One of the buzz words heard on the PACK EXPO International 2012 show floor is "centerline." Centerlining, defined by the folks at Kliklok-Woodman, is a way to reduce operating variability by clearly marking specific setpoints on machine parts that can be adjusted. The point is to eliminate the infinite and often detrimental tweaking that typically happens by operators running a line.
The concept is being shown on K-W's new Enterprise end-load cartoner, a middle-market system introduced to fill the company's breadth of product line. It now offers high-end output machines, medium speed/good performance and slower speed entry-level systems.
Centerlining helps speed changeovers (which are tool-less) by taking the guess work out of machine setup. Machines designed with centerlining in mind also deliver flexibility for handling different packs and pack sizes in the future. As K-W vp Ross Long explains, products have a much shorter lifecycle these days and packagers often need to be able to redeploy their existing equipment to handle something similar but different.
K-W opted for laser-etched metric scales because the company sells worldwide, but Enterprise's HMI does an automatic conversion to American inches, says Hugh Darnley, quality assurance and training manager.
Another talking point of K-W's Enterprise: In the carton pick area, the system uses both mechanical "cam" motion and servo-controlled profiles on the suction cups for better carton setup control. Each cup also has its own mini vacuum generator for better vacuum control.
See the system in operation on Packaging Digest's YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/yfY62670fZU
PACK EXPO Booth S-1601