Flow packs deliver secure, hygienically sealed packaging that minimizes the penetration of moisture and odors. Ideal for confectionery manufacturers, as well as for many other food and non-food applications, this type of product wrapping is seeing an increase in demand in the packaging market.
In response to customer need, the German packaging machinery manufacturer has expanded its FPC5 packaging machine’s capability and equipped it with a newly designed feeding unit that now enables the machine to package small compressed stock cubes and tablets at a speed of 1,500 units per minute. Test runs indicate that leeway exists for upwards flexibility in capacity.
Separating short products at a high speed represents a challenge. Theegarten-Pactec addressed this problem with two-track synchronization for the FPC5 – with each track isolating 750 units per minute.
For integration to the packaging machine, the two tracks need to converge onto a single lane and the products need to be grouped. To this end, an upper band with lugs mounted along the width of both tracks was integrated. Alternating between the tracks, the lugs kick in after the desired number of products. Since the upper band runs slightly faster than the product conveyor tracks, the products are pushed forward into groups.
For the current customer project, the FPC5 isolates four stock cubes per track. At the end of this grouping process, the two tracks converge into a single one, so that each of the two tracks alternately passes on a four-product group towards the machine’s packaging process to produce multi-packs.
To generate product chains, the FPC5 can be equipped with a second cross sealing unit. The so-called chain module separates the chain of flow-packs after a defined number of packages. The manufacturer can then either offer the product chains at point of sale as a package or as individual tear-off packages.
The FPC5 was originally launched by Theegarten-Pactec as a chocolate-wrapping machine in 2011, together with models for hard caramels and jelly products (FPH5) and for soft caramels (FPW5). These machines belong to a new generation of horizontal flow-pack machines developed with a modular platform consisting of similar basic modules and optional features.
The five main modules are: a feeding unit for wrapping material and product, a sealing unit, product discharge, a control unit and an electrical system. Manufacturers can select from several optional features, such as mechanical or pneumatic core locking and tensioning devices, cold or heat sealing with optional cooling of the longitudinal seam.
Additional features of Theegarten-Pactec’s horizontal flow-pack wrapping machines include the automatic discharge of defective products, spliced or empty packs. All sensitive areas are also easily accessible for cleaning, and operation and maintenance can be performed almost tool-free.