To enable producers in today’s packaging industry to meet the needs of consumers and to cope with the challenges posed by value chains, equipment performance is critical. Successfully launched at Drinktec 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, the OptiFeed® crown feeder and the EvoFilm™ shrink-wrapping system are two new solutions from Gebo Cermex that boost reliable and flexible production, at improved speeds, while reducing environmental footprint and lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).
The first new solution is the durable OptiFeed crown feeder, delivering reliable, high-speed performance in a compact space. Developed for the glass market and building on the global success of Gebo Cermex cap-feeder solutions - currently totalling 1,400 installations worldwide – this new crown feeder platform ensures quality and compliance of crowns. Even at speeds as high as 81,000 crowns per hour, its integrated vision device allows unsuitable crowns to be spotted and seamlessly ejected, without stopping the flow.
Throughout the development of the OptiFeed solution, sustainability was high on the agenda of the design team. As a result, the solution removes the need for air and thereby eliminates the risk of contamination that can sometimes occur when it is used. Instead, mechanical discharge moves the crowns, keeping electrical power consumption to under 1kW. This creates a smooth handling process as well as improving hygiene and reducing the environmental impact of the process.
The OptiFeed crown feeder features a smart design with the option of right or left discharge at variable heights from 2.0 up to 6.2 metres to give manufacturers full flexibility. The solution’s small footprint and modular design allow for fast and easy integration, with optimum ergonomics ensured by a user-friendly Human Machine Interface (HMI) and full accessibility from ground level. In addition, to help meet health and safety at work requirements, the noise level is lower than the 80dB threshold at which hearing protection is required.
Another world premiere at Drinktec 2017 is the Gebo Cermex EvoFilm, a robust, flexible, highly compact and energy-efficient shrink-wrapping system. Drawing on the company’s 50 years of experience with secondary packaging and end-of-line solutions, it delivers quality packs while meeting today’s challenges of customisation and sustainability. Developed for the very demanding high-speed production segment, this solution integrates a gentle product infeed and optimised transfer zones, key features when reaching impressive production speeds of up to 150 cycles per minute in three lanes. Its extensive primary and secondary packaging capability, precise film-handling process and fully automatic changeovers that only take five minutes, make it possible to produce multiple configurations of SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) while reducing downtime. Yet, high performance and flexibility are not achieved by sacrificing ease of use. For instance, in order to ensure fast access for cleaning and maintenance, the film vacuum table is fully extractible while the greasing system and the lubrication of chains are both automatic. To make them easy to replace without the need for reprogramming, all motion components are ‘plug & play’.
To help producers minimise their environmental footprint, the compact EvoFilm is equipped with a new, lightweight version of the shrink-tunnel belt. Via its tunnel energy mode and infeed/outfeed tunnel flaps, it can significantly reduce energy consumption in cases of longer stoppages (a 15-minute stoppage can result in energy savings of up to 40%). In addition, because energy costs vary throughout the world, manufacturers from certain regions can enjoy further cost benefits when the shrink tunnel is powered by gas. This highly reliable and safe technology has a far shorter warm-up time than its electrical counterpart and the savings possible can be estimated in advance using the Gebo Cermex energy consumption simulation tool.
EvoFilm offers a number of new technologies and smart tools to enable connectivity, data management and analysis. Via tutorials and interactive content, its brand-new, user-friendly and intuitive HMI makes trouble-shooting easy. For rapid and reliable recovery, it also features remote video access with augmented reality and, to optimise equipment performance over time, an Equipment Smart Monitoring (ESM) programme. This all results in better machine operability, minimal downtime and high levels of profitability.