Newly engineered case packer doubles speed for bags

By Lisa McTigue Pierce in Case Packing Machinery on May 10, 2017

A new machine design for handling and collating small- to medium-sized pillow-style bags from one or several form-fill-sealers enables the robag 5 case packer to hit speeds of 300 bags per minute, which the manufacturer says is the fastest system on the market. According to tna, the typical speed of existing case packers today for similar flexible packaging applications is about 120 bags per minute.

The robag 5 was introduced during interpack 2017 at a special off-site exhibit area large enough to accommodate the entire line (as well as other lines), which consists of a bag maker, a takeout conveyor, a case packer, a bag handler and collator, and case infeed and outfeed conveyors.

The servo-driven case packer’s innovation centers on continuous rotating shelves for bag collation that work independently from case loading to yield such high output. This patented semi-rotary bag stacking synchronizes seamlessly with the bag handling system, but these are two separate operations in the complete system.

The video above shows the bag handling section first, shot from a mezzanine set up around the bag maker and combination weigher, and looking downline. Because the system is so fast, the video clip is quite short. But then the second part of the video, shot at floor level looking back toward the bag maker, shows how the rotating shelves work to keep bags moving through the system.

At the press conference, editors were asked to keep photos and videos in a wide shot so as to not give away too much detail to competitors.

During the demonstration, the system was packing 24 bags into cases, with the bag size 140 mm wide and a film length of 210 mm, which is approximately 5.5 inches wide and 8.2 inches high. The bag looked like a typical single-serve snack bag you would pick up in a Subway restaurant with your sandwich and drink. Bags were side-loaded into the case in a vertical configuration in a fast yet gentle transfer.

Because of how the bags are handled—that is, without being gripped by vacuum and then dropped—there is less risk of delicate product, such as potato chips or pretzels, getting broken during the operation.

While output speed is the main point, fast changeover is also designed in. The company says tool-free changeover for bag and/or case size can be done in about 10 minutes.

The company has also made the system compact. It is only 1,220 mm wide (about 4 feet) and 2,120mm high (less than 7 feet), which, the company says, means operations could possibly add a case erector on a mezzanine floor level above the case packer to maximize use of the available plant space.

 

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