Packaging Resource Center: The Latest in New Products
Ink-Jet and Laser Printers
A continuous ink-jet printer and a fiber-optic laser printer are easy to use and require little maintenance. The C84 features a large, easy-to-read, color, icon-based touch screen, as well as single-button controls for jet start-up and shut down. Operation is simple, and creating and changing messages is easy. The e-SolarMark FL fiber laser marking system provides on-the-fly or stationary permanent high-quality small-character marking/coding of metallized or plastic materials, such as packaging foils. Featuring no consumables and an average life of 100,000 working hours, the air-cooled laser marking system requires less space and consumes less energy than traditional YAG lasers. The system can turn text or code 90° and can print horizontally or vertically anywhere within the marking area. Applications include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and others. Matthews Marking Products, a div. of the Brand Solutions group of Matthews International Corp., Pittsburgh, PA, 412/665-2488, www.matthewsmarking.com.
The Q-400XT stretch-wrapping system reportedly halves the cost and time associated with pallet wrapping. The Simple Automation tool removes the need for the fork-truck operator to touch the load or machine. Started with a remote lanyard, the system automatically attaches the film to the load, wraps it, locks the load to the pallet with a Pallet-Grip film cable, and cuts the film. Fork-truck operators can simply drive up, position the pallet on the turntable, start the machine with a lanyard switch, and drive away. Designed to wrap 35–45 pallet loads per hour up to 80 in. tall, the all-electric Q-400XT system eliminates pneumatics and runs on 115-V power, allowing convenient relocation to suit work flows. Lantech.com, Louisville, KY, 800/866-0322, www.lantech.com.
A camera-based label-inspection system uses PC-Eyebot technology, which allows the system to “learn” and store the correct label parameters for each product easily and quickly. With this “learned” image, all of the packages on the production line are compared for conformity, and out-of-tolerance packages are automatically ejected from the line. The system can inspect the full label area or focus on specific areas by defining the region of interest. Users can set the criteria for defining a defect in each area and the accept /reject thresholds for each of those definitions. By allowing adjustable tolerance settings the inspection system enables smaller defects to be either accepted or rejected. Peco Controls, Fremont, CA, 510/226-6686, www.pecocontrols.com.
The ScanTrac Duo system uses two x-ray beams to achieve dual detection for high inspection accuracy and product quality. The system ensures inspection coverage on the bottoms of glass bottles and jars that might be partially obscured from a single beam inspection. It inspects packaged products for foreign material contamination while detecting packaging imperfections and underfills. By using two x-ray beams, it inspects two views simultaneously in one system, greatly increasing accuracy to improve product quality, especially in glass bottles and jars. Inspection and detection take place in real time. Out-of-tolerance products are automatically rejected from the product line. InspX LLC, Fremont, CA, 510/226-6686, www.inspx.com.
Family of Machines
More than a half-dozen new machines include a low-profile unscrambler, a secondary orienter, and a single-head chuck capper and retorquer/cap tightener for post-induction-sealing use. The family-owned business builds unscramblers, cappers, orienters, retorquers, lidders, pluggers, pump placers, scoop feeders, and numerous other container-handling equipment. New England Machinery Inc., Bradenton, FL; 941/755-5550; www.neminc.com.