Working with lightweight caps

In response to a wave of lightweight closure solutions, Closure Systems International (CSI) released the Flex-Chuck, which offers a new approach to capping chuck design. Using an internal array of multiple and independent grippers, the patented Flex-Chuck design can adapt to a wide range of knurl patterns and varying closure dimensional tolerances, the company says. This flexibility reduces the need for changeovers while also decreasing capping chuck inventory requirements, it says. During testing, the hardened steel grippers did not show any signs of wear after more than a year of non-stop use, helping companies reduce maintenance costs by as much as 50 percent each year, it adds. Flex-Chucks are available in 28-, 33-, 38- and 43-mm variants.

• Closure Systems International, 7702 Woodland Drive, Suite 200, Indianapolis, Ind. 46278; 317/390-5000;


Going stainless

In response to customer requests, Hamilton Caster and Manufacturing Co. designed stainless steel casters for clean-room environments that can hold up to 15,500 pounds. Made of ultra-durable, high-grade stainless steel (316L), the casters have superior corrosion and pitting resistance and can perform well under continuous use, the company says. In addition, the casters are equipped with back-to-back wheels that are designed to support each other while rolling on rails, it says.

• Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Co., 1637 Dixie Highway, Hamilton, Ohio 45011; 800/733-7655;


Roadnet updates

Roadnet Technologies launched its Roadnet Transportation Suite version 3.6.3, the latest release of its vehicle routing, scheduling, optimization, tracking and mobile workforce software. As the third update of the Roadnet Transportation Suite this year, 3.6.3 offers an iPhone version of the MobileCast Proof of Delivery app to assist users in the field. The company also updated its Android app to allow for canned text messages between drivers and dispatchers as well as the ability to manually enter delivery and pickup quantities. Its Windows Mobile version now supports the CoPilot v9 voice navigation upgrade. In addition, the enhanced suite offers a new routing activity tool that can analyze how much time and how many moves a router has made in a routing session as well as other key data points that can be leveraged to improve and optimize vehicle routing efficiency, the company says. To automatically check and implement drive time restrictions, the suite also includes new functionality within its Territory Planner, Roadnet and MobileCast features that allow route planners to use algorithms to create routes that do not exceed maximum allowable drive time rules, even when a stop is added in planning, routing or dispatching mode. Further new features in v3.6.3 focus on easing the burdens of large volume orders. For example, the Roadnet route planning software now automatically splits non-paired orders based on customizable criteria, and the updated Territory Planner allows route planners to invoke alternate service times for large volume deliveries if they exceed a bulk threshold.

• Roadnet Technologies, 849 Fairmount Ave., Suite 500, Towson, Md. 21286; 410/847-1900;


Monitoring gas levels

CO2 Meter’s iSense CM-0200 methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen meter and data logger allows users to monitor all three of these gases in real time or log gas levels over time in closed samples by using the built-in gas sample draw pump. Featuring a micro-pump connected to two tubing ports, the meter can be programmed to automatically turn the pump on, draw gas from the inlet port, expel it from the discharge port, and log up to 15,000 methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen values with a date and time stamp. The data can be shared with a computer through a USB connection and analyzed with CO2 Meter’s free software. In addition, the meter has an LCD display that shows current gas levels, whether logging is turned on or off, and the percentage of free memory.

• CO2 Meter, 131 Business Center Drive, Building A, Unit 3; Ormond Beach, Fla. 32174; 386/310-4933;


Horizontal paddle blender

In order to meet customer requirements, Charles Ross & Son Co. engineered a Horizontal Paddle Blender with a working capacity of 450 gallons and stainless steel product wetted parts. The cylindrical trough includes a pneumatically operated dome cover and a 150-pounds-per-square-inch gage three-zone heating and cooling jacket. A 20 horsepower (HP) extraction pump assembly is located at the center bottom of the trough for efficient discharge of the finished product at a precise and constant flow, the company says. The blender’s solid one-piece agitator shaft features special kneader/paddle blades that turn at 5 to 45 rotations a minute and is driven by a hollow-bore, right-angle, heavy-duty gear reducer with a 75 HP explosion-proof, constant-torque motor. Split stuffing boxes on both ends of the agitator shaft are supplied with Teflon square packing and bronze lantern rings for air purge. Low-pressure compressed air forced into the packing through the lantern rings creates a positive pressure barrier, preventing product from penetrating the seal, it explains. The Horizontal Paddle Blender is rated for a batch weight of up to 6,000 pounds.

