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Harpak-ULMA Introduces New Tray Sealing Technology

Harpak-ULMA Trave Sinfonia

Taunton, Massachusetts-based Harpak-ULMA has a new innovation in tray sealing technology – the Mondini Trave Sinfonia.

This solution enables snack and meal producers to increase packaging throughput in a smaller, more flexible footprint with greatly reduced labor requirements. Producers can now fully automate tray packaging processes, while enjoying control of the product loading (positional accuracy within 10 microns), sealing and unloading process.

This process is combined with Mondini’s new, next generation sealer, a 1500mm long tooling footprint that delivers 33,000 pounds of sealing pressure. The new Mondini sealer is integrated with the electronically controlled magnetic track system, creating a tray selaer configuration that is the first of its kind. It allows the Trave Sinfonia to achieve tray throughput and efficiency in a compact form factor that requires less manual interaction.

Integrating a software-controlled, magnetic track system as part of the sealers bottom tooling is a breakthrough in tray sealing technology. The magnetic rail carries independent trolleys, known as nests. Each nest acts as the bottom sealing tool, eliminating any need to remove the package from the nest to seal it. A programmable software interface makes it easy to customize control with pinpoint accuracy each individual shuttle.

Unlike mechanical systems, which rely on pusher arms, conveyors vision systems or sensors to index tray placement, this digital system delivers precise control of each tray’s position, velocity and acceleration electronically. This increased level of control is what optimizes the tray sealing process, delivering maximum efficiency and adaptability through tray movement customization. In addition, traditional infeed and outfeed belts are eliminated, along with associated guides, pacers, belts and pusher arms. The result is a frictionless transfer contributing to individual tray control during packaging while simplifying maintenance.

“The ability to optimize each aspect of the packaging process individually while increasing control – along with reduced machine complexity and footprint – is unique,” said Carlo Bergonzi, tray seal manager at Harpak-ULMA.

“In a typical packaging line, the slowest or least efficient point dictates line speed and efficiency. In this case, such constraints do not gate an individual nest. The new system is a huge efficiency boost to automated loading as each nest can move independently to whatever loading station is needed. In another example, we can load intermittently at one depositor and continuously at another. It’s a very flexible system.”

The ability to individually optimize each step in the process by independently controlling each nest’s motion is the key to achieving optimal efficiency during the tray-sealing process. It is particularly beneficial when dealing with different ingredients or materials that require varying loading speeds. This approach reduces the impact of slow points and inefficiencies, resulting in a substantial boost in productivity.

“The Trave Sinfonia drives significant long-term productivity,” Bergonzi said.

“Mondini created something truly unique; they designed a tray sealer that takes speed and precision to a whole new level. They maximized both its automation and OEE through a design that replaces mechanical processes with electronic controls for simplicity and flexibility. As a result, they’ve achieved the highest throughput on a tray sealer we ever seen. All of that translates into lower total cost of ownership – especially for producers looking to fully automate multi-product snack lines. They’ll see the advantages immediately.”

Harpak-ULMA is showcasing Trave Sinfonia for the first time in the U.S., following its May debut at Interpack in Germany. “The innovative system is a game-changing solution for snack producers and others seeking increased productivity and efficiency in their tray sealing operations,” Bergonzi said.

Read more packaging news from The Shelby Report.

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About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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