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Comparing IMPACK’s Box Turners: Which Is Best For Your Company?

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If you’re thinking of adding a box turner to your gluing line, you’ve probably got lots of questions.

Questions like:

“What are my options of box turners?”

“How do those box turner options compare against each other?”

“And which box turner is best for my company and budget?”

I get it.

As a Mechanical Engineer and an IMPACK Expert, I have installed, started, and tested dozens of box turners in many countries around the world.

And one of the top asked questions I get is:

“What box turner is right for me and how do I choose?”

In this article, I will compare IMPACK’s 5 main box turners against each other so that you can know exactly what box turner is right for your company.

And I promise, I will keep this as simple and straightforward as possible.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

What is a Box Turner?

What Is a Box Turner

A box turner is a pre-packing device that individually turns each carton box in the shingle* exiting the folder-gluer to form a new shingle with the boxes presented in the desired direction. 

*A shingle is the overlapped stream of folded boxes exiting the folder-gluer.

A box turner is mainly needed for straight line boxes.

This is because straight line boxes are typically packed with the glue-line laying horizontally in the case just like the orientation of the IMPACK logo shown in the image below.

boxes webp optimized

This means that your boxes should be turned 90° before they are packed into the case.

If your boxes are not turned before they are packed into the case, they would come out standing up which would require your packing staff to manually turn them 90° and then pack them into the case.

Therefore, what a box turner really does is fully automate the turning of your boxes. 

This saves you time and money that is otherwise spent on asking your packing staff to turn your boxes before packing them into cases or sending them for banding/strapping. 

If you want to learn more about what a box turner is, and how it works, check out our article “What is a Box Turner and Do I Really Need One?

Who Needs a Box Turner?

Over 90% of carton box and corrugated cardboard manufacturers require a box turner to present their boxes in the right direction before the boxes enter the case packing process.

So, anyone that owns a folder-gluer packer or stacker needs a box turner.

The only exception is if you own IMPACK’s Ergosa A packer which already includes an IN2 or INH box turner as part of the Ergosa package.

🔍 Related: “What is a Box Turner and Who Needs One?

How do IMPACK’s Box Turners Compare Against Each Other?

all box turners side by side - IN1, IN2, IN3, INH, IN180

IMPACK offers several different types of box turners with distinct box turning technologies.

Ranging from the most basic to the most advanced systems on the market, IMPACK’s box turners are designed to meet the simplest and most complex needs of box manufacturers.

IMPACK’s box turners are called the IN Series

And our main box turners under the IN Series are the IN1, IN2, IN3, INH, and IN180.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these box turners and how they compare to one another!

1. IN1 Box Turner

Image 1

IMPACK’s IN1 Box Turner - A 3D diagram.

The simplest and most basic box turning technology that exists on the market is “Basic Tooling on a Folder-Gluer.” 

This just means that operators would use guides and tools directly on the folder-gluer’s compression belt to turn boxes.

The IN1 Box Turner was inspired by this idea of basic tooling and is a standardized solution to what the guides and tools on a folder-gluer’s compression belt offer.

The IN1 is installed directly on your folder-gluer’s compression belt. It does not take up any extra space.

IN1 Features & Benefits 👇:

  • The simplest, most economical, and most compact box turner on the market.
  • Compatible with small to medium-sized boxes.
  • Installed directly on the folder-gluer’s delivery belt and does not take up any extra space.
  • Offers you 3 possible turning orientations: 90° to the left, 90° to the right, and straight through.

Video of IN1 Box Turner 🎞️:

IN1 box turner

2. IN2 Box Turner

The IN2 Box Turner

IMPACK’s IN2 Box Turner that's available in 2 main versions: IN2A and IN2B.

The IN2 Box Turner is IMPACK’s top chosen box turner that is available in 2 main versions: The “IN2A” (only one turning branch, left or right) and the “IN2B” (left and right turning branch).

Both versions can be installed onto your folder-gluer packer and both can be controlled directly by IMPACK’s Ergosa packer, Virtuo packer, or independently. 

