GEA optimises its TwinTube packaging machine

GEA will launch its redesigned high-speed vertical packaging machine GEA SmartPacker TwinTube at PackExpo (booth LS-5905) in Las Vegas, USA from September 23-25, 2019. The entire machine has been redesigned as a future-proof modular system with increased functional efficiency promoting higher operational uptime and ease of use.

The TwinTube is a continuous motion vertical machine, suitable for packaging small-sized, food products such as candy, nuts & dried fruits and other on-the-go products in pillow bags of different sizes.

The machine is part of a complete packaging process with upstream and downstream equipment operating in a dry manufacturing facility. It operates with two parallel forming tubes, achieving combined speeds of up to 500 bags per minute (weighing 10-18 g each). It is also possible to run a different film reel for each tube, meaning calorie packs of different widths or designs can be simultaneously filled. A new feature to the machine is the Jumbo Roll, which allows film reels of up to 100kg to be used for long production runs, which boosts operational efficiency.

“The new TwinTube has a modular construction which allows customers to easily add new options and upgrade their machine, thus prolonging the life span of the system. In addition, we’ve increased operator friendliness by introducing tool-less adjustment features which helps achieve shorter change-over times and proven/error free setup of the machine – this includes printers, labelers and the vertical sealing unit,” said Martijn van de Mortel, product manager vertical packaging at GEA.

“With these new updates, we’re able to meet our customers’ demands in terms of automated process control, less operator dependence, more uptime and operational efficiency.”

The SmartPacker TwinTube is equipped with automated web tracking, which will correct the direction of the film automatically, without the need of manual adjustment. Ultimately this safeguards the quality of the resulting bags, while saving on downtime.

The new SmartPacker features a new jaw closing mechanism, optimised heating unit and a vertical rotational seal unit, promoting robust packing performance and seal tightness. The jaw closing mechanism offers more than triple sealing force as the previous one and can apply 6000N.

“With this development producers will be able to work with more challenging films thus able to give retailers and consumers what they are looking for in terms of bag quality with even wider range of film materials.” said van de Mortel.

Manufacturers have the option to add the new, fully integrated GEA TiroLabel unit, which makes the machine even more compact on the factory floor. The labeling unit delivers a speed of up to 180 labels per minute at a width of 150mm. With a quick-release operation, label rolls can be changed in seconds with minimal downtime.

The GEA TwinTube also features an open design with double-hinged doors for easy access and see-through panels providing maximum visibility of the sealing area. This ensures all items requiring maintenance can be easily reached.

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