With over 76,000 visitors coming from more than 170 countries, Drinktec 2017 has exceeded all expectations and has confirmed to be the world’s most important innovation exhibition. For SMI, it was a crucial event; a real showcase of innovation whereby the most advanced bottling and packaging solutions were displayed: the ECOBLOC® ERGON integrated system, the CWP ERGON casepacker and the MP ERGON overlapping cardboard sleeve packer.
Machines and systems of the new ERGON technology are designed for Industry 4.0 automated and interconnected production. Indeed, the ERGON range stands out for its state-of-the-art solutions that provide more flexibility, efficiency, eco-compatibility, management and monitoring simplicity within the production lines.
New age of bottling Among the solutions for the blowing and bottling processes, at Drinktec SMI has exhibited the EBS ERGON stretch-blow moulder in ECOBLOC® version with an electronic filler. The new EBS (Electronic Blowing System) ERGON is the result of a research and development project, which has introduced innovative concepts for the design and manufacturing of the new SMI rotary blow moulders. The current EBS ERGON range includes both models suitable for the manufacturing of PET containers up to 3 L with a maximum output of 33600 bottles/ hour and HC (High Capacity) models for the manufacturing of containers up to 10 L with a maximum output of 7200 bottles/ hour.
The stretch-blowing module of the EBS ERGON series is equipped with motorised stretch rods, whose functioning is controlled by electronic drives and does not require mechanical cams; this ensures a precise control of the stretch rod’s path and position, as well as significant energy savings. The EBS ERGON series also uses high-performance, low dead-volume valves that reduce pre-blowing and blowing times, thereby improving the machine efficiency and the quality of the bottles produced.
The motorisation of the mould mechanical assembly is integrated with the electronic stretch rod, making the EBS ERGON stretch-blow moulders a “cam-free” system, with considerable advantages in terms of greater kinematic accuracy, less maintenance, less vibration, less noise and increased system longevity. The stretch blow-moulders of the EBS ERGON series is equipped with a newly designed preform-heating tunnel, featuring very compact dimensions, with a horizontal prefom-holding mandrel chain and with optimized ventilation and aeration systems.
The new heating module is equipped with a system of thermo-reflective panels made of a highly energy- efficient ceramic material, situated both in front and behind the infrared lamps units responsible for heating the preforms; this innovative solution ensures a high reflexion of the heat generated by the lamps and consequently a more uniform distribution of the heat over the entire surface of the preforms. Thanks to their technically advanced solutions, the new SMI EBS ERGON blow-moulders stand out for their low energy consumption and the total environmental compatibility of the stretch-blowing process.
New age of packaging The secondary packaging solutions exhibited by SMI at Drinktec 2017 included a new overlapping cardboard sleeve packer of the MP ERGON series and a new casepacker of the CWP ERGON series. The packers of the MP ERGON series are suitable to pack a wide range of containers in a high number of different configurations, responding in an efficient way to the variable present and future end- users’ demands. The continuous cycle packaging system ensures a fluid production process, without jerking movements, which protects the containers from damages, ensuring integrity of the product, high-quality of the package and reduced mechanical wear of the machine com- ponents.
The pack bottom sealing with hot melt glue ensures a precise and long-lasting closure, with the possibility of using different types of cardboard. The SMI MP ERGON cluster packers are the ideal solution to create packs with a captivating graphics and a strong visual impact, able to capture the consum- er’s attention: moreover, cardboard blanks are very resistant to hits and easy to manage, open and store. The model, which has been shown at the exhibition in Munich packed 0,33 L beer bottles in 2 x 2 OTT packs with flap inside. The clusters realized were packed in cardboard boxes, completely closed by the new CWP ERGON case- packer in the 4 x 4 pack format.
The CWP ERGON project arose from SMI’s desire to launch on the market a compact version of the WP packer featuring the same design and manufacturing principles as CSK ERGON shrinkwrappers. Adopting some of the main features of the CSK series, the new CWP series has been designed as a technologically advanced packaging machine, which stands out for advanced automation, excellent quality-price ratio, high flexibility, energy savings and environmental safeguard. The series currently includes just the model CWP 40 for the packaging of a wide range of rigid containers in wrap- around cases or in only tray packs with the maximum output of 40 packs/minute (according to the container dimensions and the package format).