Admix Inc. says it showcased a range of high-shear mixers engineered for dispersing powders into liquids, reducing particle size, and creating stable emulsions. The Benchmix 10 was introduced — a 1-horsepower lab mixer with touchscreen controls scheduled for release in the early first quarter of 2022. New automation controls were introduced on the Fast feed powder induction and dispersion system, making it easier to operate and easier to obtain batch-to-batch consistencies. The Rotosolver demonstrated high shear and high flow for improving in-tank mixing operations. Inline high-shear mixers shown included the Dynashear emulsifier and the Boston Shearmill wet mill. Low-shear mixers were also featured.
ROBOTIC PACKER FOR DAIRY CUPS
According to A-B-C Packaging, the M600 robotic packer for dairy cups offers maximum flexibility to run multiple package styles, with a variety of infeed options for dairy packagers looking to upgrade from hand-packing or moving from another package style. The packer is equipped with a high-payload two-axis robotic arm that can be programmed for virtually any packing configuration. The operator station offers complete control in a clear and concise interface, including setup, operation, real-time and historical status reports; maintenance alerts; and fault detection for troubleshooting. Changeover can be completed quickly by new product/pack selection at the operator station, and quick-change tooling reduces downtime for adjustments. The washdown model is available in stainless steel.
END-OF-LINE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS
BluePrint Automation (BPA) designs, develops, and manufactures end-of-line packaging solutions for flexible and other tough-to-handle packages. Highlights during Pack Expo included demos of the Gravity 100r top-load case packer: a small, compact, and fully sanitary system forming horizontal pack patterns with easy access for cleaning and inspection. Also on the booth floor was the Spider 100v case packer —an all-in-one case erect, pack, and seal for RSC and reusable cases. In addition to full automation, BPA had on hand a Collator 200 pack-assist solution, which eliminates pack off-table requirements. BPA says these offerings are all great packaging solutions for bags and pouches of dairy and more.
CLAMPS AND VALVES FOR DAIRY INDUSTRY
Dixon Sanitary says it proudly introduces its newest product — the Clever Clamp. This innovative clamp offers consistent, controlled compression every time. The company’s patent-pending design eliminates the need for torque tools to get the proper gasket compression, helping prevent bacterial traps in process lines. Another of Dixon’s products that is ideal for the dairy industry is its SSV-Series single-seat valve. Machined from solid bar for added durability and reduced distortion caused by large temperature fluctuations, the valve is designed for easy actuator configuration and is 3A-certified for clean in place. Contact email@example.com to learn more.
FLEXIBLE CONVEYORS FOR PACKAGED DAIRY PRODUCTS
Dorner says its Helix conveyors allow for tight turns and a small footprint, providing facilities with greater flexibility in layout for applications such as accumulation, buffering, cooling product, and more. Helix conveyors’ infeed and outfeed can be positioned at any height or angle; custom infeed and outfeed lengths allow the conveyors to extend beyond the spiral, reducing the number of conveyors required. The FlexMove flexible chain conveyor platform is designed for effective horizontal and vertical product movement on a continuous run driven by a single-gear motor when floor space is limited.
EPI’s new MFlex series of labeling systems is engineered to be simple to set up, use, and maintain while accurately labeling a wide range of different product types. Every MFlex system uses EPI’s M2 labeling head, along with a new intelligent servo-based motion-control system that keeps everything in perfect synch. A simple-to-use color touch-screen HMI provides full access to machine functions while keeping things easy for the operator. According to EPI, MFlex machines are built to the highest standards at the company’s plants in Oakland, N.J., and New Freedom, Pa.
This year at Pack Expo, Filtec presented on its machine vision solutions for fill-level inspection, label inspection, empty-can inspection, and thermal-glue inspection. The company says its vision inspection technology is a modern, reliable and safe approach to quality assurance inspection. Vision combines hardware and software to define safety parameters and measure for those parameters. Filtec has a wide range of vision inspection solutions to inspect the quality of your products. Filtec’s machine vision solutions guarantee in-line quality assurance inspection for a number of industries, including beverage producers, breweries, food producers, and pharmaceutical product producers.
