With the growing complexity of the cardboard packaging market, the demand for custom-tailored boxes is increasing at a monstrous rate.
This requires not only ever more flexible folder-gluers but also more flexible packers that can adapt to those folder-gluers.
As a result, fully automatic packers cannot be considered due to their strict requirements and lack of flexibility for boxes that come in diverse shapes, sizes and formats.
It is, therefore, necessary to turn to more versatile packers that allow for product variation, regular adjustments and consistent corrections to meet the ever-evolving needs of the market.
“But what are those versatile packers and how do they work?”
“Do they offer the same advantages as fully automatic packers?”
👉 The honest answer is that it all depends on the folder-gluer packer in question.
Different folder-gluer packer manufacturers offer distinct packing solutions with varying levels of automation. And IMPACK’s most sold folder-gluer packer is the Ergosa series: one of the only semi-automatic packers on the market.
This article talks about IMPACK’s Ergosa packer: What it is, what benefits it has to offer and how to decide if it’s right for your company.
What is an Ergosa and Who Needs One?
IMPACK’s Ergosa C in Horizontal Mode with the PerPack Module in the background and the IN2 Box Turner in the front.
What is an Ergosa?
What is a folder-gluer packer?
A packer is one of the 4 main folder-gluer packaging equipment and peripheral solutions that can be added to a folder-gluer line.
A packer uses a modernized packing solution that allows you to dramatically improve the efficiency, ergonomy and productivity of how you pack your boxes into cases by offering you automated case management capabilities.
Where is a packer like an Ergosa installed?
A packer is installed behind, or at the end of a folder-gluer, and after the pre-packing equipment.
In other words, a packer is installed at the end of the flow of the packaging equipment as shown in the image below.
A graphical depiction of the flow of packaging equipment around a folder-gluer.
What are the benefits of a folder-gluer packer?
A packer allows you to:
- Maximize the efficiency of your packing process and increase your production volume and speed.
- Improve the ergonomics of your packing stations and reduce the workload on employees.
- Streamline your case ejection and manage your case handling through automated case management capabilities.
- Dedicate your packing person(s) to focus on the packing and not case flap closing, taping or ejecting.
- Have easy access to your boxes in order to make adjustments, quality control checks and corrections without interrupting production.
- And, as a result, dramatically boost your folder-gluer’s productivity.
Who needs an Ergosa packer?
- Packaging producers who are unable to push their folder-gluer’s productivity to its maximum potential because the packing person(s) cannot work that fast i.e. packaging producers whose bottleneck is the packing process itself.
- Packaging producers who want to achieve the same, or higher, productivity but with less people.
- Packaging producers who want to reduce the daily workload for their employees which could easily represent lifting 3-5 tons of cartons per shift.
How automated can an Ergosa packer be?
An Ergosa packer’s level of automation can range from a manual process to a semi-automated process.
More often than not, the Ergosa packers we produce include case management which makes them semi-automatic.
Hence the name, Ergosa: Ergo-nomic, semi-automatic.
What does the Ergosa’s “case management” mean?
Case management being included means that you have an automatic case ejection system, a manual or automatic flap folding system, pneumatic tilting tables and flap folding units. In other words, your cases are managed automatically.
Having your cases managed automatically means that your packing person(s) can focus on the packing and no longer has to perform the case flap closing, taping and ejecting as those actions are now all automated.
And what makes a packer, a packer is the automated case management capabilities that they offer.
Additional options and modes can be added to the Ergosa packer that allow you to increase your packing process’ level of automation.
The article “What’s the Difference between Manual, Semi-Auto, Auto and Fully-Auto Folder-Gluer Packers?” provides an in-depth explanation of the different levels of automation that folder-gluer packers can offer.
What are the 2 Types of the Ergosa?
The 2 types of the Ergosa: Ergosa A and Ergosa C.
It is important for you to know that there are 2 different versions of the Ergosa within IMPACK’s Ergosa series: The Ergosa A and the Ergosa C.
The Ergosa A:
The “Ergosa A” is a simple, economical and compact semi-automatic packer that offers a great improvement in terms of ergonomics and packing speed.
IMPACK’s Ergosa A: A simple, economical and compact semi-automatic packer that offers big improvement in ergonomics and packing speed.
Simple in that it is designed so that anyone who knows how to operate a folder-gluer can quickly learn how to operate, and maintain, the Ergosa packer.
Economical in that it is much cheaper than most auto and fully auto packers on the market whilst being capable of achieving the same performance as that of auto packers.
Compact in that it adapts to any tight space.