Compatible with carton and corrugated board, the IN2 box turner self-adjusts and can be used with any of IMPACK’s packers.

It is noteworthy to mention that IMPACK’s Ergosa A packer already includes a built-in box turner. 

This built-in box turner is most often the IN2 box turner (or more recently the INH Box Turner is also becoming another popular option to be built into the Ergosa A packer instead of the IN2).

In other words, the IN2 box turner is almost always included as part of the Ergosa A package. 

No additional box turner purchases are needed. 

The INH Box Turner is our newest innovation that offers the most advanced box turning technology on the market.

The INH can be built into the Ergosa A packer (instead of the IN2) and the Ergosa C packer

Put differently, the INH is a more advanced box turner option that can be built into the Ergosa A (instead of the IN2) or Ergosa C.

The INH is the most efficient and best-fitting box turner for the Ergosa A and Ergosa C packers. 

That said, it is not as versatile as the IN2 just yet. But, we will get to the INH Box Turner shortly!

We also offer an optional IN2XS add-on module that can be retrofitted on the IN2A or IN2B box turners to facilitate the turning of narrow boxes. 

IN2A/B Features & Benefits 👇:

  • IMPACK's top sold box turner and is available in 2 versions: The IN2A and the IN2B.
  • An easy, simple, and very economical box turner. Also, one of the most compact box turners on the market alongside the IN1.
  • Compatible with small to medium-sized boxes.
  • Installed directly after the folder-gluer.
  • IN2A offers you 2 possible turning orientations: 90° to the left or 90° to the right (you get to choose 1 of the 2 orientations when ordering), and straight through.
  • IN2B offers you 3 possible turning orientations: 90° to the left, 90° to the right, and straight through.

Video of IN2 Box Turner 🎞️:

IN2 box turner

 

3. IN3 Box Turner

IN3 Webp

IMPACK’s IN3 Box Turner - A 3D diagram.

The IN3 Box Turner is the most advanced version in the IN Series

The IN3 remains fixed regardless of the packing mode being used. 

That is, the IN3 is designed to stay stationary.

No matter what turning mode or path is used, the center axis of the shingle stays on the same axis. 

This allows you to avoid having to move other modules sideways when changing the turning mode.

Compatible with carton and corrugated board, the IN3 is highly versatile and can be used with any packer (both IMPACK and non-IMPACK packers).

IN3 Features & Benefits 👇:

  • The most advanced version in the IN box turner series.
  • Designed to stay stationary. No matter what path is used, it always stays at the same place so it is ideal for automatic packers like IMPACK's Virtuo packer, IMPACK's Everio stacker, or Bobst’s CartonPack.
  • Installed directly after the folder-gluer.
  • Offers you 3 possible turning orientations: 90° to the left, 90° to the right, and straight through.
  • You save on set-up time since you’re not required to move any equipment paired with the IN3.
  • Can be paired with any IMPACK or non-IMPACK packers.
  • Can be paired with any of IMPACK’s add-on modules such as the MFA Batch Inverter.
  • A specific version of the IN3 is available for Bobst’s CartonPack, Heidelberg's Diana Packer, and can be adapted to various other Automatic packers.

Video of IN3 Box Turner 🎞️:

IN3 box turner

4. INH Box Turner

INH box turner

IMPACK’s INH Box Turner - A 3D diagram.

The INH Box Turner is IMPACK’s newest box turner with the most advanced box turning technology on the market (patent pending).

Although many packaging equipment suppliers refer to their Collecting Tables as “packers” or “right-angle packers,” those systems are in the end just box turners. 

And this is not based on opinion but strictly on the evaluation of their technical working principles i.e. the way those machines operate and their features and capabilities.

Collecting Tables simply present the boxes in a better way for your packing person to pack the boxes into the case which is exactly what a box turner does and is built to do. 

Collecting Tables do not automate your case packing process and have no automation of any form. Instead, they serve as a packing help/aid to the traditional manual packing process.

