GERMANY - Utilizing its innovative die technology and automation expertise, MULTIVAC has designed a highly efficient packaging procedure for producing portion packs, and therefore to save a significant quantity of packaging material.
MULTIVAC has mastered the use of particularly wide and long dies in the thermoforming packaging procedure, allowing it to produce a large number of portion packs even at relatively low cycle rates.
"In some customer projects we have achieved for example an output of approx. 960 portion packs per minute at just 15 cycles per minute", says Hans-Jürgen Heinrich, Product Manager for the Systems Division at MULTIVAC. Since the packaging machine manufacturer has designed a slower packaging procedure, this can easily be controlled even at a high output. This has a positive effect on the upstream and downstream processes such as filling, cutting, quality control, pack handling and secondary packaging in boxes.
This gives manufacturers of portion packs many benefits: Firstly, they can 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.
Secondly, the use of MULTIVAC's innovative cutting technology leads 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 Hans-Jürgen 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 save a not insignificant amount of packaging material. This also makes the investment in this cutting procedure economically viable.
Thirdly, 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, ensuring that maximum process reliability and pack quality are achieved.
MULTIVAC will present this concept to the public at interpack 2014.