JAPAN – Commonly occurring problems associated with the inability of conventional hot air tunnels to create a uniform shrink - such as wrinkling in PET, OPS and other film grades - have been eliminated by recently improved ‘Tornado’ system from Nippon Technology Solution Co Ltd: a patented shrink-sleeving process that discharges hot air from four sides thereby simulating a tornado effect.
By rotating the hot air side to side and also front to back at a shrink temperature of up to 160°C, the Tornado ensures an all-round consistency that is also achieved by using less than two-thirds the energy required to power conventional systems; a significant environmental as well as cost benefit. It is also proving itself to be very easy to operate and maintain, says Nippon Technology spokesman Hiroki Nishe at the recently concluded TokyoPack 2012.
“With a wide variety of often small batch orders to be processed during a single shift, set-up times can be lengthy and counter-productive,” Nishe explains. “The Tornado shrink packaging technology has compressed this part of the process down to just three necessary areas of adjustment: the temperature itself; the airflow volume; and the pre-heat unit. As all these controls feature a digital display it’s quite straightforward to achieve the same right outcome irrespective of operator capability.”
The Japanese market for hot air shrink-sleeve solutions is growing at a healthy rate, with food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals being especially buoyant categories; invariably with regard to those products that are inappropriate for steam shrinking viz. powdery items, dry goods and most electrical items. The process also lends itself perfectly to containers with an irregular shape; PET bottles; and even containers with meltable items such as chocolate.
Once used the sleeves are easily removed and disposable via the energy-to-waste stream, leaving an untainted inner structure to go straight to recycling
Occupying a smaller factory-floor footprint than competitive systems, the Tornado has a production speed of between 100 – 300 units / min dependent upon the complexity of the given application, and whilst requiring manual loading still reduces overall operating staff levels; not least through the elimination of any post-drying corrective work.
Additional features include extension, vacuum and overhead guide conveyor units; an automatic open and close facility; touch screen functionality; an automatic mounting device; and an appearance tester that can be incorporated in the four standard configurations within the Tornado range: types 1500, 2500, 3500 and 4500.
Installation price is around ¥4 million (US$50,095).
Tokyo Pack 2012 took place between 2 - 5 October at Tokyo Big Sight. The next show will be held from 7 - 10 October 2014.