Change flow wrap size in 10 seconds, not two hours, says A.M.P-Rose

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

A.M.P-Rose says its X-Pax flow wrapper slashes changover times
A.M.P-Rose says its X-Pax flow wrapper slashes changover times

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Supplier A.M.P-Rose has introduced a flow wrap machine that can adjust sizes automatically, reducing downtime for changeovers.

The firm launched its X-Pax’ machine at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago last week. The machine is designed for single and multi-pack wrapping, and combines the flowrapping machine with a linear transport system.

Faster changeovers

“The big thing is flexibility,”​ David Mann, director at A.M.P-Rose told ConfectioneryNews at Pack Expo.

“The infeed pitch of the machine is infinitely adjustable. With a standard flow wrap machine you have to pick the pitch you want – as in the product size you want – then you can change it but it’s quite a long, laborious process.”

He said that changeovers for conventional machines took up to two hours.

xpax touch screen
Changeovers made in seconds by touch screen.

“With this we are talking about a 10 second size change and there is no limit to what size they can go to.”

XTS system

The X-Pax machine includes a Windows based HMI screen that can change individual product size, number of pieces in the pack, number of product layers, and pack length.

The automatic changes are made with a Beckhoff XTS (eXtended Transport System). Mann claimed an automatic change was an industry-first for a flow wrapper.

“Some customers have one product that they run all day long for famous lines that are always the same size. Then you have others, which use many different types and sizes of products. They are the customers who are most suited to a machine like this," ​said Mann.

Save space; kill robots

He added that the machine would take up 70% less space in a manufacturing facility compared to conventional flow wrapper processes.

Example of pack collations that can be changed at a touch of a button
Examples of possible pack collations

“The other big advantage is the automatic feeding of it. With a standard machine if you want to have an automatic feed then traditionally you’d use a robot – so you’d be looking a something five to six times the size of the our machine.”

He said that two or three head delta robot would also cost more to run and estimated a big energy savings compared to conventional systems.

“This [the X-Pax] we can feed directly from a belt so we don’t actually need the robot – it can be fed by hand, directly from a  bagmaker or directly from another flow pack machine or whatever system the customer already has. There’s no need for operators to be involved.”

Price and features

He said that the price was higher than a standard flow wrap machine, but less than a flow wrap machine with a robot feed.

The horizontal wrapping machine is full servo driven and supports single pack or multipacking with heat or cold seal wrapping materials.

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