Canadian Packaging

How to get production line efficiency for portion packs

By Canadian Packaging Staff   

General interpack 2014 Multivac Portion Packaging Thermoformer

Multivac to showcase its automation expertise at interpack 2014.

Wolfertschwenden, Germany—Thanks to its innovative die technology and automation expertise, Multivac has designed a highly-efficient packaging procedure for producing portion packs providing cost savings on packaging materials. Multivac will present this concept to the public at the interpack 2014 tradeshow held May 8-14, 2014 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Multivac is one of the few suppliers, which can master the use of particularly wide and long dies in the thermoforming packaging procedure. This means that, even at relatively low cycle rates, a large number of portion packs can be produced.

“In some customer projects we have achieved for example an output of approximately 960 portion packs per minute at just 15 cycles per minute,” says Hans-Jürgen Heinrich, product manager for the systems division at Multivac, adding that since the packaging machine manufacturer has designed a slower packaging procedure, it can easily be controlled even at a high output.

The over-all effect is a positive one on the upstream and downstream processes such as filling, cutting, quality control, pack handling and secondary packaging in boxes.

Multivac’s head-start in expertise in die technology and automation gives manufacturers of portion packs many benefits such as the ability to achieve a maximum output from their thermoforming packaging line, since the plus-factor in the process control is not gained at the expense of the number of packs produced.

An addition benefit from Multivac’s innovative cutting technology will lead to a reduction in packaging material consumption.

“In order to cut the large number of packs cleanly out of the film, we position two cutting tools one after the other. These cut the portion packs out of the film in two stages, similar to the pattern of a chess board,” explains Heinrich.

Since not all the packs are cut out at once, the partitions between the packs can be designed to be narrower than with conventional die processes. Thanks to the reduction in the widths of the partitions, manufacturers of portion packs can realize significant cost savings in packaging material. This also makes the investment in this cutting procedure economically viable.

A third benefit shows that the easily-controlled cutting procedure has a positive effect on the handling of the portion packs after cutting.

Since only half the packs must be removed per cutting tool, the removal from each cutting tool and the transfer of the packs to downstream processes, such as secondary packaging in boxes or quality inspection, can be performed in a very controlled manner. In this way Multivac technology ensures that maximum process reliability and pack quality are achieved.

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