Eliminating Machine Maintenance Downtime

With around-the-clock automated operation quickly becoming the global norm in production lines, the negative effects of unscheduled machine downtime become increasingly more pronounced.

High-quality machinery is no longer enough, production lines need reliable customer service and quick turnarounds. This is why Infinity Machine & Engineering’s technical services are designed not just to resolve unplanned maintenance issues but eliminate them entirely.

Infinity prides itself on offering a range of preventative maintenance plans to keep machines and the companies that own them at optimal performance. A fixture of these plans is onsite machine audits performed quarterly, semiannually, or annually. These audits include a thorough inspection of all machines, documented service reports with recommendations after each visit, and additional machine training after the audit’s completion.

However, Infinity’s preventative maintenance begins before the machine leaves the facility. Every machine built by Infinity is put through a rigorous factory acceptance test, testing the customer’s exact specifications, and often running the customer’s actual product. This process ensures the machine is ready for installation and operation as soon as it is delivered. Furthermore, Infinity’s staff boasts a combined 65 years of packaging machinery installation experience, ensuring machine installation time is reduced to a minimum.

Another customer-focused technical service Infinity offers is operator and maintenance technician training. Technician training can be customized based on customer needs, including mechanical training on the customer’s existing Infinity
equipment, and electrical and E&I training. Offerings for Mechanical training include mechanical prints, parts search, rebuilding of assemblies, maintenance inspections, and lubrication routes. Electrical training covers electrical prints, parts search, PLC troubleshooting, replacement parts, and inspections.

To accommodate the round-the-clock production schedule of our customers, Infinity provides 24/7 on-call customer service. Field services techs can be at a customer’s mill within 24-36 hours after a call. Furthermore, Infinity does not charge extra for weekend work from their field service techs, whereas other
companies often charge double time on Sundays.

Another facet of Infinity’s technical services is an extensive spare part inventory. Between their Bologna and Green Bay facilities, Infinity has 20,000 spare parts on hand. There is also a dedicated expedited shipper for emergency situations so
crucial parts can be ordered at a moment’s notice.

Infinity takes consumer convenience in spare part offerings to the next level with predictive maintenance part kits. Through engineering, parts research, and mechanical knowledge of equipment, these kits are designed to maintain full runnability without unplanned downtime. Infinity’s predictive maintenance part kits are customized with common wear parts for all Infinity machine models. These kits also include a parts breakdown list, mechanical prints, and a standard procedure manual to assure the work is done to OEM spec. These give technicians the proper paperwork and parts to ensure the job will be completed properly and in a timely manner.

Infinity was created with a simple vision, to serve the customer, and the technical services offered by Infinity embody that vision. Machine audits that identify issues before they happen, a dedicated 24/7 customer support team, and an extensive spare part inventory all contribute to making this vision reality. When you buy Infinity, you buy peace of mind.

Infinity Poly Bagger redesign decreases machine footprint, increases machine production.

While not as conventional as poly bundles, poly bags have unique benefits and applications for tissue product packaging. While bundles are suitable for rolled product, folded product like napkins are too unstable and need to be packaged in poly bags. However, Poly bags are not only for folded products, they are also often used on industrial rolls as the bag end seals are easy to open and are better looking than bundle seals. While poly bags are versatile, the packaging machines that utilize them are not. Most poly baggers on the market today have a long, belted wicket in order to move poly bags to the machine loader. These wickets jut out from the side of the machine and are often 10 feet (3 meters) long. Because of the wicket’s large size and awkward placement, these machines take up a large amount of floor space and can greatly reduce the accessibility of a facility. In addition to this, the traditional belted wicket system has a limited capacity of bags that can be loaded at a time, reducing bagging efficiency.

However, Infinity Machine & Engineering Corp. has retooled their poly bagger to eliminate these major drawbacks. Infinity has developed a multi-shelf wicket system for their G10 and G20 poly baggers that eliminates nine feet of wicket length and simultaneously increases poly bag capacity. The new multi-shelf wicket system features seven shelves that can each be filled up to two inches high with poly bags. When one shelf is empty, the machine automatically retracts the shelf and replaces it with a full one. The switch cycle for the Infinity multi-shelf wicket system is also comparable to that of traditional belted wickets, as shelves are swapped and back in production in 15 seconds. Empty retracted shelfs are annunciated by an illuminated signal and can be restocked with bags safely and efficiently while the machine is in operation.