HIGHLY ACCURATE CHECKWEIGHER
The Raptor checkweigher series from Fortress Technology guarantees absolute traceability and consistent weighing results by capturing sample readings of packs by the millisecond and providing data capture and analytics used to optimize your process. Designed for high-care food production environments, the Raptor checkweigher accurately weighs packaged products up to 8 kilograms and rejects nonconforming packs. Raptor checkweighers include standalone checkweighers, combination systems, and an XL case weigher, Fortress says. Learn more about how pairing a Raptor checkweigher with a Fortress metal detector in a single intuitive system will optimize your process for the best all-around inspection solution at any stage.
TOOLS FOR ECO-CONSCIOUS PACKAGING
IMA Dairy & Food USA introduced a set of tools for food brands utilizing sustainable mono-material packages. The company’s patented Zero Technology tools are designed for manufacturers hoping to transition their packaging to more eco-conscious materials such as PET, PP and PLA. Zero Technology utilizes a patented punch process providing high-quality cutting and precutting of PET, PP and PLA. This allows for easily breaking multipacks into individual units — a notoriously cumbersome process that has limited the use of eco-friendly mono-material packaging materials in many applications. Zero Technology also uses independent sleeves that allow cup design changes without the need to manufacture an entirely new thermoforming mold, the company says.
PROCESSING EQUIPMENT FOR DAIRY
Key Technology says its easy-to-sanitize digital sorting, conveying and other processing equipment for dairy products consistently meet application requirements while cutting labor costs and achieving the product safety standards that the USDA and customers demand. The VeryX family of sorters stands apart from other cheese-processing machinery thanks to its innovative sensor technology for identifying and removing foreign materials and product defects with absolute accuracy. Key shakers and conveyors integrate easily with other processing equipment for gentle transport, distribution, feeding, metering, and more. Offering industry expertise and engineering excellence, Key designs and implements integrated solutions for dairy processors that ensure optimal efficiency.
Matrix, a manufacturer of vertical form-fill-seal packaging equipment, showcased several machines at the recent Pack Expo – Las Vegas tradeshow. Visitors were able to see the well-engineered, easy-to-use packaging systems live as Matrix demonstrated the machines working to package different products. Focusing on the dairy industry, Matrix says it offers several bagging machines that support packaging dairy products, specializing in individual or supplier-size quantities. The Matrix Elete Premier can make dairy packaging clean, fast, and efficient, while the Matrix Mercury offers ease of use and consistent reliability.
INTELLIGENT METAL DETECTION SYSTEMS
Mettler Toledo Product Inspection says it launched a next-generation series of metal detection systems that delivers a fresh dimension to the food inspection market. The systems use smart digital inspection and are designed specifically for small- and medium-size manufacturers and/or co-packers. The modular design of the fully integrated system can be adapted over time in line with evolving compliance and productivity needs. The metal detection systems feature a digital platform, powered by new smart Sense software. This, combined with advanced algorithms, makes it possible for these entry-level models to deliver high sensitivity to all metal contaminant types with minimal false rejects.
CONTINUOUS RUNNING CONVEYOR LOOPS
Multi-Conveyor exhibited two continuous-running conveyor loops, jam-packed with solutions for everything dairy. The conveyor loops feature the newer Slim-Fit low profile; hygienic, sanitary small-product transfer systems; and the 24/7 workhorse Success line standard chain systems. Also showcased were various radius product turners; modular plastic belt systems; integrated roller belting to justify, sort, divert and merge; and low-back-pressure transitions. Conveyors are accessed by touch-screen HMI control panels. Multi-Conveyor says its goal is to provide its customers with a more functional, affordable conveyor that maximizes productivity while saving essential floor space in the process.
MARKING AND INSPECTION EQUIPMENT
Multivac says it showcased a variety of packaging technologies, including marking and inspection equipment, at its Pack Expo booth. These included two R145 thermoforming machines, which serve a variety of industries — from meat packaging to medical and extending into the hygienic requirements of Dairy 3-A Sanitary Standards. Multivac also highlighted its TX830 — the highest-output tray machine in the industry — coupled with an I211 combination checkweigher and metal detector. After inspection, the trays feed into an L300, wrapping a single label completely around the tray, which discharges onto an MRT100 accumulation table. Standalone displays included an L300, which placed a label on both top and bottom of a package with printing by Video-Jet. Finally, a C500 double-chamber machine and a T300 completed the booth.
Nercon exhibited at Pack Expo Las Vegas with some of its customers’ favorite conveyor systems. Its re-designed washdown spiral system drew a lot of attention, and it has received many post-show inquiries. Developed based on requests from customers with limited space, Nercon says the 270-degree washdown spiral has an even smaller footprint and higher throughput capacity to move several product types while conserving valuable floor space. With minimal stainless-steel framework and an open construction for readily accessible cleaning, inspection, and maintenance, Nercon’s washdown spiral is ideal for food and beverage applications. To learn more about Nercon’s washdown spiral, visit its website.
