PACK EXPO International, the most comprehensive event for packaging and processing in North America, took place Nov. 2-5 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Co-produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va., and The Institute for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), Tampa, Fla., PACK EXPO and Pharma Expo together covered 1.15 million net square feet of exhibit space with 2,000 exhibitors and some 50,000 attendees.
Here is where cold food industry brands found innovative ideas and technologies designed to comply with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules, improve efficiency and productivity and make a bigger impact at retail. Check out the rundown of new equipment, systems and solutions introduced at this year’s PACK EXPO.
VERTICAL Z, FOOD-GRADE CONVEYORS
Dynamic Conveyor, Muskegon, Mich., introduced a vertical z-style conveyor, featuring an open design for easier cleaning.
Custom designed to desired height, the z conveyor comes with a variety of belt styles, including solid-surface ThermoDrive and plastic link-style belting. Drive flight options include standard, 75-degree and scoop flights. The z conveyor accepts product from a vibratory feeder or can act as a stand-alone or be attached to hoppers for bulk product feeding.
Dynamic Conveyor unveiled its Eriez Xtreme metal detector option for its DynaClean food-grade conveyors. The user-friendly interface was modeled after today’s advanced smartphones. Highlights include full QWERTY keyboard, robust auto setup, dedicated reject log and vivid display. The metal detector offers superior sensitivity with multiple frequency range and vibration immunity. An integrated beacon and configurable inputs and outputs enable easy installation. Multiple metal detector conveyors can be remotely monitored and controlled from a single PC, enabling users to monitor, analyze and update each system, as if the operator was standing at each machine.
HIGH-SPEED, ALL-SERVO HORIZONTAL CARTONER
PMI Cartoning, Elk Grove Village, Ill., showcased its high-speed, all-servo, horizontal end-load cartoner.
The HS family of horizontal cartoners can reach speeds up to 350 cartons per minute, depending on the application, and is available in continuous or intermittent motion. Its versatility allows the HS to handle a variety of products, including food, beverage and confectionery, among others.
Superior product control during carton loading is achieved via overhead compression and articulating in-feed buckets with integral pusher heads. As with all PMI machines, the HS is built to last, adheres to Category 3 Safety compliance and is available in washdown configuration with welded stainless-steel base frame.
Other system features include enclosed gear drives, gentle product transfer from filling machine to cartoner, servo-driven rotary carton set-up, articulated product buckets, Nordson hot melt glue system and Rockwell Automation controls.
QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR PACKAGING MATERIALS
Agr International, Inc., Butler, Pa., featured its latest products for quality management and process control for the packaging industry.
TheProcess Pilot automated blowmolder management system interfaces with the blowmolder to provide precise material thickness distribution management and defect detection for PET bottles while offering hands-off blowmolder control. This system offers bottle producers the ability to aggressively light weight bottles to the absolute minimum while providing the confidence that material is distributed appropriately. The Process Pilot system makes it possible to produce consistent high-quality bottles on a 24/7 basis regardless of operator skills, environmental changes and pre-form variations. Other benefits include improved quality with reduced variation in top load and volume, production efficiencies that result from eliminating the need for section weights as well as reduced scrap and lower incidences of downtime in the blowing operation or filling line due to quality issues.
The M-RULE shelf-life prediction model is a web-based, shelf-life predictive tool that operates by integrating the fundamentals of permeation with critically evaluated physical data. The incorporation of the M-RULE model in the Agr PPT3000 and Pilot Profiler systems makes it possible to monitor and manage bottle shelf life at the time of production. The M-RULE works on the premise that if every bottle were identical, the shelf life would be equally identical. However, if one parameter changes, then the shelf-life performance would also change. The M-RULE gives the means to monitor how these changing conditions affect shelf-life performance and the opportunity to take the corrective action necessary to ensure that all production meets defined shelf-life goals.
Agr International, Inc.
OPP, PET, METALLIZED & BIO-BASED FILMS
Toray Plastics (America), Inc., North Kingstown, R.I., featured a plethora of new high-barrier flexible packaging materials and creative packaging solutions, including ultra-thin, ultra-high-barrier BOPP; heat-sealable metallized BOPP; an expanded line of advanced PET lidding films; sealant technologies; metallized PET; PVdC-free and solvent-free films and bio-based films.
New introductions include:
- An expanded and enhanced line of LumiLid brand of dual-ovenable polyester lidding films, which meet FDA standards and may be used with oven temperatures of up to 400°F for 30 minutes. LumiLid films incorporate specialty performance film and sealant layers, delivering specified performance and seal-strength characteristics. They are available in clear, white or metallized options for refrigerated and frozen side dishes and entrées.
- New Torayfan CBS2 film, an environment-conscious, PVdC-free, clear, high-oxygen- and moisture-barrier BOPP film designed for use as the inside sealant web for the packaging of bakery items, fruit and confections, among others.
- New Torayfan PC5 metallized BOPP film, an ultra-high oxygen- and moisture- barrier film usable in tri-laminations as a foil replacement and as an overwrap lamination or wrapper. PC5 film is a durable replacement for foil in a typical paper/PE/foil/PE packaging structure. In addition, it is ideally suited for use as the inner barrier web of a tri-lamination in gas-flushed, stand-up or flat pouches and can also be used as a cold-seal layer and as part of a lamination for high-quality overwraps.
- New Torayfan MWX6 metallized, bright white cavitated BOPP film, designed with a proprietary, "ultra-barrier" layer on one side for superior moisture barrier and excellent oxygen barrier functionality. The other side is an improved hermetic, heat-sealable layer. New MWX6 film can be used as a mono-web or a lamination.
Toray Plastics (America), Inc.
PRODUCT INSPECTION SYSTEMS
The METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Group, Tampa, Fla., exhibited a number of new inspection systems.
For example, the new Safeline x-ray inspection system features a low-energy generator for packaged or bulk products with customized material handling options. The X36 Series detects all types of dense physical contaminants and simultaneously checks the integrity of the product and seal, measures mass and counts components.
The new C3000 series of checkweighers delivers a throughput and accuracy increase of 33% for less waste in a flexible, space-saving design.
Also new is a complete serialization and aggregation system for applying and confirming the presence and validity of serialization and traceability codes. This system generates, applies and confirms the readability and legitimacy of codes throughout the aggregation process, from individual cartons through to shipping cases.
Furthermore, the XS2 checkweigher system combines a broad array of conveyor size choices with electromagnetic force restoration (EMFR) weigh cell technology to enable customers to choose the most effective checkweighing performance for a wide variety of applications. The XS2 is suitable for weighing products up to 600 grams with production rates of up to 400 packages per minute. Its compact configuration enables it to be integrated easily into existing production lines. The 15-inch user interface displays all pertinent information at a glance, including line height adjustment, reversible travel direction and continuous belt speed control. The XS controller uses an industrial PC with Windows XPe operating system to provide intuitive, menu-driven navigation, a 200-product memory, five weight classification zones and a multi-level, password-protected security system.
METTLER TOLEDO also demonstrated its ProdX data collection system, which facilitates the collection and storage of production data across multiple lines and facilities. All data is easily accessible and exportable to other systems, facilitating compliance with all regulatory requirements.
New in 2015 is METTLER TOLEDO’s CIVCore, an improved vision inspection system that allows for integration with other systems on the packaging line using an OPC server and PackTags. New features include expandable database storage via Postgre SQL, allowing customers to store additional information. Also, an improved interface allows faster navigation and improved product tracking controls make for a straightforward graphical representation of the tracking layout. Its double-blind data entry confirms the right codes are entered during product changeovers, and its anti-circumvention technology knows when an unauthorized user attempts to bypass the vision system. Additionally, a stored failure images tool allows users to see exactly which defects caused product rejection.
METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Group
ROBOTIC MIXED-LOAD ORDER FULFILLMENT SOLUTION
Intelligrated’s latest advancements in robotic integration offer manufacturers and distributors increased flexibility and deliver greater fulfillment efficiency.
The Mason, Ohio-based manufacturer introduced the next generation of robotic mixed-load palletizing, delivering increased speed and product handling flexibility with end-of-arm tooling that can handle multiple case sizes in a single pick. This integrated solution is ideal for direct-to-retail manufacturers looking to satisfy increasing demands by retailers for less-than-full pallet loads of mixed products and retail-ready display pallet loads.