• Charles Ross & Son Co., 710 Old Willets Path, Hauppauge, N.Y. 11788; 800/243-7677;


Compact, dry coolers

GEA expanded its portfolio of compact, dry coolers to include modular designs with various types of finned-tube geometry for the heat exchangers. Customers now can choose between individually matched materials and specific geometries for the finned tubes, which enables significant functional improvements in the system, the company says. For the heat exchanger materials, customers now can choose copper or copper-nickel with tubes made of stainless steel and C steel featuring compact ribs consisting of aluminum, copper or stainless steel. For the light-metal ribs, GEA uses a special PoluAl coating that is especially resistant to chemical substances, it says. The choice of fans has likewise been enlarged to enable quiet, speed-controlled operation, it says. 

• GEA Heat Exchangers GmbH, Dorstener Str. 484, D-44809 Bochum, Germany; 011/49-234-980-0;


PET packaging solutions

Sidel introduced its Sidel Matrix polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging solution that incorporates a blower, fillers, a combi blow-fill-cap solution, and a roll-fed labeler to boost productivity and meet industry demands, the company says. The Sidel Matrix is fully compliant with hygiene design standards and provides flexible, ergonomic and efficient production with optimum productivity and reduced maintenance, it says. The system also offers cost-effective, sustainable production in an environmentally friendly solution, with the potential to lower energy and material usage, it says. For instance, the system’s blower can produce as many as 2,250 bottles per mold an hour and offers multiple configurations for producing many different shapes in sizes ranging from 0.1 liters to 3.5 liters. Plus, its Ecoven reduces preform heating time and cuts electrical consumption by as much as 45 percent while maintaining a high process capability, it says. For further sustainability, Sidel Matrix’s roll-fed labeler enables the use of labels that are one-third thinner than normal and offers complete motorization of all axes, resulting in an energy consumption reduction by as much as 30 percent, it adds. Designed to be future-proof, the Sidel Matrix system is able to integrate changes brought about by technological and market developments, with several options and upgrades already available to suit changing needs, it says.

• Sidel Group, 5600 Sun Court, Norcross, Ga. 30092; 678/221-3087;


Mass-flow spirals

Ryson International Inc. diversified its portfolio of mass-flow vertical conveyors with the release of its 10-inch High Capacity Mass Flow Spiral conveyor. The new spiral conveyor saves space in a warehouse because of its small footprint and can transport bottles, cans, jars and other round containers up to 20 feet high, the company says. In addition, its 1-inch drive chain gives it a 3,600-pound weight capacity.

• Ryson International Inc., 300 Newsome Drive, Yorktown, Va. 23692; 757/898-1530;


Sugar cane caps

Tetra Pak Inc. launched the LightCap 30, a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cap made from sugar cane. To form the cap, sugar cane is crushed and its juice is fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. Through a process of dehydration, ethanol is converted into ethylene, which is then polymerized to produce the polyethylene used to manufacture the cap. The bio-based cap can be used to upgrade the environmental profile of a package and reduce a product’s environmental footprint and waste, the company says.

• Tetra Pak USA, 101 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, Ill. 60061; 847/955-6000;


LED fan

The Big Ass Fan Co. introduced a light-emitting diode (LED)-equipped industrial ceiling fan for energy-efficient lighting programs. The Powerfoil X LED delivers as much light as a 400-watt metal halide but uses only 175 watts, the company says. Its tempered glass lens is designed to provide excellent optical properties and minimize glare, it adds. The Powerfoil fan base is Big Ass Fan’s most durable, quiet and effective industrial ceiling fan, it says. The fan generates huge volumes of gentle air movement by using small (1-2 horsepower) motors, making it an energy-efficient way to cool large areas, according to the company. With the integration of the LED light, the new Powerfoil X LED eliminates any need to rearrange lighting grids to avoid a shadowing effect that can occur with large ceiling fans and instead directs the light beneath the fan, it says.

