Innovative equipment can be a constant source of optimisation potential, particularly in the production of corrugated packaging. Baumer hhs, with its groundbreaking innovations for gluing and the associated quality assurance, has been a pioneer in
this field for more than 35 years.
Recently in mid-2022, the company introduced the revolutionary CorrBox Solution for flexo folder gluers (FFG). In a similar step the year before, it launched the ULT 400XL
cold glue sensor for monitoring gluing in the production of largeformat packaging made of solid or corrugated board on multipoint gluers and specialty folder gluers.
“If you want to break new ground, you have to look beyond your own backyard. That’s exactly what we did in developing the CorrBox Solution. We totally redefined gluing and quality assurance in corrugated packaging production,” explains Andreas Schneiders, Corrugated Business Development Manager, Baumer hhs.
Monitoring Quality Without Fluorescing Additives
One key component of the modular CorrBox Solution is the PGD 1000 sensor. With its camera-like properties, the PGD 1000 sets new standards in monitoring the gluing process. “We had one main goal in mind for engineering this sensor: We wanted to free our customers from having to use adhesives containing fluorescing additives,” says Schneiders.
The purpose of these additives, which fluoresce blue, yellow or green under UV light, is to enhance contrast between the surface of the packaging and the glue tracks. Previously, this was the only way for cameras and sensors in quality assurance systems to detect and monitor adhesives. But the additives are associated with
a number of disadvantages; they increase the price of adhesives by up to 50%, are unacceptable in some cases under food safety laws and restrict packaging manufacturers by limiting purchasing options. The PGD 1000 reliably detects adhesive on corrugated board without any fluorescing additives whatsoever, whether the surface is white, brown or printed. “This sensor gives our customers freedom they’ve never had before in choosing adhesives for corrugated converting,” adds Schneiders.
High Tolerance to Viscosity Fluctuations
The second highlight of the CorrBox Solution is its PX 1000 multi-application head, which likewise sets new standards on the market. The innovative application head guarantees premium gluing results even at the limits of the viscosity range, without requiring complex parameter settings. It even reliably dispenses adhesives that have thickened after long idle periods. The multi-application head can offer these capabilities because it is based on the innovative technology behind the Baumer hhs PX 1000 cold glue applicator. It boasts a newly designed electromagnetic drive that achieves a high closing force, making the applicator significantly more tolerant of viscosity fluctuations compared to its predecessors. As an option for the multiapplication head, Baumer hhs offers its proven water bath. The nozzles can be lowered into the water bath during interruptions in production, effectively preventing them from drying out even over extended periods. “Any contamination or build up of residue on the nozzles is eliminated. The PX 1000 multiapplication head displays excellent start-up behaviour as a result and minimises the risk of gluing errors. Customers who are already using this equipment in production confirm these advantages, and are very pleased with the significant reduction in cleaning time,” emphasises Schneiders.
Reduction in Adhesive Consumption
Baumer hhs’s Glue Save Mode enables customers to slash their adhesive consumption by up to 60%. Thanks to the speed and high closing force of the PX 1000 application head, the CorrBox Solution can also be operated in this mode, which has been optimised for use with this equipment in order to meet the special demands of processing corrugated board.
In the Glue Save Mode, gluing is interrupted at defined intervals, meaning that short segments or ‘stitches’ of glue are applied instead of a continuous bead, significantly reducing adhesive consumption. Gluing in this mode simultaneously improves adhesive strength because applying dots or stitches results in a maximum distribution of force in the adhesive, which in turn prevents cohesive failure and enhances the quality of the glued joints.
When there is a shortage of skilled labour, having production equipment that is easy to operate becomes an important factor. The CorrBox Solution takes this into account with its unique, intuitive menu navigation via the touchscreen on the Xtend3controller. This likewise has been optimised to meet the needs of the corrugated industry. For instance, the number of parameters machine operators have to enter has been reduced to a minimum. In addition, many parameters can be stored and easily adapted by an operator using simple plus/minus keys. All of these features contribute to shortening setup times. A Step Towards Zero-Defect Production The ULT 400XL cold glue sensor for monitoring gluing in the production of large-format packaging made of solid or corrugated board also offers outstanding performance characteristics. With its optimised optics, it enables a greater distance between sensor and packaging product in multipoint and specialty folder gluers; the ULT 400XL reliably detects applied glue at a distance of 60mm, even when complex folds are involved.
Product fluctuations of up to 25mm therefore are no problem for the ULT 400 XL. Its optimised, durable product guide protects the entire unit – light barrier, application head and sensor – against damage. In short, the ULT 400XL gives manufacturers of large-format packaging products added flexibility in adhesive monitoring, and they can greatly reduce the time required for setup. The ULT 400 XL is also compatible with the PX 1000 application head and the Xtend3 controller, although it can also be operated with the Xtend2. “Our solutions not only reduce adhesive consumption, they also increase the reliability of production processes and ultimately minimise waste. Both effects enhance the sustainability of packaging production”, concludes Schneiders.