An autonomous mobile robot transports the loads to a vision-guided robotic mixed-load depalletizing station to complete the loop. Intelligrated’s suite of Alvey robotic mixed-load order fulfillment solutions utilize the latest advancements in robotic integration, configurable end-of-arm tooling, advanced software, controls and vision technology to automate virtually any mixed case requirement.
HORIZONTAL FLOW WRAPPERS
Bosch Packaging Technology, New Richmond, Wis., debuted a team of machines, including complete systems’ competence, Pack Series of horizontal flow wrappers and vertical packaging and robotics technologies.
For example, Bosch showcased two high-speed Seamless Systems. From product handling to case packing, the speed of all line components is balanced to eliminate bottlenecks, minimize downtime and maximize product flow, which optimizes overall equipment effectiveness. The company’s enhanced blow-fill-seal (BFS) packaging line with hybrid sealing technology includes the North American debut of the TTMC case packer, which handles both regular slotted and half slotted cases (RSC and HSC, respectively).
The Module++ lines, which link the company’s proven standard modules for customized processing and packaging solutions, encompass complete packaging lines, from product distribution and feeding to primary packaging and end-of-line cartoning, as well as case packing with the flexible CCM 3100 case packer.
Its new roller former—the WRF 600—features working width adjustment during production without machine stops. Also new is the Elematic 3001, a wrap-around case packer with improved ergonomics for increased workplace safety.
The Pack Series of horizontal flow wrappers range from entry-level models to fully automated technologies. For small- to mid-sized businesses, the entry-level Pack 101 is said to offer the widest product size range currently available, with quick and easy set-up and changeovers.
The Pack 401, a higher speed wrapper, is designed for full automation with options such as integrating with advanced feeding technology, automatic film splicing and product inspection and rejection technology. The Pack 401 is available as stand-alone equipment or can be easily combined with other packaging machines, such as Delta robotics, secondary packaging, product handling and various infeed technology for complete solutions. The Pack series also includes inverted wrappers for soft, difficult-to-handle products and multi-pack items, as well as long-dwell wrappers for hermetically sealed packages.
Created for enhanced hygiene, Bosch‘s SVC platform is a new hygienic and flexible vertical packaging machine solution. Designed with simplicity, versatility and cleanability in mind, the platform is now available with ultrasonic sealing technology, which can be applied to all Bosch vertical baggers. The SVC platform is completely customizable to meet critical hygienic levels, and is available for dry and wet cleaning, as well as in washdown configuration. The SVC features a rust-resistant, stainless-steel frame that also withstands harsh cleansers. A streamlined design creates a clutter-free workspace, with the electric cabinet incorporated within the machine frame and a reduced number and length of cords and cables.
To address the growing demand for enhanced ease of use and hygienic design, Bosch highlighted its latest robotics advancements, including a Paloma Delta robot feeding into a primary packaging flow wrapper and a Presto Delta robot placing products into secondary packaging. The Paloma features the new GD33 Delta robot arm and an open-frame design for expedited cleaning and simplified operations.
To demonstrate the advantages of re-manufactured equipment, original spare parts and individual production improvements, Bosch displayed a completely overhauled Doboy horizontal wrapper, which was dismantled and reassembled with re-finished components and new hardware.
Bosch also showcased its complete systems competence, from processing to primary and secondary packaging to end-of-line technologies. For example, two high-speed Seamless Systems feature a streamlined design for OEE. The speed of all line components is balanced to eliminate bottlenecks, minimize downtime and optimize product flow. In addition, the Seamless Systems are designed for ease of use, with the same look and feel across the entire line. This makes operation as simple as using a single machine, reducing the risk of operator error and increasing uptime.
For ultimate versatility and adaptability, Bosch’s Module++ lines integrate the company’s modular machines for adaptable and scalable end-to-end line solutions. From processing through case packaging, Module++ allows for easy upgrades for manufacturers either taking their first steps with automation or bringing automation to the next level.
Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc.
HIGH-SPEED, AUTOMATIC LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM
JLS Automation, York, Pa., launched its latest subset of PIVT (package integrity validation technologies) system, which utilizes vacuum, vision and other sensor technologies to detect seal contamination, leaks and pinholes that lead to the loss of package integrity.
PIVTcan detect leaks at high speeds and is ideal for packages that contain a brine or juice such as sausages, hot dogs and sliced luncheon meats. Future iterations are targeted at cheese and bacon packages.
This enabling technology allows a robot to identify a leaky package at line speeds up to 160 packages per minute and reject when/where appropriate.
WATER-SOLUBLE POUCH MACHINE
Cloud Packaging Equipment, Des Plaines, Ill., exhibited its Robert's IMP 1500 and Cloud Hydroforma water soluble pouch machine, designed to fill large pre-made stand-up bags with water soluble pouches of detergent that have been previously filled and sealed using the Hydroforma.
Water soluble pouches travel up in an inclined bucket conveyor system and are weighed in a scale. They then drop through the Roberts IMP 1500’s traveling funnels. Baffles are placed in the funnel to slow the products’ descent to help eliminate product bridging.
The IMP 1500 handles many sizes and styles of pre-made pouches, including reclosable, stand-up bags. It fills and seals bags ranging from a few ounces to club store sizes of over 12 pounds. Package and product changeovers can be accomplished in 20 minutes.
Cloud Packaging Equipment
FOOD PACKAGING INSPECTION MACHINE
Luceo Inspection Worldwide, Houston, Texas, presented its new generation of ThermoSecure L, a food packaging inspection machine that detects and rejects all packaging with poor quality sealing and labeling or marking errors.
Designed in accordance with food safety requirements, this fully stainless-steel chassis features inclined planes for the drainage of washing water. The new machine contains no glass parts, and is EHEDG-certified. The automatic change of packaging format is operated by a motorized system with no manual settings required. During the cleaning phases, the conveyor belts can be removed in under a minute without tools.
The ThermoSecure also archives important production data and images to prevent re-work operations on defective packaging, complaints or even product recalls due to packaging integrity problems. ThermoSecure is installed either at the end of the line after the weighing and metal detection stations or in a white room with an IP66 sealing index when the final inspection must be as close as possible to the sealing.
Luceo Inspection Worldwide
VFFS BAGGER WITH ENHANCED SANITATION FEATURES
Chicago-based Triangle Package Machinery introduced Model XYS08 bagger, a high-speed, compact bagging machine designed to package nuts, small fresh-cut produce and confectionery products. Features include an improved frame design and a more streamlined film cage, updated controls and larger control enclosure, optional adjustable HMI, increased corrosion protection and other sanitation features and quick changeover of forming tubes, film rolls and sealing jaws, which allows users to change from supported to unsupported film in less than 15 minutes and multiple bag sizes at speeds up to 150 bags per minute.
The new Flex1 cartoner can load single- or twin-pack packages at speeds up to 100 cartons per minute, offering quick changeover, gentle product handling, improved efficiency and lower production costs. Plus, it’s able to run various carton sizes with quick, tool-less 3D changeovers in less than 20 minutes to full production. Additional features include the elimination of the barrel-loader assembly for reduced complexity, lower maintenance and reduced product breakage and servo drives for intermittent motion control, thus eliminating the need to synchronize bagger and cartoner. It’s designed for bag-in-box applications as well as individually-quick frozen (IQF) products or trays (HMR kits).
The XYT bagger is designed for 4-corner, flat-bottom bags features a flat bottom, crisp corner seals and optional offset back seal, which provides a clean space at the back of the package for additional graphics. For many products, such as IQF poultry or specialty items, the stand-up bags also offer improved sustainability and material savings, as they eliminate the need for a cardboard carton. Model XYT15 can run bags up to 15 inches wide in a variety of package styles, such as pillow, gusseted and flat bottom/4-corner. Optional features include an integrated transverse zipper applicator. Other features include adaptive feedback control, quick changeover for forming tubes and film rolls, pivoting control box and an open, clean design.
Triangle Package Machinery
SMALL FOOTPRINT ROBOTIC PALLETIZER
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc., Brewerton, N.Y., presented its newest small footprint robotic palletizer featuring FANUC’s new M-20ia/35, a light payload handling robot with a cable-integrated arm.
Capable of picking, packing, assembling and loading, the robotic palletizer’s long arm can pack pallets up to 70 inches, and easily fits into small hand palletizing spaces, making palletizing portable to where you need it.
The highly rigid arm and advanced servo technology enables increased acceleration performance, thus decreasing cycle time. Available with product labeling and barcode reading for product tracking applications, this unit is also available with semi and fully automatic pallet exchange.
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc.
