Smaller Footprint in Packaging with a Breakthrough Generation of Machines with Festo Solutions

Smaller Footprint in Packaging with a Breakthrough Generation of Machines with Festo Solutions
Festo AG & Co. KG (Italy) - With its ‘Breakthrough Generation’, Italian packaging firm Cama has restyled its machines completely.

With its ‘Breakthrough Generation’, Italian packaging firm Cama has restyled its machines completely by integrating the control cabinets with the electrical and pneumatic components into the machine pedestals angles. Core to this redesign, which reduces the machine’s footprint, minimises cabling and eases placement of the utility devices, is the Festo valve terminal CPX/MPA with protection class IP65.

“For us, Festo's valve terminal concept CPX/MPA is a great support for opening the way to a completely new machine generation,” explains Stefano Rini, Head of Research and Development with Cama Group in Italy. “The positive effect of this is that the space requirements of the new Cama packaging machines have been reduced by approximately a third. This is one of the reasons why it is called Cama’s ‘Breakthrough Generation’.”

This new concept of machines highlights Cama’s renowned lean design of secondary packaging machinery and robots. “This machine generation will create entirely new opportunities for growth for us”, predicts Rini.

One characteristic feature of conventional machines is the large control cabinet outside the main structure of the machine. The controllers within this cabinet are connected to the drives, sensors and valves by an array of cables and lengths of tubing several metres long.

“Significantly fewer and shorter cables and tubes to be connected simplify and shorten installation. This is a further distinguishing feature of the new machines,” explains Rini as he describes the gain in efficiency. “CPX links the pneumatic and electrical control chains and connects these simply, quickly, flexibly and seamlessly to any automation concept and in accordance with any company-specific standards. What is more, the CPX offers diagnostic functions. This makes it easy for us to meet the demands of large branded-product manufacturers, for example for preventive maintenance.”

Attention has also been paid to the topic of machine safety. The Festo soft-start and exhaust valve MS6-SV is used to exhaust the system. It provides reliable protection against unexpected start-up and has an exhaust capacity 1.5 times its pressurisation capacity.

Among the new Breakthrough Machine Generation, Cama is now introducing the CL 175, an extremely flexible side-loading cartoning machine. It has been completely redesigned, both in layout and functioning. This machine can load flow-wraps, pouches, bags, thermoformed trays, blisters and more into pre-glued cartons. In a first step they are picked from the storage station, opened and, by a rotary unit, placed into the moving conveyor pockets.

The side-loading unit loads the products into the cartons with an intermittent-continuous motion. This handling unit consists mainly of a Festo electric axis EGC for a precise approach to intermediate positions and a pneumatic mini slide DGSL. The EGC helped to reduce the mounting time by 30% compared to previous in-house electrical axis solution. The use of both pneumatic and electrical drive technologies allows high precision to be obtained together with a high load capacity. In a next step, the cartons move towards the final closure station. It can work in continuous or intermittent mode. Finally the cartons get onto the outfeed conveyor.

“For us, the Festo brand is very strongly associated with the qualities of innovation and competency. Its innovative valve terminals with CPX and fieldbus considerably reduce the amount of wiring and tubing required and thus also reduce the space required by our machines. Festo's innovations therefore enable us as an OEM, and our end customers, to take a large step forward”, concludes Rini, describing the results of working with Festo.

“There is also a practical benefit: Festo is active in 176 countries all around the world. Festo service personnel can therefore quickly go to the end customers of Cama Group to assist with questions regarding the commissioning of components and systems or to provide other services. That gives everyone involved a feeling of confidence.”

About Cama Group:
Cama Group is an Italian private company, whose core business is the engineering and the production of complete high technology secondary packaging systems and machinery. Its outstanding packaging knowledge combined with a unique machine range and robotic loading units, represent its capability to propose complete lines starting from the handling of primary packages such as flow-wraps, bags or trays, up to the supply of final carton or corrugated packaging ready for palletising.

In 2013, Cama had a turnover of 65 million €, with constant double-digit growth figures over the past 10 years. This gives a lot of impetus to the implementation of its new business plan, covering the next 5 years and aiming to reach soon a turnover of 90 million €.

Since 1981, Cama has been offering and developing a continuous partnership and services to all its customers including major multinational groups as well as medium size companies, mainly within the agro-food sector. Every year Cama invests more than 5% of its turnover (mainly export orientated within the European and extra European markets) in Research & Development, to be ready to offer competitive solutions to a highly demanding sector like the packaging one.

Cama Breakthrough Machines are moving a step forward, getting closer to Six Sigma philosophy. Operators’ safety is at first place in the new machines design, with accessibility and enhanced sanitation procedures as key points in Cama’s design criteria. Cama engineers have been designing TPM compliant machinery for over 10 years, reaching great results not only in terms of technical solutions but in accessibility and hygienic design.

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