With Swissness, efficiency and innovation, within the space of just five years, Swiss Can Machinery has established itself as a leading manufacturer of fully automated packaging systems for powders and dry products. To comply with the stringent hygiene requirements of the food industry, the Swiss company uses washdown-optimised drive technology from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS.
Whether coffee, powdered milk, snacks, toffees or pharmaceutical products, "Swiss Can Machinery" is always mentioned when it comes to filling and closing cans or glass jars with powders and dry products. Founded in 2013, the young company has long been one of the most important players in the market. Around the world, the Swiss company implements tailor-made packaging solutions which meet the very highest hygiene standards - from individual machines up to entire filling plants.
Innovative technology for sensitive products
One of the mainstays is the baby food industry. The company's international customer base includes many milk powder producers. "Powdered milk is a difficult product to fill" explains Michael Grabher, Managing Director and Proprietor of Swiss Can Machinery. "It can have very difficult filling characteristics, depending on the recipe, fat content, drying method, granulation and fineness. Even the characteristics of the same product can vary according to the production conditions". Swiss Can Machinery machines automatically adapt to the continuously changing filling conditions and package the powdered milk cleanly, precisely and efficiently.
The latest new development is the "SCM Line V-matic 127-3 2018" a fully automatic can filling and sealing plant for powdered milk and baby food. The plant automatically performs all of the work stages from the empty to the full can. A special protective gas technology ensures that a residual oxygen value of less than 0.5% is achieved in the can. This ensures a maximum shelf life for the packaged product.
Reliable drive technology from Northern Germany
"Our machines have to be reliable and flexible. Because of this, we use drive technology from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS", says Michael Grabher - Technical Manager, who manages the company together with his brother Marc. How did the cooperation with the drive specialist from North Germany come about in 2016? "We were looking for a new supplier of motor/gear unit combinations which meet our stringent hygiene requirements". The Swiss were at exactly the right address with NORD: The company is one of the leading international full suppliers in the industry and supplies completely matched drive systems consisting of gear units, motors and frequency inverters. The optimum solution is assembled individually on the basis of a comprehensive modular product range. The result is a system solution which is fully tailored to the particular needs of the customer. For industries and applications with high standards of hygiene, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS also supplies robust and durable drive technology in a washdown design.
"With its modular system and extensive range of products, NORD convinced us from the very start. Essential advantages are the wide range, scalability and flexibility of the products" explains Marc Grabher. "With NORD we had the possibility of combining motors, gear units and electronics so that we could achieve a uniform, hygienic solution". At Swiss Can Machinery, NORD drive units are used in two areas: for transporting cans and for feeding and mixing the products at the filler.
Smooth surfaces for easy cleaning
The requirements for hygiene and cleanliness in the food industry are extremely high. The requirements for the drive technology are correspondingly strict. For Swiss Can Machinery, hygienic design of its plant is absolutely essential. Because of this, the conveyor belts are equipped with NORD IE4 geared motors with smooth surfaces, including motor-mounted NORDAC BASE SK 180E frequency inverters to reliably transport the cans. NORD smooth motors (0.75 kW) are specially designed for easy cleaning. They have a washdown-optimised aluminium housing and wherever possible, they have flowing transitions between surfaces. Thus, cleaning liquids and foam can wash off easily. This protects the motors and shortens cleaning times. They are also fanless, so they do not contribute to the spreading of germs. Thanks to protection class IP66 they are optimally protected against the entry of dirt (dust-proof) as well as for strong water jets from all directions. Use of energy-saving three-phase motors with efficiency class IE4 also enables high efficiency with low operating costs.
"The conveyor belt is used in the high hygiene room. This is why the washdown design of the drives is so important", explains Marcel Tobler, Automation Manager at Swiss Can Machinery. "Another advantage is communication via Profinet. Here, the motors are connected in series. This also reduces the amount of cables. Due to the modular construction of the conveyor belts we can use the same motor everywhere, which makes purchasing much easier." The required continuous speed control of the conveyor belts is provided by the NORDAC BASE. The decentralised frequency inverter offers reliable technology with a robust design. Installation directly on the motor increases flexibility and simplifies maintenance and repair processes for users.
NORD smooth motors are also used on the screw conveyor which feeds powdered milk into the mixer. A robust worm geared motor (0.25 kW) with cover drives the agitator. The compact drive units provide a high power density, excellent reliability and ensure trouble-free operation.
In use all over the world
Swiss Can Machinery customers mainly come from Europe and Asia, but machinery has also been supplied to New Zealand. "We are really very satisfied with NORD", says Marc Grabher. "The modular range optimally meets our stringent requirements for hygiene and performance and allows us the flexibility which we need for our machines. We were also impressed by the flexible, personal support and the on-site customer assistance throughout the world. Wherever we need spare parts, we can depend on rapid support from NORD. "This is possible thanks to the closely meshed sales and service network of the drive experts with subsidiaries in 36 countries as well as sales partners in 61 countries. This comprehensive global sales and service network ensures optimum availability for short delivery times and customer-oriented services.