Turntables for Any Packaging System
Automatic packaging lines can take on many different shapes and forms, all depending on what the packager in question hopes to achieve. Other packagers may not automate the entire process. Some lines may include a number of different packaging machines to rinse, fill, cap, label and otherwise prepare products. Others may simply consist of a single machine. In any case, bottles must still reach the packaging system and finished product must be prepped for shipping to customers or retailers. Though some systems may also automate loading and unloading, turntables are one great alternative for completing both tasks.
Loading turntables can be used to introduce empty bottles to a packaging line. These machines may even include a deadplate for quick unloading of layers, boxes, bags or individual containers. An operator simply removes containers from the boxes, crates or other shipping material and places them anywhere on the turntable. Once of the turntable, a bottle guide superstructure moves containers to the outer edge of the turntable to be released to the main power conveyor system. Loading turntables have a simple, sturdy design and can be manufactured with various sized tops to handle a wide range of container sizes.
Accumulating turntables will be found at the opposite end of the packaging line, where they are used to collect finished product. The bottle guide is not necessary on the accumulating tables, though packing tables may be used along with the turntables to allow operators of the line to prepare product for shipping. Some packagers may even use accumulating turntables for other tasks. For example, a packager who fills bottles with an automatic machine may collect bottles after the fill to cap them by hand. Sealed containers may then be placed back on a conveyor for automatic labeling. However, the most common location for accumulating turntables remains at the end of the packaging line. Like loading turntables, tops can vary to handle different container sizes.
In addition to loading and accumulating, turntables may be used to assist in directing bottles as they move through a packaging line. Horseshoe packaging lines or multiple 90 degree turns due to space can be achieved with the use of transfer turntables. These machines work as connectors between conveyor sections, allowing bottles to exit one conveyor, turn on the transfer turntable and enter another perpendicular conveyor to change the direction. Transfer turntables will typically be smaller in size than the two discussed above, as the task will normally be moving a single bottle from one conveyor to another, rather than handling multiple or bulk containers.
Turntables can be an efficient addition to any system. A packaging line may simply consist of both a loading and accumulating turntable sitting on each side of an automatic filling machine. But even larger systems can benefit from simple and quick loading and unloading of product. To learn more about turntables, visit the Conveyor Systems and Turntables section of our website or contact the LPS office to speak with a Packaging Professional.