PACK EXPO 2016: The main event for the packaging industry
PACK EXPO 2016 tapped into such trends as IoT, robotics, cloud-based and manufacturing efficiency.
PACK EXPO International is in position to be the best packaging show yet, according to show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va.
PACK EXPO International 2016, which took place Nov. 6-9 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, was co-located with Pharma EXPO, a joint venture with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), Tampa, Fla.
Here’s a rundown of equipment, materials, technologies and solutions introduced and/or on display at the show, in the order they were received:
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY FOR PACKAGING EQUIPMENT
Marina Mayer, editor in chief of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, met with Jorge Izquierdo, vice president of market development for PMMI, to discuss the State of the Packaging Equipment Industry.
Key trends such as Internet of Things (IoT), the need for quick changeover, flexible packaging and speed, impact of FSMA and other food safety protocols and imports/exports contribute to the drastic growth of the packaging machinery market.
Find out more in PMMI’s State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery report.
PALLETIZER WITH UPDATED DESIGN, REDUCED FOOTPRINT
Intelligrated, Mason, Ohio, delivered an updated design in a reduced footprint for its Alvey 890i and 891i. Designed to handle consumer goods such as packaged food and beverages, Alvey 890i and 891i can handle a wide array of package types and intricate stacking patterns. A 10-inch color touchscreen interface enables operators to easily create new load configurations. Standard features include automatic layer-centering compression dams, servo technology and the company’s unique package stop design, which makes adding new products and patterns easy. The updated models also prioritize safety, with an automatic air dump to avoid trapped energy, separate enclosure for high and low voltage devices, CAT 3 design, interlocked access gates, taller safety fences and a muted light curtain system for pallet discharge. Ancillary options include slip sheet dispensers, tier sheet dispensers, extended discharge conveyor and multi-line controls for handling more than one production line simultaneously.
Intelligrated also announced IntelliGen palletizing software for robotic operations. This software comes integrated with the robotic cell’s standard control system, and allows operators to select user-defined load configurations, patterns and product sizes without making a service call. Advanced functionality also includes row-forming and case-turning, enabling multiple-piece picks and drops on multiple rows. It can handle a variety of packaging types, including corrugate cases and plastic totes and bags.
METAL BELT OPTION FOR CONVEYORS
Dynamic Conveyor Corp., Muskegon, Mich., unveiled metal mesh belting on its DynaClean conveyor line.
Ideal for meat, seafood, fruit, vegetable and baking applications, among others, the metal belts are also USDA accepted, manufactured in 302 stainless steel, self-tracking and clean-in-place. Plus, wire metal belting is transparent, metal detectable, allows for tight transfers and enables customers to batter, bread, glaze, coat, cool, drain, dry or wash product while being conveyed.
Dynamic Conveyor Corp.
TURNKEY SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD PROCESSING, PACKAGING
tna, Dallas, Texas, presented an ever-expanding range of turnkey solutions, including what is said to be some of the most advanced food processing and packaging technologies.
For the first time, visitors discovered how the flexible inserting and labelling equipment from tna’s latest acquisition Unique Solutions can add extra value to their packaged products. Unique Solutions’ technology enables the insertion of value-added two-dimensional items, such as coupons or magnets, and three-dimensional items like toys or dry or liquid-filled sachets into primary packaging at speeds of up to 750 pieces per minute.
Attendees saw firsthand Unique Solutions PouchPlus 1000, the ultimate In-Pak performance inserter for 2D and 3D inserts and pouches, capable of working at high speeds to keep up with production turnover.
Unique Solutions LabelPlus 360 is a revolutionary On-Pak label applicator that features “auto-teach” optical sensors, enabling faster setup and product sensing to ensure no waste or downtime from missed labels.
Also on display is tna’s robag FX 3ci, a rotary vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) packaging system designed to package at top speeds from a single tube with triple rotary jaw action for a wide range of products. As a result, this cutting-edge bagger ensures optimum productivity by improving performance up to 30% in terms of output and reducing the number of rejects. tna robag’s features also include the tna intelli-weigh omega multi-head scale, the patented tna hyper-detect metal detector and tna intelli-read barcode verification scanning system.
Additional equipment on display was:
tna intelli-flav OMS 5, the ultimate on-machine seasoning system that can provide both powder flavoring and liquid oil in a single drum to deliver consistent coverage and flavor.
FOODesign cryo-jet 5, an ambient air cooling system for the rapid cooling of baked and fried snack foods using only ambient air.
tna roflo HM 3 and tna roflo VM 3, horizontal and vibratory motion distribution systems designed to minimize loss of seasonings and coatings as well as prevent product breakage for optimal conveying.
VERTICAL FORM-FILL-SEAL MACHINES
Rovema North America, Norcross, Ga., showcased two vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) machines.
The BVK 260 features a company-made servo driven auger and Aroma perm gas flushing system for residual oxygen levels below 2%. It’s ideal for basic bag shapes, such as flat bags and flat-bottomed bags, and was developed as a replacement for Rovema’s VPK-260 continuous motion bagger. Its servo-controlled, continuous “D” motion cross seal station keeps reliable sealing technology at the heart of the bagger’s efficiency.
The BVC 260 is a continuous motion, dual-axis servo packaging machine capable of running up to 210 cycles per minute at a maximum forming width of 260mm. It features a smaller footprint due to an integrated electrical panel, a solid frame with no hollow bodies, fabricated steel and solid posts to better prevent potential product migration into the frame and better maintenance access, including an improved guard door design that uses additional hinges to ensure easier access to the jaw drive and jaw assembly. Equipped with real-time control technology that is fully programmable and highly user-friendly, the BVC 260 is highly flexible in terms of the sizes and styles of bags it can produce, which include pillow, flat-bottom, Stabilo (quad-seal), stand-ups, zipper recloseable and more. Plus, it is equipped with Rovema’s innovative “premium-seal” system, which offers the option to pre-heat and then compress multi-layered seal seam packing material for optimum tightness.
Rovema North America
EXPANDING CAPABILITIES OF EXISTING ROBOTIC PACKAGING TECHNOLOGIES
JLS Automation, York, Pa., partnered with Soft Robotics, Cambridge, Mass., to help expand the capabilities of existing robotic packaging technologies.
“Grippers” can now be integrated with JLS’ end-of-arm tool (EOAT), which acts as fingers that gently pick and place hard-to-handle products. The grippers are adaptive, simple-to-use and can help bring automation to traditional manual packing applications.
Soft Robotics, Inc.
2D PROFILING DUD DETECTOR
Silgan Equipment Co., Waukegan, Ill., introduced its new 2D Profiling Dud Detection system, which employs a laser to inspect filled food and beverage containers for complete closure application and sufficient container vacuum level to hold the closure safety button or surface down.
The 2D Profiling system inspects closures on filled containers at production line speeds and provides 100% inspection of containers. The compact unit is mounted on universal hardware that fits over existing production conveyors, eliminating the need to disrupt a production line during installation.
Operators access the system controls through a full-color touchscreen HMI; the controls store and recall product files for quick and reliable changeovers. The PackML-compliant system software also records and stores inspection statistics to guide continuous improvement programs and provide data in the event of an FDA inspection.
The 2D Profiling system inspects metal, plastic and composite closures, and integrates the inspection with a rejector that diverts a failing container from the production line conveyor, ensuring it does not leave the facility and reach the marketplace. The system works with tap touch, soft touch, air touch and other diverters.
Plus, the 2D Profiling unit is housed in a NEMA4X stainless-steel structure.
Silgan Equipment Co.
HORIZONTAL CARTONER, BAGGING MACHINE FOR BAG-IN-BOX, IQF APPLICATIONS
Triangle Package Machinery, Chicago, features its Flex 1 horizontal cartoner, designed to load single, twin or triple packages at speeds up to 100 cartons per minute.
In addition to quick changeover and a compact footprint, the Flex 1 provides others benefits such as:
- Gentle product handling;
- Simple operation;
- Extended production runs with an optional extended carton magazine that holds up to 1,000 carton blanks;
- Elimination of the barrel-loader assembly for reduced complexity, lower maintenance and reduced product breakage;
- Rockwell Automation / Allen Bradley ControlLogix, AB Kinetics Servo Drives and AB PowerFlex AC Drives.
The Flex1 features servo drives for precise motion control and eliminates the need to synchronize bagger and cartoner. Designed for bag-in-box applications, the Flex 1 is also suitable for individually quick-frozen (IQF) products or trays.
