Maisha Cox, Product Manager at Syntegon for Kliklok secondary packaging machines discusses with International Bakery building on expertise to create their new BEC endload cartoner
You recently released the new, Kliklok BEC endload cartoner, which was showcased at interpack this year. At Syntegon, how are you ensuring continuous innovation and listening to market needs?
Every new product development starts with extensive research. We carefully observe global markets and look at new technology trends. In addition, structured customer feedback as well as learnings from previous machine generations form a solid basis for the design of new machines. The new Kliklok BEC, which we presented at interpack, is the third machine generation of its series. The first BEC endload cartoning machine was launched in 2000. This gave us more than two decades of BEC experience to work with. This rich experience, combined with customer feedback, new ideas and today’s market requirements went into the design of the new Kliklok BEC.
Continuous improvement is one way to develop new machines, innovation is another one. However, innovation does not just happen. Apart from creativity, innovation needs processes to make sure that completely new concepts receive the right level of attention and resources to develop from an idea to a commercial product. At Syntegon, we foster innovation. We dedicate time and resources to bringing new ideas to life. It is a part of our company culture.
Labour shortages are drawing mid-sized manufacturers towards automating their processes. How have the needs of mid-sized companies influenced the design of the new cartoner?
Automation is more than a buzzword in the industry. The labour shortage was already top of mind before Covid 19, but the trend accelerated during the pandemic and has not slowed down since. In mid-sized companies, we still see many hand packing operations, especially when it comes to cartoning and case packing. Now, many of our customers opt for fully automated packaging processes because it is difficult to find skilled personnel. The only option to ensure a stable production long-term is to automate repetitive, monotonous work so that skilled operators may focus on more complex tasks. With this in mind, the return on investment time on such a machine has dropped, making this technology a more attractive proposition.
The new Kliklok BEC endload cartoner was designed and engineered with the operator in mind. It features an open and accessible design, providing the operator with a very good overview of the complete machine at all times. Recipe-based menus, digital readouts and feedback on component level are accessible on the HMI. The clear guidance helps operators to perform tasks quickly and without error. In addition, we offer comprehensive web-based on-board training videos. This is especially helpful for new operators.
One continuous task operators face during production is filling the hopper with carton blanks. We offer a simple Cobot to perform this monotonous work so that the operator may focus on other tasks during production.
What features of the Kliklok BEC endload cartoner were examined as you were looking to achieve faster packaging speeds?
The switch to servo technology is among the most important factors for the increased packaging performance of the new Kliklok BEC. It speeds up format changes significantly...
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