TOTAL FILLING SOLUTIONS
tna, Dallas, Texas, presented a range of high-performance filling systems for the cold food industry.
Delivering throughput of up to 250 bpm, the tna robag 3ci high-speed VFFS packaging machine offers production flexibility in a compact, easy-to-clean system that is suitable for a wide variety of products. This impulse sealing system offers efficient polyethylene sealing and bagging of fresh and frozen vegetables, salads and ready-to-eat fruit at speeds of up to 150 bpm. It also ensures precise temperature control, minimizes downtime and offers an extended product lifespan.
The tna roflo 3 conveyor is a horizontal motion distribution system whose low force operation minimizes product loss, offering speed and direction control to optimize performance. Particularly suited for heavy coated products, as seasoning does not build up on the pans, the tna roflo 3 has an easy-to-clean design to help manufacturers comply with strict HACCP and QA standards and reduce waste.
For the first time since acquiring FOODesign, tna showcased its FOODesign cryo-jet ambient and chilled air cooling systems, which are said to cool up to 10 times faster than forced or natural convection cooling. The patented air impingement technology can be used to cool a variety of food products quickly and efficiently, while maintaining critical product properties such as appearance, taste and shape.
20-GALLON SPLIT HOPPER
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc., Sturtevant, Wis., launched its new 20-gallon split hopper for dry product filling of food and beverages.
Each half of the split hopper is machined from stainless steel and then hinged, enabling the hopper to split and swing open for easier access when changing tooling or during cleaning.
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc.
CASE PACKERS FOR STAND-UP POUCHES
Delkor, St. Paul, Minn., debuted new high-speed (HSP-400) and mid-speed (MSP-200) case packers, specifically designed to package stand-up pouches in a variety of shelf-ready packaging (SRP) formats and standard interleaved shippers.
The HSP-400 is a state-of-the-art case-packer incorporating Rockwell Automation’s iTRAK linear servo technology. Meanwhile, the mid-speed case packer (MSP-200) produces speeds of 150 pouches/30 cases per minute.
By combining a vision-based delta robot with a high-payload, long-stroke Fanuc M-710iC, these case packers eliminate the need for traditional collation. The vision-based M2iA delta robot accepts skewed or misaligned pouches (+/-25°) at maximum product rate. Semi-automated changeover allows the system to convert case styles in less than 10 minutes.
Delkor also showcased the new Cabrio Case, a sturdy shipper that converts to a shelf display with one simple motion. This patent-pending innovation offers increased shelf facings, labor savings, reduced waste, a machine-cut front face and wrapped corners for excellent shelf appearance.
ADVANCED X-RAY INSPECTION, FAT ANALYSIS TECHNOLOGIES
Eagle Product Inspection, Tampa, Fla., presented a new range of x-ray inspection and fat analysis technologies designed to uphold food safety of multiple products at high throughout speeds.
For example, the Eagle RMI3/B and RMI3/C offers superior contaminant detection in harsh environments. Both x-ray systems are engineered to deliver 100% contaminant detection and are constructed to high American Meat Institute sanitary levels for use in harsh production environments. The RMI3/B inspects unpackaged bulk products such as raw meat with the RMI3/C designed to detect and reject contaminants from raw meat packaged in either closed cartons or open crates. To minimize production downtime, the Eagle PRODUCT SWITCH option on the RMI3/C delivers automatic product changeovers for different applications packaged in cartons and crates. As standard, both machines have CAT 3 safety circuits with status visualization for improved safety ratings.
The Eagle FA3/C is designed to discriminate between fat and lean portions of packaged meat products in cardboard cartons, plastic crates and vacuum-packed frozen blocks to better than +/- 1 chemical lean accuracy. The FA3/C can automatically switch inspection parameters while the production line is operational. By simply scanning a bar code and detailing product information, goods with different inspection requirements can run on the same line, eliminating the need to manually switch products and recalibrate.
Eagle Easy MAT material discrimination x-ray (MDX) operating software detects contaminants, such as glass shards, rocks, rubber and plastic, in products that produce high variations in image density. MDX is invaluable in production lines manufacturing a range of multi textures, including frozen or raw fruits and salad bags, among others. The Eagle Easy MAT software simplifies and speeds up installation and setup by auto-learning the material composition of the product. Plus, the Eagle Easy MAT identifies contaminants with material compositions that are different to the product. In addition, an enhanced human machine interface with improved screen resolution and color and an advanced intuitive pre-programed operational interface effectively remove the need for third-party setup and maintenance.
Lastly, the Eagle Tall PRO XSDV x-ray inspection system uses high-performance dual view x-ray technology for 100% inspection of contaminants in rigid containers such as cans, bottles and jars. By analyzing and processing two images per container, the probability of detecting hard-to-find contaminants, typically in the side ridges of cans, is overcome. More than 1,000 products per minute can pass multiple inspection criteria, keeping lines running to full capacity. Overall line efficiency and downtime is further improved by remote access diagnostics of Eagle experts, thus reducing on-site visits. The internal shutter technology allows smaller louvers, as it can be installed over existing conveyors. Plus, the system is said to provide a smaller footprint than other x-ray systems, with fewer maneuvers for product jams and breakages.
Eagle Product Inspection
TOTAL CARE ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
OPTIMA Machinery Corp., Green Bay, Wis., exhibited TCAP (total care asset package), a condition monitoring system that constantly monitors by means of electronics and sensors. A warning is given automatically even before errors occur. It is possible to almost completely eliminate unplanned downtime of the machine.
TCAM can be upgraded with TCAT (total care asset tool) a centralized, digital information tool that’s equipped with interactive links between the electrical, mechanical and pneumatic systems. In addition, direct linking to SAP or other ERP systems means that the inventory stocks of spare parts can be retrieved and orders can be directly initiated.
Optima also debuted the OPTIMA CBF cartoner, which bridges the gap between primary and secondary packaging for perfect line integration. Products fed into the machine are aligned and placed within the cartoner. Product grouping devices or a second erecting module can be integrated. The cartoner also has a magazine for pre-cut blanks, which is replaced as a unit when the format is changed.
OPTIMA Machinery Corp.
COMBO TECHNOLOGY FOR GRAVITY FREE FALL APPLICATIONS
S+S Inspection Inc., Bartlett, Ill., introduced its new combo metal detection/magnetic separation technology.
The P-SCAN RG gravity free-fall metal detector has been specially paired with MAGBOX-MXF magnetic separator to provide product purity at levels previously unattainable in powders, granules and bulk flowing materials. The new P-SCAN RG metal detector features proprietary technology in coil construction, signal processing techniques and ultra-high intensity (UTI) technology to optimize the removal of and identify ferrous materials down to 0.2mm in size and stainless-steel metals to 0.5mm. Other application benefits include higher levels of metal-free zone management and immunity to environmental factors such as vibration and interference at levels not seen in other metal detectors. This combo technology also includes easy-clean sanitary construction.
S+S Inspection also made further advancements to its Raycon x-ray technology, which uses faster image processing and multiple concurrent detection algorithms for the detection of a wide variety of metallic and non-metallic contaminates in packaged and unpackaged products. Whole or part product checkweighing during the inspection process is a further option to identify out of specification products.
The unique configuration with the x-ray source under the conveyor, rather than over the top, called “bottom-up shoot,” provides full product width inspection, even for tall products. New control and image processing software simultaneously inspects up to four product lines running in parallel at up to 600 items per minute, with different products being inspected in each lane. An icon-based user interface on a 10-inch LCD touch-screen monitor simplifies set-up, while non-volatile memory stores multi-product data to facilitate product changeover.
The C-Scan GHF metal detector also underwent an enhanced redesign to include multi-frequency frequency technology and unique symmetrical design for enhanced stainless-steel detection. The C-Scan GHF now features a larger touchscreen user interface with comprehensive product and metal signal recording capabilities. Designed primarily for the food industry, the new detector head is heavier and larger for maximum stability and durability. The standard design provides for protection to IP 65 with and optional IP69K version for more arduous applications where high-pressure washdown takes place. The C-Scan GHF control system is integrated and sealed into the search head whereby meeting or exceeding the most demanding requirements for hygiene and cleaning. The GHF metal detector can be mounted on a wide range of conveying systems.
S+S Inspection Inc.
HAND ADJUSTMENT FOR GUIDE RAILS
Nercon, Neenah, Wis., introduced its new patent-pending Rapid-Rail.
Engineered to simplify changeovers on the packaging line, Rapid-Rail offers a single point, easy-to-use hand adjustment of guide rails to accommodate multiple package sizes on the same piece of equipment.
