Paper and Tissue Converting – A Case Study

The Situation:

Pack Air was contacted by a company that produces a variety of packaged paper products. They wanted to update their older machines to increase both speed and reliability without sacrificing quality or package size. In addition, this customer wanted to add larger product sizes, variable orientation, and improve quality control within a smaller overall footprint.

The Challenge:

Pack Air was tasked with developing a new high-speed, low-count automated product handling system that could be incorporated into an existing case packer.


The Solution:

We went to their facility and completed a comprehensive line audit of the existing system. Afterwards, we met with line operators and plant engineers to review which areas the operators needed to keep open for access and to diagnose where the most common issues occurred within their current system.


We designed a system that simplified the process and opened up more access for the operator by having a smaller footprint than the existing system. The new system included a flow-style servo product diverter that consisted of a side-mounted choke belt system supported from under the device. This choke belt design allowed the diverter to operate on actual product count, giving our customer the flexibility to change counts according to the rate requirements of the product being diverted.

Mounting the choke belt under the system enabled higher movement acceleration without blocking operator access to the device. This design also eliminated the need to adjust the height to accommodate taller product. The new design kept contact on the lower portion of the product, which increased stability and improved reliability in the process.

We designed this system to fit our new adjustable rail design inside of our customer’s existing case packer. This detail required the ability to fix a side rail to the case packer datum point and allowed for variable rail adjustments on each of the remaining infeed rails. The lane centers change based on the size of the product being conveyed.

The rails were engineered to have an automatic electronic positioning feedback system that would allow our customer to enter the product specifications using a touchscreen interface. The information from the rail positioning system automatically adjusts the diverter’s lane center discharge points without requiring additional input or adjustments from the operator.

The system receives product in a stand-up format and then orientates the product to feed either a lay-down format or up-ended format, depending on the product being manufactured. The product is then diverted into two to five case packer lanes and aligned to the fixed side rails, where it ends at the lift station.

The Results:

This system achieved all of the goals our customer set forth in their initial specifications. The operator can simply select the product and the system will adjust all parameters without further operator intervention.

Product quality was improved using the choke belt design by allowing individual product counts instead of the old system’s slug / build / release process. The new system also improved product flow into the case packer, increasing throughput without adding accumulating force to the product.

Pack Air has designed several replacement infeed systems to integrate with the newest, fastest, and most automated case packers available in the market today.