Innovation: High Speed Unit Film Transfer Integration

25th July, 2018
The engineering challenge

To build a machine capable of matching a line throughput of 90 meat packs per minute, that could work seamlessly alongside a thermoforming operating cycle, without compromising on print quality. The machine, therefore, had to be able to control the film speed during a print cycle, rather than relying on the Thermoformer print speed.

The innovative solution

The ICE FTS3400 Thermal Transfer Film Transport System has been specifically engineered and constructed with the purpose of enabling the parent packaging machine to operate at its designed speed without being limited by the thermal transfer printers incorporated within the system.

The intended use of the Clearmark FTS3400 Thermal Transfer Film Transport System is to enable the parent packaging machine to increase its throughput from 10 to 12 cycles per minute while allowing the thermal transfer printers incorporated within the system to print legible code information onto the packaging material at a controlled and sustained speed.

The system consists of the Clearmark FTS3400 Special High-Speed Film Transport Unit assembly, the FTS3400 Film Transport System Control Enclosure, the FTS3400 Film Transport System Operator Station and 3 ICE Zodiac Hawk 53mm RH Thermal Transfer Printers.

The system allows the Thermoformer to pull the film through the machine at the speed required to reach the overall machine speed set (10 – 12 cycles per minute) without affecting the film speed during the print cycle.

The print cycle is controlled by the system during the Thermoformer “forming and sealing cycle”. During this time the film is moved past the printers by the system shuttle at a speed of around 250 – 300 mm/s and then moved back to the original starting position to enable the packaging film to be in the correct place when the Thermoformer pulls the film through to begin its next cycle.

Watch the video to see it in action:

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