It’s a wrap: Sealed Air gains advantage with network, HMI

Chicago—Sealed Air Shanklin’s new Omni Form-Fill-Seal Wrappers outdo competitors’ efforts, company representatives said, because separate infeeds auto-configure when they’re connected, adding system capabilities and flexibility.

By Control Engineering Staff November 19, 2004

Sealed Air Shanklin’s new Omni Form-Fill-Seal Wrapper is shown with the control panel door open right; the modular infeed, which autoconfigures with its onboard network, is on the left.

Chicago— Sealed Air Shanklin ’s new Omni Form-Fill-Seal Wrappers outdo competitors’ efforts, company representatives said, because separate infeeds auto-configure when they’re connected, adding system capabilities and flexibility. In addition to speeding setup, the design also lowers overall cost and increases quality; the machine stores set-up parameters on a memory card that can be shared, via the touchscreen human-machine interface, from line to line.

Sealed Air Corporation’s Shrink Packaging Division introduced Shanklin Omni G and Omni S shrink-wrapping equipment at Pack Expo International. The every-other-year show filled Chicago’s McCormick Place, Nov. 7-11. Omni systems are said to optimize flexibility and efficiency. Rather than having dedicated infeeds “hard-wired” to shrink-packaging machines, these systems use three cables and a clamp to easily and quickly connect with a variety of infeeds to serve application demands of the product being packaged. Modular infeeds presently include flighted, multi-belt, and wide belt types, which can be purchased separately and used on the same Omni system. Each infeed represents 20-30% the cost of acquiring a new shrink-packaging system, adding capability, while saving money. “No one else has modular infeeds,” Robert M. Herrmann, project engineer, Sealed Air Shrink Packaging Division, told Control Engineering .

Omni control network provides automatic system configuration for each modular infeed and other system components, such as package sensors, solenoids and servodrives. When an infeed is changed, the Omni DeviceNet connection reduces changeover time by identifying the type of in-feed attached and configures the system accordingly. Infeed changeover only takes two to three minutes, as opposed to 30-60 minutes changing out a previous generation line, explained Mitchell W. Smith Sr., director of engineering for Shanklin.

The operator control station provides a user-friendly touchscreen, Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 700 from Rockwell Automation, which helps with device recognition, diagnostics, and maintenance, Smith said. Customers can program up to 100 package recipes on the touchscreen, enabling operators to quickly repeat package-size changeovers at the touch of a finger. Security includes log-in requirements and an auto-logout capability that can be adjusted by a system administrator, Herrmann added.

An additional benefit of Shanklin Omni systems is “dual product-flow” configuration. Traditionally, most shrink-packaging systems are designed with one product-flow direction; Omni systems are available in right-to-left or left-to-right configurations, enabling companies to integrate the systems into existing production lines easily. It also makes it possible for one operator to control two machines, or more than one production line, simultaneously.

Shanklin Omni systems use metric fasteners and are designed for CE compliance to support global standards. The automatic, continuous motion, form-fill-seal wrappers can process larger packages because of expanded seal capabilities. Omni systems have a 23-in. wide standard end-seal jaw. Omni G uses a mechanical end-seal that is 8-in. tall and Omni S has a dual-axis, servo-driven end-seal that is 10-in. tall. The systems can process up to 120 ft of film per minute, resulting in packaging speeds of up to 80 packs/min. with Omni G and 100 packs/min. with Omni S. Sealed Air is based in Saddle Brook, NJ.

Cost varies depending on configuration needed. The base unit is about $48,000 and the dual-belt infeed $18,000. With a couple infeeds, this could replace two or three machines, Smith noted.

—Control Engineering Daily News DeskMark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief,