Are you in need of a carton forming machine?
If so, then you are reading the right guideline about it.
I have spared time and resources to look into Cartoning machine or rather, a Cartoner as others may prefer to call it.
To date, a cartoning machine has played a great deal for many businesses when it comes to inventory packaging.
In fact, it has been and still is the commonest form of product packaging.
For instance, food processing, pharmaceuticals and chemical industries hugely rely on this type packaging for effective, safer and secure way for transporting their products to the market.
And since the market offers a number of Cartoning machines, it is proving to be a daunting task for most people to decide on which Cartoner could be their ultimate choice.
The good news is:
I choose to undertake this initiative to tailor a step-by-step guideline to assist you reach an informed decision when looking for a Cartoning machine.
This guide is going to teach you all that you need to know about a Cartoning machine. It shall cover working principles, classification of Cartoning equipment, main features to mention but a few.
Our aim is to meticulously elaborate on Cartoning machines, but first, I will begin by a general description of what Cartoning machine is.
Let’s dive right in to the main subject of this guide:
- What is a Cartoning Machine?
- Why You Need a Cartoning Equipment
- Main Parts of a Cartoning Machine
- The Working Principle of Cartoning Machines
- Classification of Cartoning Equipment
- Main Features of Cartoning Machines: How they Affect the Unit Price of a Machine
- Cartoning Machine FAQ Guide: Solve all your Problems on Cartoning Machine
- Practical Applications of Cartoning Machine
- SaintyCo Cartoning Machines
Chapter 1: What is a Cartoning Machine?
A cartoning machine is an integration of air, electrical, light and mechanical high-tech equipment configured to a computer to control, manage and regulate its operation.
The electrical energy is the most essential component of the cartoning machine operation. It is because it powers all the electrical circuit which set in motion all other systems.
For instance, movements of different parts are specifically designed to produce certain desired functions such as circular motion at particular instances form the mechanical part.
In our subsequent chapters of this guide, I will introduce you to main parts of a cartoning machine.
So don’t worry, I will come to all that.
Before that, I want you to watch the video below. It will give you a clear picture of what I am about to discuss in this guide:
I hope you can see how this machine works.
Anyway, let’s come back to our discussion here.
Perhaps the above explanation sounds too technical, anyway you should not worry as we continue, I will break it down into bits and pieces.
This is because it is important to understand better and know everything about Cartoning machines.
Fundamentally, it works by forming cartons;
- It shapes cartons out of blanks to stand up-straight
- Close or/and erect
- Introduce a product
- Side-seams and finish by sealing
You could see all these in the video above. Still, I will explore more of this in this cartoning machine guide.
Below is a step-by-step carton forming process:
A summary of the cartoning process
What is evident about a Cartoner that makes it different from other packaging machines?
It packages inventory into cartons.
For example, have you ever been to supermarket stores?
You’ll realize that cosmetics or pharmaceutical products are in cartons of different sizes and shapes. Such product packaging is probably done by a Cartoning machine.
Another thing that is really intriguing and what you need to consider at any given instance is the:
Carton Shape and Size
Let me explain something here:
I understand that you might still be baffled to why it is called a cartoning machine yet it is used in product packaging and not carton production.
Well, cartoning machine is simply fed with blank stacks of cartons that are shaped to pack inventory.
Arrow points at the carton blanks
So, what are those cartons made up of and where do they come from?
Cartons are made and designed from carton-board: a paper material with semi-flexibility and considerable thickness, used for holding goods especially food or liquids while on transit.
Six-sided rectangular or square shaped cartons are the commonly known cartons, but there are still cartons of various shape and size. These wide range of shapes includes double-wall, octagonal, frame-wall, hinged lids, triangular, tapered trays and wave-shaped.
You must bear in mind that the method deployed in filling and closing determines what shape and size of a carton to be used.
Besides methods of filling and closing the cartons, another significant issue is to get carton to stand up-straight to provide clear space for product insertion and sealing it.
Cartons are supplied with different designs to the buyers and some come with pre-cut slots and tabs; others have the folds glued with adhesive.
Mostly, cartons are brought in the form of blanks that are flat, cut to shape and size, pre-printed, and others with tabs and slots pre-cut if requested.
Let’s have an overview of the whole cartoning procedure:
Basically, a Cartoning machine is initially fed or rather, supplied with stacks of fold cartons, leaflet or brochures, or production line.
During its operation, the Cartoner picks up a piece, shapes it (or gets it to stand up-straight). It continues to introduce product(s) horizontally or vertically through one open end.
Later in chapter 5, we will look into modes of product insertion handling classification of cartoning machines.
Thereafter, it closes by pushing, folding or turning the flaps of the carton and before applying glue or any other suitable adhesive.
Most Cartoning machines use mechanical sleeve or pressurized air to push products into the cartons. But you should not be surprised when you come across Cartoners that require human input to insert products into the carton.
The above sequence is performed repeatedly forming a chain of packed cartons moving along the guide rail on a conveyor running to carton chute.
Here is another video that illustrates this process:
I trust until this point you have grasped what a cartoning machine is, but for those who have never been to a Cartoning industries, it can sound somewhat strange or tricky.
Before going into why you need cartoning equipment for your business, here is what you must know:
There is a need to understand that different designs of cartoning machines serve different purposes. So, when you order a cartoning machine, make sure it can sufficiently handle your packaging needs.
You will learn more on this in chapter 6.
Chapter 2: Why You Need a Cartoning Equipment
Cartoning equipment have revolutionized how industries package their finished products all over the world.
With these machines, they’ve been able to keep up with ever rising levels of demand for goods such as pharmaceutical products, food stuff and many more.
As a result, they’ve been able to maintain steady production process.
This is essential to succeeding in the business; ensuring readily availability of the product for the market.
A number of factors contribute to getting product packaging right. For example, safety procedures, adequate operational training programs, equipment upgrade and preventive maintenance.
Therefore, a decisive role has to be played to positively impact on the output of your business.
There are innumerable advantages that come with adaption and implementation of cartoning machine for your business. But if you cannot envisage such importance guaranteed by cartoning equipment; then below are a few reasons to why you need a cartoning equipment in a production environment.
Product Protection and Ease of Transport
Carton provides protection to products filled in them. Since cartons assume regular shapes, makes it easier for bulking packaging for lorries, containers and other vessels easing transportation.
