PACK EXPO Las Vegas brings automation, efficiency, product safety to the forefront
Sustainability, efficiency and product safety were among the top issues addressed at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2017, which took place Sept. 25-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Produced by PMMI, The Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va., PACK EXPO Las Vegas co-located with the Healthcare Packaging EXPO and the Flexible Packaging Association, Annapolis, Md., and hosted 30,000 attendees, including 5,000 international visitors from more than 125 countries, and 2,000-plus exhibitors that spanned nearly 900,000 net square feet.
Here’s a rundown of equipment, materials, technologies and solutions introduced and/or on display at the show:
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY DOUBLES SHELF LIFE
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, New York, showcased a flexible packaging technology that is said to potentially more than double the shelf life of food products.
Mitsubishi’s technology, embedded as a film layer within flexible packaging, removes oxygen trapped within sealed packages to safely extend and protect original food flavors, aromas and textures without the need for sachets or packets. Ideal for retort packaging applications, the solution protects products such as soups, sauces, processed fruit, dips, prepared meals and more. This FDA-approved, preservative-free innovation also prevents mold growth and color changes, odors and spoilage in foods.
The technology is available as a resin to North American film producers and converters, and can run on legacy processing systems.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical
BLOWMOLDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR PET BOTTLES
Agr International, Inc., Butler, Pa., featured its Process Pilot blowmolder management system, designed to simplify the production of PET bottles.
Ideal for PET bottle converters and beverage producers that self-manufacture PET bottles, the Process Pilot product group offers precise material thickness distribution management on PET bottles, while offering hands-off blowmolder control.
The Process Pilot system offers a 3-step approach toward PET blowmolder management:
- Measure material distribution and pearlescence on every bottle.
- Control the blowmolder to overcome process variation and maintain on-target material distribution.
- Optimize the process to suit the product, application or business objective of the production facility.
Agr International Inc.
WASHDOWN SPIRAL CONVEYOR BELT
Nercon, Neenah, Wis., launched Washdown Spiral by Nercon, what is dubbed as the first-of-its-kind conveyor designed specifically with sanitation in mind.
Sanitary design features include:
- Open construction for readily accessible cleaning, inspection and maintenance.
- Corrosion-resistant, stainless-steel construction and plastic belt.
- CIP design with open belt surface to easily washdown from any angle.
- Self-draining, bent frame construction to eliminate water pooling.
- Solid UHMW guide rails.
- Ability to withstand up to 1,500 psi washdown pressure.
- Moderate use of corrosive chemicals.
- USDA-compatible conveyor belt
The Washdown Spiral was built utilizing a proprietary edge-driven design, which includes sprockets that drive the chain in multiple locations and distributes the force across the entire length of the chain; not from just one location. With this design, the chain only needs to be strong enough to pull the load between any two sprockets instead of the entire length of the conveyor. This means the spiral can be built taller, allowing for higher elevation changes, there is reduced belt tension allowing for longer belt life and entails increased load-carrying capacity.
The edge-driven conveyor belt is made from USDA-compatible plastic material, bright blue for easy wear identification and breakage visibility and is modular, allowing for replacement in sections instead of the entire belt.
CARTONER FEATURES PUSH-BUTTON CHANGEOVER
The addition of an optional, push-button changeover feature to the Flex 1 Cartoner from Triangle Package Machinery, Chicago, makes this the ultimate solution for bag-in-box applications and individually quick-freeze (IQF) products or trays.
Key benefits offered by the new automatic changeover feature include faster startup, improved OEE and repeatability. Customers can enter a pre-set recipe for each carton size and then return to that size with just the push of a button on the HMI. A red or green light indicates that the adjustments are in the correct position to run the desired carton size.
The new feature also allows operators to automatically change anything inside the guarding with just the push of a button—no change parts required for adjustments within a 120-mm range. In addition, the Flex 1 Cartoner offers an enhanced carton loading mechanism that improves efficiency, production and footprint.
The Flex 1 is designed to load single, twin, or triple packages at speeds up to 100 cartons per minute. It also provides gentle product handling; the elimination of the barrel-loader assembly for reduced complexity and reduced product breakage; extended production runs with an optional extended carton magazine that holds up to 1,000 carton blanks; and servo drives for precise motion control, thus eliminating the need to synchronize the bagger and cartoner.
Triangle Package Machinery Co.
TOPLOAD CARTONER INTEGRATES CARTON FORMING, PRODUCT LOADING, CARTON CLOSING
Bosch Packaging Technology, New Richmond, Wis., unveiled its revolutionary concept in cartoning machinery—Kliklok ITC, an integrated topload cartoner.
Developed in partnership with Decatur, Ga.-based Kliklok-Woodman, which Bosch acquired September 2015, this solution integrates three packaging processes—carton forming, product loading and carton closing—into one machine with a minimal use of floor space. It’s designed for flow-wraps, roll-wraps and die-end wrapped products in the bakery and confectionery industries. -For easier operation the low-level carton hopper, swing-arm-mounted HMI 4.0, glue tank and product infeed are all on one side of the machine. The forming and closing sections can also be accessed without crossing the production line. Toolless jigs and a change part numbering system allows for changeovers in less than 15 minutes. The Kliklok ITC can form, load and close up to 80 cartons per minute, and offers a wide variety of formats and styles on a single machine, allowing cartons to be formed with locks or glue. Once the cartons are formed with a single servo-controlled plunger—the Kliklok TransFormer—they are placed directly onto independently-controlled carton shuttles riding on a linear servo racetrack. The ITC can accept up to 550 products per minute in its adjustable collator chain, which moves the products into position for loading. In the next step, Bosch’s Delta pick-and-place robotic loader tracks the carton shuttles and loads products “on the move” for a speed advantage over 2-axis loaders. In the end, the loaded cartons race around the track into the closing section, and exit the ITC in the same direction as incoming products. Developed with the new HMI 4.0 touch screen, the new Kliklok ITC offers troubleshooting support, significantly reduces the risk of unscheduled downtime and allows employees to minimize planned maintenance time.
Bosch Packaging Technology also debuted its next-generation Osgood RFS-Series rotary, which hygienically fills, seals and caps dairy and food products into pre-made cups. The 4-lane RFS-4001 fills cups at speeds up to 160 cups per minute (9,600 cups per hour). Available in clean and ultra-clean execution, the machine can fill a wide range of dairy and other food products into different pack styles, including round or square cups, trays and heat seal using pre-die cut foils or roll-stock film plus overcap. The RFS-4001 filler features a harmonized pump design, which provides high filling accuracy and easier interchangeability between different machines. Just four basic dosing parts cover nearly all dosing principles and applications, and upgraded servo motors allow quick and easy adjustments to the setup, enabling changeovers in less than 15 minutes. The RFS-Series filler can utilize one of three different machine controls (Bosch Rexroth, Rockwell or Siemens), allowing an easy integration of the machine into existing production lines.
Finally, the Osgood RFS can be equipped with the latest HMI 4.0.
Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc.
GF Piping Systems, Irvine, Calif., highlighted its COOL-FIT ABS Plus Piping System and Fuseal Corrosive Waste Piping System.
COOL-FIT ABS Plus is a fully pre-insulated plastic piping system for secondary cooling and refrigeration that features energy-efficient, non-corroding, maintenance-free performance. COOL-FIT ABS Plus boats a core pipe made of ABS, which is insulated with high-density polyurethane (PUR). The insulation is protected with a black polyethylene jacket that is water-tight and UV resistant, making it suitable for outdoor use. In addition, the entire system is completely diffusion and vapor tight. COOL-FIT ABS Plus is designed for conveying water-based coolants with temperatures from -58°F to 104°F at an operating pressure of up to 10 bar.
The Fuseal polypropylene corrosive waste piping system was specifically developed to handle corrosive waste and high temperatures in applications where traditional metal piping lacks the corrosion-resistant benefits of plastic piping. Fuseal is resistant to the corrosive action of alkalis, alcohols, acids, solvents and salt solutions, and will not rust, pit, scale, corrode or be affected by electrolysis. Fuseal has the capability of mating to stainless-steel trench drains commonly found in food and beverage facilities using various styles of fitting combinations to allow for a completely sealed system.
Georg Fischer LLC
PRODUCT INSPECTION SYSTEM COMBINES X-RAY DETECTION, CHECKWEIGHING INTO ONE SOLUTION
The new CM33 CombiChecker product inspection system from Mettler Toledo, Ithaca, N.Y., integrates two key inspection functions into one simple solution. Within a single compact system, products pass through a metal detector, then are weighed on a checkweigher. Products detected to be contaminated with metal or are beyond weight parameters are immediately rejected from the production line into separate bins for each defect, eliminating the possibility of them entering the marketplace. The CM33 allows companies to customize by selecting from a variety of available options to match the needs of the specific operation where it will be used. These include selecting from available conveyors, guide rails, transfer plates, dual locking reject bins and rejector types. These mechanical features are then complemented with a complete library of line integration, functional and operational, production monitoring and control and communication options. This enables end users to customize the CM33’s security, performance and data capabilities to meet the requirements of the relevant industry, customer and application. The checkweigher and metal detector setup and configuration are done at the checkweigher control panel. Product changeovers result in each inspection device automatically adapting to stored parameters for the new package.
