Mike Castelli, Director Global Business Development, Case Handling Products at Lantech, recently wrote an article in Compressed Air Best Practices about engineering case erectors for compressed air efficiency.
While on the surface compressed air and case erectors might not seem to share much in common, increasing the efficiency of the pneumatic components used in case erectors presented Lantech with the opportunity to improve overall machine efficiency.
A Legacy of Energy Reduction
Lantech has always had a focus on efficiency and energy reduction. Founded in 1972 at the peak of an energy crisis, Lantech invented stretch wrapping as a direct response to the high material costs and energy intensive standard of shrink bagging pallet loads.
With this legacy of energy reduction in mind, the engineering team at the company’s corrugated case handling equipment plant in Cuijk, The Netherlands turned their attentions to the pneumatic efficiency of its machines.
Compressed Air and Case Erecting
Lantech case erecting machines use compressed air in a number of ways. Vacuum pulls corrugated cases from magazines. Pneumatic actuators are used to fold flaps. The compressed air requirements of case erectors are, in short, not insignificant.
As the engineering team began finding ways to reduce the machines overall weight (replacing cold rolled steel with aluminum, for example) to increase efficiency, they naturally began looking for ways to increase the efficiency of the pneumatic components as well. This led the engineering team to work with their suppliers to identify ways in which the case erectors could be constructed for more efficient use of compressed air.
One such efficiency improvement was to use gravity to manage the downward segments of pneumatically driven vertical movements. Another improvement added buffers to capture the exhaust from pneumatic cylinders.
The results of these changes have been significant reduction of energy usage. Specifically, operating pressure decreased from 88 psi (6 BAR) to 44 psi (3BAR), a 50 percent improvement. Vacuum pressure increased from 11.6 pounds per square inch to 12.3 pound per square inch, a six percent improvement. Resulting in improved performance and a reduction in total compressed air usage.
There was also a significant reduction in operating noise. Which is useful as regulatory bodies impose stricter factory wide noise limits.
Get the Full Story
You can read the full article (Lantech Case Erectors Engineered for Compressed Air Efficiency) to learn more about the specific efficiency increasing pneumatic components changes, the results of these changes, and Lantech’s history of energy efficient case erectors.
This post was published on June 13, 2016 and updated on November 2, 2018.