It is easier to package and transport bottles in boxes
For instance, bottles need a proper carriage to accommodate its unique shape. However, with an appropriate cartoning machine such as ZH-100P Cartoning Machine for Bottle&Vial we can achieve a better way to pack bottles.
High speed production lines are susceptible to time wastage during packaging. However, with continuous mode cartoning machine high speed is achievable and guarantees high throughput altogether.
Automatic cartoning machine
In case you have gone for a fully-automatic cartoning machine that means there will be reduced labor-input during the production process. And since machine does not suffer fatigue unlike man, production can run for longer hours without unnecessary breaks, ultimately, high throughput.
Apart from protecting the products from adulteration and interference, carton packaging can also act as tamper proof. Carton packaging done by aid of human and a machine show stark differences from ones done with a Cartoner.
Packaging ensures safety
A cartoning equipment are designed to perform each task in trig and typically same manner, which can be vividly observed. The unique manner in which the cartoning equipment seal the cartons can aid in determining whether there is tampering with any product. This reason also builds consumer confidence in your brand.
Handle a Vast Array of Commodities
If you are concerned about multi-packaging, then you should cast away your aspersions as some semi-automatic cartoning equipment can multitask. For instance, products such as tooth paste and brush can be simultaneously packaged into single carton.
Packaging different products
Besides, bunch packaging can also be carried out effectively and efficiently.
Thus, investment on cartoning equipment proves to be a real game changer when planning to swiftly move your inventory to market.
Since you have understood why you need a cartoning equipment for your business, let’s continue to explore more about cartoning machines.
Chapter 3: Main Parts of a Cartoning Machine
I will iterate what I said earlier in chapter 1:
Cartoning machine is an assembly of devises comprising of electrical, mechanical, pneumatic as well as light components.
They are all combined to work together in such a manner so as to produce, transform or rather utilize effectively mechanical energy generated from the system.
Indeed, a cartoning machine is a setup of a wide array of components and parts.
Getting to understand the nitty-gritty of each part is crucial in choosing a suitable cartoning machine.
Again, it is important to note that this machine has hundreds of parts and components. However, for the scope of this guide, I will restrict our discussion only to the main parts you ought to know.
With such valuable knowledge, you should be able to picture the actual working principles of a cartoning machine. We shall tackle in the subsequent chapter.
Below is an outline of the main parts of a cartoning machine:
- Control Panel/segment
- Electric Motors & Electric Panel
- Lubrication system
- Carton Pack Tooling & Pneumatic System
- An ink-jet printer
- A safety system
- Conveyors, Rollers, Guide Rail and Carton Chute
With the advent of new technology, integration of various systems has been realized reducing cost involved in assigning individuals to monitor such processes.
This forms one of the very essential components of a cartoning machine. The whole process has been configured and design to a specific automation and control module (PLC).
A more sophisticated Cartoner control segment can perform and monitor the following:
- Number of cartons per control
- Number of products per-pack control
- Print control
- Electrical and fluid indicators
- Product Placement Control
Find below a visual image of the Human Control Interface and a display of its menu:
Touchscreen control panel
The display on the touchscreen control panel for the cartoning machine
Is it possible to control the whole cartoning process from the panel?
Yes, it is possible to manage and regulate production process from the control segment. In layman’s term the control panel is the ‘brain’ of the machine.
Siemens have made it easier by integrating the frequency-converter, PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) with an interface called Human Machine Interface (HMI).
The Human Machine Interface enables an operator to instruct, revoke even intuitively stop all operations if deemed necessary.
The HMI also allows the operator to change parameters and requirements of production process in order to achieve a desired set point within certain duration.
Beside the controlling aspect, the panel is also configured to alert the operator in case of breakdowns from other parts of the machine.
Electric Panel & Electric Motors (Gearing System)
The mains for the cartoning machine are tapped at the electric panel. Electric system also powers up the pneumatic system to function.
Always remember that the electric panel carries all the connections to the whole cartoning machine. This section is the ‘heart’ of the machine since all electrical circuit and mechanical system are configured here.
It is important to always have an electrical schematic diagram for a cartoning machine to assist wherever necessary in the event of an electrical fault. The image below is an electrical panel where all circuits are configured:
What is an electric motor?
It is a device that converts electric energy into mechanical energy.
Let me simplify it further, an electric motor is a device that uses electricity to generate a desired movement.
All motions and movements produced by a cartoning machine when running is solely attributed to functioning of motors.
Research and development on motors have opened up many applications that are instrumental in creating different function in the cartoning machine.
Like many other machines, motors in a Cartoner are also well enclosed and placed at the bottom section. The chains, bearing, belt, gears and shafts are conveniently connected via gearing axis, support axis to the machine middle shafts to transmit motion to desired sections.
Below is a simple schematic diagram of the mechanical system of a cartoning machine:
For instance, servo-driven cams are coupled on motors to produce reciprocating movement (forward and backward motion). However, it does not necessarily mean any motor can be interchangeably used as spare for another section.
Motors are manufactured with different specifications, that is, revolution per minute, phase, power supply and wattage.
These features make different motors serve different functions within the carton forming machine. It is important to note the above when addressing motor breakdown.
In chapter 7, we will know more about frequently asked questions on issues with cartoners.
Also, the speed of these motors can be controlled by the operator via the HMI by adjusting the parameters set at the frequency converter.
These motors are designed with in-built protection system such as:
- Cclutch breakers
- Torsion-overload protector
They can prompt disengagement of the main drive motor from the gearing system thus protecting machine parts by preventing damage due to overload.
Motion responsible for all rotations and movements
The motors make it possible for the conveyor to run, cartons to move along the rail, pressing mechanism work at the carton pack tooling etc.
Automatic Lubrication System
The life-span of bearing, belts and gears are determined by the consistency of lubrication.
As earlier mentioned a cartoning machine is an electromechanical device. Like many other mechanical systems, to achieve optimal performance, the moving parts must be properly lubricated.
Service life of bearing, belts and gears are threatened by contamination, high temperature, humidity and moisture. Therefore, failure to apply lubrication it may adversely impact on the maintenance cost and schedule and machine performance.
Cartoning machines are designed with an automatic lubrication system that ensures processing operations are well-run.
