Continuous Roll Bagging Systems

Sept. 10, 2012

Sharp Packaging Systems introduces a new line of MAX continuous roll bagging systems. The MAX systems include three models, MAX 12™, MAX 20™ and MAX Plus™, all of which automatically package products for any type of manufacturing facility. The new line integrates an optional Videojet DataFlex® Plus thermal transfer printer. All machines have an HMI, which is a networkable touchscreen PC running Windows® 7 embedded plus an Allen-Bradley Micrologix 1400 PLC. Like all Sharp machines, parts are nonproprietary, available off-the-shelf. The MAX 12 accommodates bags up to 12” wide and the MAX 20, up to 20” wide. These two models are quite similar and differ only in the width of the bags they can handle. The MAX Plus is the most mechanically advanced of the three models. The MAX bagging system indexes Sharp’s specialty E-Z Bag®, then feeds it through the machine where it is opened, filled with a product and sealed. The new system features a constantly heated sealing mechanism, developed by Sharp’s engineers, which offers a longer life than impulse mechanisms used by other manufacturers.

Faster, More Efficient Printing 

The new system integrates the Videojet DataFlex Plus, a thermal transfer printer that imprints bar codes, graphics and alphanumeric fonts directly on the package. This printer is at least 50% faster than those used by other manufacturers, and can increase throughput dramatically. 

The printer is more built into the machine and features a moveable printing head that can be set to precise positions, based on package size. With this approach, the machine prints the bags in order, eliminating queuing of bags, which reduces scrap and saves on material cost. There are also significant savings in ribbon consumption due to advance impression placement features. The controls for the printer are viewed directly on the bagger HMI. There is no longer a need to manage multiple monitors or displays for the bagger and printing system. It is possible to control, recall stored labels or even create labels directly on the single HMI. Also included are detailed ribbon consumption tools with a gauge that displays how much ribbon remains. You can even view the predicted day and time the installed ribbon will be exhausted, based upon current production rates! 

Network Accessible Control Architecture 

The HMI, printer and PLC can be networked, so they can be accessed at any time from almost anywhere. Remote label printing, production reporting and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) control are just a few of the possibilities with the new MAX bagging system. 

Automation Controls Done Right 

Sharp baggers include closed loop sensor feedback for all critical motions. This approach allows the bagger cycle times to be minimized and provides advanced real-time diagnostic tools. Sharp baggers use an ultra-quiet digital Stepper Drive to control the film feed and deliver smooth and precise control of the web. Sharp engineers can provide custom design and programming services to enhance the machine’s capabilities even further. 

Easy Troubleshooting 

The self-diagnostic tools have been completely revamped. If a fault occurs, the HMI displays a message with an explanation of what happened, why it may have happened and possible solutions in order to correct it. The operator and service manuals, along with component identification, are accessible from the HMI. There is also an interactive help file system that is intuitive and provides the desired information quickly and easily.