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A packaging conveyor handles aspects of product packaging like containerizing, labeling, and stacking on pallets for shipment. It includes belts, rollers, and other devices to move products, with equipment along the conveyor line to perform specific packaging tasks. Such equipment typically needs to be customized to a factory to accommodate size and layout considerations. In addition, the conveyor also needs to be able to handle the types of products the company makes, from bottled sodas to children’s toys.
This equipment provides a streamlined mechanism for moving products through a factory. It can reduce the risk of contamination and damage by automating the packaging process, and can also contribute to worker safety by reducing the number of people who need to be on the floor. The conveyor starts with equipment for putting a product in packages, like shooting pressurized soda into bottles or shaking hard candies into bags. The packages can be labeled, checked for quality, and inserted into shipping containers.
Features available on a packaging conveyor can vary. Some devices have inspection stations which can check weights or use cameras to identify flaws in the products. Others may require manual inspection of products for quality control purposes. The equipment can add special stamps or seals to products, including freshness and safety seals for food to assure consumers that the contents of a package have not been adulterated, and sell-by dates for perishable items.
Special conditions may be needed on a packaging conveyor. In an ice cream plant, for example, the environment must be chilled to prevent damage to the product during the packaging process. It delivers items from batch or continuous production machines all the way to chilled delivery trucks, ensuring that the temperature never rises outside a narrow range. This prevents quality control problems like icing, which can occur when ice cream melts and refreezes, along with protecting consumers from bacterial growth that might occur if the product was allowed to get too warm.
Specialists in packaging conveyor systems can design and install equipment for an entire factory, or update just one segment of the system. Some may need extra features like alpine conveyors, which can lift products up one or more stories to different parts of a factory. Custom modifications can help companies continue to use an original packaging line, which can save money by extending the time between replacements. A company that needs to package soda in smaller bottles, for example, needs to adjust the equipment, but should be able to keep using the core packaging conveyor.