Sunday, 10 December 2017

From Start to Finish - Loading and Packing on a Packaging Line

Setting up a packaging line for any product includes choosing the correct filling machine, the right capping equipment, perhaps a rinsing machine and most likely a labeling machine, not to mention a power conveyor system to tie all the machines together. One of the first questions people will ask about any of these pieces of equipment is: "how many bottles per minute/hour/day will it run?" In fact, I would love to hear from a single person who was involved in the sale of a filler, capper or rinser where that question did not arise at some point, and rightfully so. Semi Automatic Packing Machine and Robotic Palletising machines are used for the better results.


There are several ways to introduce bottles or containers to the power conveyor system on an automatic packaging system. The simplest, and possibly least efficient manner, is to use manual labor to place containers on the conveyor system by hand. As mentioned above, the packaging machinery - the rinser, filler, capper and labeler - will only be able to perform as fast as the bottles can be loaded. For this reason, most automatic packaging outlines will use a different manner of introducing bottles to the conveyor.

Automatic bottle unscramblers may be used for this purpose on higher speed lines. Unscramblers allow the operator of the packaging line to dump bulk bottles into the machine, that may then orient the bottles and place them on the power conveyor. A custom designed, particular use conveyor, known as a loading or indexing conveyor, may be used in place of a bottle unscrambler as well. Rather than basically dumping bulk bottles into a hopper, the indexing loading conveyor allows operators to place bottles into preset lanes, lining up several rows for the main power conveyor.


Again, for higher manufacturing demands, automated devices exists to assist in the packing process. From case erectors to case packers, case tapers, shrink wrap bundlers and pallet wrappers, a facility that needs to get a lot of product out the door in a hurry can minimize operator interaction and automate much or all of the packing process. The equipment used for automatically packing a product will depend on the product and the package itself. Some packages will be placed in a carton, some dropped into a case and others bundled in packs of twelve, twenty four or other numbers.

Again, other methods exist to gather and pack bottles and finding the best solution will mean taking into account the product, package, size and desired speed or shipping specifications. While bottles per minute is an important question for each packaging machine on the relative line, packagers should also consider the time spent loading and packing bottles to ensure an efficient packaging process as a whole.

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