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Custom cartoners accommodate new margarine

When Unilever was preparing to launch its new Becel margarine products in plastic tubs, the Rotterdam, Holland and London, England-based global food company wanted a cartoning system that could combine automatic infeeding of the margarine containers with information booklet insertion and sleeve cartoning, at speeds of at least 220 packs/min.

Unilever spokesman Richard van der Eijk notes “ is an innovative product with the benefit of reducing blood cholesterol levels. In order to explain to the prospective buyer the product’s characteristics and benefits more printing surface was needed on the package. The addition of a carton sleeve and a booklet allows much better communication with consumers.”

Unilever evaluated its equipment supplier/engineering options and awarded the cartoning system contract to Kliklok-Woodman. Kliklok-Woodman built three complete packaging systems for installation at three different Unilever plants in Europe. The lines include Servo IPTUs (Intelligent Product Transfer Units) that feed the filled membrane-sealed lidded margarine tubs into specially designed conveyor systems enabling accurate placement of informational booklets into the indented tub lids. The servo-driven booklet feeder is integrated into the infeed conveyor of KW’s Prima end-load cartoner which was customized to conform to the mechanical and electrical specifications of the application.

The margarine tubs then proceed to a sleeving station for application of a special five-crease open-end carton sleeve. KW’s rotary feeder erects the carton sleeves shapes them for easy tub entry then locks the tub in place as the sleeve is secured around the tub.

Unilever project manager Marc Olhoff comments “This was a real international project that required a creative technical solution to suit our project objectives. Kliklok-Woodman delivered.”

—Judy Rice

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