Custom Conveyors
Dorner’s Engineer Specials Program (ESP) is a program that pays extra attention to building conveyors with dimensions and characteristics above and beyond the dimensions of Dorner’s regular conveyor platforms. Instead of trying to build a conveyor in-house from scratch to make it fit, the customer saves time and money by having people who are conveyor experts handle the project. In one instance, a customer needed a conveyor to move bottles to an elevated packaging station that Dorner’s LPZ Series conveyors suited because of the conveyor’s one or two pivot points, allowing the conveyor to be adjusted at different angles. The customer next needed its bottles to be separated into four groups of two for proper spacing during packaging. The ESP Program designed the conveyor into four lanes by installing three separators on top of the conveyors, and used a cleated belt to form continuous lanes of four groups. Bottles are automatically placed on the conveyor from a bottle-filling machine. The application, however, stated the passing bottles needed a precise amount of air injected into them prior to packaging. The ESP Program developed special air knives (air cooling devices) to be mounted in each lane to inject the air into passing bottles. — Dorner Mfg. Corp., 975 Cottonwood Avenue, Hartland, Wis. 53029; 800/397-8664;
Tray packer
The Douglas Contour T-75 Tray Packers eliminate soft bottle bridging with the Smartrak Steady Stream Infeed. The Smartrak also removes the gaps that compromise pack pattern accuracy and continuous product flow. Patented pinless metering gently collates products at speeds 50 percent faster than traditional metering, and eliminates product damage sometimes caused by metering pins. The T-75 features a 10-foot ergonomic tray blank magazine for convenient loading. Operator accessibility is maximized with an open design and gull-wing guarding. Gull-wing guard doors glide open and closed, staying where they are placed. The unobstructed openings provide quick access to product, materials and components. Electronic motion controls reduce parts, resulting in a clean, open design. The T-75 easily handles round products, cartons and hi-cone packs on one machine without lengthy changeovers and few change parts, maximizing flexibility. — Douglas Machine Inc., 3404 Iowa Street, Alexandria, Minn. 56308; 320/763-6587;
Non-stop printing
Polypack Inc. offers a non-stop print register shrinkwrapper from Baumer. The machine runs at 200 bundles per minute on a single row, and offers automatic reel change without operator intervention. Suitable for production levels of medium- and high-speed range, the shrinkwrapper provides non-stop production during film reel change. Its fast changeover device ranges from two to 15 minutes, and an operator friendly interface with touchscreen system provides easy usage. — Polypack Inc., 3301 Gateway Centre Blvd., Pinellas Park, Fla., 33782; 727/578-5000;
Zipper shrinkfilm
Film Source International introduced Easy-Open shrinkfilm for multi-packs. The zipper design on top of the multi-pack is perforated during the shrinking process. The Easy-Open perforation system highlighted by the zipper design is visible to customers as it offers an easier way to tear apart the film. The Easy-Open shrinkfilm multi-packs provide a versatile design for any configuration, including cans, bottles and trays. Film Source International’s shrinkfilms are produced based on the specific requirements of individual customers. Every run is tested for visual and physical properties, color accuracy, shrinkability, clarity, strength and sealability. — Film Source International, 3301 Gateway Centre Blvd., Pinellas Park, Fla., 33782; 727/578-5000;
Centrifugal blower
Republic Blower Systems offers a comprehensive line of centrifugal blowers that can be used in both pressure and vacuum applications and are engineered to provide an effective stream of air for air or gas handling requirements. The blower line uses ceramic hybrid ball bearings, which have performance characteristics such as heat resistance and extended life. The line is developed for low downtime with field-replaceable and balanced bearing housing assemblies. The blowers are capable of producing 50 cubic feet per minute to 2,400 cubic feet per minute, and a maximum pressure of 4 pounds per square inch. The latest additions to the Republic Centrifugal Blower product line are the RB2000 and the RB500. The RB2000 is able to produce up to 2,000 cubic feet per minute with motor options from 20 to 30 horsepower. The RB500 is able to produce up to 500 cubic feet per minute with motor options from 3 horsepower to 7.5 horsepower, and is equipped with a self-tensioning belt. — Republic Blower Systems, 5131 Cash Road, Dallas, Texas 75147; 800/847-0380;
Multi-pack solution
Multi-packed in MeadWestvaco’s Cluster-Pak carton, VPX Sports’ Redline fat incinerating energy drink made its market debut at discount stores. In order to meet its launch timeline and distribution goals, VPX Sports partnered with MeadWestvaco to create a Cluster-Pak carton that could be hand-packed to start, then transferred to MeadWestvaco packaging machinery in the future. The carton, printed at MeadWestvaco’s Lanett, Ala., converting facility on 21-point Carrier Kote paperboard, showcases the product’s unique bottle and features top and bottom ad panel flaps to ensure the beverages maintain their position during shipping and distribution. This design also ensures that the UPC code on the individual bottles is hidden, eliminating the possibility of incorrect scanning. The side ad panels, as well as the front, back and top billboard space, provide additional room for graphics and copy to attract consumers. In addition, the carton also features a strap handle. The handle pulls away from the carton, diverting pressure to the more rigid sides of the pack, providing a more comfortable support for the consumer. — MeadWestvaco Packaging Systems, One High Ridge Park, Stamford, Conn. 06905; 203/461-7400;
Promotional labels
A new trend in labels is the decorating of specialty shaped bottles with shrink-sleeves. CCL’s shrink-sleeves, available in various material grades, can be printed in as many as 14 colors using one of three different printing techniques. Both sides of the sleeve can be printed (dual imaging), and the technology offers promotional possibilities since stickers can be assigned to the inside of the sleeve. Multi-layer PSL (booklets), peel and read labels, lenticular-lense labels, or any other type of promotional label can be designed at request if not already available. — CCL Label, One Llodio Dr., Hermitage, Pa. 16148; 866/527-1496;
Glass-door cooler
Coldkeepers LLC’s Aqua’in aims to improve the currently available upright glass-door coolers by making beverages more easily accessible. Because the bottles can be accessed without having to open the door, energy losses are limited and the consumer’s buying experience improved. The Aqua’in chiller-dispenser can be adapted to popular bottle sizes, and does not require the use of specific tools. The Aqua’in chiller-dispenser also is free of unnecessary moving parts. — Coldkeepers LLC, 1100 Smith Ave., Thomasville, Ga. 31799; 229/551-9200;
Environmental shrinkfilm
Seal-It Inc. introduced Plastic Suppliers EarthFirst TDO shrinkfilm to its existing group of shrinkfilms, PVC, PETG and OPS. This new film made from with Natureworks PLA corn-based resin, is not petroleum based and is environmentally friendly and compostable. It is heat shrinkable and suitable for any shrinksleeve label project. EarthFirst has many of the same properties as other films, including excellent machineability, clarity, printability (can be printed to 10 colors in rotogravure or modified flexographic) and shrinkage (up to 75 percent). — Seal-It Inc., 70 Schmitt Blvd., Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735; 800/325-3965;