Sorting and Orienting Tea Boxes by UPC - System Spotlight

This system was designed to sort out different variety of teas so that the same tea type is in a dedicated lane for case packing. Shuttleworth's Slip-Torque® conveyor technology was used for this application because of its gentle handling qualities. Cartons are introduced to the system in two lanes with the bar code edge leading. The overhead mounted scanner scans the barcode to determine which lane the carton is diverted. With up to 8 different types of tea being packaged at the same time, a series of diverts directs the cartons to the appropriate lane. The cartons are then oriented to the up position allowing them to be in the proper orientation for feeding the case packer. Multi-lane conveying and accumulation is easily accomplished with overhead mounted guides keeping the lanes separated. With the unique design of the slip-torque conveyor, rollers underneath the product stop during accumulation. This reduces or eliminates scuffing of the product surface that you typically see from conventional mat top or belt conveyors that continue to move under the product during accumulation. When accumulating in multiple lanes only the rollers in a lane that is backed up, stop under the product, letting the cartons in the other lanes continue to convey forward. As the packages accumulate behind a pneumatic product stop located in each lane, the in-surface mounted sensors tell the system controller when there are enough cartons of the same type in a lane to fill a case. When each lane has enough product to the fill a case, the lane is released. When the stop is lowered, a speed change is utilized to create a gap between packages as they pass over the sensors and product stops. This gap allows the stop to be raised at any time between packages. A second set of diverters puts the same type of tea cartons into two lanes providing the proper pattern for feeding the case packer.