The compact design of the multi-shelf system eliminates a roughly three feet by nine feet section of machine, dramatically decreasing the amount of space needed to accommodate a poly bagger. The trays on Infinity’s new wicket system are also length adjustable, allowing the machine to run shorter poly bags at higher speeds. While Infinity has radically improved the design of their poly bagger, the new multi-shelf wicket system is still compatible with Infinity’s signature Infusion 3 in 1 modular system. The new more efficient poly bagging module can be seamlessly swapped in and out of a common infeed with casepacking and bundling modules, creating the pinnacle of packaging diversity. Infinity’s latest innovation in tissue packaging machinery has finally enabled poly baggers to be as versatile as the packing they support. To learn more about Infinity’s new multi-shelf wicket system, schedule a meeting with the Infinity sales team today!

Spanish tissue paper company, Manipulados Lisma, invests in Infinity Machinery

Growing Spanish tissue manufacturer, Manipulados Lisma, recently purchased three machines from Infinity Italia for its facility in Toledo, Spain.

The purchase breaks new ground for Infinity, as Lisma’s order includes the first VISION G3 multipack wrapper to be installed in the European Union, and the first Infinity Infusion modular system with an i18 bundler and C15 casepacker to be installed in the EU.

Infinity has long been a global leader in automated tissue paper packaging, and Lisma’s investment expands Infinity’s already growing influence in the European market.

Infinity prides itself on manufacturing machinery that is operator-friendly and capable of quick changeovers, two factors that are key to Lisma’s production line. The Infinity machines also have some of the smallest footprints on the market, allowing Lisma to more efficiently utilize space in their facility.

The VISION G3 multipack wrapper is the newest machine release from Infinity, and it features a multitude of new innovations. The machine can produce poly wrapped, paper wrapper, paper tucked, and facial tissue packs, giving Lisma ultimate versatility in production formats. The VISION G3 also features a unique telescoping poly unwind (patent pending), which allows for faster production and better pack quality.

Lisma selected an Infinity i18 Bundler for their line because it is capable of producing large, “European” style bundles for B2B commerce. The i18 will also enable Lisma to run a diverse range of products, as the bundler can run tissue rolls, tissue packs, individual bathroom towels, individual household towels, boxed products, diapers, and industrial rolls.

Infinity’s C15 casepacker has long been a fixture of the tissue products packaging industry, boasting low maintenance and high performance all within a small footprint. Lisma will be able to complete product changeovers on the C15 in as little as 20 minutes, ensuring that they will have maximum overall equipment effectiveness.

While the i18 and C15 are impressive machines in their own right, their compatibility with Infinity’s Infusion Modular system put them in a class above the rest. Developed by Infinity engineers to increase efficiency in a reduced footprint to that of similar linear machines, the 3 in 1 Infusion Modular system incorporates fixed docking stations to create increased packaging flexibility. Bundler, casepacker, and even bagger modules can be attached and detached from a common infeed module, allowing for three different machine combinations in one.

For more than 35 years, Lisma has been a family-owned and operated company, committed to continuous improvement. Lisma has risen to prominence in the European Tissue industry, as it successfully opened in new international markets. Lisma’s purchase of Infinity machinery ensures that they will have the equipment to continue their expansion for many years to come.

WEPA Invests in Infinity Equipment for Multiple Locations

WEPA, a leading tissue product manufacturer in Europe, recently purchased seven machines from Infinity Italia for their facilities in Troyes, France, Swalmen, Netherlands and Piechowice, Poland.

Infinity is supplying two Eclipse T4 Wrappers and two i18 Bundlers for WEPA’s Troyes facility, one Eclipse T4 Wrapper, and one i18 Bundler for WEPA’s facility in Swalmen and in Piechowice, WEPA selected an Infinity C-15 Casepacker for their folded products division.

WEPA was drawn to Infinity’s equipment due to its unique combination of American ruggedness and Italian design refinement. The i18 Bundler is a perfect fit for WEPA’s facilities as it was designed specifically with European markets in mind. The poly bundler features an integrated diverter and flight bar system for easy product collation, as well as an automatic poly reel splice and poly pull-out cart for safe and quick poly loading. In addition to this, an active vacuum comes standard on the i18 Bundler. Excess air is sucked from the bundles’ pre-discharge resulting in a tight, crisp poly wrap.

Another advantage of the i18 Bundler is its compatibility with Infinity’s Infusion modular system. By utilizing the fixed infeed section, the i18 can be coupled with modules, such as an Infinity Casepacker or Bagger. The modules are moved in and out of the docking station which gives WEPA ultimate secondary packaging flexibility without taking up any additional floor space. The “industry original” Infusion modular system was designed by Infinity engineers to overcome the limitations of fixed linear machines while reducing capital investment. As trends in packaging are continuously evolving, Infinity’s innovation allows WEPA to quickly adapt to market changes.