Sections of moving parts that require lubrication
The lubrication system is automatically prompt to supply adequate amount of good lubricant to the moving parts; though suitable lubricant should be supplied to the system during maintenance interval.
This lubrication solution provides an opportunity to increase productivity and uptime. It also reduces labor costs and extends maintenance and repair interval.
Cartoning Pack Tooling & Pneumatic System
This is the section where the machine presides over the actual cartoning.
Vacuum suction run by the pneumatic system comes into play when drawing blank cartons to begin the cartoning process.
Carton storeroom is the section used to put cartons. It consists of back and front sections mounted with front and mid plates. The mid plate is mobile making it adjustable to the carton length.
You are able to see the carton feeding entrance of a carton forming machine.
On the other hand, front bracket and back bracket are installed with a long-hole, hence can shift from right to left. This allows adjustment according to carton specifications.
In this image, it shows the leaflet entrance of the cartoner:
Directly in front of the storeroom is a press device. In case of blocked, damaged or deformed carton along the sucking procedure, a signal is produced by the carton press to effect an immediate stop of the machine.
This is a production line interlinked with a carton forming machine:
Other parts systematically flow from feeding chambers where the product is inserted to the carton. Leaf folder is interlinked with conveyor belt before eventually ending at the carton closing section.
An Ink-Jet Printer
A fully functional cartoning machine should be installed with an ink-jet printer, which should have writing options at least three minimum rows.
Since the inventory will be inside the carton, it is wise to have relevant information about the product. For instance, date of manufacturing and expiring or any other disclaimer you ought to inform the public.
This information being printed should be satisfactory because you don’t what altercation arising from customers or retailers in the market.
A Safety System
Since any machine is an inanimate object, it is imperative for you to heed precautions when handling them. That is why you should request to be taken through adequate and thorough safety procedures that come with any machine.
Section of essential safety components in cartoning machines
One crucial safety is system is the emergency buttons which should be placed interval along the Cartoner sections for ease of access in case of an emergency call.
Usually, the emergency button is wired from the mains supplying the machine on a Normally Closed path (NC) when operational or not. If any emergency button is in or pushed the machine should not initiate any process unless the issue is resolved and the button pulled.
In that instance it becomes Normally Open (NO) meaning the power circuit is open.
However, upon noticing unusual packaging, undesired motion emanating from the moving parts; it is recommended to push any easily accessible emergency button.
This will cut off power supply to the machine. In the process you would stopped a mess or losses.
Another safety measure that should be observed is proper earthing and grounding of electrical circuit running in the cartoning machine. This is to avoid unpleasant shocking from the body of the machine.
The cartoning machine should be well-designed to reduce exposing the operator from unnecessary danger and risk. It should have well designated section where human operator can work comfortably without problems.
Conveyors, Rollers, Guide Rail and Carton Chute
To promote movement of cartons from one point to the other, conveyors are interlinked with rollers. They draw their motions from running motors that are coupled with gear box to determine the speed of the motors.
This part is vital for operation of the Cartoner because once the product is packaged the carton moves to the next step. At the same time, it is being guided by the rail forming the runway.
Depending on the manufacturer, cartoning machine can be designed with a chute concept. At this point, fully packaged inventory is dropped from the Cartoner for further packaging into bigger boxes for storage or transport.
As a rule of thumb, always request for product manual from your manufacturer of the machine. You’ll get to know every component of the machine.
As I said earlier, the number and design of parts will vary from one machine to another. This will depend on the cartoning machine model and design.
Chapter 4: The Working Principle of Cartoning Machines
Most carton forming machines are designed and installed with three feeds or entrances:
- Machine package box entrance
- Brochure/manual entrance
- Medicine bottle/vial entrance.
In chapter 3, I did include images of the three entrance of the cartoning machine.
Operational principles commence right from the feeding box to final process of package molding. Approximately four stages form the forte of the whole principles of cartoning machine.
The carton forming process has about four major stages. I am going to discuss them in details when handling the key stages in actual cartoning process in the last topic of this Chapter (4).
But first, I want you to watch this video. It illustrates the working principle of cartoning machine for sachets.
At this moment, I will hint at what is expected as working principles of carton forming machines.
First, a carton is set in position by the guide rail before a push mechanism by the push plate makes the carton to open up. Then the bottom of the carton is stuck to a sucker (vacuum suction) driven by the pneumatic system, from its front and rear directions to ensure that the box get to the loading bay at right angle.
At the loading area, product is inserted into the carton through mechanical effort, however, gently and precisely. Once it is filled, chain conveyor directs filled cartons along the folding spot.
At this point, the cartoning machine targets ears of the cartons. The process is done simultaneously on both left and right side of the rail by rotary movement.
Then the cam coupled to motors with push plates on either side of the rail does the actual folding mechanism.
The next crucial step sets in, here; front covers close the tongue of the carton. Afterwards a push is orchestrated using the pushing plate, the lid is bent and resultant fastening lock as the tab gets inserted into the box.
This is the cover action.
At this juncture, the degree of accuracy of the machine is assessed. It determines the good and bad package, by examining the structure of the carton before deciding on the damaged ones and those to lead carton chute.
Now, with that quick overview, let’s get to the core of this process:
How an Automatic Cartoning Machine Works
In the beginning of chapter 4, I clearly illustrated actual working principles of a cartoning machine. Here, we are going to explain how an automatic cartoning machine works.
All start at the:
Gearing System of Automatic Cartoning Machine
Once the motors are powered on it initiates a mechanical movement to the main drive. It subsequently transfers it to other gearing parts through:
- Gearing axis
- Threaded shafts
- Support axis which are sustained by a centered plate.
It will depend on the design of the cartoning machine.
This results in a reciprocating movement at the middle section of the machine. The centered plate however, is adjustable depending on the carton specifications.
And at the back of the machine there is a gearing chain that ensures the centered plate follows a reciprocating motion. Carton chain transmits and intermission movements along the chain process.
Blank Cartons Section
Blank cartons are stored at the carton storeroom. At this point both carton storeroom and carton suction process form the carton unload-device.
The front section of the carton storeroom is a pressing device for the stack cartons.
Apart from picking carton from the stack, the sucker is also used to absorb blocked or damaged carton between the blank carton suction point and storeroom.
In most cases, a photoelectric mechanism encodes input that prompt a signal to immediately stop the machine.