Triangle Package Machinery also showcased its Model XYRJ bagging machine, which now features an optional longitudinal zipper. The vertical form-fill-seal bagger is designed to run a wide variety of bag styles such as pillow bags, gusseted bags, 3-sided seal and Doy bags, thanks its easily rotatable sealing jaw.
Other key features of Model XY-RJ include:
- Easy-to-rotate sealing jaw requires no heavy equipment or complicated tools – switch formats in 15 minutes or less;
- Ability to run supported (laminated) and many non-supported film structures;
- Bagging speeds up to 120 bpm;
- Optional ultrasonic sealing for a completely product-free and airtight seal.
Triangle Package Machinery
METAL-DETECTABLE GASKETS, CARTRIDGE MAGNETS
Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan., debuted new metal-detectable gaskets and grommets for food processing lines. These metal-detectable gaskets and grommets are FDA-compliant and come standard on all Bunting Magnetics separation equipment, ensuring maximum product purity in foods, liquids and slurries.
Bunting also introduced NUHI Cartridge Magnet (Neodymium Ultra High Intensity), built of solid 316 stainless-steel and standard on the company’s magnetic separation products, including HF drawer filters and grate magnets.
Also on display was the meTRON 07 CI metal detector, a tunnel-style machine that detects metals in conveyors, making them ideal for inspection anywhere in the process, especially in final packaging. The machines come equipped with color touchscreen displays and USB interfaces for data exchange of backup information, updates and quality control logs. Dual-entry user access provides additional security, and the detection software automatically learns product attributes and stores as many as 1,000 unique products. The exclusive imagePHASE feature delivers improved sensitivity, while the multimode feature accommodates a wider range of products through the detector. The autoTEST continually and automatically self-tests the unit and alerts operators to any malfunction.
Bunting Magnetics Co.
PET FILM TECHNOLOGIES
Toray Plastics (America), Inc., North Kingstown, R.I., featured its advanced Torayfan OPP and Lumirror PET film technologies.
Among the technologies are:
The LumiLid portfolio of lidding films are dual-ovenable, FDA-compliant, IMS-certified and available in clear, white, metallized and bio-based formats for trays (PP, APET, CPET and more) and cup stock. They boast a low SIT, broad seal range, outstanding seal integrity and a consumer-friendly easy peel. Applications include refrigerated and frozen entrées and side dishes, dairy items and fresh and dried foods.
LumiLid XL7AF offers anti-fog functionality for condensation-free film in cold food applications such as cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, butter, ricotta cheese, refrigerated processed cheeses and cheese spreads, ice cream, non-dairy spreads such as margarine and non-dairy frozen foods and desserts, such as those made with soy, almond and coconut milks. The base film of the XL7W lidding is Toray’s robust, technologically advanced polyester, and is modified with an equally robust sealant layer, achieved by means of Toray’s proprietary extrusion-coated sealant blend. That combination creates a film with a very broad sealing range of between 200-350°F, maintaining consistent seal strength during the sealing process. It is available in 128, 164 and 200 gauges.
Torayfan over-the-mountain portfolio of BOPP films are designed to prevent packages from bursting when transported through fluctuating altitudes and atmospheric conditions. The new over-the-mountain BOPP films are manufactured with a proprietary, modified polypropylene core layer and a proprietary sealant that work together synergistically to provide superior seal-strength and hermetic seals to help maintain the integrity of the package.
Lumirror MR20 is a new eco-friendly, polyester metal-transfer film that allows aluminum deposited onto the film surface to be transferred to a paperboard for superior brightness. MR20 film is eco-friendly because after it is used in the converter’s transfer metallization process, it can be returned to Toray for recycling.
Lumirror QN497 is an ultra-high, gas-barrier metallized PET film designed to be the inner layer of a laminate film in foil replacement, extended shelf life and gas-flushed applications requiring superior moisture-, oxygen- and aroma-barrier properties. QN497’s adhesion layer is suitable for laminating, adhesive coating or printing, and offers high thermal stability, good machinability and a superior adhesion surface for printing or laminating.
Torayfan TreaTear DR72 film is a directional-tear CPP sealant film that offers high seal strength and provides an easy, straight tear for opening retort and non-retort packages. Available as thin as 30 microns, it offers yield advantages over the traditional 60- or 70-micron sealant web films, as well as flexibility with overall lamination design.
Torayfan RS03 is a new, high-tensile OPP RipStop film used to reinforce the die-cut handles integrated into corrugated and folding carton box designs. This new RipStop film technology replaces fiber and filament reinforced tapes. RS03’s tear-resistance technology in the transverse (cross-machine) direction prevents the die-cut handles from failing, providing a secure carton construction for the consumer. Applications include corrugated beverage packaging, folding cartons and more.
Barrialox SBR2 is a high-barrier, transparent, aluminum oxide-coated polyester film for retort pouch applications, made by Toray’s sister company, Toray Advanced Film Co. Ltd., Japan. It features excellent thermal stability and superior mechanical properties such as high strength and dimensional stability, enabling it to withstand the rigors of the converting process and the intense high heat and pressure of retort sterilization.
Toray Plastics (America), Inc.
INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR LIQUID, VISCIOU, PUMPABLE FOODS
Bosch Packaging Technology, New Richmond, Wis., debuted its integrated system solution for liquid, viscous and pumpable foods.
The result of the close cooperation between Osgood Industries, Inc., Oldsmar, Fla., and Kliklok-Woodman, Inc., Decatur, Ga., is a complete system solution that addresses the growing market demand for containers in wrap-around cartons.
The system’s first element is the Osgood S-series fill-and-seal machine, featuring a hygienic design with fewer areas that might trap food residues. The machine is 3-A Sanitary Standards (3-A SSI) compliant, and boasts innovative O‑ring-free pistons, which further decrease clean-in-place (CIP) time and eliminate the risk of product recalls. Osgood’s tank-style pump and smooth movement allows for equal product distribution on each of the lanes with negligible variations between cups, even at speeds up to 1,000 containers per minute. Furthermore, the S-series employs a servo-driven indexing filler, adjusted depending on the viscosity of the product to control splashing, foam and froth.
The new Certiwrap Elite wrap-around cartoner from Kliklok-Woodman offers an economical secondary packaging solution that uses less paperboard material, without compromising on shelf appeal. The Certiwarp Elite is ideal for liquid and viscous foods in cups or other rigid containers arranged singularly or in multiples — even stacked —at speeds up to 400 cartons per minute. The Certiwrap Elite’s hygienic design combines an all stainless-steel frame, easy accessibility, high visibility and sanitary construction for simplified cleaning to ultimately reduce downtime. Total walk-in access for maintenance through the safety doors further enhances ease of operation and increases uptime. The machine’s insight color touch-screen HMI enables automatic programming, the elimination of operator errors and ensures consistent performance.
Bosch also debuted its latest hygienically designed horizontal and vertical solutions for the frozen foods industry. For handling of delicate products such as ice cream, this horizontal solution consists of a feeding system combined with a Sigpack HBM horizontal flow wrapper and Bosch’s flexible Sigpack TTM cartoner. Continuous product flow is guaranteed by the new Sigpack DCIE indirect distribution station and a feeding system transporting the products gently at high speeds. The Sigpack HBM horizontal flow wrapper also features a sealed electrical cabinet to protect drives, and is available with either cold or heat sealing and with an automatic splicer to guarantee up to 600 products per minute. The Sigpack TTM cartoner features a patented format change concept, which enables easy and tool-less changeovers of pack styles and formats within a few minutes. The vertical re-start takes place with no additional time required for supplementary fine adjustments.
For producers of free-flowing frozen goods, such as chicken, French fries, fruit and vegetables, Bosch debuted the SVC 2620, a vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) machine. The SVC 2620 features three cleaning options, from dry wipedown, low pressure right through to high pressure with cleaning agents, and boasts bag-style flexibility for pillow, block bottom, gusseted and corner seal pack styles with various re-close and easy opening features in widths up to 260 millimeters.
Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc.
UNIVERSAL CASE PACKER
PMI Cartoning, Elk Grove Village, Ill., exhibited its new universal case packer, which boasts the ability to run wrap-around, side-load and top-load cases on a single machine. Additionally, the HCP can pack cases with inner or outer fifth flaps as well as trays of product.
The all-servo design features Allen-Bradley multi-axis Kinetix servos, allowing for maximum uptime, quick changeovers and simple operation. Operator-friendly controls from Rockwell Automation include ControlLogix and AB PanelView Plus.