Meanwhile, the new Mettler Toledo CM31 StandardLine CombiChecker integrates two key inspection functions into one simple solution. Within a single compact system, products pass through a metal detector, then are weighed on a checkweigher. Products detected to be contaminated with metal or that exceed pre-set weight parameters are immediately rejected from the production line into separate reject bins for each defect, eliminating the possibility of them entering the marketplace. Designed to provide the widest possible range of weighing and metal contamination detection solutions, the modular construction of C Series systems ensures that there is an optimal checkweighing and metal detection solution for any inspection need, from simple to the most complex and challenging. The CM31 is configurable with 80 performance and productivity-enhancing options, can accurately weigh packages weighing from 20 grams to 6 kg at throughput rates up to 200 ppm and is accessed through a 7-inch color multilingual touchscreen. This weighing system is combined with the Mettler Toledo Profile LS metal detector, capable of detecting all metal types, including ferrous, non-ferrous, non-magnetic stainless-steel and aluminum.
Furthermore, Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed launched the new C-Series of checkweighers, a scalable model range designed to optimize flexibility on production and packaging lines. The new C-Series comprises three main product lines. The turnkey C31 StandardLine was designed specifically for packages weighing up to 6 kilograms with a throughput rate of 200 units per minute. It can be combined with metal detection technology to provide checkweighing and foreign body detection in one compact system, and offers a number of optional features, including waterprotected construction and stable guide rails for consistent product flow with minimal downtime. The C33 PlusLine is capable of weighing packages between 7 grams and 7.5 kilograms, at throughput rates up to 300 units per minute, and features specially-protected conveyors for the weighing of granular or powdery products. The C33 can also be combined with three different metal detection systems to match the checkweigher to each facility’s product safety needs. The C35 AdvancedLine covers a weighing range from 3 grams to 10 kilograms and measures up to 600 packages per minute, and can be customized with a wide range of rejection, transport and conveyor belt options, making it adaptable to manufacturers’ individual needs. Integrated with a Safeline metal detector, the C35 provides an efficient and space-saving combination system.
The V2630 Flex Vision inspection system is an easy-to-install, easy-to-move and easy-to-use vision inspection system for label, print and package inspection applications on flat, oriented products. Unlike traditional machine vision systems, the V2630 offers users the ability to configure the system to meet their specific product inspection needs. This adaptability also supports expanding production lines without the need to add new inspection equipment. The V2630 is designed to be expandable, allowing manufacturers to add cameras as their inspection needs change. The system can support up to five cameras and 10 lights, and features METTLER TOLEDO CI-Vision’s Rapid Fit frame system, which creates an efficient frame and mounting brackets for the cameras and lights. The V2630 is accessed from a separate control terminal, and can perform multiple inspections of a target package simultaneously for ID/OD, ovality, gross formation defects, label positioning, label quality, closure application, fill level, 1D and 2D barcodes, graphical presence and quality and the presence and readability of alphanumeric codes. The V2630 Flex system also runs on CIVCore 11, the latest version of METTLER TOLEDO CI-Vision's proprietary CIVCore software, which enables quick training of new parts and the addition of new inspections without sacrificing production time.
ROBOTIC PALLETIZER, BAG CLOSERS
American-Newlong, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., displayed its EC-201 robotic palletizing machine, A1-PB sewing stand with DS-9C filled bag closing head and an NP-7A portable bag closer.
The EC-201 robotic palletizer features a payload capacity of 440 pounds, a palletizing capacity of 1,600 cycles per hour and palletizes bags, cases, pails and other products.
The A1-PB and DS-9C bag closing systems sew any bag ranging from paper bags, woven PP/PE to cloth bags.
And, the NP-7A is an economical, high-speed portable bag closer with 1,700-1,900 rpm for agricultural, animal feed, fertilizer, flour and other pellet or powder material.
HYGIENIC ROBOTIC PACKAGING SYSTEM
JLS Automation, York, Pa., launched a hygienic robotic packaging system that integrates motion, logic, safety and HMI into a single scalable platform. This new platform is available for both Talon robotic pick-and-place systems and Osprey robotic case packers.
This next-generation system features a stainless-steel (IP69K rated) delta robot with higher payload capacity (up to 66 pounds). Other sanitary features include a standard open frame design for easy access, inspection and maintenance, sloped surfaces for easy runoff and four levels of sanitary design.
It also features a small electrical footprint, allows for simple system expandability, is easy to use and delivers simplified remote diagnostics.
BELT DRIVES BOAST MODULAR DESIGN
The Interroll Group, Wilmington, N.C., introduced a new generation of belt drives to the North American market. This innovative motor platform is to be predominantly used in modern conveyor belt systems in food and beverage processing facilities and distribution centers.
It features a completely modular design and offers both synchronous and asynchronous drive solutions, including encoders, brakes and return stops.
- Stronger shafts and ball bearings guarantee longer service life.
- Robust planetary gears make it possible to efficiently transfer high torques to the belts while making very little operating noise.
- Expanded number of gear stages cover larger speed range.
- Can be implemented as a conveyor solution in accordance with individual throughput specifications.
- Modular design reduces production and delivery times, and stands out as a plug-and-play solution.
Interroll also displayed its Modular Conveyor Platform with RollerDrive and 4-zone-certified MultiControl Card, which is an ideal solution for conveying and sorting multiple types of totes, boxes and items, as well as feeding packaging and labelling machines and several other applications in the food and beverage sectors.
Interroll also showcased its patented Magnetic Speed Controller MSC50, which 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.
AUTOMATIC FILM SPLICERS
These splicers’ precise web control improves quality by providing filling and sealing consistency.
For instance, 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 up to 600 feet per minute.
Meanwhile, the SP3HSL automatic shrink sleeve splicer is said to increase line efficiency by 9% or more and is capable of running speeds up to 600 feet per minute.
Butler Automatic, Inc.
TRAY SEALERS FOR VACUUM-SEALED PACKS
The GT6ex Twin, a new top-of-the-range, high-speed tray sealer from Proseal America, Richmond, Va., is capable of sealing up to 100 vacuum-sealed packs per minute.
Proseal’s innovative “e” technology enables food manufacturers to offer every major type of tray sealing format, including atmospheric seal, MAP (gas flush), vacuum MAP, skin, skin plus and skin deep, on the same machine. These different tray sealing technologies can also be added or removed at any time, providing flexibility to change pack formats in line with customer demands and market trends without having to purchase new equipment.
Proseal also displayed its entire Proseal GTe tray sealer range, including semi- and fully automatic machines. For instance, Pro-Motion speeds up the infeed of trays to the sealer, using following motion and intelligent buffering technology to enable the trays to feed in continuously. An auto-detect product flow monitoring system regulates the speed of the infeed conveyor according the amount of trays being supplied.
Pro-Tect is an advanced contactless user login that provides each authorized operator of the machine with his/her own access. The system also keeps a log of information inputted for full traceability.
E-seal is an energy-efficient high force electric heat seal system that delivers a precision seal with an increased sealing force of 600%, ensuring every seal has the tightness and reliability to meet the stringent quality requirements of the retail sector. At the same time, the machine only consumes 8% of the air of a machine fitted with an equivalent standard pneumatic cylinder, dramatically reducing the air consumption normally associated with high-speed tray sealing machinery. This technology also improves seal strength, machine productivity and the MAP process through accurate gas flush positioning, which can also reduce gas flush cycle times.
I-Film monitors film diameter to enhance high-speed online printing; and Hot-Rod, which has been specially developed for the sealing of smooth wall foil trays, is a water-resistant seal tool heating element that reduces energy consumption.
The company’s established “Auto Tool” connection system enables tool changes to be carried out in around 5 minutes, thus minimizing downtime with the use of quick-change conveyor belts and an auto-lock film reel holder.
Proseal America Inc.
SEPARATION STRENGTH SOLUTIONS
Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan., introduced the NUHI Cartridge Magnet, completely redesigned from the ground up to address today’s processing challenges. The NUHI (Neodymium Ultra High Intensity) Cartridge Magnet is built of solid 316 stainless steel.
Bunting also improved its line of closed loop tunnel-style metal detectors for the food packaging industry with optional Triple Frequency controls. The new integrated controls enhance the company’s imagePHASE platform by allowing the processor to learn a packaged food product in three different conditions, and select the one with that yields the greatest sensitivity. With the upgrade to these controls, the detector also displays the expected sensitivities to the operator with all three metal types – ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel.
