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issue: November 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Laundry Appliances
Fast Wrap

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BSH New Bern installed a high-speed packaging line from MSK for film-wrapping washers and dryers.

At the BSH facility in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., tumble dryers and washing machines are wrapped at a rate of 290 units per hour using a MSK Flowtech/Recotech shrink-wrapping machine.

As early as the 1990s, the BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH plant in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., was looking into alternatives to the traditional cardboard packaging used for its dishwashers.

BSH embarked on a program of testing, carried out with wrapping machine manufacturers and suppliers of packaging materials. The result was the replacement of cardboard packaging with film packaging of dishwashers, using equipment from MSK Covertech (Marietta, Georgia, U.S.).

In March 2004, Andrew Maclaren, who is a manufacturing/ engineering manager with responsibility for the New Bern plant, again approached MSK with a request for a packaging machine, this time for the plant’s laundry appliance production. He specified that the new system, “Should be a high performance machine, such as the ones which have been operating successfully in our European plants for years.”

The system he had in mind was the Flowtech/Recotech packaging unit, developed specifically for the appliance industry and making use of the film curtain principle.

Using the film curtain technique, the film from two rolls is spun off and welded together to form the film curtain. Finished appliances, moving on a conveyor, pass into the curtain. The film is wrapped around the appliance and welded into place, then cut. The film curtain is formed again for the next product.

The system was already installed in several BSH group plants. Still, the request from New Bern took MSK Sales Director Uwe Jonkmanns by surprise, since New Bern had previously decided on a different packaging solution.

The New Bern unit began operating successfully in March 2005 and currently wraps up to 290 washing machines and tumble dryers per hour.

A decisive factor in choosing this shrink wrapping technology was to attain low packaging costs-per-unit, according to Karsten Wübbenhorst, BSH Project Manager from Berlin. “Further important aspects are the high packaging capacity of the automatic MSK packaging machines combined with the high safety standards, due to the MSK burner technique, as well as the excellent packaging results.”

The equipment is engineered with a special mixed-air system, enabling a safety shrink frame technique designed for regulated, targeted generation of hot air without flames. The system’s gentle warming helps retain the strength of the film and, in turn, allows the use of thinner films. That leads to substantial cost savings. The burners on the unit are designed to be maintenance-free.

Jonkmanns explains that the decision to choose a packaging technology shouldn’t be based solely on the cost of the machine. “The key factor to take into consideration is the total packaging cost-per-unit,” he says. “The total cost includes not only electricity, gas, etc. costs, but mainly the pre-packaging and film costs to achieve the required load stability for the product. Our customers confirm that, over the entire lifetime of an MSK machine, they obtain savings exceeding their original investment by selecting the right packaging system and combining it with MSK technology.”

The optimum packaging solution, Jonkmanns adds, should be chosen based on product-specific packaging analysis.

“In a short period of time, the investment in the facilities will pay back,” confirms Gerhard Kischlat, member of the BSH Team Logistics Management. BSH has worked with MSK Engineering several times in Europe on projects outside the packaging realm, and the company supplied extensive conveying and logistics systems in the BSH Lodz, Poland and Zaragoza, Spain plants.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
MSK Verpackungs-Systeme GmbH
MSK Covertech Inc.

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