Conveyor systems have become increasingly critical for speedy, reliable production in a variety of industries. At their most basic, conveyor systems use a frame that supports a belt, rollers, or wheels to transport materials from one location to another. They are powered using a variety of methods, including electrical motors, manual actuation, or gravity. Conveyors are particularly valued for applications that require the quick and efficient movement of heavy products or large volumes of materials that would be difficult for humans to move effectively using manual methods.
Conveyors can be used to transport materials laterally or can be inclined or elevated to move materials between multiple levels. Not only does this allow you to move materials more quickly and efficiently, but it also reduces potential injury to workers. In addition, conveyors are often configured to automatically move and unload materials, reducing the number of people necessary to man the production line.
What are Conveyors Used for?
Conveyors are used for a variety of applications in industries such as food processing, automotive, bottling, pharmaceutical, aerospace, chemical, and many more. The most popular uses of conveyors include transporting products, storage, and buffering.
Conveyors are used to quickly move products from one point to another throughout a facility. They prevent personnel injury by reducing the need for manual lifting and carrying. When used on assembly lines, conveyors allow workers to stand in one place to complete their work, while the product moves from one station to the next on the conveyor. Not only does this reduce time and labor, but it also eliminates the potential for damage to products that can occur with manual or forklift conveyance.
Storage and Buffering
To streamline the production process, conveyor systems can be used to store products between steps or before shipping. They can also be used to create an accumulation bank of products for temporary storage to balance process flow. To further organize production, conveyors are used to sequence products between processes.
What are the Different Types of Conveyors?
Conveyor systems are exceptionally versatile and can be designed to accommodate a wide range of applications. From simple free-rolling mechanisms to motor-powered conveyors with complex gear and chain mechanisms, conveyor systems come in many configurations. Some of the most common types of conveyors include:
- Belt Conveyors
- Powered Rollers
- Ball Transfer Conveyors
- Drag, Chain, and Tow
- Pneumatic and Vacuum
- Singulation Conveyor
- Screw and Auger
- Walking Beam
Key Considerations When Choosing a Conveyor Type
When selecting the right conveyor for your application, it is important to consider the following:
Take into account the material that you plan to move, including characteristics such as weight, consistency, thickness, temperature, and moisture content. You should also consider the physical properties of the material, including magnetism, abrasion, and particle size. With this information, you can select the most effective conveyor design to move your product.
It’s important to consider the application or operation in which you are using the conveyor. The conveyor system that you use for simple transport from Point A to Point B will be different from feeding applications that require more specific control of material flow.
Space Availability and Constraints
Conveyors are available in a wide range of sizes to meet the widely varying size requirements and constraints of different facilities and operations. When selecting the right conveyor system for your application, it is important that your equipment fits within the required space and still operates efficiently.
Cost is a crucial consideration when incorporating a new system into your production line. You should consider whether the initial investment is in your budget, as well as whether the long-term benefits will pay for the investment over time. Take the time to calculate the savings you can reap from adding a conveyor system, including reduced labor, increased production, energy savings, and maintenance.
Choosing the Right Type of Conveyor Can Be a Daunting Task
At CapTech Automation, we are committed to producing state-of-the-art closure lining machines and conveyor systems for industrial capping. We understand how difficult it can be to choose the right conveyor type for your operation. With a commitment to providing excellent service, our expert support team is here to help you select the best type of conveyor system for your needs.
To learn more about our conveyor systems, contact us today or request a quote.
Numerous closure lining materials exist for use with caps and closures on consumer products. The liner choice will impact the fit and function of the closure on the final packaging solution. Developing an understanding of the differences between lining cap materials will help to facilitate informed material choices.
Importance of Lining Materials
A cap liner serves as a barrier between the cap and the container’s contents, providing an additional seal for the finished product. The liner helps maintain product integrity during transport and throughout any time spent on the retail shelf. The liner remains in direct contact with the product’s contents, so chemical compatibility must factor into material selection.
