A Machine Builder working for a pharmaceutical manufacturer needed to accumulate various size glass vials, and then feed them into a "cap, scan and label applicator" machine they were building. Additionally, once the vials came out of the machine, they needed to accumulate so that the operator could pack them off efficiently. The glass vials ranged from 16 mm base diameter to 30 mm base diameter, and had multiple different heights. The vials were full, since they were entering a capping machine - making it critically important for them to always remain upright. Furthermore, all bottles needed to transfer into the capping machine with or without back pressure, as the accumulation table would need to be clear of all product before switching over to the next size.
mk North America's Custom Solution
After reviewing the number of bottles that needed to be accumulated of each of the sizes, and comparing it to the space available in the end user's facility, mk North America and the Machine Builder felt that a bi-flow conveyor would be better suited to the application than a turntable. The plastic modular belt format was selected based on the small footprint of the bottles. The number of lanes, belt type, and how many of each direction was necessary were all selected based on the particulars of the application. Since there were four size bottles and a change over was permitted between sizes, mk developed returns and singulation devices for each unique bottle size. This ensured that all of the bottles would transfer off of the tables, and they would be presented in a single-file upon exiting.
- A single conveyor system to handle four different size products
- Accumulation and storage of nearly a thousand products
- Delivery of product in a single-file line; as required for the next process
- All product-change over devices and conveyor from a single supplier
- Acceptance testing at mk North America; allowing for faster integration with into the complete process line