The Latest in New Products
A new checkweighing model has been developed to meet basic checkweighing needs. EC-ESSENTIAL was a major draw for visitors of the manufacturer’s booth at Pack Expo International. It runs up to 150 ppm and is equipped with Wipotec’s EMFR high-tech weigh cell, which operates according to the principle of EMFR (electromagnetic force restoration) and features components usually only seen in high-end checkweighers, such as maintenance-free drive units (servo technology). Featuring a stainless-steel base frame and cabinet with integrated control system, the unit can be equipped with conveyors in various lengths and widths and a freestanding NT30 metal detector conveyor as an additional infeed conveyor. Various product-handling and safety options are available. The company also exhibited the HC-WD series for washdown applications and HC Avantgarde, a high-end checkweigher often used for pharmaceutical needs. OCS Checkweighers Inc., Snellville, GA; 678/344-8300;
Blister Machine with Printer
A table-top blister packaging machine featuring in-line printing can be used for low-volume pharmaceutical and nutraceutical unit-dose packaging operations. Featured at Pack Expo International 2010, the FBM-Micro blister packaging machine was shown along with the 53LT thermal-transfer printer. The integrated system packages solids, liquids, and powders into unit doses and prints fixed and variable text and graphics on blister packs. It thermoforms, fills, prints, and seals up to 80 units per minute, depending on the blisters that are being formed. With a forming area up to 50 mm wide and an index of 25 mm or 50 mm long, the blister machine can achieve a deep draw of up to 25 mm. It can be sanitized and changed over to handle a new product and blister size in less than 10 minutes with no tools required. The 53LT is Norwood’s most economical high-performance thermal-transfer printer priced competitively with most hot stamp systems. nd variable text and graphics on packages. The FBM-Micro can be designed as a semiautomated machine or equipped with solid-, liquid-, or powder-feeding system to provide a fully automated solution. If needed, the semi-automated machine can be installed and later upgraded in the field to achieve full automation. Designed and manufactured in the United States, the FBM-Micro with 53LT printer complies with GAMP 5 guidelines and can be equipped to meet FDA 21 CFR part 11 requirements. PIA-K Enterprises, Dover, PA; 267/744-4824; www.pia-kenterprises.net; Norwood Marking Systems, a division of Illinois Tool Works, Downers Grove, IL; 630/968-0646; www.itwnorwood.com.
Chemical Foaming Agents
Chemical foaming agents (CFAs) can be added to plastic to reduce resin use and part weight without significant loss in mechanical properties. The CFAs can be used for injection molded and blow molded plastics packaging, caps, and closures, among other products. Added to plastics during processing, HYDROCEROL chemical foaming agents decompose to produce carbon dioxide that forms bubbles in the polymer matrix when pressure is reduced as the resin enters the injection mold or exits the extrusion die. Because the gas displaces the polymer, it takes less plastic to make a given part or package. Material-use reductions of 7% are common in injection molding, and some converters have reported savings of 25% in certain extrusion applications. At the same time, the CFA plasticizes the resin in the processing machine, so less heat needs to be added to melt it, reducing energy use for heating and cooling as well as reducing cycle times. A company spokesperson reports that increased productivity and reduced material and energy consumption increase the sustainability footprint of a product. While foaming is not new, the improved CFA technology now makes it possible to achieve a highly uniform structure of cells as small as 20-100 micrometers in diameter. According to the company, this uniformity means there is no significant appearance or performance difference between structures produced with CFA versus those made without it. Clariant Masterbatches, www.clariant.com.