To ensure a uniform distribution of heat to produce an attractive, consistent shrink package, Lantech (Louisville, KY) introduced a “soft convection” shrink tunnel designed to eliminate dog ears and wrinkles.
With four patents pending, the new space-saving Infinity™ accumulator from Garvey Corp. (Blue Anchor, NJ) features a built-in combiner that can be configured as a single-file outfeed, multiple-lane outfeed, or en mass outfeed.
FP International's (Redwood City, CA) Novus C air cushion packaging system inflates preconfigured, low-density polyethylene film in four different air cushion shapes at speeds to 70 fpm. The four different cushion configurations can be used for void fill, blocking and bracing, corner cushioning, or as a replacement for traditional bubble material. The preconfigured film is stored deflated on a roll, saving space compared to premade air cushions and bubble packaging.
BluePrint Automation (Colonial Heights, VA) demonstrated a servo-driven, robotic top-loading machine packing stand-up drink pouches into a corrugated display case at speeds of about 450 pouches/min, though the manufacturer says the machine can reach speeds to 500 pouches/min. Applications include liquid drink pouches and retortable pouches such as pet food. Accommodates multiple pack sizes, product sizes, and carton configurations. Manufacturer claims no changeover is required between varying products or pack configurations.
Shanklin (Ayer, MA), part of the Shrink Packaging Div. of Sealed Air Corp., revealed its patent-pending EZ Tab System that provides easy opening for shrink-wrapped, heat-sealed products. The booth demonstrated the pressure-sensitive tabs, supplied in rolls and applied to a clear film web used to wrap whole potatoes. The film is first punched in the area where the tab goes. EZ Tabs are suitable for CDs and other hard-to-open packages.
Gray & Co., Hart, MI, operates 24 robotic arms on two ‘counterflow’ production lines. Each of the arms picks and places Queen Anne brand chocolate-covered cordials at an amazing rate of 1.5 cordials/sec into six-count plastic trays. Robotic system includes infrared scanners, PLCs, and proprietary software.
Low-profile vf/f/s units from EaglePack are designed to reduce bruising of apple slices pack up to 50 bags/min of different sizes at Crunch Pak, Wenatchee, WA. Shown in medium and closeup views are 1-lb bags as they are formed, filled, and sealed.
After installing a new blow molder, Quintex Plastics, Spokane, WA, sought a higher output, mezzanine-mounted solution to manual case erecting from Pearson Packaging. Key operations are shown for the erector and bottom sealer, which is located in a tight space.
Ground pork, patties, and link sausages in two varieties all run through the same MAP tray sealer from Robert Reiser, though only two of the four varieties can be packaged at any one time. This automatic diverter fans the trays out from one lane to four.