PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, April 2014

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31 www.PackagingDigest.com APRIL 2014 // NEW TECHNOLOGY rod displacement and the pressure. One of the key challenges for the simulation is to obtain accurate enough input data that is representative of the process. T is is one of the main reasons why instrumentation is one of the main themes of our research. We have developed specialist tools including an instrumented stretch rod and the THERMOscan device that enable us to obtain this critical data. THERMOscan is a patent-pending device for preform temperature monitoring sold by our spin-of company Blow Moulding Technologies to several leading brand owners and converters. T ese tools were initially developed for our simulation purposes but are now sold commercially and are currently being used by the industry to provide quantitative data that they can use to better control and scale up their processes. What polymers can you model? Queen's University: We have mainly worked with PET, though more recently we have been working on characterizing and modeling some new materials for stretch blow molding. Unfortunately, we cannot go into the details. What about renewable biopolymers? Queen's University: We've got a pretty good handle on the behavior of PET right now. Next, we may turn to modeling the newer plant-based plastics. One of the advantages of our approach is that we can apply the same methodology that we currently use for PET easily to other materials and have an Abaqus FEA simulation of the process running very quickly, giving us a powerful tool for optimizing the preform design and the process conditions. What have been your recent f ndings? Queen's University: We've learned that what goes on inside the bottle during inf ation is much more complex than earlier work had estimated. As the PET material expands, pressure inside the membrane is not uniform: it changes over time, depending on the rate of air f owing into the system as well as the expansion of the membrane. By f rst observing what happened to a bottle being inf ated outside of a mold, we could fully visualize what was happening and use that data to more f nely calibrate our latest computer models of what is going on inside the mold. We have developed specialist instrumentation and methodology for characterizing the process to obtain this information from stretch blow molding machines. What's ahead? Queen's University: Linking everything together using simulation, from bottle and preform design and process conditions, to thickness distribution and mechanical properties. T en transferring the data from the ISBM simulation to virtual packaging tests where you can see how the preform design af ects things like bottle drop, top-load performance or even shelf life. T is can all be coupled together with optimization software to pinpoint best process or minimum material— whatever is the goal. One of the advantages of our approach is that we can apply the same methodology that we currently use for PET easily to other materials. Blow Moulding Technologies, +44 28 9097 4780 www.bmt-ni.com Dassault Systèmes Simulia 401-276-4400 www.3ds.com Queen's University +44 2890 974780 www.qub.ac.uk g.menary@qub.ac.uk new products equipment Serialized carton coding/verification The ACE-CT400 can provide track-and-trace capabilities as granular as unit-level and accepts cartons ranging in size from 20x20x80mm to 120x80x200mm at a maximum speed of 400 per minute. Coding on the ACE-CT400 can be performed on either side of a carton, and/or on top. Positive carton indexing and transportation is assured, as servo- driven belts provide accurate speed management and position control throughout the process. Laser printing also is available. Carton rejection is performed via servo-driven reject button; tamper- evident flap seal dispensers can be added as an optional feature. The ACE- CT400 accomplishes all this while only occupying a small footprint. MG America, 866-962-3090 www.mgamerica.com Case packer The TL-PFG Fanuc Delta 3 Robotic Top Load Case Packer uses dual Fanuc M-3iA pick-and- place robots to top load product into opened cases. The system can integrate with a range of upstream equipment, including vertical form/fill/ seal systems, horizontal flow wrappers, and bottle and pouch filling systems. Typical product applications include rigid and flexible: bottles, bags and pouches, sachets, cans and flow-wrapped packages. The TL-PFG integrates with an upstream case erector. The case erector will erect a case and discharge it onto a conveyor in a top-load orientation. The TL-PFG uses a flighted conveyor to direct the case into the correct position for top loading. An iRVision system is integrated with an upstream conveyor, which detects the position of the product. AFA Systems Ltd., 905-456-8700 www.afasystemsinc.com ES413469_PD1404_031.pgs 03.27.2014 23:03 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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