Whether bottling spring water, manufacturing soft drinks or producing milk, most food and beverage manufacturers understand the importance of conveyors. These systems can be crucial for production lines, tirelessly moving bottles for filling, capping, and labelling before the final product is ready for dispatch.
Bottle conveyors bring a number of important advantages, which is why they are widely used in manufacturing. This tried and tested technology is highly efficient and enhances product quality while allowing companies to scale production and meet increased demand. Bottle conveyors can even contribute to the health and wellbeing of staff. With all of these advantages, the bottling industry is investing in conveyor technology as a way to streamline production and reduce costs.
The Bottle Conveyor Industry
Conveyor systems have a long history, dating back to the 18th century when manually powered wood and leather conveyors moved sacks and heavy materials. The Industrial Revolution saw the development of mechanised systems for loading ships and gearing up factories for mass production. Over the next hundred years, the technology changed and steel and synthetic materials replaced leather, wood, and canvas.
The bottle conveyor system market is projected to go from an estimated US$9.4 billion in 2022 to US$12.7 billion by 2027 due to the growing need for efficiently handling larger volumes in the manufacturing industry. The growth of this industry has been due to factors such as industrial automation, global product supply chains and modernisation of industries.
Now, there are numerous types of conveyors, with many versions designed purely for the bottling industry. Most bottle conveyors consist of a power unit and speed controller, with a belt or slats to move the product. The variations differ depending on the type of bottle and the preferred filling method.
Types of Bottle Conveyors
Modern bottling plants use a wide range of conveyor types, each with its own characteristics, including:
- Roller Conveyors
- Belt Conveyors
- Slat Conveyors
- Side Grip Conveyors
- Overhead Conveyors
Roller conveyors consist of stainless steel or polymer rollers that move underneath the product, and they are particularly useful for heavy containers such as water cooler bottles. Belt conveyors consist of a belt, usually, rubber or polymer, stretched around motorised rollers. They are a relatively affordable option and can include sidewalls to guide bottles.
Slat conveyors are similar to belt conveyors but use chain drives to move spaced slats manufactured from stainless steel, polymer, PVC, or aluminium. They are easy to clean, robust, and hygienic, which makes them particularly popular in the bottling industry. Slat bottle conveyors also support a range of layouts, including curves and corners.
Side grip conveyors incorporate belts in the sidewall of the system to grip and move the product. Finally, overhead conveyors hold a product from above, and some production lines use them in conjunction with belt or slat conveyors to fit lids.
What Industries Use Bottle Conveyors?
Bottle conveyors are extremely versatile and support almost any stage of the bottling process. Businesses can use conveyors to move empty bottles to the filling heads, holding them in place until they are full. A conveyor can then take bottles to the capping and labelling machines before sending the products for final packing. A number of industries use conveyors, including:
- Bottled water
- Soft drinks
- Alcoholic drinks
- Liquid food products such as sauces and honey
Non-food industries also use bottle conveyors, including
- Cosmetics and personal hygiene
- Chemicals and cleaning products
- Pharmaceutical goods
Advantages of Conveyors for Bottling
Bottle conveyors have a number of advantages that make the technology an essential part of the bottling industry. Over the past few years, bottle conveyor technology has become more refined and affordable. They are now within the reach – helping smaller businesses stay competitive.
Increased Speed and Productivity
For most businesses, the main motivation behind investing in bottle conveyors is speeding up production. A company can move units more quickly and can fine-tune conveyors to scale up production by increasing speed. Bottle conveyors reduce labour costs, free up employees to focus on quality control and help overcome labour shortages. In addition, these machines are tireless and work 24/7 with fewer employees, reducing additional costs for overtime and unsociable hours.
Reduced Product Damage
Bottle conveyors make further savings by reducing the number of bottles damaged during manual handling, especially glass bottles. Employees also waste less time cleaning up messes from breakages. In addition, there is less chance of contamination and rejection of entire batches due to mishandling. Importantly, bottle conveyors support quality control because staff can check bottles as they pass along the conveyor, rejecting damaged units and reporting any concerns.
Enhanced Health and Safety
Another advantage of bottle conveyors is the reduction in health and safety risks for workers. For a start, workers don’t have to carry heavy products from place to place, so they are less likely to trip or fall. Conveyors can lower the number of strain injuries from heavy lifting, and employees experience a much lower risk of serious cuts from broken glass. Improved health and safety also mean fewer days off work.
Easy to Clean
Bottle conveyors are easy to clean and sterilise, especially if constructed from stainless steel and food-grade plastic. This reduces the risk of contamination and rejected products and ensures you don’t send out compromised products with the risk of losing clients and facing legal action.
Customisable to Existing Production Lines
Bottle conveyors are exceptionally versatile, and businesses can integrate them into existing production lines easily. For example, a company can stretch out slat models in almost any layout between packaging machines, using curves and angles to maximise the use of space. It is easy to customise a conveyor system and find a size, shape, and layout to suit.
Many machines are modular and easy to configure, and they integrate with a range of machines such as accumulation/unscrambling tables, liquid filling machines, and capping systems. An experienced company, like Asset Packaging Machines, can assess your existing processes and develop an affordable bottle conveyor system that will help your business thrive.
Asset Packaging Machines – Bottle Conveyor Experts
If you need a high-quality conveyor system, Asset Packaging Machines offers a wealth of great options. Our bottle conveyors are durable and, like all our packaging machines, enjoy a deserved reputation for reliability. Asset Packaging Machines prices bottle conveyors competitively, offers high quality, and they are easy to use with no need for extensive training.
Our systems are low maintenance due to their exceptional construction from superior quality materials. Because our bottle conveyors are Australian-made, they match the stringent national standards and pass through our excellent quality control process. For smaller businesses where maintenance and downtime can destroy profits, our systems offer reassurance.
Our attention to detail goes beyond the machines because we offer excellent customer support and responsive, quick maintenance. Our highly experienced technicians are integration experts, especially when installing conveyors alongside our other systems. We know how to help Australian businesses succeed.
If you want to find out how our bottle conveyors help boost productivity, lower costs, and support your employees, contact us at (02) 9958 2883.