April 2006 Equipment Round-Up - Packaging

April 11, 2006
This showcase presents a baker's dozen of the latest and greatest in packaging machinery.

Skin-tight meat packs

Automated FormShrink thermoform-fill-seal systems allow marketers of meat, poultry, cheese and many other food products to create skin-tight packaging inline rather than with pre-formed pouches. Packages are produced on the R550 and R250 rollstock machines, both developed specifically for the process. Roll-fed films capable of shrinking up to 40 percent form the bottom web to specifications. After the product is loaded, the top web is applied and sealed. The package is then shape-cut and passed through a steam shrink tunnel, activating the unique properties of the film to render the final customized look.

Multivac Inc.; Kansas City, Mo.
800-800-8552; www.multivac.com

Small bottles

The High Speed SB (Small Bottle) Series is designed specifically for high-speed, high-volume, single-serve dairy, food, juice and liquid yogurt applications for containers 200-500ml. A smaller clamp has been added to handle bottles sizes as small as 80ml. These machines are economical, extremely simple and can be built with up to 60 cavities to run up to 30,000 bottles per hour depending on the container. Like larger machines, the extrusion rates and layer configuration can be designed to match any application such as white-black-white or barrier bottles.

Wilmington Machinery; Wilmington, N.C.
910-452-5090; www.wilmingtonmachinery.com

Chicken nuggets

The new dual-indexing bulking and batching system is designed to optimize meat and poultry packing operations. Whether packing chicken tenders, boneless breasts, drumsticks, wings, leg quarters or chops, the automated system delivers versatility, durability and cost-savings. The system is equipped with a "smart" conveyor that automatically indexes product containers following the bulk/batch cycle. Dual load cells improve settle time and increase accuracy and throughput. And it's integrated with the company's DataMan online, real-time reporting system for data collection.

Gainco Inc.; Gainesville, Fla.
770-534-0703; www.gainco.com

Five-station can seamer

The 5K Can Seamer is for seaming larger diameter cans such as the popular 603 diameter No. 10. It incorporates a can spin machine design with driven lower lifters and five seaming stations that provide higher quality seams, longer life for component parts and superior machine performance for processors looking to improve canning performance. Seams are produced at 50 to 500 cans per minute. The machine accommodates a wide can size range from 307 to 701 diameter and 306 to 1000 heights. Can heights are easily adjusted by raising the seaming turret.

Angelus Sanitary Can Machine Co.; Los Angeles
323-826-1220; www.angelusmachine.com

Improvements to palletizer

Design and interface options are new on the vendor's A-780 case palletizer. They dramatically increase the machine's capacity for low- to mid-speed palletizing applications. Particularly suited for single-line applications, the A-780 uses high-level infeed and right-angle pattern formation to achieve outstanding pattern flexibility. Close-center rollers and a bi-parting apron handle a wide variety of case and pallet sizes. Its compact footprint is ideal for existing facilities where space is at a premium. A recirculating row pusher is one of several new options. This feature improves case flow and allows higher palletizing capacities with rates up to 45 case-feet per minute.

FKI Logistex; St. Louis
314-993-4700; www.fkilogistex.com

Three machines in one

The Model 156 decaser/single filer is now equipped with an intelligent control package that automatically monitors container flow and adjusts the decasing speed to ensure a continuous fill rate. This new feature is designed to optimize line productivity by ensuring harmonious operation regardless of line speed variations. The Model 156 can take the place of three machines. Operating at speeds to 50 cases per minute, it opens the case flaps, uncases and single files the containers, and uprights the emptied cases for conveying to case packing. The machine runs a variety of bottle or container styles, including glass and plastic, and offers quick changeover requiring no change parts.

