New popcorn multipacker uses less film

Italian equipment manufacturer PFM has developed a new automatic multipacking line for popcorn bags that uses 30% less film than other methods.

The system uses flow-wrapping to reduce film consumption and a vertical racetrack collator to counter product fragility, lightness and irregular shape.

Based on a PFM Compact horizontal multipacker, the line has been delivered to a major snack food manufacturer in the Far East, replacing a manual bagging operation, and handles 30 primary packs a minute, ten in each multipack. Film savings are in excess of 30%, according to the company.

Primary packs are fed flat to the racetrack collator, which accumulates five and indexes through 90° to present the row on edge to a pusher. This guides the bags through the wrapper’s forming box and a repeat cycle completes the 2 x 5 collation, which is then sealed in film.

“Instead of stacking the bags, using a race track collator not only provides much gentler handling, but by wrapping the bags on edge also gives the multipack a narrower facing for better use of shelf space,” explains PFM product specialist Alan Atkinson.

The multipacks are wrapped with a block bottom seal, allowing stand-up on-shelf presentation.

Savings in packaging materials come from the intrinsic tightness of this form of multipack and optimisation of pack dimensions, Atkinson notes.

“Vertical form-fill-seal methods require much larger bags since individual packs tumble in under gravity and in any orientation. However, multipacks created on the PFM Compact machine are virtually the same size as the contents.”

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