Solutions for Pet Food Industry
Thanks to their 25 years of experience in the pet food sector, Concetti manufacture innovative bagging systems that offer flexibility and increased outputs, featuring many patented devices that allow an unprecedentedly accurate handling and sealing of the most advanced PE, PET and PE-Alu-PE gusseted bags demanded by pet food marketing departments. Moreover, Concetti bagging machines now feature an innovative device for inserting and sealing a pre-formed zipper onto the top of an ordinary PE bag.
Concetti produces its own range of weighers in-house. High accuracy is obtained by a combination feeding system for pet food comprising a belt for the main feed and a vibrating trough for fine feed to add precisely the right quantity of kibbles. The weighing ranges vary between 1 to 7 kg and 2 to 20 kg. With two weighers working in parallel, the output rate reaches up to 1800 bags/hour.
THE CONCETTI RANGE FOR PREFORMED BAGS
All Concetti bag filling and closing machines are monobloc structures that constitute an integrated unit for safe, clean and reliable packing. Let us focus for example on the IMF bagging machine for pre-formed bags. This filler features two discharge spouts and two empty bag magazines to ensure an output of up to 1800 bags/hour. Users benefit from the most flexible bagging system available on the market. The IMF is designed to run all bag formats from 1 kg right through to 20 kg, both gusseted or flat bags, while the bag material can be coated paper or PE, PET, aluminated PE, etc. Moreover, bags with carrying handles, bags with lateral carrying handle, with easy-peel and front or top zipper, hooded bags, stand-up pouches, single-lip bags, bags with Quattro-seal or Stabilo-seal - all these innovations can be worked with Concetti’s IMF.
This flexibility is not limited to the IMF but is common to all Concetti machine. Many of the features described apply equally to the IGF and the IPF machines for both large and small format bags.
The actual filling operation is one to which Concetti have dedicated special attention. Opening a gusseted bag for filling requires care to ensure the shape is not lost and the gussets are properly reformed. Concetti machines are equipped with special devices for holding and restoring gussets of bags with different sizes and formats. In addition, they also come with patented systems for quad seal or stabilo bags. These bags have vertical seals on the four lengthwise edges to improve stability and appearance on the shelf but are difficult to handle automatically and hard to realign precisely when closing. Without Concetti’s patented system, arranged to give all-round gripping of the bag, proper opening and realigning of the quad seal bags is simply left to chance.
Efficient filling on Concetti machines includes bottom vibration of the bag for compacting the product to improve palletisation and reduce the bag length. Further, after the bag mouth is realigned and closed and during transfer to the sealing station, Concetti uses a mechanical device (a roller) that can be selected if necessary to evacuate any excess air in the top of the bag.
Heat-sealing of PE bags is a science in itself. The IPF, IGF and IMF all designed by Concetti allow the bag to be closed at different heights on the bag face. For example, the seal can be exactly at the top edge, below the carrying handle or many centimetres below the top edge. It is also possible to have two sealing lines on the same bag, where the distance between the two seals is set by program according to the bag features, one seal at the top edge and a second one below the carrying handle. Furthermore, the sealing line itself can vary in height from 4 to 20 mm.
To guarantee a flawless seal, Concetti have opted for an in-built sealing system using high quality, heavy-duty components. For high performance and long periods without operator attention, the sealing bars are protected by a reel mounted Teflon sheet allowing a clean sealing face to be wound on whenever signs of wear appear. On high-speed applications a seal-cooling device is supplied.
BAGS FROM A TUBULAR REEL
The Continua FFS series of form, fill seal machines encompasses many of the technical features highlighted so far, while offering one additional advantage: cost-effectiveness. Today, the market offers tubular reels fabricated from various materials, ensuring the best protection for the product. And reel graphics can be extremely attractive. But still, the tubular reel stock represents the lowest cost way to create a strong and safe bag.
Pet food producers who choose Continua FFS benefit from a relatively low-cost package to meet all the market’s expectations in terms looks, flexibility and innovation. As an example, alongside the standard 10-20 kg bags, Continua FFS can now fill even 4 kg of pet food in stand up pouches. It can vacuum fill bags and allow quad seal or stabilo bags to be produced from simple, tubular gusseted reel stock. It produces bags with a carrying handle on the top or bottom or on both. And, finally, as a unique feature, it can apply a resealable zip closure.
Concetti manufacture a complete range of bag palletisers from single column pick and place robots to low and high-level layer machines. But for maximum flexibility in petfood applications the PS-3A four-column robot is the preferred solution (see picture 3)
The gripper tool can cope with any bag size in the Concetti range, it can overlap bags to ensure loads are inside the pallet dimensions and it provides top and side compression for excellent pallet stability and shape.
The gripper tool takes one or two bags at a time from the roller conveyor and places it on the stripper plate, at a point assigned by the program. The bags can easily be overlapped partially along the top or the side if required. The layer can be arranged in any convenient pattern regardless of the bags shape or how full they are. Once a layer has been completed, it is compacted on all four sides and the stripper plates open to unload the layer onto the pallet below.
After each layer is deposited, the frame can descend slightly to press the upper surface of the previous layer. This machine offer the option to cover the empty pallet with a cardboard or PE sheet and insert a cardboard sheet, PE sheet or PE net between each bag layer, to stabilize the load and protect the bags.
PS-3A palletiser reaches a top speed of 1200 bags/hr, according to the bag size and the layer pattern.
FLEXIBILITY AND VERSATILITY
On all machines, the changeover from one bag programme to the other is made through the PLC and operator panel in just 90 seconds without the use of any tools. This rapid switchover results in higher average outputs when compared to machines that have higher outright speed but require extended downtime between products, sometimes involving several change parts and lengthy set-ups. The high capacity empty bag magazines that Concetti have designed help to facilitate the operator’s work and enhances the overall system performance.
Because Concetti specialise in complete end-of-line systems including weighing, bag filling, palletising, metal detectors, checkweighers, etc., it is easy to link these separate devices to form one integrated system so the programme for the complete line is changed at one location without the use of tools. This makes the operator’s job easier with less risk of set up errors, reduces the changeover time and increases productivity. Pet food producers with many different products, bag weights, sizes and short job runs will find this very appealing.