To keep up with the increasing variety of cartons, packagers can turn to automated cartoning systems.
As manufacturers come to rely more on graphics to sell their OTC pharmaceuticals, the number of colorful and creative cartons lining store shelves will multiply. Packagers therefore need to use cartoning equipment that can reliably handle today's intricately shaped cartons while still meeting tight distribution schedules.
A continuous-motion cartoner is capable of achieving speeds of up to 400 cartons per minute. The HCM-750 can handle most carton styles. Standard features include stainless-steel construction, user-friendly control panels, and PLC systems. Also available are standard or custom infeeds, modular add-ons, bar code and vision systems integration, various coding options ranging from embossing to laser, and no tool changeover. A smaller version of the HCM designed for the pharmaceutical industry will soon be available. MGS Machine Corp., Maple Grove, MN.
A flexible cartoner is designed to handle bottles, ampules, blister packs, tubes, and syringes. The C2205 cartoner can produce up to 250 cartons per minute. More than a dozen proprietary safety and product control features work together to ensure reproducible machine settings and instant start-up following a tool changeover. The system uses the Twinstar carton feeder, a dual rotary carton pick-up and erection system with individual mechanisms for positive feeding on a constant-motion carton chain. Uhlmann Packaging Systems Inc., Towaco, NJ.
Case packers are fully convertible for trays and knocked-down or wraparound packages. Series 80 packers can be equipped with a variety of infeeds, and they use positive case-forming mechanisms. Dedicated knocked-down-carton machines use opposing vacuum to erect cases, and those that create deep-draw trays use a plunge-style mandrel to form side walls. Thiele, Minneapolis, MN.
Intermittent- or continuous-motion cartoning machines are designed to be integrated with thermoforming equipment. The Pacliner 700 systems can handle leaflets and perform reverse tuck-in closing. A belt-driven carton magazine can hold an ample supply of cartons. When cartoning blister packs, the systems use a stacking magazine and turntable, and an electronic finger-counting system computes the number of blister packs and transfers them to the turntable via a lowering mechanism. Klöckner Medipak, Clearwater, FL.
A continuous-motion horizontal cartoner makes for easy operation. Model MA 155 features a new carton-erecting system that uses a tilting arm combined with a mechanical prebreaking unit to place erected cartons directly into transport chain lugs. Incomplete cartons or cartons with missing products are automatically rejected. Marchesini Packaging, West Caldwell, NJ.
A vertical cartoner can handle wide-sized cartons and most closing styles, including glue, straight tuck, and locking tab. Model 74 Vertuck can be equipped with automatic product loading mechanisms for blister packs, bottles, vials, and many other types of products. With a processing speed of 120 cartons per minute, it can accommodate attachments such as bar code scanners, leaflet inserters, print-and-apply labelers, and empty-carton rejectors. Bivans Corp., Los Angeles, CA.
A multiple-component cartoner is engineered for quick carton-size changeover. Easy-to-use dials, digital displays, and quick-release levers integrate carton-sizing, carton-coding, and carton-closing stations, ensuring accurate changeover with minimum downtime. Features include a wear-resistant, maintenance-free rotary carton pickup system; a positive-opening counter suction-cup device designed to load irregularly shaped or problematic cartons; and automatic overload sensors to prevent product or machine damage. An optional preinsertion system prepares leaflets in combination with pouch, blister, and strip packages. The system accommodates tuck-in, hot-melt, flip-top, and combination closures. IWK Packaging Machinery Inc., Fairfield, NJ.
An intermittent-motion cartoner processes 120 cartons per minute. The P150 features a small footprint, separation of mechanical and carton-handling areas, full safety guards, forced positive carton opening, a carton feeding belt for increased autonomy, continuous-motion carton closing, motorized belts for carton exiting, a movable mouthpiece for product introduction, and an adjustable coding unit on both sides. Romaco Inc., Morris Plains, NJ.
An automatic system erects shipping cases and inserts poly bags into the cases. Poly bags fed from a roll are clamped and cut with a traveling knife, eliminating the need for perforated bags. Air-actuated mechanical fingers positively grip, open, and cuff the bags over extended upper case flaps. An air-evacuation system eliminates air pockets between the bag and case. K & R Equipment Inc., San Jose, CA.
A semiautomatic system feeds empty cartons or sleeves to a cartoner on a packaging line, reducing the need for frequent carton loading and a full-time operator. The Rotopak handles a wide variety of carton sizes and styles, including straight-tuck, reverse-tuck, glued-end, and fifth-panel cartons. Fleetwood Systems Inc., Romeoville, IL.
Stainless-steel cartoners that are available in both intermittent- and continuous-motion versions are capable of speeds up to 65 cycles/minute. Formula 2000-series cartoners require less than 30 minutes for changeover and can handle multiple carton feeding per cycle for even higher output. Klöckner Bartelt, Sarasota, FL.
A compact cartoner is rated for up to 50 cycles per minute and can handle box sizes up to 180 x 120 x 60 mm. The UET Compact-3 uses an adjustable size star that eliminates the need to change the size module for different folding carton dimensions. Quick-locking levers at every adjustment position and accurate reading scales ensure a quick size change that can be reconstructed. A product-loading robot is available for integration into a filling and labeling line. PackDevCo Inc., Linden, NJ.
A rotary carton-feeding system preopens each carton at the pick-off station and maintains positive control until the carton is properly opened and seated in its transport lug. The Orbi-Trak system can handle smaller cartons of varying stock and reduces downtime by opening cartons reliably. R.A. Jones & Company, Inc., Covington, KY.