Blank cartons moving to the cartoning machine system
Feeding Mechanism of a Cartoning Machine
This will differ depending on the type of carton forming machine you are using. For instance, in bottle cartoning, there can be a turntable for aligning the products into a conveyor.
It aims to link-up with the carton tooling machine, or a feeding screw like the one seen in chapter 3.
Bottles from the turntable to the conveyor system
The three entrances of the cartoning machine transfer all the materials to the feeding structure, which consists of feeding tank and material feeder.
Section of the feeding system
Folding Mechanism of the Cartoning Machine
Next is the folding mechanism.
Here, leaflet folder folds up the entire leaflet while running on the leaflet conveyor.
This process is followed by stacker, paper separating, suction adjustment respectively.
In the stacker adjustment, a piece of paper is placed on the feed-table and the machine-wheel set at sa position which makes the suction nozzle rise to its peak position.
Then a clearance of 1mm is made between the suction hole and paper cover front edge. In fact, at the apex of the suction nozzle, both its plane and that of the stacker must be flash.
The set highest position of the suction nozzle it to enable easy reach to carton onto the bottom of the blank, thereby leaving a gap between the remaining stack the absorbed paper.
On the other hand, the paper hook should be positioned at the lowest point to ensure paper suction is pulled down.
Product Insertion Stage
This is where the machine inserts the product in the respective boxes.
The product is supplied to the feed device where it is taken at the bottom before correctly being pushed inside a carton.
Bottles read for feeding in the boxes
It is the push port that directs the products through a mechanical drive latitudinal or longitudinally. In an event the process stalls, an overload feedback system will alert the PLC unit on the control panel to stop the machine.
Carton-seal Device of a Cartoning Machine
It is made up of small and big tongue carton close device. The former is on either sides of the conveyor and composed of box guide and folding pad.
Sealing cartons after feeding the product
The carton is made to move at specific range when runs on the box track. At the same time, the close device powers the paddles and it repeats movement at a given angle range.
The latter is driven by duo rotating cranks that move the plate flat. This movement results to bending, tongue and sealing.
Side-seaming begins and application of hot melt-spray on both ends of the cartons while being gradually pressed along a small plane while the hot spray solidifies. Another automatically run-process of ink-jet printer prints date stamp, environmental protection labels, legible etc.
Chute of Automatic Cartoning Machine
At the carton chute a pressurized arm helps in ejecting packed carton. In addition, if the integrity of the carton is compromised, the action cover determines and decides if it is good/bad or accepted/rejected.
Key Stages in Actual Cartoning Process
Earlier in this chapter, I did highlight the working principle of cartoning machine and how an automatic carton forming machine works.
In this section, I will majorly focus on key stages involved in cartoning process.
You can notice that a cartoning process is a series of stages which lead to cartoning formation in the end. But the whole process has approximately four main stages which are considered essential in the whole process.
The following diagrams capture the four main stages of actual cartoning process in the machine:
What follows are processes of each crucial step in the carton packaging process:
Under the Box-Action
Here, a sucker on the carton feed-mouth sticks a carton on a downward position along the cartoning line while push plate makes the guide rail clamping-box opens up the box.
Concurrently, two screens move forward, from base upwards, in the opposite direction carton is stuck on the side. The mechanism ensures that the box is arrives at the loading area at right angle.
This stage is where the filling machine operates. Inserting the inventory is rather straight forward by using pressurized arm or feeding screw to drive in the product into the carton.
This stage lasts at most 2 seconds.
What follows is the folding mechanism. Immediately after the loading stage, there is a push plate that flips up the lower end-flap to close and the next point the upper ears are shut.
A rotational motion completely folds and presses the ears of the box while lining along the rail.
This chain operation and mechanical rotary motion are thoroughly executed leaving no ear unturned.
This final stage determines the integrity of the whole automatic cartoning process. The carton gets folded in tongue, and then is pushed to bend the box by pushing plate.
However, the tongue is left inserted into the box. Lock fastening proves that the cover action was well-run.
As you can see, the process involves series of parts and components coordinating together. This ensures accuracy and consistency in the entire process.
With all these in mind, let me take you to yet another critical step in cartoning machine:
Chapter 5: Classification of Cartoning Equipment
All that I tackled in chapter 1 to 4 was to enlighten you about cartoning machines, but still there is more to know.
You need to understand what main features of cartoning machine – all that is in chapter 6 of this guide.
Moreover, you must know about cartoning machine classification and types. Gladly, we are going to look into in this chapter.
Machines are designed to make work easier. It would be pointless to buy any cartoning machine, if you don’t identify and choose cartoning equipment that best serves your purpose.
In short, there are many classification criteria used for cartoning equipment that you ought to know. For the scope of this section, I will focus only expound on the major classes.
Classification of cartoning equipment is based according to the:
- Degree of automation
- Product into carton
Let’s begin with the first item in the list above:
Degree of Automation
In the previous chapter, I surely discussed about the working principles of cartoning machine. I went further to shed light on how an automatic cartoning machine works.
However, in this class we are going to look into categories of automation.
Classification according to degree of automation has precisely two categories, namely:
- Semi-automatic Cartoning equipment
- Fully-automatic Cartoning equipment
So, what makes semi-automatic cartoning equipment different?
Let’s find out:
Semi-automatic Cartoning Machine
Semi-automatic cartoning machine can either be horizontal or vertical cartoning machine (which we will cover later in this chapter), but an operator manually inserts the product.
This invention best suits packaging in:
- Pharmaceutical industries, just to mention a few.
It has no automatic in-feeding system which makes its operations simple; however, it substantially lowers production speed as well as throughput. Furthermore, it requires many operators to get an effective production output.
Nonetheless, it other useful design features which enables it to handle packing blister packs, bottles, pouches, sachets and tubes in carton.
More sophisticated designs can accommodate more sides accessories such as:
- Box conveyors
- Carton magazine
- Automatic folding machines even with devices to open and close end flaps.
For instance, semi-automatic vertical cartoning machines are designed to automatically open and close though at slow speed, but can neither erect nor fill product.
Benefits of Semi-automatic Cartoning Equipment
Below are some of the main benefits of semi-automatic cartoning equipment:
- Generally, its maintenance cost is low.
- They are still configurable with HMI and other safety devices for protecting the machine from damage.
