Are you considering an Ergosa packer but feeling unsure about which packing mode(s) you need?
You’ve found yourself in the right place!
Hi! My name is Maxime and I am IMPACK’s Area Sales Manager.
Having worked previously in the Electric department, I have wired, started, and tested more than 30 Ergosa packers and administered the installation and operator training on over 25 Ergosas.
Throughout this time, I have seen a wide range of clients from various industries and with different productions, box formats, and product offerings.
“But, what is the Ergosa’s optional Vertical Mode?”
“What additional benefits does it provide me with?”
“And...do I really need it?!”
I get asked those questions dozens of times a week, in one form or another.
So, this article is my effort to answer everything you need to know about the Ergosa’s Vertical Mode: What it is, how it works, and which production it is best suited for.
What is the Ergosa Packer?
IMPACK’s Ergosa C: A high-performance and versatile semi-automatic packer with the performance of an automatic packer.
The Ergosa is IMPACK’s semi-automatic folder-gluer packer that optimizes the efficiency, ergonomy, and productivity of your packing process and allows you to push your folder-gluer to its maximum potential.
What are the 2 Types of the Ergosa Packer?
There are 2 different versions of the Ergosa: The Ergosa A and the Ergosa C.
The Ergosa A is the newer and more economical version of the two Ergosa packers. It is the go-to option for companies with tighter budgets and limited space availability.
The Ergosa C is the more advanced and versatile version of the Ergosa series that offers more configurations and multiple packing modes with several additional features and benefits.
What Packing Modes Does the Ergosa Packer Offer?
The Ergosa series offers 3 main packing modes: The “Horizontal Mode,” the “Pick & Place (or Manual) Mode” and the “Vertical Mode.”
IMPACK’s Ergosa C: One machine, 3 Packing Modes.
👉 The Ergosa A packer offers 2 of those 3 main packing modes:
1. The Horizontal Mode, which is ideal for:
- Small to medium-sized boxes.
- Straight lines and small 4/6 corners.
- Multi-row and multi-layer packing needs.
2. The Pick & Place (or Manual Mode), which is ideal for:
- Complex boxes that require constant adjustments or corrections.
- Crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes.
- Small to large formats.
- Multi-row and multi-layer packing.
- When the Horizontal and Vertical Modes do not suit a specific box production.
👉 The Ergosa C packer offers the same 2 packing modes mentioned above + 1 additional optional packing mode:
3. The Vertical Mode, which is ideal for:
- Folding carton and corrugated board.
- Medium to large-sized boxes.
- 4/6 corners and large & heavy straight lines.
- Crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes (when you pair it with an MFA Batch Inverting Module).
- 1 or 2 row(s) and 1 layer packing needs (2 layers is also possible under certain conditions).
This brings us to what you’re here for: The Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode!
What is the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode?
The Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode is an additional optional packing mode that can be added to your Ergosa C package.
It provides an ergonomic and high-performance solution for handling 4/6 corners, large and heavy straight lines, and boxes with complex shapes including crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes (when paired with an “MFA Batch Inverting Module”).
Although the Vertical Mode is a commonly included option as part of the Ergosa C package, it is only an option and not a requirement.
If your production does not need the Vertical Mode, then why pay for it?
This is exactly the philosophy that we, here at IMPACK, put forward with our Ergosa series.
The versatility of the Ergosa gives you the flexibility to choose only the options and modes you need, thus omitting any unnecessary options that you will never use.
If you currently use a specific packing mode and in a few years your production evolves and requires an additional packing mode (with a different module), you do not have to replace your existing Ergosa packer or buy a new packer.
This also applies to the Vertical Mode! The Vertical Mode can be added at any time to your Ergosa C packer and is as simple as “plug and play” (if you have the connections prepared in advance).
No new packers needed. No additional big purchases needed.
Another important point to consider is that the Vertical Mode is available as an option exclusively to the Ergosa C packer i.e. it cannot be added, or retrofitted at a later time, to the Ergosa A.
How Does the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode Work?
In a traditional manual packing process, your packing person(s) would lift small loads of boxes that are limited by as much as each packing person(s) hands can carry per movement. This is because they can only lift so much with their own hands.
