Ilapak booth ‘choc full’ with flow wrapping innovation

At this year’s Interpack, ILAPAK’s booth will feature a confectionery industry zone, where visitors can talk to experts with in-depth sector knowledge and see machines in action on their products.Two exhibits will illustrate the company’s confectionery flow wrapping credentials: the ground-breaking Lux 24 pouch maker will make its first Interpack appearance, and a high speed bar wrapping line featuring innovative shuttle feeding technology will showcase ILAPAK’s full line integration capabilities.

Lux 24: stand up and stand out

The Lux 24 horizontal pouch maker is the first in the world to offer continuous motion filling, doubling the speeds that can be achieved by its closest rivals. This enables chocolate and confectionery manufacturers to form flat film stock into attractive stand-up doy packs at speeds that are normally only achievable for lesser quality, more basic bag styles.

At the exhibition, the flow wrapper’s 200 pouch-per-minute capabilities will be demonstrated on granola, which it will be packing into stand-up Doypack-style pouches with reclosable zippers. The pouch maker will be fed via a WA-24 multihead weigher, in a seamless execution that could just as easily accommodate trail mix, cereals, hard and soft candies and wrapped and loose chocolates.

ILAPAK has achieved this technological breakthrough via the development of a unique dual motion system, comprising an intermittent station for pouch forming and sealing and a continuous station for product filling. The trail-blazing system incorporates five patent-protected features, including an innovative rotary filling carousel.

Whereas conventional pouch makers use a twin funnel to fill in intermittent duplex motion, Lux 24 is designed to run in simplex mode, but using rotating funnels rather than a static funnel. Product is fed continuously from the weigher as the funnels rotate, taking it in turns to receive a weighment.

“Essentially we are using four cycles of the the machine to dose the product rather than using half of a cycle as happens on an intermittent machine. This filling technique is what enables the machine to run at speeds of up to 200ppm,” explains Andrea Mathias Pierini, ILAPAK’s product manager for the Lux 24. 

Thanks to the continuous filling process, the stated speeds can be achieved even when producing bags weighing up to 700g bags or measuring up to 230mm in width - a feat that cannot be accomplished with a classic pouch making machine.

What’s more, the Lux 24 offers unrivalled flexibility in pouch dimensions. Rather than offering size-specific models, ILAPAK has engineered one machine that can produce pouches ranging from 90-260mm in width and 100-350mm in height, and size changes can be effected in less than 40 minutes, owing to the extensive use of servos.

The cutting system is also servo-controlled, eliminating the need for changeovers between different pack sizes and formats. The system’s rotating blade design means there is none of the friction that you get with a scissoring action. Consequently, there are no issues with blade alignment, there is less requirement for skilled line personnel and the lifespan of the blades is five times longer than that of a standard scissoring system.

The movable triangular gusset plate in the forming area is another patented feature at the heart of the Lux 24. This enables a wide range of materials to be run at high speeds without any friction or risk of imperfections.

“On conventional pouch makers, this forming triangle is in a fixed position, resulting in variations in tension during the forming process. Our forming triangle moves back and forth transversally, making it easier to control the tracking of the film and maintain constant tension. This minimises pouch waste resulting from misalignment or wrinkles,” explains Andrea.

These patented design features not only give the Lux 24 a clear performance advantage but also make for easy cleaning. With the number of parts such as gaskets, cams and shafts reduced to a minimum, there are very few areas where debris or dust can enter the machine. Furthermore, the Lux 24 has no front and back end; instead, its structure is fully cantilevered, modular and gated, providing full operator accessibility for cleaning and maintenance. Positioning of the electrical cabinets on the top of the machine also contributes to ease of cleaning. 

DSA SF600: ILAPAK raises the bar in wrapping efficiency

Delta Systems of Lowell, Arkansas, part of ILAPAK since 2007, will demonstrate the group’s full line integration capabilities for confectionery industry customers with a high speed flow wrapping line featuring innovative shuttle feeding technology.

Delta Systems’ highly efficient integrated handling, feeding and wrapping systems have been optimising confectionery lines for many years and at Interpack, the ILAPAK company will preview its latest solution for these industries - a shuttle feeder that improves efficiency when handling fragile or sticky products.

The SF600 unit features a shuttling take-away belt for transfering items such as enrobed chocolate bars or granola bars from a wide band conveyor to a flow wrapper at speeds of up to 600 per minute, without the risk of damage.

Bars enter the unit on a belt incorporating a section that tilts down to allow them to pass onto a lifting station. This delivers the bars onto the take-away belt, which shuttles back and forth to transfer them to the wrapper. 

“Because the shuttling belt is moving at the same speed as the product moving towards it, the transfer from one to the other is extremely smooth, resulting in considerable efficiency gains versus other methods of transfer,” explains Liam Buckley, sales director at Delta Systems.

Most rival systems push product across a stationary belt, which not only results in inconsistent positioning of items on the belt, but also causes build-up of debris from sugar, syrup etc, which, over time, leads to inefficient operation.

A smart-belt infeed that automatically pitches the bars as they come off the removal station also adds to the efficient operation of the Delta system.

“Bars enter the unit short-edge leading. The smart-belt infeed then rotates them through 90 degrees and puts a pitch between rows so that they are presented to the wrapper long-edge leading and uniformly spaced,” says Liam.

At Interpack the SF600 unit will be feeding Delta Systems’ Eagle flow wrapper, a new high speed model designed to be integrated into a fully automated line. Key features include a multi-axis, servo-drive platform for tighter film control and heavy duty, plate frame construction. The flow wrapper is supplied with an IP65 rating as standard, but can be built to IP69 if full washdown is required.

The wrapper, the smart-belt infeed and the row removal station are supplied as a turn-key system, enabling customers to benefit from integrated controls, commonality of components and a single team for servicing and maintenance.

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