Adhesive Dispensing Systems

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Wrap-Around Packer With The Latest Adhesive Technology

04 Sep 2017

Düsseldorf, Germany

Note:This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Getränke! Technologie & Marketing
To read the original, click here

End-of-line packaging technology is an important segment of the Interpack exposition. Senzani Brevetti S.p.A., a well known Italian provider in this sector, presented an innovative wrap-around packer this year which is equipped with the latest in adhesive technology from Nordson as a special feature – the ProBlue Liberty ATS tankless hotmelt application system with an integrated Adhesive Tracking System. 

The machine manufacturer, founded in 1953 by Iro Senzani and with headquarters in Faenza in the province of Ravenna, offers a product range including many different end-of-line systems, especially various types of cartoning machines ranging from standalone machines to complete lines. The innovative power of the medium-sized family business is remarkable, with ten new patents in 2016 alone for a total of 40.

The centre of attention in Düsseldorf was a monoblock wrap-around case packer type WA 12 for shaping, filling and sealing cartons made from flat corrugated cardboard blanks. Packaging was demonstrated using coffee capsules as an example. But of course the machine, which can reach a speed of 12 cycles per minute, is also suitable for many other products. The carton format range varies between 150 x 250 x 100 mm and maximum 400 x 600 x 350 mm (L x W x H). 

Special features of the cartoning machine include its modular design, which also allows for integration of a lid station. Proper closure of the carton is monitored by photocells. The accessibility of the machine's interior has also been optimised. 

In terms of adhesive technology, Senzani has worked closely together for many years with the American adhesive specialist Nordson, which has its European headquarters in Erkrath, Germany, and an Italian representation in Segrate, a commune in the metropolitan Milan area. So it happened that a ProBlue Liberty ATS series tankless hotmelt application system was installed on the trade fair machine. The system is available in two sizes, 7 and 14. The first version was exhibited in this case.

Tankless enclosed system 

As indicated by its type designation, the device has a melting capacity of seven kilogrammes per hour. Its most significant technical feature is that it does away with the conventional tank system. Instead, the melting unit's smaller reservoir essentially functions like an instantaneous water heater, keeping only the amount of glue actually required at the processing temperature.

Melting only what is actually required allows for significantly shorter heating up and flow-through times, thereby providing significant savings in energy costs. An integrated sensor monitors the fill level and reports when adhesive is required. The granules are fed automatically from a large storage container, which is available in a 120 and 240-litre version.

The enclosed nature of the system is another important advantage. Interference from dirt, dust and other deposits is eliminated. In conjunction with a high-quality glue, problems arising from cracking and clogged nozzles are largely eliminated. All standard commercial hotmelts in granulate form can be used.

Also worth noting is the increased workplace safety ensured by the innovative application system. Because hotmelt is no longer supplied manually, the risk of burn injuries – unavoidable with conventional tank devices – is completely eliminated. Overfilling and spilling of the adhesive are also eliminated.

Precise Adhesive Tracking System

An interesting new development of Nordson introduced to the market in fall 2016 is the ATS (Adhesive Tracking System), which Senzani exhibited at Interpack as one of the first OEMs. It is integrated into the ProBlue Liberty and significantly improves efficiency and process reliability still further. Also available since May of this year as an upgrade kit, ATS directly and precisely measures the amount of hotmelt actually required for each product. Tolerance limits can be defined so that a warning signal is triggered if the quantity is too low or too high and the packaging line can be stopped if necessary. 

In this manner the flow rate control system optimises consumption of adhesive and reduces rejects. It also makes it possible to detect batch and age-related changes to the hotmelt viscosity and defects in individual units of the application system. ATS also allows for extensive data analysis and documentation via a USB interface, web browser or a fieldbus connection.

HMI Integration

Packaging management of the Italian wrap-around packer reaches a new level of convenience with the integration of the ProBlue Liberty 7 ATS into the control unit of the parent machine. Senzani maintains a cooperative arrangement with Allen-Bradley in this regard. Of course Nordson also offers PMI (Parent Machine Integration) for Siemens control units and HMIs of other manufacturers.

Comprehensive starter kits have recently been made available for this purpose. They reduce the time required for programming to less than a day and in some cases less than an hour. The software, which is available for downloading free of charge, makes it possible to create an individual and intuitive control panel for each device and thus also for the melter. The control functions are further extended so that nearly all the data of the melter can be adjusted and evaluated.