Now several points along the conveyor, over a long distance, can be controlled from one location on the line. With Rapid-Rail, all adjustments are made from only a few locations and affect all points along the line. Change from 32-ounce bottles to 16-ounces ones in a minute.
Plus, the economical design limits the number of moving parts, and enables operators to add a motor and control any adjustments right from a conventional control system.
CONVEYOR WITH MORE OPTIONS, MORE FLEXIBILITY
The new Next Generation 3200 Series Conveyor from Dorner, Hartland, Wis., merges and improves its 5200/5300 Series Conveyors with the 3200 Series family of conveyors, giving customers more options and added flexibility to serve a greater range of packaging, assembly and industrial markets. The line includes flat belt, modular belt and Precision Move.
Dorner also presented the 2200 SmartFlex, a flexible chain conveyor platform that’s ideal for the food and packaging industries. The 2200 SmartFlex removes the guesswork in specifying and ordering a flexible chain conveyor by giving customers the ability to build a complete conveyor assembly to their exact layout dimensions and view it in 3D within minutes.
Dorner Mfg. Corp.
CONTINUOUS INKJET PRINTERS, LASER CODERS
UK-based Linx Printing Technologies showcased the Linx CJ400. Offering unique portability, fast set-up and ease of use, it features an Easi-Change Service Module, which can be changed in minutes, meaning scheduled maintenance can be carried out without the need for a trained technician or service call.
The Linx 5900 is a continuous inkjet printer with a number of features, including three-line coding and extended service intervals of up to 6,000 hours.
The Linx 7900 includes state-of-the-art Linx Insight software, which is a remote web interface that allows users to monitor and control their Linx 7900 printers through a web browser, either via a PC or a web-enabled smartphone. New ink system technology enables the Linx 7900 printer to run for up to 9,000 hours or 18 months between services.
Lastly, the Linx SL102 10-watt laser coder can be fine-tuned and customized to individual materials, line speeds and code requirements, ensuring quality coding onto a wide range of customer applications. The LinxVision color touchscreen incorporates a large WYSIWYG display for simple operation.
Linx Printing Technologies Ltd.
+44 (0) 1480 302100
3D DISPLACEMENT SENSORS
Cognex Corp., Natick, Mass., released its latest vision and ID systems.
The DS1000 Series of 3D displacement sensors optimize product quality by providing three-dimensional inspection of products. Unlike traditional 2D machine vision, the DS1000 series extracts 3D information from the objects it inspects using laser triangulation, providing a topographical representation of the part and measuring 3D features such as length, width, height, tilt or volume relative to any surface. It also simplifies challenging OCR or presence/absence applications by creating contrast from height changes, independent of color.
The DataMan 8600 represents the next generation of hand-held direct part mark (DPM) barcode readers. The DataMan 8600 provides unparalleled barcode reading performance for manufacturers implementing part traceability programs.DataMan 8600 readers are equipped with advanced barcode reading algorithms and are capable of reading the most challenging DPM codes on the widest variety of surfaces, using the widest range of marking methods. The DataMan 8600 also entails patented lighting and liquid lens technology.
TOP LOAD PACKAGING LINE
Bradman Lake, Rock Hill, S.C., exhibited a completely integrated top load cartoning system comprised of three main machines that all demonstrated new developments.
For example, the HSS 3-axes servo-motor, high-speed carton former features the latest double head version for erecting cartons with hot melt glue or lock style. This low-profile machine version provides a low-level motorized carton hopper for easier operator access.
Glue formed cartons automatically transfer to the robotic DRT Product Toploader, which incorporates the newly designed end-of-arm tooling techniques to pick, rotate and place products into cartons so that different layer collation patterns can be created.
Completely filled cartons are then conveyed into the RA90 right angle flexible carton control, a 3-flap carton lid closer. This servo-motor-driven feature lifts and descends overhead carton lid control conveyors, replacing an earlier cantilevered design and provides operator access from all sides of the machine to facilitate rapid size change.
INSPECTION, PROCESS IMPROVEMENT EQUIPMENT
Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan., showcased a variety of inspection and process improvement equipment for the packaging industry.
For starters, a magnetic can conveyor designed with rare earth magnets to control and transport product in a high-speed canning line can withstand the punishment of high-volume wet or washdown environments.
Also on display was the Bunting DCM conveyor with the Bunting Metron 07 CI metal detector, including advanced imagePHASE product learning and compensation for product effect.
Those seeking to produce contaminant-free food packaging material turned to the Bunting Manual Self-Cleaning FF Drawer Filter with high-intensity rare earth magnets, capable of removing small ferrous fines and even ferrous encapsulated inside plastic pellets.
Bunting Magnetics Co.
ADVANCED DETECTION SYSTEMS
Anritsu Industrial Solutions USA Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill., debuted a host of x-ray inspection systems, checkweighers, metal detectors, proprietary software and performance service programs.
For example, the Anritsu HD x-ray inspection system detects metal contaminants as small as 0.4mm diameter and 1-2mm diameter glass, bones and stones while Anritsu UltraHD technology can detect down to 0.2mm diameter ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless-steel spheres at production line speeds. The simultaneous ability to inspect for other packaging anomalies exists within the standard software, including virtual checkweighing, missing item detection, counting capabilities and overall package integrity. DualX x-ray inspection technology detects low-density contaminants by simultaneously analyzing two different x-ray energy signals, allowing it to easily distinguish between product and contaminant. DualX x-ray inspection technology is ideal for detecting low-density poultry and fish bones, and offers improved bone detection in beef and pork cuts.
Anritsu SSV Series checkweighers weigh hundreds of products per minute with a scale value of 1 milligram (.001 grams) with accuracy of ±.01 gram, depending on the application. Smart Measurement Function is a new Anritsu technology that allows lines to run at higher speeds with less pack spacing, minimizing false rejects based on inconsistent package spacing. These checkweighers are small in footprint and utilize either load cell or forced balance technology.
The company’s Dual Wave Technology offers versatile metal detection solutions for the food industry. Multiple frequencies are available and two frequencies operate simultaneously to maximize detection of ferrous and stainless metals independent of each other.
Designed to deliver a continuous Dual Wave solution, the Dual Wave H advances the sophistication of the standard Dual Wave metal detector with a new head design and advanced software tools, yet remains simple to operate and maximize. Within its small footprint, the system can be quickly dismantled for cleaning and sanitation without tools.
Anritsu's QuiCCA software is the overall quality management, data collection and quality control system for all Anritsu inspection equipment. All aspects of production, including past logs, current status and future problems are supported by this software. When connected to a mail server, the machine's status and error messages can be sent directly and automatically to mobile phones. The quality management system also has centralized control of the operational status of the entire production line, allowing it to conduct causal analysis to detect abnormalities before they even occur. QuiCCA software can be configured with multiple machines or a single machine. This quality management system has easy-to-read formats to monitor and diagnose production line problems, including statistical, x-bar and histogram displays.
Anritsu Industrial Solutions USA Inc.
REUSABLE, SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING PRODUCTS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN OPTIMIZATION
ORBIS Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis., walked attendees through its “5-Step Supply Chain Optimization Process,” which improves the flow and management of product throughout the supply chain for overall cost reduction and maximum extraction of sustainability efficiencies. The process offers customized solutions, measureable ROI and organized sustainability, as well as significant environmental benefits for the food and beverage industries.
ORBIS also showcased new reusable packaging products developed to help companies move product safely and efficiently within the supply chain.
The Reusable packaging management (RPM) services for beverage processorsincludes:
SmartTrak– ORBIS’ proprietary asset tracking software.
NovaLock Pallet– A durable, impact-resistant pallet that supports a wide variety of plastic and metal containers.
PureMaxx Top Frame– A new technology with the strength and durability needed for today’s rugged applications.
Picking and fulfillment – Specially designed for high-speed automation, these picking totes give customers superior performance along multiple steps in the supply chain.
OPTE bulk, sleeve and top cap system – This 1200mm x 1000mm bulk container has a first-of-its-kind latch that allows workers to engage and release sleeves without bending at the waist.
40x48 plastic pallet innovations – Range from rackable pallets made with x-ray detectable material to halogen-free and fire-retardant options.
RESEALABLE SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGES
Zip-Pak, Manteno, Ill., offered a sneak peek at the next generation of resealable solutions.