In direct contrast, the Vertical Mode uses the “PerPack Module” and allows you to pack a full row of boxes, in one single motion, by pushing the full row of boxes into the case.
No lifting of loads is required.
This “pushing movement” capability is depicted in the image below:
The operator packs a full row of boxes, in one single motion, using the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode with the PerPack Module.
This same “pushing movement” is also responsible for a reduction in the number of packing persons needed at the packing station (often from 2 packing persons to 1 packing person) and an increase in packing speed.
Because you can easily push a full row of boxes in one motion with the Vertical Mode, instead of lifting loads of small batches limited by how much your hands can carry (with the traditional manual packing), the number of boxes per movement increases significantly. This results in a much higher packing speed.
The Vertical Mode offers a production speed of greater than 80,000 boxes per hour on the folder-gluer.
What Does the Packing Process Look Like under the Vertical Mode?
👉 Step #1: Switch your Ergosa C packer from the Horizontal Mode to the Vertical Mode by removing the “Service Shelf” and installing the “PerPack Module.” The switch from the Horizontal Mode to the Vertical Mode takes 5-7 minutes only.
Switch from Horizontal Mode to Vertical Mode on the Ergosa C packer by removing the Service Shelf and installing the PerPack Module.
IMPACK’s Ergosa C in Vertical Mode with the PerPack Module.
👉 Step #2: Place the empty case on the PerPack Module with the case opening facing the operator as shown in the schematic diagram below.
The PerPack Module is equipped with a suction cup system that ensures the stable positioning of the case, thus preventing it from moving when packing a row (or multiple rows) into the case.
👉 Step #3: Separate a full row of boxes from the box shingle and bring this row in front of the assisted pusher and facing the case opening just like the operator does in the image below.
👉 Step #4: Using the assisted pusher, push the full row of boxes into the case.
👉 Step #5: Once the row of boxes has been packed into the case, the Ergosa C will
- either position the case to pack the second row of boxes (if you’re packing multiple rows)
- or eject the finished case and reposition itself to the initial position so that it can receive the next case. This procedure is depicted in the diagram below:
The pusher will then automatically return to its initial position, ready to push the next row into the case as shown:
It is noteworthy to mention that the pusher is supplied with several guides allowing it to be easily adaptable to the length of the rows and the height of the boxes that are to be packed.
👉 Step #6: Go back to step #2 and repeat the process for each case.
Video of Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode in action:
What Boxes is the Vertical Mode Best Suited For?
The Vertical Mode is mainly intended for 3 types of boxes: 4/6 corners, straight line boxes, and crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes.
1. 4/6 Corners
Although the Horizontal Mode can handle 4/6 corners, it is not the most adapted mode for those types of boxes simply because it is limited to only small 4/6 corners.
In addition, the Horizontal Mode typically requires you to turn your boxes 90° with a box turner, and most often, 4/6 corners are produced with an understack (instead of an overstack) which most packing systems on the market — including box turners — are unable to handle.
In contrast, the design of the Vertical Mode is as such that you do not have to rotate your boxes 90° with a box turner. And, the Vertical Mode is one of the few packing solutions on the market that allows you to process both overstack and understack box shingles.
The Vertical Mode is also capable of packing anything from medium to large 4/6 corners, straight lines, and crash-lock/auto-bottoms (when paired with the MFA Batch Inverting Module). In addition, just like the Horizontal Mode, it allows you to pack a full row of boxes in one single motion.
2. Straight Line Boxes
YBJ: China Print Company. Straight Line Box.
Again, although the Horizontal Mode is primarily used for straight line boxes, it is restricted to compact cardboard boxes and also has limitations in terms of the size (small to medium-sized boxes) and weight (maximum of 10-12kg per row) of the boxes.
If you run large and heavy straight line boxes and(or) your boxes are made of corrugated cardboard, such as bag-in-box, then the Vertical Mode will be much more fitting for those types of boxes.
The larger and heavier your boxes are, the more difficult it becomes to handle them. This is where the Vertical Mode’s design and working principles make a huge difference towards optimizing your operator’s efficiency, facilitating a far more ergonomic method of operation, and allowing you to maximize your folder-gluer’s productivity.
