Eye-catching can handles

Roberts PolyPro, a division of Pro Mach, introduced carrying handles for two-, four-, and six-packs of canned beer at Pack Expo in Chicago. Designed for smaller craft breweries, the handles are a flexible, affordable packing option and are available in any Pantone Matching System color, it says. Additionally, the handles contain 30 percent less plastic than former handle styles and are 100 percent recyclable as they are manufactured out of high-density polyethylene. The handles also enable the cans to be closely stacked for efficient packing and can be reapplied for convenient transport, the company says.

Roberts PolyPro, 5416 Wyoming Ave, Charlotte, N.C. 28273; 800/269-7409; robertspolypro.com.

Mixing it right

At Germany’s BrauBeviale 2016, GEA Group showcased its Di-Batch-F batch mixing system, which processes dry substances and liquids into a finished syrup or beverage. A special feature of this system is its partial discharge from packing drums by means of a drum pump and a hopper tank on weight cells. This feature provides manufacturers with additional flexibility regarding production volumes and the opportunity to purchase the base ingredients in containers of different sizes, it says. These compact units are multifunctional and rated for outputs of 1,000 to 100,000 hectoliters per annum. For the production of high-quality non-alcohol beer, GEA highlighted its systems for reverse osmosis with membrane filtration for de-alcoholization of beer with low feed rates at 2.5 to 10 hectoliters an hour.

GEA Group, Peter-Müller-Str. 12, 40468 Düsseldorf, Germany; +011/49-211-9136-1503; gea.com.

Packaging perfection

At Pack Expo, Evergreen Packaging Equipment debuted its QL-233 gable top packaging machine. Designed for high production capacity, the QL-233 can handle fill volumes of 180 ml to 1 liter and fills liters/quarts as fast as 14,000 cartons an hour with a single-stage bottom-up fill system. Servo-driven technology provides repeatable package performance and automatically controls fill volumes and profiles based on product and carton size, allowing for less downtime with quick and easy changes to fill volume and carton height, it says. Equipped with an Allen Bradley Control Logix PLC with GuardLogix Safety PLC controls, the QL-233 and SKU programming can handle as many as 200 different SKUs, it adds. The compact, single-piece stainless steel tubular conveyor utilizes a single drive for two lines, a unique handling system for gable top packaging, along with a protected non-wash area for critical components. The ergonomic design of the infeed also provides operator comfort and ease of loading, while a locking bar on the enclosure doors eliminates the need for individual door switches. Each side of the four-line machine has dual-carton flights built of stainless steel along with a fill system that hermetically seals double-diaphragm metering bowls to maintain product quality, the company says. A standard automatic sanitizing system also keeps product contact surfaces free from harmful micro-organisms.

Evergreen Packaging, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 600, Memphis, Tenn. 38119; 901/821-5350; evergreenpackaging.com.

Reducing friction with foam technology

Klüber Lubrication North America LP offers its new Klübersynth NH1 4-68 Foam Spray, an NSF H1-registered product suitable for the lubrication of spindles, open gears, hinges, sliding rails and chains used in the food processing and packaging industries. The foam spray offers excellent adhesiveness by using the foam to hold the lubricant at the friction point and reduce wear while the foam technology allows for easy overhead application without dripping, the company says. The Klübersynth NH1 4-68 Foam Spray is available as an aerosol spray and allows for direct application onto friction points to maximize the effect of the lubricant’s performance.

Klüber Lubrication North America LP, 32 Industrial Drive, Londonderry, N.H. 03053; 603/647-4101; klueber.com.

High sealing standards

To address beverage manufacturers’ need for safety in beverage dispenser sealing materials, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies offers three materials — 70 FKM 727, Fluoroprene XP 41 and 70 EPDM 291— that are compliant with global standards and legal requirements in North America and Europe. The 70 FKM 727 offers improved low-temperature flexibility compared with conventional fluoroelastomer (FKM) materials at temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius and lower, the company says. Designed to effectively seal equipment that must maintain ice-cold temperatures, the 70 FKM 727 is well-suited for use in dynamic or flexing-type seal applications, such as shaft seals or solenoid valves, it adds. A highly fluorinated premium material, Fluoroprene XP 41 can be used by the beverage industry in demanding sealing situations, such as on syrup lines, and tests indicate that it prevents flavor transfer and does not swell in high-ratio syrups. The 70 EPDM 291 is especially stable in the aqueous media of breweries, mineral springs and soft-drink manufacturing and ensures good stability in acids, bases, polar solvents and CIP/SIP media. It is stable in water and steam temperatures as high as 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and has very good resistance to aging, ozone and light, the company says.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, 47690 E. Anchor Court, Plymouth, Mich. 48170; 734/354-1069; fnst.com.

Capturing a camera’s vision

A leader in machine vision, Cognex Corp. offers the In-Sight VC200 series, a family of multiple smartcamera vision systems. The In-Sight VC200 series brings the proven performance and reliability of its In-Sight vision systems to multi-camera vision applications, the company says. The processing power within the InSight VC200 series increases with each additional camera, expanding the number of multi-camera inspection applications, it adds. This improved performance helps keep pace with fast-moving production lines and also provides the flexibility to solve applications with sequential or asynchronous inspections. The In-Sight VC200 includes a fully customizable and web-enabled human-machine interface, providing monitoring and control through password-protected access levels. With the In-Sight VC200, operators now can view inspections, while plant managers simultaneously can review performance statistics from any iOS-, Android- or Windows-based device with a web browser. Additionally, In-Sight VC200 multi-camera applications are easy to set up with the powerful In-Sight Explorer software, the company says. The graphical workflow simplifies vision applications by separating inspection steps into manageable tool blocks, while also providing access to proven In-Sight vision tools, including PatMax Redline, OCRMax and others, via a spreadsheet interface, it adds.

