Trend: small consumer trays for strawberries & clementines, eliminating plastic punnets.
In-line weight control
The ACB Mini Control Weighing Machine checks punnet weights in-line for products that are packed as they are harvested, such as mushrooms or strawberries. The machine has two lines, each with five weighing scales. A LED system shows the level of over-or under-weight in the punnet. In this way, the operator can easily remove or add some of the product to achieve the exact weight. With 50 to 1000 g punnets, a single operator can check 60 units/minute.
Weigher-packer for blueberries
BBC Technologies, a blueberry grading and packing specialist, was presenting a dedicated weigher-packer for blueberries: the Curo-16, which fills the punnets at a rate of 220 punnets/minute with a precision of 3 g. It can handle different types of punnets or cups. The materials used and the short drops are gentle on the fruit. The machine is made of stainless steel for easy cleaning.
LDI 20 labeller
Bizerba supplies weighing, labelling and cutting systems and has just bought an Italian firm: Mac & Label. Mac & Label is based in Cesena and specialises in fruit and vegetable labelling. This acquisition will enable Bizerba to expand its range for fruit and vegetables. The new company, Bizerba Applicador System (BAS) aims to pursue growth particularly in Spain, Italy and France. It was showing the LDI 20 labeller, which can label up to 50 packs on 1 to 9 lines of fruit per minute.
Fast and compact tray-forming machine
Boix was presenting the Q-1800, a compact tray-making machine that can form and glue up to 1800 trays/hour. One new feature is that it can make up small trays (220 x 130 mm) with hoods (flat top sections), whereas standard tray-forming machines generally cannot manage sizes below 300 x 200 mm. It is also easy to use and access. No tools are needed for changeovers.
Integrated potato weighing and packing system
Ilapack offers a complete weighing and packing solution for potatoes and onions, in vertical bags with or without netting windows. The system combines a precision weigher with a versatile, easy to clean Vegatronic vertical packing machine.
Hands and fingers for robots and cobots
The Dutch company Koat creates hands and fingers for fruit- and vegetable-packing robots and cobots. The hands and fingers are manufactured with a 3-D printer. They are designed to adapt to different products and to be soft in order not to damage the fruit and vegetables.
Redpack presented NTS, a versatile, robust and compact horizontal flow-packing machine. This machine can pack products of different sizes into flow-pack bags. Modules integrated under the packing line print the bag and stick labels onto it. Its speed is two bags/second. The NTS also has a very small footprint, measuring only 4.80 m long by 1.05 m wide and 1.45 m high, and is very robust as it is made entirely out of stainless steel. It is mounted on rollers, so it can be moved by two people, and it can be placed on a trailer for packing in the field.
Flow-packer that detects the length of the product
Reepack was presenting ReeFlow 250 PM, a flow-packing machine with an optical system for automatic detection of product size. This makes it highly versatile. The patented ‘planetary system’ for cutting and sealing developed by Reepack combines rotary and linear systems to reduce vibration. It can form up to 250 packs/minute, top or bottom sealed, with guaranteed sealing pressure.
Tray-making machine for trays with reinforced corners
The GD25 Develop presented by Sacmi is a machine for making up trays with reinforced corners. It has a new design and is easy to use. It can make up trays from as small as 200 x 300 mm up to a 600 x 400 mm size at a speed of up to 30 trays/minute. It is very compact and can also be mounted on a truck. Changing the size is a quick operation.
Octagonal box-forming machine
Gama TGO-4 Molde Octogonal makes up octagonal trays. It automates base and lid forming for octobins, which are mainly used for packing watermelons. The machine uses two types of glue: a hot one which sets quickly and a cold one that glues more slowly but more solidly. It has a capacity of 1200 pieces/hour.
Cucumber grading and packing robot
Viscon Hydroponics, a hydroponic culture solutions supplier, also offers a cucumber grading and packing robot that can grade by weight and by size.