Additive Manufacture and Food Packaging Machinery Systems

One industry that has taken a fresh look at additive manufacture for machine parts is food packaging. Whether the requirement is end-of-arm tooling with complex internal vacuum lines not possible with conventional machining or unique machine parts, that provides a specific function, these can easily be achieved with additive manufacture.

3DPRINTUK work with many machine makers including Brillopak, CPACK and Astrapc, all specialists in their respective field with one similarity, they have all adopted additive manufacture into their supply line.

CPACK is a specialist packaging machine systems manufacturer. Based in Burnley their production facility is home to a team of designers, programmers and sales staff all focused on delivering outstanding machines and exemplary customer service. CPACK are at the forefront of food packaging technology and are always looking for ways to improve machine design as well as exploring new ways to save on part costs without sacrificing quality.

Additive manufacture isn’t new to CPACK; as one of the first in their industry to use additive manufacture their initial experience was that parts were far too expensive to produce from other suppliers. Having met with their Director Charles Reilly, 3DPRINTUK were certain they could help bring down some of their part costs and deliver a standard of part that would exceed their expectations of additive manufacture.

Working with their team, 3DPRINTUK were able to demonstrate how they could take advantage of their pricing system; by breaking down larger parts into smaller pieces(ready to assemble post print) and how to nest parts together which has even more potential for generating a cost saving. Nesting works by filling unused space around larger parts or by arranging parts to take up a smaller space within the printers. By nesting parts, it meant that in some cases CPACK could get two parts for the price of one.

“We use SLS printing services when parts are too complex or too costly to manufacture using traditional methods. The flexibility and level of detail possible with SLS printing is unmatched for the price. 3DPRINTUK have provided excellent support to our technical and purchasing staff, and using their website to quickly quote parts couldn’t be easier.” Ben Chaffer, CPACK

Another company taking advantage of Low volume production with 3DPRINTUK is Astrapac. Established in 1974, Astrapac specialise in the manufacture of bag sealing machinery. In addition to designing and building a wide and diverse range of Heat Sealers Astrapac are also the sole UK and Ireland representative for the technically advanced Gandus Medical Heat Sealers /pouch sealers. All models in the Gandus range are built to European medical standard ISO 11607 and many models are fully validated, a requirement in the medical sector for seal quality control.

The problem with manufacturing a variety of specialist machines is that they each require their own bespoke parts. Two applications where 3D printed parts have proven ideal are: a domed cap (pictured) that seals the arm to make it water tight and custom end caps for a safe and professional finish to the sealing arms. For 80 complex small nylon parts with an approx size of 25mm x 45mm x 26mm the cost with 3DPRINTUK were only £63+vat. With no additional tooling costs and viable batch production from 1 – 10,000 units, the benefits of additive manufacture speak for themselves.

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