For starters, PresSure Lok is an ideal solution for controlled dispensing of liquid products. Measured-chamber technology delivers a unique all-in-one solution that combines a flexible pouch with a flexible and self-contained fitment, eliminating the need for a separate dispensing component. The user simply squeezes the flexible pouch to open the seal, allowing a dose of liquid product to flow into the dispensing chamber. The package then automatically reseals itself for future use. This proprietary sealing mechanism is designed to allow the flexible package to lie on its side, or even upside down, without unintentional dispensing.
A self-mating resealable closure, Vector represents an easy-to-use alternative to traditional zipper profiles. It is an ideal closure for a wide range of product formats thanks to a resealable matrix pattern that is easier to align and has superior air-seal capabilities.
The ergonomically designed Slider Select enables consumers of all ages to repeatedly and reliably open and close a flexible package. Slider Select provides a number of advantages, including high inside-burst strength that protects the product, a slider that glides smoothly across the zipper profile, an ultra-compact slider system, a leak-resistant profile and reduced mass of the zipper and the slider.
Sensus is the first in the Zip-Pak family of resealable closures called Sensory Feedback Fasteners, specifically designed to create a tactile bumping sensation and audible clicking noise when the zipper is opened or resealed. These tactile and audible prompts provide complete assurance that a flexible package is firmly sealed.
The Zip360 resealable pouch creates a wider opening that allows for convenient product access and enables consumers to easily scoop or pour package contents. The reclosure is designed to close on itself with no end termination for full perimeter resealability. The Zip360 flexible pouch also accepts full-panel graphics for more visual impact at point of purchase. Compared to traditional bag-in-box formats, Zip360 substantially reduces the amount of materials needed to manufacture a package.
Pour & Lok is a resealable packaging solution that combines easy opening with pour spout functionality. A press-to-close, foldable zipper is pre-applied to film in the side gusset, creating a partial opening that forms the package’s easy-to-use resealable pour spout.
Zipbox is a hybrid packaging format that combines the consumer-preferred attributes of flexible and rigid packaging into a novel combination of materials that is both value adding and user-intuitive. Co-developed with T.H.E.M., Marlton, N.J., Zipbox provides an ideal solution for easily resealing a carton and maintaining product freshness after opening.
SENSORY CLOSURE, CHILD-RESISTANT TECHNOLOGIES
To give consumers the assurance of a secure seal, Presto Products Co., an Appleton, Wis.-based unit of Reynolds Packaging Group, launched the new Click ’N Lock press-to-close (PTC) double zipper. The Click’N Lock technology is designed to deliver pronounced audible and tactile cues that can be heard and felt when closing the package for a multi-sensory user experience. Additionally, the Click’N Lock technology can be integrated seamlessly into packaging equipment, and provides reliable side seal crush without increased temperatures or dwell times, ensuring equal or improved throughput on the pouch assembly line.
CHILD-GUARD slider technology represents what is said to be the first child-resistant slider available for application on pouch packaging that meets Title 16 CFR 1700 of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) with ASTM D3475 classification from ASTM International. The CHILD-GUARD slider opens with an easy “point, press and pull” motion. Users align the slider tongue with the groove, press down lightly on the slider’s top side and pull the slider across the zipper track for a smooth opening experience. Adult consumers, including seniors, will find the zipper simple to open, but it will be extremely challenging for children aged five and under.
In addition, Presto offers the Fresh-Lock Zipper Spool Recycle and Reuse programs, which helps companies minimize environmental impact and enhance the sustainability of their supply chains. Since 2009, Presto has supported the re-use of 3,000,000 pounds of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), diverting this material from landfills and reusing the spools in new shipments of Fresh-Lock zippers.
Presto Products Co.
FOOD-GRADE SYNTHETIC LUBRICANTS
Klüber Lubrication, Londonderry, N.H.,featured its food-grade synthetic lubricating and high-temperature chain oils.
For instance, Klüberfood NH1 C 8-80 is a semi-synthetic chain oil developed for the lubrication of chains operating in high humidity for conveyor and drive chains. Its formulation, incorporating a special additive package, enables significant friction reduction and good protection against wear and fretting corrosion, particularly in the highly stressed pin/bush areas. Klüberfood NH1 C 8-80 has good chemical stability for acidic process and high humidity environments, such as pasta dryers or proofer ovens where other oils may contribute to residue buildup.
Klüberfood NH1 CH 2-220 is a fully synthetic, ester-based lubricant that can operate at extreme temperatures for longer periods of time and without residue buildup, all while protecting chain components from increased wear. Users benefit from dramatically reduced consumption, cleaner operations, reduced noise and no smoking when applying oil.
Klüber Lubrication North America L.P.
LEADING-EDGE PACKAGING AUTOMATION CONCEPTS
Beckhoff Automation, Savage, Minn., demonstrated its new packaging automation concepts, featuring PC-based control technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, highly-centralized packaging automation and ever-more connected devices.
Beckhoff collaborated with Matrix Packaging Machinery, a Saukville, Wis.-based unit of the Pro Mach Group, introduced its Google Glass technology, which connects Google Glass to a vertical form-fill-seal machine to illustrate the openness of Beckhoff PC-based control hardware and TwinCAT automation software. The “augmented reality glasses” integrate a heads-up display for information as well as a digital camera, among numerous other features, and can be used in industrial environments as a “wearable HMI” for packaging machine operation and plant production observation.
Beckhoff also debuted the new CX5100 Embedded PC series to the North American market. The 22-nm technology of the new Atom processors results in higher performance while still maintaining the same thermal reduction characteristics. All devices from the CX5100 series are fanless, characterized by low power consumption and a compact, durable metal housing. The CX5100 controllers are available with a choice of three processors and can be used as an OPC UA client or server.
Beckhoff also introduced an expanded selection of small servo-motors. The new AM811x and AM801x servo-motors feature a scalable output of 50-250 W, absolute encoders with 15-bit resolution and One Cable Technology for space-constrained applications. Three overall lengths and an optional backlash-free permanent magnet-holding brake make these motion-control components ideal for many of the most demanding installations. In combination with the ultra-compact EL72xx servo terminals, packaging machine builders can implement these servo systems.
Beckhoff Automation LLC
MAXIMIZING LINE EFFICIENCIES, REDUCING CHANGEOVER TIME
Nercon Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., introduced a team of solutions designed to maximize line efficiencies and reduce changeover time.
Nercon’s Flex Flow Accumulator, for instance, is a versatile accumulation solution that allows for continuous production of packaging line equipment, from cups to pouches and odd-shaped bottles. Operating on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) expandable travel path, the Flex Flow automatically changes length to match fluctuations in production. Product orientation is maintained with zero product back-pressure, ensuring safe handling and no jams. A compact floor space footprint enables placement in tight manufacturing spaces.
The new Helix Spiral conveyor gently elevates or lowers a variety of products in a production line. With a robust design and the capability of handling cartons, pouches, bottles and bundles, the Helix is an ideal choice for new projects or line modifications that require elevation changes. The bi-directional Helix ensures smooth operation and can be configured in a variety of in-feed and discharge height combinations, along with high- and low-speed applications. For washdown environments requiring stainless-steel construction, the Helix can be expanded to suit extreme changes in elevation.
Lastly, Nercon’s Sanitary Design Belt conveyors are equipped to handle raw food, bulk food and packaged food. Completely constructed of stainless steel, each conveyor is tailored to fit product handling, cleaning, sanitation and safety requirements. Slider bed, trough, roller v-guide and welded tube frame designs can be configured to fit product transportation needs. Durable designs range from fully-welded to bolted construction. Choose from a wide variety of options for belts, supports, guide rails, catch pans and top covers.
SINGLE-SERVE LIQUID POUCH FILLER, EASY-OPEN THERMOFORMED PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY
T.H.E.M., Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing, Marlton, N.J., introduced the Sanko ZERO 1 liquid pouch packaging machine, what is said to be the world’s fastest single-serve pouch filler on the market.
Capable of running over 2,300 packages per minute, the ZERO 1 delivers more than twice the output rate of traditional form-fill-seal pouch filling systems without leakers. Ideal for a variety of single-use liquid and paste products such as food condiments and salad dressings, this high-performance liquid filling machine features incredible flexibility, allows fast and easy changeover to accommodate different package sizes and can change package length, filling volume, perforation and cut position through simple operator commands on the LCD touch panel display.
