The new Maximus mid-speed case palletizer from BW Integrated Systems, shown for the first time at PACK EXPO International, has been engineered to meet changing market needs for a smaller-footprint, more flexible high-level palletizer. Maximus utilizes layer forming technology and features a small footprint with an interactive operator interface that allows for better collection of information in a more user-friendly interface. Maximus primarily serves the food, household, chemical, personal care, and specific beverage industries, but can serve many other markets in the mid-speed palletizing arena.
According to Earl Wohlrab, director, product strategy and innovation for BW Integrated Systems, the palletizer is suited to meet changing needs for smaller case sizes—what in the past would have typically been considered a primary carton. “We’re seeing footprints that are down in the four- or five-inch range, something we would have typically shied away from in the past for a case palletizer,” he says. “For example, the explosion of the pet food market in last couple of years has given rise to trays of can sizes that can be five ounces. That whole tray, with the can, is only about an inch-and-a-half tall. We've done some things with this palletizer to allow for special handling of these types of cases.”
Wohlrab also shares that the palletizer is 100% electric. “It’s probably the first 100% electric machine, including the options that we’ve added,” he says. “In the past, some companies have said that their machines were all electric, but they still needed air for case stops or other functions. We don’t have that now. We use electric actuation for everything.”
Among the advantages of an all-electric system, he adds, is that it eliminates the inefficiency of air, resulting from leaks in the compressed air system. In addition, with compressed air, the system has to be running constantly in order to be ready to actuate. With an all-electric system, energy is used on-demand. “It’s idle until you need it,” he says.
To address the shortage of equipment operators, the Maximus has also been designed for user-friendliness, with pattern forming software incorporated into the machine and a new vision guided error recovery system that directs operators directly to the source of a fault via images of componentry. “So we don’t have to bring operators up to speed as quickly with that sort of inside knowledge,” Wohlrab says. “For the longest time, operators would just get an error code, and they had to figure out exactly where the problem was. Now we’re visually guiding them.”
For the Maximus, BW Integrated Systems has adopted a quick vertical start-up philosophy whereby the machine splits for shipment to get through most doorways quickly. Once on the production floor, BW sets the top frame back onto the base frame with a bolt-together construction and quick disconnect controls.