On display was autoTEST, which verifies the detector calibrations and sensitivities are being achieved without manually passing test blocks. autoTEST is programmable for a variety of metal sizes and user-defined testing intervals.
Bunting Magnetics Co.
100% RECYCLABLE PALLET
Paxxal Inc., Noblesville, Ind., featured its new North American pallet.
This newly designed pallet is made from a 100% recyclable patented composite material using a unique automated rotational molding process. Plus, it exceeds all North America GMA specifications, weighs less than 50 pounds and features a full range of productivity, sustainability and operational benefits.
ON-DEMAND, FULL-COLOR INKJET LABEL PRINTERS
Epson America, Long Beach, Calif., showcased its ColorWorks on-demand, full-color inkjet label printers. Among the lineup is the C7500/GE, a full-color heavy production label printer for just-in-time, high-volume color labeling applications for busy, on-demand environments. The ColorWorks C3500 is a first label out, full-color production label printer for on-demand, medium volume of just-in-time color applications. The ColorWorks C831 is an industrial-strength inkjet label printer ideal for GHS large-format drum and chemical labels.
Also on display were the Flexion N2 6-xxis robot, which features a revolutionary compact folding arm design that reduces space requirements and maximizes motion efficiency.
Epson’s compact and high-speed G6 6-axis robot offers best-in-class cycle time backed by precision and motion range.
The C8XL 6-xxis robot is compact with a SlimLine design, allowing access into places similarly sized robots cannot reach.
Epson’s LS3 is a fast and compact SCARA robot ideal for manufacturers searching for an automated solution that delivers high performance and great reliability.
And, Epson’s G3 compact and ultra-powerful SCARA robot achieves high speed, high precision and low vibration
In addition, Epson showcased label samples printed from its SurePress L-4033 and L-6034 printers, which are fast, efficient and reliable on-demand digital label printers ideal for short-run digital label printing featuring quick-dry UV ink (L-6034).
Epson America also introduced the SurePress L-4533AW. This easy-to-operate, 7-color inkjet label press is built for high-quality performance, making short-run label printing with accurate color reproduction on a wide variety of substrates easy for label converters and commercial printers. The L-4533 also includes processing improvements for variable data processing, such as standard paper to thin films, metallic and laminated pouch materials.
Epson America, Inc.
ROBOTIC PALLETIZING, DEPALLETIZING SOLUTIONS
Intelligrated, Cincinnati, showcased its robotic palletizing and depalletizing solutions, where loads are built directly onto slip sheets or conveyors.
Unitized loads travel to the robotic depalletizer on Intelligrated Palmat conveyor, a full-width, heavy-duty modular plastic belt designed for applications with column-stacked or unitized loads that are unstable or difficult to handle. Finally, the robotic depalletizer unloads items and places them on MDR conveyor for transportation back to the palletizer. The demonstration uses a Rockwell Automation-based HMI for clear visualization of equipment status and diagnostics.
Intelligrated also exhibited its IntelliGen palletizing software, which offers a user-friendly, flexible solution to easily adjust pattern and load configurations according to changing product dimensions and other variables, without the need for a service call or complex external software programs.
Furthermore, Intelligrated’s Lifecycle Support Services delivers an assessments process that establishes baseline conditions, recommends remedial steps and guides long-term lifecycle planning. Engineers with equipment-specific expertise visit customer sites to evaluate component condition and provide recommendations for service, replacement, upgrades, modifications and more. For instance, mechanical assessments outline everything from parts in need of replacement to dormant mechanical problems to provide recommended modifications and upgrades based on projected performance requirements. Parts assessments appraise and revamp parts storerooms based on recommended stock and optimal organization for quick access, including online reordering. Risk assessments evaluate equipment according to OSHA, ISO or site-specific safety compliance standards, and provide recommended upgrades to ensure workplace safety. Controls assessments ensure controls function smoothly, are up to date and fully supported, especially important for solutions like robotics that depend on software-driven controls to enable broad functionality.
Lastly, Honeywell Intelligrated showcased its Palmat pallet conveyor, which features heavy-duty plastic belting with a patented automatic belt take-up system to offer an alternative to rollers and chains for safe and reliable transportation of column-stacked or unitized loads on slip sheets, along with molded or specialty pallets. Ideal for applications with fragile or unstable loads, the self-tracking, fully-supported belt is an effective solution for handling empty containers in preparation for fill lines in food and beverage operations. Available with smooth or non-skid belting in single, full-width or multiple strands, Palmat can support operations serving multiple international markets with different load configurations and pallet types.
SUSTAINABLE, HIGH-DENSITY STORAGE SYSTEMS
Storax, Charleston, S.C., featured its sustainable storage solutions—Poweracks mobile racking system, and Ranger, an automated, high-density pallet shuttle.
Poweracks maximizes space utilization through use of a moving aisle, which provides direct access to every pallet location and greatly reduces the number of static access aisles required. Wasted aisle space is converted to usage inventory space, thus increasing storage density by as much as 100%.
The Ranger high-density storage solution automatically circulates pallets on a shuttle system by hand-held remote control or WiFi PDA. Utilizing advanced photocell technology, the Ranger intelligently detects and positions itself underneath a pallet to lift and move pallets within a deep lane tunnel rack system, leaving operators free to execute other tasks.
RIGID, FLEXIBLE FILMS FOR PACKAGING
Klöckner Pentaplast, Gordonsville, Va., exhibited its expanded line of rigid and flexible films for packaging, including its LINPAC line, which it acquired in April, as well as creative packaging ideas and services for consumer goods.
Klöckner Pentaplast of America, Inc.
HYGIENIC WASHDOWN SYSTEM ALLOWS OPERATORS TO REMOVE THE BELT IN SECONDS
Multi-Conveyor, Winneconne, Wis., manufactured the Slim-Fit, a tool-less pin-pull approach that allows operators to remove the belt in mere seconds for routine maintenance. How it works is, simply pull the two end pins, lift up the end pulley, lay the pulley on the frame or remove it completely, slide the belt off, clean, maintenance or make changes as necessary, slide the belt back on, line up the V-guide on the pulley, double check the belt is lined up with the V-guide and reinstall the pins. Features include:
- Center drive and center take-up.
- The strategically placed center drive design keeps balance in the system and uniform depth or width on each conveyor end to fit in tight or smaller spaces.
- Simplified motor options.
- V-guided end pulley.
- Adjustable height from 30-48 inches.
- Optional casters.
- Easy-to-remove transfer plate.
- Mirror looking stainless-steel finish.
- The flip-up end tail maintains tension and tracking, even during maintenance.
Slim-Fit can also be used in tight or narrow spaces for virtually endless product shapes and sizes.
Multi-Conveyor also built an accumulation system featuring Alpine incline and decline, pneumatic divert and product reject technologies. Alpine systems display a narrow footprint with simplified designs using standard conveyor components and controls. Products are elevated and declined to minimize use of floor space. The accumulation "loop" consists of one incline alpine conveyor and one decline alpine conveyor, capable of holding nearly 6 full minutes of product. Should the labeler go down, the accumulation loop will re-introduce product into the transportation line. If the filler goes down, the accumulation loop will accept product until it fills up. This keeps the upstream equipment running and allows for production line slowdown instead of completely stopping the line. A pneumatic divert gate diverts products onto the accumulation loop. Under normal conditions, the pneumatic divert will send 20% of the product into the loop until the alpine is at full capacity. A product pusher along the transport line rejects mislabeled bottles onto a separate reject conveyor. This particular system can run at 60 FPM at 60 hertz based on a product load of 1 pound of distributed load per lineal foot of conveyor with 100% accumulation.
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
Mondi North America, Atlanta, showcased its packaging solutions, including flexible packaging, bags and pouches, barrier coatings, technical films and industrial bags.
Water soluble film offers a convenient and biodegradable solution for packing, and provides excellent barrier properties to protect the product and the end-user.
SKOG for Food combines FSC-certified Kraft paper with proprietary extrusion coating technology. This combination provides a heat-sealable package with the necessary barrier for food freshness and runs on form-fill-seal machinery.
Peel Pak is a unique bag for packaging dry dairy and related food products suitable for a cleanroom environment. It’s a “bag in a bag”—the inner polyethylene bag is heat sealed and can be completely separated from the outer paper plies or glued to meet customer requirements. To assist in product de-aeration prior to palletizing, the polyethylene bag includes optional venting methods depending on the ply used. Filling can also be done vent-free for nitro-flush applications.
Mondi North America
PACKAGING MACHINE AUTOMATION
Beckhoff Automation, Savage, Minn., displayed its packaging machine automation, integrating PLC, motion control and HMI alongside robotics, safety, high-end measurement, condition monititoring, cloud connectivity and IoT.
