GERMANY – German filling and packaging technology firm KHS has debuted a new technology tat seeks to improve packaging efficiency at bottling plants.

The newly developed film storage facility from the Advanced series KHS enables automatic changeovers from one reel to the next on its packaging machinery without the machine stopping.

According to the company, it is thus no longer necessary to stop the machine or throttle the production speed.

The company took inspiration for the new system from the automatic reel changers used in the printing industry and other applications.

“In applying this principle production isn’t interrupted. It thus goes without saying that this boosts efficiency,” says Karl-Heinz Klumpe, product manager for Packaging at KHS.

“With a machine stop of up to 21 seconds per reel change up to 1.2% more capacity can be achieved per year in two-shift operation.

This new level of efficiency is brought about by a built-in buffer; once the current reel of film has been unraveled to a certain minimum, the storage facility is automatically filled parallel to production,” the company said in a statement.

“The switch is triggered by a sensor, which scans the diameter of the active film reel and recognizes when a change of reel is imminent.

Once the store has been filled and the active reel reduced to the absolute minimum, with clear film the drive stops directly and not at a defined position. With printed film it stops right at the eye mark.”

“After switching over to the film store, the usual film splicing process begins,” explains Klumpe. This joins the reel which was previously active to the new one.

While the new system shall be available in new systems, this function can also be retrofitted on existing systems to process shrink film, without the need for special electronic components or a separate controller.

However, adaptations to the machine control system and, depending on the machine version, mechanical and/or electrical conversions are required for operation, notes KHS.

May 4, 2017