A dual-arm servo assembly is used for case blank erecting and opening. Additional features include an automatic lube system, open flap detect/reject and an integrated case up-ender and print conveyor. A Nordson Pro Blue system with electric dispensing glue guns ensures fast, strong case seals. Category 3 Safety compliance is standard and optional stainless-steel washdown construction is available. Custom in-feed and product-handling systems allow speeds up to 30 cases/trays per minute.
PMI Cartoning, Inc.
ROBOTIC PALLETIZING MACHINE
American-Newlong, Inc., Indianapolis, displayed its EC-201 robotic palletizing machine, the A1-PB sewing stand with DS-9C filled bag closing head and the NP-7A portable bag closer.
The EC-201 robotic palletizer boasts a payload capacity of 440 pounds and a palletizing capacity of 1,600 cycles per hour. It palletizes bags, cases, pails and other products at four axes for maximum flexibility. The weight of the mechanically balanced arm can be supported by a single finger, allowing it to use less energy and reduce stress on the arm joints, bearings, pivot points and floor supports. A standard touch-screen allows personnel to change palletizing programs in under 5 seconds, utilize onboard warning systems, review error occurrences and take corrective measures, monitor I/O in real time, track inventory by specific programs, compare running and powered-up hours and monitor the machine in real time.
The A1-PB pedestal combined with the DS-9C sewing head is a versatile bag closing system. Adjustable in height, the system can be used with a wide range of conveyors, and can sew any type of bag ranging from paper bags, woven PP/PE to cloth bags. This system is equipped with vector drive technology for easy speed matching to existing conveyors, promoting maximum speed flexibility and facilitating fast start/stop sewing action. The A1-PB bag closing machine is designed to accommodate both plain sew and crepe-tape bound closures, features a maximum speed of 2,700 rpm and can be converted to a single thread system.
The NP-7A high-speed portable bag closer offers speeds of 1,700-1,900 rpm. Designed for continuous use, the hand-held NP-7A is ideal for closing, flour and other pellet or powder material. It sews on horizontal surfaces, can be used to join two fabrics and closes virtually every type of bag, including Kraft paper, cotton, hessian, jute and PP/PE woven cloth.
HELPING BOTTLE MANUFACTURERS ACHIEVE LIGHT WEIGHTING GOALS
Agr International, Butler, Pa., featured a number of products designed to aid bottle manufacturers in achieving light weighting goals while maintaining high quality.
The Process Pilot automated blowmolder management system is designed to help PET bottle manufacturers measure, control and optimize their bottle blowing process by interfacing with the blowmolder to provide precise material thickness distribution on a per bottle basis, while managing the blowmolder to eliminate the effect of process and environmental variables that impact bottle material distribution throughout the production cycle.
The latest enhancement to the Process Pilot product line is the CrystalView material optimization system, which provides PET bottle manufacturers with the means for automatic management of material orientation/crystallinity. The CrystalView system works in conjunction with the Process Pilot blowmolder management system to simultaneously manage material distribution and optimize material orientation. By doing so, material orientation is optimized over the entire bottle, making it possible to produce the best possible bottles at the coldest practical processing temperature.
MBTxt is a portable thickness gauging system capable of achieving extremely precise thickness measurements, boasting a low-range resolution of 0.1 μm. The MBTxt offers a number of advanced features, including a greatly extended measurement range up to 25mm, and can be used to measure all types of non-ferrous materials up to 25mm thick.
Agr International, Inc.
PRODUCT INSPECTION, SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR IMPROVED HYGIENE, FOOD SAFETY
Eagle Product Inspection, Tampa, Fla., showcased a number of advanced technology and software solutions.
Eagle FA3/M is a multi-application system that provides inline fat measurement and contaminant detection for fresh, chilled, frozen and hot-boned loose bulk, frozen or tempered meat blocks and unwrapped meat conveyed in plastic crates. The FA3/M complies with IP69 ingress protection and can withstand high-pressure washdown cleaning routines.
Eagle Pack 430 with MDX is designed for x-ray inspection of mid-sized packaged products and multi-lane applications in the food industry. It features dual energy Material Discrimination X-Ray (MDX) technology, designed to detect foreign bodies previously unseen by single energy x-ray or other conventional inspection means in difficult product applications. The Pack 430 PRO is available in IP65 and IP69 construction.
Eagle Tall PRO XSDV is designed for the inspection of high-speed can, jar, bottle and composite lines, as well as other upright container formats where having two x-ray views improve inspection rigor.
SimulTask PRO simplifies product set-up and adds flexibility to the product inspection process.
TraceServer seamlessly records the x-ray inspection process, centrally storing valuable production data and machine status information.
New OPTUM software takes the guesswork out of meat recipe management and enables batching to a target chemical lean (CL). The simple user interface allows the operator to optimize each recipe or batch based on the raw materials and products currently in inventory.
Eagle Product Inspection
AUTOMATIC FILM SPLICERS
Butler Automatic, Middleborough, Mass., showcased its SP1 and SP3HSL Automatic Film Splicers to demonstrate how the film splicers increase efficiency in a wide range of packaging operations by eliminating the packaging line downtime caused by manual film roll changes.
The SP1 senses the diameter of the expiring roll of film and automatically splices the end of each expiring roll onto the new roll. It is capable of running at speeds of up to 600 feet per minute.
The SP3HSL automatic shrink sleeve splicer increases line efficiency by 9% or more, is capable of running at speeds up to 450 feet per minute and is ideally suited for increasing production time in consumer packaged goods utilizing shrink sleeve packaging.
Butler Automatic, Inc.
Aptar Food + Beverage, Cary, Ill., showcased its VersaPouch inverted pouch, among a range of other dispensing technologies.
The VersaPouch inverted pouch platform features a variety of new flip-top closure options that are integrated with SimpliSqueeze valve technology, allowing consumers to precisely control the amount of product dispensed. This format is ideal for applications such as dairy, jellies, dressings and condiments.
Aptar Food + Beverage
POUCH FILLING SYSTEMS
Optima Machinery Corp., Green Bay, Wis., premiered the OptiPouch system, which is said to offer 250% more output than the fastest machine on the market to date. With an output of 600 ppm, the system processes premium spouted pouches. The OptiPouch system is a combination of the new rotary filling machine and the rotary closing machine, processing up to 600 spouted pouches per minute.
The new, highly flexible OPTIMA MultiUse Filler is ideally suited for everything from laboratory applications to fully automated processing of small batches - for example, for biopharmaceutical medications.
The packaging systems for paper hygiene products presented by Optima Nonwovens contain state-of-the-art technologies and combine control and outer packaging functions form automated complete solutions.
COMPANY NAME CHANGE
Woodruff Corp., a Richmond, Ind.-based manufacturer of reusable, returnable and recyclable plastic shipping containers, point-of-purchase displays and retail packaging, and O’Neil Color & Compounding, a supplier of color and polymer solutions for plastics processors based in Garfield, N.J., announced a company name change to Primex Design & Fabrication and Primex Color, Compounding & Additives, respectively. Both companies are divisions of sheet extruder Primex Plastics Corp., a Richmond, Ind.-based subsidiary of ICC Industries.
The Primex family encompass five U.S. locations and one in Europe, providing just-in-time materials and 24/7 technical support.
O’Neil Color & Compounding
PRECISION-ENGINEERED BAGS, FITMENTS
Organic and natural food and beverage products packed in bag-in-box and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) can now achieve increased shelf life with precision-engineered bags and fitments from Aran U.S.A., Greer, S.C. Applications range from fruits and vegetables, purees, sauces and condiments to dairy products, liquid eggs and more.
Shelf-life solutions include AranFlex, an advanced thermal lamination technology that ensures precision layer adhesion by heat without the use of adhesives or solvents. Film structures formed by this process ensure uniform control of barrier properties and optimum gauge control to provide the right dimensions necessary to shield perishable products. This process creates films with excellent environmental stress crack resistance, which prevents products from being compromised by flex-cracking during transportation and distribution.
To ensure finished bags meet the high performance and quality specifications necessary to protect bulk shipments of perishable liquid foods and beverages, Superflex is a precision bag for drum bags and IBC specially designed to protect against flex-cracking during extremely rough and challenging transportation modes. This durable bag protects perishables in volumes of 55-350 gallons.
