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Tamper torque tester

Mecmesin introduced its original Orbis digital closure torque tester in May 2003, and chose the show to launch an instrument especially designed for testing tamper-evident closures. The instrument is suitable for testing closures such as the ROPP aluminium cap used for sealing bottles of alcohol and the aluminium lid and tamper-evident drop-ring sealing a jar of baby food.

When increasing release torque is applied to a closure, a peak torque value is associated with the point at which the closure begins to move. However, in the case of tamper-evident-closures, torque must continue to be applied both to overcome friction and to apply tensile load to the ‘bridges’ connecting the closure to the tamper-evident ring. Eventually one bridge will fail, and a second [lower] torque peak will occur.

The Orbis-TE captures both peaks and a single button push allows both values to be recorded on a PC or printer.

Mecmesin T: 01403 799979

Cermex cantilevers top loading packer

A new top loading case packer and a palletising solution were the stars of the Cermex stand.

The company has redesigned its SD39 top-loading case packer so that the cantilever concept can be adapted to the “already proven basis of the machine”.

The SD69 machine is based on the principle of a central beam supporting the case driving system – from the forming station to the gluing/pressing station – giving clear access at ground level to the case and product handling parts.

With a payload of up to 35kg and a maximum speed of 25 cases/min, the advantages of the updated packer are said to be reduced footprint, total access, and therefore easy cleaning, better general ergonomics and high mechanical performance – speed, smoothness and accuracy of loading mast.

The P9 palletiser has been introduced to provide easy management of the different case infeed heights, reduce the conveyor length between case packer and palletiser, offer multi-palletisation and improve overall ergonomics and machine design.

Payload is up to 45kg and maximum speed 11 cycles/min. Advantages to the modular system include compactness, accessibility and smooth, controlled transfers.

Cermex UK T: 01480 455 919

Form-fill-seal launch

Sandiacre Packaging Machinery and Rose Forgrove, both part of Molins Packaging Machinery, launched three new products at the show, including the TG250-RC continuous motion vertical form-fill-seal machine.

According to the company, a “radically reduced footprint” makes the TG250-RC suited to environments where space is at a premium and, due to a reduction in the number of parts, maintenance is both simplified and, therefore, less costly. “New concepts” in routine change parts and improved accessibility are said to make the machine easier to use, saving time and resulting in increased output.

Depending on film characteristics and pack weight, the TG250-RC can produce standard pillow packs 150mm long at speeds in the region of 160 packs/min. The maximum pack width is 250mm.

The reciprocating jaw motion delivers constant film speed which leads to better back and cross seals, consistent bag length, and reduced strain on the film.

Both polyethylene and heat sealable materials can be accommodated, with either hot air or rotary band back seals being employed for vertical seals.

Rose Forgrove also exhibited its new high-speed version of the Integra PC Flowpak flow wrapper – which typically has throughput speeds of 150 units/min on packs 160mm long – while Sandiacre Packaging Machinery exhibited a dual heat version of its entry level TG250-LE intermittent motion vertical form-fill-seal machine for the first time.

Sandiacre Packaging Machinery/Rose Forgrove T: 0115 967 8787

Pallet labeller debuts

The PLU 4138 pallet labelling system introduced by Advanced Labelling Systems is said to be a high performance universal machine and the complete unit comprises the thermal transfer printer system, tri-axial applicator system and guarding housing with safety switches.

It has been designed to print and apply A5 format EAN labels onto two adjacent faces of the pallet -normally front and side, although it can also label on three sides if required – including serial shipping container codes in accordance with EAN 128.

The PLU 4138 can run at 120 pallets/hr and ALS says it provides high reliability, easy menu programming and interfacing to a conveyor PLC.

Standard features include missing label detection and a barcode scanner. Left or right hand versions are available and it accepts print engines from Zebra, Sato or Avery/Novexx.

Advanced Labelling Systems T: 01844 213177

Laser guided pallet control

Bradman Lake had a working line highlighting “total packaging line efficiency” utilising the VisProm system.