🔍 Related: Learn here about the difference between Collecting Tables and the Ergosa Packer and how they compare against one another.

While Collecting Tables are box turners too, the INH is the only box turner on the market that can turn your boxes 90° while keeping the packer in alignment with the folder-gluer.

IMPACK’s INH keeps the shingle going straight so that your downstream equipment is aligned with your folder-gluer. 

This means that none of your equipment will have to be positioned sideways or angled 90° to the left or right. Your boxes will continue in the gluing direction of the folder-gluer and the equipment will not require additional lateral space.

As mentioned earlier, the Ergosa A packer already includes a built-in box turner. 

This box turner is very often the IN2 Box Turner as it is the most cost-effective solution for box turning, but the INH will be more widely available and readily chosen as the preferred built-in box turner from 2021 onwards.

As for the Ergosa C packer, it does not include a built-in box turner (in most cases). Almost every single Ergosa C is paired with an add-on IN2 Box Turner.

That being said, there is an exception: When the Ergosa C packer is sold with an INH box turner, the INH is built into the Ergosa C. Therefore, the INH is the only box turner that is built into the Ergosa C packer. 

The Ergosa A — INH and the Ergosa C — INH combinations are the 2 most efficient and versatile Semi-Automatic packers offered by IMPACK.

Ergosa-A-INH-vs-Ergosa-C-INH

INH Features & Benefits 👇:

  • IMPACK’s newest innovation with the latest box turning technology on the market.
  • Keeps the count from the folder-gluer’s kicker.
  • Compatible with small to medium-sized boxes.
  • Installed directly after the folder-gluer’s delivery belt with IMPACK's Ergosa packers or non-IMPACK packers.
  • Offers you 2 possible turning orientations: 90° or straight through.
  • Most compact of all helicoidal turners on the market.
  • Allows you to accumulate boxes on their edge and maximize the density of the accumulated boxes. This means more boxes per meter of conveyor.

Video of INH Box Turner 🎞️:

INH box turner

 

5. IN180 Box Turner

IN180 21-059 webp

IMPACK’s IN180 Box Turner - A 3D diagram.

At IMPACK, we also offer box turners with 180° turning features, such as the IN180 Box Turner.

IMPACK’s IN180 box turner is the best solution if you need to turn your boxes 180°. 

It combines two right-angle transfer sections with multiple sets of rollers and belts to provide a straight through path or a 180° turn.

“But, why would I need to turn my boxes 180°?”

Depending on your customer’s requested case packing configuration, the boxes may have to be rotated 180° so that they can be packed with an Automatic packer such as Bobst's CartonPack. 

The IN180 box turner allows you to rotate any box format 180° and also has a straight line mode for when turning is not needed.

The IN180 is an ideal solution for an Automatic packer because it remains fixed regardless of the chosen turning mode (180° or straight line). 

Compatible with carton and corrugated board, it self-adjusts and can be paired with any IMPACK or non-IMPACK packer.

IN180 Features & Benefits 👇:

  • The best 180° turner for Bobst's CartonPack.
  • Compatible with small to medium-sized boxes.
  • Installed between the folder-gluer’s delivery belt and an Automatic packer.
  • Offers you 2 possible turning orientations: 180° or straight through.

Video of IN180 Box Turner 🎞️:

IN180 box turner

So, What Box Turner is Best For Your Company?

Man in white shirt sitting at a table thinking

Alright. You now know what a box turner is and who needs one.

You also saw IMPACK’s 5 main box turners and how they compare against one another.

Now you’re asking yourself: “How do I choose the best box turner for my company?”

The best choice of a box turner product depends on 4 key factors:

  1. The size of boxes that you produce.
  2. Your product mix, range, and variety.
  3. The amount of floor space you have available.
  4. And the type of folder-gluer packer or stacker that you choose.

👉 Find out how to choose the right box turner for your company by reading "What Box Turner Is Right For You?"

👉 Book an appointment with an IMPACK Expert if you’ve got more questions that you want answers for. No commitment required.