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Article | July 10, 2014
Marchesini: Integrated thermoform blister/cartoning packaging line
The Integra 320, a new integrated robotic thermoform blister/cartoning packaging line from Marchesini, includes a machine pitch control system, a cartoning section, and an innovative carton opening and product insertion system to produce up to 320 blisters and more than 260 cartons per minute.
The integration of the blister thermoforming and carton packaging phases in a compact line results in a very small footprint. A three-axes Robocombi with sucker pick-up head, patented by Marchesini, connects the two stations and minimizes size change-over operations. The units are no longer made up of several single parts but of integrated blocks, which are replaced in just one step.
Integra 320 has two standard forming reels: one for the reel in use and one for the spare reel, to cut down on operator involvement. The reel compartment is situated behind clear guards, which protect the reels against process dust. The machine is equipped with a servo-operated film unwinder, which stops automatically when the material runs out. It also has an integrated forming material splicing table with automatic vacuum system, which blocks the film in the correct position, thus speeding up work whenever the reel ends. The machine also comes standard with a retracting and integrated cutter.
The forming station, operated by a servomotor, is installed at the back of the machine, making the layout more compact and clearly separating the product infeed zone. It is possible to adjust the material pull and machine pitch directly from the display.
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The product infeed unit is easily fitted in place without having to use tools. The parts have quick-lock couplings to make replacement and assembly work quick and accurate. The machine is supplied pre-arranged to fit a number of combined infeed units. All the parts are designed so that the product flows easily and smoothly: each step is made with positive motion to avoid obstructions or blind spots. The dust extraction system has plenty of suction points distributed in a capillary manner right along the machine.
The flat and continuous motion sealing station follows the film so that it can be sealed even at low temperatures. The combined intermittent and tracking movement gives the two materials more time to seal, and also a constant pressure right along the full surface of the blister. If the machine stops, the plates open, safeguarding the material between them.
Once the blister has been cut, it is picked-up and placed on the outlet belt without any other transfer movements before it is picked-up by the Robocombi. This robot picks up the product, stacks it correctly, and places it directly into the buckets of the carton packager. The perforation and coding station has been made more efficient with accurate waste management in special separate bins.
The carton packaging section features a new pick up and erection system of the cartons with split movement picks up and erects more than 260 cartons/min. A completely mechanical oil bath helps ensure a longer service life and less maintenance.
The carton magazine is installed in a practical position for loading and away from the zone where the product runs. Any dust created in the magazine falls to the ground and not onto the moving components.
The carton conveyance system has also been improved: two pushing and contrast teeth helps provide maximum conveyance precision. Cartons remain stable even at high speeds.
A product insertion unit with pushers is also equipped with counter-pushers and independent drives. All the units are driven by brushless servomotors so that each station is independent, increasing flexibility even though working at high speeds.
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