A helping hand

A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp. recently 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, the 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, the four-axis robot arm offers one to four in/out product/pallet configurations 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, 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.

Measuring can seams

Wilkens-Anderson Co. offers its SEAM360 as part of its line of quality-control equipment for cans. The SEAM360 is designed to improve speed and accuracy while eliminating human error and misinterpretation, the company says. Conventional seam inspection occurs at two or three points around a can, but the SEAM360 scans the entire circumference of the can in approximately eight seconds while simultaneously measuring seam thickness and seam height at 360 points to a 0.0002-inch resolution, it adds. The non-destructive SEAM360 quickly and expertly detects any can defects, such as false seams, seam bumps, broken chucks, droops, vees and knocked down flanges, the company says.

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

Precision blending

Charles Ross & Son Co. announced that new features are available for its Model 42N-120SS ribbon blender. The 120-cubic-foot stainless steel blender features a solid agitator shaft with angled, precision-formed ribbons to prevent material build-up; scrapers welded to the spokes and ribbons at a close tolerance of 1/8-inch along with rounded trough corners to eliminate dead space; and a clear view, FDA-approved Teflon seal polycarbonate on the cover and shaft guards, the company says. Additionally, the cover also can include multiple ports for ingredient additions, lights, a spray system, venting and vacuum transfer. A pneumatically operated spherical disc valve provides a large opening, enabling operators to safely view the batch and change raw materials while the agitators are running, it adds.

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

Modular material handling

After a year of development and field testing, B&P Manufacturing unveiled the Crusader, a new state-of-the-art, semi-modular welded tubular hand truck made from aluminum. The need for the product came about based on feedback from delivery drivers who wanted to maintain the stiffness and rigidity of earlier B&P hand truck models while improving the repair process, the company says. The Crusader hand truck features a TIG-welded handle-and-frame combination that is heat treated in-house. Standard modular hand truck components, including lifetime extruded wheel brackets, nose plates, wheels and stair climbers, and narrow aisle and sliding keg hook, are joined to create the completely re-buildable, versatile hand truck, it says. The customizable line is available in a wide range of straight and curved frames with several handle options. It also carries a two-year warranty, a 600-pound capacity and proven ergonomic safety, it adds.

B&P Manufacturing, 8051 East Boon Road, Cadillac, Mich. 49601; 800/334-7141; bpmfg.com.

Tracking beer sales

OnTrak Software announced the release of a new feature within its LineTrak mobile app that currently is being used by beer wholesalers nationwide. Originally launched in 2015 as an app that tracks and reports on required draft line cleaning activity, LineTrak now offers a new Tap Handle Survey feature that collects and tracks market data, giving beer wholesalers a better understanding of which products are flowing through active taps in order to maximize presence in beer taps at restaurants and bars, it says. The new surveying capabilities provide constant data on a beer wholesaler’s presence while logging every beer brand and its position on the tap. Other features include active and inactive taps in an establishment; brands on each tap position, including their own as well as competitor brands; and market share analysis providing replacement opportunities for growth so that wholesalers can learn which products are flowing through active taps and when a product is replaced by another product, it adds. Armed with this information, sales representatives are better positioned to recommend changes and replacements that further increase the beer wholesaler’s business, the company says.

OnTrak Software, 4050 Executive Park Drive, Suite 430, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241; 513/936-4041; ontraksoftware.com.

Keeping beer fresh

A developer of fully automated molecular testing solutions, Rheonix Inc. unveiled its Beer SpoilerAlert assay, a next-day, fully automated test that simultaneously detects a broad range of bacterial and yeast spoilage organisms as well as the hop-resistance genes that make them spoilers, the company says. The Beer SpoilerAlert assay, which runs on the Encompass Optimum workstation using the Rheonix CARD cartridge, streamlines complex sample preparation and detection steps into one automated test, it adds. As many as 24 samples, including filtered or enriched beer, yeast slurries, environmental swabs and bacterial colonies, can be placed on the workstation with one pipette step for each sample. The total time needed to receive results, including sample enrichment, is less than 24 hours, versus the four to seven days required for traditional spoilage detection methods, it says.

Rheonix Inc., 10 Brown Road, Suite 103, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850; 607/257-1242, ext. 160; rheonix.com.

Flexible capping

Zalkin Americas, a division of Pro Mach, recently launched a 14-head capping turret with the ability to run both screw- and roll-on pilfer proof (ROPP) caps, giving customers the versatility of two machines in one, the company says. The new turret can run 24- and 28-mm continuous-thread closures as well as ROPP with speeds as fast as 400 bottles a minute, it adds. Switching from one type of capping head to another can be done in 10 minutes and is facilitated by Zalkin’s quick-release adapters. Ideal for the spirits industry, the versatile capping solution is designed to lower customers’ overall capital costs, improve line efficiencies and increase flexibility in packaging, it says.