The liner may directly affect the product’s integrity, so it’s essential to choose the best liner possible. The liner also helps protect brand integrity by providing consumers with evidence that the product has not been tampered with before purchase.
Lining Cap Material Options
Various cap lining materials offer different properties that make each beneficial for specific application types. The three main categories of plastic closure liners include cellulosic, foil, and extruded polymer. Within these categories, here are some of the most common choices for bottle cap liner materials:
- Lift N Peel. These specialty designed closure liners have an easy-open polyester tab that makes it convenient for consumers to grip and open. This flexible and robust lining material prevents leaks and maximizes product integrity. Compatibility with custom branding sets this closure liner material apart from many other options.
- EPE 4020 (Corelen) liner. This material is created from low-density expanded polyethylene foam and is best for products with low sensitivity to oxygenation, such as alcohols and spirits.
- EPE 3217. This liner material features one layer of low-density expanded polyethylene foam laminated on each side. Products that have low sensitivity to oxygenation can benefit from using this liner.
- PE F217 foam liner. This white-colored foam liner features a low-density polyethylene foam core surrounded by two solid LDPE layers, offering excellent sealing properties and excellent compatibility with acidic contents.
- Oxygen scavenging liner. An oxygen scavenging barrier features an FDA-compliant, powdered PVC-based compound that reduces the risk of oxidation when applied to the inside of a cap. It is ideal for use on beverages, acidic products, and liquids with low alcohol content.
- Plastisol liner. Plastisol is a liquid PVC compound typically heated and applied to the underside of metal caps. The FDA-compliant closure lining material is most frequently used with caps for glass bottles and lids for jars containing food items.
- Polyethylene injected liner. This liner is heat-molded into the cap using PVC-free virgin polyethylene. As a flexible lining material featuring superior mechanical sealing under pressure, polyethylene injected liner offers an ideal solution for medium-term storage.
- Saranex™ liner. Specially designed for STELVIN capping technology, this FDA approved liner features one layer of low-density expanded polyethylene foam with SX film on both sides. Products with a slight sensitivity to oxygen may benefit from this lining material.
- Saran™ tin liner. This liner is FDA-approved and used with STELVIN capping technology. It offers a single layer of low-density EPE and two LDPE layers, followed by aluminum foil layers and a PET film barrier. The strong oxygen barrier created by this liner makes it ideal for wine or spirits that do not require aging.
Cap Lining Applications
A variety of products use liner materials in their caps and lids, such as:
- Beer, wine, and spirits
- Food and beverage
- Household products
Contact CapTech Automation for your Cap Liner Material
Choosing the right lining material is essential for maintaining product quality. With the long list of lining materials, it can be hard to determine the one best suited to a specific application. For help selecting the ideal liner material for your situation, please contact us to speak with an expert or request a quote today.
At CapTech Automation, our team continuously searches for ways to improve efficiency in the manufacturing sector. Drawing from the expertise of experienced industry professionals from Big Sky Engineering, we are able to produce advanced closure production machinery that enables our customers to integrate lean manufacturing principles into their operations easily and efficiently.
By doing so, we facilitate shorter processing times, reduced material waste, and better productivity.
Throughout our years in business, we’ve released many solutions that benefit our customers, and our product and service offerings are constantly expanding. Most recently, we released a new machine model that offers broader material capacities—the Cap5-15 Machine.
New Cap5-15 Machines
The Cap5-15 Machine features several new functional capabilities that offer advantages over previous models. Most notably, it features:
- A stacking unit with a telescoping vacuum tube that takes up less space
- An inspection system with an imaging capacity for all closure angles
- A toolset that accommodates wider lining material strips (up to 15 inches)
Altogether, these new features result in much higher production efficiency as they allow for higher throughput of better quality parts with fewer defects.
This new model is suitable for use with all types of caps/closures and a variety of liner materials, including ABS, polyethylene, polypropylene, and more specialized substrates. For highly specific applications, it can be customized to fit into any space, including for cleanrooms and food processing environments.