Cognex Corp., 1 Vision Drive, Natick, Mass. 01760; 855/426-4639; cognex.com.

Maximizing shelf impact

BillerudKorsnäs introduced its BillerudKorsnäs White premium carton board into the U.S. market. Ideal for premium products, the smooth carton board offers unique printing and shaping capabilities and blends enhanced strength with reduced packaging weight to offer a more eco-friendly alternative, it says. The premium carton board also offers converters excellent run-ability and flexibility, the company says. Composed of a unique blend of 100 percent primary fibers from Nordic spruce and pine combined with short and dense birch fibers, BillerudKorsnäs White’s composition cultivates resilient and stiff mechanical properties that include exceptional formability and tear resistance and unlimited shaping and creasing without cracking, it adds. Package designers also can create eye-catching packaging with precision die-cutting and windows, while the integrity of BillerudKorsnäs White enables cartons to be securely opened and closed for easy dispensing and protection of products, the company says.

BillerudKorsnäs, Box 703, SE-169 27 Solna, Sweden; +011/46-8-553-335-00; explorecarton.billerudkorsnas.com.

Coding on cans

Domino Amjet North America offers its new F720i laser, the latest addition to its range of high-performance, high-speed fiber lasers. Designed to deliver clear, legible and durable codes on aluminum cans, the new F720i fiber laser is optimized for continuous, fast output in extremely harsh, humid and temperature-challenging production environments of up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, it says. With an IP65 rating, the F720i applies standard codes at a rate of 90,000 cans an hour and has the capability to deliver complex codes and promotional data of more than 60 characters at a rate of 42,000 cans an hour. Unlike conventional fiber lasers, the 3-D power concentration of the F720i generates a highly focused beam, which is distributed in short intense pulses resulting in an increase of the marking speed and the quality of output even on the concave surfaces of the can bases, it adds.

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

Fuel-efficient sleeping comfort

Kenworth Truck Co. introduced the fuel-efficient Kenworth T680 Advantage Package with a 52-inch mid-roof sleeper for regional hauls and less-than truckload operations. The latest configuration utilizes an optimized powertrain featuring the 2016 PACCAR MX-13 engine or PACCAR MX-11 engine and Eaton Fuller Advantage series 10-speed automatic transmission combined with fuel-efficient Meritor MT40-14X drive axles rated at 40,000 pounds. New aerodynamic elements on the 52-inch mid-roof sleeper configuration include a front air dam that redirects air around instead of under the tractor, miniature kick-out fairings to force air around the trailer and drive tires, and lower fairing extenders. Other notable fuel-efficiency features include predictive cruise control, neutral coast, driver performance assistant and FlowBelow wheel covers. Additionally, the T680 Advantage with 52-inch sleeper optimizes comfort and provides an excellent living and working environment by including an optional passenger swivel seat that expands the living space into the cab, more head room, a 2.1-meter wide cab that reduces interior noise levels, and adjustable advance seats with climate control, the company says.

Kenworth Truck Co., 10630 NE 38th Place, Kirkland, Wash. 98033; 425/828-5000; kenworth.com.

Dynamic accumulation

Hartness, an ITW company, unveiled its new DYNAC 6300 multi-lane accumulator, its fastest floor-level first in, first out (FIFO) system, which joins the company’s line of DYNAC accumulation solutions, it says. The patent-pending floor-level system features a unique racetrack profile that provides pressure-less accumulation to protect critical functions from downstream system failures while delivering a more stable, consistent flow of product. It also eliminates the interdependence of machines in the line and allows customers to gain greater productivity from less space in a single-file, continuous motion infeed with zero changeovers, it adds. With a center-line design that facilitates line layouts, benefits of the product line include improved recovery time from a start/stop on the line, FIFO product flow for batch integrity and an overall increase in efficiency, the company says.

Hartness, 500 Hartness Drive, Greenville, S.C. 29615; 864/297-1200; hartness.com.

A helping hand

At Pack Expo in Chicago, A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp. introduced its new 700 series robot palletizers utilizing a Yaskawa robot arm. The 700 series palletizes cases, trays or bags in multiple configurations at speeds as fast as 30 cycles a minute, the company says. For compact efficiency, a five-axis robot arm features in/out product/pallet configuration at speeds as fast as 20 cycles a minute at up to a 70-feet pallet-load height with a horizontal reach of 81 feet. For increased speed and multiple line capability, a four-axis robot arm offers one to four in/out product/pallet configuration at speeds as fast as 30 cycles a minute at a vertical pallet-load height as tall as 100 feet with a 124-feet horizontal reach. Both systems include a dual case load of 33 pounds with a standard vacuum end-of-arm tool. Standard systems include a high-payload robot with a vacuum head for single or dual feed, product transport and staging conveyors, high visibility guarding and Allen Bradley PLC controls and programming to meet specific product requirements. Automation of empty pallet transfer and slipsheet/picture frame inserting and robotic control also can be integrated depending on speed and space requirements, it adds.

A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp., 811 Live Oak St., Tarpon Springs, Fla. 34689; 800/237-5975; abcpackaging.com.