A key part of the end-of-line packaging system is DS Smith’s new Combi 150R machine. Featuring one mandrel case former, one division inserter and one top sealer, the same machine can shape several different case formats. Customers can make boxes with 4, 6 or 8 sides – maximising the printable area for messaging – or even with rounded corners. The machine can also produce shelf-ready open cases, such as those with a high back and low front to better display products.
The flat cardboard die-cuts are conveyed to the mandrel case former, with the products to be packed entering on a separate conveyor. In less than two seconds, the mandrel former shapes the case in the desired format, glues the sides and ejects it. A robotic pick-and-place system selects the products to be packed from the second conveyor and places them in the empty boxes. Once filled, the box is sealed by the top. The Combi 150R combines three modules in one: one mandrel former, one automatized case packer and one sealing unit..”
This combination drives the feeder that picks up and places the cardboard die-cut on the conveyor, while the gluing line seals the sides of the cases. A robotic arm slips the die-cut under the mandrel and wraps the cardboard around it – in one second. The servos drive support a single conveyor for the customer’s products along with a double conveyor for the cases. It also drives the pick-and-place robot that fills the cases, as well as the conveyor moving them to the top sealer unit.
From the customer’s perspective, the new Combi 150R reduces the time needed for commissioning and maintenance, while accelerating changeover time for different box formats. The precision and reliability of the machine also bring cost savings in their wake – there is less waste with rejects, as even the first box of a new series is perfectly formed. As every box in a series is exactly the same size, they are easier to stack on pallets, saving space. Additionally, customers can differentiate their products more easily on supermarket shelves with disruptive formats.
The automation of the Combi 150R helps us keep the machine compact, which customers like because it saves floor space. It also provides the speed and reliability we need to drive the mandrel case former. That's one of DS Smith Packaging Systems principal differentiators on the market.