Increase Your Efficiency With CapTech Automation Solutions
The CapTech Automation team focuses on providing innovative closure and lining material solutions that improve the efficiency of our customer’s facilities. If you’re interested in learning more about our product and service offerings, contact us or request a quote today. One of our experts will reach out to you to answer or address any questions and concerns you may have.
While the terms closure “packing” and “stacking” are sometimes used interchangeably in daily vernacular, they are two distinctly separate operations in the manufacturing industry. Stacking refers to the placement or arrangement of individual items in a pile, while packing is the process of preparing the stacks for container shipment.
Affecting many aspects of a product line, the way in which closures are packed and stacked for shipping have a direct effect on business growth, revenue, and operating costs; as such, these operations continue to be a top priority in the closure industry.
Types of Packing and Stacking Systems
Products can be arranged in several different configurations. However, layer packing and log packing are the two most common types of packing/stacking methods used in closure industries today.
- Layer Packing – The layer packing method is suitable for closure products that cannot be organized in a horizontal or vertical nested stack. This packing process involves arranging items in a single, flat layer before transfer to a box, carton, or pallet for subsequent shipping. The layer packing technique results in the creation of symmetrical grids, which can be stacked vertically in a repeated fashion with the option of placing dividers between each layer.
- Log Packing – Log packing is ideal for applications in which packaging space is at a premium. This method involves collating closure products to be stacked in a horizontal or vertical row or column. The stacked items, also called logs, are then arranged and packed into a box or carton for shipment. Log packing works especially well for symmetrically shaped closures, specifically those with nesting features.
Benefits of Automated Packing and Stacking Systems
One of the most significant benefits of packing and stacking systems is their ability to reduce overall operating costs. Because automated systems pack closures in a way that minimizes air voids, they maximize how many items can fit within a single package, therefore reducing the number of containers required and lowering shipping costs.
Another benefit of automated packing systems is the costs savings associated with the reduction in manual labor. These systems can be programmed to operate with little to no human interaction. Furthermore, depending on the closure size, shape, and packing configuration, the automated systems can achieve packing speeds of up to 1500 caps per minute. By contrast, it would take multiple employees to achieve similar packing efficiencies.
Automated Systems from CapTech Automation
Specially designed to optimize packing operations for various types of closures, CapTech Automation packing systems are proven to increase packing efficiency by as much as 15% per carton. In fact, our automated packers pay for themselves in as little as three years based on the savings from reduced shipping costs alone.
At CapTech Automation, we offer the broadest range of closure packing solutions on the market. Our carefully engineered systems can layer pack, log pack, and bulk feed packaging in cartons, gaylords, or any other shipping container. CapTech’s systems are also fully automated, programmable, and specifically designed to save our customers time and money.
To learn more about our automated closure packing systems, contact our team today.
Cap liners, one of the smallest and often most underappreciated elements of a bottled product, are actually one of the most crucial components in the bottle assembly. These pieces sit between the cap and the bottle, acting as a gasket to ensure proper sealing. Cap liners serve several essential functions including preventing leakage, improving product shelf life, and acting as tamper-proof seals for consumer safety.
Liners are available in a variety of materials. The choice of liner material depends mainly on its function (sealing, tamper-proofing, etc.) and the properties of the bottled product (pH, chemical composition, corrosivity, etc.). Some of the most common materials used in liner production include:
- Foamed polyethylene (F217) – corrosion, odor, and taste resistant, low moisture transmission rate
- Plastisol – vacuum packaging, tamper-proof
- Styrene foam (pressure sensitive PS22) – tamper-proof
- Polyethylene foam liners – resistance to alkalis, acids, alcohols, and oils
- Poly Vinyl – chemical resistant
- Polyseal (LDPE) – torque retentive, crack resistant
- Teflon (PTFE) – exceptionally chemical resistant
Cap Liner Manufacturing Processing
With such an important role in a bottle’s architecture, lined enclosures are usually the most costly element in bottle cap production. Manufacturers are therefore constantly seeking ways to improve the efficiency of the liner manufacturing process.
