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New case erector is multifunctional, flexible

Pro Pack Systems is rewriting the book on case erecting/bottom sealing with its modular, recipe-driven, servo-adjusted, print-on-demand Pro Print™ EBS 15 machine offering advanced Markem, ELAU and Nordson subsystems.

Invention takes talent and vision, implementation takes good partners. That’s the winning approach at Pro Pack Systems, Salinas, California, where founder Dave Zurlinden’s team has come up with a versatile new case erector and bottom sealer. (See Pro Pack at PACK EXPO Las Vegas Booth S-5017).

The Pro Print™ EBS 15 is an integrated solution for printing, erecting and bottom sealing of corrugated shipping cases. The EBS 15 prints all four sides of the case before it is erected, delivering far better print quality and higher resolution of bar codes and graphics than is possible when printing cases after they are packed and traveling along a conveyor.

Pro Pack uses a high resolution 2- or 4-head Markem ink jet printing system that allows 4-sided printing with just one print head per side of the knock-down case. The top flaps can even be printed at the same time.

With an optional input & edit system, the print message can be changed at the HMI, allowing each case to be printed differently.

Servo-driven case opening/squaring is smooth and repeatable at speeds up to 15 cases per minute depending on case size. Semi-automatic, recipe-driven length and width dimension changeover is standard. Fully automated servo changeover, also recipe-driven, is available. A drive belt width adjustment in the sealing section assures that the score line of the bottom flap is always the same, and for accuracy the print heads move with it.

The Pro Print EBS 15 can handle knock-down case lengths from 12 to 38 inches long (8 to 24 inch long and 6 to 15 inch wide finished cases). It can handle 8 to 28 inch knock-down heights (5 to 15 inch high finished cases).

Dekka tape head closure is standard, Nordson hot melt sealing is an option.

Printed and erected cases are discharged either automatically or on demand with the case oriented vertically (not horizontally) to facilitate either manual or automated packaging. The easy-load magazine holds up to a 40-inch deep stack of knock-down cases on edge to facilitate continuous running as material is being reloaded.

Other options include stainless steel washdown construction, polycarbonate guard doors and remote (versus machine mounted) HMI.

Quality partners for critical systems

Pro Pack Systems has shrunk the footprint required to perform multiple packaging functions by integrating advanced electronic and software systems into the new Pro Print machine. Along with Dekka for the standard tape head, Nordson for the optional glue system and Markem for the printing system, the newest partner for Pro Pack is ELAU for the control system.

“Recipes are a big thing, letting an operator run a given product consistently, time after time and away from the old tribal knowledge of how to run a product,” explains Paul Zurlinden, Manager of Technical Systems for Pro Pack. “That’s what we’re doing. Every product has its own recipe assigned to it.

“The ELAU system lets us do that with case erecting and sealing. Job selection for the Markem printer is also recipe-driven and selected from the HMI.”

The two primary servos are for case opening from the knockdown form, the servo-driven case pusher that sends the open case into the sealing section of the machine. The optional servos are for size changeovers, which are ideal for recipe-driven operations.

“The modularity of ELAU’s Intelligent Servo Modules lets us provide a 2 to 4 axis machine that can be field retrofitted on short notice,” Zurlinden continues. “The easy mounting and cabling, compact size and modular software mean we could accomplish the installation, including programming changes, with two people in about a day’s time. This lets a customer buy the basics now and upgrade later at minimal cost and minimal downtime.

“Because there are no separate servo drives with the servo modules, that means a smaller control panel -- which effectively means a smaller machine at a lower cost up front, and no need for extra cabinet space to upgrade later.”

About Pro Pack Systems

Pro Pack Systems, Inc. has been located in Salinas, California, since 1992. From extensive packaging and automation experience in the food and wine industries, Pro Pack is well equipped to design and build custom solutions to packaging challenges, from individual packaging line components to full integration projects.

About ELAU

ELAU equips over $1 billion worth of the world’s best machines annually, with over 35,000 PacDrive systems already deployed in packaging machinery worldwide. PacDrive is the first truly integrated automation architecture, capable of performing the functions of PLC, motion control, robotics, temperature control, PLS, MES data interface and more in a single, standards-based software environment.

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