The Zero 1 can run registered film, a splice detector, an end-of-film sensor, a broken film sensor, an I-Notch device, air expelling guide rollers, automatic film tracking, safety interlocks and a double roller sealing system. Other features include clean-in-place, perforation cutter, saw tooth-end cut pattern, divider of packages by pre-set number, film path enclosure, 4-side sealing, system to accumulate packages by pre-set number, intricate top seal patterns and clearance adjusting knobs for vertical and second horizontal sealers. Another key option offered by Sanko on the Zero 1 is a web splice feature that eliminates the need to stop production when changing rolls.
T.H.E.M. also presented Snapsil, a new, easy-open thermoformed packaging technology. Snapsilsemi-rigid containers feature a patented audible “snap-opening” function, allowing consumers to open the package with one hand. Introduced in North America through a joint effort between T.H.E.M.; Bemis, Neenah, Wis.; Multivac, Kansas City, Mo.; and Australian-based Snapsil Corp., these innovative containers are available in a range of creative dispensing designs that enable simple and controlled product release for a variety of unit-dose and single-serve products.
The snap-opening function is integrated into the lower web of the thermoformed pack. There is no requirement for any type of perforation of the film in the opening area of the portion pack. This provides unrestricted barrier properties for package contents.
USDA-APPROVED DRUM MOTOR
Interroll, Wilmington, N.C., presented its new NSF and USDA-approved Asynchronous Drum Motor (models 113i, 138i, 165i and 217i) to the North American food manufacturing market.
Compatible with all modular belts, this drum motor complies with U.S. meat, poultry and dairy equipment guidelines. It also features an IP67 protection rating, FDA-rated vulcanized lagging, leak escape feature in shaft and surface finish less than 30 micro-inches on shell and shafts.
FLEXIBLE AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS FOR PALLETIZING, CASE PACKING
Motion Controls Robotics, Inc., Fremont, Ohio, introduced new flexible automation options for palletizing and case packing.
Motion Controls Robotics partnered with Combi Packaging Systems, Canton, Ohio, to present the new Ergobot, a robotic pick-and-place case packing systembased on the Combi Ergopack manual case packing system.
Features of the Ergobotrobotic case packer include:
- Increased throughput and reliability
- Vision technology to improve quality control and enable 100% product tracking and traceability
- Lot verification and serialization
- Easily accommodates variable pack counts
- Integrated, proven case erection and taping
- Increased packing rates with multiple robots
- Multiple product packaging with manual or automatic robot tool change and menu-driven product selection
Motion Controls Robotics, Inc.
CUSTOMIZED, RELIABLE MOTION CONTROL SOLUTIONS
ITT Corp., Orchard Park, N.Y., showcased a complete portfolio of customized and reliable motion control solutions under its Enidine, Compact Automation and Turn-Act brands for the global automation marketplace.
The inch/metric cylinders, slides and precision glides are created with food/medical grade materials, allowing these products to comply with the requirements of nearly any packaging application. With more than 50,000 files of modified or special cylinder designs, the inch series products are easily modified to meet any customer’s needs.
ITT also displayed its latest line of work-holding actuators for clamping, cutting and providing air-over-oil pressure intensification in specialty packaging applications. This diverse line of pneumatic grippers, intensifiers, twist cylinders, collet closers and pin-act cylinders can be custom engineered to fit tight space or weight requirements.
ITT Turn-Act’s rotary actuator products provide multi-directional motion as opposed to the unidirectional motion in linear actuators. These rotary product offerings contain more than 50 base models and custom capabilities, with torque outputs ranging from 9-inch-pounds to 5,200-inch-pounds.
INDUSTRIAL BAG SOLUTIONS
Mondi North America, Atlanta, exhibited its expanded line of industrial bags and flexible packaging solutions, marking the first time Mondi showcased its industrial bag products since acquiring Graphic Packaging International.
The industrial bag solutions include Peel Pak bag-in-bag concept for dairy and food products, PinchPro single-ply bag constructed of WPP/paper or all poly heat-sealed to preserve product freshness, slider bags with easy open reclosable solutions, hybrid bags constructed of paper/poly for added strength and a variety of multi-wall and consumer-style bags.
Flexible packaging options include square bags that support a variety of diverse applications, large and small-spouted pouches, flexo, flat bottom and standup pouches, flat-bottom bags and wicket bags, as well as laminated films, pillow bags, mono- and siliconized films and FlexZiBoxeswith a variety of different handles.
Mondi also introduced its new shaped pouch for customized, high-impact packaging of consumer goods. Called the Shaped Pouch, it can be produced in virtually any shape and color to promote a packager’s brand identity and marketing goals and can be made using a variety of high-performance flexible materials. The pouch is available in a stand-up form or with a funnel shape at the top for easy tear-off and dispensing.
Mondi North America
B & H Labeling Systems, Ceres, Calif., introduced the Marathon + GES 2.0 series of roll-fed labelers, exclusively equipped with the new patent-pending B & H Glue Extrusion System.
What is said to be the world’s only fully automatic extrusion-based, recipe-driven hot melt glue applicator for roll-fed labeling, the B & H GES 2.0 minimizes downtime, requires no operator setup or adjustment during production and improves labeling quality.
The B & H GES 2.0 applies a precisely extruded film of hot melt adhesive to pre-programmed locations on a label through a vertical pattern nozzle. Using proprietary algorithms developed by B & H, the fully automatic system uses a controlled combination of pressure and temperature to accurately and consistently extrude and apply hot melt adhesive to labels, regardless of production speed.
The recipes for every container/label/adhesive combination, which are stored in the PLC’s memory, control both the labeler and the glue system. The system’s recipe-driven repeatability minimizes operator intervention while maximizing system performance and the quality of labeled containers.
The streamlined design of the GES 2.0 includes extrusion tower assembly, all-metal GES vacuum drum and melt-on-demand glue tank.
B & H Labeling Systems
DETECTION SYSTEM FOR DOWN PET BOTTLES
Gebo Cermex USA Inc., Norcross, Ga., introduced SecurFlow, which installs on existing high-speed PET bottling lines to detect down bottles and remove them from the conveyor.
When this high-performance detection system identifies a down bottle in the middle of the product flow, a 6-axis robot with adapted tooling evacuates down bottles into a rejection bin. This patent-pending solution can be installed without modification on any type of accumulation conveyor.
The SecurFlowis said to eliminate 99% of down bottles, and is effective at up to 130,000 bottles per hour.
SecurFlow is an autonomous system that’s installed in plug and play without lengthy line downtimes.
Gebo Cermex USA Inc.
IMPROVING YOUR MACHINE’S HYGIENIC DESIGN
Kollmorgen, Radford, Va., set new standards in reliability, performance and hygienic design thanks to a plethora of technologies designed to ensure compliance with emerging food safety regulations, protect brands against costly recalls and maximize machine productivity.
For starters, its robust stainless-steel AKMHIP69K-rated synchronous servo-motors are designed to satisfy EHEDG, NSF, BISSC and 3A machinery guidelines to reduce the risk of food recall and increase OEE in washdown environments. A hygienic electric linear actuator for use in depositors and volumetric filling applications provides improvements over pneumatic or hydraulic actuation, including better fill accuracy, lower noise and reduced energy costs.
Standard-Knapp, Portland, Conn., introduced its flexible 298 Tritium Trayshink Packer, which offers both reliability and flexibility as a single machine capable of tray, pad and unsupported pack styles.
Ideal for co-packers, the machine’s high-speed Robo-Wand wrapping module is capable of running up to 120 trays per minute, providing a consistent, tight, wrinkle-free wrap. The Robo-Wand also offers multi-axis control for limitless packing possibilities without the need for change parts. To ensure that the tray blank magazine doesn’t run out too quickly, Standard-Knapp offers a standard magazine capable of holding 1,500 blanks, with an optional 3,000-blank extended capacity.
The 298 Tritium Trayshink Packer’s horizontally loaded tray blank magazine is ergonomically designed for operator comfort and simplified maintenance. Operators can load blanks without bending or stretching, and can quickly spot any operational issues. In addition, changing from one pack style to another is easy. It only takes operators about 15 minutes to change over pack styles by selecting a new product on the operator interface screen and changing over a small number of parts.
HIGH-PERFORMANCE FILMS FOR SECURE SEALING
SUDPACK USA, Aurora, Ill., celebrated its 50th anniversary with the introduction of new high-performance films designed for secure sealing even with contaminated seams.
The SafePeel lineup, for example, consists of top films for trays. Its special sealing medium works perfectly with contaminated seams. The packaging can be peeled open for maximum consumer comfort. SafePeel film is also characterized by excellent anti-fog properties, which prevents unsightly water drops.
