OBERENGSTRINGEN, Switzerland — Beck Automation announced that it is offering its IML technology from factory stock to supply customers in less than 10 weeks. Due to the Corona pandemic, many companies are rethinking their supply routes. Particularly when the international flow of goods is disrupted, supply bottlenecks can quickly arise, which can result in significant impact to subsequent production steps. Especially for packaging, a disrupted supply chain can have a massive impact on a company's sales.

"To date, our order intake in the Corona pandemic has developed very positively. We found increasingly that many companies are looking for alternatives to realize their IML projects in a very short time. On the one hand, companies are interested in getting to market as quickly as possible, and on the other hand, they are looking to make the supply chain more crisis-proof in the future, and we offer solutions for this. With the BASIC-IML machine, we have developed a high-performance line of machines that we can deliver and commission on site in less than 10 weeks," said Nino Zehnder, Marketing and Sales Manager at Beck Automation AG. The BASIC-IML machine is a standard system designed for labeling buckets produced by injection molding. In addition to full labels, the system can also process two half-labels. There are currently two different BASIC systems, with one cavity up to 30L bucket volume and with two cavities up to 5L bucket volume.

"Our systems can be easily expanded to meet customer-specific needs. A wide catalog of options is available for this purpose. That means that a large part of the machine is standard. Therefore, we can manufacture the machine for stock ahead of time and then eventually adapt it to the customer’s requirement, where necessary," said Zehnder. Beck Automation keeps two machines in stock continuously and can therefore respond quickly to customer requests. "Usually, we manage to deliver a machine to the customer within 8 to 10 weeks unlike other systems where delivery times can sometimes be 20 weeks," Zehnder continued. The new short delivery times have led to an increase in the volume of inquiries over the past nine months.

Beck Automation's IML technology can be used in both the food and non-food sectors. "From yogurt cups to paint buckets, different container sizes are provided with labels on our systems," explained Zehnder. As with all customized Beck IML systems, the BASIC IML systems use high-quality lightweight materials for the main arm as well as high-performance servo motors. The main arm, which moves laterally into the open injection molding machine, is mounted on a stable linear axis. This consists of an aluminum profile with precision guides and is driven by a servomotor via a robust toothed belt.

The overall structure of the machines is designed for 24/7 use with high cycle times. In terms of ergonomics, the standard systems are also in no way inferior to the customized systems. In the production process, the IML labels are separated from the magazines and centered. The labels are removed cyclically and positioned directly on the cores. The labels are electrostatically charged in the injection mold and thus fixed. In parallel, the molded products are removed, and the finished product is stacked directly onto the conveyor belt.

"Controlling the system but also setting up a new IML job must be as simple as possible for the operator to implement," Zehnder continued. Therefore, the machines are equipped with modern HMIs and a Beckhoff controller as standard. Operating states, menu navigation, error messages and information are shown on the display. The goal of easy handling is also reflected in the machine software, where intuitive menu navigation makes it easier to operate.

For more information, visit www.beck-automation.com.