PHOTO: One of the first versions of the new carton packer from Progetto includes a vertical unscrambler, for sorting and aligning caps, but this unit can be completely done away with when containers or other moulded goods need to be packed into cartons – in which case the moulded items will enter the system by horizontal conveyor

New from Progetto: automated carton packer

PROGETTO, the in-line automation systems provider, has developed its own automated carton packer solution.

At first glance, the Progetto design of this important packaging utensil appears straightforward … but on closer examination the interested party will find that there are a number of features that required highly specific and accurate positioning of shifters and moving arms and coordination of the various parts. If that’s not enough of a challenge, bear in mind that the line also needs to, unattended, move containers and cartons into the packing zone, complete the tray packing application and then smoothly move the packed and sealed cartons out of the system, which is no mean feat.

The main aims with automated packers include the need for a small footprint, in order for the unit to be positioned in-line and as close as possible to the moulding machine(s), highly predictable operation capable of running 24/7 with minimal attendance and the need to be relatively easy to programme and control. And then to come in at a price which doesn’t cause health issues for the buyer.

Rocky Stone and the Progetto team, based in Killarney Gardens, Cape Town, are involved in several areas besides plastics, but their systems are well suited to plastics as the moulded goods tend to be light and hence relatively easy to move by conveyor. That attractive aspect falls away, however, once the containers are filled, which is another area where Progetto has good expertise. Stone himself has been involved in automation development for close to two decades and Progetto (established 2006) has achieved some breakthrough development virtually every year.

Besides its conveyor systems, for which it is well-known, Progetto already manufactures leak testers and trimmers, labelling and filling lines and other specialised systems for more difficult requirements such as metal detection and wrappers.