TRIMMING SQUARE CONTAINERS
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES TO DELIVER A UNIQUE TRIMMER
Glass and cardboard containers are becoming ancient history. Traditionally plastic containers have a round shape that is easy to trim. This is no longer the case as the marketing arm of plastic packaging companies and their customers push the envelope to develop shapes and designs to boost the products image in the market place.
MTM Systems has been designing and building trimming equipment for these applications over the last several years. One of the most unique projects required a square container to be trimmed. For any other trimming system this would not be feasible. The project became even more challenging as two finish cuts had to occur at one time. The blow molded container was made up of three parts, the lower portion being the container, the center section the moil (or scrap) and the top section the lid. The top lid section is reused on the container after the container is filled with product.
The first finish cut was made to accurately and cleanly separate the container from the moil section. The containers remain on the vacuum conveyor and exit the trimmer for downstream palletizing. The second finish cut was made to separate the lid from the top of the moil section. The finished lids are removed via an overhead vacuum takeaway and are accumulated for later reassembly. The center moil section is directed off the side of the trimmer for collection and regrinding. The complete process takes place within the MTM 742S spin trimmer in just over 18”.
The MTM 742S Trimming System had to be redesigned to accomplish these tasks. The square container itself presented no problem as the 742S will handle any irregular shaped container. Slow motion video was one of the tools used to analyze the cut and provide information useful in maintaining a 100% accurate trim on each container and the lid. The customer had requested tight tolerances on the trim. A new gear drive belt system was designed and built for this application. A special jam detection device was also installed. All MTM equipment is equipped with this option but in this case we were dealing with a unique trimmer.
If all this was not enough, our customer had sold the end user on this container and was expected to start producing the unit within six weeks of the time MTM Systems got the first sample. Communication between MTM Systems and the customer was critical at this point. We built a prototype system for testing and then upgraded the prototype system to use in their plant while we could manufacture the final production MTM 742S spin trimmer. The end user of the container is a major player in the lawn care industry and could have pulled the business if their container needs were not met.
MTM Systems is always willing to take on the next project regardless of any obstacles. The approach is always to exceed the customers’ expectations. We have not met a shape or style of container or bottle we cannot trim.