• The Big Ass Fan Co., 2425 Merchant St., Lexington, Ky. 40511; 877/224-3267;


Integrating for efficiency

Siemens Industry Automation Division expanded its Simocode Pro motor management system to include a basic unit with Profinet interface. The Simocode Pro V Profinet basic unit is equipped with two RJ45 interfaces, which allow the system to connect to higher-level controllers such as Simatic S7 or to control systems such as Simatic PCS 7. Profinet can be used to provide media redundancy functions to ensure that a connection is maintained within a network with ring topology, even if one communication channel fails. This helps to increase the availability, resulting in increased productivity of the entire plant, the company says. Simocode Pro also features integrated Web diagnostics as well as a server for OPC Unified Architecture (UA). With the aid of an Internet browser, all diagnostic and service data, values and statistics relating to the motor starter can be accessed from anywhere, giving the user more flexibility, it says. The integrated OPC UA server also allows users to securely access this data through a higher-level supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system through human-machine interface panels at the field level. In addition, Siemens integrated Profienergy into the Simocode Pro to centrally control the motors, shut them down during breaks, and measure and monitor value and status information, thus enabling efficient energy and load management, it adds. 

• Siemens Corp., 300 New Jersey Ave., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20001; 800/743-6367;


Packing bottles by row

Schneider Packaging Equipment Co. Inc. plans to introduce its Robox Bottle Packer Row (BPR) case packer at Pack Expo 2013 this month. Ideal for packing blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP) and other plastic bottles into service cartons with or without liner bags, the Robox BPR packs a variety of bottles and configurations one row at a time and orients the bottle necks facing either up, down, or alternating by row or every other bottle, the company says.  The Robox BPR also can pack lay-down layers on top of the case to maximize the number of bottles packed, it says. Capable of throughputs of more than 160 bottles a minute, the system is available with a wide range of standard options for tooling, layer pad, bottle inversion and liner bag handling as well as in a variety of standard floor plans to minimize the footprint, it adds.

• Schneider Packaging Equipment Co. Inc., 5370 Guy Young Road, P.O. Box 890, Brewerton, N.Y. 13029; 315/676-3035;


Add a handle

Project Automation & Engineering (A&E) developed the Progrip range of high-speed carry handle applicators to mount carry handles made of pre-laminated tape with paper, foam or tape inlay on the top or side of almost any product and package to achieve the requirements of the beverage industry. Progrip’s product output range varies from 30 packs a minute to a three-lane high-speed machine with an output of up to 420 packs a minute, the company says. Project A&E also offers its Proband high-speed economic adhesive tape bundlers, which can reduce packaging material costs by as much as 80 percent, it says.

• Project Automation & Engineering GmbH, Im Hammereisen 42, D-47559 Kranenburg, Germany; 011/49-0-2826-9145-0;


Pump it up

Xylem Inc. recently introduced two new beverage pumps under its Flojet brand. The BevJet Compact beverage dispensing system is designed to distribute water, wine, non-pulp juices, iced teas, alcohol at less than 15 percent concentration, syrups and more at flow rates from 0.8 to 1 gallon a minute, the company says. Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, Underwriters Laboratories and Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances, the system employs patent-pending Smart Pump technology that senses when a bag or bottled water is depleted and automatically stops when the supply is empty. Its compact size enables easy installation in tight spaces such as cabinets, carts and any under-the-counter application, while its simple design allows for easy cleaning, it says. The Flojet V-Jet series rotary vane pump heads are low-flow, high-pressure positive displacement units developed for beverage carbonation, water dispensing and boosting, and coffee applications, the company says. The product’s patented features and design elements provide high pressure where needed and allow reduced vane wear if the supply feed is interrupted, extending the life of the product, it explains. The V-Jet design and materials also reduce the risk of lead contamination that often is associated with brass pumps, offering a safer alternative for restaurant owners and convenience store operators, it adds.

• Xylem Inc., 1133 Westchester Ave., White Plains, N.Y. 10604; 914/323-5700;


Green cleaning

Polaris Vending Inc. launched the Coilpod dust containment bag. The bag can be used for the indoor cleaning of self-contained condenser coil units in refrigerated or freezer merchandiser display cases containing food, beverages or other items, the company says. To use the Coilpod, an operator first places the 18-by-28-by-13-inch bag over the coil structure and then simultaneously supplies exhaust air and vacuum through two ports in the bag’s surface to remove debris from the coils. The bag entraps the removed debris during the cleaning operation, protecting the environment outside the bag from undesired contamination, the company says. 

• Polaris Vending Inc., 2320 Depeyster Drive, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. 10567; 914/819-8937;


Powered lift truck

Combining the vertical lifting of a small powered stacker with the convenience, versatility and simplicity of a two-wheeled hand truck, Lift’n Buddy released the new Model LNB-350 powered truck for fast, safe and easy transportation of items. Suitable for manufacturing, warehousing/distribution, shipping/receiving, retail and restaurant environments, the Model LNB-350 helps transfer loads to and from shelves, workbenches, conveyors, delivery trucks, customer vehicles, etc.  At the touch of a button, the unit’s rechargeable 12-volt battery-powered platform positions loads at a comfortable height to eliminate bending and stretching, the company says. A linear actuator ensures smooth lifting and lowering with zero drift, while the tethered push-button control allows the user to adjust height from any side of the load, it says. Built on a lightweight yet durable aluminum frame, Model LNB-350 can handle loads as heavy as 350 pounds and lift them as high as 36 inches. Heavy-duty, 10-inch polyurethane tires roll on uneven floors, pavement, thresholds and carpeting without going flat or leaving skid marks, it says. Optional accessories including multiple handle styles, custom platforms and finishes, an attachment for lifting 5-gallon pails, a kick stand, and a cylinder-handling kit also are available to meet custom needs.

• Lift’n Buddy, 1854 NDSU Research Circle North, Fargo, N.D. 58102; 701/499-5289;


Account management

Funding Gates, an accounts receivable (AR) software company for small businesses, launched a new online AR management software, FG Receivables Manager. This software gives business owners transparent control of their customer accounts throughout all stages of a credit sale and allows them to take appropriate actions in order to get paid faster. For example, users can work with FG Receivables Manager to automatically track, organize and prioritize current and outstanding accounts and directly follow up with customers during any stage of the relationship, reducing the amount of time needed to gather and sort account information, the company says. The FG Receivables Manager currently is available on the Intuit App Center. Funding Gates’ software automatically syncs with QuickBooks to allow for a quick and seamless way to begin taking appropriate actions on outstanding accounts, it says.

• Funding Gates, 333 W. 39th St., Suite 1101, New York, N.Y. 10018; 888/370-6026;


Specialty coating

Actega Kelstar developed a UV Soft Touch specialty coating for commercial packages. The coating is formed in a one-stage system, reducing the risk of improper mixing and leftovers and improving quality control management, the company says. In addition, the durable coating is resistant to scuffing and abrasion and has a shelf life of up to 12 months, it adds.

• Actega Kelstar, 950 S. Chester Ave., Suite B2, Delran, N.J. 08075; 800/255-0021;


On-site bottling

In response to the rising popularity of the bottled water market, Vivreau offers its on-site water bottling systems for the hospitality industry. Vivreau’s micro-filtration technology eliminates unwanted elements and additives such as chlorine, odors and other impurities while retaining the natural minerals, enabling vendors in the hospitality industry to produce and bottle their own chilled, still and sparkling water at commercial speed, the company says. The V3 Main Bottler and the Mini Bottler systems, which include the bottling machines and reusable glass bottles, are plumbed directly into on-site water lines, giving hotels, restaurants and conference centers the ability to reduce their carbon footprints and waste and offer their guests a premium  quality water product, it says. Clients also can incorporate the Vivreau reusable glass water bottles into their branding plans by having their logo printed directly onto the bottles. They also can make use of Vivreau’s marketing materials, including bottle neck ties, coasters, and tent and menu insert cards.

• Vivreau USA, 131 W. 35th St., 8th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001; 877/999-1044;


Vented bottle

Invent Containers is offering a new way to package beverages with the launch of its hybrid vented bottle that offers consumers a choice in how they drink their beverages. The can-bottle hybrid lets consumers choose to drink it like a can or a bottle or use the bottom tab to vent the container for a perfect pour, the company says. The container also offers a differentiated shelf presence as it can be presented bottle- or can-side up, it says.  Available in aluminum with crown finish, polyethylene terephthalate with an aluminum can end hybrid, and as resealable versions of both materials, the package can be filled on a normal filling line or a modified can filling line, depending on the presence or absence of the resealability feature, it adds. The stock bottles are available in 12- and 16-ounce sizes.

 • Invent Containers, 2442 N. Cranefield Road, Clinton, Utah 84015; 801/520-7127;