PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013, Sept. 23-25 in Las Vegas Convention Center, was this year’s most comprehensive processing and packaging event in North America, with more than 1,750 exhibitors and over 27,500 attendees, making it the largest PACK EXPO show since the event first opened in 1995.
The show, which is produced by PMMI, the Reston, Va.-based association for packaging and processing technologies, featured 700,000 net square feet of solutions—equipment, materials, components and services—to advance your business and innovate across the line.
Here’s a rundown of what new equipment, systems and solutions made their debut at this year’s PACK EXPO.
Sanitary Washdown Auger Filler
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Sturtevant, Wis., debuted its new Sanitary Washdown Auger Filler, which can be washed down with FDA-approved cleaning agents at a water temperature of 160°F and water pressure of up to 250 PSI. This Sanitary Washdown Auger Filler prevents product corruption from outside sources, as all mechanical connections and potential catch points are located outside the product contact area. Additionally, the fillers have angled surfaces, a sloping shroud and a dome-shaped hopper cover to allow any fluids to drain away from the machine.
Spee-Dee also displayed its Servo Drive Volumetic Cup Fillers. With four 6-inch diameter x 10-foot tall cups, Volumetic Cup Fillers are ideal for dispensing free-flowing dry products such as beans, rice and cereal. Spee-Dee’s cup fillers come with the ability to quickly change different cup sizes to accommodate the density and weight standards of multiple products, so customers can keep their lines operational and filling longer.
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc.
Iso-Flo Vibratory Conveyor
Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., introduced a new standard Iso-Flo conveyor and hygienic options for all other Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors.
New hygienic features that enhance the Iso-Flo conveyor’s sanitary design include oil-free electric vibrating motors, an innovative patent-pending vector lock screen clamp, elastomer isolators, scalloped flat bars, plate frame design and a unique internal ground arm. Iso-Flo conveyors also include a choice of stainless-steel bed finishes that resist bacteria growth and are easy to clean, as well as long-lasting StrongArm spring arms that minimize maintenance.
These Standard Utility Shakers are ideal conveying, grading, product distribution on processing and packaging lines, product alignment, fines removal, scalping, inspection and more in plants producing meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and bakery products as well as fruits, vegetables and potato strips.
Iso-Flo’s new energy unit is an oil-free electric vibrating motor that, compared to traditional mechanical drives, eliminates the gear box, drive belts and motor oil from the process. This new out-of-balance motor inherently improves equipment hygiene by eliminating the oil that can inadvertently contaminate product, especially when the equipment is mounted over other equipment.
The new vector lock screen clamp features a unique hybrid design that enables it to perform multiple functions simultaneously. This patent-pending mechanism, used to secure an Iso-Flo conveyor’s screen in place, is easier to open and close. It allows an operator to lock and unlock a screen with one hand and requires no tools to swap out screens. Compared to traditional locks, this hybrid does not lose pressure over time— it won’t rattle, even when in the open position, or leak. It helps keep floors dry to improve worker safety and enhance sanitation.
Other new Iso-Flo features eliminate laminations and enclosed hollow bodies that can harbor bacteria. Scalloped flat bars are continuously welded, replacing skip welding. The new plate frame replaces traditional tube frames and elastomer isolators replace coil spring isolators that can trap product and rust. The new isolator brackets feature an “easy slide out” capability that enables the processor to remove isolators during maintenance without a forklift. The new internal ground arm replaces a traditional ground strap that is prone to breakage and can cause product to hang up. Equipment stickers, which can flake and fall into product zones, are eliminated.
Key Technology also introduced Taurys, the next generation of digital laser sorters.
The new sort engine enables the fusion of multiple sensor characteristics into a single sort decision. This “fusion sorting” capability differs from traditional food sorting that makes sort decisions based on the product attributes collected by each sensor separately. The fusion of data creates a higher contrast for more accurate differentiation of good products from defects and foreign material.
