June 21, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff
LINING THINGS UP
Recently installed at a U.S.-based L’Oréal production facility by Capmatic Ltd., the state-of-the-art EKLIPS Monoblock line—designed to package 1,200-ml bottles of Fructis Products hair-care solutions at rates of up to 80 bottle per minute—is integrated with Capmatic’s specially-designed PucketSortStar bottle unscrambler for handling and feeding odd-shaped plastic bottles directly into the EKLIPS Monoblock machine, comprising a high-performance, continuous motion filler-capper combination. According to Capmatic, the filling station utilizes high-precision Mass Meter filling technology to execute high-accuracy fills of up to ±0.2 per cent for the for shampoo and conditioner products handled by the line, whose innovative CIP (cleaning-in-place) and /or SIP (sterilizing-in-place) capabilities employ current and counter-current flow to ensure perfect cleanliness and sanitation of the complete filling station, without having to shut the machine down. The line’s capping station consists of multiple servo-driven capping heads that can be used with press-on cap, screwcap, cap orientation and other methods—enhanced by the use of a vision camera system to automatically ensure that each and every cap is in the correct position, as well as confirming and attaining the appropriate pre-set torque for optimal line efficiency.
READY FOR RFID
Claimed to be the world’s first on-demand color RFID (radio frequency identification) label printer, the RX900 system from Primera Technology, Inc. incorporates Intermec’s reader/encoding module to provide a cost-effective means of applying RFID technology in the printing, encoding, verification and dispensing of multiple labels one at a time, while supporting all the popular linear and 2D (two-dimensional) barcode symbologies. Featuring printer drivers for Windows XP/Vista/7, along with Primera’s NiceLabel SE software and a starter version of Seagull Scientific’s BarTender label design/RFID software, the RX900 printer allows users to add color coding, high-resolution color graphics and even photo-quality images to RFID labels and tags as they’re being printed, according to the company, covering a broad range of applications such as file folder tracking in medical, government and insurance environments; data tape tracking for indexing by color, barcodes and RFID; generating pharmaceutical labels; producing oversized ID badges; and enhancing ID wristbands with full-color, high-resolution photos of patients and patrons.
Primera Technology, Inc.
CASE IN POINT
The new range of FreshCase vacuum packaging from the Curwood division of Bemis Company, Inc. has been engineered to provide case-ready meats with superior flavor, higher quality, extended shelf-life and the fresh red color preferred by most consumers, according to the company, ensuring a shelf-life of more than 30 days for whole muscle beef and extending typical retail display life up to 28 days—compared to the conventional three to five days for tray overwraps—to enable significant cost-savings from reduced markdowns, spoilage, waste and manual repackaging. Compared to conventional MAP (modified-atmosphere packaging) formats, the FreshCase vacuum packages use up 75 per cent less packaging materials—achieving considerable savings by not having to use costly MAP gases, soaker pads, oxygen absorbers and master packs—while also dramatically increasing the amount of product that can be transported to customers by truck. Developed specifically for fresh beef products, the new FreshCase materials are available for many formats, including forming and non-forming films, vacuum-skin packaging, trays and semi-rigid films, with an optional EZ Peel opening feature providing an extra measure of consumer convenience.
Curwood (div. of Bemis Company)
The new range of AGILITY NX clear polypropylene (PP) resins from leading plastics producer The Dow Chemical Company—developed jointly with specialty chemicals supplier Milliken & Company—combines Dow’s breakthrough polymer design and production capabilities for random copolymer PP resins with Milliken’s innovative Millad NX 8000 clarifying agent—making these resins exceptionally well-suited for clear, injection-molded food and consumer storage containers, thin-wall retail food packaging, and other demanding consumer goods applications. According to Dow, the AGILITY NX resins offer packaging converters the opportunity to run equipment at lower processing temperatures, thereby reducing energy use, while also processing faster and releasing from molds with greater ease—allowing converters to achieve cycle-time reductions by up to 10 per cent or more. With growing consumer demand for clear containers and packaging, the AGILITY NX resins are claimed to offer an noticeable improvement in processing efficiencies and aesthetic benefits, while enabling improved design freedom for lighter-weight, thin-wall configurations that combine an excellent balance of stiffness and toughness with superior taste and odor response.
The Dow Chemical Company
Now available in stainless-steel and freezer versions, the Robopac Rotoplat line of stretchwrapping machines from Butler Staple Company—distributed in Canada by Jean Cartier Packaging—is distinguished by the exceptionally high quality of the construction materials and high technical standards for all the mechanical and electronic components to enable highly efficient and high-performance end-of-line packaging operations in most demanding industrial environments, according to the company, to handle loads of up to 2,000 kilograms. Equipped with a new turntable base featuring front and rear forklift portability for optimal operational flexibility, the stretchwrappers utilize a diamond pattern on the plate—spinning on heavy-duty casters with sealed bearings—to ensure better grip for any load and to avoid slippage during the wrapping cycle, with the machine’s reliable chain and sprocket system facilitating consistent and reliable turntable performance during rotation. Made of cold-folded steel, the machine’s mast boasts a tubular inner structure in order to ensure maximum rigidity and resistance to any torsion or strain, while the upgraded control panel now features a Stop Cycle pushbutton control and includes buttons for turntable rotation speed, pre-stretch ratio, upward/downward film carriage speed, force-to-load control, upward and downward bottom and top wraps, and a photoeye sensing delay.
Jean Cartier Packaging