- It sounds rather unequivocally simple cartoning equipment, but it can take many more upgrade of optional features such as embossing and hot stamping is possible, ink-jet printing and hot-melting, tape-sealing etc.
- Most semi-automatic cartoning machines are ergonomically designed, and are set up with guards around the equipment to ensure safety of the operator.
- It does not require highly-skilled labor as semi-skilled operator can comfortably handle its operations.
- Perfect for a wide array of batch-sizes and relatively small-medium size production businesses. Its components are adjustable making format changing easier to carry out.
Fully-automatic Cartoning Equipment
Fully-automatic cartoning equipment is a more elaborate innovation as compared to a semi-automatic one.
This state-of-art machine has been built in manner that reduces too much human involvement when it’s operational.
Fully automatic cartoning equipment for bottles
Apart from supplying packing materials at its entrances, all other tasks of:
- Carton erection
- Ear folding
- Product insertion
- Carton closing
- Hot spraying
- Date stamping
- Ink-jet printing
Even the product chute is exquisitely executed by the fully-automatic cartoning equipment.
Ideally, fully-automatic cartoning machine captures and defines best the working principles of an automatic cartoning machine.
All packaging processes are solely controlled, managed and regulated by control unit of the machine. I hope you can recall what we covered in chapter 3 (main parts of a cartoning machine).
Its accessories units such as the ink-jet printer, folding systems, hot melt gluing are harmoniously coordinated to conveniently run the packaging exercise at the same time accomplishing all possible requirements like brochure insertion and many more.
Moreover, fully-automatic cartoning machines can check on the integrity of the carton after the process and decide whether it is damaged or good.
Automated feeding system
Here, we have different types of modes found in fully-automatic cartoning machine, namely: Continuous and intermittent modes.
Continuous Automatic Cartoning Machines
They are also referred to as high-speed cartoning machines. That is why they are specifically designed for high speed production lines.
This is mainly for regular shaped and solid inventories that require no special handling provisions. Its chain process runs on guide rails; conveyors allowing for progressive execution of each packaging procedures including product insertion.
Intermittent Automatic Cartoning Machines
On the other hand, intermittent automatic cartoning machines stop to allow boxing cycle. Compared to continuous automatic cartoning machine, intermittent cartoning machine is slower by 150 times.
Both continuous and intermittent cartoning equipment are designed to pack products laterally into cartons and seal by lock fastening during flap insertion or hot-melt gluing.
In both, product insertion is orchestrated by either electronic or synchronized mechanical device.
Having exhausted much about classification according to degree of automation, it is best we proceed to the second classification based on product into carton.
Product into Carton
This class forms the type of commonly used cartoning machines in most industries. It is based on how product introduction is done into the carton.
There are two types of cartoning machines under this class. The following is the list:
- Vertical Cartoning Machine
- Horizontal Cartoning Machine
In chapter 1, I mentioned about horizontal and vertical product insertion, but in this section we’re going to exhaustively learn about them.
First, both the vertical and horizontal cartoning machines can either be fully-automatic or semi-automatic by design though they differ in their mode of production insertion.
Let’s begin straightaway with Vertical cartoning machine:
Vertical Cartoning Machine
Basically, a vertical Cartoner products are introduced into the carton vertically directly from in-feeding system and sealing machine into folding box. Hence, the name vertical cartoning machine attributed to its mode of product insertion.
Vertical Cartoner is also designed to pack a large of range of product specifically ideal for handling bottles, jars and vials. Therefore, it is mostly preferred in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Compact Cartoning Machine for Blister
Most vertical cartoning machines come with vast flexibility and compact dimensions as main features. This makes them adaptable thus they can meet most industrial challenges.
A combination of simple format part changeover and modern technology has made it possible to achieve a vertical carton position for product feeding.
In fact, statistics has proven that vertical product insertion method records low risk of product damage. At the same time get rid of lengthy delays of in-feeding systems.
Benefits of Vertical Cartoning Machine
When you opt for vertical cartoning machine, you should expect to enjoy the following key benefits:
- Features simple and robust format changes. For instance, on a curve, its rail requires no adjustments.
- Can adopt two working principle:: as intermittent and vertical cartoning equipment.
- Provides accessible work stations for operator.
- Open structure makes it easy to clean.
- They can be designed and manufactured with HMI thus simplifying its operations to one operator.
- Can be equipped with additional modification of transport system.
Horizontal Cartoning Machine
This is a similar innovation to vertical cartoning machine, but the stark difference is that a horizontal Cartoner shapes cartons from stack of blanks.
Basically, it introduces products by lateral drawer, inserting or pushing and ultimately closes the carton.
Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine for Sachet
Usually, horizontal cartoning machine is interchangeably referred to as automatic cartoning machine.
It can either be manufactured as continuous or intermittent motion machinery. This makes it suitable of achieving high speeds and suitable for high demand production applications.
The following are some of standard features you should consider in a horizontal cartoning machine:
- It should either have auto or manual loading
- Its conveyor network or flow should be adjustable by design
- Expect simple accessories such as hot melt gluing or tuck-in flap
- Tuck closure
In a nutshell:
Horizontal cartoning machine is ideal to pack products with stable base even with one or two items in additional. It is commonly used in packaging for food industries: cake, coffee, packs, frozen pizza, cereals etc.
Chapter 6: Main Features of Cartoning Machines: How they Affect the Unit Price of a Machine
In chapter 3, I discussed the main parts of a cartoning machine.
However, in this chapter, I am going to discuss how these factors affect the unit price of cartoning machines.
You should be keen here to get value for your money.
Again, do you remember my discussions in chapter 2?
In that chapter, I enlightened you wholesomely about main parts of a cartoning machine on a technical perspective. In fact, the section was inclining towards the working principle of a cartoning machine.
However, in this chapter, we will categorically look into main features that affect the unit price of cartoning machines.
Demand and Supply
Cartoning machines cost is driven by demand for better, convenient and sturdy packaging equipment.
This will imply that you have to go for a machine with advanced features. Consequently, this will basically determine cost of cartoning machine.
Section of cartoning machine
Furthermore, the lengthy supply chain of products beginning from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers up to consumers play a critical role here.
Safety of the Cartoning Machine
Fully automated systems not only guarantee precise and optimal production, but also the safety of cartoning machine and technicians.
This has led for a need to adapt to protective packaging methods for safety and ease of handling and transportation of products to the market.
