We are now in an age where manufacturers and consumers alike are increasingly conscious about the environmental impact of their actions. One of the effects of a greener philosophy is a push towards using less plastic in everything from shopping bags to water bottles. This posed a unique problem for one of our customers, who used machines to cap plastic bottles. BCA helped this customer adjust to the wave of eco-friendly packages on the market today.
The problem, according to the distributor, was that the newer bottles were too delicate for their equipment. The bottles utilized less plastic, and thus had thinner walls that were easily crushed when their machines reached out to grip and stabilize them. The distributor’s previous supplier was unable to help them solve the issue, so they turned to us for assistance.
Our solution was to develop a bull-nose profile and mold a soft cover made with natural rubber to the back of the belt. Our gripper belts featured a rounded, convex shape that perfectly matched the profile of the plastic bottles. Thanks to the new, rubberized surface, the belts were capable of grabbing and spinning the plastic bottles without crushing them, allowing the machines to apply and torque the caps successfully.
We also improved the design of the machines so that the belts would grip the bottles around the neck, rather than in the middle. The bottle necks were thicker and sturdier than their flimsy, middle portions. This design modification further improved the performance of our gripper belts by minimizing the risk of damage during the bottling process.
BCA was able to provide our customer with an innovative solution for an unusual problem. Our specially-designed gripper belts did not crush the newer, eco-friendly plastic bottles like the customer’s original equipment did. By modifying the position of the belts so that they gripped the bottles at their sturdiest point, we also further minimized the risk of damaged products in the future.