Challenger becomes game-changer

Plusline and Futura are changing the relationship between packaging and converting.

Author: TissueMAG

In 2019 Plusline was making waves as technical disrupter. The company was acquired by Futura in Q4 last year and today is already a bona fide provider of a revolutionary solution chosen by tissue makers around the world.
But while Plusline seemed like a new kid on the block when it entered a technical, strategic partnership with Futura in 2019, its pedigree was well established. Appropriately located in Bologna’s packaging valley, Plusline’s team of highly experienced technicians and professionals bring in-depth knowledge of the product and the production process to guarantee reliability and performance.
Chief Technology Officer Christian Zagnoni is one of the most renowned innovators in the field of tissue packaging, involved in some of the most significant packaging developments over the past three decades.

Chief Technology Officer Christian Zagnoni

A fruitful relationship

Plusline’s product range includes Pluspack – a fully automatic high-speed multi-pack wrapper for toilet rolls and paper towel and Overpack – a flexible high-speed bundler for grouping all types of tissue product.
But where Plusline and Futura’s expertise meets is in “Together”- the first result of the two companies’ fruitful relationship. Together is a revolutionary system which has challenged the notion that converting and packaging are separate processes. In so doing, it has simplified and sped up the overall production process by eliminating several steps and guaranteeing a continuous flow of product from converting to packaging. The line is shortened, with specific conveyors and choke belts eliminated, bringing an end to the succession of blockages and product deformation which can be a constant challenge on packaging lines. In short, Together collects the log from the rewinder and delivers a finished, shelf-ready package, all enclosed and essentially within the footprint of the converting line. It includes log trimming, log cutting and integrated packaging, all in one line, controlled by one operator which takes maximum care of the product.

Together – From log to shelf-ready pack in one incredible compact solution

Good news travels fast

News of new-to-the-world innovation travels fast, and the global tissue-producing community has become quickly acquainted with Together. The result is that numerous orders have been placed internationally for this game-changing solution, and the first startups have taken place. To see a live Together installation is to appreciate the unprecedented degree to which, through this solution, packaging has been integrated into converting in terms of layout, automation and with build quality which matches that of the converting line. “This is no longer about packaging and converting, but one system – says Zagnoni. We have talked to the market and, more importantly, listened. We have used this experience to drive innovation and turn market needs into high-performance solutions by maximising the synergies between Futura and Plusline. Starting from the trim cutter, Together is a compact, multi-patented, multi-talented solution which increases automation, safety, efficiency, flexibility, longevity and finished-product quality, while it reduces damage, waste, downtime, manpower and complexity”.

Part of the waste reduction can be attributed to optimizing the use of poly reel. Not only is reduced poly thickness possible thanks to superior handling of the material, but less overlap is required for sealing. Customers are looking at an almost 50 percent reduction in packaging material, bringing financial and sustainability benefits. And if paper packaging is preferred, it’s no problem for this highly flexible system.

Higher-level automation

Plusline has also been the catalyst for an extension of higher-level automation into packaging.
Futura’s Andromeda remains the only system on the market which fully automates all processes from the jumbo reel to the rewinder, including maintenance activities, in complete safety for the operator. In packaging, the shortest time required for product changeover has been 30 minutes, more typically an hour at best. But on Together from Futura and Plusline, changeover on the fully-enclosed line is actioned from the PLC – the only manual operation is changing the poly reel, which requires 5-10 minutes.

“As Industry 4.0 permeates our industry, customers are increasingly aware of the possibility which high-level automation offers to reduce costs and increase process visibility.
Together extends this to packaging – says Zagnoni. Plusline together with Futura are dedicated through teamwork to the introduction of radical innovations, which drive efficiency. What we have delivered with Together is just the start but expresses our collective vision and belief. Both Plusline and Futura’s service and support capabilities have been extended thanks to the synergies between our two companies, while our collective research and development efforts mean evolution really doesn’t stop”.


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