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Freedom Printpak: emerging as a key player

Freedom Printpak has invested in a second Brausse folder-gluer to provide folding carton customers with a complete turnkey solution, reports Malissa Spies.

Durban-based Freedom Printpak has recently made a fifth investment with Alliance Machinery in the form of a Brausse TB1100 folder-gluer to provide a complete turnkey solution to its folding carton customers, reports Malissa Spies. 

In December 2012, Freedom Stationery ventured into the packaging market by establishing Freedom Printpak. At the time, the team invested in Cimpack packaging design software, a Brausse 1050 SE automatic die-cutter, Brausse TA900 folder-gluer and Heiber & Schröder CE 1000 tray forming machine to convert a wide range of cartons for customers in the fast and convenience foods, confectionery, personal care and pharmaceutical sectors.

Last year, the company moved premises from New Germany to Mount Edgecombe to operate alongside Freedom Stationery’s 25 000m2 state-of-the-art production facility and distribution centre. ‘In addition to providing the team with a national footprint, through the use of the group’s extensive fleet of delivery vehicles and countrywide distribution network, Freedom Printpak’s operation has gained 800m² in floor space with improved workflows. The 3 500m2 facility is equipped with, fully-automated machinery, covering in-house sheeting, printing, litho laminating, die-cutting, folding and glueing of cartons,’ says production manager, Luqmann Ismail. ‘Business growth and successes have enabled us to fully utilise this additional capacity to become one of the leading carton converters in the region.’

New equipment on the floor

The latest machinery to make its mark at Freedom Printpak is a member of the Bobst group – the Brausse TB1100 C4/6 folder-gluer, supplied by local representative, Alliance Machinery.

‘Freedom once again partnered with Alliance Machinery on this latest investment because of the excellent support and after-sales service received over the past four years,’ says MD, Bradley Bate. ‘The new folder-gluer was fully installed and commissioned by a team of highly skilled, experienced and factory-certified locally-based technicians. Local instructor, Henry Scholtz, carried out the training in two stages with a five-day initial course followed by an advanced course.’

According to Bradley, Alliance Machinery prides itself in not having to rely on overseas technicians for its total turnkey support package encompassing installation, commissioning, training and after-sales service. ‘We’ve invested heavily in training local instructors and technicians to be 100% conversant in all operational and maintenance aspects.’  

He adds that Brausse offers the highest level of technology at a competitive price. The folder-gluer is equipped with electrical components from leading brand names, such as Omron, Telemechanique and Mitsubishi, which are available locally.

The Brausse machine is fully modular and is equipped with a crashlock bottom module and integrated fully-electronic four- and six-corner back folding device, which allows for extremely fast and simple job changeovers from one carton style to the next.

The machine is also equipped with an inline Flipper Ejector for ejecting non-conforming and/or defective cartons at maximum machine speed, without the need for any operator setting. 

The feeder section of the folder-gluer consists of individually adjustable feeder belts with vacuum to ensure easy set-up and consistent feeding at high speeds. Other notable features include two standard feeder gates and an assist feeder gate for oddly-shaped and wide boxes, as well as a feeder start/stop device that’s controllable from all operator stations.

Verification, defect detection

In addition, a WH Leary Array LS4 versatile controller, equipped with Monet software, has been retrofitted to the TB1100 C4/6 folder-gluer to enable high-speed carton glueing.

Robatech SA’s MD, Dominique Schlenk, explains that the glueing section consists of a pump that supplies glue to four guns. The controller then determines when to fire the guns, measuring the speed to adjust the timing accordingly, and adjusting the pump pressure to ensure the amount of adhesive being applied to each carton remains consistent.

Dominique adds that there’s a glue detection sensor fitted to the host machine’s side glue wheel for verifying the amount of adhesive being applied to each carton seam.

‘Additionally, the WH Leary is interfaced with the folder-gluer to take action when it detects a defective carton,’ he states. ‘It can either be set to inform the operator via an audible alarm and visual light, or to stop the machine after consecutive errors.’

This production data is stored on the controller so that operators and management can analyse job tracking production totals, defects, total waste, down codes and more.

Growing the brand

According to Luqmann Ismail, Freedom Printpak prides itself on supplying high-quality products and service levels. ‘We’re committed to providing outstanding service quality at exceptional value and a comprehensive range of superior quality packaging products.’

Luqmann adds that the latest round of investments in state-of-the-art machinery and technology enhances customers’ experiences with Freedom Printpak. ‘We’ve listened to our customers’ wants and needs and ensured that we can provide them with the best products or solutions possible, ranging from the smallest pharmaceutical carton and fast-food clamshell trays, chip scoops and leakproof ‘Chinese pails’ to large format litho-laminated cartons. Additionally, we believe that the Brausse investments have enabled us to become a key player in the industry,’ he concludes.