Home » Pack Expo dominated by sustainability, automation
The Packaging Manufacturers Machinery Institute (PMMI) hosted Pack Expo International 2010 from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Chicago. The event featured 1,600 exhibitors and more than 45,000 attendees from 110 countries. In addition to displays ranging from packaging equipment to processing technology, Pack Expo debuted the Reusable Packaging Pavilion, The Brand Zone and Project 2020 exhibits.
The following are exhibit highlights from the annual packaging trade show: AmbaFlex highlighted its spiral conveyor innovations, including spiral elevator, multi-level spiral elevator and mass flow spiral elevator. The company also offers accumulation solutions, multi-track spirals and high-capacity spiral conveyor.
Buckthorn offered a range of reusable intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) for transportation of bulk ingredients. The company’s latest IBC offering is the Caliber Series that adds to its original Citadel and Citadel-v line. The containers can hold disposable bag-in-box liners for transportation of liquid ingredients, including those with pulp, and are collapsible for return shipping. The containers have a capacity of 315 gallons and up to 3,000 pounds, the company says.
Chep showcased its efforts to help its customers use its pallets more productively. A year ago, the company renovated wooden pallets to make them easier for its customers, especially those using automated storage and retrieval systems, the company says. Chep also highlighted its Innovation Center in Orlando, Fla., where it can simulate the in-market environment effects and product performance on pallets and containers.
Columbia Machine featured its range of palletizers, including the new FL-1000-SW Palletizer with a fully integrated shrinkwrapper. The model is a heavy duty, small footprint palletizer with the added functionality of a fully integrated stretchwrapper. It also showcased the FL2000 Floor Level Palletizer with strategically placed interlaced doors with Lexan, or optional mesh, panels for easy viewing and access to interior components, Columbia Machine says. In addition, it offers a Fully Automatic Load Transfer System that can transfer up to two full loads a minute. The machine combines a pallet stacker, pallet dispenser, input conveyor, load transfer and produces loads that can be stored in an automatic storage and retrieval system or picked downstream, the company says.
Fanuc Robotics demonstrated a variety of its picking and packing robotic solutions at Pack Expo. The company showed its M-410iB/140H intelligent palletizing robot suited for high-volume production in box palletizing operations. The model is equipped with iRVision 2D integrated vision system. Fanuc’s M-420iA intelligent packing robot also is equipped with iRVision Visual Tracking to provide flexibility to handle multiple products on the same automation line and reduce changeover time, the company says.
Hartness International demonstrated its warehouse automated case picking system and launched its High Level Hybrid Palletizer to its case handling arsenal. The company showed how the hybrid palletizer uses infeed robots to form layers. The company also featured its DYNAC-centric loop, which offers pressure-less handling of containers to deliver consistent and optimum product flow to downstream equipment, the company says.
KHS offered a range of packaging machines, such as Innoket 360 labeler, Advanced series wrap-around packer and InnoPET Blomax Series IV. The company’s Innoket 360 series is a new generation of roll-fed labelers featuring cutting technology with self-sharpening cutter, segmented vacuum drum and gluing system that operates on induction. The labeler has optional ranges of medium- and high-capacity, which can run 50,000 bottles an hour, the company says.
KHS also featured the Advanced series wrap-around packer and wrap-around shrink packer that can run a variety of containers. The machines can be equipped with functional modules in low-, medium- and high-capacity ranges and have optional function modules, such as tray stackers and partition inserters. The company also offers InnoPET Blomax Series IV, which is the next generation of KHS Corpoplast stretch blow molders. Available with up to 36 blow stations, the model has a maximum possible output of 72,000 PET bottles each hour, KHS says.
Klüber Lubrication highlighted the advantages of its lubricants for food and beverage producers. The company’s NSF H1 and H2 special lubricants offer technical performance benefits, it says. Klüber also offers its Summit HySyn FG 46 lubricant, which is the first NSF H1 fully synthetic hydraulic oil endorsed for use on Husky injection molding machines.
Krones presented its packaging systems, including second generation modular labeler, nested packs created with Krones Variopac and Checkmat inspection system. Krones has installed almost 500 modular machines and has enhanced its modular labeler that can be retrofitted to existing lines. The second generation labeler can run 30,000 containers an hour and was displayed at Pack Expo with three cold-glue unit docking stations. Also on display was Krones Variopac Pro, which is now designed to produce nested packs. The nested pack technology offsets bottles by half a bottle diameter to create a more stable pack that does not require pad or tray and can be wrapped with lighter gauge film, Krones says.
