More than pallet conveying systems: safety and connectivity for your packaging line
Pallet conveying systems are more than a complement to an end-of-line project, as they are responsible for integrating the different packaging systems and ensuring the constant flow of production. In addition to speed and robustness, other features sought in the conveying are its integration capabilities with other systems and production lines and interconnectivity in communication 4.0.
At Innova we are aware of the importance of conveying, so we design and manufacture conveyor solutions in their integrity, in addition to working on their continuous improvement and innovation.
What to expect from automated conveying systems?
Conveyor systems are used to transfer, accumulate and/or distribute the goods to the specific positions of the logistics operations. It is therefore important that the conveyor line meets certain requirements to ensure efficiency and production flow:
Safety and stability
In an automatic packaging line, the most important aspect when choosing one type of conveyor or another is the safety of the pallet load. More than often, in an end-of-line, palletized loads are transferred without protection or final reinforcement of the packaging, so it is essential that the conveyor provides stability in the handling of the load.
At Innova, we use roller conveyor systems because of their robustness and capacity to support heavy weights. We also include several pallet centering systems along the line to ensure that the load does not shift.
Adaptability and flexibility
When faced with an end-of-line project, the design of the conveyor line is key to ensuring optimum production. The combination of different types of conveyors (roller, chain, etc.) with turning and lifting systems must be carried out in order to offer a better connection of the line. In Innova’s case, our engineering department studies in detail the distribution of each installation to design the best possible conveyor flow by combining different systems.
Connection to pallet transport vehicles
In addition to providing adaptability to the production facility, it is also essential to adapt to the flow of pallets in and out of transport vehicles. At this point, it is required to adapt the conveyors to the entry of pallets either by hand pallet truck, forklift with driver, or AGV robot. In the case of using AGVs, the communication protocols between the automatic line and the AGVs or LGVs come into play.
Performance and speed
One of the keys to higher productivity and speed at the end of the line lies in the capacity and performance of the conveyor systems themselves. For example, in the case of Innova’s roller conveyors, we guarantee a speed of 10 inches/second (250 mm/s), achieving a fast but safe speed level for optimal pallet flow.
Connection and connectivity
Last but not least, the conveyors must ensure the connection with the preceding and subsequent lines. In the case of an automatic packaging line, the conveyor receives not only the incoming pallets but also the pallet information such as formats, heights, dimensions, etc. The conveyor line then exchanges the data between the different pallet packaging systems and ultimately sends the information of the already packed pallets to the subsequent logistics line or intelligent warehouse.
At Innova, in addition to offering connection and communication, we also incorporate accessories such as the weighing system that provides additional information about the weight of the pallet. The conveyor line is integrated and communicates with the customer’s ERP so that the data of the pallets and their final weight is communicated instantly.
Types of conveying systems
Tell me which product you have and I will tell you which conveyor you need: There are many types of end-of-line conveyors that can be adapted depending on the type of product, pallet base, line dimensions, etc. In the case of a packaging end-of-line, the most common are:
- Roller conveyors: It is the most commonly used for wooden pallets and is ideal for heavy loads. Roller conveyors are very versatile and safe to use in most factories with palletized products. At Innova, this type of conveyor is offered with the additional accessory of a pallet-centering device, which ensures that the load is centered along the route.
- Chain conveyors: Chain conveyors are used for special pallet formats or to make connections between lines of different sizes. It is the type of conveyor used in the 90º transfer system.
- Chain Plate conveyors: Plate conveyors are suitable for easy accessibility for hand pallet trucks or manual forklifts. The plates do not support as much weight as the rollers so it is recommended for light to medium loads. This would be the case for light loads on plastic pallets. At Innova, we offer plate conveyors for floor-level access in our scissor lift tables.
- Belt conveyor: Belt conveyors are used in the production or packing line, but they can also be used in the end-of-line for very specific products such as palletless bags, boxes, or big bags that do not use the pallet for their transport. They are not recommended to be used for wooden pallets due to the friction and impact they can cause on the belt.
In addition to the conveying systems we can also find other rotating and lifting systems for connection to the packaging line:
- Turntable conveyor: It is usually integrated into a conveyor with a rotating table that can turn at 45º or 90º according to the needs of the line.
- 90º transfer conveyor: The 90-degree conveyor is a pallet side shifting system that combines roller and chain conveyors. It is mostly used to join lines in parallel or to adapt to the plant layout.
- Scissor lift conveyor: The scissor lift platform is set on a roller or plate conveyor. It is used to lift the load from the floor or from a lower conveyor level to the standard height of the line. It is a key element to adapt the packaging line to existing conveyors in the factory with different heights.
- Vertical Pallet Conveyor: This is a pallet elevator system with an integrated roller conveyor that is used to transport the pallet vertically. It is typically used in connections with upper/lower levels in a production plant.
Conveying solutions at Innova’s packaging lines
As we have mentioned, conveying is a fundamental part of the packaging line, and that is why at Innova we adapt each line to the needs and requirements of the company. We have a wide range of conveyors and transfer systems with standardized measures to adapt to different types of lines, industries, and pallet formats.
Each customer is a different case, so we can configure any possible conveying flow. Some examples of conveyor lines for our customers:
- Grupo Puma: This conveyor line was designed to adapt to the reduced factory space, consisting of a transfer system, pneumatic centering device, hydraulic elevator, turntable transfer, and 8 pallet accumulation conveyors.
- Grupo Halcón: This line was designed to adapt to the space in the factory and to receive the flow of several lines composed of an entry line with a pallet lift platform for pallet truck access, a U-shaped conveyor line with two turntables and access to the second line and an exit conveyor line for accumulation and collection of pallets.
- Compacglass 3 – Grupo Pamesa: This was a conveying and elevation line adapted and designed entirely to the huge dimensions of the facilities so that the end-of-line of Compacglass 3 could connect with the end of Compacglass 4, at the collection point to the logistics warehouse. It is composed of AGV entry roller conveyors, 3 pallet rotation conveyors, 4 centering devices, and a 330 feet (100 m) long exit line that leads to a pallet elevator.
In summary, at Innova, we work so that each project is adapted to the needs of the client, and our conveying systems are just one example among others. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information or for a no-obligation project study. Our technical team will be happy to help you!