As for primary packaging, WEPA ordered Infinity’s Eclipse T4, which is known as one of the most durable wrappers on the market. Infinity’s commitment to efficiency is on full display in the Eclipse’s overhead system. The Eclipse T4 utilizes a durable AT20 belt and only 24 trolley sections, this decreases the changeover time between different package configurations. Additionally, Infinity’s Eclipse T4 is designed to accept four lanes of infeed and can run an optional fifth. The infeed lanes also have wide diameter capabilities, ensuring the Eclipse will keep pace with new product developments in the Troyes and Swalmen facilities.

Infinity’s reach in Europe was further increased by WEPA’s purchase of the C15 Casepacker for their Piechowice facility. Infinity’s C15 boasts an extremely straightforward design which allows for a 20-minute changeover between case sizes and configurations. Although the machine’s design is simple, its build is robust as the frame and guarding are both constructed using steel. The C15 is also capable of speeds up to 300ppm per index arm, providing maximum efficiency at the infeed of the machine.

A defining feature of the C15 is the machine’s fully positive case erection. Vacuums are utilized on both sides of the case providing a consistent case opening. The positive case erection is perfect for large and small cases, cases with bad score marks as well as cases that are glued together. This design feature will allow WEPA to run at optimal efficiency.

Echoing WEPA’s industry 4.0 efforts, the transaction with Infinity didn’t end with the machine purchase. Emulation engineers from Infinity offices traveled to Swalmen and will be traveling to Troyes to provide Virtual reality training to WEPA employees. This included a fully interactive VR machine changeover, which allowed WEPA employees to become familiar with their machines weeks before they arrived at their facilities.

Infinity also equipped the machines with a data collecting and remotely accessible eWON device. This enables WEPA to track production times, faults, and speed. This information will be accessible remotely through email notifications or web browsers. The Troyes facility will also have light annunciation on their i18 Bundlers to provide changeover assistance. The light annunciation illuminates change-over points on the adjustment scales.

WEPA’s recent investment reflects Infinity’s growing reach in the European market and is further proof Infinity is the global leader in automated tissue paper packaging machinery.

LSS Gives You Total Control

On a production line, every second counts. Any disturbance, like a bottleneck or a jam can cause a reduction in Overall Equipment Effectiveness, resulting in lost time, and lost revenue.
It may sound cliché, but in production lines, time is money, and it was for this reason Infinity developed Line Synchronization and Simulation software.
Infinity’s LSS, gives operators the ability to control the speed of the line and harmonize the downstream system as a single unit.
LSS is able to accomplish this by monitoring downstream machine process data, the accumulator level and the line’s target speed. LSS sets the target speed for the line, based on individual bottlenecks, and then controls speeds for all the equipment.
This is essential in tissue converting lines as they need the ability to feed enough product for wrappers to continuously run, while the downstream equipment needs to be able to run faster than target speed when there is a backlog.
The LSS software continuously monitors downstream machine process data including the machine speed and material status. Then LSS adjusts the line to compensate for any changes that arise. These adjustments could be anything from increasing the speed of a leg, to letting an accumulator fill to a certain level or even slowing down the line to clear a disturbance.
The data used by LSS is controlled by the master programmable logic controller which can be shared with another machine PLC or a dedicated PLC.
Identifying bottlenecks, and altering line speed in accordance with upsets ensures that machines are operating at their maximum uptime and least mechanical stress. By reacting to line irregularities, LSS can resume full production quickly, resulting in increased OEE.
However, Infinity LSS doesn’t just react to changing circumstances, it also anticipates them. LSS can account for changes in raw materials on a machine, the speed of the machine can be increased to create a time buffer for the change in material.
In addition to this, LSS can also anticipate disruptions by monitoring for a presence or absence of products in a certain area. If there is an irregularity in the flow of a product, we can pause the line for a conveyor jam.
Since different products and different configurations can change the target speed, requirements, or overall objectives of a line, LSS is completely customized based on a consumer’s unique requirements. Features like output path adjustments, accumulator level monitoring and log distribution can all be tailored for a consumer.
Another key component of Infinity’s LSS is the simulation service. By using Emulate 3D software, Infinity emulation engineers can create a functional three-dimensional virtual version of the product line. This allows customers to see their line in action, test different product formats, check photo-eye positions, speeds and production data, all before installation.
In essence, our LSS program allows our customers to have confidence in their purchase by giving them a virtual check-out.
The LSS service also offers customized Human Machine Interfaces that display the entire packaging system. The LSS HMI gives the operator a visual of the states/faults of the conveyor section, and also allows them to change drive section controls from automatic to local.
From the top down, Infinity LSS was designed with efficiency in mind. This unique service allows for maximum OEE, pre installation testing and personalized, user-friendly HMI. To learn more about our LSS services, reach out to your nearest Infinity Sales office.