BREAKTHROUGH IN CHAIN PACK AUTOMATION
Automatic handling and cartoning of chainpacks
Langen Packaging Group has developed equipment for automatic folding and case packing of bags/sachets in chains (known as BIC or chain packs). These strips of sachets joined together with perforations between each pack are a popular packaging format in developing countries, allowing consumers to purchase smaller and therefore more affordable quantities of household and food products. Langen have built a number of these systems for a leading multinational company, with further machines currently under construction in their factory in Holland. As a result (food) manufacturers could save on transportation and improve on “shelf” appearance compared with dropping strings straight into the case.
Each chain is zig zag folded one by one resulting in a formation/bundle of sachets. The formed bundles are conveyed to the pre-stage pick table. Subsequently a complete layer of bundles is formed on the pre-stage pick table, prior to loading by a robotic unit, equipped with a gripper head with side clamps and vacuum support into the case. Subsequent layers can be loaded in the same way.
This flexible system allows adjustments for a range of sachet thickness, and can accommodate a wide range of case sizes. Change over time for the unit is estimated at 5-15 minutes by one operator depending on chain length and case dimensions.