ILAPAK’s Lux 24 pouch maker will make its first interpack appearance, providing a rare opportunity to catch the world’s first horizontal pouch maker with continuous motion filling in action.
Whilst the Lux 24 can be configured for either liquids or solids, at the exhibition its 200 pouch-per-minute capabilities will be demonstrated on granola, which it will be packing into stand-up Doypack-style pouches with reclosable zippers. The pouch maker will be fed via a WA-24 multihead weigher, in a seamless execution that could just as easily accommodate products such as trail mix, cereals, confectionery, dried pet food, frozen meatballs, nuggets, grated cheese and coffee beans.
The horizontal pouch maker is the first in the world to offer continuous motion filling, doubling the speeds that can be achieved by its closest rivals. This enables food manufacturers and packers to form flat film stock into high quality stand-up doy packs at speeds that are normally only achievable for lesser quality, more basic bag styles.
ILAPAK has achieved this technological breakthrough via the development of a unique dual motion system, comprising an intermittent station for pouch forming and sealing and a continuous station for product filling. The trail-blazing system incorporates five patent-protected features, including an innovative rotary filling carousel.
Whereas conventional pouch makers use a twin funnel to fill in intermittent duplex motion, Lux 24 is designed to run in simplex mode, but using rotating funnels rather than a static funnel. Product is fed continuously from the weigher as the funnels rotate, taking it in turnsto receive a weighment.
“Essentially we are using four cycles of the the machine to dose the product rather than using half of a cycle as happens on an intermittent machine. This filling technique is what enables the machine to run at speeds of up to 200ppm,” explains Andrea Mathias Pierini,ILAPAK’s product manager for the Lux 24.
This long dosage time not only gives sticky items plenty of time to settle, but also lends the machine to MAP applications.
“The dosing time that we have at our disposal allows us to perform an extremely thorough gas flush. We can achieve a residual oxygen level of less than 0.3-0.5% on a 200g pack of grated cheese,” says Andrea.
Thanks to the continuous filling process, the stated speeds can be achieved even when producing bags weighing up to 700g bags or measuring up to 230mm in width - a feat that cannot be accomplished with a classic pouch making machine.
What’s more, the Lux 24 offers unrivalled flexibility in pouch dimensions. Rather than offering size-specific models, ILAPAK has engineered one machine that can produce pouches ranging from 90-260mm in width and 100-350mm in height, and size changes can be effected in less than 40 minutes, owing to the extensive use of servos.
The cutting system is also servo-controlled, eliminating the need for changeovers between different pack sizes and formats. The system’s rotating blade design means there is none of the friction that you get with a scissoring action. Consequently, there are no issues withblade alignment, there is less requirement for skilled line personnel and the lifespan of the blades is five times longer than that of a standard scissoring system.
The movable triangular gusset plate in the forming area is another patented feature at the heart of the Lux 24. This enables a wide range of materials to be run at high speeds without any friction or risk of imperfections.
“On conventional pouch makers, this forming triangle is in a fixed position, resulting in variations in tension during the forming process. Our forming triangle moves back and forth transversally, making it easier to control the tracking of the film and maintain constanttension. This minimises pouch waste resulting from misalignment or wrinkles,” explains Andrea.
These patented design features not only give the Lux 24 a clear performance advantage but also make for easy cleaning. With the number of parts such as gaskets, cams and shafts reduced to a minimum, there are very few areas where debris or dust can enter the machine.
Furthermore, the Lux 24 has no front and back end; instead, its structure is fully cantilevered, modular and gated, providing full operator accessibility for cleaning and maintenance. Positioning of the electrical cabinets on the top of the machine also contributes to ease ofcleaning.