There are many plants that run production lines where there are multiple lines of product on a single conveyor or where products are spread all over the conveyor. Because most weighing and labeling processes require a single line of product, something is needed to align the products. This is the reason for using a converging conveyor.
There are numerous ways to align products using a conveyor, but certain methods work for some products and not for others. You could wind up with a mess on your hands if you don’t match the converging conveyor with the product.
With some product flows, converging products is as easy as adding product guides which angle products towards the center of the conveyor. This allows products to align themselves with their own natural forward movement. Unfortunately, with some products, this can just turn into a traffic jam because the guide rails angle in and can create a bottleneck.
One way to converge products is by using dual or multiple indexers before allowing products to proceed to centering product guides.We make several converging systems for these products. These indexers drop-down to block the flow of one side of the conveyor and pop-up back up to allow one product at a time from each side. This works for products where there are distinct lines of product on one conveyor.
Another way is to make a series of pneumatic actuator gates which release products sequentially rather than all at once so that products can avoid running into one another.
Some companies use special combinations of directional roller-belted conveyors and conveyor speeds which can naturally center and space products, but these types of singulator conveyors take a little more space to do their work.
We even design singulator systems that can handle four or more products while they are all side-by-side on the same conveyor. As an example, this can be especially useful for vacuum packaging environments because they are often filling several small packages side-by-side.
There are so many options to be had when it comes to converging systems that it might seem overwhelming to try to get the right match for your product.
Don’t fret. We can help you make the right converging conveyor selection!