Being a partner and solution provider for the food industry, Weber's mission is to make their customers' life easier. With the help of customized solutions they are able to optimally operate throughout the system's entire life cycle. In order to be able to supply technically outstanding, highly integrated processing and packaging lines, Weber has consistently expanded their solution portfolio. At interpack, Weber presented two new packaging technology products for the first time to a world-wide audience.
During interpack, Weber presented the wePACK 4000, a new, compact thermoforming packaging machine that is perfectly suited for medium output quantities of up to 100 packs per minute in typical slicing applications. Adding to their high-end thermoformer wePACK 7000, Weber expanded their portfolio with a solution for medium output classes. The wePACK 4000 is the perfect choice especially for full-line suppliers and food producers who tend to produce smaller batches.
As with all of Weber's packaging technology, the wePACK 4000 uses servo technology for the chain drive. Weber's newest thermoformer is highly accessible making it easy to service and maintain. The thermoformer is the ideal choice for MAP, vacuum, and standard skin applications. Thanks to the use of a special gas flushing system for MAP applications, the wePACK 4000 is able to cut down on waste and save resources. The trim on the bottom film side is reduced by approx. 50%, and the trim on the top film side is even completely eliminated. The wePACK 4000 can be fully integrated into Weber line solutions by using the control and operating technology that is common in all Weber components.
For anyone who wants to package sliced products, piece goods, or other fresh food products in the highest performance class, the safe and sustainable wePACK 7000 is the perfect choice. The Weber thermoforming packaging machine sets new standards for output, quality, and with our modern servo technology, energy efficiency. Servo technology is standard with the wePACK – Weber thereby largely eliminates the use of expensive compressed air. One of the impressive highlights of the Weber thermoforming packaging machine is revealed looking at the machine's inside. The lifting system with servo drive has been designed to meet the particular needs of the food industry. In addition to high energy-efficiency, the servo-driven lifting system offers optimized process times – even with different packing depths. Quick, strong, precise: made from 100% stainless steel, the lifting system sets new standards featuring Weber's standard hygienic design at unmatched speed for maximum output. Even with heavy duty use, the stainless steel design gives the lifting system high rigidity for a long service life without the need for maintenance. Due to the smart design, it does not require lubrication. This provides ideal conditions for cleaning and reduces maintenance downtimes. Weber's use of energy efficient servo-drives for the wePACK 7000 cross-cutters reduces running operating costs and creates higher output. The servo-drive technology enables control of the entire cycle sequence which ensures absolute process reliability. In addition, the cross punches run slower in closed-loop operation at start and end cycles in order to minimize wear.
It is the wide array of clever technical innovations of the wePACK 7000 that enables production of food processing companies to be more profitable. The camera-supported check of the actually stretched upper film roll against the stored recipe data, film and product losses are avoided. The camera inspection also contributes to a significant increase in production reliability. The new web edge control of the bottom film features a simple mechanical design and can correct web run deviations smoothly and accurately by detecting the tendency of lane position deviations. The upper tool of the Weber thermoforming packaging machine is equipped with an integrated cut for peel corners with a quick-change insert that significantly reduces downtimes when changing formats. The new quick-change system of the longitudinal shear cut is another impressive innovation. With the change of the lower cutting systems taking five minutes maximum and the change of the upper cutting system only about one minute, no other cutting system on the market has a quicker or easier change. The system guarantees a high level of work safety thanks to exchangeable cassettes with pre-assembled blades that ensures simple and easy execution for operators of all skill levels. Thanks to the automatic adjustment to the ideal contact pressure, downtimes are reduced and time-consuming readjustments have become a thing of the past.
With weMARK, the Weber wePACK 7000 presents another technical innovation – the fastest transfer unit for continuous ink jet print heads on the market. The integrated x/y movement unit can be used for all conventional ink jet printers for printing on the top film. In doing so, the display of the printer control panel can be mirrored conveniently onto the Weber HMI which facilitates ergonomic operation without long walking distances as well as the complete operation and print management from a single display. The new Weber x/y transfer unit comes with a standardized "no product, no print" function in order to reduce running costs. In case the print head has to be replaced, weMARK also permits bi-directional printing. Food processing companies thus benefit by reducing process-related waiting times and maximizing output.
Regardless if a paper-based film, mono-PP, mono-PET or regular APET is used, or if a classic MAP packaging, MAP flat packaging in paper or soft film, skin packaging or an MLP soft film packaging is to be implemented,with the Weber wePACK thermoforming packaging machine, all commonly used or already known thermoformable and heat-sealable packaging materials can be processed. Not only is the environment considered, the reduction of plastic within the package is more environmentally friendly and follows common packaging standards and regulations, as well as newer packaging requirements of food retailers.
In an effort to reduce the use of plastic, fiber-based films using renewable materials are gaining more traction worldwide. One look at cooler isle of food retailers reveals that food products such as sliced meats and cheeses are increasingly packaged in composite materials based on paper with a thin PE film. The optimal and profitable production of such packages, however, poses a challenge for most thermoforming packaging machines. Weber's new PaperTech technology alleviates these issues. The main advantage of the PaperTech process is that paper-based bottom films can be easier and deeper formed into packaging. For this purpose, the paper is sprayed before the actual forming process in the packaging machine, which also allows for controlled moisture content. The less rigid paper fibers are easier to shape and achieve higher stability after cooling. The obvious benefits for food producers and retailers are that the packaging can hold more product and is more shelf-stable. Naturally the PaperTech technology can be easily retrofitted in Weber wePACK packaging machines, without requiring any additional space.