To help processors and packagers achieve the best engineered shelf-life solution for their liquid food products, Aran offers a 3-step Brand Protection Assessment Process, which includes a thorough review of the current or future application requirements, including nutritional sensitivity to light, oxygen and other agents; aggressiveness of product chemistry; anticipated temperature and conditions; distribution and transportation logistics, formats and tim frame; and rigors and convenience of end-use, followed by an Aran team reviewing options in film, oxygen scavengers, dispensing, bulk formats and proprietary technologies, then presenting recommendations that support shelf-life requirements, user convenience, transportation efficiencies, improved sustainability scores and reductions in total systems costs.
And, to support the liquid packaging needs of food and beverage processors in the Americas, Aran opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and technology center in Greer, S.C., in July. The new center enables customers in North and South America to safely and efficiently get to market faster with precision-engineered bags and fitments to better protect perishables while minimizing food waste and increase sustainability scores.
LABEL PRINTER APPLICATOR
Weber Packaging Solutions, Arlington Heights, Ill., showcased its new Model L-A 6000 label printer applicator, which helps distribution centers meet the requirements of labeling variable-sized cartons with accurate shipping information.
This reliable printer applicator uses the tamp-blow method to print and apply up to 40 labels per minute to products that vary in height up to 19.68 inches.
A sensor initially determines the height of the approaching product for labeling, and then the applicator moves to the correct position at high speed. This reduces the travelling distance for the label application, allowing the L-A 6000 to simultaneously label more accurately and up to 50% faster than a label printer applicator with a pneumatically driven cylinder.
The newly redesigned microprocessor controller is compact and facilitates easy integration into existing operating environments. The system’s modular construction allows easy access to components for servicing and or maintenance, enabling convenient changing of labels and ribbons as well as easy cleaning of the print module’s thermal print head.
Interchangeable dispensing heads allow the use of different size labels. Using print engines from Zebra or SATO, the L-A 6000 can print labels as thermal transfer or direct thermal.
Peak performance is achieved using a lightweight servo-driven motor applicator of carbon fiber construction. The L-A 6000 also has an ergonomically adjustable reel holder that handles label rolls up to 13.7 inches in diameter for reduced downtime.
Weber Packaging Solutions
FULL-COLOR BLISTER PRINTING SYSTEM
Hapa, Switzerland, premiered a full-color blister printing system.
The BlisterJet CMYK is a UV DOD piezo inkjet printing system for full-color printing on blank blisters in a CMYK application process.
+41 43 399 32 00
VISION-BASED ROBOTIC PRODUCT LOADING SYSTEM
Bradman Lake, Charlotte, N.C., debuted its newly developed primary and secondary packaging line, which includes wrapping, picking and placing products into top load cartons.
The latest design of the Flowtronic FT120 flow wrapper with inline phase feeder is a horizontal form-fill-seal flow wrapping machine that features an innovative infeed system designed to form a queue of product and then phase individual product into the infeed flights. It also controls the speed of the machines by monitoring the level of product presented to the wrapping leg.
The latest version of the VGR2000 vision guided robotic pick and place loading system can be integrated with many packaging lines and load products such as wrappers, top load and end load cartoning machines and case packers.
The 2/60 single head lock carton former and the RA60 three flap carton closer boast a compact layout design for limited space availability.
Bradman Lake Group
PACKAGING STERILIZATION SOLUTIONS
Claranor, France, and its exclusive U.S. distributor, IMS, Industrial Machining Services, Fort Loramie, Ohio, showcased a lineup of chemical-free innovations designed to sterilize packaging.
The Combi PET is said to be the first chemical-free, ultra-clean filling solution designed to allow a combined treatment of both pre-form (including body) and closures for high acid-sensitive beverages.
The Puls’ Combi FS allows a combined treatment of cups and lids decontaminated by the pulsed-light technology. Dedicated to sensitive products, the level of bacterial decontamination complies with food producers’ requirements. The compactness of the equipment and the instant treatment makes the Puls' Combi FS easy to operate, integrate on linear or rotary lines and adapt to high-speed lines (up to 80 strokes per minute).
The full cap sterilization equipment is equipped to improve microbiological status to extend product shelf life while guaranteeing quality. Developed to address cross-contamination issues, this pulsed light equipment simultaneously sterilizes both sides of the cap.
And, Claranor Essential is a compact solution, designed for low and medium speed lines dedicated to the bottled dairy, juice and sauce markets.
+33 (0)4 86 40 84 60
PALLETIZING SYSTEM WITH INTEGRATED STRETCH WRAPPER
CSi Palletizing, Chalfont, Pa., exhibited its revolutionary i-Pal palletizing system with integrated stretch wrapper in a single platform.
The fully-configurable system is capable of handling 50 cases a minute and 35 pallets an hour, guaranteeing a stable pallet load directly at the end-of-line.
The i-Pal boasts the flexibility to handle various products and applications, and integrates with other up and downstream equipment. i-Pal’s flexible mechatronic design allows for simple configuration and the ability to utilize various robot types and control platforms. Plus, this custom palletizing system can be retrofitted with any add-on module without additional engineering time. A patented shuffle end effector (for cases, crates and bundles) and a 6-axis robot allow for wider range of options.
Additional benefits to end-users and contract packagers include:
- 25% smaller footprint than alternatives.
- Modular design with standard components.
- Speeds up to 50 products per minute.
- Short lead times starting at 10 weeks.
- Plug-and-play for quick, 2-day install
PET-BASED PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
Klöckner Pentaplast, Gordonsville, Va., debuted new PET-based packaging solutions.
The Pentafood clikPET is a PET-based technology for yogurt packaging designed to be used on major form-fill-seal lines, seals, labels and trays. This innovative packaging technology extends the shelf life of yogurt products up to 10 days, boasts excellent material properties and reduces cup breakage rates to significantly lower levels.
Klöckner Pentaplast also developed a unique blister-based solution to package and protect liquid and semi-liquid dosage forms.
Klöckner Pentaplast expanded its Pentalabel shrink film line to include a new light blocking film. Pentalabel eklipse introduces maximum light blocking properties into the film process and offers high-performing shrink percentages for optimal design freedom while eliminating the need for high-barrier primary containers. Pentalabel eklipse technology is ideal for new or redesigned packaging for food applications.
Also on display were films for food products (Pentafood), shrink films (Pentalabel) and general purpose thermoforming (Pentaform).
Klöckner Pentaplast of America, Inc.
CONTINUOUS INJKET PRINTERS
UK-based Linx Printing Technologies introduced the new Linx 10, a compact and portable entry-level CIJ (continuous inkjet) printer designed for smaller businesses that need to code products for the first time or whose potential for business growth is hampered by the use of less flexible, non-digital coding methods.
The new model incorporates several Linx features, including fast and easy error-free message setup via a color touchscreen and the ability for users to service the printer themselves. Its unique integrated automatic line speed sensor also makes setup on the line easier while ensuring consistent code quality.
Linx also launched the Linx 8920 and 8940 CIJ printers, which incorporate a number of further enhancements such as extension of service intervals from 13,000 hours or 18 months to 18,000 hours or 24 months. Another unique feature is the first-in-class advanced system monitoring, which provides a continual check of the printer’s operation in terms of ink system running parameters and environmental conditions. This enables it to identify simple actions that users can take to prevent unscheduled stoppages. Both models have a top speed of 6.25m/s for a single line code, and the capability to print up to five lines. The Linx 8940 also offers an IP65 rating that prevents dust ingress and washdown protection, ideal for operating in more challenging environments.
The Linx SL1 laser coder is an entry-level solution that enables more companies to adopt laser technology. Said to be one of the most compact and lightweight one-box laser solutions on the market, the Linx SL1 laser coder fits easily into tight production spaces, as well as coding in any orientation, and delivers class-leading speeds and 20% more power than other products. It is also capable of greater coding versatility, with the ability to produce multiple lines of texts and logos in one message, as well as machine readable codes such as QR and data matrix.
The Linx IJ375 was designed to cut production costs while maximizing line uptime and print quality for the coding of secondary packaging. Its innovative ReFRESH ink system, robust design and print-head protection technology mean significantly reduced downtime and savings on consumables.
The patented ReFRESH system maintains premium print quality and avoids wasted ink during print-head cleaning. Ink and dust that collect on the nozzles are removed with an ink purge and air knife, then ink from this procedure is collected, passed through a high-performance filter to remove impurities and delivered back, ready for printing. In addition, the tough stainless-steel nozzle guard protects the print-head from potential damage from impact with boxes on the line.
For coding onto boxes, trays, sleeves and packaging, the Linx TJ725 thermal inkjet printer incorporates Simply Smart Technology to offer a high-resolution digital coding solution. And, Linx’s innovative Active Cartridge Care System cuts waste by slowing the nozzle drying process, making first prints more reliable every time.
