Food and beverage
A flash of inspiration
Nampak Plastics Europe is the premier producer of blow-moulded HDPE bottles, and has recently invested in the industry’s first all-electric blow moulding machine. Situated at the company’s UK headquarters in Newport Pagnell, this system offers significantly lower running costs than traditional methods.
MECHELEC AUTOMATiON has worked with Nampak for a number of years, supplying conveying, bagging, de-bagging and line control solutions, and has been closely involved in the roll out of lightweight Infini® bottles across a number of sites. Nampak approached MECHELEC to provide the conveying, line control and bagging systems to complement the all-electric blow moulder, including downstream transport of bottles to a trimmer, then on to a bagging machine.
The main challenge of this project was effectively conveying the bottles from the moulder to the trimmer, as the flash on the base of the bottles prevented use of a standard slat conveyor. To overcome this, the MECHELEC team developed a single drive, twin conveyor system with a gap between conveyors. This allowed the flash to `float’ between the belts while maintaining drive on the bottles.
The other issue was the delicate nature of the Infini bottles, which require gentle handling to avoid damage during transportation. The use of MECHELEC’s bespoke line control software avoided these potential bottle handling issues both before and after trimming, allowing them to be safely transported – via a leak testing unit and automatic vision inspection system – to the MA200 bagging machine.