Products that are commonly offered in bags are often filled, sealed, and stacked in a highly automated environment. As we all know, pallets and bags–although uniform in appearance–have many variables.
The product they contain and the material they’re made from can vary greatly, and like most packaged items, marketers and retailers are constantly devising new shapes and materials to optimize their product offerings.
Putting a bag on a pallet and conveying the pallet is a simple enough concept; however, the variations in product must always be kept in mind. Here are five points to remember when using bag palletizing systems:
- Product overhang on the pallet is one consideration that can vary with product and can affect reliable performance of your bag palletizing system. Bags extending beyond the edge of the pallet can reach a mechanical stop before the pallet. This can change where the pallet is positioned when transferred.
- Be sure the chain conveyors that take away product have gap plates to keep pallets from diving into those gaps. The conveyor in the picture to the right does not have any steel plates between the chains. If loads being transported are not properly positioned on the conveyor, they can dive between the chains. As you can see in the picture, the pallet is tipping over and no longer properly aligned.
- Photo sensors need to be arranged and configured so that contrast and shape variations can be accounted for. Laser-based photo eyes can be utilized in these applications for more precise sensing.
- Other aspects that can misalign your pallets or damage products are the guards and brackets on your palletizing conveyor. Any guards or brackets above the conveying surface should be smooth and free of any catch points. Paper bags and film can easily catch on these guards and tear.
- Stretch wrapping bagged product can sometimes be difficult as well. The different contours and gaps can make the film miss the surface of the product. To help with this, make the conveyors reversible. That way loads can be easily re-introduced to the wrapper when needed.
Have a question about pallet conveyor design or simply want more information? Leave a comment below or contact us.