Faster data processing allowed the patented Chycane infeed chute to be reengineered to maximize control of the product. Compared to traditional waterfall sorters, the Chycane chute enhances product stability to produce a more consistent trajectory through the inspection and ejection zones. This increases removal of defects and foreign material and reduces false rejects resulting in improved product quality.
Taurys eliminates the transmission of analog laser signals, which are prone to signal degradation and data loss. Taurys is not affected by noise or interference, which enables this sorter to identify finer details and remove smaller defects and foreign material. Additionally, the sorter’s laser scanner, which typically operates at 12,000 rpm (revolutions per minute), is now able to operate up to 24,000 rpm to increase inspection resolution and identify even smaller defects and foreign material. This high-performance chute-fed sorter is ideal for nuts, dried fruit, frozen fruits and vegetables and other products such as fresh-cut produce and more.
Key Technology, Inc.
Horizontal Flow Wrapper, VFFS, Vertical Bagger
Bosch Packaging Technology, Raleigh, N.C., presented several new technologies designed for easy integration with existing Bosch technology.
For starters, Bosch showcased two new entry-level solutions for small- to mid-sized businesses looking to automate their packaging. The new Pack 101 horizontal flow wrapper offers what is said to be the widest product size range currently available on wrappers of comparable price points. The machine features a low-maintenance, all-servo-motor design that has the flexibility to facilitate quick and easy setup and changeovers, while reducing product and film waste during operation.
The second new entry-level solution is the SVI 2600, a vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) machine, which features servo-driven cross-sealing units, vacuum-film belts and Beckhoff/Rexroth controls. The intermittent motion bagger can produce pillow, gusseted and block bottom bags at rates of up to 120 bags per minute and is available with options such as hole punch and gas flushing.
In addition, Bosch displayed the SVE 2520, a continuous-motion vertical bagger upgraded with new Allen-Bradley controls. These enhancements facilitate a more straightforward software design for easy troubleshooting and optimized motion profiles for smoother machine running and enhanced overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). The SVE 2520 follows the standard industry programming structure—OMAC PackML. The machine also features Bosch’s standard human machine interface (HMI) layout with intuitive icon-based navigation for easy operation and short training time.
The new case packer—the CCM 3100—features a highly flexible design capable of three-dimensional changeovers between both horizontal (lay flat) and vertical (stand-up) bag presentations in less than 20 minutes. The CCM can handle a large range of bag and case sizes to ensure that manufacturers will be able to meet current and future needs with minimal additional investment.
Bosch, in cooperation with its partner Rotzinger AG, Germany, introduced a new product distribution system—the Transver SDP. Ideal for companies seeking to automate their packaging lines, the Transver SDP features a modular depositing pull-nose station designed for fully automated format changeovers and simple adjustment to product-specific characteristics. In addition, the modular design of the station supports easy maintenance and cleaning. The non-contact belt system operates without side guides, ensuring high product quality, even for sticky and fragile food products, such as muffins, soft biscuits and irregularly-shaped baked goods. The Transver SDP can be easily integrated upstream into existing packaging lines, giving manufacturers the benefit of a single-source solution supplier. An easy-to-clean stainless-steel frame withstands cleaning solvents and processes. In addition, double wing doors allow full access. Other hygienic elements include the hybrid signal and power cables to minimize wiring and speed up equipment installation. The Transver SDP also features a fast automatic changeover in less than five seconds by simply switching the software recipes. This ensures repeatability, minimal downtime and maximum product flexibility. The new design also supports easy maintenance, enabling belt changes in as little as 10 minutes.
The Pack 101 horizontal flow wrapper is an entry-level solution that is said to offer the widest size range available for a flow wrapper of its class. The Pack 101 comes with an all-servo motor design that enables quick and easy setup and changeovers. It also maximizes product and film usage during production, while offering low maintenance costs. The Pack 101’s fully adjustable former and multiple cutting head sizes permit a wide range of products to be packaged on a single machine, reducing the need for future investment and giving manufacturers the ability to quickly adapt to changing market demands. Designed for the packaging of bakery and prepared foods, among other applications, this machine is ideal for businesses needing a flexible solution that accommodates multiple products.