Lastly, the Linx TT5 thermal transfer over-printer offers superb code quality along with a significant increase in production line uptime. Its unique clutchless bi-directional ribbon drives minimizes the risk of ribbon breaks and the need to make mechanical adjustments to maintain ribbon tension.
Linx Printing Technologies
+44 (0)1480 302100
MAGNETIC SPEED CONTROLLER
Interroll, Atlanta, unveiled its new patented MSC 50 (magnetic speed controller), an easy-to-install, maintenance-free solution for warehousing, e-commerce, food processing and any customer that uses flow racks for heavy containers.
The MSC 50 controls the speed of boxes and plastic trays traveling on gravity roller conveyors and spirals or the end sections of sorters. Suitable for handling goods weighing up to 77 pounds, this system provides customers with total control over their conveyor, and ensures lightweight packages move smoothly, while limiting the speed of heavy goods traveling along the conveyor.
The MSC 50 features an eddy current brake, double shielding, which prevents magnetic emissions entirely and a bidirectional braking function. In addition, the MSC 50 speed controller is well suited for retrofitting existing gravity conveyor installations.
The MSC 50 produces a maximum infeed speed of 500 fpm, maximum input up to 3,000 units per hour, comes in 8- to 55-inch roller length and is capable of withstanding ambient temperatures of 40-104°F.
EASY-TEAR POLYETHYLENE POUCH
Printpack, Atlanta, debuted an easy-tear polyethylene pouch featuring customizable moisture barrier, oxygen barrier and closures options.
The technology, designed to be compliant with the How2Recycle store drop-off recycling stream, supports the reduction of food waste and sustainability.
LASER MARKING SYSTEMS DELIVER PEAK CODING PERFORMANCE
Videojet Technologies, Wooddale, Ill., advanced its range of CO2 laser marking systems with the introduction of the Videojet 3340 and 3140 laser marking systems. This advanced CO2 laser range is designed to help deliver peak coding performance for mainstream applications, as well as a solution for manufacturers that require faster data processing speeds, high-speed coding up to 900 m/min and large marking fields across a wide web application.
These new laser solutions enable manufacturers to mark four lines of variable data, plus 2D codes at 400-plus products per minute.
Videojet also offers a range of fume extraction systems and filter options that can be tailored in remove smoke and particulate debris and improve uptime by keeping the laser lens clean. The detachable umbilical cable can be easily routed during setup, helping to eliminate the need to move other machinery.
Videojet Technologies, Inc.
SYSTEM-INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS FOR IOT
Beckhoff Automation, Savage, Minn., showcased its system-integrated solutions for IoT applications.
Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3 is a PC-based control software platform that gives users the ability to create IoT and cloud-connected automation systems in the same universal environment they program PLC, motion control, robotics, safety technology and more.
The Beckhoff IoT Bus Coupler and IoT Box provide a simple method to directly connect I/O systems to the cloud and securely transmit data over today’s recognized standards such as OPC-UA, AMQP and MQTT. The new EK9160 IoT Bus Coupler connects Beckhoff EtherCAT I/Os with the Microsoft Azure cloud without the need for a specific control program.
The Smart Factory introduces numerous requirements for online and offline state analyses, predictive maintenance, pattern recognition, machine optimization and long-term data archiving. This requires data capture to be as continuous as possible and in sync with the processing cycle. TwinCAT Analytics software processes either locally or as a cloud-based solution on a server, whether on an internal corporate network or in a public cloud.
Beckhoff Automation LLC
VACUUM STUFFING, PUMPING SYSTEM
Marlen International, Inc., Riverside, Mo., launched its next generation vacuum stuffing and pumping system.
The OptiServ 400 is a twin-piston vacuum stuffing and pumping system featuring pressure-sensitive servo drives. With up to 40,000 pounds per hour throughput, the OptiServ 400 is capable of surge-free continuous flow production with up to 99.5% portion accuracy and comes with over 40% fewer shear points for superior product integrity.
As motors decelerate and accelerate, the regenerative servo drive balances the load of all motors while lowering the overall heat production within the electrical system. The closed-loop servo system is controlled with Allen-Bradley components using PackML.
ROBOTIC PALLETIZER WORKS ALONGSIDE HUMANS
MGS Machine, Maple Grove, Minn., introduced a new collaborative palletizer.
Designed to work alongside humans, this new robotic palletizer eliminates the need for a safety fence, which cuts floor space requirements in half compared to traditional robotic palletizers.
Ideal for food manufacturers and contract packers, this collaborative palletizer handles cases weighing up to 77 pounds at speeds of up to six cases per minute.
It’s also anchored by Fanuc’s new CR-35ia collaborative robot, which was redesigned to safely work side-by-side with humans. This highly sensitive collaborative robot gently stops if it comes into contact with an operator. Once stopped, the operator can reposition it before re-starting the program to begin where it left off.
Featuring a soft foam cover that protects workers who make direct contact and a distinctive green color that visibly differentiates a collaborative robot from Fanuc’s traditional yellow-colored robots, the CR-35ia is certified to meet all safety requirements for sharing space with people.
This palletizer can be fitted with a variety of end effectors to handle a range of case sizes and styles; tool-less change that can be achieved in less than five minutes, while pallet patterns, saved as recipes in the system’s memory, can be recalled to achieve a change in seconds.
VERTICAL TRANSPORT, SORTING LIFT
Qimarox, The Netherlands, showcased the Prorunner mk5 vertical transport and sorting lift, designed to transport a capacity of 2,000 products per hour.
Because a single elevator system can be used for both upward and downward product flows, the Prorunner mk5 is ideal for vertical sorting.
It can feed products in and out in three directions, without the need for additional equipment. Whether it’s boxes, crates, trays or bags, the product elevator transports them all to any desired level and without any critical product transitions.
Plus, the Prorunner mk5 boasts a patented drive system that reduces friction, therefore reducing energy consumption, and can be operated at a low motor capacity.
UK-based KM Packaging Services debuted two innovative new product ranges to the North American market.
KM’s newly-launched K Skin range improves product presentation whilst reducing environmental impact through lower pack weight. It also reduces wastage throughout the supply chain due to excellent seal integrity. Consumer convenience is facilitated via smooth easy-peel opening. The films are ideal for a wide range of applications and can be sealed to mono-APET, mono-PP and PE-lined trays.
Complementing K Skin is KM’s extended selection of K Pouch pre-made stand-up pouches and 3-sided sealed flat bags, suitable for a wide range of hot and cold fill food applications processed for the ambient, chilled or frozen supply chain. Available in a selection of sizes, from 5 ml to 5 liters, these pouches are ideal for microwave and ovenable solutions, reduce packaging weight and product-to-packaging weight ratio and provide differentiation from traditional rigid alternatives like glass jars and metal cans.
KM Packaging Services Ltd.
+44 (0) 1832 274944
HIGH-DENSITY WAREHOUSE STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Storax America/Flexspace, Charleston, S.C., showcased its high-density, mobile, industrial storage solutions aimed at increasing storage capacity, accessibility and productivity while decreasing a facility’s footprint.
Its mobile racking system, Poweracks, is an industrial mobile racking system comprised of a racking superstructure installed to a powered moving base. Poweracks replaces conventional static aisles with one moving access aisle.
The high-density pallet shuttle, Ranger, is a modern storage solution that automatically circulates pallets on a shuttle system by handheld remote control or a WiFi PDA device. Utilizing advanced photocell technology, the Ranger detects and positions itself underneath a pallet, delivering and extracting pallets with a deep lane tunnel system.
SANITARY WASHDOWN FLOW WRAPPER
Cavanna Packaging Group, Duluth, Ga., introduced a new sanitary design and caustic washdown flow wrapper and flow wrapping system.
This system can be washed down quickly with caustic foaming chemicals and a warm water rinse. Designed specifically for food plants that produce meat, dairy or frozen foods, this system can be cleaned in place or completely disassembled without tools in a matter of minutes.
Plus, the system’s ground-up design follows the American Meat Institute (AMI) guidelines for sanitary construction.
Cavanna Packaging USA
SANITARY CONVEYOR WITH CIP, COP COMPONENTS
Nercon, Neenah, Wis., exhibited a new sanitary conveyor that features clean-in-place and clean-out-of-place components engineered and built to governmental regulations.
