Pregis Corp. is launching a combination foam-in-place (FIP) system under the IntelliPack SmartShot™ Hybrid brand.  The system is the only commercially available unit to offer both hand-held and bag options in one machine—resulting in space, cost and efficiency benefits.
“Foam-in-place systems began as hand-held units and migrated toward automated bag machines to improve efficiency.  There are many operations that still require both types, but due to space, capital expenditure and other considerations, two different systems are simply not feasible.  We’ve solved that problem by combining both functions into one machine,” explains Todd Hanna, vice president and general manager of FIP systems, Pregis.

For larger, heavier, lower-volume applications, the hand-held option allows the operator to remove the dispenser nozzle from a housing unit and pull the attached hose over to the shipping case.  A piece of film is placed over the product and a channel is created between the item and the internal corrugated wall. The liquid foam is injected into the channel, the outer part of the film is folded over the foam and the case is sealed. As the foam expands to fill the void, it envelops the product, protecting it in transit.

For smaller, higher-volume production-line parts, the machine converts to bagging mode. A conveyor transports the filled box to the FIP station. A bag of predetermined size (sealed on three sides) is dispensed and the liquid foam is injected into it. The fourth side is folded closed over the product(s) and the case is sealed. 

The wall-mounted SmartShot Hybrid, is value-engineered to offer users both options.  A strong magnet is used to keep the dispensing nozzle in proper orientation on the housing support. (While in this “home” position, the liquid foam can be automatically dispensed into the bag.) A subtle tug by the operator releases the magnetic pull, freeing the dispenser/hose for hand-held usage.  Switching between modes is seamless without any downtime or equipment transport.
“We created this system in response to customer feedback.  In this economic climate, companies want to have maximum flexibility while keeping capital expenditure under
control.  Additionally, the space savings realized by combining two functions into one unit, is another strong benefit,” Hanna says.

In addition to its dual functionality, SmartShot Hybrid also features the IntelliPack brand’s leading edge telemetry and bar coding features.  The telemetry function triggers daily diagnostic testing to make sure the unit is performing under preset parameters and will automatically contact a service technician if it isn’t.  Additionally, the system has been programmed with bar code data for the entire product line.  The information tells the unit the exact amount of film and liquid foam to use for each product, taking the guesswork and operator error out of the equation.  The end result is more cost-effective management of consumables and a significant reduction in downtime.

The IntelliPack SmartShot Hybrid unit is ideal for operations which have both small and large parts to protect, such as: automotive, military, furniture, electronics, aircraft, appliances, controls/instrumentation, industrial equipment, sporting goods, etc.

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