The SVC 4020 is said to be the first machine in a hygienic and flexible vertical packaging machine platform. Ideal for fresh and frozen food packaged in pillow bags, as well as mixed salads, cheese and protein, it is designed with simplicity, versatility and cleanability, focusing on hygienic design to help manufacturers meet diverse food handling regulations. Composed of a stainless-steel frame, an electric cabinet incorporated within the machine frame reduces the number and length of cords and cables. Quick and tool-less format changeovers reduce downtime. The platform technology accommodates multiple bag styles, including pillow, side gusseted, stand-up, corner seal and doy, with various re-close and easy opening features in different sizes up to 400 millimeters.
Bosch Packaging Technology
Pneumatic Device for Air-Driven Vacuum Pumps
Piab, Hingham, Mass., introduced piSAVE optimize, a vacuum-controlled proportional pressure regulator for air-driven pumps and ejectors.
piSAVE optimize senses the vacuum level in the system. The feed pressure of the compressed air to the vacuum pump/ejector is automatically regulated and controlled to maintain the set vacuum level. The vacuum level is kept constant in this manner, and the air/energy usage is kept to a minimum for the application (optimized).
piSAVE optimize provides maximum feed pressure/vacuum flow to the vacuum pump until the vacuum level starts to build up. This means no reduction on the initial amount of flow or pickup speed in handling applications. The unit reacts quickly to changes in compressed air pressure or to changes in the degree of leakage into the vacuum system to maintain the set vacuum level.
Available as a stand-alone unit with a simple connection for any air-driven vacuum pump as well as a click-on version to Piab’s piCLASSIC & Classic lines of vacuum pumps, the desired vacuum level is easily set by an adjustment knob on the unit.
The OPTIMA CMF cartoner from OPTIMA Machinery Corp., Green Bay, Wis., forms and sets up folding boxes, fills them horizontally or vertically with products and then closes the folding boxes. Products with a complex shape or several components are inserted and transported quickly and securely by the OPTIMA CMF cartoner. This cartoner also processes the folding boxes with angles, and with or without an inner carton.
The CMF cartoner has two pick-and-place systems and numerous servo drives. The maximum output is 200 products per minute. Thanks to servo technology and quick-acting closures, format changes can be carried out within five minutes.
OPTIMA Machinery Corp.
Vision Inspection System
METTLER TOLEDO CI-Vision, Aurora, Ill., showcased the new V6300 vision inspection system, which combines thorough product inspection with maximum production throughput and convenient installation. It is extremely flexible, adapting its physical structure, number of cameras and lights to meet the specific needs of each production line it is installed on.
The V6300 provides a machine vision solution that supports up to five cameras and powerful software that can perform multiple inspections of a target package simultaneously—for ID/OD, ovality, gross formation defects, label positioning, label quality, closure application, fill level, 1D and 2D bar codes, graphical presence and quality and the presence and verification of alphanumeric codes.
The V6300 quickly adapts to higher speeds and product changeovers to ensure that 100% of the products leaving a facility have been inspected for defects. The V6300 can be programmed to send automatic shutdown signals to the production line after a set number of consecutive or patterned failures. The V6300 runs on CI-Vision’s CIVCore software, which analyzes high-resolution images at speeds of up to 1,000 parts per minute (ppm). The touch-screen menu enables rapid product changeovers—four touches of the screen accomplish the preprogrammed changes of lights and cameras to inspect new parts. The software’s architecture enables training new parts quickly and adding new inspections without sacrificing production time. The software stores all trained parts for easy retrieval, and stores images of rejected items for later review. A statistics suite allows manufacturers to track failure rates and identify process weaknesses.
