Star product: Sitma 1150-FP Fast Pack
Friday, October 30, 2020
A flexible and fast e-commerce and direct mail wrapper.
What does it do?
Sitma’s introduction of the FP-version of its 1150 wrapping machine last year proved prescient in a way that couldn’t be predicted. FP stands for Fast Pack and this model is particularly suited to wrapping variable-sized ‘e-commerce’ goods for mail and courier delivery that have boomed this year. Sitma’s website points out that it can wrap packs of facemasks.
The first 1150-FP to be ordered has gone to the US, to “one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world,” that Sitma won’t name but it’s easy to guess. The Fast Pack can also be used for conventional paper or film wrapping of direct mail and publications.
When was it launched and what is the target market?
Sitma is an Italian company. Its 1150 wrapping line was introduced in 2007 and is one of several wrappers in its range, offering different speeds and price points. All are sold in the UK though Engelmann & Buckham.
The Fast Pack was announced last year as a new configuration, joining the existing 1150-FW-PK model, for either paper or polywrapping of printed media; and the PK dedicated to paper wrapping.
Richard MacLean, the director at Engelmann & Buckham specialising in Sitma products, says that the Fast Pack is aimed squarely at e-commerce fulfilment, but could help existing DM houses branch out into fulfilment of items other than flat printed papers.
Sitma has also recently introduced a dedicated e-commerce fulfilment polywrapper called e-commerce 2.0, which handles single or multiple items of varying shapes and sizes and forms bags around them on the fly.
How does it work?
The Fast Pack model is primarily intended to wrap using strong brown kraft paper as an automated replacement for hand wrapping or boxing of products, especially variable height flat items such as books, CDs and DVDs. White paper or polywrap can also be used, but is thought less likely in use.
Items can be hand-fed on a conveyor into the wrapping area. In 2018 Sitma demonstrated a corobot load/unload unit offline at a mailing exhibition, and now lists this as an option for most of its wrap lines.
A barcode reader is used to ensure data integrity with matching of the contents to outer addresses. A label printer-applicator or inline direct inkjet printer can be fitted for addressing and other personalisation.
The wrap paper is fed from side-mounted rolls and directed under the wrap forming area, with longitudinal and crosswise strips of adhesive lines applied. An optical detector measures the length of each item to control where the cross-gluing line is placed and where the twin cross-knives press the ends closed and cut them. The longitudinal overlap is generous enough that considerable variation in item height can be accommodated, though these can only be altered between runs, so each package is the same width on the run.
For e-commerce it’s likely that the delivery conveyor will be manually unloaded, though again a corobot is a possibility. Sitma has developed a track and trace system that stays with an e-commerce order along the entire distribution chain, saying: “This complies perfectly with Industry 4.0 and does not stop at the packaging phase.” The same system can be used through to despatch.
What’s the USP?
A dedicated e-commerce wrapper using environmentally friendly paper. It can handle either regular or irregular sized items.
How fast is it?
Throughput depends on the size of item being wrapped and Sitma is still working on the final specifications. Standard 1150-PKs can wrap up to 18,000 items per hour, but the Fast Pack will be a lot slower due to the different paper and variable cut-offs.
How easy is it to use?
According to MacLean: “There is a learning curve to run any machine, but Sitma includes its-easy to-use touchscreen GUI with job recall settings, etc, that make setup and running easy. There are also automatic setup options.” Sitma also stresses that the 1150 range is designed for easy maintenance.
What training and support is on offer?
All training and support is handled by Engelmann & Buckham, which provides engineering and spares services, including installation and service support packages.
How much does it cost?
It depends on configuration, says MacLean. “All Sitma machines are modular and built to the customer’s specification, so the cost can range from €300,000 to €1,000,000.” That’s about £270,000 to £900,000. Variations might be the number of induction stations, dimensions of barcode readers, reject gates, labelling/inkjet, invoice printing and inserting modules.
How many have been installed?
Just one Fast Pack has been sold so far. For all 1150 models, Sitma has sold over 500 worldwide with 15 sold in the UK, says MacLean. “During lockdown we have continued to sell machines due to the ongoing demand to move from poly wrapping to paper wrapping. This is mainly magazine wrapping, for subscription and newsstand magazines.”
Substrates Kraft paper, polywrap, bio-film
Feed Conveyor, manually loaded with automation and robot options
Wrap media loader Unwinder with automatic reel unwinding and loading
Price From about £270,000 to £900,000 depending on configuration
Contact Engelmann & Buckham www.buckham.co.uk 01420 593680
Another dedicated e-commerce wrapper, the Paper-Pro was launched this summer in two sizes, standard and XL. It runs either kraft board or bubble paper to wrap single or multi-products into individually sized bags. CMC says the ability to use bubble paper is unique to this machine. Each package is scanned to create a right-sized bag, which is then glued with low impact, hot glue.
Max mechanical speed 2,500 bags per hour
Bag size range Standard: 200x200x10mm to 400x300x40mm; XL: 250x180x50mm to 700x500x150mm (XL)
Price Dependent on configuration
Contact CMC Machinery www.cmcmachinery.com 07768 192241