BINA, which produces convenience and fruit products, ready meals and beverages, needed a flexible, compact shrink-wrapping system for film packs and tray plus film packs.
Juice & iced tea
It has installed a Sidel unifilar 90° infeed system, integrated into one of its shrink-wrappers in a compact line layout.
“BINA wanted to process squared bottles for its juice and iced tea drinks while still running round bottles on the same line. All of that in a very compact area of the plant at up to 50 cycles per minute at the shrink-wrapping stage,” said Yasin Kapusuzoglu, project manager technology, BINA.
“We wanted to package our juice and iced tea bottles in shrink-wrap film while also having the option of using a tray plus film for some batches.”
Kapusuzoglu said the project was challenging for three reasons: first, the orientation of squared containers has to be controlled to get a pack with correctly facing bottles so a mass flow infeed system was not possible.
Secondly, flexibility was a key requirement given the range of bottle formats from 250ml to 2L.
Due to numerous combinations of bottles, SKUs and/or secondary packaging, it needed 20 different configurations with shorter production runs and frequent changeovers. Thirdly it had to fit into a compact space.
“The alternative of having a lane divider feeding the traditional channels of the shrink-wrapper was not appropriate in terms of the footprint,” said Valérie Cattenoz, overwrapping product manager, Sidel.
In addition, managing different SKUs in tray and film, contradicts the availability of a compact line as tray modules usually automatically lead to a bigger layout of the shrink-wrapper.
Health & wellness
According to Euromonitor International, Switzerland is experiencing a health and wellness surge and this manifests itself in portion control. To benefit from this trend and on-the-go consumption, juice manufacturers are expanding their product offerings by reducing the size of their bottles and increasing the portfolio of formats they serve.
It claims Migros is one of two domestic frontrunners expected to perform strongly throughout 2023 as Swiss consumers continue to trust private labels across soft and hot drinks.
It says organic beverages, such as juices and smoothies are on the rise with a current value CAGR of 9% until 2023 because consumers perceive them to be of high quality and ‘better for them’.
Kapusuzoglu added Sidel’s infeed system was the only one allowing a one-of-a-kind, compact line layout with the guarantee of no jamming at the shrink-wrapper’s infeed due to its design.
The unifilar 90° infeed system manages the flow on one lane directly from the sleeving machine with no lane dividing system needed so the juice and iced tea bottles go straight to the shrink-wrapper.
“First, a selecting device with lateral brackets delivers the right number of products per row. These rows are then transferred at a 90° angle by an ‘on the fly’ pusher, which redirects the flow of three to five bottles in accordance with the shrink-wrapper’s flow direction,” added Cattenoz.
The installed system is capable of running at a maximum speed of 150 cycles/minute, depending on the product size and shape.
“We appreciate the simple, streamlined unifilar infeed system where all changeover tasks are carried out automatically in three minutes, delivering a maximum changeover time of 15 minutes for the entire shrink-wrapper – worst case scenario when moving from film only to tray plus film or vice versa,” said Kapusuzoglu.
To accommodate the need of the tray plus film option, Sidel designed a removable rolling tray magazine, which can be extracted from the shrink-wrapper when running a format without tray support.
The circulation around the line is easier for the consumables and the operators like a Plug & Play module.
Thanks to the 90° infeed configuration, the upper part of the magazine is open and accessible and allows an easy and ergonomic manual refilling of the trays in the magazine.