Polypack says its Tango series is regarded as the most versatile and cost-effective film shrink wrapper. The series delivers top-quality shrink packaging using a single roll of clear or printed film. The wrapper can package product for distribution or prepare an appealing printed film package for retail shelves. The Tango has multiple infeed options — delivering capabilities to wrap trays, pads, or unsupported bundles.
MULTIPACKER FOR RECYCLE-READY PACKAGING
R.A Jones says it unveiled its market-first packaging machinery, the Meridian XR MPS-300, at Pack Expo. Partnering with the Bumble Bee Seafood Co., R.A Jones customized its multipacker to support Bumble Bee’s goal of creating a recycle-ready packaging format for its multi-pack can products. The Meridian XR will replace Bumble Bee’s shrink-wrap machines in an industry-first effort to use a paperboard packaging solution. The multipacker, which includes a four-lane infeed for new packaging options and configurations, meets Bumble Bee’s needs for enhanced operational performance, speed, and reliability because of its high adaptability. The new recycle-ready packaging is expected to launch in stores in 2022.
CONE MILLS FOR DIFFICULT-TO-GRIND APPLICATIONS
KEK cone mills by Kemutec, part of the Schenck Process Group, are ideal for fatty, heat-sensitive, sticky, moist, and other difficult-to-grind applications in the food and dairy industries. The energy-efficient mills minimize noise, dust, and heat problems typically associated with traditional mills. The offerings feature a gentle grinding action, which helps maintain a close particle size range with minimal fines generation. The residence time required to process materials is very short, resulting in negligible heat generation while drastically reducing buildup of those difficult-to-grind products. Each unit features an ultra-hygienic design to meet critical cleanability demands inherent to the food and dairy industries.
EFFICIENT AUTOMATED CASE PACKER
Schubert North America premiered its new case packer, the lightline Carton Packer, at Pack Expo – Las Vegas. With the lightline Cartonpacker, manufacturers benefit from a cost-effective case packer to quickly automate their packaging processes with the most efficient technology on the market. With Schubert’s lightline solutions, a large part of the configuration is built in. Drawing on the accumulated expertise from countless case packers built, Schubert says it preconfigured a packaging machine that can effortlessly implement the most common process steps in case packing. The exhibited lightline cartonpacker was part of a modular Schubert TLM system for the U.S. manufacturer Hudsonville Ice Cream in Michigan. Hudsonville Ice Cream co-manufactures the frozen Greek yogurt bars for the Yasso brand.
MODULAR INLINE FILLING MACHINE
Osgood Industries LLC, a Syntegon company, says manufacturers can accurately fill dairy products now and prepare for future market changes with the new modular LFS inline filling machine for preformed cups, containers, and trays. Available in hygienic versions of clean or ultra-clean, the LFS fills and packages liquid, viscous and pump-required products such as yogurt, sour cream, margarine, deli salads, dips, sauces, and soups. Each machine function can be configured to meet custom requirements.
IN-LINE LEAK INSPECTION
The patented TapTone Seal Integrity Tester (SIT) system checks for leaks in foil- and film-sealed cups inside the filler. The SIT system consists of multiple sensors mounted inside the cup filling system that inspect each cup by compressing the sensor head to the foil lid of the cup at full production machine speeds. The sensors monitor the lid deflection during the compression cycle, and the digital signal processor board calculates the inspection merit values to accept or to reject containers with defective seals that fall outside user set merit value limits, Teledyne Taptone says.
SANITARY CONVEYOR DRIVE
Designed to drive modular conveyor belts without the use of sprockets, Van der Graaf’s (VDG) all 316-stainless-steel SSV sanitary drum motor features an IP69K-rated sealing system and withstands washdown pressure up to 3,000 psi. The sprocketless SSV drum motor eliminates byproduct buildup area and reduces water and time for washdown process. VDG says its new IntelliDrive PM drum motor incorporates permanent magnet drum motor technology, provides increased energy-efficiency and performance, and has a lifespan of 80,000 hours of operation before maintenance. With all drive components enclosed inside the drum, the IntelliDrive increases safety, saves space, eliminates maintenance intervals, and lowers cost of ownership.