Canadian Packaging

Future Direction

By Andrew Snook   

New automatic vertical bagging-machinery range is designed for future-proofing the end-users’ capital investment

Packaging customers are always striving to get more production out of the same-sized factory footprint in their facilities. To do this, they are constantly researching the latest technologies and automated solutions in their market.

To try and stay on top of what these customers are looking for, packaging machinery OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) are also busy conducting their own market research to ensure their latest technologies meet the needs of their clients.

The time dedicated to bringing out a new technology often takes years and requires a significant number of resources dedicated to each solution.


One example of this dedication of time and resources is Syntegon’s new SVX series of vertical packaging solutions, officially unveiled at the recent interpack 2023 global packaging exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, this past May.

Syntegon’s product group sales manager for vertical machinery Jason D’Arcy says the debut of the SVX series—comprising the Agile, Compact and Duplex models—was preceded by more than three years of engineering and design work, as well as several years of thorough market research.

“It’s something that’s been in the works for years now,” he says. “It will be the basis of our vertical portfolio.”

The SVX series is the answer to many of the problems that customers face in their packaging operations, D’Arcy says.

“What we wanted was a vertical bagger that’s not just faster, but also more efficient.

“This is more efficient with less packaging waste, and with more sellable packages coming off that bagger.”

The “heart” of the SVX series is the cross-seal drive system, which consists of four independently-controlled servomotors.

The company states that this design makes it possible for more accurate seal force control and best-in-class production-seal detection.

Operators can set a higher seal force on one side for asymmetric bag styles directly from the recipe, according to Syntegon, so there is no mechanical action required.

When designing the SVX series, Syntegon wanted the new machines to be future-proof solutions for their customers, whereby all these units offer the flexibility of being upgraded as a client’s operations grow.

The SVX Agile is capable of running speeds up to 300 bags per minute with one film lane, but it can also run a smaller number of larger bags (up to 400 mm wide), giving the customer a wide range of flexibility.

“The SVX Agile is capable of configuring up to nine different bag styles, everything from pillow bags to zip bags. It’s just change parts that the customer needs to do changeovers,” D’Arcy says.

With those field-upgradeable change parts, customers have the ability to adapt to changing market demands quickly and efficiently, he notes.

“Let’s say a customer purchases the SVX Agile and right now and they’re making pillow bags, and that’s what they imagined they would always be running on that line.

“But the next year, their marketing team comes to them and says, ‘Hey guys, it would be really great if we’re able to make those zip bags?’

“In the past, that meant changing out that pillow bagging machine to a vertical zip bagger,” says D’Arcy.

“On the SVX Agile, we are able to add the parts that now allow them to use that same asset to make pillow bags and zip bags,” he says, “and change back and forth.

“This future-proofs that packaging line and helps the operations team be better equipped to handle those changing market demands,” D’Arcy says.

While SVX Duplex model has the same-sized frame as the SVX Agile, it has two forming tubes.

“Now imagine you’re making two bags for every one of those 300 cycles.

“Now you have a bagger that can produce up to 600 bags per minute,” D’Arcy says, adding the SVX Compact is the smallest version of the SVX series machines.

“It is under one-meter-wide, so it’s really small,” he acknowledges.

“But again, it can produce up to 300 bags per minute, and we offer a paired version of the Compact that has two baggers side-by-side, with a larger size range than the Duplex bagger,” D’Arcy says.

The SVX Compact has a maximum flat bag width of 270 mm, while the SVX Duplex has a maximum flat bag width of 145 mm.

The entire SVX Series features proprietary software called Synexio, a Cloud-based software solution that collects, evaluates, and visualizes production and equipment data.

“It helps customers take data off that line, whether they want to learn values from case-packers or cartoners, and it harvests that data and to look for ways that the customer can improve their packaging line operations,” D’Arcy says.

“It does that by presenting that data in a very clear manner, which helps the customer to visualize and understand where they can make improvements,” D’Arcy explains.

The robust software solution is offered with three value-added options that include:

  • Synexio Monitor, which provides transparency by showing visualized data to understand operational performance.
  • Synexio Uptime. Offering benchmarking and active support capabilities, it is designed to reveal opportunities for improvement in a customer’s processes that might otherwise be missed.
  • Synexio Empower, offering the user a variety of tools—including component monitoring and expert training—to give them the know-how to maintain production gains year after year.

“With Empower, that’s when we start monitoring parts on that packaging line, helping predict when those need to be changed, and offering training to operators to help customers get to that next level to get the most out of their packaging lines,” D’Arcy relates.

Designing a series of vertical packaging solutions that are easy to use was one of the most important features that customers are looking for in new packaging equipment, according to D’Arcy.

“One of the big things that we’ve been hearing from our customers is that it’s increasingly challenging to find, train, and then retain skilled staff,” D’Arcy explains.

“To that end, they’re always looking for packaging lines and baggers that don’t have a steep learning curve,” he says.

“Having machines with which operators can become be proficient quickly means that you are also able to operate more machines with the same number of operators.”

One of the features that are designed to assist with the training of inexperienced operators is the HMI 4.0 dashboard system, D’Arcy points out.

“It is a very intuitive guided process” he states. “It works very similar to any multi-touch system, but one of the interesting things it does is guide the operators through the whole changeover and startup process.

“It takes them through the step-by-step process every time,” D’Arcy elaborates.

“Hence it doesn’t need to be memorized: it’s all indicated on the touchscreen to make sure it’s correct and consistent each time.”

Prior to the HMI 4.0 dashboard system, an operator would have what they thought was the best setting, so every shift change the operator would walk over to the touchscreen and change the settings to what they thought worked best.

“And there were times it was better, and times that it wasn’t,” D’Arcy points out. “You would see that efficiency difference in the line changes, depending on who the operator was.

“By having our guided process helps to take some of that tinkering out of it,” D’Arcy asserts.

“Every operator is looking to run as efficiently as possible, and this takes all the guess work out of it.”

As D’Arcy details, the SVX series units’ dashboard system is set up for storing new recipes; requires less dependence on skilled operators through the use of enhanced graphics and less text; calculates the position of elements that need to be adjusted manually (such as a web tracking sensor, for example); and the HMI dashboard can be rotated to have the critical information available wherever the operator requires it.

Each model in the SVX series also features easy access from both sides of the machine for adjusting settings on printers, labellers, and format set angle.

Moreover, adjustments to the machines can be made on-the-fly without any need to stop operations.

Notably, the SVX series machinery is constructed using stainless-steel parts to reduce contamination by design and allow for easy access to cleaning.

The efficiently designed changeovers of the SVX series result in the generation of very little packaging waste, according to D’Arcy, which is an important feature for companies from both a cost and sustainability perspective.

“In the past, it wouldn’t be uncommon to go through many bags worth of film during that changeover process, as you got that line set up with new bag sizes, D’Arcy explains.

“We wanted to make a bagger where that first bag, that first impression on that reel, was a sellable product,” he says.

“So we’ve done things like shortening web length from the reel where the film is being unwound from,” he relates.

“As a result, there is less film on that bagger overall,” he sums up, “so there’s less film tracking adjustments that the operators have to make, and it’s easier for them to make them.”

As D’Arcy concludes: “Those are all things that help reduce waste in that pack-style changeover.”


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories

Category Captains 2024