Kliklok International is rolling out the TransFormer, a top load carton former across Europe, after it had success with its launch in the US.
The system allows lock-style and glue-style cartons to be run on the same machine at speeds up to 120 cpm with a single head.
Michelle Newman, marketing manager, Kliklok International, told FoodProductionDaily, it partnered with its US company, Kliklok Woodman at Interpack 2014 to showcase the machine for the first time in Germany.
“TransFormer attracted a lot of attention at the show and now we are following up leads generated there,” she said.
“This machine is faster than anything we’ve done before. It’s unusual to have a lock-style and glue-style on one machine, as most do one or the other, not both.
“Top load cartoning lends itself to the frozen food, bakery and confectionery industry.
“We weren’t sure there was a market for it here as we have our own range of machines but it has been well received and it took off in the States following its launch there so we wanted to replicate that success and decided to put it on a joint stand with our US colleagues at Interpack and officially launch it in Europe.”
The TransFormer’s features include: an ergonomic waist-level hopper for easy carton loading; Insight color touch screen and a servo driven THK linear rail plunger mounting system for head-to-cavity positioning.
The machine has IP54-rated protection against water and dust and is available with IP65 protection, on request.
Speaking about the US launch, Ross Long, vice president, Kliklok-Woodman, said the idea for the technology came from one of its customers who wanted to replace an aging fleet of machines with increased format flexibility and speeds.
Long said blank cartons get fed into a “rainbow” friction feeder, which uses belts, rollers and servo technology and transports cartons to the forming area.
There, a servo-driven, single-head forming head system delivers the blank into a cavity, folding carton panels into the required position. The TransFormer then drops the cartons onto a conveyor that carries them downstream for product loading.
The TransFormer relies on technology from Rockwell Automation. Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 multi-axis servo drives with MP Series low-inertia (MPL) servo motors for the feeder and forming system.
Kliklok-Woodman engineers optimized the machine’s motion functions by using Motion Analyzer software from Rockwell Automation. Engineers feed designs into the software, which helps them select and size a suitable motor-drive combination.
Motion Analyzer and SolidWorks from Dassault Systemes, work together, so engineers use data from both programs to virtually simulate a variety of gear ratios, inertias and mechanical alternatives.
“Rockwell Automation technology is a big part of our commitment to developing better machines,” added Long. “By providing us with the tools and technology to optimize machine performance, we can meet our customers’ demands for machines that offer increased speeds, productivity and flexibility.”
Kliklok-Woodman uses an Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controller (PAC). The PAC brings a single programming environment for machine and motion control.
It also uses an Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 40P AC drive to provide closed-loop control. The drive’s category 3 safe-off option provides certified protection for AC drive control.
To give operators a window into the TransFormer, Kliklok-Woodman uses an Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 600 human machine interface (HMI). The HMI displays machine information, including performance, diagnostics and faults, while providing a dashboard so operators can change everything from glue patterns to feeder speed.