Only few packaging lines handle products in a variety of shapes and sizes as fast as those for bars. Technological innovation in these lines continues to proceed in leaps and bounds, driven by the demand for increased efficiency in high-speed packaging. A recent advance is automatic splicing, a technology made possible by the application of Bosch’s high performance splicing (HPS) unit to its Sigpack HRM horizontal flow wrapper. This innovation allows seamless splicing, improves line efficiency and reduces wastage.
A key benefit of automated splicing is a decrease in operator errors and the resulting downtime. Bosch’s automated splicing technology senses if a roll of film has been inserted into the machine correctly. It then assembles the reel and seamlessly connects the old film to the new, without the need for manual interference. All of this is done at speeds of up to 150 meters of film per minute, without reducing the speed or even stopping the line.
Until now, changing the film reel was a complicated and tricky procedure with many opportunities for errors. To change the reel, an operator places a new film roll onto the machine, secures it in the film holder and needs to ensure the new film was connected correctly to the previous roll. Finally, proper positioning according to the flow direction needs to be assured. A mistake made at any point could cause defective products, waste or unplanned downtime, leading to costly consequences due to the high volumes being processed by the line.
Bosch’s tests have shown that its automatic splicing technology can achieve up to 99 percent success rate when running at maximum speed. Compared with manual reel change, it can reduce the number of rejected packages by over 50 percent, while time needed by the operator to prepare splices decreases up to 70 percent. In other words, automated splicing allows more products to be packaged with less downtime and waste – a major benefit for bar manufacturers.
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