Canadian Packaging

Bradman Lake launches variant of its HSS Former

New slim-downed single-head carton erector from Bradman Lake has a nice, small footprint.

March 4, 2016
Canadian Packaging

In 2015, Bradman Lake launched a variant of the highly successful, three-axis servo, HSS Double Head, glue and lock style carton/tray former in a single-head version that is smaller in footprint and more cost-effective for lower speed applications.

This new variant had been considered previously but was precipitated when one Bradman Lake’s customers—a very large multinational chocolate and food company—placed an order for a complete integrated packaging machinery system that had to be located into a confined floor space. Both the space available for such a machine combined with the requirement for low carton forming speeds dictated a need for a creative solution.

The engineering design team at Bradman Lake knew they had to design and build this new forming machine within a clearly-assigned number of months, and responded with the development of a ‘slimmed down’ single-head version of the larger HSS former that retained and enhanced the technical features that have been so readily accepted by the industry.

The resultant machine incorporates the following high level features:

  • A low level, large capacity, powered and fully adjustable carton blank magazine that is fully-shaft-adjusted to suit different carton sizes. No tools required;
  • Servo motor-powered vacuum carton feed bar which extracts carton blanks from the front of the carton magazine and positions them onto the flat deck shuttle mechanism. Unlike older design vacuum feed bars, this version is fully-adjustable to suit all carton sizes within the machine range and therefore a more economic item since no change parts are required;
  • Servo motor-driven carton shuttle mechanism which, again, is fully-adjustable from a common centerline which provides a greater carton blank size range;
  • The carton blanks are shuttled forward and gripped at each side to ensure precise positioning of glue and consistent location above the carton plunger cavity. Hot melt glue is fired downwards with very precise accuracy. Lock erect style cartons can also be handled on this former by just turning off the glue firing which the designers added to offer even more flexibility to customers. Hot melt or lock corner cartons / trays handled on the same machine;
  • The carton or tray plunger has also been redesigned to give it another, very important, technical feature. Unlike many formers which use mechanical drives, Bradman Lake software designers have programmed the speed of the plunger descent and ascent using electronic cam profiles so that the mechanism can plunge downwards fast then dwell for milliseconds to permit glue compression or mechanical lock engagement and then retract fast. This programming allows fast forming speeds up to 60 cartons or trays per minute (depending upon blank size) to be achieved;
  • Another benefit of this servo programming of the plunger action is that the unit can be programmed to plunge further into the forming cavity and therefore allow the new HSS Single Head machine to glue or lock form cartons or trays with taller height side walls than was previously possible with more conventional forming machines;
  • Greater tolerances have been designed into the carton/tray forming functions so that even coarse boards such as microfluted and B & C fluted corrugated boards can now be successfully formed up;
  • The entire electronic component platform of this machine incorporates Rockwell Automation‘s Allen-Bradley brand devices, including the large Panelview HMI that has been a hallmark of Bradman Lake design consistency for over 10 years. This makes it a very easy unit to integrate into a Bradman Lake’s complete packaging line which all machines share the same communication network;
  • Turnover end-tooling can be fitted to produce single- and double-side wall cartons and trays commonly known as frame view styles.

Bradman Lake 2The new machines quickly made their debut and won accolades from the customer for advanced design function and practical application of compact design techniques. The HSS Single Head former has now joined the ever expanding range of Bradman Lake packaging machines which offer tangible benefits to an increasingly demanding set of industries and customers.

For more information about Bradman Lake carton erectors range click HERE

Information also available via e-mail at or by visiting the company website at

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