Designed to work in the meat handling, food packaging and ready-to-eat, dairy and baking industries, this sanitary technology is available in side-flexing Mat-Style or homogenous Blue Belt design options.
Additional features include it’s extremely easy to clean and maintain, can be disassembled in minutes and boasts removable parts for overnight soaking. CIP and COP options include clean-out holes, removable guide rails that can soak overnight, lift-up idle ends, chain lift with lever and spray nozzles.
SHRINK WRAP SYSTEM FOR DAIRY INDUSTRY
Polypack, Pinellas Park, Fla., introduced a new series of shrink wrap systems for the dairy industry.
These shrink wrap systems automatically collate tapered cups, load them onto pads and shrink wraps them without the use of glue. By using pick-and-place technology to build the pack, Polypack completely eliminates the glue and all associated operations (no re-filling, purging or cleanup).
This system shrinks up to 24 pad packs per minute with single or multi-layer capability and bottom, middle and top pad combinations for round or sqround containers.
Carolina Color, Salisbury, N.C., featured its G3 colorant technology, which can load dyes up to 43% for polystyrene foam packaging of poultry, meat, vegetables and eggs.
Carolina Color ran a trial for a manufacturer of foam trays that used roughly 100,000 pounds of colorant annually at a recommended let-down ratio of 1%. To properly compare the strength of Carolina Color’s G3 to the current vendor, a trial was conducted on a thin sheet (approximately 35 mil) at the same 1% let down of the incumbent supplier.
At a 1%, the G3 colors were far more heavily saturated, so the engineer running the trial reduced the let-down to 0.4% and then to 0.3% and was even able to go to 0.25%. The remainder of the master-batch was run without issue.
At a 0.25% let-down, the G3 delivered a color that was well within the customer's spec with no variation from roll-to-roll. Likewise, the customer was able to use their existing color feeders to consistently deliver the color at the 0.25%. The manufacturer ran approximately 15,000 pounds of the foam roll material and formed the equivalent amount without issue. Needless to say, the color was approved and the now new customer enjoys a 22% savings in their colorant spend.
Carolina Color Corp.
Anritsu, Elk Grove Village, Ill., expanded its XR75 X-Ray Performance line to include the new entry level XR74e Economy x-ray, engineered to detect metal, wire, stones, bone, rubber and glass fragments.
This new machine conserves space, occupying a 55-inch footprint with integrated reject. Additional features include embedded software, a solid-state drive, a sealed, non-circulating tube cooling system, HD imaging for enhanced data analysis and missing product detection, shape detection, virtual weight, count and package check.
The XR75 is suitable for high-speed production lines and sanitary processing environments, allowing manufacturers to “see” through multiple layers of packaging materials to increase product safety and fulfill HAACP compliance levels.
RUGGED TRAY SEALER
Ossid, powered by Pro Mach, Covington, Ky., introduced the OTS-32 tray sealer, a rugged mid-range machine designed for those growing markets that require a robust, flexible solution for tray sealing. The flexible OTS-32 tray sealing machine can produce ambient, modified atmosphere and vacuum skin pack packaging on printed film, and features quick tooling changeover and rugged stainless-steel construction.
Meanwhile, Ossid, for the first time, demonstrated the OTS-10VMAP table top tray sealer, which boasts vacuum skin pack/modified atmosphere packaging capabilities to produce long shelf life for case-ready pork, chicken, beef, vegetables and other fresh foods. The OTS-10 family of machinery is designed to meet the production requirements of small to medium-sized processors, and is ideal for larger processers involved in test marketing products and/or for laboratory production of sample packaging.
Also for the first time, the Ossid 500Si high-speed stretch overwrapper features seamless integration with top and bottom application of decorative labels. The 500Si produces tightly wrapped, PVC case-ready packaging at speeds up to 120 trays per minute. An intuitive HMI ensures ease of operation and rapid, tool-free changeover between package sizes. The open stainless-steel frame and other construction aspects are compatible with the harsh environments of poultry and meat packaging facilities. The 500Si also boasts a relatively small footprint and is ideal for space-constrained environments.
Ossid, powered by Pro Mach
ON-DEMAND INKJET LABEL PRINTER
Building on the success of the original ColorWorks C7500G on-demand inkjet label printer, Epson America, Inc., Long Beach, Calif., added the Wasatch SoftRIP software to the printer. Featuring speeds up to 59 feet per minute, the ColorWorks C7500G with Wasatch SoftRIP software produces advanced on-demand, full-color glossy label printing with spot color matching in a quick turnaround time. Built for reliable, high-quality performance, the C7500G with SoftRIP is ideal for demanding, high-volume environments that require high-print quality prime labels.
Enhanced features include:
- Spot color matching, which can be achieved for most common prime label spot colors within a deltaE of 1.5 for very high-color accuracy.
- A simple user interface ideal for high-speed label production.
- Quick adjustment of the size of a label to create the desired print layout by adding columns and rows.
- Rotary cutting marks can be added directly from the main screen of the user interface.
- Superior color management options include spot color replacement and support for file formats such as PDF, TIFF and more, as well as optional variable data printing (VDP) for sequential numbering, barcodes or images that can be inserted and managed.
The ColorWorks C7500G label printer with Just In Time Color labeling is designed to efficiently meet the needs of industrial manufacturers fulfilling high-mix label requirements and variable printing demands. Powered by PrecisionCore print head technology, the durable, bench-top printer enhances print speed, image quality, ink durability and color resolution with the flexibility to scale up production for higher volume industrial and manufacturing applications.
The ColorWorks C7500G also comes equipped with ZPL II programming compatibility to allow direct plug-in replacement for manufacturers operating 2-step printing with traditional thermal transfer printers. In this application, the printer can produce full-color labels from blank stock by automatically merging "color pre-print" images in memory with existing monochrome data streams.
Epson America Inc.
PACKAGING SOLUTIONS IMPROVE FLOW OF PRODUCTS THROUGHOUT RETAIL SUPPLY CHAIN
ORBIS Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis., featured packaging solutions that improve the flow of products throughout the retail supply chain, from manufacturing to the retail aisle. These fully reusable products enhance plant efficiency, picking accuracy, distribution practices, replenishment speed and omnichannel fulfillment demands.
For example, the Pally combines the mobility of a dolly with the functionality of a static pallet. This unique feature allows materials to be stored, transported and distributed with less equipment, minimal labor and few touch points. When mobile, the Pally quickly converts to static mode with a press of the pedal. When static, the rubber braking stabilizers ensure the Pally withstands lateral force, allowing for safe merchandising and point-of-purchase displays. For small-format retailers, the Pally supports frequent product deliveries and easily maneuvers in tight spaces. It also assists in picking and fulfilling material and enables staging of e-commerce products designated for store pickup.
The 42x30 small-format HP pallet helps eliminate product touches during the order replenishment process. The small-format pallet allows full cases and split cases to be sorted and loaded at the distribution center. The pallet is then delivered to the store and used as a replenishment vehicle at the point of sale. Once pallets arrive at the retailer, they can be moved directly to the floor.
The ML6040-325 is a mini-load tote designed to interface with many types of automated storage and retrieval and shuttle systems. Its molded dividers fit seamlessly into the container grid bottom, creating up to eight distinct cells, designed to fit a wide range of parts, shapes and sizes. This dual-sided system holds the dividers in place, eliminating movement and product shifting that can cause loss or damage. The tote also features contoured handles and a reinforced bottom to minimize deflection. If compartmentalization is not required, the ML6040-325 is available with a smooth bottom. The tote also features generous internal volume to hold more product, and 16 drain holes in the side walls and 12 on the bottom allow easy cleaning and draining.
QUICK CLEAN CONVEYOR WITH CIP COMPONENTS
Eaglestone Equipment, St. Charles, Ill., featured its revolutionary Quick Clean Conveyor, which boasts integral clean-in-place spray bars at the head and tail pulleys, aiding in the washing of product as well as the belt and inside rollers.
Designed with a fully welded, easy-to-clean, stainless-steel frame, this conveyor is ideal for food processing industries. Flip-out guide rails give easy access to the belt for cleaning, while transition hold downs and belt lifters make it simple to reach and sanitize the slider belt. Plus, the belt options are easily customizable to fit the needs of any application.
Klϋber Lubrication, Londonderry, N.H., showcased its lineup of food-grade products.
Klüberfood NH1 CH 6-120 SUPREME is a food-grade lubricant with solids that provides advanced protection for oven chains even at extreme temperatures up to 1,200°F, while supporting the path to food safety. The solid particles substantially extend lubrication intervals, making it ideal for ovens producing tortillas, breads, pizza dough and other baked goods.