The V6300 is available in a kit configuration, including the control terminal, lights, lenses, cameras and product tracking sensor suite, or the V6300 Rapid Fit, which includes the Rapid Fit frame system, allowing for quick installation around the production line. The Rapid Fit frame bars can be cut to any length and quickly assembled, and adjustable camera mounts simplify adjustment for different package sizes. The around-the-line design means that manufacturers need not reconfigure their existing production line to install the V6300, and the installation process can take as little as an hour. Custom solutions are available for unique line configurations.
METTLER TOLEDO CI-Vision, a subsidiary of Mettler-Toledo Inc.
Carton Chiller and Freezer
GEA Refrigeration North America, York, Pa., presented a couple freezing solutions for applications in the food and beverage industry.
The GEA HVF high-velocity freezer (HVF), for example, freezes hamburger patties, crust and other flat products. The high-velocity air nozzles enable quick penetration of the border layers that surround the product, and rapidly reduce the temperature at the outer layer. With its modular design, the GEA HVF freezer reduces the time required for freezing by approximately 10-15%. This means that the food loses less liquid and remains fresh longer. This GEA system also comes with one or two conveyor belts, with two different adjustable speeds.
Meanwhile, the GEA I-VRT tunnel freezer for cartons features variable retention time, and enables the processing of various product sizes and types with different chilling and freezing profiles. Product throughput is variable, from 4,500 to 41,000 kg per hour, and the retention time can be individually adapted to the respective mass of the products. Powerful fans assure the required velocity and distribution of the air flow, as well as for efficient heat transfer. This flexibility assures that the GEA I-VRT can be completely integrated into the production process.
GEA Refrigeration North America
Aseptic Filler for Bag-in-Box
Scholle Packaging, Northlake, Ill., introduced their new SureFill aseptic filler for bag-in-box. The Scholle SureFill combines advanced bag-in-box filling technologies for bag size and fitment versatility, superior throughput rates, quick changeovers, longer run periods between cleanup and enhanced product and operator safety.
The Scholle SureFill utilizes peroxide vapor to sterilize the fitment during aseptic processing, providing brand and consumer security from production to consumption.
Belt Drive Actuators
MISUMI USA, Schaumburg, Ill., introduced its new MSA Series Belt Drive Actuators. Designed to optimize performance and reliability, the MSA Series Actuators can be configured to carry loads up to 500 pounds, with travel speeds ranging from 1,200 to 10,000 mm per second, and standard lengths up to 6.25 meters, with custom lengths upon request.
The pulleys feature precision-machined one-piece steel construction, nickel plated for durability and corrosion protection, and an integral shaft for superior strength. The tough timing belts are made of specialty steel cords molded into highly flexible polyurethane material to protect against damage and deformation. All MSA Series Actuator models have been extensively tested over tens of millions of cycles with no failures and all have a repeatability of +/-25 µm or better.
The line includes the following models:
MSA-14S and MSA-14H. Features an extremely versatile cart design built from rugged extruded aluminum framing. Precision track rollers that ride on hard chrome rails provide reliable accuracy and load carrying capacity and can be configured in length for a wide range of industrial machine applications.
MSA-PSC. The plastic glide cart features an injection-molded, glass-reinforced polymer carriage and is designed to work well with light-duty loads.
MSA-135. Has aninternal needle bearing roller carriage with an enclosed drive belt, and is excellent for moving heavy hanging loads.
MSA-628 and MSA-M6S. Features an economical track roller and chrome rail system that handles light to medium loads with superior accuracy and repeatability. The carriage is machined from a solid block of aluminum.
MSA-NBC. Features a roller cart assembly carriage designed with durable plastic tires surrounding needle bearings for smooth operation in medium-duty and accuracy applications.
MSA-R20. Provides profile rail guidance for actuators requiring higher precision accuracy and optimum load carrying capacity. Available in single and dual rail system designs.
MISUMI USA, Inc., a subsidiary of MISUMI Corp.