The new ELM series EtherCAT I/O modules feature metal housings that optimize shielding and cooling in measurement technology applications. At the same time, the durable housings provide enhanced flexibility at the interface level, such as for LEMO or BNC plug connectors or for the well-established cage clamps, as a customizable and standard solution. Measurement accuracy of 100 ppm at 23°C, precise sub-1 μs synchronization, 24-bit resolution and a high sampling rate of up to 50,000 samples per second guarantee high-quality data acquisition.
The new C6015 industrial PC (IPC) opens up application areas for PC-based control technology. Fully suited to industrial applications, this IPC measures just 82x82x40 mm, and features Microsoft Azure Certified, making it ideal for machine control and IIoT applications.
Beckhoff Automation LLC
“CHECK & DETECT” INSPECTION EQUIPMENT
Loma Systems, Carol Stream, Ill., highlighted its wide range of “check and detect” contaminant inspection equipment.
The next-generation IQ4 metal detector with 35% improved detection sensitivity and compact X5C x-ray and checkweighing combination machine is designed to ensure compliance with retailers’ codes of practice and average weight legislation. The IQ4 technology has enabled Loma to introduce true variable frequency to its Pipeline, Waferthin and Vertical Fall metal detectors. Operating between 31-882 kHz, all metal detectors in the IQ4 range are capable of automatically selecting correct operating frequency, so changes in products or packaging that necessitate an alteration in frequency no longer require operator intervention. In addition, variable frequency allows processors to easily run different pack sizes and shapes whilst benefiting from improved stability and sensitivity. The IQ4 metal detector range boasts a newly designed 7-inch color touchscreen with a modernized and more intuitive interface. The horizontal search heads feature a “beyond” standard IP69K rating. A unique new blue sealing helps make the machine resilient to a host of tough factory conditions, ranging from vibration and thermal fluctuations as a result of inspecting frozen products to harsh high-pressure, high-temperature washdown with corrosive chemical agents. The IQ4 also offers aluminum capability for performance validation system testing, product speed control, connection to TRACS software for centralized data reporting, support for biometric security and robust support for FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance.
Meanwhile, Loma’s X5C x-ray and CW3 combo inspection system is capable of weighing products while simultaneously inspecting for foreign bodies, all in one integrated system.
The integrated “detect and weigh” technologies ensure food safety for brand protection, and consistency in weight, size and shape. Measuring just 2.5 meters in length, it can be easily integrated where production space is limited. Produced from 304 grade stainless-steel, the combo unit is lead free and offers an IP55 washdown design. Capable of running at speeds up to 150 packs per minute, it is operated using two independent control panels and has separate reject bins for out-of-weight and contaminated products. The X5C is ideal for the detection of all metal types, glass, calcified bone, rubber and stone in various packaging, and is capable of handling products up to 100x300mm and weighing no more than 6kg.
COMPACT CHECKWEIGHER, FILLING MACHINE
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Sturtevant, Wis., exhibited its new checkweigher, which doesn’t including a bulky electrical cabinet. In fact, the space-saving design allows for the electrical components and cables to be located inside the rails of the frame. Plus, it can be integrated into both existing filling systems, as well as other machinery, to provide accurate weight measurements. The checkweigher uses MFR technology within the load cell, providing a higher level of accuracy than strain gauge loadcells. Other features include tool-less belt removal and a 3-leg base.
Other filling machines on display included Spee-Dee’s new 24-inch stainless-steel rotary filler, which is designed for high-speed filling of rigid containers for a variety of markets. While this new compact size provides for a smaller footprint, the rotary filler still offers improved accessibility at all points of the machine, including open access to the base, drive system and change parts to make cleaning, maintenance and changeovers, easier and faster.
Spee-Dee’s revolution series auger is ideal for any application that needs filling right away. When an order is placed, the appropriate column, stand and tooling requirements are added to the auger and ready to ship, and features an optional offline checkweighing system.
Spee-Dee’s servo drive volumetric cup filler is ideal for dispensing free-flowing dry products such as beans, rice and cereal.
Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery
PULSED LIGHT STERILIZATION FOR BEVERAGE FILLING LINES
France-based Claranor displayed the following pulsed light sterilization systems for beverage filling lines:
The Puls'Combi HDPE is a breakthrough solution designed for sterilizing the external surface of an HDPE bottle neck before cutting the moil, prior to filling. The blowing process creates a sterile surface inside the bottle. External sterilization prevents any recontamination of that surface during the moil cutting stage. This continuous process meets hygienic requirements for 60-day ESL milk without the use of conventional chemical sterilant spraying. The system offers a capacity of 18,000 1-gallon bottles an hour.
The Puls'Full cap sterilizer is engineered 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.
The cap sterilizer for PET line allows for high-speed decontamination (up to 1,600 bpm) for water, sensitives liquids and beverages. The equipment synchronizes with the line at speeds of up to 90,000 bottles an hour, and is easy to integrate in new or existing lines. A double chute version was developed for treating caps of different diameters. The optical unit is fitted with shutters to ensure it is watertight during cleaning of the line. An indexing system ensures that the first caps arriving in the duct at the start of the process are treated correctly.
For the dairy and food markets cup filling application, a cup sterilizer dedicated to production of dairy desserts configures 10 lanes to be integrated on a linear line.
+33 (0)4 86 40 84 60
TOTAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE RETAIL SUPPLY CHAIN
ORBIS Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis., displayed its range of solutions for the retail supply chain.
The 40x48-inch plastic pallets rack, store and stage product within a manufacturing plant. For added plant safety and compliance, these pallets are made with Proliant, a new fire-retardant plastic material approved by Factory Mutual Research Corp. (FM) that’s also FDA-compliant.
The OPTE Bulk is a collapsible bulk system comprised of a plastic pallet, reusable sleeve and top cap, in footprints from 32x4 inches to 40x48 inches. Sleeves are available in several heights, styles and access door configurations. When full, the OPTE Bulk protects bulk products and tote systems during shipping. When empty, the sleeves collapse for easy storing.
Picking carts can help streamline picking and fulfillment processes in distribution centers and at retail. When carts are paired with reusable totes, users have a system that connects picking to delivery and fulfillment. The wheels and maneuverability are critical to accelerate picking speed and improve order accuracy, especially when these stations span throughout the plant. When used in-store, these carts help speed up replenishment. ORBIS standard carts feature powder-coated construction and heavy-duty casters to minimize noise.
Tote dollies are a simple add-on to hand-held trays and totes that give stationary packaging mobile capabilities. These dollies can be used within a distribution center for easy tote handling between workstations, efficient picking for e-commerce deliveries and in-store fulfillment. Dollies are available in multiple materials, footprints and configurations.
The 42x30-inch small-format HP allows for 45-truck configurations vs. the standard 30. At retail, the small-format pallet fits in narrow aisles and can be used as a replenishment vehicle to accommodate compact retail formats.
The new Pally converts from a mobile to static pallet with one press of the pedal. This dual feature allows material to be rolled from the truck directly to the aisle without down-stacking. The Pally supports frequent product deliveries and fits in the aisles of small-format stores. It also enables staging of e-commerce products designated for store pickup, and can transform into an in-aisle, shopper-ready endcap or point-of-purchase display.
VERTICAL TRANSPORT & SORTING LIFT
Qimarox, The Netherlands, displayed the Prorunner mk5 vertical transport and sorting lift, designed to transport a capacity of 2,000 products per hour.
MULTI-SCAN METAL DETECTOR
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Minneapolis, debuted what is dubbed as the first-of-its-kind metal detector, which can rapidly scan up to five frequencies to consistently find ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless-steel metal contaminants.
The Sentinel metal detector is designed for a wide range of applications, including dairy, meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, bread and more. Because the Sentinel scans multiple frequencies, it increases the probability of finding all random sizes, shapes and types of embedded metal foreign objects.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Product Inspection
SUSTAINABLE PAPER PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
Sappi Ltd., Boston, showcased its full range of sustainable paper packaging solutions, including:
Expanded range of functional papers. The Sappi Guard product range expanded to include integrated high-barrier, paper-based solutions with heat sealability properties. Innovations include the initial results from the collaboration between Sappi and Felix Schoeller. Together, the companies are focusing on sustainable and high-quality alternatives to current barrier solutions.
Continued expansion of C1S label grades. Sappi expanded its LusterCote product line to include heavyweight options on a wide range of coated one-side (C1S) applications, including litho labels, envelopes, book dust jackets, setup boxes and point-of-purchase displays. The Parade product line also offers a comprehensive range of facestock and wet glue label papers for a variety of processing options. Sappi also launched new facestock label papers in the form of Parade Face Stock C1S and Parade Face Stock Vellum, which are suitable for use in self-adhesive label applications such as stickers and price tags.
