Integra 520 V, the new robotized integrated blister line able to package 520 blisters and 500 cartons per minute
The new robotized integrated blister line Integra 520 V has been presented for the first time at Achema 2015. The machine with balcony design is a mere 10 meters long, so very compact, and it combines two machines: a thermoformer (520 blisters/min in Alu+PVC/PVDC/PET/Alu/other materials) and a cartoner (500 cartons with tuck-in or glued flap closure and various other combinations).
Integra 520 V is the bigger model of Integra 320 showcased at the last edition of Interpack. This new model features not only the innovative functions of Integra 320, but also new pushers, a drum-type carton opener to deal with high speeds and a new leaflet pick-and-place system. The final result is an ideal machine for single-blister cartons; it is easy to clean and to changeover size thanks to the fact that the product feeding area is separate from the electrical and mechanical area. All the mechanisms are in oil bath so they are more resistant to wear and tear and consequently long-lasting.
Technical features – Thermoforming section
Material feeding and blister lidding
The reels of forming material are arranged in a compartment at the back of the machine, but can also be installed at the front of the machine, if requested. There are transparent guards to protect them against dust. Reel unwinding is automatic, servo-driven and stops when the film runs out.
A splicing table with automatic web grip vacuum keeps the film in the right position and allows the technician to quickly join the new reel with the old one.
The lidding reel (maximum diameter 300mm) is located at the front of the machine and this too has an automatic splicing table to make reel replacement much easier.
Pre-heating and forming
The thermoforming station is arranged at the back of the machine so that the overall footprint is more compact and the technician is better protected from the forming material fumes. The forming material loading area and the machine feeding station are therefore completely separate, thus reducing the area with modified atmosphere and minimizing costs.
The material is formed in three different ways: by compressed air for PVC, PVDC and ACLAR, by air and plug assist for difficult-to-shape plastic and by a purely mechanical solution of forming dies for aluminum.
A servo-driven transfer roller positions the forming material correctly for the infeed stroke, which is adjusted automatically without the use of tools. The servo-driven heating plates open automatically if the machine stops so as not to strain the film.
The machine can be equipped with different product feeders, according to the product specifications and the manufacturing procedures involved: High Speed feeder with patented release system by Pulsar, Universal and Multiplex. The machine is extremely flexible as its feeding station can be built to accommodate two different loading systems in the same area: Universal+HS or Multiplex+Universal, using the designed changeover parts.
Whatever the type of feeder chosen, the machine is designed so that it can be easily dismantled without tools thanks to the use of quick-release parts. The feeding station is equipped with a dust-extraction system with fragment separation.
The flat sealing station works with combined intermittent and continuous motion. The horizontal intermittent motion follows the continuous motion of the forming web so that it seals even at low temperatures, by extending the sealing time and keeping the sealing pressure uniform over the whole surface area of the blister.
Should the machine stop, the upper sealing block opens automatically to protect the web, the lid foil and the product. Cooling plates cool the web just after sealing.
Product presence inside the blister and web pull throughout all the stations are checked by several cameras installed along the line.
Coding, cutting, perforation and outfeed
The blisters are coded by cold punches and cut in the same station. A servo-driven rubber unwinding roller transfers the blisters to the cutting station, while cameras check they are centered. The cutter can be changed easily and without the use of tools. The perforating station is an optional and is placed above the cutting station on a separate module.
Once cut, the blisters are picked up and placed directly onto the conveyor belt of the Robocombi. The waste is discarded into separated containers.
Robocombi connects the two parts of the machine
The three-axes Robocombi robot has been designed entirely by Marchesini Research and Development Team. The cutting-edge robot feeds the blisters into the bucket belt of the cartoning machine and can be programmed for different stacking heights, based on the preset blister count and is managed by automatic synchronization software of the transfer, tracking and stacking system. There is also a manual loading station to reinstate missing blisters on the toothed belt.
The two sections of the line (blister thermoformer and cartoner) can be separated by a wall so that they can be installed in rooms with different classifications and can work separately, according to the customer’s needs.
Technical features – Carton packaging section
The remarkably capacious carton magazine is arranged in an ergonomic and strategic position under the product conveyor belt in order to avoid dust over the blisters and to ease carton loading for operators.
Carton pick-up and opening
This unit has been built according to the operating principles of all the cartoning machines of the Marchesini Group, with a drum that picks up the cartons and opens them out, holding them firmly and accurately even at high speeds. The cartons are then taken directly to the carton conveyor belt. Access to the forepart of the machine has been improved, making it handier for operators to have an even better overview of the whole machine.
The carton conveyor belt is silent, even at high speeds, and is very easy to keep clean. Two pushing fingers and two guiding fingers on the belt hold the cartons firmly and securely while the product is inserted and throughout the whole process. The belt is durable and easy to replace.
The leaflet-feeding unit is enclosed by guards to minimize noise. The GUK feeding unit is in an ergonomic position (lower than the previous models) to ease leaflet loading.
In view of the high processing speeds involved, a new rotating pick-and-place unit has been designed and installed to transfer the leaflets to the pushers.
Product insertion unit “Cinquecento”
The blisters are inserted into the cartons by an ingenious unit that represents the highest mechanical innovation of Marchesini. Two separate combined units, pusher and blade, insert the product into the carton with impeccable precision, even at high speeds. A simple input from the display will rise the unit automatically when the machine has to be cleaned or serviced.
Carton closing and changeover in blocks
The machine is designed to handle all kinds of carton closure: tuck-in, alternated or even flap, fourth flap, etc. The changeover parts are manufactured in blocks to make changeover quicker and easier, even for inexperienced workers.
The line can deliver 520 blisters/min and 500 cartons/min: it is the ideal solution for single-blister cartons.