Oftentimes, a packaging system that begins with a loading turntable will end with an accumulating turntable. Rather than delivering bottles to the line, an accumulating turntable collects finished product at the end of a line. Again useful with both automatic and semi-automatic systems, gathering bottles at the end of the line allows for quick and easy quality inspection, convenient packing of containers for shipping or some combination of these and other tasks. Accumulating turntables differ from loading tables in that there is no bottle guide, but rather the prepared products are allowed to collect on the entire turntable top.
But the start and finish of the packaging line are not the only two places that turntables can benefit a packaging line. Sometimes bottles will be accumulated somewhere in the middle of the line for quality control or other reasons, before moving to another packaging task. Turntables in the middle of a packaging line, just like at the end, allow for a convenient and effortless way to gather product.
Turntables within the packaging system may also be used to direct the flow of containers. Not every packager has the space available to run bottles and other conveyors in a straight line from start to finish. In some cases, the space may be available but a unique design, such as a horseshoe system, will add efficiency to the line as a whole. When bottles need to make turns or be re-directed on a conveyor system, turntables can be used to make this switch in direction. In the horseshoe line design mentioned above, a loading turntable may deliver bottles to a conveyor to move through a rinser and start the packaging process. Bottles could then pass over a turntable to make a ninety degree turn before being filled with product. Another ninety degree turn after filling may take the bottles through a capping machine before finally accumulating on one final turntable. Such a design allows for both the loading of empty bottles and the accumulating of finished product to take place in the same general space.
Though not all bottle types and shapes will work efficiently with turntables, the many different uses for these machines makes them a popular addition to packaging systems for both small and large businesses. Talk to an LPS Packaging Specialist to see if the addition of turntables to your own packaging line can help to make the entire process more efficient.