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Redundant conveyors drive away blowmolder’s blues

When Bill Padgett joined Naugatuck, CT-based Custom Bottle, an extrusion blowmolder of pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and personal-care packaging, one of his missions was to enhance production efficiency by adding robotics and other automation equipment. “You don’t think much of a simple conveyor unless it is costing you and creating inefficiencies by breaking down, not working correctly, or it’s contaminating the product,” says Padgett, VP of manufacturing.

, an extrusion blowmolder of pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and personal-care packaging, one of his missions was to enhance production efficiency by adding robotics and other automation equipment. “You don’t think much of a simple conveyor unless it is costing you and creating inefficiencies by breaking down, not working correctly, or it’s contaminating the product,” says Padgett, VP of manufacturing. “In getting a product to the packaging line there are so many things you can have problems with, so many different pieces of equipment, and the last thing you want to spend time on is what should be one of the most simple things out there and that is a conveyor.”

Problems with conveyors can include issues with rollers, belts coming off track, or fibers from the belts contaminating the product. Maintenance issues include belt alignment and replacement; as belts stretch, they become misaligned and rub against conveyor parts, releasing small fibers. Static electricity can cause fibers to stick to bottles, which then downstream can cause problems with printing and labeling. Fibers also are not welcome in food or medical packaging lines.

For Padgett’s company, the solution to its conveying issues came with new systems supplied by Dynamic Conveyor Corp. (Muskegon, MI), which makes and markets its reconfigurable DynaCon conveyors. These have “snap-in-place” interchangeable modules, accessories, and components which allow for relatively rapid modification of material handling schemes in order to handle more, or different, work.

These conveyor systems also use a positive sprocket drive and tracking, with plastic belts said to eliminate slippage and edge damage. The processor transitioned over the course of two years to these conveyors, and now reports maintenance time for the conveyors has been reduced by 90%.

The self-aligning modular plastic belting also eliminated fiber contamination. [email protected]

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