Paperboard. Sappi presented its bright white solid bleached board Algro Design in a variety of applications.
Containerboard with virgin fiber topliners. The Fusion virgin fiber liner pioneered the field of white-coated topliners for corrugated board. Because these topliners use bleached virgin fibers as the raw material, they offer visual benefits as well as considerable strength advantages.
Range of flexible packaging solutions. Sappi offered a comprehensive range of coated and uncoated papers for food and non-food applications, including speciality papers for sachets, bags and wrappers. The speciality papers that are coated on one side are ideal for outer packaging of products requiring high-quality printing. Uncoated varieties lend themselves to inner packaging, foil lamination and pouches.
These advancements come on the heels of Sappi’s announcement pertaining to the rebuild of its Skowhegan, Maine, plant, which is expected to be completed in spring 2018.
Zip-Pak, Carol Stream, Ill., showcased its full range of resealable technologies for brand owners, converters, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and co-packers.
Tab-Lok is a new child-resistant reclosure for the flexible packaging industry, and recently obtained Conformity of Packaging according to both US 16 CFR 1700.20 and ISO 8317 standards from IVM-childsafe. Tab-Lok easily integrates into a customer’s current manufacturing operations, without significant changes to equipment or capital investment. Tab-Lok offers a unique press-to-close solution streamlining the opening process that is unlike current multi-step slider options. The key differentiator is the unique tab mechanism used to open and access the package contents. The zipper profile features a small tab that the consumer utilizes to open the zipper during first and subsequent uses of the package.
Also on display are the following:
Easy-Open DuraZip. Designed for large package formats, Easy-Open DuraZip allows easy first-time opening and a durable press-to-reclose zipper for resealability. The highly burst-resistant Easy-Open DuraZip is compatible with laminate or polywoven films, and can be readily applied on large format pouch-making equipment, making it an ideal solution for foodservice bulk products.
ZIP360. The ZIP360 package format features a single length of zipper that runs 360 degrees around the perimeter of the package with no seals required at either end, such as on conventional zippered bags. This is accomplished through the use of Zip-Pak’s Vector resealable matrix zipper that is engineered to seal to itself, thus eliminating the need for conventional male and female strands. With no seals on each side, the result is a markedly wider opening that provides increased product access and enhanced pourability.
Inno-Lok. Inno-Lok fasteners allow brand owners to add a reclose feature to flexible packages produced on vertical form-fill-seal equipment. Converters apply Inno-Lok zippers during the film production process with the pre-zippered rolls, allowing production of recloseable packages without changes to seal bars or additional capital required. It can be used for barrier and non-barrier packaging applications.
Fragrance-Zip. Fragrance-Zip is designed to emit a customized aroma upon initial and subsequent openings of a flexible resealable package. The scent is embedded in the reclosure during the manufacturing process. Through partnership with several fragrance companies, Zip-Pak has the ability to duplicate virtually any desired aroma, enabling a package to replicate the scent whenever opened. This versatile fragrance technology may be incorporated into several packaging styles.
Zipper Tape. Zipper Tape is ideal for low-density polyethylene (LDPE) packaging requiring a hermetic seal. This versatile method of resealability is an ideal way to add a consumer-preferred opening feature as well as a high-quality resealable feature to polyethylene bags used in refrigerated and frozen applications.
Powder resistant. Powder-resistant zippers provide a clog-resistant reseal alternative for powdered products and particulates. They are designed for seamless integration with most packaging applications, including horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal machinery as well as pouch-making equipment for powdered milk and other baked goods.
This all comes in conjunction with Zip-Pak’s new Engineering and Innovation Center (EIC) scheduled to open in late 2017.
Zip-Pak, a division of Illinois Tool Works
SPECIALY LUBRICATION SOLUTIONS
Klϋber Lubrication, Londonderry, N.H., featured its specialty lubrication solutions for the food processing industries.
For instance, Klüberpaste UH1 96-402 is a light-colored, high-temperature paste.
Klüberfood NH1 74-401 is a synthetic high-temperature grease that utilizes a unique FDA-approved urea thickener.
Klüberplus C2 K2 Ultra Dry is designed for the lubrication of conveyor belts made of plastic and the transport of carton packages. It is based on a modern set of ingredients to satisfy the requirements of conveyor operators looking to reduce lubricant consumption quantities while reducing cleaning efforts and improving hygiene. Klüberplus C2 K2 Ultra Dry is made without perfluorinated substances (PTFE), leading to dry floors, the prevention of aerosol formation during lubricant application and less wastewater contamination.
Klüberplus C2 PM2 Super Dry is designed for the lubrication of conveyor belts made of plastic and the transport of PET bottles and metal cans. The lubricant helps prevent residue formation on conveyor belts and in application systems, leading to better hygiene status and reduced cleaning effort. Klüberplus C2 PM2 Super Dry ensures reliable line operation, as the product is free from silicone and PTFE, reducing the risk of nozzle blockage. The lubricant is also NSF-H1 registered for increased process reliability.
Klüberplus C2 PM2 Ultra Dry is designed for the lubrication of conveyor belts made of plastic and transport of PET and metal packages in combination with LOEHRKE spraying equipment. The special nozzle in the LOEHRKE system in combination with Klüberplus C2 PM2 Ultra Dry enables individual regulation of the lubricant quantity on each track. As a result, lubricant consumption and the coefficient of friction management can be optimized. It is also possible to reduce the cleaning effort when using Klüberplus C2 PM2 Ultra Dry due to less residue formation.
Klüberpaste UH1 96-402 is a high-temperature paste designed for versatile assembly purposes in hygienically sensitive environments. It contains fully synthetic base oils and a special blend of ceramic solid lubricants. Klüberpaste UH1 96-402 is suitable for a variety of friction points in food processing machines that are subject to high loads, including as an assembly paste for transition and loose fits to prevent fretting corrosion, as a paste for screw connections based on high-alloy steels to optimize the tightening torque and demounting, even after long operating periods or as a long-term lubricant for low-speed guide rails, hinges, rollers, etc.
Klüberfood NH1 74-401 is designed for incidental contact in food processing, combining the high performance and load-carrying capacity of a synthetic base oil with the versatility of an innovative urea thickener. Klüberfood NH1 74-401 is suitable for long lubrication intervals in a large variety of applications. This high-temperature grease provides a wide service temperature range and can be applied in rolling bearings up to 160°C and even up to 180°C (short term) with appropriate relubrication intervals. Klüberfood NH1 74-401 can be used in a variety of food processing sectors, such as bakery, beverage, meat, fish and more.
ISO-CERTIFIED FLEXIBLE PACKAGING
LPS Industries announced a significant expansion of its production capabilities at its Moonachie, N.J., headquarters manufacturing facility. The company is in the process of installing three new pouch machines that convert supported laminates and poly materials, a new flexo printing press and two new combo poly bag/poly mailer lines to add new capabilities, increase efficiency and decrease operational redundancy. All of the new functionality is projected to be commercially operational during the 4th quarter of 2017.
Two new production lines of combo poly bag equipment will accommodate a wider range of poly gauges up to 8 mils. Bags can be produced with a press-to-seal zipper or tape closure and up to 8-color process printing. The new equipment will also set up to work with both hot knife and flat bar seals and will offer high-speed wicketing capability. It readily accommodates everyday supermarket products such as meats, produce and more.
LPS Industries’ new pouch making system will make pouches from unsupported coex films, and can process several varieties of 3-side seal pouches, press-to-close zipper pouches, stand-up pouches and side gusseted pouches from single or multiple webs. Additional enhancements include the ability to insert separate bottom or side gusset films, register print on both sides of a pouch and on the bottom gussets or side gussets and create rounded corner pouches.
The new flexo printing press will increase overall efficiency and add more print capacity, as well as ensure continuity of operations at LPS. It will accommodate a full range of printable substrates and print up to eight process colors, including specialized inks and varnish designs.
LPS Industries, LLC
ADHESIVE APPLICATION EQUIPMENT
ITW Dynatec, Hendersonville, Tenn., exhibited its wide range of adhesive application equipment, which includes filling systems, applicators, nozzles, heated hoses and pattern controllers.
The SIMPLICITY design, for instance, incorporates broad compatibility, enabling users to easily integrate the unit into current manufacturing operations. The ASU employs a single board with simplified V6 controls and an easy-to-read display. A relatively compact unit, SIMPLICITY features patented Melt-On-Demand technology, melting only the required amount of adhesive which greatly reduces char, resulting in less nozzle clogging and reduced maintenance.
