Glass vials must be stored and buffered after being filled for a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The vials must be separated during an additional step and then transferred to the line prior to being fed for sealing, labelling and scanning. Since the vials have been filled, but not yet sealed, they must be transported in an upright position. Furthermore, the vials must be fed to the sealing unit without pressure due to vial accumulation. The vials range in size with a base diameter between 16 mm to 30 mm. The accumulation table must therefore be compatible with different vial sizes.
A Bi-Flow conveyor which uses modular belt conveyors was designed. The system consists of two opposing belts with two-way product guidance. Due to the amount of available space and number of vials to be stored, this solution was more suitable than a classic rotary table. Customised guides and separators were developed to ensure the smooth transportation of various vial sizes. This ensures that no vials remain on the table if the vial size is changed and that the entire batch is transferred.