Ocme, probably best-known for automatic palletising systems, announced its move into a new sector with the unveiling of its own laser guided vehicle, the Auriga. The company says the move is of considerable strategic importance and has established a new handling business unit devoted to the development, promotion and maintenance of LGVs.

The Auriga is specifically intended for handling empty and full pallet loads between the palletising area and the warehouse or vehicle loading areas, and there are different models to suit varying applications.

Fork-lift versions can be supplied to handle one, two or three pallet loads at one time and there are also versions with powered chain or roller conveyor to suit front or side loading of up to four pallets.

The Auriga has a simple operator interface which is easy to programme allowing short start-up times and, compared to wire guided systems, the path can be easily modified. The precision in repeating the same path is +/-5mm.

For access into areas not normally accessible to a laser guided system, it is available with a mixed guidance system, for example a video camera or gyroscope, which permits the Auriga to operate in external areas such as drive-in warehouses. It is also capable of running on uneven floors and at speeds up to 1500mm/sec.

Ocme UK Ltd T: 01635 298171 E:

Feedback is the key to efficiency

The working confectionery packaging line on Bradman Lake’s stand showcased the capabilities of its automatic cartoning system and demonstrated the ability to seamlessly link to production information systems using VisDa Technology’s VisProm system.

VisDa says food packaging managers generally lack an objective means of discovering where they stand on the efficiency scale and that as frozen foods or confectionery bars are relatively low in unit value, this “colours attitudes to lack of efficiency”.

The following is said to be a hypothetical, but realistic, example. Production during a five-day week of two eight-hour shifts for 245 days – three weeks annual closedown – with a nominal speed of 400 bars/min at a designed line efficiency of 85% gives an annual output of 80m cereal bars.

If the line efficiency drops by 5%, 4.7M bars are lost, which translates to 12 days production and, assuming the bars retail at 20p, close to £1M in lost sales.

VisDa Technology, a recently established Bradman Lake company, concentrates on total packaging line efficiency through the design and application of electronic controls, production monitoring and diagnostic systems used to prove the efficiency of Bradman Lake’s own cartoning machinery.

The system is said to provide accurate management information in real time and makes it accessible and easy to interpret. According to VisDa “10:1 pay back ratio” is not uncommon.

VisDa Technology T: 0117 971 8630

Dispenser eases strapping task

A plastic strap dispenser capable of automatically applying PP or polyester strapping around palletised goods using what is said to be a unique strap guide system was featured by Cyklop UK.

The German built ErgoPack 600 can be operated by one person and avoids the need to bend down to thread the strap through the pallet void. Once through the void, the strap is directed up the far side of the load and into the operator’s hand. Then, using Cylop’s CB130 friction weld battery strapping tool, the strap can be tensioned, sealed and cut in one operation.

Fitted on wheels, it requires no external power supply and can be used anywhere.

Cyklop UK T: 01480 216777

Linx shows discreet capability

Linx Printing Technologies demonstrated the ability of the Xymark 300SL compact scribing laser to print small discreet codes, fine graphics or intricate characters – such as Chinese scripts – following the introduction of a small [0.15mm] spot size option.

Typical applications might include printing onto electronic components, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products and any items where space is limited. The facility is also suitable for “more difficult to mark” materials.

Linx says the 300SL, which uses steered-beam laser technology and was introduced to make laser coding accessible to a broader range of users, has received “exceptional interest” since its October launch.

The company has also developed new printer driver software for its Linx IJ600 impulse jet printer for outer case coding. The Linx IJ600 printer driver allows users to create a product code within a Windows-based application running on a PC and download it for printing.

Product sales manager Mike Utley added: “The printer driver for Windows applications lets users exploit the full power of a label design programme in preparing product codes plus other types of messages and then print directly onto outer cases or paper sacks, rather than having to print onto labels.”

Linx Printing Technologies T: 01480 302100