Most packaging machinery is designed to be able to process a variety of the case sizes. Changing the various settings of the machine to handle a smaller or larger case is referred to as case changeover. The more advanced machine designs can be changed from one case size to another in a matter of a few minutes, and require few, if any, tools.
When it is necessary to rotate the case from the position in which it is erected, a case turner comes into play. Case turners can be as simple as an angled rod or 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 in packaging terminology in connection with compressed air used in operation various parts of machinery. (Not to be confused with pressure. See PSI)
The area 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, the compression station is small, since the glue sets quickly. For other types of glue, a more substantial area is required.
This is packaging automation at its most sophisticated. With it, packaging machinery is controlled by a PC-based 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 and troubleshooting capabilities.
(Cases Per Minute) The unit of measure for the output of case-handling equipment. Downstream Refers to that direction in a packaging line or operation in which the process grows increasingly more complete. For example, Downstream from a case erector, the cases are set up and ready to be used. (See Upstream)
An arrangement of components which allows case handling equipment, usually case erectors, to sense when the packaging stream is full of prevent an overflow. When the stream clears, the controls allow the equipment to automatically resume operation.
Small particles of fiber and paper which are released during case handling, particularly during case set up. Fiber dust can have a significant impact on equipment maintenance when design allows more dust than necessary to enter the machine.
Those components of case erectors and case sealers which physically move the case through the various segments of the machine. The most common of these include belts, bars or rods, and chain-and-lug systems.
That part of an automatic trayformer which constrains the corrugated blank in such a way that it is forced into the desired shape by the action of the mandrel. The forming section and mandrel are typically changeable to accommodate different sizes and configurations of finished products. The more advanced machine designs allow these components to be changed in a matter of minutes, with no tools.
The manual control for making adjustments in case-handling machinery, especially in case changeover. (See Case Changeover, Motorized Controls, and Computer Controlled) Hopper In automatic case erectors, the part of the machine which holds knockdown corrugated cases and the point from which they're 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 only one at a time, and at a rate which matches the capability of the machine to process them. Indexing is usually accomplished by some type of 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.
Making adjustments in 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 handwheels. (See Handwheel)
Refers to the position in which the knockdown case enters the erecting station (see Machine Stations) of the case erector. 90-degree erecting is a position rotated 90 degrees from upright, i.e. the case is erected lying on its side. It is important to note that the position in which the case is erected is a major machine design consideration, because it has effects and consequences far beyond the position in which the case exits the machine. 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. (See 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 differing application requirements.
(Pounds per Square Inch) The unit of measure for pressure exerted by a given medium, most commonly used in packaging terminology in connection with compressed air used to operation various parts of machinery. (Not to be confused with volume. (See CFM)
The segment or area 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.
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 used as the sealing medium, 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 more advanced tape-sealing machines can accommodate tape heads from a variety of manufacturers.
Refers to that direction in a packaging line or operation in which the process grows increasingly less complete. For example, Upstream from a case erector, the cases are still in the knockdown configuration. (See Downstream)
A pliable, cup-like device usually a few inches in diameter which, when connected to an appropriate vacuum source, provides a means to grip the flat surface of a corrugated knockdown or blank. 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 themseleves 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.)
A box made 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.
A single sheet of corrugated material manufactured for use in Trayformers and some other types of case-forming machinery. These blanks are manufactured in a configuration which allows the forming process to convert them into the desired finished products. (See Automatic Trayformers in the machinery section)
Corrugated cases or "Knockdowns" are manufactured 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 flattened or collapsed configuration in which corrugated cases are received from the corrugated manufacture. (See Corrugated Box)
The two larger flaps on the top and bottom of the case, which, when folded comprise part of the top and bottom surface of the case. Please note that some type of cases (see Case Styles) may have only one set of major flaps.
The two smaller flaps on the top and bottom of the case, which, when folded comprise part of the top and bottom surface of the case. Please note that some types of cases (see Case Styles) may only have one set of minor flaps.
-Brice H, John I. Haas
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