Zalkin Americas, 150 Collins Industrial Blvd., Athens, Ga. 30601; 877/549-3301; zalkincapping.com.

Paper perfection for hot beverages

BillerudKorsnäs, in partnership with Finland-based packaging company Huhtamaki, announced the release of the Impresso, an insulated cup designed to enrich the sensory experience of drinking a hot beverage, it says. Originally launched in Europe and recently introduced in the United States, the Impresso cup by Huhtamaki uses BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm, a sensory, brand-enhancing 3-D cold-formable paper, it adds. As brands seek ways to stand out from their competitors, demand is increasing for innovation that can enhance the consumer experience and build brand appeal, the company says. FibreForm enables the Impresso cup to have a greater three-dimensional feel of comfort and satisfaction because of the ability to create deeper, more intricate embossing and shaping that also functions as a walking billboard for brands, it adds. The Impresso cup also provides the optimal level of insulation, delivering the ideal barrier protection, which prevents scalding beverages from becoming too hot to touch, while allowing enough heat to penetrate to keep consumers comfortable while consuming hot beverages.

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

On-print demand

Primera Technology Inc. announced the release of its new LX2000 color label printer for the production of vintage-style labels on demand, it says. The desktop color printer produces labels at speeds as fast as 6 inches a second, about 25 percent faster than its previous iteration, the company says. The device also features large, separate ink tanks that keep the cost for each label low, it says. Other features include pigment-based ink for stronger resistance to ultraviolet light, chemicals and water; a built-in viewing window to see label stock levels; and wired Ethernet, USB 2.0 and wireless connection options. Printer drivers also are included for Windows Vista/7/8, along with Bartender Ultralite Software, for Windows, to format label designs, add barcodes and QR codes. A Mac driver currently is in development, it adds. Designed for product labels in the coffee, wine and water categories, among others, the LX2000 can handle many different inkjet label substrates and features pigment ink and superb print quality. It also has passed rigorous Section 3, BS5609 testing, it adds.

Primera Technology Inc., 2 Carlson Parkway, Suite 375, Minneapolis, Minn. 55447; 800/797-2772; primera.com.

Verifying HPP authenticity

Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) announced the development of a patent-pending, high-pressure indicator ink that, when applied to a beverage or food package, supports the industry with a visual inspection showing that high-pressure processing (HPP) has been applied to the product. A first for the inks and food industries worldwide, the new technology for HPP also contains anti-counterfeiting features to ensure that no one has printed an ink on their packaging claiming an HPP indicator, the company says. The fact that products subjected to HPP look identical to products that have not undergone HPP treatment creates a challenge for the supply chain, it says. CTI’s HPP-indicator technology is delivered via a clear ink that can be printed on the exterior of most packages. After printing, the ink’s color intensifies as it’s exposed to the very high isostatic pressures found in the HPP process. The first generation of the technology can differentiate between pressure exposure at less than 20,000 pounds per square inch (psi) as well as 20,000-, 30,000- and greater than 40,000-psi. The HPP verification technology is applied like all conventional inks on packaging and currently is available in water-based and ultraviolet-cured inks. Solvent-based inks could be available in the future, it adds.

Chromatic Technologies Inc., 1096 Elkton Drive, Suite 600, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80907; 719/592-1557; ctiinks.com.

Portable testing

Omega Engineering Inc. introduced its new, portable handheld data logger that delivers high performance and functionality, it says. The OM-DAQXL Series offers eight or 16 universal analog inputs, fast sampling rates, large data storage and a 7-inch thin-film-transistor color touchscreen display featuring an intuitive user interface, easy channel configuration, data logging and play back, and more, it adds. The multi-channel input data logger is well-suited for a wide range of applications including research and development and industrial labs, chemical water treatment or HVAC process monitoring, and strain measurement during physical testing of materials, the company says.

Omega Engineering Inc., 800 Connecticut Ave., Suite 5N01, Norwalk, Conn. 06854; 888/826-6342; omega.com.

Safely measuring fluids

Krohne Inc. offers a hygienic turbidity system (TS) product line that utilizes advanced near-infrared radiation (NIR) sensors to monitor water quality, detect leakages, optimize cleaning processes and monitor filters, it says. The TS product line, which includes the TS 1050, TS 2050, TS 3050 and TS 4050, features a compact design with integrated electronics and a parameterization display that includes a 180-degree, see-through NIR sensor to measure absorption or turbidity in fluids in the near-infrared range of 880 nm wavelength. The TS product line also provides concentration measurement, phase separation and separating process optimization.

Krohne Inc., 7 Dearborn Road, Peabody, Mass. 01960; 800/356-9464; krohne.com.