Klüberfood NH1 CH 2 Plus oil series are synthetic high-temperature chain oils that incorporate special base oils to ensure reliable lubrication at high temperatures. With its special additives, these oils offer extremely good wear protection and show low evaporation losses and high oxidation stability for optimized re-lubrication intervals. Designed for lubrication of all drive, control and transport chains subject to high temperatures and loads, the oils are suitable for use in chain applications, bakery ovens as well as other high-temperature chain applications in the food industry. Klüberfood NH1 CH 2 Plus oil series are NSF H1-registered and ISO 21469-certified, and were developed for incidental contact with products and packaging materials in the food processing industry.
Klüberfood NH1 4-002 is a food-grade lubricant available in an aerosol spray can. Used as a penetrating oil that also protects metal machine surfaces by displacing water during washdowns, it uses a special oil formulation that is odor and taste neutral to ensure food quality. Klüberfood NH1 4-002 is NSF H1-registered and supports food safety and process reliability. It also boasts penetrating properties and water displacement, and reduces staining and corrosion achieved by water displacement.
Klübertemp GR AR 555 is a high-performing lubricant offering exceptional corrosion protection and excellent evaporation stability. Developed for high-temperature bearing applications (up to 250°C) and other applications exposed to aggressive media, Klübertemp GR AR 555 is a white, homogeneous long-term grease based on a perfluorinated polyether oil (PFPE) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
SHRINK PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
Clysar LLC, Camanche, Iowa, unveiled new shrink packaging solutions.
New Clysar HPG Confidential Film Clysar is a strong, satiny-smooth opaque shrink film that provides effective protection and concealment for high-value or confidential items.
New narrow-to-wide film widths feature pre-slit rolls from 1-100 inches, making it possible to wrap items as narrow as candy canes or as wide as large boxed items in opaque or clear Clysar polyolefin shrink films.
X-RAY SYSTEM FOR WIDER, TALLER PACKAGES
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Minneapolis, released the NextGuard C500 x-ray detection system, featuring an aperture that is 35% wider and 50% taller than previous models, making it better suited to inspect larger-sized products and cases for club stores and wholesale warehouses.
How it works is, it uses a wide x-ray beam and arc-shaped detector designed to eliminate blind spots in the inspection tunnel. It can be configured to up to eight lanes of simultaneous inspection of large meat/poultry packages, blocks of cheese and ice cream tubs.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
OXYGEN PERMEATION SYSTEMS
Minneapolis-based MOCON introduced the OX-TRAN Model 2/22 10X system, an oxygen permeation system for a variety of applications that require ultra-high oxygen barriers. Model 10X (stands for 10 times more sensitive) repeatedly measures film barriers at precise temperature and relative humidity conditions, and can handle a broad range of flexible materials, including plastic, foil and metalized structures.
Dansensor, a division of MOCON, unveiled the LeakProtego, what is said to be the first of its kind online system engineered to test for potential leaks at levels lower than previously possible for modified atmospheric packaging (MAP). LeakProtego uses a patent-pending sensing system with CO2 as a trace gas to detect leaks down to 50 microns. The technology relies on modular units, each of which can test up to 12 packages per minute. LeakProtego is ideal for MAP of cheese, meats and clean label products.
2-CONTAINER, SNAP-FIT PET PACKAGING
Plastic Technologies, Holland, Ohio, introduced the Clasper blow-molded bottle technology, a concept that enables two different products to be consumed in sequence or mixed together, then consumed.
The Clasper technology combines two polyethylene terephthalate containers, with the bottom container, which holds 50 ml of liquid, snapping into the base of the larger top bottle, which holds 6.5 ounces of hot-filled or shelf-stable juice.
Plastic Technologies, Inc.
HIGH VISCOSITY MIXERS
Silverson, Longmeadow, Mass., introduced its new high-viscosity (HV) in-line mixer, which enables higher viscosity mixing for food applications. The HV in-line mixer incorporates a unique and innovative “pumping rotor” design that can eliminate the need for an additional feed pump when processing higher viscosity products, for greater process efficiencies. Features include ultra sanitary construction, self-pumping, aeration-free, interchangeable workheads, vertical or self-draining tangential outlets and designed for clean-in-place.
Silverson’s Flashmix powder/liquid mixer effectively hydrates large volumes of powder at a rate of up to 500 pounds a minute, introducing high shear into powder/liquid mixing for a homogenous product without agglomerates. This new mixer also allows for mixing at higher temperatures and higher viscosity applications. Features include minimal aeration, low power operation, easy to install, clean and operate and modular construction for customization.
Silverson Machines Inc.
PolyOne, Cleveland, Ohio, displayed a diverse range of technologies and solutions for packaging.
IM3D technology, developed in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, enables manufacturers to create the appearance of depth and dimension on caps and closures in a single step during the injection molding process.
OnCap DeNesting additive dramatically improves denesting performance in thermoformed packaging applications, allowing for easier handling and separation during production and in use without affecting package quality.
PreservaPak high-barrier technologies preserve product freshness and extend shelf life for packaged foods.
GLS TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) polymers can be used and over-molded onto a wide range of substrates without the use of adhesives. They’re compatible with polypropylene, polyethylene, polycarbonate, ABS, acetyl and nylon, and can be customized for various color effects, levels of opacity and different types of feel and texture.
Percept additive solutions protect brand equity and defend against counterfeiting.
ColorMatrix concentrates and additives improve package aesthetics, sustainability, performance and processing.
InVisiO services and solutions help accelerate and streamline the product development process.
AUTO CARTON STACKER
Controls Engineering, Middleton, Wis., introduced the AP25, an automatic carton stacker that collects individual cartons and automatically creates the desired bundle configuration and band.
Ideal for contract packaging, the AP25 integrates with most carton lines, and can handle a single row up to multiple cartons wide/high.
Automated Packaging Systems, Streetsboro, Ohio, introduced a new series of bag packaging systems—the Autobag 500 and Autobag 550 baggers. The Autobag 500 can package over 100 bags per minute using Autobag pre-opened bags from 2-12 inches wide by 2.5-20 inches long. The Autobag 550 utilizes a fully integrated AutoLabel imprinter positioned directly over the next bag to be loaded, eliminating the need for a separate print and label operation. No light curtains and less guarding enable unrestricted access to the pre-opened bag. An improved, multi-position unwind with tension control provides faster changeovers of bag-on-a-roll materials with an AutoThread function that reduces waste. And, these new Autobag bag packaging systems can be configured in left- or right-hand orientation with an easy height adjustment for maximum operator productivity and comfort. The user-friendly Android-based HMI utilizes a graphic-based interface for simplified setup and operation. Built-in memory function stores data for faster changeover between jobs. Both machines have been engineered to meet global safety and quality requirements, including CE certification.
And, the new AirPouch FastWrap “High Loft” protective packaging material uses the same quilted bubble pattern as traditional FastWrap materials, but with 1.25-inch high air cushion cells, which provides excellent cushioning for protective packaging applications. AirPouch FastWrap High Loft functions as a firm, thick cushioning material when top or bottom filling boxes. The patented honeycomb pattern allows the material to easily bend around corners and supports multi-directional wrapping with excellent product protection in minimal space. A proprietary air channel between cells distributes air evenly throughout multiple cells, maintaining protection by eliminating “popped” bubbles. All AirPouch FastWrap materials inflate on demand, come in high-yield boxes of flat, preformed material and come in EarthAware recycled, biodegradable and clear blends.
Automated Packaging Systems
COMBINING MANUFACTURING EXPERTISE
JBT Corp., Chicago, and its partners showcased a host of food processing equipment.
For example, JBT will construct a line that features the Frigoscandia ADVANTEC impingement freezer, the TVI GMS 500 single-cut slicer and the DSI 800 series waterjet portioning system, all designed to deliver higher yields.
JBT’s automated systems division showcased the JayBoT, what is said to be the industry’s smartest automatic guided vehicle, ideal for operations currently using manual forklift trucks or that are just starting to automate, and the new i-Pal palletizer from industry partner CSi, which gives processors a fully automated end-of-line solution.
Novus X-Ray, which JBT recently acquired, featured its line of inspection systems, including the CCPX-Clean series, which was developed specifically for the automated inspection of meat and poultry.
JBT also showcased an expanded portfolio of products, thanks to another acquisition of A&B Process Systems, including melt tank systems that combine inline to offer uninterrupted production for lines utilizing ingredients such as melted butter, lard and gums.
