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Total to build upon

Preliminary figures show that over the four days of Total 33 547 - including exhibitors - participated in the event and some 25 000 visitors came though the doors. If visitors attended on more than one day, they were recorded for each day. About 17% of attendance came from director and senior management levels, while another notable factor was the 20% figure for those with job titles related to the marketing, brand and design communities which the organisers put down to the Packaging Innovation Show and seminar programme. The international visitor levels stand at some 13%. By far the largest business sectors represented by the participants were food and drink at 68%, with food-general representing the largest segment at 27%, and pharmaceuticals and chemicals at 40.7% - with pharmaceuticals representing 16%. Other sectors included plastics and rubber at 13%, print 10.5%, engineering components 10% and retailers 7%. [The total percentages represent more than 100% as many participants indicated a number of areas of interest]. Show director Barbara Jackson said: "The birth of Total was a radical departure for both the exhibition industry and packaging and processing disciplines and visitor attendance and market representation at the level experienced during this first ever event provides real impetus for the future." The organisers say another major plus for the show was the number of visitors who had scheduled a one day visit but found that this was insufficient and returned for a second and on some occasions a third visit. "These figures could be seen as a complete vindication of our decision to bring the four shows under one umbrella event but we must not rest on our laurels," says Jackson. "It is important that we move the concept forward and continue to address the requirements of our exhibitor and visitor base. This process has already started." As an example, the organisers noted that some processing and packaging machinery companies were disappointed with the flow of visitors, albeit not the quality. Duncan Macintyre, joint managing director, Partners in Packaging said: "Yes, it has been a little slow but we have gained some very valuable enquiries." Andrew Manly, PPMA secretary, picks up the theme: "The show was an experiment and a new approach and, as with everything new, some things worked very well and others not so well. We are a responsive association and will be working closely with our partners Reed Exhibitions to take the concept forward to the next stage. We must continue to change with the times." He also emphasised that "the UK is a significant market and, as such, should have an international show of stature." Although the show was formed from the amalgamation of four distinct events - Pakex, PPMA (in every third year), Eurochem and Interphex - it seems their identities could become increasingly blurred as the show moves on. "It is essential that we understand the choices that our exhibitors have to make," says Jackson, "and it may be that for the future the amalgamation of the four shows will become even more radical on the back of new exhibitor and visitor research and the known movement towards further integration of packaging and processing disciplines. It is now time to plan for 2007 on the back of what has been achieved in 2004." Total 2007 will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 26-29 March 2007.

Bagmaker gets debut at show

Ishida introduced the Atlas boxmotion bagmaker which has been designed specifically for the snacks industry and produces block bottom, gusseted or pillow bags. It has a simple configuration allowing quick product changeovers plus minimum downtime and the company says consistency is facilitated by loadcell controlled film tension and self-seating belts which enable accurate film handling and equal bag lengths.

It is capable of handling a variety of films – with waste reduced to less than 1% – and operates at up to 120 bags/min. Special features such as hole punching, Euro slotting, tear notches and straight, perforated or zigzag cuts can all be incorporated.

Ishida Europe T: 0121 607 7700 www.ishidaeurope.com

Dominos new Scribing laser has power

Domino launched the most powerful of its S-Series of scribing lasers – the S300 – at last month’s Total Processing and Packaging show.

Micro laser technology and optimised optics and software enable the S300 to code at high production speeds over a large print area up to 76x76mm. The 35W laser allow printing of two lines of code at over 1000 bottles/hr on PET, 152m/min on labels and, for harder materials like glass, a single line can be produced at over 122m/min.

Domino says the S300 has the smallest laser in its class and is among the easiest coders to instal. Proven C02 laser technology and pressurised air-cooling ensure reliability in the harshest environments, with the sealed IP55-rated laser head and controller guaranteeing reliable running even in dusty or wet conditions. Codes are produced using specially designed software and scanner technology. The printer generates letter quality text and graphics.

Domino T: 01954 782551 E: louise.turner@domino-uk.com

Versatile modular filler

Adelphi Manufacturing held the worldwide launch of its Adelphi Response Filling System, a versatile, modular system which starts as a single, semi-automatic filling machine, but can grow into a four-head, fully automatic filler.

Capping, tube-sealing, pot-sealing, bag and pouch sealing can all be included, as and when required. So customers can start with a modest, entry-level system and gradually convert it to an automatic system without having to put the original machine aside and start again.

At the heart of the system is the Adelphi Response filling machine, a finalist in the PPMA 2004 Awards of Excellence. The company says this is a versatile, accurate and easy to use semi-automatic filling machine for products ranging from alcohol to thick pastes. A wide range of nozzles, hoppers and other accessories are available to suit most liquid and cream filling applications.

Other equipment can be supplied as an integrated part of the system, including spinning tables, cappers, tube-sealers, pot-sealers, bag and pouch sealers.

Adelphi’s Dean Willis said the system “gives our customers great flexibility. They can build up the system affordably, one piece at time, and they end up with an automatic line.”

