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Bottle Cartoning Machine and Unscrambler: A Brief Introduction

Bottles cartoning machineBottles and jars are one of the most frequently handled primary packaging by cartoning machines to load into carton boxes. Regardless of the fact the bottles come in different shapes and sizes, packaging machine manufacturers tend to design some similar automation solutions to organize the path of flow of bottles and jars towards cartoner machines so as to streamline the process and improve the level of automation.

We cover in this article the most common and different methods to pack bottles and jars into carton boxes with horizontal end-load cartoning machines.

Topics: bottles, jars, bottles packaging, bottle cartoning machine

Questions to answer:

  • What are the different methods to feed horizontal end-load cartoning machines with bottles or jars?
  • What is Unscrambler Table for Bottles?

Recommended Reading: How to Operate a Horizontal End Load Cartoning Machine

The Factors to Consider When Processing Bottles and Jars on Cartoning Machines

No matter it is intermittent or continuous motion cartoner, the handling of bottles requires a smooth, organized, stable path flow… basically, there are some essential factors that must be considered when presenting cartoning solutions for bottles or jars:

  • Availability to keep bottles and jars in large amounts to facilitate frequence of feed
  • Bottles and jars must come from the same direction
  • They must be processed to the same orientation for feed
  • They must follow a timed manner to synchronize with cartoner’s operation

In the context where a cartoning machine is used to pack bottles and some level of automation is required for feeding bottles, there is frequently an unscramble table instelled to organize the coming flow of containers.


Unscramble Table as a Tool for Upstream Workflow

Unscramble table for bottles

Whether the cartoning machine for bottles, jars, cans, etc., is used separately or connected with another machine such as filling machine and capping machine, the unscramble table enacts as an essential role to organize and time the containers coming towards the cartoner.

The unscramble table follows a rotary movement. The containers are placed manually or received from upstream machines in bulk and random manner.

The table is joined by deflector arms to organize and control the cluster of individual bottles and jars into a flow of a single lane, through which the bottles will be adjusted in the desired orientation to get fed onto the cartoner’s bucket conveyor, with the help of orientation devices that can come in different forms.


Orientation Devices and Units

The device for the orientation can be:

  • Timing screws

Timing screw for bottles

Timing screws are a high-end option for the container’s orientation mostly due to the materials used – HDPE (High-density polyethylene). The timing screw is processed with a path of gap where bottles change their orientation while heading forward.

This is used to gently handling of containers and is ideal for those vulnerable to damage such as glass bottles and jars.

  • A series of steel guides that gradually change the orientation

The steel guide approach is similar to that of a timing screw. Pairs of steel guides are bent to simulate the trajectory that bottles switch orientation while moving forward.

The steel guide approach is a cost-saving alternative to timing screws, however, it is not suggested for vulnerable containers because friction with steel can cause damage.

  • Rotary Wheel Feeder

Rotary Wheel to feed bottle

The rotary wheel feeder is ideal to synchronize the feed lane which is paralleled to the bucket conveyor of cartoner and when there is a certain distance between the two of them.

  • A series of pneumatic units that control and release each container and let them flip by themselves

This is the simplest way to feed the containers, usually joined by two pneumatic cylinders, each following a reciprocating motion of blocking and releasing.

Once the containers are already fed and placed on the bucket conveyor, the rest to do is no more than the normal procedures of how the cartoning machines generally work, let’s say, erecting carton blanks into carton boxes with ends open, inserting the article and then finish the carton’s closure.


What are the Products that Bottle Cartoning Machine Works for?

Bottle cartoning machines are not restricted to any sector, but in a majority of cases, they are used to pack products and sectors including:

  • personal care products such as eye drops
  • pharmaceuticals such as oral liquids, bottles of tablets, or capsules
  • nutrition supplements
  • perfume and miscellaneous cosmetics products


Product Details: Bottles Cartoning Machine and Unscramble Table for Automatic Infeed

Model 120CA is an entry-level horizontal end-load cartoning machine with proven installation with our clients in various industries. The machine is mechanically driven 
Applicable industry: Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Nutritional Supplements, Cosmetics, Personal Care…

Buy your first set of cartoning machine

Buy your first set of cartoning machine 


  • of adjustable structure to fit various carton formats and styles
  • Covered structure by 304 stainless-steel
  • Incorporated with an overloading-protection system
  • Joined by an error-protection system that will automatically stop upon failure
  • Installed with emergent shut-down button
  • Controlled through SIEMENS HMI Touching Panel and PLC system
  • In compliance with GMP and relative standards


Unscramble Table for Automatic Bottle Infeed

The unscrambler table is used to organize bottles, jars, cans, and other containers to feed to the cartoning machine. Bottles are fed from upstream or manually placed onto the stainless steel rotary table for organization of path flow. Bottles are them dischared to the infeed conveyor where they will be fed onto the cartoner’s bucket conveyor one by one.

Unscramble rotary table for automatic bottles infeed - ELITER Packaging Machinery120CA Cartoning machine can be connected to an unscrambler or unscramble table to organize the infeed of bottles.

The unit is available for bottles in different shapes from round to square. The table is used together with an infeed conveyor and a feed unit to provide a fully automatic feed solution for bottles toward cartoning machine.


  • 36 Inch or 48-inch diameter or other sizes upon request
  • Standard stainless steel construction
  • Solid-state DC variable and speed drive



Contact us for your Bottle Cartoner

adaptra dietary supplementELITER Packaging Machinery is at your disposal to discuss any of your project about cartoning and packaging automation for bottles and jars.

Our references of bottle cartoning machine around the world:

  • Europharma, Wisconsin, the United States
  • Taufon, Russia
  • ANGIOPHARM, Russia

Contact us by: for more information.


About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
* Graduate of Ningbo University

Zixin Yuan gots her Graduate's Degree in International Business from Ningbo University. She is CEFR C2 certified in English with CPE by Cambridge University and responsible for digital marketing at ÉLITER Packaging Machienry.
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
* Msc.
* University of Granada
* University of Vigo
* Interdisciplinary expertise in packaging, SME management, international business
* Past experience at Hapag-Lloyd, ZIM and Kuehne+Nagel

Company owner at ÉLITER Packaging Machinery, a mark of Huaneng Machinery. He is the third generation of the family business. He got the Msc. degree from the University of Granada and University of Vigo. He worked at several world´s leading companies in international shipping including HLAG, ZIM and K+N before taking over the family business in packaging automation.                           
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