Meerbusch, 26 April 2016 – In cooperation with Dresden University of Technology (TUD) packaging specialist Teepack developed a highly dynamic cup dosing system over the past three years. The innovative dosing system dramatically increases the filling speed of products like rice, couscous, linseeds or coffee beans. The project was supported by the German Central Innovation Program (ZIM) for promoting research and development for small and medium-sized enterprises. Thanks to the findings Teepack has managed to increase the performance of their vertical, form, fill and seal machine Zenobia. Simultaneously, extensive series of tests broadened basic knowledge.
Operating speed is a decisive factor for the success of manufacturing companies. Packaging specialist Teepack continuously develops their machines to offer new and increasingly efficient packaging solutions to their customers. “For more than 60 years our name stands for quality – and for making good things even better,” says Dr. Ing. Stefan Lambertz, one of the project managers and a member of Teepack’s executive board. “Our cooperation with TUD was based on this philosophy, too. Together, we were able to increase the production speed of our vertical form, fill and seal machine Zenobia even further. In the long run, this is a real benefit for our customers – and today it is a real success for our project team.” Teepack’s Zenobia is particularly suited to premium packaging in the food and non-food industry.
New dosing system, faster flow
Alongside Dr. Stefan Lambertz, graduate engineer Thorsten Lehmann (Teepack), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens-Peter Majschak, Johann Holzweißig and Matthias Frank were involved in the project, which was managed by TUD‘s Institute for Processing Machines and Mobile Working Machinery. With the aim to increase the flow velocity of loose products like rice, peas, linseeds, couscous and coffee beans, they designed a highly dynamic cup dosing system and modified the downstream filling line.
The team intensely studied the flow behavior of rice, along with the product’s relevant motion directions. Their findings: When a telescoping filling hopper is used – as opposed to the conventional height-adjustable version – bridging and subsequent blocking of the hopper can be avoided. This adjustment in the hopper area also noticeably reduces product inclusions in the area of the cross seam. The specification of a 100-110 milliseconds sealing range (per kilo rice) was also met by the team.
Findings provide a new standard
The project team achieved further success. They optimized the cup filler’s motion profiles and fully sealed the production area. Those adjustments led to a significant decrease in dust and loss of product in the filling process. “Some of these findings have already been implemented by one of our customers. We will now implement them as a standard for new machines,” says Lambertz. Existing machines can easily be upgraded accordingly. “The project serves as a perfect example that simulation-supported development and optimization carries a lot of potential, particularly in medium-sized businesses for construction of packaging machines,” resumes Prof. Jens-Peter Majschak from TUD. “Some skills and tools are incredibly difficult to establish in-house. Granting companies access to them via research funding is an excellent way to secure the leadership position of the German packaging machine industry in the world market.”
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About the Central Innovation Program (ZIM) for small and medium-sized enterprises
The Central Innovation Program funds research and development in small and medium-sized enterprises. It was initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology and it is sponsored by the Association of Industrial Collective Research (AiF Projekt GmbH).
Headquartered near Duesseldorf in Meerbusch, Germany, Teepack Spezialmaschinen GmbH & Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Teekanne Group. With its approximately 230 employees, Teepack is one of the world’s leading providers of tea bag packaging systems, and has a presence in over 50 countries. Since 1948, the company has designed and manufactured a broad range of packaging systems. Today, the portfolio comprises single machines as well as fully automated filling lines. Since 2005, Teepack also manufactures vertical form, fill and seal machines for the packaging of pasta, rice, sweets, cereals, tea, coffee, pet food as well as non-food products. Teepack has already successfully implemented solutions to customers in Germany, the United Kingdom, Iran, Italy, Austria, Spain and Portugal.