Packaging Line Design and Flow

Debunk the complexity of a packaging line.


Packaging, Equipment, FIFO, Vee Curve, Conveyors, Accumulation


In this presentation, particular attention will be given to conveyors, accumulation, and their impact on the packaging line.

The content expert reviews the basic types of case conveyors and the proper rail designs and dimensions to use on bottle conveyors; the number of containers and conveyors' speeds are taken into consideration.

Accumulation of containers on conveyors is explained as its main goals are to ensure safety, proper machine cycling, and overall line efficiencies.

Finally, the requirements for a cost-effective operation, and how these may impact your packaging operation or design of a packaging line are discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Choose the best-case conveyor for each application
  • Choose the best conveyor layout and rail designs to minimize down bottles and label damage
  • Understand the impact of proper rail dimensions for both single file container handling and mass flow
  • Calculate rail dimensions, containers per unit length, and speed in containers per minute
  • Determine a conveyors available “accumulation”
  • Understand the different needs for accumulation
  • Understand the Vee curve concept; the critical machine; and how accumulation is then applied
  • Discuss FIFO, other forms of accumulation, and what makes a cost-effective packaging operation

Lecture developed by

Tom Rutledge

Tom started his career in plant operations at Labatt Breweries, where he trained for several years in brewing, packaging, maintenance and quality. He moved to Labatt’s Engineering department as a project manager, and then specialized in product development as a Packaging Development Engineer.

Tom has worked for many years with material suppliers and packaging equipment manufacturers to develop new packages and improve the quality of the existing ones. He holds several patents on packaging and packaging equipment, and even has one in brewing.

Tom was one of the original 4 industry committee members that established the bottle design and technical agreement for the Canadian beer industry standard mold bottle. Tom chaired the technical committee that governed this agreement for many years, and he still helps audit new suppliers of the bottle.

With InterBrew Tom became the Global Technical Services Coordinator for packaging, and then became the North American Manager of Packaging, Cooling & Dispense Equipment Development for InBev. Tom is now retired but consults part time within the exciting world of beer packaging.

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Enroll options

Lecture Duration (Narration)
95 minutes

Online Access to Lecture
10 days from time of purchase

Lecture Level


Lecture Duration
95 minutes

Online Access to Lecture
10 days from time of purchase



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