While many conveying applications involve addressing the movement of material through production processes, another key application area is conveying final product onto the packaging line for packout and shipment to the customer.
Conveying product to packaging lines and machines: Challenges
Today’s producers are using a wider-than-ever range of automated filling technologies and innovative packaging to supply product to customers. No matter which packaging technology is employed, successfully conveying product to packaging lines and machines is, in reality, a high-care conveying application. It is high-care because several key challenges relating to product integrity must be successfully addressed. These include the following:
- The packaging line must be fed with undamaged product. Damaged product may go undetected and be packaged for shipment to the customer. If the damage is detected, costs are incurred to address damage and loss.
- Product quality must be maintained. Blends and mixes conveyed to the packaging line must arrive without segregation of the constituent ingredients. Product should also arrive free from any contamination that may be picked up as it conveyed onto the packaging line. Loss of product quality carries with it the risk of recalls and reduced customer satisfaction.
Preventing Product Damage
Preventing damaged product arriving at final packout requires using conveyors that are capable of gentle handling. At UniTrak, we supply two proven conveying solutions that gently handle product and greatly reduce the incidence of damaged product arriving at the packaging line. These are the TipTrak™ line of bucket elevators and the Powderflight line of aeromechanical conveyors.
TipTrak™ bucket elevators are used in facilities the world over for reliably conveying product to packaging lines and machines. Available in a variety of constructions, configurations, and capacities, TipTrak™ use a proprietary rubber “beltchain” and fully interlocking bucket assemblies to gently convey product without sacrificing throughput rates or capacities.
TipTrak™ conveyors are capable of transporting a wide variety of product types, shapes and sizes onto packaging lines, including powders, granules, flakes, pellets, prills, pastilles, and irregular shapes. This versatility makes TipTrak™ conveyors a preferred choice in many conveying applications.
Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors are an excellent equipment choice for moving powders, pellets, and granules to packaging lines and machines. When conveying friable powders and pellets to the packaging line, preventing product degradation becomes a concern. Because Powderflight aeromechanicals employ a non-physical mode of operation, using a high-speed airstream to move product, these conveyors can move significant quantities of product gently and efficiently. ensuring the packaging line is fed with damage-free product.
Preventing Contamination and Desegregation
Preserving product quality at final packout requires using conveyors that can deliver product to the packaging line that is free from contamination or desegregation of ingredients.
Both TipTrak™ and Powderflight conveyors can move mixes and blends without any separation of the constituent ingredients. In practice, what goes into these conveyors is exactly what comes out. This ensures that the packaging line receives product exactly as it was produced in the manufacturing process.
TipTrak™ bucket elevator conveyors and Powderflight aeromechanicals can help preserve product and keep it free from contamination as it is being conveyed for final packout. TipTrak™ PEC and Monocoque constructions offer conveying that is fully enclosed or sealed respectively, preventing contamination from external sources. Similarly, Powderflight aeromechanicals move product within a fully enclosed tube, reducing the risk of external contamination.
Examples of projects where we have used TipTrak™ and Powderflight conveyors to feed product onto packaging lines and machines include the following:
- Snack Food (potato chips, nuts, popcorn);
- Confectionery & chewing gum;
- Pet food (dry) and snacks;
- Sauce and soup mixes;
- Short and long goods pasta;
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals;
- Coffee (whole bean, ground and instant/powder) and tea;
- Biscuits, cookies and crackers;
- Frozen vegetables and berries;
- Fertilizer, herbicides, and other agricultural products;
- Sulphur granules and pastilles;
- Biomass fuel pellets; and
- Struvite prills.
If you are sourcing equipment for conveying product to packaging lines and machines, UniTrak application specialists are here to review your needs and requirements. We have over 50 years of experience in reliably conveying product to a variety of packaging technologies, including form/fill/seal, pouch and bag filling, supersack (FIBC) filling, and more. To find out more about the conveying solutions we can provide, please contact our sales department at https://unitrak.com/get-in-touch/.