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The Essential Smart Conveyor System for Processing and Production Line

Evolving Technologies in Modern Production Line

Conveyor System Smart Solution
Conveyor System along a Ready Meal Line
Courtesy of Processing Magazine

A complete modern production and packaging line covers all processes from materials to final packaging for regional or international distribution and involves processing, primary packaging, and secondary and tertiary packaging.

To strike a balance between functions & efficiency, and low maintenance & ease of operation with these considerable numbers of devices and equipment that comprise such a sophisticated system is a top issue to which manufacturers are now looking for intelligent and cost-effective solutions to streamline the uptime and throughput.

One of the key factors along the integrated system is the connecting devices, usually bunches of conveyors that serve to receive objects from upstream and feed them to the next process.


Traditional Approach to Conveying Causes Problems

Moving packages of materials through a processing and packaging line calls for a complex sequence of precise handling to sort the packages.

A typical example could be a ready-to-eat and frozen meal line where trays of meals coming from the thermoforming machine will be fed from a conveyor system to downstream machines such as cartoning machine, pre-glued sleever, or wrap-around sleever. And most probably, they are coming in a random manner without being organized.

Lack of control of the Products on Line Leads to Downtime

The interval with which the products, let them be bags of cereal, cookies or trays of ready meals, can vary a lot and thus cause a problem of spacing and timing. The non-uniform flow of articles between machines along the line may cause a great number of packages fed in a short time. That is to say, packages of materials can get piled with a short range squeezing each other and may cause problems for the downstream machine to receive them in an adequate manner – the worst situation of which can be an imprecise infeed to the packaging machine that follows and then the temporary downtime.

Low Maintenance and Ease of Cleaning are among the Top Concerns

Manufacturers care about the cost of maintenance as well as whether products coming out from their equipment are in compliance with relevant safe serving regulations, or to put it in another way, whether the complete system is installed in a proper manner with the desired level of cleanliness and sanitation.

Complex Lane Dividing Systems

The traditional approach to the conveyor systems can be redundant, and complex and may take considerable space when it comes to dividing the lane into various flow paths. The more devices and units are involved, the higher the cost will be in terms of installation, commissioning, and alignment adjustments.


Intelligent Solution with Smart Conveyor System

In the know situation of the packaging line, providing a continuous feed of packages of material is the key to streamlining the working process and coordinating between upstream processing station and downstream packaging processes, such as a cartoning machine.

Rather than the traditional way of conveying products, the smart conveyor system combines technologies from servo control to product sensing and detection, and sophisticated programming. Apart from the advantage that a smart conveyor system can keep trace of each package of material along the processing and packaging line with a precise location during its movement through the flow path, the smart conveyor system is more flexible and intelligent to work on a live variable speed and even with a motion control function.


What is the most Basic Form of Smart Conveyor System?

Smart Conveyor
Courtesy of Kliklok Woodman

Usually and along the flow path, a smart conveyor system has:

  • A supply conveyor that accepts the initial inflow of flow-wrapped needles from the upstream line
  • A phasing conveyor that organizes the needles in a spaced and regular relationship. This is a conveyor of variable speed that is automatically controlled by the program
  • A transfer conveyor that works at a configured and synchronized speed to feed the timely separated articles into the target conveyor or target machine downstream.

The smart conveyor system is often an ideal solution for infeed through a straight coming line between units and equipment along the packaging and production line.



What are the Advantages of the Smart Conveyor System?

Smart Motion Control

The application of servo motor and encoders allows the conveyors to organize and synchronize the packages of material along the movement with the desired pattern of motion either in a continuous or intermittent way and thus to get well fed to downstream packaging machines such as a cartoner or wrap-around sleever.

Smart Sensor and Detection Devices

A smart conveyor system is often joined by a number of photoelectronic sensors to track and detect the position of each package of material fed. The sensors in turn send signals to control system which then orders to multiple conveyors in the system to align in a precise way to time the packages of material.

Spacing and Time Infeed to Avoid On-line Damage

The spacing pattern of a smart conveyor system enables the gentle handling of articles along the flow path. In the case of delicate articles such as syringe, the system keeps each of them spaced to each other to keep the fragile material moving along the system free from damage.


Our Smart Approach to Integrate Packaging Machines with Conveyor Systems

Though as merely a manufacturer of secondary packaging machines and a source of corresponding packaging automation solutions,

ELITER Packaging Machinery offers the possibility to integrate our machines: cartoners, wrap-around sleevers and overwrappers with a customized smart conveyor system made to your requirements and to synchronize with upstream machinery already installed at your site or to be there in the future.

For more information, please get in contact with our team.


Related Posts:

Delicate Handling of Nanoneedle: Cartoner with Smart Infeed System


About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
Zhiwei Bao - LinkedIn

About the Company
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery