A lighter impact

KHS released a 500-ml light-weight PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages. Weighing 10.9 grams, the bottle sets a new standard in lightweighting, the company says. On an international scale, it is the lightest-weight PET container for heavily carbonated beverages of its kind and size that is currently on the market, it adds. The bottle project was initiated by a customer request to optimize the weight of KHS’ 12.5-gram bottle. As part of the lightweight redesign, the company reworked the bottle thread to give the new bottle a streamlined thread. In addition, the company modified the bottle’s shape to increase the stability of its recessed grip. KHS estimates that this new lightweight bottle offers an annual cost savings of more than $265,000 compared with the 12.5-gram bottle. In addition, the bottle requires less energy to produce and releases less carbon dioxide emissions during shipping because of its lower weight, the company adds.

KHS USA, 880 Bahcall Court, Waukesha, Wis. 53186; 262/797-7200; khs.com.


Business-class trucks

Highlighting its Freightliner Trucks Business Class M2, Daimler Trucks North America LLC’s Freightliner Trucks offer the M2 106 and M2 112, which both feature best-in-class visibility with a 2,500-square-inch windshield and have numerous manual, automated and automatic transmission choices, the company says. With a wheel cut of up to 55 degrees, the trucks can navigate narrow city streets or tight loading zones, it adds. The M2 106 and M2 112 also have been designed for easier maintenance and service, keeping downtime to a minimum. Adding to the value of ownership, Freightliner’s customer support offers a network of more than 300 dealers across North America and a 24-hour assistance hotline that will keep customers operating at peak efficiency every day, it says. These features help drivers deliver more products to more customers, the company says.

Daimler Trucks North America LLC, 4435 N. Channel Ave., Portland, Ore. 97217; 503/745-8000; freightlinertrucks.com.


Video seam monitor

Wilkens-Anderson offers its VSM II video seam monitor, a high-resolution camera and monitor to inspect can double-seam cross sections. The camera includes a solid state light source that produces a bright image of the can seam for evaluation and measurement, a toggle switch that selects crosshairs on either the X or Y axis, and an adjustable illumination and built-in calibration procedure, the company says.

Wilkens-Anderson Co., 4525 W. Division St., Chicago, Ill. 60651; 773/384-4433; wacolab.com.


Widening the range

Gebo Cermex released a new version of its multi-function FlexiCase top-loading case packer. FlexiCase combines forming, loading and sealing functions to pack products that are difficult to accumulate into regular slotted cases and is designed to optimize the threefold requirement of speed, footprint and packaging size range. This second version of the machine is more compact than the first and integrates lightweight tooling and a new robotic gripping arm, the company says. More specifically, the case packer’s sealing operation has been optimized in order to reduce the overall machine length by approximately 3.5 feet, and the addition of a new compact robotic gripping arm, which minimally extends beyond the machine frame, can help the machine fit in areas where low ceilings are a constraint, it adds. The new line also comes with a selection of robotic gripping arms, including a numerical axis gantry that can handle loads as heavy as 573 pounds; the ER20 robotic gripping arm by Cermex that offers two combined polar and Cartesian axes that contribute to improved speed, payload and layout criteria; a high-speed, compact gripping arm for light loads that can handle as many as 30 cycles a minute; and an externally sourced six-axis polyarticulated robot that offers maximum flexibility, the company says. Gripping heads are available in carbon and aluminum parts in a beehive structure that can reduce head weight by 30 percent, on average, without compromising secure gripping and product integrity, it says. In addition, the mechanical design of the dual-axis gripping head safety mechanism makes it more sensitive to collisions, enabling the machine to quickly stop in an emergency to prevent damage to the tooling. 

Gebo Cermex, 5-7 Rue du Commerce, 67116 Reichstett, France; 011/33-388-183-850; gebocermex.com.


Managing all of the details

Softeon launched a comprehensive logistics solution for companies with distribution-intensive supply chains to assist with end-to-end automation and optimization across distribution center operations, truck loading and route operations. This solution also incorporates a warehouse management system (WMS) with special capabilities, such as sophisticated picking functionality to support stop- and product-sequenced loading, full support for voice technology, labor and resource management functionality; and other features often needed by delivery-intensive companies, as well as a comprehensive direct-store-delivery solution. Its optimized truck-loading features are directly connected to picking operations in the WMS, including support for optimal loading of side-load trucks, and its order management and forecasting solutions can help managers determine what inventory should be loaded into delivery trucks to accommodate both pre-orders and opportunistic sales at delivery stops. In addition, the software solution includes an accounting component that can be accessed on computers as well as mobile devices. Softeon’s new comprehensive logistics solution is available in either a traditional deployment or on-demand in the Cloud. 

Softeon Inc., 11700 Plaza America Drive, Suite 910, Reston, Va. 20190; 703/793-0005; softeon.com.


Keeping up consistency

Charles Ross & Son Co. introduced a new line of compounding and filling vessels with magnetically coupled turbine agitators for sanitary applications. Among the machines in this line is the 60-liter Compounding & Filling Vessel, featuring an aseptic magnetic mixer. This model is designed to stir a low-viscosity suspension as it is being discharged under pressure of nitrogen and filled into its final container. Particles that tend to settle out easily are constantly blended to ensure accurate composition all throughout the discharging/filling process. The bottom-mounted magnetically coupled turbine floats during operation, completing as many as 490 rotations a minute, and ensures complete mixing regardless of batch level, the company says. In addition, the 60-liter Compounding & Filling Vessel is optimized for cleaning and sterilization with no mechanical seals or stuffing boxes to pose a contamination risk, it says. The portable vessel is rated for 375 psi to full vacuum at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the vessel and jacket are The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code stamped and board certified. All wetted parts are stainless steel 316L with 240-grit finish, electropolished and passivated. In addition, the vessel has swivel casters and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-compliant anti-microbial wheels with brakes so that it can be rolled from one location to another.

