Assisting mass-packaging processors in saving energy at Fakuma 2023

High-volume packaging manufacturers specialising in thin-walled applications can now lower energy consumption. At Fakuma 2023 (Hall B1, Stand 1105), Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will reveal their latest all-electric packaging machine.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Schwaig - October 2023.

Counteracting rising material, energy, labour and operational costs, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is intentionally focusing its efforts on supporting fast-cycle packaging manufacturers to optimise productivity, boost profitability and achieve their sustainability targets. With non-recyclable packaging set to be banned on the EU market by 2030, the new R-Cycle member will also confirm how In Mould Label (IML) packaging fulfils future recyclability requirements.


Achieving a fast dry cycle time of 1.6 seconds, the main packaging exhibit, the IntElectS 220 ton machine, directly address one of the major fluctuating operating expenses for mass-packaging moulders today - energy consumption. During tests, the IntElectS series has proven energy savings of between 40 and 50 percent compared to hybrid systems.

The IntElectS is geared specifically towards plastic processors mass-manufacturing narrow tolerance and thin-walled packaging lids and containers at the fastest speeds, states Arnaud Nomblot. The Business Development Director of Packaging expands: “Cycle times of between three and twelve seconds and injection speeds of up to 350 mm/s are the typical range of this new all-electric series.”

During the live exhibit, the IntElectS 220 ton machine will manufacture IML lids with a shot weight of 28 grams for 500ml butter and margarine containers on a four-cavity mould tool supplied by Bazigos. The lids will all be made from a fully recyclable material from the Borealis Bornewable™, portfolio that doesn’t compromise on performance. To make further processing and subsequent recycling as efficient as possible, the exhibit enables the use of digital product passes via R-Cycle. This means that every container provides dynamic data regarding the used material which can be easily accessed via a QR code label. Integrated into the machine is a side-entry robot from automation specialist Campetella, which efficiently removes the lids from the mould tool, stacking them onto a conveyor belt.

Nomblot puts into context what this IntElectS launch means for manufacturers seeking higher productivity:  “Through the optimisation of tool movement, nozzle position, metering speed and injection and ejector movements, we have achieved a one second cycle time saving in comparison to a standard IntElect model.”

With a view to reducing energy consumption, Nomblot adds: “Fluctuating energy costs creates uncertainty. Particularly for mass-manufacturers where energy is the highest and most unpredictable expense. To counteract this, processing repeatability and reduced waste is imperative.”


Flower pot power

Due to the increasing demand for greener spaces and the introduction of vertical gardens, the global production of flower pots and planters will continue to grow in the coming years. Collaborating with longstanding partner Campetella, in Hall A7, Booth 7208, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will showcase how global flower pot manufacturers can increase their competitive edge with a fast-cycling hybrid El-Exis SP 250.

The epitome of production efficiency, the Fakuma cell comprises a six-cavity mould tool from Glaroform. Describing the uniqueness of this product application, Nomblot elaborates: “Despite extremely high production volumes, moulding precision is equally important. Thin-walled applications of this nature need the fastest injection speed and opening and closing dynamics. Achieving perfectly centred drainage holes with a shot weight of 55 grams requires an even spread of the melt into each cavity.” Extra strong platens helps to increase output, while the machine’s energy recovery systems lowers production costs.

This exhibit will produce six flower pots every 3.5 seconds, from a mechanically-recycled PP material supplied by Borealis. Campetella’s side entry robot will remove and stack the flower pots on a conveyor.


Sustainable speeds

Maintaining high processing speeds combined with thin-walled weight reduction and the energy efficiency of the all-electric direct drives underpins the Group’s packaging strategy, reaffirms Nomblot. Until recently, matching the motion force and speed of hybrid packaging machines was inconceivable. But, with 80,000 all-electric IntElect machines now installed globally, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has fused all this market expertise with application knowledge to give packaging processors productivity and reliability, as well as energy savings.

It’s all down to our direct drives technology, emphasises Nomblot. “Developed purely for moulding machines by our Japanese parent company, packaging manufacturers can now optimise all production conditions and achieve energy savings exceeding 70 percent and even faster cycle times in comparison to conventional moulding machines.”