Getting stuck in to cartons

Finding an accurate and effective way of achieving carton adhesion for various potential product loads

Brand loyalty is a difficult enough goal to achieve at the best of times. Consumers are notoriously fickle, and will switch brands at the drop of a hat to a competitive product given the slightest incentive or at the first whiff of a problem. So the last thing a company wants to present to the consumer is a faulty carton. So problems which arise when the carton glue is not strong enough to withstand the weight of its contents are bad news, because too often it’s an issue only identified at point of sale.

Machines assembling flatpack cartons use a series of pneumatically operated pressure nip rollers to ensure optimum curing of the adhesive applied to secure the bottom of the cartons. Each pair of nip rollers has a higher pressure than its neighbour, producing an incremental pressure gradient as cartons progress through the series of rollers. Traditionally roller pressure is controlled by a manually adjusted pressure regulator coupled to the port of a single acting pneumatic cylinder connected to the nip roller.

It has always been difficult to accurately set an adequate adhesion level for each new set of cartons, as the set up of the control pressures relies on the visual inspection of a pressure gauge, and a pressure regulator. And often, all cartons have s similar base strength, regardless of contents.

One packaging company finding that the setting process was too laborious, and carton wastage and product loss too high, called in Economatics to design a better system.

The answer, according to Economatics’ engineers, lay in the way nip roller pressure was applied. Four electro-pneumatic pressure transducers were installed, enabling control pressure to be entered via a keypad on a programmable controller-based operator interface. Once an acceptable pressure was established for a particular range of cartons, this could be stored for future use. The reliability of adhesive integrity was ensured and set up time was reduced to a few seconds.

Economatics Tel: 0114 281 3344