An increasing need for higher through-put rates and batch size one production has created a packaging conundrum for manufacturers. Previous packaging solutions have seen companies mass producing cardboard packaging in large volumes leading to both storage and waste problems.
Manufacturers are left either with wasted, unused boxes or struggling to find the considerable volume of storage space needed to hold such stocks.
In addition, there tends to be high wastage of cardboard and packaging materials, as often boxes that are too big for the products have to be used with filler materials to provide secure packaging. Not only is this costly and wasteful for the manufacturer, but it also doesn’t create a great first impression of customers.
“On-demand box-making machines are not a new concept,” explains Simon Brooks, sales and marketing director for Homag UK. He continues: “Homag, however, recognised that the packaging machine solutions already available were not sufficiently flexible or technically advanced enough and so it decided to design and produce its own. The resulting machine, the Homag VKS 250 powerTouch, has caused quite a stir in the packaging market.”
Perfectly sized packaging
The VKS system is controlled with Homag’s powerful powerTouch controller and packaging dimensions can be fed in via either the volumetric scanner, master data (which uses a barcode to gain the product’s dimensions) or manual operator input. The scanner measures the dimensions of each item which needs to be packaged, this data is then automatically sent to the VKS 250. The system also stores packaging data so various product sizes can be easily retrieved.
The VKS 250 then cuts the box to the required size from two-fold cardboard and feeds it to the operator. The operator is then able to assemble the box, position the product inside it and then place it into the gluing machine which securely seals the box. Operators can even specify whether there needs to be a packaging allowance for protective materials such as bubble wrap; the VKS 250 then recalculates the dimensions as necessary.
More flexible than ever before
The VKS 250 can be operated as a stand-alone box-making machine or used inline to provide an on-demand box-making facility on any production line. With just-in-time production, manufacturing and stock-keeping costs are drastically reduced.
Highly flexible, the machine will produce boxes of all sizes, from as small as a 20mm x 20mm x 20mm, up to a 1m x 1m x 10m box. It will process all grades of single and double-wall corrugated board in thicknesses from 2.5mm to 6.5mm. The intelliCut program controls up to six tools, as well as any additional tools, which allow the VKS 250 to handle complex cutting.
The VKS 250 can be specified as a sheet or a continuous fan-fold corrugated board-fed machine, whichever the production process demands. The cardboard feeding system offers the flexibility of using up to eight feeders for quick material changes.
Being German-designed and engineered, it is not only robust and reliable, but also very safe. The built-in safety systems mean that operators cannot get too close to areas of potential danger, such as cutting elements, without the machine automatically shutting down until the danger is removed.
An essential machine for manufacturers
Simon Brooks concludes: “The VKS 250 is an extremely versatile piece of kit; whatever size packaging you need to produce, the VKS 250 will make it. That is what makes it unique.
“It provides significant savings in manual labour as the VKS 250 eliminates the need for mass product packing by a team of staff. In addition, there is no requirement for forklift drivers transporting cardboard boxes around the warehouse.
“By removing the necessity for manufacturers to stock pre-made packaging and simply producing bespoke cardboard boxes as and when they are needed, it puts cash back into the business. It also prevents any product or packaging damage whilst saving up to 30% in material usage alone.”
For more information or a demonstration of the Homag VKS 250 automated box-cutting machine, contact Adele Hunt at Homag UK on 01332 856424.
Perfect packaging on demand with the VKS 250