Packaging: New Systems for Seaming, Heading, Capping Squeeze-Tube Packaging
Side-seam smaller tubes and apply shoulders and caps automatically at high speed.
At the recent K 2019 show in Germany, Packsys Global of Switzerland unveiled new systems for fabricating squeeze tubes from flat laminates. Packsys Global is part of Brückner Group (offices in Portsmouth, N.H., brueckner-usa.com). First, the company introduced a tube-making machine capable of making smaller laminate tubes—down to 10 mm diam. Such tubes are used primarily for pharmaceuticals but also have interesting applications in food and industrial products, the company says.
New Combitool Prestige 40 tubing header (right) and capper.
Second, Packsys Global’s Combitool Solutions unit has a new Prestige 40 tube header and capping machine for plastic or laminate tubes used in cosmetics and other applications. It is aimed particularly at larger tubes (up to 60 mm diam.), which offer weight-saving opportunities to replace blow molded bottles, the company says. The Prestige 40 header is an all-electric machine that can be used as a stand-alone unit or inline with extruders, side-seamers, and cappers. Using upright mandrels, it fuses injection molded shoulders to formed tubes of round, oval or other shapes at speeds of 120 tubes/min. Quick size changeovers are one claimed advantage.
The Prestige 40 capper is a new-generation device designed to operate as a sub-unit to a Prestige 40 header. It applies screw-on or push-on caps to any size or shape of tube. Shaped caps are oriented precisely. Top-seal application and leak checking are optional. Like the Prestige 40 header, the capper boasts quick size changeovers.
Packsys Global also introduced NEOSeam side-seam technology for printed cosmetic tubes; it produces the effect of 360° decoration with no visible overlap. (See Starting Up for details.)
Around three dozen, mostly European, processors are pushing commercial development of high-speed single-screw extrusion. They have installed more than 100 of the small hyper-drive machines whose screws turn at up to 1500 rpm, about eight to 10 times faster than standard extruders. At least two German machine builders are working on machines that will go to 2000 rpm and even higher. The goal is to raise output without increasing extruder size.
Alloys of polyethylene and recycled PET were the highlight of the annual SPE Global Plastics Environmental Conference (GPEC) in Detroit in February.
Processors tend to recommend a much larger extruder than what’s really necessary for the job and the capabilities of the downstream equipment.