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Italian company ACMI installed a complete packaging line for PET bottles able to handle round and square bottles at Ferrarelle SpA. The rated filling speed is 40,000 bottles per hour for round formats and 36,000 for two litre square formats.

An important aspect that characterises the Ferrarelle line is the application of the “compact line”. It is a design philosophy of the line which eliminates all the accumulating tables except for the one placed at the outfeed of the blowing-filling block. In this “Compact” concept, the bottling line that is regarded as a single system in which the individual components work synchronously and generate a continuous and uniform flow from the filler to the stretch wrapper.

An essential feature of the “Compact” design is the automatic feeding of consumable materials. That is, the machines must be able to provide the necessary materials for the packaging of the product: shrink wrap film, handles, pallets, interlayers, stretch-wrap film.

The Fenix shrink wrapper is equipped with an automatic film changeover system which does not require any operator intervention other than to replace the finished reel once the machine has performed the changeover. The operation does not interfere with machine functioning since the latter is already working with the new reel.

A mechanical handle applicator model that does not use spacing screws was installed on the Ferrarelle line. The heart of the system is completely electronic, thanks to specific software the right distance is created between the packs varying the infeed conveyor speed. This has a number of clear advantages: no friction, fast and simple format changeover, high running speed (up to 100 packs per minute), maximum reliability and reduced distance between the shrink wrapper outfeed and the handle applicator infeed. The handle applicator model installed at Ferrarelle is two-lane and handles both round and square bottles.

Faster and Twisterbox are the combination intended to achieve a high performance palletisation system. When the Twisterbox is associated with the Faster a complete system is obtained to handle any type of pack at the highest speed possible. The Twisterbox layer formation system installed at Ferrarelle is equipped with three carbon fibre grippers. The combination with three grippers is the fastest currently available and is able to absorb the production of any type of filler. Movement precision, the ease of format changeovers and the low maintenance it requires make Twisterbox a unique machine in the field of palletisation systems.

Another machine that deserves attention is the Rocket rotating pallet stretch wrapper with a 1,000mm. reel. The stretch wrapper consists of a vertical column that occupies limited space on which the pre-stretching unit, the top cover system and the top presser are installed. In addition to the dust protection system (the so-called “top cover dispenser”), the machine can also be equipped with a hermetic wrapping system. However, the most important aspect of this stretch wrapper is undoubtedly the electronic pre-stretching unit. Thanks to this element, the stretch wrapper can pre-stretch the film up to a value of 400% or more if the material allows it. Furthermore, the electronic management of all the parameters allows the creation of fully customised wrapping programmes. This means that it is possible to establish the film pre-stretching value during each working phase, optimising both film consumption and pressure on the product.

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