SafePeel Hot and CanLid Peel are designed for use in ovens and microwaves. Thanks to excellent sealing properties, SafePeel Hot can be pasteurized. Polypropylene is used as a sealing medium in the tray and top film. SafePeel Hot is extremely durable and fulfills the highest safety requirements, even with multi-chamber trays.
Easy-to-use CanLid Peel top film for trays offers durability and outstanding barrier properties. The white top film offers the best possible visual cover, protects the packaged product from light and enables a wide variety of eye-catching designs to attract attention at point of sale. Both SafePeel Hot and CanLid Peel offer a long processing window and can be pasteurized to prevent germ formation, thus extending product shelf life.
Multi S V top film is designed to completely seal the product. The top film tightly fits the product without changing its shape or form. Multi S V offers outstanding barrier properties and is puncture-resistant. At the same time, the film is highly transparent and offers a clear view of the product. Packages can be easily and smoothly opened without forming threads.
AUTOMATED BANDING EQUIPMENT
Controls Engineering, Middleton, Wis., released its latest stretch film banding system, the APT-RC.
Designed to integrate with new and existing production lines, this system blends the benefits of the MPT Series stretch film banders with innovative new features, such as an automatic roll change system. The operator loads a roll of material in the roll change queue, and when the machine detects the roll is ready to change, the unit starts the auto roll change sequence.
The stretch film used provides a strong and secure band without damaging the product.
Featuring an interactive touch-screen display, the APT-RC communicates band count, as well as general machine settings and performance.
FDA-COMPLIANT PUMPS, CONTROLLERS, CENTRIFUGAL AIR COMPRESSORS
Ingersoll-Rand, Milwaukee, announced a new line of FDA-compliant diaphragm pumps and controllers for the food processing industry.
The new SD line of FDA-compliant diaphragm pumps from ARO is said to yield 20-30% better flow rates than other products, and ensures material is transferred unharmed. The new ARO controller delivers on the promise of touch-and-walk-away automation, and works seamlessly with ARO EXP electronic interface pumps, resulting in a fully automated, multi-pump system for batching and container and tank filling.
Also, on display for the first time was the company’s ultra-compact SideKick Series lever chain hoist, which weighs less than 10 pounds for maximum portability and is compact to fit into the tightest spaces.
INKJET, LASERJET, PRINT-AND-APPLY LABELING INNOVATIONS
Videojet Technologies, Wooddale, Ill., showcased a number of inkjet, laserjet and print-and-apply labeling innovations.
For instance, the Videojet 8610 thermal inkjet printer utilizes a revolutionary, purpose-built cartridge designed specifically for MEK fluids, bringing the simplicity of thermal inkjet to applications that benefit from high-resolution print on traditionally challenging substrates, including foils, plastics and coated stocks.
The new Videojet 7510 50-Watt fiber laser delivers advanced performance for high-contrast marking on robust plastic packaging, metal containers and other industrial products, even at ultra-fast line speeds up to 440 meters per minute. It is specifically engineered to address the needs of high-speed bottling and canning operations that require significant code content, including DataMatrix codes at line speeds.
The Videojet 9550 with Intelligent Motion is a print-and-apply labeler that utilizes advanced direct drive technology, thereby eliminating the manual adjustments, clutches and nip rollers that cause downtime in traditional print-and-apply labelers. The Videojet 9550 directly applies labels in mainstream side and top label applications, eliminating the need for tamp applicators and reducing the number of labels being incorrectly applied or mangled during application.
The Videojet Remote Service solution is said to be an industry-first offering, allowing continuous inkjet users to access productivity features, including remote alerts, online dashboards and remote recovery functionality. Plant personnel as well as Videojet technical experts have remote access to printers to increase collaboration, simplify troubleshooting and speed printer adjustments.
The Videojet code detection system is a quality and productivity solution for checking continuous inkjet codes on flat and light-colored packaging. The system provides an enhanced level of code assurance by helping detect common printing issues, including missing, mis-positioned and clipped codes.
Videojet Technologies, Inc.
SPECIALIZED POLYMER MATERIALS FOR PACKAGING
PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, featured a portfolio of specialty solutions, including:
InVisiO services and solutions support color and product development from concept to reality. From helping brand managers and designers evaluate color and design alternatives, to accelerating and streamlining the entire product development process, InVisiO enables brand owners to strengthen brand equity.
Perceptsolutions help customers protect against fraud and defend against potential liability caused by counterfeit products, offering efficient field identification methods to control supply chain issues, thwart fraudulent products and preserve brand integrity.
High-barrier packaging technologies help to preserve product freshness and extend shelf life for foods. Packaged foods benefit from PreservaPak barrier solutions, including multi-layer rollstock and sheet.
ColorMatrix high-performance light and gas barrier additives for packaging protect food and beverages and extend shelf life with consistent container clarity.
A new ColorMatrix collection of liquid color concentrates for designers and brand owners infuses PET containers with shimmer and frost effects, iridescent color movements and surfaces that can enhance brand presence and deliver dynamic shelf impact.
GLS thermoplastic elastomers allow customers to enhance their packaging through ease of opening and re-closing, value-added dispensing, better grip and sensory experiences for consumers.
OPTICAL FINISHES FOR PACKAGING MATERIALS
The Dow Chemical Co.’s Performance Packaging business, Midland, Mich., expanded its OPULUX family to include highly engineered uniform acrylic beads, made from an acrylic-based carrier emulsion technology. Composed of designed gradient in refractive index (GRIN) technology, the beads act as a lens to achieve a low-glare, matte-like appearance while maintaining a high-degree of color retention. Plus, its aqueous formula creates an excellent adhesion to ink. When compressed, the polymers deform to absorb impact, creating a soft touch for consumers. OPULUX optical finishes also provide spot or complete packaging coverage when applied to printed packaging materials, are resistant to heat, and suitable for use in further packaging assembly and/or processing and deliver good UV resistance.
Dow also debuted RETAIN polymer modifiers, a portfolio of compatibilizers designed to make it easier to recycle post-industrial barrier films without compromising performance or aesthetics. Based on a reactive ultra-low viscosity, RETAIN polymer modifiers allow pelletized barrier films, containing materials like ethylene vinyl alcohol or polyamide, to be more evenly dispersed into a polyolefin matrix. Compared to other control films, the technology helps make packages clearer, maintain mechanical properties and significantly reduces gels in films produced from barrier film recycle streams.
Dow Chemical Co.,
Packaging and Specialty Plastics
AUTOMATIC FILM SPLICER
Butler Automatic, Middleborough, Mass., launched its new SP3HSL Series automatic film splicer for printed sleeve flims.
This automatic web splicing system is said to increase line efficiency by 9% or more in sleeved packaging operations by eliminating film roll change downtime.
Capable of running at speeds up to 450 feet per minute, the SP3HSL automatically splices the end of each expiring roll of film onto the new roll.
STRETCH SLEEVE LABELS
Automated Packaging Systems, Streetsboro, Ohio, introduced the AutoSleeve brand of stretch sleeve labels, available in a wide range of sizes with 360-degree print coverage to maximize brand awareness.
The new stretch sleeves come in clear or white opaque films, both plain and printed in up to 10 colors. These low-density polyethylene sleeves are manufactured in 2-, 3- or 4-mil thicknesses and are 100% recyclable. AutoSleeve labels are moisture-proof and resist degradation due to UV or extreme temperatures. Plus, they are held in place by the natural elastic properties of polyethylene, requiring no heat or adhesives to attach to the container.
Automated Packaging Systems, Inc.
SIMPLIFYING MACHINE-TO-MACHINE COMMUNICATION
Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., introduced an energy management solution designed to make it easier for customers and machine builders to realize the benefits of the OMAC PackML standard without having to replace existing control and automation infrastructure.
Based on its Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition human machine interface and Wonderware Historian software offerings, the Wonderware OMAC PackML solution includes the PackML State Model, Control Modes and PackTags, providing a well-defined pattern for describing machine conditions and sharing the information with users and other systems. It simplifies machine-to-machine communication, integrates packaging systems with production line systems and reduces the communication burden on real-time control systems. Additionally, a configurable user interface shows machine operators exactly how much time they have spent in each machine state and provides an overview of the most common reasons a system might stop. This enables the operator to correct problems in real time.
SOLUTIONS FOR DOCKLESS RECEIVING
Flexible Material Handling, a Suwanee, Ga.-based division of Duravant, debuted a new solution for retail stores that do not have a dock to easily move floor-loaded product from the trailer into storerooms.