As a result, it plays an integral role in determining the price of the cost of cartoning machine.
Cartons presented the best solution.
Degree of Automation
Automation has brought a lot of changes in manufacturing of modernized cartoning machines. More production businesses are switching to both automated production and packaging which demand little human labour-input.
In this case, unit price of cartoning machines may widely vary depending on their degree of automation. For instance, a fully-automatic cartoning machine is likely to cost more than a semi-automatic cartoning machine.
This is because the former has an additional feature, that is, ability to run the whole cartoning procedure more efficiently, effectively and increase the overall throughput as compared to the latter.
Also, cartoning machine designed for forming only cartons will be more affordable, unlike one designed and manufactured to accomplish both carton forming and product packaging.
Level of automation has created multiple avenues for cartoning machine manufacturers. They can produce machine with different capabilities, depending on specific needs of their customers.
Production Capacity of Cartoning Machine
Capacity of cartoning machines plays a great role when it comes to pricing of a cartoning machine.
But, what do I mean when say capacity of a cartoning machine?
This is the number of units the cartoning equipment can output in an hour.
Different products from a cartoning machine
Different designs of cartoning machines have different capacities. Normally, a cartoning machine with higher production capacity will be more expensive.
This crucial feature directly affects the price of many cartoning machines.
It is prudent to know what capacity specification of cartoning equipment you need to assess your purchasing power.
Type of Product
Cartoning machines are used in different industries for packaging of a wide array of various products for the market.
Definitely, the type of product also becomes a determining factor in pricing of a cartoning machine. The size of the product dictates the design of the packing unit.
Blister packing of tablets in a box
The product features such as base area, weight etc., must be captured to come with a precise packing procedure on that cartoning machine.
Evidently, putting into consideration such factors coupled with the design size of such a cartoner, you will realize a variation in prices of cartoning machines. For instance, those in food and beverages industry vary from those in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Additional Accessories and Equipment
There are two types of designs deployed while manufacturing cartoning machines. These are: rigid and flexible designs.
A rigid cartoning machine has been designed to with limited features for future upgrade. Whereas a flexible cartoning machine is designed to accommodate optional features – such as interlinking with a product production process.
Cartoning machine for tray
Again, this feature will ultimately affect the unit price of cartoning machines.
Whether is an Online or Off line Carton Forming Machine
First, I must make it clear what I mean by on line or off line cartoning machine.
An on line carton forming machine refers to a type of machine that directly links up with production line to complete product packaging in one process. For instance, you may have a blister packing machine with cartoning equipment coupled together.
Blister packing machine and cartoning equipment
On the other hand, an off line cartoner means product packaging is conducted though after finishing production.
Therefore, for an online cartoning machine speed and power has to be factored in before manufacturing the machinery. This is to ensure the production speed is properly synchronous to perfectly match the two processes.
Obviously, to acquire an on line carton forming machine will make you spend more due to the above factors as compared to off line where you set machine speed based on shift hours.
Generally, these are some of the main features of cartoning machine that can affect the unit price of this equipment.
The bottom line:
Underestimating the choice of a robust cartoning machine for your business packaging solutions can invite unforeseen expenses thus increasing production cost altogether. Much is expected before the product presentation into market.
This is why there is need to understand what main features of cartoning machines have and how they affect the unit price of a machine.
With this knowledge, you can easily optimize your packaging needs.
Your preference for a suitable cartoning machine will be directly affected by a number of features in the cartoning machines.
Chapter 7: Cartoning Machine FAQ Guide: Solve all your Problems on Cartoning Machine
Just like many other machines in the market, carton forming machines also have various different frequently asked questions.
These are mainly problems buyers’ encounter in the running of the machines.
In chapter 3, we went through main parts of cartoning machines, even mentioned appropriate steps to be taken when addressing motor breakdown.
At that step we could not adequately address such issues because of requirements of that chapter. However, in this chapter we are going to address major cartoning machine FAQ and solve all your problems on cartoning machine.
How do you modify carton specification of a cartoning machine?
This adjustment will affect all the major feeding entrance the actual carton tooling machine settings.
It is best advised to begin with adjustment of carton-sending chain before manually sealing the carton.
Proceed on to nip the up-cover and set the carton to be in the middle of the chain. Then you should move the adjust knob, adjust the mid-plate to a point the output strip can moderately clip the carton.
In doing so, avoid coming into contact with the inner crease-slice. To correctly get the width, it is possible through loosening a couple of nuts on the carton-sending chain to make adjustment of the chain plate to match carton width.
This will also apply to the carton storeroom. Here, you will adjust the width of the entrance with a flat or blank carton by moving the back and front carton frame.
Also, the block and left and right shafts need to be matched with the length of a blank carton.
The carton vacuum suction device must also be aligned to meet the carton size as well as adjust the height of carton-compressor.
Another essential component to be adjusted is the plant rum with reference to the carton height and length. Locate the carton side-height to be at carton center.
Section of the cartoning machine – feeding product
The carton-sealing and batch number position should also be adjusted according carton height and width. At the same time batch number diastema adjusted according to carton paper-height.
Also carton-front plate-track must be same as the carton height.
The new carton width and position should be used to adjust the paper-sending chain-intermission position.
Finally, realign the sensors according to new machine position.
In the manual, the adjustment specifications are clearly hinted. Thus, it is prudent to refer to machine technical manual to understand better such adjustments.
However, if this exercise proves to be taxing always call the manufacturer for further directions.
Why is it important to have the pneumatic system operational before powering on the machine?
In chapter 1, we defined that a carton forming machine is an equipment build up with a number of components: air, electrical, light (photoelectric sensors) and mechanical.
You need to configure these parts to produce and perform desired functions.
Therefore, absence of any component shall adversely affect operations of the machine.
Also, in chapter 4, we covered on the working principles of cartoning machines. The main function of air or rather, pneumatic system is to absorb or pick carton from stack.
Machine uses pneumatic system to pick carton from stack
With absence of air it means that there will be no carton forming process.
What is the importance of setting the main motor, feeding, manual, sucking tray sensors to zero ‘0’?
The whole carton forming process is an interdependent activity in which every step picks a ‘hurdle’ from its immediate adjacent process.
If there is an input registered at any carton tooling stage before actually commencing the process while switched on, cartoning would be initiated.
