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High-Speed Dispensing of Desiccant Packets

KÖRA-PACKMAT’s Pouch Cutter offers speed of more than 350 packets/min

VILLINGENDORF, Germany, 06 August 2007 – The design of KÖRA-PACKMAT’s new servo-based Pouch Cutter benefited from the company’s extensive experience in advanced servo motor controls; the Pouch Cutter reliably dispenses packets into every department of a lug chain of a high speed packaging machine for pharmaceutical products.

A high performance packaging machine has to run reliably at high production speed. Any ancillary unit integrated into a packaging machine has to be able to run at the same maximum speed and with the same reliability as the machine; otherwise an ancillary unit would reduce the overall productivity of the packaging machine and could also cause extensive downtime, for example if a packet of desiccant is sliced during dispensing, a packaging machine would be contaminated with the spewed desiccant.

Establishing accurate registration at start-up and maintaining registration throughout the speed range is paramount when packets are cut from a continuous strip of desiccant packets. The belts of a KÖRA-PACKMAT Pouch Cutter pull a strip off a reel and feed the strip past a sensor to the cutting knifes. The packets are separated by sealed packet webbing; the sensor can be set to look either for a webbed gap between the packets or for a print mark. Each time the sensor detects a target, the sensor asserts a signal. This signal enables the motion controller of the servo-driven five-knife rotary cutter to time the cutting of the strip. The dispensing of the packets is perfectly synchronised with the speed of the packaging machine; speed information is provided by the packaging machine via a Profi-Bus interface.

Another sensor checks the clean separation of a packet from the strip before the packet is placed onto a primary packed pharmaceutical product.

Says Joachim Kraus, Head of KÖRA-PACKMAT’s feeder business unit, “Our designers opted for a servo-based rotary cutting motion in preference to a linear guillotine motion. Rotary cutting is faster, very smooth and highly accurate; rotary cutting avoids the start and stop characteristic of a shuttle motion. Modern servo technology and powerful sensors make it easy for operators to set-up our Pouch Cutter, and the Pouch Cutter can easily keep up with the fastest pharmaceutical packaging machine.”

The rugged build of KÖRA-PACKMAT’s Pouch Cutter makes it ideal for 24/7 operation at production speeds in excess of 350 packets/min. The Pouch Cutter can handle strips of packets that are filled with various materials; packet sizes range from 15 x 55 mm to 100 x 100 mm.