Faster and better slider insertion for pouches

Time is money and so producing things faster and with efficiency at or better than conventional methods is worth noting.

In the flexible packaging market, Fresh-Lock's Hurricane machinery uses new rotary-over-the-top insertion (ROTI) slider application during pouch production, an advancement that’s changing the production option for reclosable packaging because it results in more packages per minute (ppm), less complexity, better registration and more.

Fresh-Lock ROTI Hurricane slider inserter 332x464H

The ROTI Hurricane Inserter System shown is formatted for vertical zipper track (and film) and the Fresh-Lock Child-Guard slider. The system assembly includes the sortation bowl, the chute to bring the parts to the inserter and the inserter.

The Hurricane produces 200 pouches per minute in intermittent mode and up to 400 ppm in continuous mode, substantially more than traditional technology. With less moving parts, the system is easier to operate and leaves a small footprint. ROTI also places sliders over the track, for minimal to no interference, which significantly improves registration for a smoother insertion process. The machinery is designed for numerous types of sliders including Fresh-Lock mini Slider and Child-Guard child-resistant slider.

“ROTI technology creates flexibility in when the slider is inserted during the manufacturing process, depending on the customers’ needs and preferences,” Nick DeRue, Mechanical Development Lead for Fresh-Lock Closures, Presto Products Co. (Appleton, WI) tells PlasticsToday. “With the old system, the slider needed to be inserted onto the zipper track prior to being introduced to the film. The zipper track and slider were introduced to the film upstream of the longitudinal seal of the pouch machine. 

“ROTI technology can be used this way if desired, or it can insert the slider downstream in the pouch machine after the zipper track has been sealed to the film. This new method offers potential advantages such as more accurate placement of the zipper track, more accurate registration and a smaller footprint on the manufacturing floor.

“In most applications, the new ROTI technology can replace a standard Presto slider inserter, though some machine modifications are required. It also allows for a greater pouch opening and creates the potential for further improved registration.”

Retrofit option

The Hurricane can be easily retrofitted to existing machines and will help plants increase cost savings and operational efficiencies. The servo-powered ROTI technology is controlled by the PLC.

Previous insertion systems were part of a larger, integrated Presto machine, which has a larger default footprint.

The size and footprint of the new applicator system varies based on the slider model, the format and performance requirements of the machinery. A ROTI system for a smaller slider, integrated directly in a converting line, could consume as little as six inches of space in the machine direction. The greater footprint of the ROTI system, including a sortation bowl, is in the range of 18 inches x 18 inches x 24 inches. The footprint would increase as other slider-related features are added. 

Customers range from premade pouch converters to fully integrated brand owners, according to DeRue, who reports that there are several ROTI systems currently in the field.

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