Packaging line conveyor rails change over in seconds not hours

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

September 26, 2019

No expensive servos. No time-consuming and labor-intensive manual detents. Guess what enables the mere-seconds changeover on the new Auto Adjust Rails?

Seen yesterday at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2019, the Auto Adjust Rails from Morrison Container Handling Solutions use pneumatic air to position container guide rails on an entire packaging line in about 30 seconds, says Morrison inside sales representative Seth Licke. This compares to the typical two- to three-hour job to reset guide rails on a full line. The return on investment of this short changeover can immediately be recognized in both personnel savings and increased product output.

Air pressure provides the motion to reposition the rails to within +/- 1 millimeter for bottles or +/- 5mm for cases (on each side). The stroke of the cyclinders on either side is between 3 and 6 inches to accommodate a range of size adjustments, in and out, for up to 43 different stock-keeping units (SKUs)—up to 8 inches for containers or up to 12 inches for cases.

Especially helpful for packaging lines running shaped containers is the ability to add a second positioner so you can also adjust the vertical positions of the rails. This means the top rails can be at a different width than the bottom rails, to better hold bottles with necks narrower than their bases, for example.

While pneumatic air is used to position/reposition the rails, the corresponding human/machine interface (HMI) and control panel are electric.

And it’s the quantity of air—specifically 90 psi max—that is more important for rail positioning performance than the quality of the air, according to Licke. The company explains in a press release: “The hassle of supplying constant air pressure disappears because, with this system, users only supply air pressure to create the needed positioning. The HMI will hold the set position, no need for operators to walk the line for repositioning.”

Another big benefit: No spare parts list.


MinnPack 2019 (Oct. 23-24; Minneapolis) is where serious packaging professionals find technologies, education and connections needed to thrive in today’s advanced manufacturing community. See solutions in labeling, food packaging, package design and beyond. Attend free expert-led sessions at multiple theaters around the expo.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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