Mutivac Group is presenting a series of new, cost-efficient and material-saving thermoforming solutions at the Interpack and Fachpack trade fairs. Interpack 2014 will be held in Dusseldorf, May 8-14, 2014; the latest Fachpack ran in Nuremberg from September 29 – October 1, 2013.
German company Multivac has expertise in the use of particularly wide and long dies in the thermoforming packaging procedure. It maintains that this technology enables large numbers of portion packs to be produced, even at low cycle rates. Hans-Jürgen Heinrich, Product Manager for the Systems Division, says that it has achieved output rates of around 960 portion packs/min at cycles as low as 15/min. The company says that this technology is scalable and helps control at high speeds and supports upstream and downstream processes such as filling, cutting, quality control, pack handling and secondary packaging in boxes. It further claims that its experience and resources in die technology and automation helps manufacturers to maximise output from thermoforming packaging lines, as process control gains are not achieved at the expense of the number of packs produced, and that the use of its own cutting technology leads to reduced material consumption.
Lifescience and healthcare
Multivac’s main exhibit in the MCP (Medical, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals) area of Interpack is a solution based on a thermoforming packaging machine in the Clean Design range. The company says that the machine concept is capable of handling a range of packaging materials, packaging formats and batch sizes and was designed for applications that require a high degree of flexibility. The modular construction enables a high degree of flexibility in machine layout, potential for expansion, and product discharge, as well as the integration of automation, identification and inspection solutions. It was designed with reliable line clearance to facilitate strict separation between the product processing and machine technology areas. Transparent enclosures with large doors protect against direct access and environmental influences. The enclosures also offer perfect visibility and ease of cleaning.
Food and industrial automation
Multivac’s automated R 245 packaging solution for producing portion packs of viscous food and non-food products is equipped with a die change system for flexibility and short conversion times. The small R 145 and a new entry-level model will also be on the stand. At the other extreme, the company has developed a fully-automated, end-to-end packaging line. The heart of it is the R 535 high-performance model, which is equipped with an energy-efficient MVP 600 vacuum pump. The Multi-Robot H 240, which is fitted with two four-axis HR 460 robots, picks up multiple product items – such as sausages – from an infeed conveyor and places them into thermoformed cavities. An integrated MVS Vision System detects the orientation of the products and ensures precise placement. The thermoforming packaging machine is also equipped with an MR842 seal seam scanner and MR625 cross web labeller. The packs are converged at line end by the H 050 handling module.
Multivac’s R 105 e-concept is an energy-efficient and compact addition to its portfolio of thermoforming packaging machines. The lifting and cutting units are electrically driven. Its closed cooling water circuit means that it does not need compressed air or cooling water, which reduces resource consumption and means that it can be located anywhere there is a power supply.
Reduced resource and energy consumption
Multivac says that its R535 thermoforming model now features developments that help to reduce energy consumption and to improve overall machine effectiveness. It has replaced a large number of compressed air operated components with servo drive units, in the lifting units for the forming and sealing stations and in the STS 10 film punch.
The addition of an MVP 600 vacuum pump also helps to reduce energy consumption. The servo units enable the speed and opening width of the lifting unit movements can be precisely controlled, which helps to increase output. Cooling water flow control helps to cut water consumption. The addition of a drawer system for changing the forming die bottom section helps to reduce die change downtime, and also speeds up inspection and intermediate cleaning.
The R 535 has automatic empty pack monitoring and the associated MBS 105 conveyor system for discharging the finished packs is equipped with a metal detector.