Herma US Inc., a provider of labeling machinery and self-adhesive labels, has introduced continuous labeling capabilities for its 132M HC Wrap-around Labeler.
The company claims this will add speed without sacrificing accuracy. This comes amid the dramatic push to produce billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines at an unprecedented pace.
The continuous operation is made possible by two new modules – EasySplicer and EasyCutter – that can be retrofitted onto existing machines. The new add-ons allow label and backing paper reels to be changed or disposed of without production interruption. Considering that reels on high-speed labelers such as the Herma 132M HC require replacement approximately every 10 minutes, the result is significantly improved output through downtime elimination.
With the new EasySplicer and EasyCutter modules, label reels can be changed, and the backing paper reels disposed of, without the machine coming to a standstill. With the EasySplicer, two label reels are arranged vertically, one above the other. The active label web is guided over a splicing table, where it is fixed at the end of the label web. Since the EasySplicer is equipped with a label buffer, the labeler will continue to run even when it reaches the end of the label web. An operator can then execute the splicing process in such a way that the new label web is spliced to the fixed web before the buffer runs out. If the operator should fail, the machine stops automatically and can be manually restarted.
Meanwhile, the EasyCutter vacuums up the empty backing paper and chops it into shreds that are collected automatically, and can be recycled. The add-on eliminates the need for manual removal of rewinded backing paper.
‘With EasySplicer and EasyCutter, downtimes on the 132M HC caused by reel changes can be reduced to a minimum and, ideally, even be completely avoided,’ said Ulrich Fischer, head of product management at Herma. ‘Given the 400 cycles currently being used, a typical label roll with 5,000 labels is emptied in just over ten minutes.’
According to the company, the Herma 132M HC Wrap-around Labeler was designed to meet the stringent requirements of round pharmaceutical and healthcare products, including glass vials produced in high quantities. These also include measures for the optimization of overall system efficiency, such as innovative rotary tables, digital position indicators and format sets that can be changed without tools for fast format changes, as well as operation of the entire machine, including the camera and printer, via an industrial panel PC (IPC).