SIMPLICITY ASU is available as 4kg, 8kg and 16kg units with melt rates as high as 25 pounds per hour, while the larger 16kg units can melt up to 50 pounds per hour. The SIMPLICITY can accommodate two, four or six hose configurations for a simple customizable setup. Additionally, the 16kg size is also available as a dual pump base unit.
ITW Dynatec, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Soft Robotics Inc., Cambridge, Mass., debuted its expanded class of robotic grippers and its upgraded Soft Robotics Development Kit—SRDK 2.0.
The Soft Robotics Development Kit 2.0 comes complete with:
- Robot tool flange mounting plate.
- 4-, 5- and 6-position hub plates.
- Tool Center Point.
- Soft Robotics control unit G2.
- 6 rail-mounted, 4-accordion actuator modules.
- Custom pneumatic manifold.
- Mounting hardware and accessories.
The SRDK 2.0 contains six 4-accordion actuator modules plus the addition of a six position hub, allowing users to configure six actuator test tools. This expands use of the development kit to larger product applications, such as large bagged and pouched items and more.
SRDK 2.0 also contains an upgraded Soft Robotics Control Unit (SRCU G2), a proprietary system that controls all software and hardware with one turnkey pneumatic operation. The upgraded SRCU features new software with a cleaner, user-friendly interface and an IP65 rating. Highly intuitive, the software is able to store up to eight grip profiles and allows for precise adjustments to actuation and vacuum.
Designed to plug and play with any existing robot, the Soft Robotics Development Kit 2.0 allows end-users and OEM Integrators the ability to customize, test and validate with their own equipment in their own environment.
Formost Fuji, Woodinville, Wash., unveiled the Alpha 8 wrapper series with improvements to the operation panel for safety, security and ease of use.
The Alpha 8 wrapper was designed to include a stronger, simpler and more accessible end seal system and higher sealing pressure. The center fin seal unit tilts down without tools, providing easy access for sanitation and maintenance.
The Fuji vision system also provides an “auto-teaching” feature, which includes auto detection of film registration, allowing for easier setup and product change. Other notable developments include a shorter film route for reduced film waste during setup and stainless-steel film rollers for increased hygiene.
ENHANCED FEATURES TO VIBRATORY CONVEYORS
Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., introduced enhanced features to its Iso-Flo, Impulse, Horizon and Marathon vibratory conveyors for food processing and packaging lines.
For example, Key’s new patented grounding arm is made of a single stainless-steel structure. Unlike braided wire rope with crevasses, which can harbor bacteria and a crimped ferrule that can fail, the single structure, smooth texture and open design of the new grounding arm enhance sanitation and improve durability. Mounted to Key’s StrongArm spring arms to dissipate static between the conveyor bed and frame, this grounding arm presents no horizontal surfaces where liquid, product or particulates can pool. It comes standard on new conveyors and can be retrofitted to existing systems in the field.
Label stand-offs are superior to traditional riveted plaques, which can trap bacteria, and adhesive stickers, which can peel off after repeated exposure to washdowns. Each conveyor’s identification, specifications and stroke indicator are laser-etched or stamped onto stainless steel, and the colorful ISO safety pictogram labels utilize epoxy-based baked finish over stainless steel. All these new labels consume less surface area and are attached to the conveyor with stand-offs to reduce laminations.
Key also redesigned the oil-free drives used to power the company’s vibratory conveyors. A smaller footprint and a more open mount, which reduce the lamination area, make these maintenance-free drives more sanitary.
The new Vector-Lock Gen 2, used to secure removable screens and covers on vibratory conveyors, eases use and achieves better clamping. With a larger hook, a bigger radius and additional over-center latching for more positive engagement, this new Vector-Lock clamp enables quick release and closing while maximizing load carrying capabilities to secure screens and covers on even the heaviest conveyor systems. Simplified geometry makes the new clamp easier to latch, inspect and maintain. It is interchangeable with previous-generation Vector-Lock screen clamps and compatible with legacy conveyor platforms.
Key Technology, Inc.
INTEGRATING END-OF-LINE EQUIPMENT WITH COLLABORATIVE ROBOTICS
Brenton Engineering, powered by Pro Mach, Alexandria, Minn., demonstrated its integration capabilities of existing end-of-line equipment with collaborative robotics.
The deep robotic programming and integrating capabilities offers vision-guided, pick-and-place for high-speed packing of food and beverages.
For instance, Brenton displayed the CR-7iA/L collaborative robot with integral vision that picks trays off a conveyor, orients them and feeds them to a BrentonPro Mach-2 side load case packer. Key features include an integrated HMI, which enables the conventional case packer and robot to operate as a unified system, and dual robotic picking speeds for maximum throughput. The vision system plugs directly into the robot controller, eliminating the need for a separate vision controller. The CR-7iA/L is designed to work with humans in a shared workspace without safety fences in a 24/7 environment.
The FANUC CR-7iA/L is paired with the Mach-2 case packer, features a small footprint and flexible, customizable design. Utilizing indexing motion, the Mach-2 efficiently loads up to 35 cases per minute. Cases accommodated include RSC, HSC, tray, wrap-around, knock-down and harness for cartons, bottles, cans and tubs. Additionally, the servo-controlled Mach-2 case packer reduces energy consumption and product and packaging material waste.
Douglas Machine, Alexandria, Minn., displayed its Vectra cartoner, top load display case packing for pouches and bags, high and mid-speed wraparound case packing and retail shrink wrap solutions.
Douglas Machine Inc.
PDC International Corp., Norwalk, Conn., introduced the 65C-M Shrinksealer with integrated material accumulator, which allows roll changes at full production speed.
When the current reel is spent, an end-of-reel sensor automatically clamps the tail at a splicing table, allowing the rapid splice of the new reel, while running at full speed.
Several variations of tamper-evident banding are applied with the 65 Series, including registered, printed graphics that create visual marketing opportunities around the cap of the package. When horizontally perforated at the base of the cap, the tamper-evident portion is removed when opened, while the neck label portion with graphics remains on the package throughout its life. Sleeves extending below the cap conceal variations in fill levels, which are inevitable in viscous liquid filling.
65C Series machines operate at 50-175 cpm (containers per minute) with maximum speeds dependent on package and sleeve dimensions. Sleeve diameter range is .375-3 inches with a sleeve height range of .625-4 inches.
PDC 65C Series machines are compatible with traditional and sustainable films, including PVC, PET, PETG, OPS and
PDC International Corp.
PREMIUM PAPER, PAPERBOARD SOLUTIONS
BillerudKorsnäs, Sweden, showcased an array of innovative, eco-friendly packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Among the technologies on display were:
- Triple-coated BillerudKorsnäs White, an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cartonboard, incorporates lightweighting and a strong layered structure for dazzling printing and intricate shaping.
- Cold-formable BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm, an alternative to plastics, enables unique shapes and up to 10 times deeper embossing for applications such as paper cups, stand-up pouches, cards, cartons, formed containers, trays and blisters.
+46 8 553 335 00
PUMPING SOLUTION FOR VISCIOUS PRODUCTS
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG), Wilmington, Del., showcased its MasoSine Certa Pump.
The MasoSine Certa pump is said to be one of only two positive displacement pumps to have achieved EHEDG Type EL Aseptic Class I certification. The easy-to-clean pump is self-draining, featured a reduced clean-in-place cycle time and requires lower volumes of cleaning agents.
All contact parts are FDA and EC1935 compliant, and can help food and beverage plants at all stages of a process, from unloading raw material to a storage tank, through transfer to a mixer/agitator/reactor/cooking vessel, to final transfer to the filling line.
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
GLASS-IN-GLASS INSPECTION SYSTEMS
Peco InspX, San Carlos, Calif., debuted its new SHIELD Trio triple-beam glass x-Ray inspection system, designed to withstand even the most demanding environment with practically no preventative maintenance requirement.
Peco InspX also demonstrated the detection properties of various plastics using x-ray technology, including Roechling’s Sustarin C XDT (Acetal), Polystone M XDT (UHMW) and SustaPEEK XDT material.
Peco InspX Corp.
Eriez, Erie, Pa., introduced two new metal detector/magnetic separator “double team” systems for ferrous and non-ferrous metal contamination.
In both of these system configurations, the metal detector and the magnetic separator work in conjunction to produce as close to a perfect product yield as possible.
The magnet in the Magnetic B Trap, for instance, removes ferrous contamination from the pumped liquid product, improving product quality and minimizing rejected material from the downstream metal detector with automatic rejection. The metal detector is left to focus on detecting and rejecting non-magnetic tramp metals such as aluminum and stainless steel.
The Xtreme Liquid Line Metal Detector pairs a magnetic grate-in-housing with an Xtreme Gravity Drop Vertical Metal Detector to remove ferrous contamination from the gravity-dropped material, thus enhancing product quality and reducing rejected material from the downstream metal detector with auto reject. The metal detector’s primary function is to detect and reject non-magnetic tramp metals, including aluminum and stainless steel.
