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Flexible Packaging Playbook Strategies
In this newsletter • Container handling • Case study: PepsiCo's new filler • Video: Thermoforming line
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New Video! Live Drum Spiral Conveyor New Video! Live Drum Spiral Conveyor
The Live-Drum Spiral can be designed to accommodate several sizes of products (bags, cases, trays, cups, jars) on one production line with no changeover.
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SEPTEMBER 11, 2012
Best practices for specifying conveying and container
handling equipment
By Brian Kelly, Contributing Editor
Despite their importance, conveyors and container handling technologies don't always receive sufficient consideration, and are often an after-thought. They shouldn't be. Things to consider:

1. Buy the conveyor pre-integrated. When considering a new line, it's often smart to buy the conveyor as part of the machine. If you're buying a packaging machine as a replacement, it might be tempting to retain the old conveyors, but be aware that the match might not be optimal, especially at transfer points. If the machinery builder supplies the conveyor already integrated, it reduces installation costs (versus purchasing a separate conveyor), installation time and line commissioning of I/O devices—especially since no standalone control cabinet is required and all VFDs, devices, power panel and PLC control panel are assembled onto the conveyor legs and frame. And all the information shows up on one screen—from motors, alarms and controllers—making things simpler for the operator, technicians, and engineering staff.

2. Understanding how your containers behave is very important. You have to consider package geometry, center of gravity, and mass when specifying conveyors. For example, empty PET bottles act differently under pressure compared to filled bottles; hence the conveying and container handling has different requirements on different stages of the line. Fully understanding your package geometry can also help you avoid excessive backpressure. When you're feeding a product, excessive backpressure can force a package into a machine before it's ready. Whether you’re feeding, sorting or unscrambling, backpressure values are all dependent on the dimensional stability of the package; so, you need to completely understand your package or container specs when asking a vendor to design a starwheel or a timing screw around the package. Everything depends on form and shape. Starwheels are good for certain shaped containers, whereas timing screws are often better for rounded containers.

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Case study
PepsiCo Brazil chooses liquid-carton filling equipment
Company adds liquid-carton filling machine to produce single-serve portions of its highly popular chocolate milk drink.
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Supplier News
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Pro Mach acquires Federal Manufacturing >>
MULTIPOND expands facilities in Germany, US >>
Bosch Packaging Technology India opens new manufacturing facility >>
Fowler Products completes renovation of its Factory Acceptance Testing and Training Facility >>
Spee-Dee to be represented by Alex E. Jones in Canada >>
Multisorb appoints Daniel Kedziora to Food and Beverage Packaging Group for Europe >>
New Equipment
Schur Packaging Systems, Inc. Filamatic, a division of National Instrument LLC Eriez Magnetics
Bagging system Integrated inline filling/capping system X-ray inspection technology
Cermex Inc. Fogg Filler Co. Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc.
Continuous lane divider with guiding arm provides speeds up to 350 products/min. Filler Bowl Volumetric weigh system
Procomac Industries Fogg Filler Co. Tripack
Blow/fill aseptic line—small footprint, big impact Bottle sanitizer system Tamper evident banding system
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LIVE FROM ACHEMA 2012: Continuous-motion thermoforming line
At the Marchesini stand at Achema 2012, Andy Long, director, demonstrates the MB460 continuous-motion thermoforming line that produces up to 720 blisters/min and allows for quick changeovers.
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