How do products get properly spaced for weighing or labeling?
Proper product spacing is vital to ensuring reliable operation of downline equipment such as conveyor scales, checkweighers and labeling systems.
Conveyor Scale – proper product spacing ensures only one package is on the scale at a time. If two packages are simultaneously on the scale, an incorrect weight can result.
Checkweigher – A checkweigher is essentially a conveyor scale with a divert so the same incorrect weight situation will arise as with a conveyor scale. However, the divert may reject a package that is actually within the proper weight range.
Labeling System – Proper product spacing ensures that labels can be formatted, printed and applied to the box before the next one arrives.
So how exactly does an indexer work?
A supply conveyor transports boxes with inconsistent spacing. The boxes move onto the Indexer, which has a conveyor section that will drop down allowing boxes to accumulate against a Bulkhead. (This conveyor section has unique roller belting that allows the conveyor to continuously turn while boxes accumulate on top of the belt.)
A sensor (not shown) detects a space is available, the Drop Down Conveyor section will then rise allowing a box to advance unobstructed. The Infeed Conveyor, which moves faster than the Drop Down Conveyor, will grab the first box (A) propelling it forward to create a gap between the trailing box (T).
The Drop Down Conveyor will quickly lower again causing the boxes to accumulate against the bulkhead. Once the sensor (not shown) detects a gap, the indexer will rise, once again, and let another box advance. This is how an Indexer controls box spacing to ensure only one box is on the scale at a time.
Conclusion: Indexers are vital product handling equipment that can make your entire operation more efficient and reduce manual labor.