Singulating Conveyors for Converging Product Lanes

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Oct 24, 2014

When it comes to filling packages, bags, and pouches with batched or small-pieced product, automatic filling systems have become the standard. They make filling fast and consistent, but they can cause some difficulty when it comes to product handling afterwards. A singulating conveyor can solve this problem.

Singulator-Conveyor-Merger

Singulating Conveyor contains individual belts which permit individual product lines to advance while other lines are held back. Once a space opens up, the stopped belts will advance the product. The merging conveyor ensures all products are directed to the center of the belt.

The way most filling machines work is that they fill several packages at a time, which means they are often closely arranged in rows and columns. Having products adjacent to each other on the conveyor makes performing any sort of automatic weighing, labeling, or sorting operations difficult. There are multiple ways of solving this dilemma, but one good way of converging and spacing these products is with the use of a singulating conveyor.

To understand the problem, imagine a checkweigher rejecting packages of product. The checkweigher needs to weigh each package and determine if its weight falls within a certain tolerance. If you have two packages side-by-side, the checkweigher’s weighment becomes invalid. Both would be weighed simultaneously as a “single” product. There is no way to know what either of the packages’ specific weights are so the out-of-spec packages can be rejected. Even if you did, it would be very difficult to reject one or the other.

Singulating Conveyor - gates will permit product to go through at specific intervals thereby ensuring products are in a single file line.

Singulating Conveyor – gates will permit product to go through at specific intervals thereby ensuring products are in a single file line.

With our singulating conveyors, you can take all of these adjacent packages and automatically arrange them into a single, well-spaced line. The singulator conveyor uses a system of multiple belts and motors so that it has the ability to start and stop different belts independently. This allows it to move one column of product at a time so that it can eliminate rows of product. They pass onto an out-feed conveyor where product guides can align each package into a neat single-file line.

The only problem left is that filling and roll stock machines commonly need to fill different sizes and numbers of bags throughout a day, so the system needs to be able to accommodate variability. This is actually very simple with some adjustments, using the system controls. Presets can allow you to easily switch from singulating two packages side-by-side to three or more side-by-side. This is done by activating different belts at different times, and the transition is virtually seamless.

The controller also lets you adjust the time that the singulator will allow between stopping and starting a different set of belts. This permits it to be fine-tuned so that packages aren’t moving too early and jamming with other packages at the product guides.

We have a number of systems that relate to filling packaged product because it is a common practice for many companies.

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