Packaging: in the Sign of Sustainability

With Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™, a customer was able to fully digitize their flagship shrink packaging machine and achieve three benefits: more operational efficiency, additional services and energy savings

by Vittoria Ascari

Specialized in the design and production of packaging solutions, in 2019 Minipack – Torre celebrated fifty years of activity. The company from Dalmine, in the Bergamo area, serves customers from many different sectors – such as pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food working – and operates in 90 countries around the world. Dozens of internationally patented models, together with technologically advanced production units, have made it one of the leaders in this market.
Minipack – Torre and Schneider Electric have a long-standing relationship of almost two decades; many years of collaboration, to create increasingly innovative and performing machines. These characteristics also apply perfectly to PratiKa 56 X2, the flagship machine of the Minipack offer for shrink packaging – which has been fully digitized to offer, thanks to its integrated connectivity and dedicated softwares, an increased level of efficiency and sustainability, accompanied by transformative services for the maintenance and management of installed machines.

A long-standing collaboration based on the value of sustainability
For Minipack – Torre the concept of sustainability, in addition to being a responsibility towards the environment in which we all live, also represents a key value for business. For this reason, their machines are manufactured by using as many end-of-life recyclable materials as possible – such as steel and other metals – while plastics are only used when it is not possible to replace them; in addition, the company has long since replaced the energy-consuming compressed air valves that previously managed the machine movements with more efficient technologies – such as inverters and then brushless motors.
Schneider Electric has thus proved to be the right supplier, focused both on sustainability and on the importance of offering solutions designed for maximum recyclability at the end of their life (Green Premium) and efficient motion solutions – such as the Lexium 32 motors, which Minipack adopted to manage the movements of the sealing bars.
Equally important are Schneider Electric’s technologies for reducing the energy load of the machine – such as the use of inverters for all motors, and of functions capable of minimizing the energy consumption of the machine during idle phases.

The digitalization of the machine
Together with Schneider Electric, Minipack has implemented the digitization process of PratiKa 56 X2, on the basis of two pillars.
On the one hand, they adopted solutions meant to increase the productivity and capacity of their employees – such as EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor, an augmented reality app that helps to manage the machine both alongside daily operations and in corrective maintenance phases. On the other hand, we have a cloud-based software, EcoStruxure Machine Advisor – which allows to remotely monitor and analyze the data of the machines during production. (Minipack, which has a business model focused on resellers, can thus provide their end customers with a tool capable of guaranteeing maintenance and control services on the installed base, wherever it may be physically located in the world).

For an ever greener service
The advantages arising from the collaboration between Minipack – Torre and Schneider Electric were also underlined by Andrea Piffari, Sales Manager of Minipack: “Working with Schneider Electric offers us a strong competitive advantage, thanks to the new technologies that are constantly being developed; in this way we are able to offer the market a wide range of solutions that meet all the most current requirements, such as sustainability. End users express an increasingly greater attention to this aspect, and it’s therefore necessary that packaging machines be also designed in order to contribute to the achievement of this goal”.
Minipack-Torre will present the solutions created with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure platform and architecture technologies next May at Interpack 2020.