Flexible and "Universal" Filling Machines
Is it possible to design flexible fillers that can handle any kind of Gable Top carton, even with the same machine? Let's find out!
Galdi's design efforts are geared towards manufacturing flexible fillers that can handle any kind of Gable Top carton, even with the same machine, regardless of:
- Aesthetic design (i.e. asymmetric cartons)
- Type of multilayer carton (PE, EVOH, aluminium foil)
We have tested and handled all types of Gable Top cartons available on the market on our fillers, packing a very wide range of food products. Our machines are ready for innovative packages and products, as this is exactly what they are designed for!
Let us clarify this.
NEW PACKAGING TYPES AND TESTED SOLUTIONS
For small-sized dairies, the added value of our fillers lies in the possibility to change format and aesthetic design in a fast and efficient way, whereas large food manufacturers have a greater interest in the capability of our new fillers to also handle innovative packaging types.
For several years, there has been a tendency to favour multi-layer cartons with lower grammage and, with sustainability gaining traction, this trend is bound to grow. In the meantime, research is underway to produce bio-based and compostable packaging materials.
As this article illustrates, the studies and tests carried out by Galdi give us an extra edge, because, when it comes to introducing a new packaging type:
- We already have a clear idea of the variables at play, in terms of configuration and settings, and
- The machines are conceived to be flexible and to handle changes in packaging types without requiring "massive" redesign interventions.
Our designers deserve much of the credit for this, but Galdi also believes and invests a lot in some other factors.
SHARING EXPERIENCE WITH CARTON SUPPLIERS
We cooperate with the world's leading multi-layer carton suppliers, conducting tests and experiments together to try and test new Gable Top cartons.
We can also test and validate the compatibility between product, packaging and filling machine, recommending our customers the best packaging and filling configuration.
FILL good, our start-up, created precisely with this purpose in mind, provides a very valuable help here.
DESIGNING FLEXIBLE FILLERS
Manufacturing packaging machines that can ensure the same performance for any kind of Gable Top carton requires in-depth research at the design stage.
Design guidelines aim at finding solutions that fulfil several criteria at the same time:
- Enabling multiple configurations to pack cartons that come in different volumes, formats and designs (i.e. cartons with curved top or front panels) with the same machine
- Once native configurations are set, the customer must be able to perform all planned format changeovers without replacing mechanical parts
- Possibility to add new configurations at a later stage, thanks to modular design
- Rapid format changeover: maximum 3 minutes to change volume
- Reliable and constant packaging performance, regardless of changes in format or volume
In order to guarantee flexibility in packaging as well as the utmost precision for very diverse packaging types, we developed and tested technical and mechanical refinements for each station along the pack's journey inside the filler:
- Carton load system
- Package disinfection system
- Transport system
The analysis and validation work carried out by Galdi's designers, technicians and testers led to interesting developments, especially in the critical points for filling: top sealing, stable transport system to avoid movement inside the packages, etc.
We test configuration variables – pack type, paper thickness, number of filled cartons per hour – through an accurate quality control check, verifying sealing resistance, packaging aesthetics, weight and proper panel alignment.
We strive for the best, both in terms of final result and precise settings for different formats.
COOPERATING WITH UNIVERSITIES
In collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Padua, we have launched a study on the physical and mechanical characteristics of multilayer cartons – PE, EVOH, aluminium foil - to assess and optimise the sealing and folding processes.
We have developed models and conducted simulations to evaluate the sealing performance in packages with different formats and materials.
Research is ongoing and many solutions adopted for high-end fillers have already been transferred to more basic models as well.
In the end, as Darwin would put it, in a changing market, only the fillers that best adapt will survive!
Discover other design innovations made by Galdi to food and drink packaging machines and contact us for more information.