Most pieces of packaging machinery are engineered to accommodate several case sizes. Adjusting the various machine settings to allow for a smaller or larger case is called case changeover. With most machines today, the case change-over process happens in a matter of minutes, and requires few, if any, tools.
When the need arises to rotate a given case from the position in which it is erected to another position, a case turner is required. Case turners range in complexity from something as simple as an angled rod to something more complicated, depending on the requirements of the application.
(Cubic Feet per Minute) The unit of measure for volume of a given medium, most commonly used to detail compressed air required for use in operating various parts of machinery. (Not to be confused with pressure. See PSI)
The station of a case erector or case sealer in which the minor and major flaps are held tightly, or compressed, against the case to allow glue to set. Since the glue setting process does not take a long time, the compression station generally encompasses a small area.
This entails advanced packaging automation. Machinery is controlled by a PC-based central processing unit (CPU), and all machine functions can be fully automated and monitored and controlled remotely, if desired. Control can be limited to a single machine or extended to one or more entire packaging lines. This level of automation also provides data-gathering, reporting, and troubleshooting capabilities.
A single sheet of corrugated material used in tray forming and case erecting. These blanks are manufactured in a configuration which allows the forming process to convert them into the desired finished products.
Corrugated Box or Case
A box created from multilayered, corrugated paper material, as opposed to a single-layered chipboard. Corrugated cases are manufactured in a “knockdown” or flattened configuration and must be erected before they can be used. Corrugated cases intended for automated erecting are typically manufactured to closer tolerances than those intended to be set up by hand.
(Cases Per Minute) The unit of speed used to measure the output of case-handling equipment.
The packaging flow or direction in which the process grows increasingly more complete.
An arrangement of mechanisms that allow case handling equipment, usually case erectors, to sense when the packaging stream is full to prevent backlog. When the stream clears, the mechanisms allow the equipment to automatically restart.
Tiny particles of fiber and paper released during case handling. Fiber dust can negatively affect equipment maintenance when mechanical design allows significant amounts of dust to enter the machine.
The components of case handling machinery that physically guide the case through the several stations of the machine. The most common of these include belts, bars or rods, and chain-and-lug systems.
That portion of an automatic tray former which holds the corrugated blank in a manner that forces it into the desired shape by action of the mandrel. Generally, the forming section and mandrel are changeable to operate on different sizes and configurations of finished products.
Hand of Case
Corrugated cases or “knockdowns” are constructed in two configurations left and right hand. Hand of case is important when using automatic case erectors. To determine the hand of case hold knockdown case so that printing is readable. Location of length panel will determine hand of case.
The manual control for making adjustments in case-handling machinery, especially in case change-over. Hopper In automatic case erectors, the part of the machine which holds knockdown corrugated cases and the point from which they are fed into the machine’s infeed. Hoppers are available in a wide variety of configurations. The more advanced machine designs feature hoppers which address ergonomic concerns, i.e. ease of loading, as well as efficiency of operation.
Controlling case movement to allow cases to enter machinery in a single uniformed fashion, and at a manageable rate for the given machinery. Indexing is usually accomplished by some form of a gate at the machine infeed. This gate blocks entry of cases until the case being processed reaches a predetermined point in its travel through the machine.
The flattened manner in which corrugated cases are received from the manufacturer. (See Corrugated Box)
The two larger flaps on the top and bottom of the case, which, when folded make up part of the top and bottom surface of the case. Some styles of cases may have only one set of major flaps.
The two smaller flaps on the top and bottom of the case, which, when folded make up part of the top and bottom surface of the case. Some styles of cases may only have one set of minor flaps.
Performing adjustments with packaging machinery requires the physical movement of parts of the machine. These movements can be fully automated with control mechanisms which are motorized, as opposed to making the adjustments manually with hand wheels. (See Hand wheel)
Ninety Degree Erecting
The position in which the knockdown case enters the erecting station of the case erector. Ninety-degree erecting is a position rotated ninety degrees from upright, i.e. the case is erected lying on its side. The position in which the case is erected is a critical consideration, because it may have subsequent effects. These include visibility and accessibility of the erecting process for adjustments and maintenance, and exposure of the tape head and internal parts to excessive fiber dust.
(Programmable Logic Controller) – An electronic control unit used to regulate the operation of a given packaging machine. PLCs control the machine’s operating parameters and allow programming or changing of those parameters to accommodate varying application requirements.
(Pounds per Square Inch) The unit of measure for pressure exerted by a given medium, most commonly used in conjunction with compressed air used to operation various parts of machinery. (Not to be confused with volume. (See CFM)
The section of the machine in which the folded major and minor flaps are secured to form the bottom or top of the case. The sealing medium can be self-adhesive tape, hot-melt glue, cold glue, staples, or a combination of these.
Stations of the Machine
Those segments of a given packaging machine in which its various functions take place, e.g. in a case erector, the machine stations include the infeed (knockdown corrugated case enters the machine), the erecting station (knockdown corrugated case is erected), the flap-folding station (minor and major flaps are tucked and folded), sealing station (tape or other sealing medium is applied to secure flaps), compression station (when glue is used as the sealing medium, the flaps of the case must be held in a compressed state momentarily after the glue is applied), case turner (changes the orientation of the case after it’s erected and sealed), discharge (case moves out of the machine and downstream).
When self-adhesive tape is utilized for sealing, this device automatically affixes the tape to the case to secure the minor and major flaps. Tape heads may be used in any case handling machinery which seals the top and/or bottom of the case. Tape heads are available from a wide variety of manufacturers and are designed to apply tape from different manufacturers, as well.
The packaging flow or direction in which the process grows increasingly less complete.
A supple device for gripping the flat surface of a corrugated knockdown or blank, when used in conjunction with a vacuum source. The key to the effectiveness of vacuum-cup systems is consistent vacuum at a specified value of flow and pressure. The more advanced machine designs incorporate vacuum generators which assure the correct values at all cups at all times, and which automatically clear themselves of fiber dust to maintain optimum performance. (See Vacuum Generator.)
A device used in packaging machinery which is designed to consistently produce vacuum at a specified flow and pressure for use in the operation of the machine. A consistent vacuum source is crucial to dependable operation. (See Vacuum Cup.)