In addition, Krones premiered its Checkmat 761 CR-CX inspector, which uses X-ray technology to verify that the complete amount of primary packs is present in a sealed carton. The system also uses four cameras to check all four sides of the carton for correct label positioning, barcode and applied carton sealing tape.
Kuka Robotics in collaboration with Rockwell Automation revealed the Kuka Revolution for robotic packaging and palletizing at Pack Expo. The partnership’s Kuka PA series robots are able to be controlled by the ControlLogix programmable automation controller. The technology provides greater productivity gains across the life cycle of a machine, simplification of the automation architecture through standardization of control components, familiar user-machine interface and reduced overall footprint, the companies say.
Kuka Robotics’ booth also featured a customer-solution inspired low-cost palletizer designed by the company’s 2010 System Partner of the Year FleetwoodGoldcoWyard, a Barry-Wehmiller Co. The FleetwoodGoldcoWyard EcoPal Robotic Case Palletizer has a small footprint, allows for variability in case sizes and has one-case separating stop at the in-feed case conveyor, the company says.
Overnight Labels debuted its cold foil shrinksleeves with metallic graphics at Pack Expo. The cold foil labels are made with spot printing, the company says.
PakTech showcased its lineup of plastic handles, including can carrier lids. The company’s can carrier lids are available in closed tops, which offer hygiene benefits, in four-, six- and eight-pack arrangements. The can tops are stackable and can be used to create a shrinkwrapped pallet without slip sheets or corrugate, the company says. PakTech also offers three speed levels of handle applicator machinery.
PDC International offers a variety of heat shrink labeling and tamper-evident banding systems. At Pack Expo, the company introduced its new R-250 Evolution shrink labeler that was designed to apply primary graphics on containers of all shapes and sizes. The model features a patented perforation and cutting solution that eliminates spinning knives and lengthens the period of time between knife replacements, the company says. The company also offered its 60 Series Evolution Shrinksealer that applies full-height body sleeves and tamper evident banding. The model uses two servos for product handling and sleeve registration for flexibility and low capital expense, it says. The 60 Series machines operate at 50 to 170 containers a minute depending on packaging dimensions, PDC International says.
Ryson featured its high-capacity spiral and multiple entry spiral conveyors. Its high-capacity spirals can accommodate double the capacity of its regular spirals, have a total capacity of 3,200 pounds and ship in one piece, the company says. Ryson also offers multiple-entry spiral conveyors that allow loads to enter the spiral from different elevation in-feeds. Also available are the company’s Mass Flow Spirals that are designed to handle full and empty containers, such as bottles or cans.
Sidel Group presented a range of packaging design, performance improvement services and packaging machinery technologies under an Eco Solutions banner. The company showcased its SafeSense PE packaging with injection molding technology, DeepGrip handled bottle and SmartSense lightweight bottle. The company also introduced new blow molding technologies that require less power to manufacture plastic bottles, cap feeding technologies that reduce air consumption and air conveyors with ALS multi-positioning side guiding. Sidel also highlighted its Eco Services family of solutions that aims to optimize the productivity of already installed packaging equipment, it says.
Teledyne TapTone presented its inspection solutions, including CapVu Sensor, CodeVu Sensor and Fill_ir Sensor. The CapVu Sensor uses vision technology to inspect container closures for missing caps, high caps, cocked or tilted caps and missing tamper-evident rings. CapVu includes a high-speed digital camera that takes up to 6,000 frames a minute and LED back light housed in a stainless steel enclosure. Also using a camera sensor is the company’s CodeVu Sensor, which is a non-contact inspection module designed to visually inspect containers for presence or absence of date, lot and batch codes. Teledyne TapTone also offers Fill_ir Sensor, an infrared sensor designed to inspect plastic and glass containers for proper fill level. The system uses optical technology to detect an infrared beam, which measures for containers that are either under-filled or over-filled.
Vacuum Barrier Corp. offers its precise liquid nitrogen injection for lightweight PET packaging. The liquid nitrogen dosing system uses 3-D technology, which stands for directional dose dispersion, to eliminate splashing to accurately pressurize lightweight PET bottles, the company says. The system has a rugged hygienic design that can be used with the automatic clean-in-place protection available on all Nitrodose models, it says. BI
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.