Using a combination of 10-foot rigid conveyors designed with unique adjustable legs and a NestaFlex flexible conveyor with a swing stick extension, this dockless receiving system involves a swing stick extension that bridges the gap between the flexible conveyor and the bed of the trailer. Depending on the length of the trailer, two or three 10-foot extensions are attached to the swing stick of the flexible conveyor. This allows an employee to stand in the bed of the trailer and pick packages to load onto the dockless receiving system. The packages are then gently pushed down the dockless system out of the trailer onto the flexible conveyor and into the store’s receiving room.
In one case, a retailer was said to reduce unloading 165 packages from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes. In another situation, a customer said to have saved millions of dollars in shrink wrap and pallets by implementing this system in conjunction with a trailer floor loading program.
Flexible Material Handling
VACUUM PUMP, DICER, AUTO-SHREDDER
Marlen International, Inc., a Riverside, Mo.-division of Duravant, exhibited its latest designs in Marlen and Carruthers food processing machines, including a Marlen OPTI 100 vacuum pump with a MINI-COV volumetric portioner, Carruthers AE5000 2D dicer and Carruthers auto-shredder.
The new OPTI 100 vacuum pump features a capacity of up to 10,000 pounds per hour and is equipped with all the basics of a Marlen twin-piston pump, allowing companies to fulfill smaller food applications or small- to mid-sized plant production needs.
Marlen International, Inc.
HEAVY-DUTY HOT AIR SEALER
Fischbein, a Statesville, N.C.-based division of Duravant, introduced the HAS 300 heavy-duty hot air sealer.
Specifically designed for closing polyethylene, pillow-type and gusset bags within harsh environments, the HAS 300 operates according to a method in which sealing pressure is constantly monitored via load cell technology, ensuring consistent, high-integrity sealing.
The HAS 300 produces strong, sift-proof closures on standard, flush-cut polymer bags intended for products such as powdered dairy products and bakery mixes.
EXTENDED HEIGHTS FOR EXTRA-DUTY BULK BOXES
Buckhorn Inc., Milford, Ohio, expanded its series of BN4845 extra-duty bulk boxes.
Originally, the box was designed in 25- and 34-inch heights, but the new 7- and 10-inch extension rings can be used in any combination, adding a variety of new heights.
Available in black, the new boxes have a capacity of 2,000 pounds, what is said to be the highest capacity in the industry for all-plastic bulk boxes of the same size. Plus, the boxes securely stack with competitive bins when upright or collapsed and provide 4-way forklift entry. Available with or without drop-down doors, the 31.7-inch wide doors do not block fork openings, thus minimizing damage to the container.
Buckhorn’s BN4845 boxes are 100% recyclable and feature added decoration areas often required for industrial applications, including multiple recessed ID tag areas on all four sides of the base and additional flat surfaces on the panels and doors for labels or RFID tracking.
CARTON FORMERS, CLOSERS, BAGMAKERS, BAG-IN-BOX MACHINES
Kliklok-Woodman, Decatur, Ga., announced a new packaging machinery lineup.
The TransFormer, a top load carton former, provides a dramatic increase in speed (up to 120 cartons per minute with a single head) and the ability to form lock-style or glue-style cartons on the same machine. Other features include a unique ergonomic waist-level hopper that allows easy carton loading,Insight color touch screen HMI for ease of operation and a servo-driven, high-precision THK linear rail plunger mounting system for absolute head-to-cavity positioning.
The Vari-Righttri-seal carton closing machine features the company’s patented revolutionary variable pitch carton transport lugs. These “infinitely variable” flight centers combine the carton control benefits of a lugged carton closer with the advantages of an “untimed” random carton infeed and tool-less quick changeover.
The Apache Universal Format bagmaker was upgraded to a new continuous motion machine with increased speed. The Apache CMcan produce up to 160 bags per minute for a variety of products with wide package size and format flexibility. The Apache CMis designed for ease of operator use and has a low-profile Flex-Mount machine frame, allowing direct mounting of filling systems, including weighers, augers and volumetric cup fillers.
Kliklok-Woodman’s 200-cpm endload cartoner, the Enterprise, was designed from the ground up withcenter-lining capabilities to help end users achieve predictable and consistent OEE performance. Its fast-assembly modular design allows multiple infeed options, including adjustable article buckets and an overhead confiner for bag-in-box applications. The IP-65-rated Enterprise features Kliklok’s servo-profiled rotary carton feeder, a barrel-cam inserter and Insight touch screen HMI.
Also included in the line is Kliklok-Woodman’s newest product handling machine, the Interceptor, a bag-in-box transfer system. The Interceptor has speeds up to 120 ppm, with a servo-rotary vane drop, simple size change and pocket re-dedication. Controls can be integrated or stand-alone.
KUKA Robotics, Shelby Township, Mich., debuted the KUKA KR QUANTEC PA arctic Series of palletizing robots to the North American market.
No suits, bags or robot protection needed for the KR QUANTEC PA arctic series to endure temperatures as low as -30°C. The KR QUANTEC PA arctic Series is an ideal fit for the refrigerated, frozen food and beverage markets with availability in 120kg, 180kg and 240kg.
Meanwhile, the KR AGILUS family of small robots sets new standards with six axes, very high speeds, short cycle times and integrated energy supply system.
The KUKA KR 16 robotic full bottle pick-and-place system is equipped with an end-of-arm vacuum assembly that selects filled bottles from the AdaptA MB system and places them into a tray. This technology can be used for case packing, large container bulk palletizing or removal of select containers for inspection. The system can be designed to handle many types and sizes as well as combinations of products within cases, allowing for mixed or “rainbow” packages. The AdaptA MB system creates a mixed pallet using mxAutomation, a software package that allows full control of KUKA robot motion via an external PLC that communicates with the KR C4 robot controller.
KUKA Robotics Corp.
CARTON SEALING SOLUTION
Shurtape Technologies, LLC, Hickory, N.C., introduced the ShurSEAL Solution, a carton sealing system that secures seals, carton after carton.
The ShurSEAL Solution combines Shurtape HP Series packaging tape with a PrimeLoc tape applicator, creating an immediate, permanent bond with cartons. Plus, it’s available in cold temperature formulations for harsh, cold conditions for frozen foods, meat, poultry and dairy industries and even unheated warehouses and cold storage facilities.
The PrimeLoc tape applicator delivers unmatched wipe-down force and results in tamper-evident seals. Optional Folded-Edge technology reinforces strength and creates a ready-to-open seal that doesn’t require a knife.
The ShurSEAL Solution can be retrofitted to a variety of automated machines, including case erectors, packers and sealers.
Shurtape Technologies, LLC
HIGH-VOLUME HPP SYSTEM
Avure Technologies, Franklin, Tenn., debuted the newest member of its fleet of high-volume high-pressure processing (HPP) systems—the AV-60 (formerly the 525L).
The AV-60 is said to be the only machine on the market that can run 10 cycles per hour with a 3-minute hold, common for meat products. And, the AV-60 is designed so that the high-pressure wear parts have more standard sizes and can be accessed easily for replacement and maintenance.
The Avure AV-60 boasts what is said to be the largest diameter of any HPP system in the world, with increased loading efficiencies and flexible package size.
Avure Technologies Inc.
SOLID/LIQUID SEPARATION SYSTEM
The Lyco Manufacturing Zero Maintenance Screen from Lyco Manufacturing, Columbus, Wis., is a solids/liquid separation system designed for pork, poultry, proteins, potatoes and vegetables.
This system eliminates conventional trunnions and wheels, thus reducing maintenance, and features a simple screen and unibody design. Plus, it reduces water requirements used during easy cleaning process, reduces industrial waste by creating a secondary revenue stream, reduces the number of chemicals used in the dissolved air filtration system and reduces potential municipal chargebacks or fines due to cleaner discharge.
Lyco Manufacturing Inc.
PACKAGING STERILIZATION FOR BEVERAGE, DAIRY INDUSTRY
France-based Claranor presented its range of applications for inline packaging sterilization with pulsed light.
These dry and non-chemical solutions for inline packaging sterilization are based on the power of intense flashes of white light, also known as pulsed light technology. The inline cup sterilization unit is compact and easy to integrate on either linear or rotative filling lines for dairy desserts, drinking yogurt and fruit juices in cups, trays or pails up to 5 gallons.
The Claranor pulsed light solutions are said to replace chemical solutions on ultraclean and ESL filling lines and can guarantee a 3- to 5-log reduction on bacterial spores and molds.
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