Adelphi Manufacturing Tel: 01444 472300 www.adelphi.uk.com

Non-standard pick and place

Wokingham-based motion control specialist Quin Systems introduced a small footprint pick-and-place system for the food packaging industry which it says offers full 3D motion “without the complexity, cost and over-performance often associated with standard robots.”

Depending on the number of full cycles/min required, the three-axis R-Theta3 can handle a “food industry-optimised” 1-10kg payload, achieving 100 ‘there and back’ motions/min over a 300x600mm area when lifting 1kg. Its mechanical design is said to be uniquely simple, while its high dynamic performance does not cause any structural problems for the lifting arm.

Three axes of motion allow tracking of product and conveyor movements, ensuring synchronisation with the item being picked. The system can be supplied with a gripping head and comes complete with software.

The motion steps are easily programmed on an intuitive, step-by-step, graphically-assisted basis. On-line and remote access diagnostics ensure maximum up-time.

Quin Systems managing director Mike Webb adds: “Unlike costly, over-complicated robots, intended primarily for heavy industrial applications, the R-Theta3 has been designed specifically for packers’ and processors’ needs.” Quin Systems T: 0118 977 1077 E: sales@quin.co.uk

Labelling head doubles output

PALS Labelling unveiled its GPX labelling head, which it says is set to revolutionise print and apply labelling techniques. The head incorporates a thermal transfer printer mounted on a PALS 50 Series applicator and removes the necessity to print on the dwell between packs, minimising pack spacing and effectively doubling output without affecting overall line speeds or other operating conditions.

PALS says it developed the head with On-line Coding – UK and Ireland distributors for Easyprint A/S – in response to demands from the food sector.

By developing the integration between the labelling head and printer and by capitalising on the functionality of the servo-motor and PLC controlled 50HSH labelling head, it is possible to present data in real time to the print system. The printer logic then maintains the capacity to print within 1mm from the start or end of a label and synchronise print quality at speeds up to 40m/min.

The company says linking the GPX to existing multi-head machines with auto-changeover can lead to significant improvements in productivity

PALS Labelling T: 0161 620 0236 www.palslabelling.com

ICE goes for speed with thermal coder

Interactive Coding Equipment unveiled a faster version of its Zodiac thermal transfer coder which, in new high throughput mode, can print a standard two-line date code at over 600 packs/min “at a lower cost” than competitor machines.

The Zodiac uses a solid-state ribbon drive that eliminates clutches, brakes, gears and shuttles. Interactive Coding Equipment says the use of a synchronised bi-direction stepper motor dramatically lowers the cost of thermal transfer coding, with the resulting customer benefits having helped double its business in the last year.

The ribbon drive can be integrated into both intermittent and continuous motion packaging machines without adjustment. The high throughout mode is applicable to both methods of operation.

Interactive Coding Equipment also launched two self-maintaining, high definition inkjet printers – the Torus 126 and Torus 500 – for on-line printing onto paper sacks, cardboard boxes and other porous materials. Both feature the patented self-maintaining printhead system of the existing Torus 1000. This provides a non-contact method of cleaning the printhead at start and end of production and automatically cleans and re-primes the head before every product to ensure consistently reliable, accurate print.

Interactive Coding Equipment T: 0115 967 7705 E: chris.simpson@ukinteractivecoding.com

Improved sensitivity to metal

Thermo Electron Corporation’s new Goring Kerr DSP Rx is the first metal detector to incorporate the company’s patented QuadraCoil system, claimed to be a major breakthrough in coil development that gives 15-20% improvements in sensitivity.

Designed to screen pills and capsules at the outfeed of tablet presses and capsule filling machines, the detector offers four aperture sizes. For ease of installation and maximum mobility, it can be fully adjusted quickly for varying infeed heights, from 760-960mm, and angular adjustments of 20-40 deg.

All pneumatics and cables are housed within the Good Manufacturing Practice system, and all mounting bars have round profiles to remove the risk of debris and bacteria traps.

The open frame machine is finished as standard in mirror polished steel, while other key hygiene enhancements include the ability to operate the reject remotely from within the cabinet. All suspect product is diverted into an integral lockable reject container, removable for cleaning.

The inbuilt AuditCheck self-monitoring system monitors performance levels automatically, providing an alert should re-calibration be required.

Thermo Electron Corporation T: 01788 820300 www.thermo.com

Markem’s robust print and apply

CimJet 315P, the latest addition to Markem’s CimJet family of label printer-applicators, is the fastest and most cost-effective in the range.

The robust printer, dispenser and applicator can apply labels ‘on the fly’ at up to 250 pallets/hr. Labels are applied on front and side without having to stop to rotate the pallet. The machine’s durability means it can be used in the harshest manufacturing environments, while its flexible design enables it to be operated in standalone or, linked via Markem’s CimControl software, networked configuration.

The right or left-hand controlled integrated interface is equipped with multi-language support, while an on-board label database means a dedicated PC is not required. The CimJet 315 also features Markem’s ribbon-save capability and complies fully with SSCC global barcoding and labelling standards.

Markem has also introduced the CimJet 301 which, via a simple wipe-down applicator, applies up to 150 labels/min to the top or side of packs.

Markem Systems T: 0161 333 8400 www.markem.co.uk