Accumulation and unscrambling tables play an important role on production lines, helping to increase efficiency. These tables feed empty containers into filling machines and help workers pack finished products at other end.
Although unscrambling tables and accumulation tables support two different parts of the production process, they use very similar principles. There are a few different types, but this article will focus on rotary tables, one of the most common designs.
This article will explain how these tables work, the benefits, and how you can find the perfect table to integrate into production and deliver results.
How do accumulation and unscrambling tables work
Made from stainless steel and/or HDPE, the working surface of a rotary table revolves around its central axis.
The tables can be positioned along the production line to feed containers into machines, provide a buffer to prevent production bottlenecks, and help operators unpack.
Other systems include bidirectional tables and in-line tables. Bidirectional tables provide temporary storage space when production stops due to blockages, malfunctions, or adjustment.
In-line systems generally use conveyor belts to accumulate and shift containers. They are particularly common for containers with square or rectangular bases.
Rotary unscrambling tables
As the name suggests, rotary unscrambling tables unscramble empty containers including bottles, cans, and jars. An operator can load an entire case of containers onto the transfer table, where a system of guide rails, paddles, and rotation moves containers to the edge of the table.
The table lines up the containers in a single file and gently guides them to an exit point, usually a conveyor, for feeding into a filling machine at a controlled rate.
Benefits of unscrambling tables
Unscrambling tables boost efficiency significantly because operators do not have to go through the time-consuming process of lining up and feeding containers into the system one by one.
This removes a potential bottleneck and ensures that other machines, such as liquid filling machines and labelling machines, can work at maximum speed.
The increased efficiency reduces labour costs and frees up workers for other jobs. In addition, workers no longer have to perform one repetitive task, reducing potential accidents caused by tiredness and boredom.
Rotary accumulation tables
Rotary accumulation tables are usually installed at the end of a production line. They provide a place for filled containers to collect before packaging, giving workers more time to pack.
Accumulation tables can also be installed at other points on the line to keep production on schedule with an uninterrupted flow.
Benefits of accumulation tables
On a production line, if packers cannot keep up and become overwhelmed, you will have to slow production while they catch up. An accumulation table can keep your production on schedule by providing a useful buffer.
Operators can take off several containers at a time, improving efficiency significantly. The tables also allow the production line to keep working when operators temporarily stop a filling machine for restocking or minor maintenance.
Finally, reducing manual handling means that workers are less likely to suffer repetitive strain injuries or come into contact with moving parts.
What to look for in accumulation and unscrambling tables
Accumulation and unscrambling tables bring many benefits to production lines, but there are a number of manufacturers and types. If you are buying or renting a table for the first time, it may be difficult to choose the right machine.
Ideally, the machine should be manufactured from stainless steel or HDPE, for maximum durability. A good manufacturer builds accumulating or unscrambling tables to exact standards, ensuring they operate tirelessly and are easy to maintain and clean.
To support integration into production lines, the machine should incorporate a variable speed motor, allowing you to match production rates. In addition, as the most important part of the table, the motor needs to be very well constructed.
If your business works with a range of container sizes and shapes, the tables should be able to handle these with minimal adjustment to reduce expensive downtime.
For maximum compatibility with conveyor systems and filling machines, look for height adjustable machines with lockable castors.
Accumulation and unscrambling tables are available in a range of sizes to suit your production needs. However, make sure that the machine leaves plenty of space for employees to work safely and efficiently.
Finally, like any machine with moving parts, you cannot skimp on safety. Your business needs to make sure that the tables have safety guards, an emergency kill switch, and no sharp edges.
Buying an Australian machine from a reputable company like Asset Packaging Machines ensures you use machines built with worker safety in mind.
Asset Unscrambling Table (AUT)
As an example of how unscrambling can boost efficiency, the Asset Unscrambling Table (AUT) is perfect for installing at the start of the production line. It maximises production while minimising human contact.
With a durable top constructed from stainless steel or HDPE, it is available in 1200mm or 1500mm diameters, as well as a 600mm transfer table.
The AUT includes lockable castors, is flameproof, and incorporates a durable stainless steel frame. With a variable speed motor and a special belt assembly for rectangular containers, the machine is flexible and adjustable.
Asset Accumulation Table (AAT)
The Asset Accumulation Table (AAT), available with a 1200mm or 1500mm top, and HDPE or stainless steel surfaces, is the perfect addition to production lines. The table is fully adjustable, with a variable speed motor to help you match production speed.
With a torque limiting device to prevent injury from sudden movements and robust guards, the machine is one of the safest available. Constructed from superior quality materials and built to last, this machine will support your business for decades.
Talk to the experts
For any business looking to ramp up production, unscrambling and accumulation tables bring a host of benefits. Whether you intend to invest in filling machinery, new conveyor systems or want to reduce staff workload, unscrambling and accumulation machines are a cost-effective addition.
If you want to know more about our products or find out how we could help with any aspect of packing and packaging, please call our experts on (02) 9958 2883 or contact us.