Blister pack in a carton
The only problem will be uncoordinated process thereby resulting to a poorly packaged finished product.
How do you handle electrical control-system malfunction?
At certain point your cartoning machine could develop electrical malfunctions which are normal. There is no need to panic as the control unit has means of conducting analysis and elimination.
First, refer to the electrical section instructions on the technical manual. With possible causes of the issues in mind, go ahead and find fault indications displayed on the HMI.
Electric schematic diagram is similar to the below diagram:
You need to have electrical technical know-how to interpret the electrical flow chart.
Also in the technical manual, you will find interpretation of different alarms, so, find out if the fault is stated on the manual. You should read to understand how to go about it.
In most cases, the fault display might be pointing back to the electrical cabinet of electrical circuit along the machine itself.
That is why it is important to have spare parts such as contactors, relays, photoelectric sensors, pilot cables etc., to change any broken component.
Otherwise, call the manufacturers.
How do I handle mechanical malfunction?
In an event of mechanical malfunction, it is wise to immediately shutdown the machine to avoid damage that might be impacted to the gearing system and other essential moving components. This instance requires competent technical expertise to critical find cause and fault to sufficiently address the circumstance.
A section of mechanical components of the cartoning machine
Generally, mechanical malfunctions are mainly brought by inappropriate adjustments on the machine parts.
What follows are some of common malfunctions:
i. Carton Malfunction
This could be caused by air blockage or leakage on the sucker tubing, aging sucker, improper carton storeroom adjustment, inseparable carton blanks or poor positioning of the vacuum suction.
Cartons for packaging
This can be eliminated by ensure free air way, overhaul the vacuum suction tubing, re-adjustment of the carton storeroom settings, feed new carton stacks etc.
ii.How do you reject a faulty carton or unfinished carton package during the carton packaging process?
Unfortunately, if the model of your cartoning machine did not come with a Carton Pack Inspection device, then you might be forced to manually assess the quality of the process.
On the other hand, if you bought a more sophisticated carton forming machine, the Carton Pack Inspection device will carry out the integrity test to determine the whether it is damaged or good.
Aside from the above mentioned FAQ and their possible solutions, dozens of problems may arise during cartoning machine application. Sometimes more technical input may be required.
What you should focus on is getting down to the root cause of the problem since it helps to solve and eliminate the matter at hand.
Unless advised otherwise, never try to aimlessly experiment with your carton forming machine. It will make your warranty invalid.
Simply call your supplier – here at SaintyCo, we offer free technical support and consultations.
Chapter 8: Practical Applications of Cartoning Machine
In chapter 2, we saw reason why a cartoning machine can best help your business when it comes to product packaging.
May be I can quickly go over some of the reasons:
- Proper time management during production
- Product protection and ease of transportation
- Handle wide range of product packaging
If you were keen, in a number of occasions in this guide, I deliberately pointed out various applications of cartoning mechanism and process for different industries.
Nonetheless, in this chapter we will highlight some practical applications of cartoning machines on the market.
Application of Cartoning Machine in Food Industry
Through years of research and development by cartoning machine manufacturers, have seen colossal amounts invested to design suitable packaging machines for food products.
This is because how food is packed counts a lot. In addition to product presentation, also quality and hygiene take precedence.
Most food cartoning machines are designed to delicately handle the product at the loading stage as well as maintain the box integrity; shape of the carton.
What follows are fields in food industry where different cartoning machines are used to transform packaging of food products:
Packaging biscuits and pastries
Carton packaging is the best form for food as it keeps no moisture within. Here, a horizontal loading machine can best suit such packaging process since it is reliable and safe during packaging mechanism.
See the below images of biscuit and pastries packaging.
The cartons are formed leaving ample spaces for the product in order to protect its integrity.
Packaging Meal ingredients and Prepared Meals
Vertical Cartoning Machine is ideal for an array of fast foods, ready-to-eat foods together with meal ingredients. For a fact, it is possible to introduce multiple units in the box either automatically or manually.
This will depend on the degree of automation that your cartoner has.
Compartments can also be created where trays are used. Simply, a cardboard sleeve is inserted and relies on lateral product insertion at the loading bay.
Packaging of grains and seeds
Here, both the horizontal and vertical cartoning machines fit grains and seeds packaging processes. Bulk filling or pre-packaged is achievable as long as product feeding is done as a whole.
Packaging Sweet and Chocolate
Sweet and chocolate packaging are often of higher quality and more expensive than usual as they are designed to for prestige. Artistic printing and shapes attached to these cartons help to create such deluxe look.
Application of cartoning machine in Pharmaceutical Industry
You can still use cartoning machine to package products in both pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. From, bottles, blisters, capsules, medical tools, sachets, vials, can be packed with ease with an appropriate cartoning machine.
You must determine packing requirements and needs in order to procure a design that best address pertinent issues for your business. Of course, choose only a high-end cartoning machine at the market.
In short, cartoning machine plays an integral role in many industries, just as I have indicated in many chapters in this guide.
Now, I know this is what you have been waiting for all along.
Here are some machines you can consider for your carton packaging needs:
Chapter 9: SaintyCo Cartoning Machines
In chapters 4, 5 and 7 we explicitly mustered facts about cartoning machine from its fundamental working principles, classification to its various applications in the market.
Also, in chapter 1, I hinted about different designs of cartoning machines serve particular production needs and requirements.
For example, company “A” could be packaging sachets, whereas company “B” does bottles. Since these products have different features you must fit in different cartons.
In this case, it is clear each company will have to acquire specific cartoning machines to serve them adequately.
Now, in this chapter we will have an overview of various cartoning machines made by SaintyCo.
SaintyCo is a premier cartoning machine innovator and manufacturer. I trust its state-of-art design and technology integration that comes with its packaging machinery.
Their machines are cGMP compliant and are designed in strict conformity to the quality standards.
It is for this reason that I want to bring to your attention some of the most amazing cartoning machinery made by SaintyCo.
CM-100D Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machines for Sachet and CM-100 Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine for Blister
The above cartoning machines are designed for sachet and blister package products respectively.
They come with automatic adjustable feeding structures.
Both of them incorporate latest electrical and electronic standards and technology as they are installed with HMI where parameters such as quantity and frequency can be fed to optimize the machines operations.
