BOX-EXT; the small box erector with automatic inlay / insert

Mark van den Munckhof

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  • Label:Handling, Processing and Packaging
  • Client:Large medical company
  • Problem:Packaging smaller amount and various sizes of boxes with a carton inlay / inserts
  • Objective:Develop a box erector extended with an carton inlay, with a small footprint and fast exchangeable molds

The small carton erector for various sizes of boxes and inlays / inserts

The BOX-EXT (extended carton erector) is the first system with a small footprint, that folds and glues various sizes of plain cardboard into top-loaded boxes, combined with an automatic carton inlay / insert folding and gluing into the carton box. This system is adjustable and succeeds perfectly at processing a high mix and low volume of boxes and inlays / inserts. Handling of low quantities and various shapes and sizes is a trend in medical and pharmaceutical industry.

Gluing and folding boxes and inlays / inserts

The BOX-EXT system consists of two machines, each with its own automated drawer. The drawer in the first machine contains a mould for positioning a plain cardboard. When this drawer moves into the machine, hot melt glue is automatically applied at the exact position of the folding flaps. After this the cardboard is accurately placed above a folding mould. A vertical pusher presses the cardboard through the mould, giving the bottom its required shape by folding it in the right sequence. If the lid of the box has to be fold into an overlid box, an overlid mould does so. The folded box is placed on a conveyor belt and is transported to the second machine. The operator places a carton into the drawer, to be folded into an inlay / insert. On the conveyer belt, glue is applied to the bottom of the box to fix the inlay. After the inlay / insert has been placed in the box, it is ready and it will be transported out of the machine.

Multiple sizes and easy changeover

In the first machine (carton erector) the pusher tool, the folding tool, the drawer tool and the overlid tool are exchangeable moulds. In the second machine (inlay erector) the drawer tool and the pick and place tool are exchangeable. All of these moulds can be easily positioned and fixed. No special tools are needed to change the moulds for the required box sizes. The exchangeable parts are poka yoke designed. The glue pattern is read from the exchangeable drawer mould. For accurate positioning, the hot melt glue applicators are mounted to spindles with numeric indicators. All the parameters are hardware parameters and placed on the change parts; there are no adjustable parameters in the software.

The machine is controlled by a Siemens PLC or Allen Bradley PLC and is equipped with a display for status and alarms.

Operational functions

  • Emergency stop
  • Start button
  • Reset button
  • Maintenance key switch
  • Brake release button
  • Bypass key switch (possible to produce boxes without inserts / inlays)

Cycle Time

The cycle time to produce boxes with inlays / inserts will be 12 to 20 seconds, depending on box size and operator speed. The cycle time to produce boxes without inlays/ inserts will be 10 to 15 seconds, also depending on box size and operator speed.

Barcode Check

Optionally, it is possible to implement a barcode or DataMatrix check. Meet the global serialization requirements in time! Let GTE-engineering help you. We will implement the necessary serialization techniques for you.

Tooling Cart

At the BOX-E we can deliver, if desired, a tooling cart. The box erector has fast exchangeable moulds. To prevent damage, it is essential that these moulds are properly stored in a well-organized storage system. Therefor we have developed a tailor-made tooling cart.

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