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Post published on 29/06/2021

IMA overwrapping machines go Plastic-free

Our DNA sequencing is opening up regeneration opportunities.

Today there is great emphasis and interest in environmental sustainability, and reducing plastic in product wrapping has become a real goal. One of the ways to achieve a plastic-free packaging solution is to use paper as the main packaging and we included this material.
We have realised this and include this requirement when we design our consolidated machine models, as well as when we start thinking about new solutions.
Although the use of paper is nothing new at IMA BFB – since we already have experience of paper handling on our over wrappers – developing new applications that aim at minimising environmental impact is a tough yet exciting challenge.
Our new overwrapping machines, with their focus on environmental sustainability and cost reduction, can be run both with opp, recyclable and compostable films as well as with paper unrolled from reels where the glue is already incorporated into the designated paper sealing areas rather than applied with guns or gluing units. This means that glue quantity and power consumption are reduced to the minimum and waste generation is limited. The goal is to mitigate environmental impacts and allow for a more efficient use of resources.

Going beyond this major innovation, all other product features have been maintained in line with our customers’ requests:

• Servo-driven technologies covering a wide range of speeds from 50 to 220 products per minute, making IMA BFB overwrapping machines the ideal solutions for any high-speed packaging line.
• Arrangement of the film reel and tear-tape position to improve the overall ergonomics. As an option, the overwrapping machines can be equipped with an automatic splicing unit: when one reel ends, the other starts working without having to stop the machine for replacement.
• New design of the step-by-step outfeed: handling via a double-tooth chain, keeping products separate between the lateral sealing plates and controlling each carton position for a perfect sealing spot of the paper/film flaps.
• Standard features include a guillotine knife, film unwinding by means of driven drums, lateral folding box, bottom transversal sealing, reciprocating lateral sealing plates, and easy and quick changeover.
Overwrapping machines also benefit from a host of optional groups to respond to specific needs and enhance performance. One of these is the product bypass, enabling an operation that can be performed inside the machine, thus avoiding the need for additional external belts.

Designing and manufacturing new machines is a great challenge, but our research into environmental friendly materials have gone beyond new technologies. Our tests have been carried out on existing machines and on retrofit projects.
We have worked on existing overwrapping machines so they can work with paper while keeping the same level of accuracy and final package quality, and allowing production to be performed both with paper and polypropylene film.
We have re-designed some machine parts knowing that they need to have a blunt surface profile to bend and fold the paper around the product in the proper way. Paper behaves differently than film when it comes to folding, sealing and wrapping around the product. We are giving our customers the chance to re-cycle and re-generate their machines using the same sized parts to treat products both with paper and film wrapping without impacting on speed and final quality.

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