A short 3 years ago, under an agreement with our reselling partner, Multipack exited the pharmaceutical and cosmetic packaging markets and we have since then concentrated our efforts on the tissue and towel market by continuing to supply world class machines for the packaging of flat pack and bulk napkins and other related products. With our reputation established in our core market it is only natural that we expand our presence and that leads us to entering in tissue and towel roll wrapping and bundling.
In the past tissue converters, especially large multinationals, might have had lines dedicated to a single product or format or at least lines targeting to a very narrow range of formats to maximize the production capacity of their inherently inflexible assets. In this imperfect world technology constraints forced machine designers to concentrate primarily on reliability at the expense of flexibility to keep capital projects within budget constraints.
We have seen several cycles since the 1980’s in which some once ubiquitous brands have been absorbed by others or eliminated from the market while others have been born. Advancements in technology, especially electronic motion controls, have allowed designers to improve overall flexibility dramatically without sacrificing reliability allowing converters large and small to provide an ever wider range of products from fewer or even a single production line. In this ever more competitive environment with ever tighter profit margins the machine manufacturers paradigm has had to shift.
We at Multipack recognize this shift and in response have been developing our first offering in tissue and roll towel wrapping; the TEKNA RollEvolution.
We have been pursuing the development with three primary objectives:
» Minimize format change time and special parts dedicated to formats. This objective is to reduce the format change time to be compatible with the latest advancements in rewinder technology.
» Minimize operator intervention required by format changes. This is to achieve the dual objectives of reducing the incidence of injuries and increase repeatability by minimizing the possibility of human error.
» Optimize the wrapping cycle by separating processes to increase available machine cycle degrees available to complete critical functions and reduce internal product velocities and process temperatures.
The TEKNA RollEvolution can be considered a hybrid between the currently available reciprocating roll wrapper design, the current crop from market main players which can all trace the same lineage, and our proven NK/TEKNA Flat pack napkin wrapping process. Our efforts have focused primarily on the critical processes performed in the central body of the machine.
Multipack has delivered to date more than 3000 machines
The overhead carriage system was developed more than 40 years ago to provide a dimensionally stable “box” in which to contain and transport the product and wrapping material during the subsequent folding and sealing operations. Its value has been proven time and time again and it is universally accepted as a best practice. Several iterations are available on the market with varying methods of managing the necessary dimensional changes required during format changes.
The most striking advancement presented on the TEKNA RollEvolution is a completely new concept for the “overhead carriage” system. The overhead of the TEKNA employs a dimensionally “live” box concept with 4 pairs of independently servo driven chains transporting 8 permanently mounted carriages. With this design we are able to change from a minimum pack width of 135mm all the way to 600mm without the need to change the “pitch” of the group, a process that requires operators or maintainers to climb on the machine and physically add or remove carriages from the overhead group.
Our new overhead integrates two more concepts together with the “live” box methodology. The second advance is to always maintain the fingers in the same vertical orientation instead of following a simple arc track with inverts the carriages during their return phase. By eliminating the need to accelerate the package for extraction from the overhead we gain advantages during folding and also reduce the speed of the final sealing which in turn allows lower sealing temperatures and improved Teflon belt life.
The third advance is to make the group as short as possible and still encapsulate the full product range. The shorter group has allowed us to move the side tucking and folding downstream. Folding away from the overhead eliminates the need to add, remove or adjust the carriage-mounted fingers thus eliminating another part of the standard format change. The tucking and folding downstream from the overhead is a universal folding system. No parts are changed from minimum to maximum range of the machine.
We have chosen this system over the popular horizontal blower folders as the advantages are well know; reduced compressed air consumption, higher quality folds on cube formats, no parts to change. The folding surfaces are hard anodized or nickel-teflon coated to maximize their service life.
Moving back upstream in the process from the folding we return to another critical process, the lower overlap sealing. This process has always been performed during the dwell in the movement of the overhead, a phase that at best might be 75° of a single machine rotation. This limit has required that the sealer must work at a very high temperature and with a very aggressive motion profile.
The most striking advancement presented on the TEKNA RollEvolution is a completely new concept for the “overhead carriage” system
The high temperatures are detrimental not only to the live of the sealer but also to the surrounding mechanical components. The needed motion profiles also stress the group and so more maintenance is required. We have developed an alternative by integrating the lower sealer within the motion of the lower counterfolder so as to seal the package during the movement to the next position.
This gives us a longer phase in which to seal the package thus reducing the needed temperature and also allows a softer motion profile. Wherever possible the adjustments for the format change have been motorized to reduce again improving the repeatability of the format change and reducing the incidence of human error or injury. We are pursuing equally innovative solutions for tissue roll and napkin package bundling and will have more to reveal in the near future.