Eriez “double team” systems ensure compliance with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs and regulations set forth by various federal agencies.
MAINTENANCE CAMPAIGN FOR U.S. PACKAGING INDUSTRY
Ship & Shore Environmental Inc., Long Beach, Calif., announced a new maintenance campaign for the U.S. packaging industry, developed to help packaging companies with post-installation services pertaining to permitting, preventive maintenance (PM) inspections, source testing, reports and measurements.
Ship & Shore also implemented new features to its units that can help manufacturers with efficiency and remote access for trouble-shooting.
Ship & Shore Environmental Inc.
AUTOMATED CARTON STACKING SYSTEM
Controls Engineering, Middleton, Wis., introduced the AP25 automated carton stacking system, designed to collect individual cartons and automatically create the desired bundle configuration and band.
This system is capable of stacking products in a single row, multiple cartons wide, multiple cartons high, an array of multiple cartons wide and multiple rows high.
Controls Engineering, LLC
SANITARY CONVEYING SOLUTIONS
Meyer Industries, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, exhibited its lines of Vibra Flex II with a custom scale feeder, a sanitary belt conveyor, a sanitary in-line continuous weighing Magna Weigh vibratory feeder, a dewatering conveyor and a bi-directional product flow curveyor from its new sister company KOFAB.
Meyer Industries, Inc.
SOLVENTLESS, SOLVENT-BASED ADHESIVES
Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, Midland, Mich., highlighted innovative technologies designed to “redefine the future of packaging,” including SYMBIEX solventless adhesives and the ADCOTE HP Solvent-Borne adhesives.
- Solutions to reduce food waste. Dow designs and delivers key packaging performance benefits and abuse resistance through technologies such as INNATE Precision Packaging Resins and AGILITY Performance LDPE for extrusion coating.
- Sustainable packaging design. Dow generates solutions for all parts of a plastic pouch structure, from film and adhesives to closures and fitments, offering advancements in toughness, protection, lightweighting and recyclability. RecycleReady Technology with RETAIN and a recently-announced collaboration to develop trash bags made from post-industrial plastic scrap, which volunteers used while cleaning beaches across the country, are examples of Dow solutions enabling sustainable packaging design.
- Collaborations that create change. Dow engaged with key packaging and environmental associations and brings together diverse groups throughout the value chain at Pack Studios. Dow also collaborated with Nordmeccanica, New York, to optimize its machinery to run SYMBIEX Solventless Adhesives. In addition, Dow works with small and medium-sized businesses to adopt flexible packaging solutions with its IncubaPack packaging incubator program.
- Advancements in end-of-life options. Dow is committed to end-of-life options beyond traditional recycling, such as the Hefty EnergyBag program.
Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
SECURITY PRINT PLATFORM
Videojet Technologies, Wooddale, Ill., entered into a strategic partnership with Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y., to co-design Applied DNA SigNature molecular-tagged Videojet inks and a co-branded printer that electronically restricts the use of ink cartridges to only those that contain SigNature DNA inks. The relationship brings the potential to empower the tagging of countless commercial items, enabling traceability along the entire supply chain. The initial offering utilizes the newly released Videojet 1860 printer, which will be co-branded with Applied DNA, along with co-branded Videojet inks that will incorporate Applied DNA's unique SigNature molecular tag into each individual ink cartridge. The SigNature-enabled inks will be brand-specific, enabling each brand to tag, test and track products from source to shelf under a CertainT platform.
Videojet also displayed a number of its marking and printing solutions, including.
- The new Videojet 1860 CIJ uses innovative predictive capabilities, including what is dubbed as an industry-first ink buildup sensor to provide up to eight hours of advanced notice of common potential fault conditions that can impact OEE and uptime. More than 50 real-time sensors continuously monitor 150-plus key indicators of printer performance to provide diagnostics, analytics and guidance. The Videojet 1860’s 45-degree slanted printhead design delivers increased versatility through easy line integration.
- The new Videojet SIMPLICiTY interface greatly reduces operator printer interactions to help eliminate potential user errors through an intuitive, tablet-inspired 10-inch touchscreen interface.
- VideojetConnect Remote Service is an intelligent cloud-based solution that helps customers optimize printer performance by empowering remote diagnosis and repair along with visibility beyond simple printer performance. Information can be tailored to the user, whether a plant or production manager or an operator, to provide dashboard analytics, performance reports, automated notifications and production data. With VideojetConnect Remote Service, users can anticipate issues and accelerate recovery thanks to remote printer access supported by Videojet technical experts.
- The Videojet LifeCycle Advantage suite of offerings includes VideojetConnect Remote Service, designed to help maintain printer performance, quickly recover unplanned interruptions and optimize the performance of coding and marking equipment.
- The new Videojet DataFlex 6530 and 6330 TTO printers feature iAssure technology, an integrated code assurance system that automatically checks every print for alphanumeric print defects and helps to reduce packaging waste that results from coding errors. The modular design allows users to choose how to fit the printer into their production line, and can be controlled through its web interface for a streamlined, single point of control. The 6530’s all-electronic design utilizes a new and exclusive printhead, eliminating the need for plant air, while allowing for more control and faster throughput speeds.
- The new high-powered CO2 Videojet 3640 60-Watt Laser Marking System is engineered to process complex codes at high speeds. The Videojet 3640 helps manufacturers code with virtually no font, code or graphic restrictions at line speeds up to 900 meters per minute, depending on the application.
- The new Videojet 7220 and 7320 Fiber laser marking systems deliver versatile, permanent coding with a small footprint and low maintenance. Perfect for high-contrast color change on plastic and metal materials, these reliable, pulsed fiber laser marking systems feature built-in productivity and flexibility that can be configured to the user’s needs.
- The Videojet 3340 Laser Marking System delivers high-quality codes while marking products and packaging on moderate and high-speed lines. The 3340 offers complete system flexibility with 21 mark window options, four marking heads, 15 lenses and three wavelengths.
- The Videojet 3140 Laser Marking System, said to be the fastest 10-watt laser in its class, provides 32 standard beam delivery options for easy integration into packaging lines. It is engineered to mark both simple and complex codes on a range of substrates, including paperboard, glass, painted metal, paper labels, PET and other plastic materials.
- The Videojet 9550 Print & Apply Labeler with Intelligent Motion technology utilizes advanced direct drive technology to eliminate the manual adjustments, clutches and nip rollers that often cause downtime in traditional print-and-apply case coding operations. Its on-board label database, automatic barcode creation, intuitive job selection and powerful diagnostics help prevent coding errors and increase efficiencies.
- The Wolke m600 oem TIJ printer is designed to deliver integration versatility combined with powerful data handling capabilities. It offers secure, ultra-fast processing of up to 20 unique records per second and printing of 2D DataMatrix and GS1 128 barcodes.
- The Videojet 8610 TIJ printer utilizes a purpose-built inkjet cartridge designed for MEK and other industrial inks. Its Cartridge Readiness System helps prevent ink from drying in the nozzles during production interruptions, providing clean, repeatable codes with virtually no operator intervention. The 8610 provides high-speed, high-resolution printing of simple text as well as complex marks on non-porous materials like foils, films, plastics and coated stocks.
- For special applications that require easily readable variable data codes on dark materials, the Videojet 1710 CIJ printer uses high-contrast pigmented inks to create impactful, highly visible codes. The 1710 prints on surfaces upon which dye-based inks are not easily viewable, such as colored glass, rubber tubing, plastic cabling and dark paperboard. It is capable of printing a variety of fonts in multiple languages, as well as linear barcodes, 2D DataMatrix codes, custom logos and graphics.
Videojet Technologies, Inc.
X-RAY SYSTEM FOR RIGID PACKAGING
Anritsu Infivis, Elk Grove Village, Ill., introduced the new Side View x-ray, designed for rigid packaging, including PET bottles, stand-up pouches and tall containers. The Side View x-ray is a touchless solution that mounts above existing production lines. The machine is a highly adaptable solution to suit individual applications and helps manufacturers achieve industry standard compliance like HACCP.
The XR74e offers small- to mid-sized companies an economical option for detecting metal, wire, stones, bone, rubber and glass fragments in packaged products. The new machine promotes food safety and protects brand integrity while conserving space and occupying just a 55-inch footprint.
The integrated SSV checkweigher and New M6 Dual Wave metal detector assures accurate weighing and metal detection, plus product safety compliance. Combo systems provide high-speed, accurate force balance within a small footprint. This next generation technology delivers unrivaled levels of detection sensitivity even in challenging production environments.
