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KHS: Pouching machine for food and non-food industries

With its new Innopouch K-400 pouching machine KHS is now able to offer the food and non-food industries a system which is not only extremely flexible and precise but also provides great ease of operation and excellent hygienic safety.
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The Innopouch K-400 is available as an FS (fill and seal) or an FFS (form, fill and seal) machine. The FS machine is supplied with prefabricated pouches from a pouch magazine; the FFS machine, on the other hand, both makes and fills the pouches. As the FS version is modular, it can be later expanded at any time to include a pouch forming unit.

The system makes or forms stand-up, flat and bottom gusset pouches from film laminate. It can run in both simplex (one pouch per machine cycle) and duplex (two pouches per machine cycle) operation. In simplex operation pouches can have a width of 125 to 400 mm and a height varying between 125 and 380 mm. In duplex operation the maximum pouch width is reduced to 200 mm. Pouches may weigh up to 2.3 kilograms. The Innopouch K-400 can run at up to 70 cycles a minute. New pouch formats and capacities can be realized at any time should these be required.

The Innopouch K-400 is a horizontal pouching machine which operates cyclically, with a separate station for each stage in the pouch forming and filling processes. This enables the machine to operate with the utmost precision, resulting in outstanding pouch quality and appearance and top filling accuracies.

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The Innopouch K-400 can fill pouches with various dry products from chunky goods like herbal candies and dry food for animals to finely ground powders, such as baking powder or ground coffee. The standard version of the machine has four filling stations connected in series which can be added to as required. The dosing systems are always selected according to the product to be filled, with both volumetric systems, such as auger fillers, table feeders and sliding gate fillers, and gravimetric systems like multihead weighers possible.

Of great importance is the fact that in the filler area the pouch is held in place by one pouch gripper on either side of it. The pouches are therefore conveyed by just one pair of grippers until they exit the machine; there are no transfers. Another aspect which ensures top positioning and filling accuracies is the linear servo drive technology incorporated into the machine. Each pouch gripper consists of a linear motor and can thus be positioned very accurately at the press of a button.

Special attention was paid to the hygienic aspects of the Innopouch K-400 during its design development. Thanks to the open design, there are no mechanical components under the pouch grippers that have to be extensively cleaned. In the machine housing spacers are used in place of the usual rubber seals. The film dispenser is also fully enclosed. One possible option is to separate the pouch forming and filling areas by a pane. The frame of the Innopouch K-400 is made entirely of stainless steel, making the machine quick and easy to clean.

On pouchers fitted with linear servo drive technology fast format changeovers are a given. In particular, what used to be time-consuming changeovers from simplex to duplex operation and vice versa have now been greatly simplified and shortened. Most format changeovers are made on the operator panel at the push of a button. For example, the grippers in the filler area can be adjusted to new pouch widths as quickly as they can be switched between simplex and duplex operation.  The few settings that have to be made by hand include changing film reels or adjusting the film guides and sealing units. If service should be required at any time, there is also a remote maintenance facility for the Innopouch K-400.

As a turnkey supplier KHS can also pack the pouches into cartons once they have been formed, filled and sealed. For this purpose it has intermittent or continuous side-loading cartoners available in its Innopack IMC/CMC series. KHS has various options in its portfolio for gentle carton palletizing in its wide range of column and articulated robots. Entire pouching lines can therefore be realized from a single source.
 

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