Marchesini has made its first foray into the market for stickpack packaging with the launch of a complete automated line aimed at manufacturers in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries, writes Phil Taylor.
The Italian company said the first examples of the new line, suitable for products in powder, granule or liquid form, are being installed in two factories owned by a multinational pharmaceutical company.
Stickpacks were first adopted by the food industry for products such as coffee granules and sugar, and are becoming increasingly used in favour of sachets as they are easy to open, the contents can be poured out in a controlled manner, and the packs require less materials than sachets.
The design of Marchesini's new packaging line was a collaboration between the Italian firm and Spain's STE, which specialises in sachet filling machines. Marchesini contributed its cartoning expertise to the collaboration.
The modular production line is available in two formats. The first is a low- and medium-speed version which comprises a sachet filling machine - the MTP - with an automatic connection to an intermittent motion cartoner, that is capable of packing up to 800 stickpacks in 80 cartons each minute.
The second version is designed for high speeds, and makes use of the same MTP sachet filler, this time connected to a continuous motion cartoner that can handle up to 800 stickpacks in 150 cartons per minute.
The new generation MTP machine that is used in both versions can be set up with 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 lanes, depending on the dimensions of the stickpacks to be produced, according to Marchesini. A robot places the filled stickpacks automatically on the conveyor connected to the cartoner using a pick and place system and packs them into cartons. But the most innovative feature of the new system is a patented robotic feeding system that counts the individual items and automastically inserts them into cartons, said Marchesini.
The MTP machine can handle a wde variety of fill volumes - from 0.5 cc to 50 cc - and has an integrated hot foil printer for variable data codes.