One of the main contributors to address is liner cost inefficiencies is material waste. Liners typically start as bulk material in the form of a “master roll.” These rolls are slit to narrower widths before a closure manufacturer uses a die to cut the liner material into the required shape and size for the cap or container.
This method of die cutting leaves significant material as waste; Estimates place the amount of waste generated by the liner cutting process at about 20% of the original roll.
How CapTech Automation Increases Material Efficiency
At CapTech Automation, we developed our own state-of-the-art machine to improve the efficiency of liner cutting and minimize waste during the die cutting and assembly process.
Our machine utilizes smaller sheet widths (7”, 11”, or 15”) than conventional die cutters (40”- 42”). This gives us greater control over the material management process and decreases the likelihood of ordering excess liner material.
We develop a custom cutting pattern unique to each application that maximizes the usable area of the liner sheets during the cutting process. Our dies can cut more cap liners per square inch than conventional machines, thus ensuring optimal material usage for any cap size.
Our machines maintain proper alignment of the punch and die set, to create the best cut disc quality and provide for long die life and minimize the need for sharpening.
This results in a more efficient lean manufacturing process that produces more caps per roll with shorter lead times and significantly less waste than comparable lining equipment.
To learn more about our material efficiency measures and how they can help save you time and money, contact our team today.
Compressed air has recently become a valuable power source for a growing number of applications. It is often referred to as the fourth utility after water, electricity, and gas. However, compressed air can be potentially expensive in specific applications. When used inappropriately, wastage is significant, and the medium itself can become inefficient.
Most high-speed cap sorting systems use pressurized air jets to push the caps to either reject them or move them along a conveyor. With most systems driven by compressed air, less than 20% of the input energy actually gets used, while the remaining 80% is wasted.
How CapTech Has Reduced Air and Energy Consumption
The first and most effective step to reducing compressed air energy costs is taking steps to minimize the amount of air consumed. CapTech has taken this principle and integrated it into the design of our high-speed cap sorting and lining systems. We have designed systems into our sorting and lining machines that eliminate the need for continual compressed air applications.
One of the primary cost-saving features of our cap lining system is the patented chaser bin mechanism. The chaser physically pushes the caps into and out of position using a clockwork mechanism. In conventional sorters, the caps are blown out of the lining position using large amounts of pressurized air.
The use of compressed air for this operation is not only wasteful, but it can also blow out the cap’s liner, leading to defective products. However, CapTech’s clockwork design uses patented mechanical fingers to kick the caps out of the lining position to be sent to the conveyor, removing any risk of the lining being accidentally removed.
Compressed air usage may also be minimized via our Cap Sorter. Instead of inefficient compressed air, this system utilizes twin vacuum conveyors powered by the intake of a high-efficiency centrifugal blower to sort caps. Overall, the blower-powered sorter produces an average of 80% energy cost savings in comparison to pressurized air systems.
Open pipes and pipes with drilled holes are infamous for their lack of efficiency. Tens of thousands of dollars are wasted annually on compressed air delivered via inefficient delivery systems. Customers that use our high-speed cap sorting systems have benefited from a significant positive impact on the bottom line.
For example, air jets can cost close to $9,000 per year for each piece of equipment used. Even the most efficient conventional pressurized delivery system – the comb and fan nozzle – costs just below $3,000 per year, per apparatus. CapTech’s twin vacuum technology increases the delivery efficiency of pressurized air and saves our clients significant sums of money annually, ultimately paying for itself over time.
CapTech’s high-speed cap sorting and lining systems utilize a combination of mechanical energy with twin vacuum conveyors to reduce the overall dependency on compressed air systems. If you would like to learn more about our state-of-the-art cap sorting and lining technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our technical team is available to answer any questions you may have.