Packaging Write For Us – When starting a packaging project, many questions arise about the line’s configuration, the production’s adaptability, connectivity and communications, etc. An end-of-line project, particularly for pallet packaging, has incredible technical complexity with many peculiarities and elements to agreed upon by the manufacturer’s and customer’s engineering departments.
Without going into too many details and technicalities, we have compiled the most frequent generic questions (FAQ, frequently asked questions ) that arise when tackling a new packaging project and their respective answers from our experience in many end-of-line projects.
1. What essential systems do a packaging line consist of?
A packaging line comprises systems for the product’s protection and fastening for its transport and storage. It always includes at least one plan that provides security and support, such as the automatic wrapper or the Stretch Hood wrapping system ).
2. How is the integration of the packaging line done?
In each project, it is necessary to study the integration with the client’s existing line, whether palletizing or production. The engineering team evaluates, studies and designs the bar elements that best suit the client’s needs, seeking an optimal connection and flow without problems.
3. How many systems can included in a packaging line?
A priori, all the packaging systems the client demands or the project needs to integrated. Although the client requests more plans, each project is studied to see their needs according to the fundamental objectives. Once again, the Technical Engineering department seeks the best combination of critical systems, always prioritizing final packaging objectives and space optimization. The limit is the space in the factory.
- Double packaging systems or high-speed accessories can be available to respond to high production. This would be an example of a high production line that needed a dual strapping system and a high-speed Stretch Hood.
- To adapt to the factory space, a transport line designed to transport the pallets between the different packaging systems in the minimum possible space. Complementary transports, such as turners, elevators, bench connections, etc., used.
- To respond to the fastening needs, sometimes the client requires more pallet strapping or wrapping systems, but the engineering department can dismiss their need or recommend using one system as a substitute for another, as occurs with the automatic wrapper that sometimes replaces strapping.
4. Can automatic and semi-automatic systems coexist on the line?
In principle, the automatic packaging line designed to automate the end of the line. Still, there are times when the client’s own installation or production can continue to use semi-automatic systems.
When defining a line project, a pallet flow is designed in which everything automatic from input to output after final wrapping. To guarantee productivity, it is not recommended to “stop” this process to include a semi-automatic system in the middle of the line. But there may be some exceptions in that there are manual or semi-automatic systems before or after the packaging line, the most common being transport vehicles.
Some examples of the coexistence of automatic and semi-automatic systems:
- Entry of the pallet in the line is semi-automatic, either using a pallet truck or forklift. When the access is made by AGV, the exact vehicle communicates the form to the PLC of the line automatically. This case has a semi-automatic element since the operator must enter the pallet format to packed on the control panel.
- Sealing, manual strapping or rope placement after palletizing and before the packaging line: on occasions when minimum stability of the pallet is required in transporting the pallet to the bar, manual or semi-automatic systems are used to carry out this pre-packaging.
- They exit the pallet using a pallet truck or forklift similar to the delivery.
- Pallet weighing or labelling system, excluded from the packaging line. In this case, the transport to this station must be semi-automatic.
5. Can the own transport line be used with new packaging systems?
We try to make a new line compatible with the existing transport elements whenever the client requires it. It could be used if it is a facility renovation and the current transmission line is in good condition and meets the necessary requirements to adapt to the new systems. Another adaptation would be connecting the cable to the existing transport through connection and elevation systems.
6. What are the standard measurements of a stretch hood packaging line? How much space does it take up?
If we talk about the system of only the Innova Stretch Hood system, the line can be located in installations with a smaller space than usual. In addition to the fact that the Stretch Hood machine is designed to occupy as little space as possible, the conveyor line can be adapted to the maximum to the client’s facilities through connection, rotation and elevation systems, as mentioned in previous questions.
7. What pallet formats can the line work with?
Although it is a frequently asked question, the answer differs significantly in each case. At Innova, our standard packaging line with Stretch Hood designed for the most standard pallets in various sectors such as construction, ceramics, chemicals, agri-food, etc. We work with minimum pallet measurements of 800 x 600 mm, maximums of 2,000 x 1,400 mm, and heights up to 2,500 mm. If you have a different size or very different pallets, consult without obligation, and we will study the feasibility of your project according to the packaging systems that your production needs.
8. What vehicles and pallet mobility are used in a packaging line?
In a total automation project at the end of the line, projects were designed with AGV / LGV ( Automatic Guided Vehicle ) vehicles that were used to transport pallets from the palletizing line to the packaging line to the logistics warehouse. Even so, it is typical for this type of vehicle to coexist with semi-automatic cars, such as forklifts with drivers or motorized pallet trucks.
The Innova packaging line is prepared for access by all transport vehicles, using ground-level transport systems for pallet trucks or knee transport adapted to the AGV entrance.
9. With which automation systems can a packaging line connect?
In a packaging line project, it is essential that the packaging line communicates and agrees with the existing system. In the case of the Innova line, we connect with the most common methods. We offer integrations and compatibility with PLC systems such as Omron, Siemens, Rockwell or Schneider.
10. Is the packaging line also part of Industry 4.0?
Yes, like any production process in a factory, packaging another element of Industry 4.0. packaging automation is essential to industry 4.0 since most are already interconnected with the company’s production and ERP systems.
In the case of the Innova line, we have intelligent components that offer performance reporting, remote connection to the bar, fault diagnosis and predictive maintenance of wear and possible repairs.
In short, all issues must be clarified at the time of definition and design of the packaging line project. At Innova, our Engineering and technical-commercial consulting teams study every detail and requirement to achieve optimal, efficient and top-quality packaging.
Do not falter to ask any questions regarding your packaging project; we will be happy to solve them.
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