FULLY AUTOMATIC TOOL CHANGE SYSTEM
Stäubli, Duncan, S.C., introduced the MPS 130, a compact, fully automatic tool change system for medium payload range.
The new MPS 130 features an automatic gripper and tool changer, meets the strictest safety requirements according to safety category 3, performance level d and can be equipped with customized modules and components for media, data and electrical power transmission.
The locking mechanism, the media module and the entire connection technology comes from a single source.
ADHESIVES, CLOSURES, RESINS
The Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., introduced several new product innovations, including:
EVERCAP closure resins enable the right balance of performance properties to meet demanding application needs for closures and fitments.
INNATE Precision Packaging Resins is said to be the first commercial grade of resins, providing high-performance, sustainable food and industrial packaging solutions.
DOWLEX GM LLDPE Resins are powered by a leading-edge catalyst technology that helps customers achieve differentiated performance for a range of demanding film applications, including heavy duty shipping sacks, cast or blown stretch, collation shrink and liners.
PACACEL solventless adhesives enable improved appearance and operational efficiency for general purpose and high-performance applications.
AGILITY Performance LDPE resins enables converter customers to improve operational efficiencies and differentiate their portfolio from competitors.
The Dow Chemical Co.
FOOD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT WITH ADVANCED SANITARY WASHDOWN FEATURES
Meyer Industries, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, exhibited the latest vibratory conveying, bulk material handling and food processing equipment featuring advanced sanitary washdown components.
The line includes the Magna Weigh, a sanitary in-line continuous weighing vibratory feeder; the SBC, a highly durable sanitary belt conveyor; and the Vibra Flex II, a sanitary, multi-process vibratory conveyor.
Meyer Industries, Inc.
OTTO Motors, a Canada-based division of Clearpath, showcased the OTTO solution for material transport.
The OTTO self-driving vehicle can be used in the packaging industry for a variety of applications commonly used to move goods from secondary packaging to the warehouse. The OTTO self-driving vehicles do not follow pre-defined paths – they operate without the use of infrastructure and offer the ability to detect and dynamically move around objects, people or debris without human interaction.
In packaging, OTTO self-driving vehicles can be used to move materials to primary packaging, then to secondary packaging, then to the dock or warehouse. Vehicles can also be used to create mixed pallets.
The OTTO solution can be controlled through manual dispatch on a desktop or mobile device, or integrate into existing ERP or WMS systems. The standard vehicle is provided with a flat top plate to carry pallets, or can be configured with a conveyor or lift appliance to interact with existing infrastructure.
VIBRATORY CONVEYORS, FEEDERS, METAL DETECTORS
Eriez, Erie, Pa., showcased its 76 Series Vibratory Feeder, the largest model in the company’s extensive lineup of vibratory feeders, supporting trays up to approximately 200 pounds. Large bucket elevators require high-capacity feeders with long tray overhangs to reach the in-feed section of the elevators. With its ability to easily handle larger trays with multiple features such as screens, covers, inlet spouts and downspouts with a single compact drive unit required by bulk bag dischargers, the 76 is also well suited for bulk bag unloading.
Eriez ProGrade tubes, grates and liquid line traps are now available with the new and improved Xtreme RE7 Rare Earth Tube Circuit, which is said to be 13-40% stronger than other magnets. For the most difficult food/sanitary industry applications requiring the highest level of protection against metal contamination, Eriez ProGrade Xtreme Rare Earth magnetic separators remove weakly magnetic fine ferrous contamination to ensure ultimate product purity and equipment protection.
And, the new Xtreme Vertical Drop Metal Detectors are engineered to detect the presence of ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless metal contaminants in gravity free-fall applications, particularly for food processing and packaging applications. Xtreme Vertical Drop Metal Detectors feature quick release Jacobs connections, remote electronics, anti-static, food-grade pipe, automatic reject valve and stainless-steel ceiling support plate. Available in wall or floor mount designs, Xtreme Vertical Drop Metal Detectors strike a balance between absolute detection of all metal contaminants and elimination of false signals that slow down production.
These state-of-the-art metal detectors offer easy set-up and reporting as well as remote access capabilities. They feature a 7-inch, easy-to-use touch-screen interface, various pre-programmed languages, multiple USB and interface ports, low air pressure alert and consolidated power supply.
ULTRA-COMPACT 2D IMAGER
Datalogic, Telford, Pa., released the Matrix 120, what is said to be the smallest ultra-compact industrial 2D imager in the market.
Designed for ease of use and long life, the new Matrix 120 is built to last with industrial-grade components. The new Matrix 120 is available in multiple models, allowing it to cover an extensive range of applications in OEM and manufacturing environments, including packaging and food and beverage processing.
Key features include:
- Ultra-compact form factor, dubbed the smallest Ethernet model on the market, to allow easy integration in every application.
- Said to be the only imager on the market with an external smart user selectable focus for an easy setup.
- Complete product range for applications in manufacturing and OEM.
- IP 65 protection and ESD safe.
- Multiple connectivity options and embedded Ethernet version.
Datalogic Automation, Inc.
PNEUMATIC, ELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS
Siemens, Washington, D.C., announced a team of new products, including for example, the addition of a 22-inch display and new support arm mounting options to its line of industrial flat panel monitors. The new Simatic 22-inch IFP2200 PRO and 19-inch IFP1900 PRO industrial flat panel monitors feature wide screen, capacitive multi-touch glass fronts and IP65 degrees of protection. Both models accommodate support arms and extension components using a standard 48.3 mm-round tube or Siemens flange mount adaptor. The rugged and lightweight aluminum enclosures are easily mounted directly on a machine or stand as well. These high-performing monitors are ideal for demanding industrial visualization tasks even in extreme vibration, shock and harsh ambient conditions.
The Multi-Carrier-System (MCS) is a configurable transport system jointly manufactured by Siemens and Festo USA, Hauppauge, N.Y., that addresses the acute need for flexibility in modern manufacturing and production environments driven by increasingly complex product diversity, shorter product life cycles and growing levels of mass customization. The MCS delivers unparalleled levels of flexibility and can be easily incorporated into existing processing and packaging environments. The transport carriages, which are driven by linear motors, are flexibly moved to the individual units, e.g. filling, closing or labeling unit. The system moves freely and exactly synchronously to the process, and can be integrated in the existing intralogistics, including seamless loading and unloading of the carriages. The other transport paths remain unchanged.
Siemens also introduced the Sinamics G110M, a motor-integrated drive for Simogear gear motors, offering flexible control, integrated safety, simple installation and a space-saving design. With a high degree of protection — up to IP66 — this new gear motor drive provides an ideal solution to most material handling-related challenges, including conveyors, warehousing, logistics and more. Simogear gear motors offer high-torque density, low noise and high efficiency and can be integrated into a variety of control architectures. The system is delivered pre-configured and offers simple yet comprehensive onboard diagnostic features.
The new Version 14 (V14) of the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) portal shortens the time to market for machine manufacturers and increases end user productivity. The new portal comes with cloud-based engineering, where users can access the plant controller or utilize MindSphere, Siemens’ cloud solution for industry. Other new features include PLCSim Advanced, interfaces to simulation software, such as Plant Simulation and Process Simulate and a Simatic S7-1500 controller that can be simulated as a digital twin with PLCSim Advanced to achieve efficient, virtual commissioning. The TIA Portal V14 also includes a new interface for product data management in Teamcenter, Siemens data collaboration platform for design, planning and engineering. The user can easily create model-based programs with a new interface to Matlab/Simulink.
A-B-C Packaging, Tarpon Springs, Fla., introduced its 700 series robotic palletizers, designed to deliver the flexibility of manual palletizing.
The 700 series automatically accumulate and stack cases, trays, bags or shrink-wrapped multi-packs in multiple configurations and pallet loads. Packagers can achieve efficient and reliable pallet forming while utilizing less floor space, and ship secure, well-formed pallet loads that protect products throughout distribution.
All systems are OEM-engineered and include a high payload robot and appropriate product handling devices for single or dual infeed and pallet building, product transport and staging conveyors, high-visibility guarding, Allen Bradley controls and programming for product requirements.
Additional pallet patterns are easily programmed by the end user and uploaded at the operator panel for seamless transition to new products or packs. The pallet programming software automatically sets the most efficient arm movement to maximize palletizing speed. A variety of end-of-arm tools are available to accommodate all product types.
Options include automation of empty pallet transfer and slipsheet/picture frame inserting.
A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp.