Handling Systems Loose Package Conveyors

‘Intelligent’ handling systems for transferring packages between machines that form part of a packaging line, the conveyors can handle a wide variety of loose packages and include many innovative features for improved performance and flexibility.

Handling systems for primary packages are mainly used to interconnect single machines that are part of a production line. GEA designs and manufactures systems that, instead of simply transferring packages from one machine to another, use an ’intelligent automation’ approach to optimize the operation of those machines and to guarantee the efficiency of the whole line.

Specific installation requirements and peculiar package features determine, on a ’case by case’ basis, the technical operation of the conveyor systems to make sure that each package is transferred in the best way. The technology laboratory at GEA Procomac performs preliminary testing of ’difficult’ containers to determine the most appropriate method of handling.

GEA primary packaging conveyors have been designed to work with any type of containers (PET bottles, HDPE bottles, glass bottles, jars, cans…) with any shape (round, square, with and without handles) customizing layouts and production speed accordingly. The hygienic design is made exclusively from stainless steel.

The wide range of features include: pressureless aligners, multi-lane conveyors, dynamic accumulation tables, dividers for shaped containers from 1 to multiple lanes, tilting conveyors for hot fill bottles, an accumulation table FIFO without pressure from the bottles, and pad elevators/lowerators.

GEA is a specialist in automation systems for high-speed conveying lines for containers. As such it believes in the continuous development of line automation, an information network that transforms a group of machines into a high efficiency plant. The automation systems feature speed modulation using inverters (installed in the remote power board or near-field) to reduce power consumption and noise; dedicated electronics that reduce the overall footprint of the machine and synchronize master and slave machines at high speed; and Profibus, AS-I and Devicenet field networks that connect and manage all machines in the line. Remote field PLC devices are used to optimize installations that have a high concentration of inputs and outputs.

Smart Divider

The Smart Divider designed by GEA is used to distribute loose containers continuously from one inlet lane to ten discharge lanes each with a separate product of different shape and dimension.

The system has a strong stainless steel supporting frame that enables the system to work without stopping the total product flow and preventing the accumulation of product that can cause lane jams. The movement of the side belts is synchronized with the speed of the main conveyor of the divider. The side movement of the switching guides is controlled by a servomotor. Machine safety guards are made with transparent polycarbonate panels, accordingly to CE rules.

The changeover is made manually by selecting the new operating parameters from the operator panel using a hand wheel.