Lip balms, deodorants, cosmetics, candles, car wax, and certain pharmaceuticals are typically filled in a hot liquid state and then cooled to a solid form. Without proper cooling, these heated products can not only cause damage to boxes and other packaging prior to shipping, but they may also present a hazard in the facility due to their heat in some cases. One of the most effective cooling methods for these products is a cooling conveyor, which can combine efficiency with effectiveness in the cooling and packaging of heated products.
Cooling conveyors allow the product to solidify before moving to the end of the production line for capping, packaging, etc. Ultimately, implementing a state-of-the-art cooling conveyor in your production lines can help you get the best results from your operations on a consistent basis.
How Cooling Conveyors Work
There are several different ways in which cooling conveyors can operate. In many conveyors, a series of high-powered internal fans are used to cool the products as they travel along the production line, moving cool air through the belting. By the time products have passed through, they’re suitable for packaging and shipping. Others may use overhead cooling fans that can be integrated with existing conveyor systems, while certain systems may rely on water bath tanks or chilled air to provide rapid cooling. Some conveyors even use larger spiraling systems for heavy-duty applications.
Regardless of the cooling method, these units are typically designed to meet the needs of many types of packaging lines, with customizable settings, sizes, and general designs. The key is finding the appropriate solution for your application from a trustworthy packaging company. Here are five features that you should consider in your next cooling conveyor:
Controls. Cooling conveyors can be customized to meet your packaging system’s needs for heated products, cooling them down within the amount of time they require to help ensure successful packaging. Once some products are heated, it can take a while for them to cool down before they’re suitable for final packaging, which can potentially slow down the entire production line as a result. However, properly controlled cooling conveyors can facilitate handling these products by adjusting the speed and airflow to maximize cooling. This allows the product to solidify preventing the process from taking longer than it needs to.
Size. Make sure that the company you turn to can tailor cooling conveyors to meet your application’s specific needs, because, like with other packaging machines, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution for cooling systems. Companies should offer different widths and lengths, along with complete programmable settings to modify the speed to suit the application. Without these options, you may be stuck with a system that’s incapable of giving you the desired results.
Material. Cooling conveyors should be made with reliable materials, including stainless steel. Conveyors made of inappropriate or incompatible materials can be detrimental to your production line and leave your systems vulnerable to breakdowns along with subsequent downtime that can result in product loss and lost profits.
Be sure to select appropriate materials for your conveyor. Image provided by E-PAK Machinery.
User-Friendly. Cooling conveyors should also include a user-friendly operation to avoid complications for operators, helping them quickly learn how the machine functions along with speed and cooling settings. This can also help with identifying system issues and address them appropriately.
Support. A dependable company will also typically offer complete installation and field service to help maintain these machines. Factory support enables you to get the most out of your investment by increasing production rates, optimizing throughput, and decreasing down time.
Just as you do with other machinery in your packaging systems, you should make sure you get the exact product required to meet your individual needs. The best way to go about finding the right cooling conveyor is to perform research and compare features and determine whether packaging companies can provide you with a dependable solution that can maximize efficiency of operation.
With a top-quality cooling conveyor as part of your production line, you’ll be able to ensure your packaging systems continue to give you the best results.
Krys Beal oversees the inside sales and marketing department at E-PAK Machinery Inc., a manufacturer of inline liquid packaging machinery.