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IMA ILAPAK has drawn on 50 years of market leadership and synergies within the new IMA FLX hub
to take entry level flow wrapping performance into uncharted territory.
The Carrera I-500 is a formidable new flow wrapper that is 100% faster than its predecessor, whilst offering new robust and ergonomic architecture, balcony style design and extended film and product size range capacity. Multiple automatic feeding options, standard full stainless-steel construction and Industry 4.0 capabilities combine to make this a sophisticated system that leads the category in terms of performance, flexibility, modularity, hygiene and connectivity. The ‘I’ in the name alludes to the machine’s ‘made in Italy’ credentials, giving users a guarantee of the build quality they can expect from this Italian-engineered flow wrapper.
Explaining the company’s decision to develop a next generation entry level flow wrapper, Christian Ballabio, HFFS Technical Sales Support Director at IMA-ILAPAK, says:
“The I-500 pushes the boundaries of entry level flow wrapping performance, delivering efficiency, sealing integrity, build quality and functionality that are unrivalled in this class of machines. We’re not looking to challenge players at the budget end of the entry level category, we’re looking to create a new ‘top tier’ that goes above and beyond what is already on offer.”
IMA-ILAPAK has combined the architecture of its market-leading Delta & Carrera HFFS platform with the shared know-how available within the IMA FLX hub to present a top tier entry level flow wrapper that can run at linear speeds of 40+m/min. The electronic digital platform, planetary gearboxes, servo motors and slip ring technology that are common to the whole IMA-ILAPAK HFFS range are key to this machine’s superior efficiency and performance.
Whilst efficiency gains are often at the expense of sealing quality, on the I-500, the design of the transversal sealing unit ensures superior sealing performance. Heavy duty shafts and surrounding bearings allow for greater and more consistent seal-jaw pressure, and the use of micro-metric adjustment and new sealing profiles enables tool-less and repeatable adjustment of the sealing head for different material structures and thicknesses. The longitudinal sealing system is equipped as standard with three independent modules rather than two, enabling precision control of individual sealing parameters, as well as with independent pneumatically adjustable pressure control. This contributes to higher sealing quality and allows complex materials to be sealed at higher speeds.
As well as underlining the machine’s ‘made in Italy’ build quality, the ‘I’ in I-500 stands for ‘intelligent’. Unusually for a machine in this class, the I-500 is equipped with full Industry 4.0 capabilities, including remote connectivity, OEE reporting and the ability to connect to local networks or Scada systems. The machine also boasts a new, intuitive, icon-based HMI that delivers enhanced operator UX (user experience).
IMA-ILAPAK has built more pack dimension flexibility into the I-500 than is usually available on an entry level machine. The I-500 increases the range of film and product sizes that can be handled by 25% versus its predecessor. As well as dry foods such as baked goods, bars, biscuits and snacks, and non-food items, the I-500 can tackle challenging fresh and frozen applications. Fresh food, ready meals, cheese, meat and other proteins can be packed on the i-500, thanks to its full stainless-steel construction and specific hygienic features and options.
A further advantage over more basic systems is the number of automated feeding options that are available with the i-500. Multiple automatic feeding configurations, along with ancillaries such as coders and labellers make the i-500 a future-proof investment for companies of all sizes.
IMA ILAPAK’s engineers are also harnessing the IMA group and FLX hub capabilities to design an inverted version. This will offer all the same functionality and features as the standard I-500, with a 930mm film width and 450mm wide jaws, to cater for larger items. The inverted design of this flow wrapper means that the film is fed from the bottom reel, which makes it particularly suitable for heavy, soft, or difficult to handle products.
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