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Latest labelling and inspection technologies

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article image Checkmat uses four cameras to monitor the label position.

KRONES AG, represented in Australia by JL Lennard , will be exhibiting its latest labelling and inspection technologies at the Emballage in Paris from November 20 to 24, 2006.

Krones plans, develops, manufactures and installs machines and complete lines for filling and packaging applications. Its principal customer groupings are breweries and beverage producers, the food sector, and the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.

The company has meanwhile evolved into a "systems technology vendor" and "all-round problem-solver" for its clients, emphasising an inclusively holistic approach.

Krones will also be spotlighting its Lifecycle Service which, in addition to spares, also covers handling parts, upgrades, maintenance programmes, repair jobs, concepts for increasing line efficiency, and solutions for line monitoring.

Systematically holistic line optimisation

Holistic optimisation of a bottling line involves a series of different aspects: more functionality, more output, more availability and thus more cost-efficiency.

System-responsive upgrades and the appropriate retrofit packages from Lifecycle Service ensure a high level of flexibility and full service compatibility for all the equipment involved, with concomitantly upgraded functionality.

To assure continuous line availability and to avoid downtimes, one of the prerequisites is maximally prompt availability of spare parts and service support.

At Krones Lifecycle Service, 90% of all spares and wear parts are available from stock, as indeed are the standardised basic-part and reserve-part packages. Moreover, the Lifecycle Service specialists submit project-responsive proposals for maintenance programmes.

High-speed wrap-around labelling

With its output meanwhile upped to as much as 67,500 containers an hour, the newly developed Contiroll HS labeller comfortably outperforms its rivals. This means that in future, even for high-speed bottling lines, a single Contiroll will suffice to cover the speed range involved, obviating the need for a second labeller.

This high speed has been made possible by new drive concepts for the label web reel holder and the cutting unit. At the label web reel holder, a servodrive replaces the eddy-current brake previously in use. The servodrive permits an immediate start and swift deceleration of reel unwinding. The newly developed cutting unit, too, is driven by its own servomotor.

A new reel magazine for the Contiroll

For reel-fed wrap-around labelling with the Contiroll labeller, Krones has developed a new reel magazine capable of accommodating up to eight label reels. Thus equipped, depending on the speed and label length involved, a Contiroll is able to operate autonomously for up to eight hours, or in other words an entire shift - without any need for the operator to intervene.

This means the familiar advantages of automatic magazine loading for wet-glue applications are now available for wrap-around labelling as well, with correspondingly significant reductions in operator workload.

Pressure-sensitive labelling station

Krones' modularised-construction labelling concept, permitting cold-glue and pressure-sensitive labelling to be combined with reel-fed hotmelt modes, has been designed to meet the bottling industry's requirements for maximised flexibility.

The Solomodule labeller is composed of individual assemblies forming part of a modularised system: on the "Plug & Label" principle, the label applicators on this machine for pressure-sensitive labelling can be easily interchanged with their cold-glue and hotmelt counterparts.

With the bottle table downsized as well, this design shortens change-over times significantly, and facilitates handling-part replacement into the bargain, as well as substantially cutting the servicing and maintenance costs involved.

At the Emballage, the Solomodule on show will feature the new APS 3 self-adhesive labelling station with automatic reel splicing.

This is an innovative high-performance applicator for pressure-sensitive labelling jobs, combining speed and accurate label positioning with simple operator control and easy change-overs: this further design enhancement now also enables the waiting label reels to be automatically spliced, eliminating any lost output at reel changes.

At the same time, this means the entire machine can be more compactly dimensioned, since only one applicator is required for each label, and not two of them as is the case with the autochange mode.

The Autocol APS 3 label applicator with automatic splicing can, of course, also be retrofitted to existing Autocol pressure-sensitive labellers and to modularised machines.

Label monitoring

Perfect label positioning is crucial to the quality of a product's packaging. The Krones Checkmat 731 utilises a total of four cameras for label inspection: 2 CCD cameras check the labels for accurate positioning on the container.

The other cameras detect whether the right label intended for the product has actually been applied. In addition, the barcodes printed on the back or neck-ring labels are detected and monitored.

Even in the case of metallised, highly reflecting labels, the presence of a label, its position and the barcode can be inspected with the aid of a special illumination feature.

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