VFFS BAGGER SWITCHES PACKAGE FORMATS IN JUST MINUTES
For food packagers looking to improve production and switch package formats in just minutes, Model XY-RJ from Triangle Package Machinery, Chicago, offers an easily rotatable sealing jaw. This vertical form-fill-seal bagger can run pillow bags, gusseted bags, 3-sided bags and stand-up pouches, all on the same machine. Other key features 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) or non-supported film.
- Optional ultrasonic sealing for both cross seal and back seal.
- Bagging speeds up to 120 bpm.
- Optional longitudinal zipper.
Ideal for numerous markets, including IQF products, meat and poultry, pasta, produce and seafood, the machine’s ultrasonic sealing technology can see additional benefits, such as airtight package seals, increased product throughput and eliminated leakers and rejects. Ultrasonic welding technology is ideal for leafy produce, cheese and other industries that require 100% seal integrity for an airtight product.
While changeovers on Triangle’s Flex 1 Cartoner were already a quick and simple process, the addition of an optional, push-button changeover feature provides additional benefits, such as faster start-up, improved OEE and repeatability. Customers enter a pre-set recipe for each carton size and then return to that size with just the push of a button. A red or green light indicates that the adjustments are in the correct position to run the desired carton size. The new feature also allows operators to automatically change anything inside the guarding with just the push of a button.
Triangle Package Machinery Co.
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY MORE THAN DOUBLES SHELF LIFE
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, New York, introduced a new flexible packaging technology that is said to potentially more than double the shelf life of food products.
Embedded as a film layer within flexible packaging, NutraSave, an innovative resin technology, removes oxygen trapped within sealed packages to safely extend and protect original food flavors, aromas and textures without the need for sachets or packets. Ideal for retort packaging applications, NutraSave protects products such as soups, sauces, processed fruit, dips, prepared meals and an array of natural, organic and gluten-free products.
The preservative-free innovation, which prevents mold growth and color changes, odors and spoilage in foods, is FDA compliant and eliminates the need for additional sodium, spices and other additives to counteract the effects of high heat required in retort processing.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
ROBOTIC LIFT TRUCKS
Yale Materials Handling Corp., Greenville, N.C., demonstrated its robotic end rider lift truck Driven by Balyo.
The MPE080-VG robotic lift truck automates a variety of repetitive load transportation tasks, and picks up, transports and drops off pallets anywhere on the floor using infrastructure-free navigation technology. Without the need for tape, wire or other additional infrastructure, the Yale robotic end rider lift truck can also switch to manual mode with the touch of a button, offering additional flexibility to help operations adapt to unexpected demands.
Yale also offers two other robotic lift truck models with Driven by Balyo technology – the MO70T tow tractor and the MC10-15 counterbalanced stacker. The Balyo architecture can scale according to operational demands, offering the flexibility to manage a single truck or an entire fleet. An advanced obstacle detection feature controls truck speed and affords smooth, efficient movement, minimizing unnecessary stops and impacts to allow for up to 20,000 hours of use.
Yale Materials Handling Corp.
HYGIENIC TWIN SCREW PUMPS, VALVES
ITT Inc., Seneca Falls, N.Y., showcased its hygienic twin screw pumps and valves and monitoring solutions for food and beverage operations.
The Bornemann SLH-4G hygienic twin screw pump, for example, is effective in a wide range of product viscosities, temperatures and pressures, and is also capable of pumping common clean-in-place solutions.
The Bornemann SLH-4U hygienic twin screw pump offers the advantages of a hygienic twin-screw pump in a more standardized design.
The innovative Pure-Flo EnviZion valve brings a completely new diaphragm valve platform to the industry, significantly reducing the time associated with the long-term operation and maintenance of critical process components.
The i-ALERT 2 Bluetooth Smart monitor identifies potential problems before they become costly failures. It tracks pump vibration, temperature, runtime hours and wirelessly syncs the data with a smartphone or tablet through the i-ALERT2 mobile app.
MEZZANINE PLATFORMS, LIFTS, LADDERS
Wildeck, Inc., Waukesha, Wis., and its subsidiary, Wildeck Access (formerly Ladder Industries), Goodyear, Ariz., presented a range of innovative products, including mezzanine platforms, vertical material lifts, new RiderLift rideable material lift, new protective Wilgard guard rail family, JiffyRail protective railing system, Wildeck’s patent-pending EdgeAlert open gate alarm, EZ-Step conveyor crossovers and portable Rolastair stock picker rolling ladder stands.
Wildeck’s custom mezzanine and equipment platforms, vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs), rideable material lifts (RMLs), impact-resistant safety guard rail and access products utilize space while protecting high-value equipment, packaged goods and facility personnel.
New to Wildeck’s portfolio is RiderLift RML, a rideable material lift that allows authorized riders to safely travel with their cargo between levels. RiderLift increases material handling efficiency, improves safety, reducing worker fatigue, while minimizing lost time accidents, optimizes the utilization of facility capacity gained from mezzanines, rack systems and pick modules and provides a robust 2,500-pound lifting capacity for packaged materials and a rider.
Wildeck’s versatile new LadderLink system is a modular access solution that provides packaging and converting industry personnel full control over the level of access they require to machines, conveyors and equipment. Customers can choose between five different pre-engineered steel components.
Wildeck, Inc., a subsidiary of Holden Industries
X-RAY INSPECTION SYSTEM FOR HARSH WASHDOWN ENVIRONMENTS
Eagle PI, Tampa, Fla., displayed the Pack 400 HC on-stand, an x-ray inspection system designed for easy and efficient cleaning in the harsh washdown environments of packaged meat, poultry, dairy and IQF product applications.
Eagle PI also exhibited the Tall PRO XSDV, an advanced system providing 100% inspection for contaminants in rigid containers such as cans, bottles and jars using high-performance, dual-view x-ray technology.
Eagle Product Inspection
TAPE MONITORING, SEALING SYSTEMS
Shurtape, Hickory, N.C., showcased Prime Alert from Shurtape, a tape monitoring system that when used in conjunction with ShurSEAL automated packaging solutions, is equipped to issue both audible and visual alerts to packaging line operators. The system alerts are automatically transmitted if any of the following occur on the packaging line:
- No/missing tape.
- Broken tape.
- Low tape.
- Case jam.
- Uncut tape.
A light tree can also be installed, providing control of the packaging line, even when operators aren’t preseent. For added flexibility, Prime Alert can be tied into a programmable logic controller system to stop the case erector/sealer or conveyor before issues get out of hand.
Meanwhile, the folded-edge hand dispenser is available for all manual sealing applications, including L-Clip tape sealing. Developed with patented Folded-Edge technology, this solution provides an added layer of security to keep contents secure and reduce the risk of contamination and damage. The dispenser folds both edges of the packaging tape along the length of the carton as the tape is applied, creating a reinforced tape seal. This technology increases the strength of the tape and reinforces the film, particularly at its most vulnerable failure point – the carton’s major flaps where the tape folds over the edges of the carton. An added benefit is that it delivers ready-to-open seals that allow the tape to be pulled away by hand, eliminating the need for a knife or other sharp object. These hand dispensers also provide improved wipe-down pressure to strengthen seal security, a retractable cutting blade to increase safety, tape length indicators and straight taping guidance for accurate and efficient taping.
Shurtape Technologies, LLC
COUNTER & BAG PACKAGING SYSTEM
Automated Packaging Systems, Streetsboro, Ohio, introduced a fully-integrated counter and bag packaging system designed for high-speed counting and packaging of small bulk products. The DATA Count U-162 Counter from DATA Detection Technologies, Southampton, Pa., is custom engineered to work with the Autobag 500 bagger to improve productivity and reliability for bag packaging applications that require speed and precision. This new system is capable of counting up to 25,000 objects per minute, using a hopper, vibratory feed track system and an advanced mathematical algorithm. The DATA Count U-162 accurately detects variable-shaped products from 0.5-25mm in size. A bulk supply of product moves through feed tracks and into a vision-based system, where it is automatically counted to a pre-set quantity and then funneled to a pre-opened bag, sealed and dispensed, while another bag is presented for loading. This advanced vision system is capable of counting multiple items simultaneously, without the need for product separation.
Automated Packaging Systems also partnered with ABB to integrate the Autobag 500 bagging system with ABB’s YuMi robot, which is said to be the first truly collaborative, dual-armed robot designed to work side-by-side with humans. The YuMi can assist with assembling and packaging small parts and kits on the Autobag 500. Using advanced motion control and camera-based parts location, the YuMi can pick and place products into pre-opened bags, which are then automatically sealed and dispensed by the Autobag 500. YuMi features two magnesium arms that flex on seven axes to mimic human-like movements with spatial efficiency. The robot takes up no more space than a human operator, and is extremely precise with 0.02 mm accuracy and speeds of 59 inches per second. This robot includes built-in sensors that instantly halt all motion if the unit bumps a person or other object, which eliminates the need for cages and safety zones.
Automated Packaging Systems