Altopak robot overview.

Altopack, a manufacturer of grain-based food packaging machines, will be attending the 2022 edition of Ipack-Ima to present its state-of-the-art packaging solutions in box cartoning and casepacking. The trade show in Milan will also be an opportunity to present the world preview of ‘Cyborg Line’, a company that will cooperate with Altopack and Gammapack to consolidate their presence in their reference markets. This company is a high-tech start-up focusing on developing advanced robotic solutions for the packaging industry.

A young team with a great innovation background

The Altopack Group consists of Altopack, a company with over 20 years of experience in the pasta packaging industry, Gammapack, a historical brand in the box cartoning industry, and the innovative start-up company Cyborg Line. Altopack imagines, designs and produces automatic food packaging systems and has specific competences in the pasta and grain-based food packaging sectors, with a high global reputation with all the main brands. Gammapack works in the food packaging sector as well and specializes in the production of horizontal and vertical box cartoners.

Cyborg Line is the latest addition to the Altopack. It works in the most advanced areas of industrial automation – more specifically, in the field of collaborative robotics as applied to packaging. In line with its innovative spirit, Altopack intends to transform the concept of automatic machines by introducing humanoid robots in packaging and casepacking lines, aiming to define an enabling technology for smart, autonomous and interconnected systems. The important background of the company derives from its international partnership, consisting of teams based in Bologna, the USA, Northern Europe, and Canada. Each of these teams has specific engineering competences in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, providing Altopack with the paradigm of the 5th Industrial Revolution. Cyborg Line offers an unrivalled solution to the problems relating to frequent loading movements, such as the supply of consumables. These operations are highly stressful for operators and affect the overall productivity standards in the whole packaging industry. The combination of the advantages of robotics and industrial automation will allow Cyborg Line to offer its clients lots of competitive benefits thanks to the integration of humanoid robots – autonomous human-like machines that are able to interact with the surrounding industrial environment.

For the first time, Altopack will participate in an international event like Ipack-Ima in such a structured and complete way, with a rich and articulate range of products addressed to customers working in its areas of expertise and different areas sectors. At Ipack-Ima 2022, Altopack will showcase the strength of a group with transversal competences, which can offer a wide range of products suitable for various packaging scopes. The company intends to offer a sneak peek into the future of innovation, which will be guided by exponential technologies like robotics and the internet of machines in the next few years.

The machines on display – Box cartoner APL-Veloce

Box cartoner APL-Veloce machine.

The box cartoner APL-Veloce (meaning fast, speedy) is the latest long-cut pasta box cartoner belonging to Gammapack’s box cartoners range. The machine was designed to match the high productivity levels that the two patented Altopack weighers can reach, and it can pack up to 180 boxes per minute. This solution differs from previous versions for its compact dimensions, thanks to the strategic position of the flat blank storage magazine, which is now located inside the machine itself. Furthermore, APL-Veloce allows quick format changeover operations. The machine is entirely controlled by brushless motors, a choice that was driven by the intention to unite efficiency with the reduction of maintenance needs. It also features an innovative box opening system.

Wrap-around casepacker Rola’

Altopack’s wrap-around casepacker Rola machine.

The wrap-around casepacker Rola’ is the new entry belonging to Altopack’s casepackers range. The machine stands out for its high speed (up to 30 cases/minute) and versatility. Indeed, it can meet a wide spectrum of production needs in the food, beverage, and non-food sectors. There are several reasons for which this machine embodies the ideal solution for a diverse range of applications, among which are quick format changeover operations and its compact dimensions. Moreover, this machine allows simple adjustment operations thanks to user-friendly electronic positioners. The casepacker can produce different cases, from completely closed wrap-around cases to trays with or without a lid.

Humanoid robots working on packaging lines

In Milan, Altopack will also exhibit Cyborg Line’s revolutionary application in robotics. A world preview of ‘The Packaging Machine Tending Robot’, which is still a prototype, will be presented at Ipack-Ima. A technological solution never seen before in the packaging world can set a trend in the sector for the years to come. 

The bright future of robotics

Today the world of automation mainly uses solutions like gripping heads or cartesian robots in packaging machines. In contrast, small co-bots are typically used in the secondary packaging field to aid operators to handle boxes or cases. Also, big autonomous mechanical arms are installed on bulky palletizers. The packaging industry will need to use ever-changing technological solutions, with software that can simulate artificial intelligence and advanced mechanical functions. This will have to be done without giving up on the operators’ safety. Today, Altopack can offer tomorrow’s technology.

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