3. Crash-lock/Auto-bottom Boxes
DUKE: Design & Packaging Specialists. Box by style: Auto Bottom with Display Lid.
If you’re running a lot of crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes, then pair the Ergosa C packer in Vertical Mode with the “MFA Batch Inverting Module.” This will allow you to produce those complex boxes as fast as possible with the shortest setup time possible.
IMPACK’s MFA Batch Inverting Module.
IMPACK’s Ergosa C in Vertical Mode with the MFA Batch Inverting Module.
Although you can pack crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes with the Pick & Place (or Manual Mode), it is not as fast or as ergonomic as if you were to pack them on the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode with the MFA Batch Inverting Module.
We can confidently say that the MFA Batch Inverter provides the easiest possible method on the market to invert batches of your crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes fully automatically.
What Packing Configuration Does the Vertical Mode Offer?
The Vertical Mode offers you the following packing configurations:
- 1 row, 1 layer packing
- 2 rows, 1 layer packing
Under certain conditions it may be possible for you to have the following packing configuration:
- 1 row, 2 layers packing
- 2 rows, 2 layers packing
Further analysis of your case packing configuration is required and we strongly recommend that you test your boxes for validation.
📞 Give us a call and we’ll offer you a free, no-strings-attached, productivity analysis and box testing of your very own samples 😉!
What Dimensions of Boxes and Cases can be Processed under the Vertical Mode?
- Min: 60 mm (2.5 in)
- Max: 495 mm (19.5 in)
- Min: 100 mm (4 in)
- Max: 570 mm (22.5 in)
2. Cases (HSC or RSC) :
- Width :
- Min: 205 mm (8 in)
- Max: 570 mm (22.5 in)
- Length :
- Min: 255 mm (10 in)
- Max: 685 mm (27 in)
- Height :
- Min: 125 mm (5 in)
- Max: 495 mm (19.5 in)
Note: If your box or case dimensions are outside those specifications, that is okay and often happens!
📲 Get in touch with an IMPACK expert who can offer their top recommendation on which mode is best for your production 👌.
Do You Really Need the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode?
While the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode provides a multitude of advantages to your case packing process and allows you to unleash your folder-gluer’s full potential, every company’s needs are different. And, admittedly, this mode is not suitable for every company.
If there is no realistic forecasted ROI, then the Vertical Mode won’t make sense, and we wouldn’t offer it to our clients even if they wanted it (it has happened before).
Before you commit to a decision, there are 4 critical questions to ask yourself to know whether the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode is right for you:
1. First, examine your current production: Do you produce 4/6 corners and(or) large/heavy straight line boxes?
A. If you answered “yes:” What proportion of those boxes do you produce out of your total production? 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%?
B. If you answered “no,” or the proportion is below 25%: What pushed you to explore the Vertical Mode?
- Is it because you want to produce more output with less packing person(s)?
- Or because you want faster output with slower setup times?
- Or is that your interest is based on ergonomic reasons and organizational efforts?
2. If you answered “yes” to I and(or) II: Will the gains generated by this proportion be sufficient enough to justify investing in the Vertical Mode?
3. If you answered “yes” to III: What is ergonomics worth for your company? And how do determine the gains achieved from ergonomics?
4. Lastly: How do you see your production evolving in the next few years?
Knowing where you are now (your current production) and where you want to go (your forecasted future production) is vital to recognizing exactly what packing system and packing mode(s) are best for you. You must have a crystal clear vision of your future goal.
Begin by identifying which areas you want to become better and faster at because when you do, you establish a direction for yourself.
For example, if you identify your goal is to hunt the big contracts for 4/6 corners then you know you need to produce a specific volume of those boxes at a certain speed and under a set of XYZ circumstances.
Knowing this will allow you to choose the best folder-gluer packer and the perfect configurations required to tackle that goal. Once you know you are going in that direction, and you have established the technology for a fast setup and stable production, you will become the top speed producer in your market.
Being top speed makes you have control over lowering your price per box against all competitors who cannot match your technology or speed.
You have now become the master of your own machines with just some forward-thinking and a realization of direction 😉.
Now that you have a better understanding of what the Ergosa C’s Vertical Mode is, and how it works, your next steps would be to:
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