As a BOBST partner company, Baumer hhs exhibited its latest innovations for glue application and quality control in folding carton production at COMPETENCE 18, an in-house trade fair held by the Swiss group of companies at its Competence Centre in Mex in early June. BOBST has six folder-gluers at this demonstration site, all of which are equipped with the latest technology from Baumer hhs.
“Packaging manufacturers from around the world took advantage of the opportunity to talk with our experts about the latest hot melt and cold glue applications, as well as the associated quality control systems. We spoke in particular with representatives of major packaging corporations about how we can support their upcoming projects with our solutions in a way that meets their expectations and needs,” said Michael Augustyniak, Baumer hhs International Sales Manager, summarising his company’s successful results at the event.
One innovation that Baumer hhs showcased was its Xtend3 controller with fully integrated Xcam camera system for quality control. Combining these two technologies gives users access to new, flexible options for controlling complex glue application and fold patterns. At COMPETENCE 18, these products were demonstrated in a bottle carrier manufacturing process on a MASTERFOLD 110 GNB folder-gluer at a speed of 300 meters per minute. The machine is equipped with two Xtend3 controllers and a total of 32 cold glue heads. The heads are installed on three stations, each of which has a dedicated operator interface for adjusting settings and visualising the gluing process. In this configuration, quality assurance is based on a double-sheet sensor, skew detection, ULT-300 cold glue sensors for monitoring glue application and two Xcam systems with a total of three cameras for monitoring glued areas, glue-free areas and flaps. Checking areas where no glue should be applied is an important function, because it helps to ensure that folding cartons can be properly erected, loaded and sealed in the downstream automated cartoning machines.
“Manufacturing six packs, for instance, usually requires the application of several line and dot glue patterns, which makes controlling the quality of glue application very demanding. As a two-camera system, the Xtend3 can monitor up to 40 glue beads per Xcam plus ten glue-free areas. Each camera covers an area up to 400mm wide. The same applies to the flap folds, which can likewise be highly complex in bottle carriers,” says Sven Heimann, Senior Folding Carton Applications Engineer at Baumer hhs, describing the versatile options of integrating cameras in the Xtend3.
Thanks to the graphical and intuitive user interface, machine operators can easily set up the cameras even for complex glue patterns. The process can be automated, where parameters are set in accordance with defined patterns and therefore the same for all blanks. Machine operators can save the settings for a job in Xtend3 and access them again at the push of a button for repeat orders. Xtend3 systems can share job and glue pattern data with the folder-gluer controllers, meaning that gluing and quality control processes can additionally be visualised on these machines.
Baumer hhs originally introduced the Xtend3 series at drupa 2016. With its intuitive operation via multi-touch display, this product line has become popular among machine operators all over the world. The new help function, with context-sensitive information, online instruction manual and brief videos on how to configure components, supports machine operators in achieving short set-up times.
Visitors to the event were also very interested in the advantages of the innovative Baumer hhs DPP-8 double-piston pump, which optimises the conditions of glue delivery to further enhance the quality of glue application, while guaranteeing high machine availability and reduced wear. Electronic operation of the pump enables precision pressure management at any production speed, making a material pressure regulator superfluous. By generating only the pressure level required at a given time, and thus ensuring a continuous flow of material, the pump goes very easy on the glue itself, delivering it to the application heads at the viscosity specified by the manufacturer.
Thanks to the intelligent controller integrated in the glue delivery unit, glue consumption per job can be calculated to within an accuracy of +/- 5% – a unique function for analysing costs and preparing for subsequent jobs. Expanded statistics help folding carton manufacturers meet the high quality and efficiency demands of their customers in the pharmaceutical, food, beverage, cosmetics and other industries.
“Our appearance at COMPETENCE 18 generally was viewed as a signal to packaging manufacturers that Baumer hhs is the right partner for glue applications now and in the future,” added Augustyniak, underlining one of the Baumer hhs team’s main impressions of the in-house trade fair.