A-B-C Packaging; Tarpon Springs, Fla.
800-237-5975; www.abcpackaging.com

Robotic precision and speed

In addition to delivering high-speed packaging solutions with robotic precision, VersaPak Gantry Robots and VersaTrak Collation Conveyors provide a high level of flexibility for quick changeovers. Incorporating Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controllers and Ultra Series servo drives, the loader and conveyor make it possible for end users to change load parameters in minutes. The VersaPak Gantry Robot operates at 60 picks per minute and can accommodate products from 2 to 32 in. long and with payloads up to 100 lbs. The VersaTrak Collation Conveyor accompanies the VersaPak loader with dual servo high-speed indexing and adjustable flight spacing to consistently group packages.

AMF Automation Technologies; Richmond, Va.
804-342-9711; www.amfautomation.com

Side bagging system

The FAS SPrint SidePouch has been ergonomically designed with maximum productivity features for food packaging applications where daily washdowns are required. For hand load or fully automatic operations, it is capable of bagging up to 120 bags per minute. The loading speed is fully adjustable to optimize productivity for one or more operators, and a foot switch can also be used for single-cycle bag indexing. It includes a conveyor of pre-opened bags ready for immediate loading from a 60-in. wide load area. After bags are filled, the conveyor carries them through an automatic bag sealing operation and then dispenses them for outfeed conveyors or bulk packaging.

Automated Packaging Systems; Streetsboro, Ohio
330-342-2000; www.autobag.com

Entry-level packaging

The RA-200 Automatic Vacuum Packaging Machine is an 11.5-ft. machine suitable for entry level packaging applications. It has a much smaller footprint than standard rollstock machines but includes matched forming and sealing die tooling, one flying cross-cut knife system, a vacuum pump with quick disconnects, a built-in trim removal system and full PLC control. It is available in a variety of web widths, 285 mm to 459 mm.

Rollstock Inc.; Kansas City, Mo.
888-314-2152; www.rollstock.com

For difficult shapes

Versatron 939s APT case packer is specifically designed to handle "difficult shaped" containers. It has several features allowing it to pack reverse-tapered bottles, flasks, unstable bottles, personal-care containers, locking shapes, trigger bottles and other non-round products. This design incorporates advanced servo laning, a low-pressure infeed, smooth transfers and the "power grid" Active Product Transfer to consistently provide high efficiencies, gentle handling and extremely low maintenance operation.

Standard-Knapp; Portland, Conn.
860-342-1100; www.standard-knapp.com

Economical bagger

The Phaser XP vertical form/fill/seal machine is a low-cost, high-quality bagging solution that combines simple operation with high performance. It's suited for short-run, medium-speed packaging operations, making it an economical way to expand packaging capacity. The machine features a redesigned film roll stand module for improved access during reel changes and splices, improved tension for reliable production of registered packages at speeds up to 60 packages per minute and upgraded pneumatics valves and solenoids with LED indicators and IP65 washdown component ratings.

Parsons-Eagle Packaging; DePere, Wis.
920-983-7100; www.parsons-eagle.com

Cleaner filling

New Extream Clean technology is being incorporated into the company's Fill Pro filling systems to address the growing demand for extended product shelf life. Extream Clean incorporates numerous advances in sanitation and particulate control to create a significantly improved hygienic environment for cold-filled products. This sanitation level has been achieved with minimal impact on production efficiency or performance, and at a cost considerably lower than aseptic systems. The new systems integrate container sanitation and rinsing with high-speed rotary filling and capping in a Class 100 HEPA enclosure.

Fogg Co.; Holland, Mich.
616-786-3644; www.foggfiller.com

Controlling that line

Rexroth IndraMotion for Packaging, the new motion logic control system for food processing and packaging applications, offers real-time motion control combined with an IEC 61131-3-compliant PLC, plus application-specific technology functions and PLCopen motion function blocks, scaled across three hardware platforms to provide the right cost and performance for your application. The control package is available in three versions - Basic, Enhanced and Advanced - to meet different packaging

Bosch Rexroth; Buchanan, Mich.
616-697-5295; www.boschrexroth-us.com