Transferring Products Across a Gap? Why the Simplest Solution Is the Best

Jan 24, 2023 | Equipment

Have you ever heard the story about the search for a pen that could write in space?

During the space race of the 1960s, NASA realized that regular pens, which rely on gravity, don’t work in space. It spent millions of dollars to develop a pressurized pen that astronauts could use in low-gravity environments.

The Russians used a pencil.

It’s a funny story, but it isn’t true — NASA astronauts used pencils, too (albeit costly ones) — but it illustrates our human tendency to overcomplicate things.


Some things are complicated, but not always


We won’t go full Occam’s Razor on you — many problems require complex solutions. But in our decades of helping clients maximize their throughput, we’ve found that the most straightforward solutions often make the most significant difference.


Is there a simpler way to transfer products on the line?


Conveyors are an essential part of production lines, allowing for the efficient and reliable transportation of products. They minimize human error, increase speed, and reduce damage, among other benefits. They are used in many industries for various applications.

Our partner company, Dorner, specializes in conveyor systems for food & beverage processing, pharmaceuticals, home goods, and more. Their conveyors simplify product flow, automation, and other aspects of the line to ensure optimal efficiency. 

There are times, though, when products must be transported from one conveyor to another, requiring a little more forethought to ensure a smooth transition. 

In these cases, you would need to transfer the product from one conveyor to a piece of midstream equipment (ie; a printer, coder) and then to another conveyor. There are multiple ways to make these transfers without shutting down or slowing down your line. But the simplest and most effective is using a gap transporter.


How does a gap transporter work?


Gap transporters do exactly what their name suggests — transport products across a gap. 

They’re commonly used in the personal care industriy, typically for moving products to a printer (e.g., to print a date code or UPC) and then onto a different conveyor. They can also be used for depucking, elevating, spacing, label inspecting, and moving products across large conveyor transfer plates.

Here’s what makes Garvey’s gap transporter the simplest and most effective solution for transporting products from one conveyor to another:

  • It’s a stand-alone piece of equipment and a plug-and-play solution. If you have two conveyors, move the gap transporter into place, plug it in, and turn it on.
  • It has its own motor and fully supported frame.
  • It’s fully adjustable — for height, width, and angle. This is especially useful when one conveyor is higher than the other.

Three reasons why a gap transporter is an effective automated solution for production lines


An article in McKinsey & Company’s 2017 publication, The Great Re-Make: Manufacturing for Modern Times, proposes three criteria for making decisions about automation:

  1. Automation strategy must align with business and operations strategy — meaning it must help companies achieve critical objectives.
  2. Automation programs must start with a clear articulation of the problem — meaning it should be clear precisely what improvements automation can offer.
  3. Automation must show a clear return on investment — meaning don’t  “overspecify, overcomplicate, or overspend.”

Garvey’s gap transporter fits all these criteria — it helps companies achieve the objective of increasing throughput, improves operations by keeping lines running, and is less complicated (and less expensive) than other available solutions.

Want to learn more? Visit our Gap Transporter page or contact us with any questions or to purchase Garvey equipment for your line.