Turning empty beverage crates

At the return of empties by H&B Logistics in the Dutch town of Hertogenbosch, some of the beverage crates are coming lengthwise from the depalletizer and some crosswise. However, the downstream system needs each box to be uniformly aligned transversely. In this way, crates of empties arriving crosswise are passing the turning device untouched. The reusable crates running lengthwise are to be rotated by 90°.

Fast and reliable turning of empty beverage crates

Rotating reusable crates, there are two main issues: performance and reliable, trouble-free, continuous operation at difficult conditions. As the following video shows, our turning system achieves the required performance with two rotating turning tunnels, which grip each crate to be turned from above at high speed and then turns it matching the general conveyor speed. To ensure that every rotated crate leaves the system in line and safely standing, the rotation of the crate is slowed down towards the end of the turning process until it is released.

Our turning systems achieve reliable operation as all mechanical components are operating well above the conveyor. This is particularly important when it comes to the return of empties, where the crates arrive dirty and with broken glass. Sand, labels, shards or other foreign objects from outdoor storage are common, but must not lead to disturbances. A permanent stop and go with constant interventions by the staff reduces performance. Further it becomes expensive in the long run.

How we turn crates on roller conveyors

Our rotating system contributes to smooth operation by reliably handling crates under demanding conditions. Demanding conditions means on conventional roller conveyors. The disadvantage of old roller conveyors is that the rollers are turning differently. The different rolling resistance and uneven running of the rollers due to worn bearings makes crate handling difficult. This shortcoming is compensated for by the rotating tunnel, which reaches from above. As the video top view of the crate turning device shows, the tunnel guides each crate on both sides.

Flat slat chain conveyors and so-called flat top mat chains offer much smoother running than roller conveyors. Their disadvantage is that sand, dirt, shards and any foreign objects remain on the conveyor belt. This leads to high wear with repeated downtimes of the system. Added to this is the cost of conveyor conversion.

Light barriers determine crates running lengthwise and crosswise. A program stored in the converter ensures that the crate moving unsteadily on rollers, is reliably rotated.

Space-saving rotation of beverage crates

The controller with converter for the servo drive can easily be retrofitted to existing systems. Thanks to its functional design, the crate rotator can also be installed at a short installation distance. Even directly behind depalletizers, which unload the crates at a height of three meters, our systems have already been retrofitted on platforms or pedestals without any problems. The frame can be adapted to all conditions for right or left-hand operation. The low weight also makes the crate turner versatile and facilitates assembly. The rotating system, complete with motor, weighs less than 150 kgs.