The need for line converging is growing every day. There seems to be more and more roll stock product being produced every year which creates a need for proper handling of the product after exiting a roll stock machine.
What are the challenges and what are the solutions?
- The first challenge is out-of-weight-range packages unless you are running catch weight product. The industry is looking at different ways to get a weight of the product prior to filling the pouch.
Solution: A unit has been developed where we can weigh prior to filling the pouch. These units are out in the field and are performing very well; however, this is only working with flowable bulk product.
2. The second challenge would be checkweighing the finished product when they are coming out 2, 3, or 4 wide, and sometimes two deep.
Solution: There are line convergers being built today that actually work. These units have progressed from gates opening at different times to units with stops that push the product off at different intervals to the new units that run with a specific number of belts for a certain number of products being discharged. The new units can singulate whatever number of products is being discharged on each cycle.
- The third challenge would be checkweighing fixed weight product and possibly sorting different weights.
Solution: There are units being built that can easily handle the speed of any roll stock unit. PPM has never really been the issue.
These units can be “Legal for Trade” and give you the ability to sort different weights into specific bins for boxing.
- The fourth challenge would be the ability to weigh price label each piece. The stability of product coming out of a roll stock unit tends to rock one way or the other making accurate label application very hard.
Solution: Use a Weigh Price Labeling unit where we control the piece from start to finish. There are two ways of doing it. One would be to use a guiding system that spans the length of the unit. The second would be to use a weigh price labeler with bottom labelers to tip each product over and apply the labels to the flat side from the bottom.
If you are currently using roll stock types of equipment and are having challenges with the finished product, talk to one of your suppliers that have the ability to handle the different options offered above.