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


More than print and apply

Domino North America introduced a series of hardware and software enhancements to its M-Series range of print-and-apply labelers in order to deliver maximum productivity and meet secondary and tertiary packaging demands across a diverse range of sectors. The first of these upgrades is the M200-CW100, a tamp applicator system designed to apply corner-wrap labels onto adjacent sides of cartons to meet specific customer requirements. Secondly, the company released a package of enhancements for the M220 Pallet Labeler that includes climate kits featuring heater and air conditioner operations to maintain air in the cabinet within suitable temperature and humidity limits. This ensures that productivity is not affected by challenging production environments and keeps the ribbon and label consumables in optimum condition. Also receiving an upgrade is the M220’s tamp head (pictured), which now can apply labels on three sides of the pallet because of its ability to rotate 180 degrees. The tamp head upgrade further increases the flexibility of the standard product range and makes it suitable for all working environments, the company says. The final enhancement is a part-pallet solution based on the Domino QuickDesign software platform. An optional kit for the standard M220 Pallet Labeler, the part-pallet solution includes an integrated touchscreen personal computer with pre-installed software and provides an easy-to-use, configurable operator interface that allows entry of part-pallet information as well as full-part-pallet management.

Domino North America, 1290 Lakeside Drive, Gurnee, Ill. 60031; 847/244-2501; domino-printing.com.


Chilled lines

Cold storage facility owners face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining safe and efficient traffic flow within their facilities. Installing aisle floor markings to show boundaries and designate work flow patterns is a common method of regulating safe traffic flow. However, this becomes more difficult in cold food storage facilities, as most paints and floor tapes have adherence issues in cold environments. In response to this dilemma, ShieldMark Inc. offers its Mighty Line Frigid floor tape that is designed to be applied in temperatures as cold as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Specially engineered with a low-temperature adhesive, Mighty Line Frigid freezer tape provides long-lasting durability and adhesion for use in frigid temperatures. The permanent, peel-and-stick freezer tape delivers durable performance on cold surfaces in industrial freezers and cold storage warehouses, withstanding both forklift tire traffic abuse and chemicals. In addition, Mighty Line Frigid floor tape does not emit noxious fumes that would restrict usage in food storage areas, the company says. The freezer tape’s permanent peel adhesion is rated at 7 pounds per square inch, and it can be applied to uneven floor surfaces. Mighty Line Frigid floor tape is available in four standard widths — 2, 3, 4 and 6 inches — to meet myriad cold storage facility applications and is backed by a two-year limited warranty. 

ShieldMark Inc., 20228 Detroit Road, P.O. Box 16618, Rocky River, Ohio 44116; 440/895-9980; mightyline.net.


Tab marketing

WingTab has designed a new way for beverage brands and packaging companies to make use of the total marketing footprint of a beverage can. Its same-named pull-tab solution for aluminum cans offers a wider shape that expands the traditional pull-tab shape by adding “wings.” This packaging feature can help products stand out on the shelf and offer expanded color and promotion options, it says. Brands can use WingTabs as closure solutions, detachable retail coupons, contest promotion tools, or methods of driving traffic to a website or social media account, it notes. In addition, messages or contest codes can be printed on the bottom of the tab for additional marketing.  Beyond marketing benefits, the wide-format opener incorporates a finger cove that makes pulling the tab easier, it adds. To see a video of WingTab in action, visit thewingtab.com.

WingTab LLC, 717 Brownlee Circle, Austin, Texas 78703; 512/731-1520; thewingtab.com.


Hitting the learning curve

Intelligrated released a new I-Campus learning management system to help satisfy the training requirements of personnel in manufacturing and distribution facilities. Designed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-authorized and PMMI-certified instructors for maximum knowledge retention, Intelligrated’s I-Campus learning management system covers occupational safety, Intelligrated equipment and general maintenance training. More specifically, the system is designed to complement instructor-led training as part of a blended learning strategy and includes e-learning modules that discuss warehouse safety topics such as work platforms and safety; general facility maintenance information; and maintenance instruction on specific Intelligrated products, equipment and systems. It also offers 24/7 access that allows students to complete training at their own pace. Management tools also allow employees to track their progress and check off milestones for supervisor verification. Intelligrated continually expands the course library and provides customized training plans to meet specific employer and job requirements. I-Campus also can integrate with a facility’s existing human resources software system to archive training status and performance.

Intelligrated, 7901 Innovation Way,  Mason, Ohio 45040; 866/963-7300; intelligrated.com.


Convenient cocktails

RP & Associates Inc. designed the new Boozer cocktail funnels to support the convenient mixing and consumption of beer cocktails, particularly in cruise and club environments. This long-neck yard-length attachment twists on to 95 percent of all bottles, allowing bartenders to easily pour mixers into the funnel to mix with the contents inside the original bottle. Consumers can then drink the beer cocktail from the Boozer without having to worry about spilling, the company says.

RP & Associates Inc., 2205 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach, Calif. 90254; 310/372-9709; rpandassociates.com