The New Flexim bagmaker inserter, presented at the Interpack in Düsseldorf in April, is an improved version of its predecessor, which has been on the market for the past ten years.
The machine, which insets bags into cases that are then filled with bread, can stand alone or can be integrated into an existing packaging line. Alternatively, it can be installed in an automated Pattyn packaging line, which consists of four machines- a case erecter, a bag inserter, a filling machine- to deposit bread into the cases- and a decuffer sealer- to seal the bags and boxes.
Pattyn Packing Lines markets its machine as significantly reducing labour by replacing a function normally carried out manually. "A worker can insert an average of four to five bags into cases per minute. The New Flexim can reach speeds of up to 18 cases per minute, compared with the 12 cases achieved by its predecessor," said Karel Vanduynslager, the firm's European sales manager.
The bags used are fabricated by the machine itself, out of a roll of high or low density polyethylene foil, a process which is 20 per cent cheaper than using ready-made bags, said the company.
The roll is ergonomically positioned at the foot of the machine, preventing workers from having to lift the 50-60K load and providing an easy changeover time of 45 seconds.
The company claims its new machine has a high degree of flexibility, able to adapt to different case sizes, and with a format converter time of 60 seconds.
This function has become more automated, reduced from 10-15 mechanical operations down to two, for case width and conveyor width, the remaining operations controlled by a standard touch screen. This reduces case-size adaptation time from ten minutes to 30 seconds, said the company.
"One of the big advantages of our company is that we are the only ones to supply a complete line of packaging machines. This means that complete automation is achieved, and the line is run by only one operator. We also manage the whole line, taking responsibility for each machine," said Vanduynslager.
Pattyn Packing Lines has an annual turnover of €10m, one third of which is generated from sales of its packaging machines to the baking industry.