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Packaging

Specialized and intelligent

Additive manufacturing expands areas of application and flexibility in packaging technology

Especially in times of online trade and globalization, logistics and packaging technology play an increasingly important role. After all, the products should arrive undamaged at the buyer - even if you travel around the entire globe. Whether the smallest components or heavy components and large equipment for the energy sector: transport often requires individual and specialized solutions.

Additive manufacturing enables the packaging industry to break new ground in a wide variety of areas, both in the machines that produce packaging and in the packaging itself. More flexibility, better packaging, lower material consumption and packaging weights save money, time and resources.

Mechanical engineering

Completely new solutions are possible in the field of packaging machines. These range from the production of more intelligent components to the simpler and more cost-effective supply of spare parts to less damage if something does not go according to plan and a tool breaks or comes loose.

Marcus Schindler, Head of Parts Manufacturing Gerhard Schubert GmbH Verpackungsmaschinen: "We have been using 3D printing since 2014 and produced 20,000 parts in this way in 2017. In addition to design advantages, shorter delivery times are also an advantage. The need for on-demand deliveries, which takes time due to production in the plant and transport to the customer, continues to increase over time. The aim is to place the production of individual components at the place of use itself, using a printer that is controlled by us, so that the customer has the component when he needs it".

The properties of the components also change. Wolfgang Sedlak, Technical Manager Tool Design Gerhard Schubert GmbH Verpackungsmaschinen: "Many parts can be integrated into a complex system. Attachment points for cylinders, vacuum channels, etc. Today, things are possible that were not possible in the past, such as drilling around corners." In this way, individual solutions can be created which reduce the number of components, material and time. It also simplifies the exchange of parts and accelerates work processes.

Special packaging

Packaging machines are used to make bulk goods suitable for transport. High-quality medical technology as well as works of art are packed in bespoke containers. Here, 3D printing can provide valuable services, for example by taking the dimensions using a 3D scanner and then calculating the corresponding support points for safe transport using 3D CAD technology. At the same time, the packaging can wrap the product precisely. In general, such additive packaging is lighter, cheaper, less material-intensive and yet more stable than anything created conventionally.

To explore all the options available with additive manufacturing and to understand its related process steps, visit Formnext from 19-22 November 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

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