Packaging Europe at Ipack-Ima visited the Italian flow-wrapping specialist Cavanna S.p.A., which presents new systems for feeding and loading, horizontal flowpacking, and erect-fill-close robotics systems for secondary packaging.

Among the innovations on display at on the Cavanna booth is a wrapping solution equipped with a vision system particularly recommended for irregular shapes. Products such as cookies, cakes, rice cakes are transported randomly on a conveyor belt. The products pass under three cameras of the vision system communicating thru the computer to a series of robotic arms that pick the products and put them inside the sectors of the RING. One or more products are put in each sector and are transferred to the wrapper's infeed chain by means of an overhead paddle system. The RING is a "counterflow" unit because it works counterclockwise with respect to the incoming product flow.

This system assures a higher rate of efficiency than a system working with products moving in the same direction. The proposed system is modular because it is possible to foresee the number of robotic arms based on the production capacity of the line. Each robotic system is connected to one flow-pack.

Since it was first launched to the market on 2014, the SLIM wrapper was an immediate success for its reduced footprint and high-level performances. Being connected to a RING automatic loading system, the wrapper is complete with all the accessories, such as the automatic reel splicer, the driven unwinding roller and the quality control at the exit every time the wrapping line ends with an automatic cartooning unit.

The wrapping line Cavanna presents is complete with a cartooning packer unit, called CARTEASY, based on Cartesian technology. The packs out of the wrapper are transported on a conveyor belt up to the unit where the portion is formed, picked and put inside an American carton box. Due to the limited space available in the stand, the forming and the closing units are not exhibited,though they are normally installed in this type of loading system.

Solution for enrobed biscuits

It is a wrapping system able to receive round cookies and wrap them either in piles or in slugs, an all in one wrapping module. The system receives the products arranged in two lanes. The same wrapper is also predisposed to make packs with products put on edge (slugs). The changeover is simple and can be done in about 10 minutes. In this specific case, the wrapper is a NKZ because it is equipped with lateral fingers to accompany the slugs into the longitudinal and transversal sealing areas. These lateral fingers fixed on chains are easily removable when the wrapper is used to make packs with products on piles.


The advantages to such a system: the products entering the PI.CO. loader are always handled flat, which means thickness variations unacceptable for the traditional systems like vertical magazines to put products on piles can be handled. 

Along with this innovative loading system, Cavanna is also introducing a new flowpack model called ZeroX a derivation of the SLIM model that has been a great accomplishment on a global scale. Several innovations have been introduced to make it friendlier. The position of the electrical cabinet gives an impressive reduced footprint, keeping the accessibility for maintenance both from the operator and non-operator side. In this way the business could also allow for a good visual field for the operators, even in case of several wrappers.

However, the real innovation is in the reel holder. This has two positions: 1) Working position. In this case all the frame is at an ideal height to allow the operators intervene easily in the folding box or in the sealing wheels areas. 2) Automatic reel splicing position. In this case, the frame is raised up 200 mm by means of a push button to allow the operators change the reels and prepare the automatic splicing. Once the operation is done, always through push button, the frame returns down to its working position.

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A solution for croissants

A wrapping solution, completely based on the vision system with high-resolution linear cameras, is made for delicate products with irregular shape, like croissants. The G-44 robotic unit,equipped with 2 Delta arms, takes the croissants transported on a conveyor at 120/150 ppm and places them directly on the wrapper's "chainless" infeed.

The vision system is based on last generation linear and colour cameras, controlled by Cognex. This unit is able to support up to 4 cameras in parallel, along with another series of vision sensors(for example, laser profiles, matrix cameras..) and it represents a standard for the global market.The modularity of these units allows them to be installed in a series with a little effort and with a very simple software. They are built with standardised frames and optimised measures.The robot unit is complete with a flow-wrapper model Zero4, a medium range wrapper but in any case, able to satisfy the most ambitious requirements. Being part of an automatic wrapping line, the wrapper is equipped with accessories such as the automatic reel splicer and the driven unwinding roller.