Back in the day, everything was delivered in brown boxes or cases and this is still a major feature in the supply chain today although with some modifications along the way. Shrink and stretch wrap has obviously played a part in the distribution of fast moving consumer goods, in particular, but one of the latest developments in corrugated packaging has been the growth of the combined transit and display packs or the so-called shelf ready packs. This is designed to overcome the costs associated with getting products the last 50 yards of the retail supply chain, which are the most expensive.
Faster shelf-loading solutions using cases and trays with knock-out perforated sections, tear tapes or removable lids have all been seen in recent times. These cut the time taken to replenish supermarkets’ shelves, while the greater availability of microflutes with improved graphic quality means that the easy-access transit container can double as an effective point of sale merchandiser. Many case or box packing machines are now designed to handle both traditional and shelf ready corrugated packaging.
Another development has been the growth of robotics in case packing equipment to offer efficient and cost efficient handling of products. Machines incorporating robotics are designed to fully automate the packing of products into cases, trays or crates on new or existing production lines.
Automatic case sealers are available for fixed or random sized cases and most have easy adjustments for quick size changes. Sealing is either with tape or hot melt adhesive. There are numerous options available, including in-feed and discharge conveyors, and many case closers and sealers can be integrated into new or existing lines and can be used as part of a modular system.
Semi automatic sealers deliver quick, efficient case packing and sealing, and are available for fixed or random sized boxes. The machines can be custom fitted with a variety ofoptions, including custom in-feed and discharge conveyors.
A case sealer is a packaging machine that applies pressure sensitive tape to the bottom and/or the top of a corrugated case or box to securely seal the contents within.
Semi automatic case sealers can handle uniform or random sizes, or hold boxes steady for filling or even fold major flaps as it seals. Fully automatic case sealers fold all four top flaps of a box prior to applying tape to its top and/or bottom. These systems greatly reduce labour requirements as boxes are sealed on demand, and apart from the initial set up, do not require operators to run. Random case sealers are designed for use in any packaging environment and they avoid ‘set up’ time as they self adjust for each box as it is processed.
Cases have to withstand rough handling, harsh environmental conditions and potential tampering and hot melt adhesive applied directly to case flaps creates a strong, rigid bond which helps ensure boxes remain intact and sturdy at all times. Adhesive manufacturers say that tape sealing packages cannot offer the same advantages as sealing with hot melt adhesive as, compared to tape sealing, hot melt systems provide superior: cost savings, safety, tamper evidence, operation, structural integrity and ease of maintenance
Case formers can offer an ideal first step to packaging automation. The machines are designed to reduce the time and effort taken to manually erect a case, at a low capital cost as the machines fold the lower flaps and hold the open case steady to allow manual packing to take place with both hands
Fully automatic case erectors with heavy duty construction are often easy to customise to accommodate a wide range of product sizes and types while integrating into any production line. Case erectors are perfect for low, medium as well as high speed packaging operations and some can handle up to 40 cases per minute.
Box erectors are widely used in virtually any industry for automated drop loading and hand packing operations. They are used to form trays, cases and boxes for food, beverage, personal care and household care industries. The include bottles, jars, cans, cartons, pouches, bags and much more.
Case packers are available in many configurations to pack virtually any product - small to large at speeds up to 30 cases or trays per minute. By automating the process, labour requirements are minimised while production output increases. Lines often integrate case erecting, product loading and container sealing into a single, compact machine.
The fully automatic tray and case packers on the market are available in a variety of models, including machines that can form and pack corrugated wraparound cases, trays and display trays. Most models can handle a wide range of sizes and styles of blanks.
Even packing by hand can be made more efficient with various options available. Many packing stations are specifically designed to enable customers to retain the advantages of packing by hand, such as quality control and flexibility, in a way that is more efficient than traditional methods.
Case and tray loaders are widely used to wrap product primarily in the food, beverage, personal care, household care, pharmaceutical, automotive, industrial products and hardware industries. These include bottles, jars, cans, plastic containers, cartons, pouches, bags and much more.
Options include top, side or bottom loading machines.
The latest developments in case/box handling equipment has seen the rise of robotic machines that are designed to fully automate the packing of products into cases, trays or crates on new or existing production lines. These new units remove labour intensive operations, which can be a cause of repetitive strain injuries as well as a major cost. Many robotic systems offer efficiency through simplicity in terms of set-up, operation and maintenance.
Robotics options include two axis robots for simple case loading; four axis robots for more complex case loading and palletising applications and high-speed automated pick and place robotics for volume operations. Integrated vision systems for product detection, orientation and quality control can also be offered to provide flexibility in case/pack handling and any future formats.
Rigid container Unscrambler
A packaging machine which accepts a bulk supply of randomly oriented containers, usually plastic bottles, and dispenses the containers in a predetermined orientation.
A packaging machine which accepts a bulk supply of packaging components e.g. caps, and dispenses them in a predetermined orientation.
Rigid Container Single Liner
A packaging machine which accepts a bulk flow of rigid containers and reduces them to a single line of containers.
Rigid Container Orienter
A packaging machine which accepts a line of rigid containers with random rotary orientation, and dispenses them with the same rotary orientation.
Rigid Container Denester
A packaging machine which dispenses rigid containers, usually cups, tubs or trays, from a stack or magazine.
A packaging machine or attachment which dispenses a leaflet, card or coupon from a stack or magazine.
Bag Presenting Machine
A packaging machine which removes a pre-made bag from a magazine and opens it ready for filling.
Sack Presenting Machine
A packaging machine which removes a pre-made sack from a magazine and opens it ready for filling.
Sack Seal and Present Machine
A packaging machine which from a reel of tubular film, forms the base of a sack by heat sealing, separates the sack from the reel and opens it ready for filling.
A packaging machine attachment which applies a pre-wrapped straw to a package.
Tear Tape Applicator
A packaging machine attachment which applies a strip of tear tape to film, usually on a wrapping machine.
A packaging machine or packaging machine attachment which applies a handle to a package.
A packaging machine attachment which applies a spoon to a package.
A packaging machine which attaches an opening key to a package.