High-speed turning

Columbia Machine Inc. recently introduced its patented variable position turner (VPT) technology for applications using drop-down cushioned turners, the company says. The VPT technology maximizes speed and flexibility for in-line, high-speed palletizing by using servos to dynamically position the center turners laterally on the in-line palletizer while the layer is being formed. VPT locations are accessed and programmed via a human-machine interface, enabling the operator to easily create new layer pattern additions or optimize existing patterns. Fewer turners, a maximum of four, are required, and when used in conjunction with the company’s adjustable lane position technology, pattern forming capability is virtually limitless, it says. The VPT is ideally suited for ultra-high speed applications handling fridge packs, cartons, trays, film-only packages and more, it adds.

Columbia Machine Inc., 107 Grand Blvd., Vancouver, Wash. 98661; 800/628-4065; palletizing.com.

Inspiring beverage solutions

At drinktec, Sept. 11-15 in Munich, GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft will present innovations and solutions beyond mere equipment and components to encompass the entire line lifecycle, it says. Under its “Inspiring Beverage Solutions” motto, the company will showcase aseptic blow-fill solutions for fruit juice, milk, wine and beer production. Among the highlights is the market launch of the GEA Ariete Homogenizer 5400, which provides throughput of 80,000 liters an hour with 120 bars of pressure creating the largest capacity, five-piston homogenizer, the company says. GEA Group also will showcase its aseptic blow fill solution for aluminum foil closures, which is suitable for high- and low-acid drinks and provides a safe, flexible and aseptic way to fill plastic bottles. Additionally, it will unveil Brewery 4.0, a concept focusing on the future of beer production, continuous brewing and fermentation, just-in-time production technology and digitalization. The concept includes the linking of beer production, the continuous mash separation in double decanters, fermentation and maturation processes as well as quality assurance, with just-in-time production technology and flexible processing of digital data. Brewery 4.0 also gives brewers flexibility throughout the supply chain while taking sustainability, energy consumption and space usage into account, the company says.

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft, Peter-Müller-Str. 12, 40468 Düsseldorf, Germany 40468; +011/49-211-9136-1492; gea.com.

A cool breeze

Big Ass Solutions, the maker of Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Lights, debuted its first automated directional fan, AirEye. The first fan of its kind to detect motion and to automatically shut off, AirEye is quiet, long lasting, easy to clean and offers high efficiency, the company says. Other features include a motion sensor that ensures the fan only operates when workers are present, saving energy during shift changes, breaks and shutdowns; a system that
moves as much as 48 percent more air than other
fans and creates a breeze a third of a football field away; patented airfoils that produce less noise even when the fan is operating at full speed; an electronically commutated motor that operates
50 percent more efficiently than typical directional fans; and a standard infinite speed control that allows the fan to operate at 1 to 100 percent of full speed, rather than the typical two to three settings. Because AirEye is protected by an epoxy-sealed and powder-coated cage, the device’s hub and airfoils can endure years of daily use, and the easy-to-remove cage and components foster easy cleaning of dust and dirt buildup, it adds. AirEye is available with a variety of mounts, including I-beam, C-channel, wall, swivel and portable pedestal and comes in 20-, 24- and 30-inch diameters. The product has a seven-year, full warranty, it says.

Big Ass Solutions, 2348 Innovation Drive, Lexington, Ky. 40511; 877/244-3267; bigasssolutions.com.

Deft dispersions

Charles Ross & Son Co. offers the VMC-750, a multi-shaft mixer designed for robust, large-scale production and repeatable batch processing of high-volume viscous applications such as solid-liquid dispersions, thickened emulsions, suspensions, pastes and gels. As a multi-agitator system, the VersaMix mixes at low, intermediate and high shear levels, or any combination thereof, for powder wet-out, deagglomeration, emulsification, homogenization, heating and cooling, and deaeration, the company says. The VMC-750 is equipped with a dual-post lift, interchangeable 750-gallon mix vessels and a triple-agitator system consisting of a low-speed anchor, high-speed disperser and high-shear rotor/stator assembly. Each agitator is independently driven and controlled from a human-machine interface panel. Laboratory models (1, 2 and 4 gallons) easily can be scaled to pilot/medium scale (10 and 40 gallons) and on to large-capacity change-can models (from 100 through 1,000 gallons). Fixed-tank designs are offered with as much as 4,000 gallons capacity.

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

The future of filling

At drinktec, the KHS Group will showcase the future of filling and packaging systems under the motto “Technology 4.0” while presenting its new systems for all container segments including small craft brewers and large water bottlers. The systems supplier also will focus on the innovative use of digitization as well as new concepts throughout the entire production process. Other features include a focus on resource savings and water systems, the world premiere of innovative packaging concepts, and an expanded portfolio for medium-sized companies, which includes established integrated technology for can and keg fillers. The company also will present a compact solution for labeling that is tailor-made to meet the requirements of the lower-capacity segment, it says. Regardless of company size, KHS will showcase developments to enable machines to grow in size in accordance with increasing quantities and simple upgrades.

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

Dispensing bag-in-box syrups

Xylem Flojet Inc., a manufacturer of special application pumps with an initial focus on the emerging cleaning machine market, announced the release of the compact U Series Bag-in-Box Syrup Pump, which is designed to save time, space and money, the company says. The air-operated pump handles all syrup viscosities, including high-yield syrups, for run lengths as long as 100 feet. The integrated, modular construction requires less material and supports faster assembly and installation. Designed for dispensing bag-in-box syrups, the U Series is engineered with patented integrated gas manifold technology, reducing parts and labor needed to build backroom kits. The U Series also features proven diaphragm pump technology that delivers fluid at the needed flow and pressure to ensure operational excellence for a broad range of beverage solutions. It also offers reduced downtime for maintenance and shorter installation time because of its modular configuration, increased reliability and lower costs throughout the life of the pump. 

Xylem Flowjet, 17942 Cowan, Irvine, Calif. 92614; 949/608-3900; xylemflowcontrol.com/flojet.

Small solution for case packing

At Interpack 2017, Meypack Verpackungssystemtechnik GmbH introduced the VP 600 case packer, its small solution for case packing. The new solution processes small formations of small products within a small space, the company says. The stainless steel VP 600 also features a hygienic design, fast changeovers and is ideal for soft packages and pouches, yogurt cups, or aluminum cups, with glass and PET mini-bottles planned for future development, it adds. In a standard execution, the range of formats stretches from 70-by-50-by-80 mm to 200-by-150-by-200 mm and enables the products to be packed in trays. All of the variations also can be produced with an inserted lid. The company also is working on a model variation with a larger machine footprint, enabling the system to process wrap-around cases, shoulder trays and trays with an external lid. The product infeed of the VP 600 is carried out via a paddle chain with interchangeable belts that have product-specific pockets and paddles that can stack and erect products. With fast changeover, the belts also can be immediately exchanged and then automatically adjusted for tension and positioning. A further development of the VP 600 prototype and the infeed variation mass flow principle will be refined and displayed at the drinktec trade fair taking place Sept. 11-15 in Munich, it adds.

Meypack Verpackungssystemtechnik GmbH, Industriestr. 3, Nottuln, Germany 48301; +011/49-2509-94222; meypack.de.