Packaging machine aimed at UK confectionery, snack manufacturers

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The machine can package small food products such as confectionery, dried fruits and nuts
The machine can package small food products such as confectionery, dried fruits and nuts

Related tags Ambient Packaging & labelling Technology & Automation

UK confectionery and snack foods processors now have direct access to the GEA SmartPacker TwinTube packaging machine, which is making its debut on the national market.

According to GEA, the continuous motion machine's two parallel tubes can bag and seal two different pack sizes simultaneously using different types of packaging.

The equipment can work with plastic or functional paper and is suitable for packaging small food products such as confectionery, dried fruits and nuts, and other on-the-go products in pillow bags.

The two ​forming tubes can achieve combined speeds of up to 500x 10g-18g bags a minute. The model also has a built-in Jumbo Roll capability. That enables film reels of up to 100kg to be used for long production runs, boosting operational efficiency.

Flexibility, accessibility

Thanks to the latest built-in features, the device focuses on flexibility and accessibility, with the aim of minimising costly downtime taken to maintain or recalibrate it, particularly during line changes.

GEA SmartPacker TwinTube
The machine's two parallel tubes can achieve speeds of up to 500x 10g-18g a minute

Automated web tracking ​means if the packaging film deviates from its path due to, for example, variances in the film roll, it will correct the direction of the film automatically, without manual adjustment. Ultimately this safeguarded the quality of the resulting bags, whilst saving on downtime, GEA claims.

The machine incorporates a jaw closing mechanism, an optimised heating unit and a vertical rotational seal unit, promoting robust packing performance and tight pack seals. The jaw closing capability applies three times the sealing force of the previous model (6,000 newtons), allowing the use of thicker films or films with more diverse sealing requirements.

Shorter changeover times

Due to the more stable suspension of the longitudinal seam unit and the reproducible and precise positioning by spindle and ruler, shorter changeover times are possible when switching formats or foils. 

The SmartPacker TwinTube can be equipped with a new, fully integrated GEA TiroLabel unit, making it compact on the factory floor. The labelling unit delivers a speed of up to 180x 150mm labels a minute. The label roll has a quick-release operation, which means it can be changed in seconds with minimal downtime, according to GEA.

The machine features an open design with double-hinged doors for easy access and see-through panels providing maximum visibility of the sealing area. Full access and easy maintenance are made possible via the machine’s hinged front-plate – to which the sealing arms and vertical seal are attached – and which can be fully opened. This ensures all items requiring maintenance can be easily reached.

Its modular construction also means GEA has made it as easy as possible to add new options or upgrade, thus prolonging the life of the system. And the current model boasts toolless adjustment features, which again contributes to shorter changeover times.

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