Cartoning is handled automatically from:
- Carton shaping
- Leaflet folding
- Product introduction
- Sealing hot-melt gluing device
- Tuck-in option.
Inspection is carried out after the whole process to assess and identify packaging which was not fully done. In that case; products without, a commodity, leaflet or carton only shall be rejected. Therefore, all components must be available in product to pass the inspection.
They also have the ability to detect overload, signal trouble as well as keep tab on successful packaging.
Below it is the CM-100D Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine for Sachet:
It offers enough space for operator to supervise work in progress. Moreover, its moving parts are well-enclosed good the safety of the operator and machine.
While this is its technical specification
On the other hand, this is the visual image of CM-100 Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine for blister and technical specification:
It comes with a designated platform for machine attendant to comfortably work from.
Enclosure for all possible risky parts of the machine ensures safety and prevent the machine from damage.
PS: We use KDM Steel enclosures for the machine cabinets.
Its structural design considered space and ease of transportation.
Although the duo could be having similar main features, they differ in design and technical specifications.
ZH-100K Cartoning Machine for Tray & ZH-100D Cartoning Machine for Sachet
While ZH-100K Cartoning Machine is purposely designed for packaging cardboard-case of ampoules and injection blisters, ZH-100D Cartoning Machine was done for coffee-bag into carton, facial-mask plaster, ointment plaster, pouch, sachet and soft al/al strips.
- Both are installed with HMI for parameter adjustment.
- They can sense machine overload and make emergency stop.
- Automatically reject incomplete finished products, that is, those that lack leaflet, product or even empty cartons.
- They can display faults and alarm.
- Optimum performances and easy to operate
However, ZH-100K cartoner has direction folding and feeding mechanism, cardboard-case forming, inserter, printing accessories as well as sealing both ends. The whole process is automatically conducted.
Below it is full image and technical specifications:
It is ergonomically designed
ZH-100K cartoner has its operations centralized and enclosed provides safety and protection of various risk parts
ZH-100D cartoner can be used online, detects product feeding and leaflet. Also, it also shapes and forms cartons, with mechanical setup for product and leaflet insertion into the carton, printing, sealing by tucking-in, hot-melt gluing. It rejects poor packaging of finished products.
What follows is ZH-100D Cartoning Machines front-view image and technical specifications:
The modular design and easy part changeover reduces possible downtimes. As a result, you can easily maximize on the production.
CM-60V vials Cartoning Machine
The CM-60V Vials cartoner is ergonomically designed to pack different type of vials like 7-20 ml in size, into cartons. It gives room to integrate other accessories and equipment such as labelling machine.
Of course, it tows in line with international standards recommended for pharmaceutical production. Its process passes through turntable, folding equipment, automatic push of vial into cartons, close cartons and print batch number.
Also, an automatic rejection device ensures proper product packaging.
Here is the image and technical specification that comes with it:
The machine is easily accessible with open space for operator to monitor the whole cartoning process.
Risky machine parts are properly covered to prevent damage and for safety precaution.
CM-200 Horizontal & Continuous Cartoning Machine
CM-200 Horizontal & Continuous Cartoning Machine is designed for high speed production lines due to its automatic and continuous model thus registers high performance.
What makes it unique is the fact that it automatically inserts a number of products: bottle, ALU-PVC blister, pouch, soft AL/AL strips and soft tube, into cartons.
Besides, it can be used on-line when interlink via matching machine.
- There is no suction if there’s no any input variable.
- Integrates air, mechanical, electrical, electronics in its design
- Monitored loading system due servo drive mechanism
- Runs only when both compressor air and vacuum reach set point
- Mechanical main drive is coupled with a protection device.
CM-120 Horizontal &Intermittent Cartoning Machine
This is another multi-purpose cartoning machine found at SaintyCo.
It can comfortably carton various types of plastic products such as bottles, pill or rectangular articles, injection tray, ointments or al-plastics blister medicine-cards.
Its main processes include: folding, supply manual leaflet, material categorization and feeding, spreading, packaging, sealing and waste elimination, are precisely automated.
Some of the main features of this machine include:
- Incorporation of synchronous belt and full-servo system it runs efficiently without lubrication.
- Due to servo motor, both the speed and travel are easy to adjust and maintain. Therefore, it guarantees a reliable and stable operation.
Find below an image of CM-120 Horizontal cartoning Machine together with technical specification:
CM-100P Horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine for Bottle
It best suits automatic loading bottle either of round or square shape into cartons for an online packaging operation. It can automatically reject unfinished product before the product chute.
Technology invested in CM-100P horizontal & Intermittent Cartoning Machine makes operator to work smoothly while all possible glitches displayed or alarmed instantly.
Its simplicity in design makes it adorable. You can see it below:
ZH-100G Cartoning Machine for Tube & ZH-100P Cartoning Machine for Bottle &Vial
I chose to handle them as a topic because they share one common feature: both are designed for cardboard-case packaging although of different products altogether.
First, ZH-100G Cartoning Machine does cardboard-case packaging of glass bottle, soft package and ointment medicine. On the other hand, ZH-100P Cartoning Machine does cosmetic, food, medicine bottles etc.
From cardboard-case forming, feeding, printing to sealing; all these processes are automatically orchestrated in more or less the same manner.
The following are main features that both share:
- All are well equipped with alarm systems, display trouble as well as keep tab of finished products.
- Overload in both causes the machine to strip and stop.
- HMI is configured for easy use by the operator.
Below are visual images and technical specifications respectively:
VC-50 Vertical Cartoning Machine
This automatic cartoning machine is designed to function best with on-line product preparation. All its cartoning procedures are automated thus improving the finesse of packaging.
It can do 30-50 cartons per minute which is impressive on overall in a shift.
It has various packaging options for materials like individual commodity, candy, tube along with bottle packaging.
It is ergonomically designed and has low maintenance cost, with provisions for alarm, display faults etc.
It is convenient operate due to stable operation when running.
As you can see, SaintyCo offers a range of cartoning machines. They come in different designs and production capacities.
Depending on your production needs, you can choose standard or custom made options.
So, what are you waiting for?
Increase you productivity today by adopting reliable and high-tech packaging solutions.
You can talk to us today, and we will help you choose the right cartoning machine.
For questions or free consultation on packaging machines, you can leave a quick comment below. Alternatively, you can send me an email.