Its ergonomic design and specific packing methodology allows boxes to be slid into the case without being lifted, hence reducing repetitive strain injury (RSI).
It is compatible with folding cartons and corrugated boards and handles various small to medium-sized boxes including straight-lines, 4-corners and 6-corners with multi-row, multi-layer packing capabilities. That said, processing 4-corners and 6-corners is only fast and ergonomic when run on an Ergosa C packer in Vertical Mode.
The Ergosa A packer is also capable of processing crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes but not as fast or as ergonomic as if you were to run them on the Ergosa C with an MFA Batch Inverting Module.
The Ergosa A’s setup time is close to zero (<5 minutes) and it is also compatible with all folder-gluer models.
🚀 Quick summary of the Ergosa A’s features:
- Simple, economical and compact semi-automatic packer that offers a big improvement in efficiency, ergonomics and packing speed.
- Compatible with carton and corrugated board.
- Compatible with all folder-gluer models.
- Runs small to medium box formats.
- Runs any box you shoot through the folder-gluer.
- Offers multi-row, multi-layer packing capabilities.
- Offers 2 packing modes: Horizontal Mode and Pick & Place Mode. The Pick & Place Mode includes 1 manual packing station.
- And has a pneumatic end-gate to help box accumulation and prevent box overflow.
- Short setup time (<5 min).
- Its ergonomic design allows the boxes to be slid into cases instead of being lifted. No loads are picked up, thus repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are reduced.
The Ergosa C:
The “Ergosa C” is a high-performance and versatile packer with the perfect combination between a semi-automatic packer and an automatic packer. That is, the Ergosa C is a semi-automatic packer with the performance of an automatic packer.
Its versatility and modularity make it IMPACK’s most sold folder-gluer packer over the last few decades.
IMPACK’s Ergosa C: A high-performance and versatile semi-automatic packer with the performance of an automatic packer.
The Ergosa C packer is compatible with folding carton and corrugated board boxes and includes all the features and benefits that an Ergosa A offers plus 5 additional features:
+ It offers one additional packing mode (Making a total of 3 main packing modes: Horizontal Mode, Pick & Place/Manual Mode and an optional Vertical Mode).
+ It packs 4-corners and 6-corners faster and more ergonomically than the Ergosa A.
+ It packs crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes faster and more ergonomically than an Ergosa A when combined with the MFA Batch Inverting Module.
+ It offers the possibility to pack big format boxes.
In other words, the Ergosa C packer is the more advanced and versatile version of the Ergosa series that offers all 3 packing modes and several additional features and benefits.
Interested in learning more about the Ergosa C’s 3 modes? We’ve got you covered! We wrote an article breaking down the Ergosa C’s 3 Main Modes, how they work and the benefits that they can provide to your packing process!
🚀 Quick summary of the Ergosa C’s features:
- High-performance, versatile and modular semi-automatic packer with the performance of an automatic packer.
- Compatible with folding carton and corrugated board.
- Compatible with all folder-gluer models.
- Runs small to large box formats.
- Runs straight-lines, 4/6 corners + packs crash lock/auto-bottom boxes faster and more ergonomically.
- It offers the possibility to pack big format boxes.
- It offers multi-row, multi-layer packing capabilities.
- It offers 3 main packing modes: Horizontal Mode, Pick & Place Mode + an optional Vertical Mode. The Pick & Place Mode includes 2 manual packing stations (2 MAE Modules) instead of one packing station as with the Ergosa A.
- And a pneumatic end-gate to help box accumulation and prevent box overflow.
- Short setup time (5-7 minutes depending on the mode).
- Its ergonomic design allows the boxes to be slid into cases instead of being lifted. No loads are picked up and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are reduced.
Which Ergosa Packer Is Best For My Company: Ergosa A, Ergosa C or None?!
👉 The Ergosa A Packer is Best For You IF:
An Ergosa A packer is the better choice for you if you want to dramatically improve the efficiency, ergonomy and productivity of your packing process by having the ability to move a full row of boxes, in one single motion, and leveraging automated case management capabilities. But, you have limited space available and do not need high-speed output for 4-corner, 6-corner or crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes.
👉 The Ergosa C Packer is Best For You IF:
An Ergosa C packer is the better choice for you if, again, you want to dramatically improve the efficiency, ergonomy and productivity of your packing process by having the ability to move a full row of boxes, in one single motion, and leveraging automated case management capabilities
+ You want to increase your packing speed per packing person for various types of boxes i.e. straight-lines, 4-corners, 6-corners and crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes.
And(or) you produce large volumes of crash-lock/auto-bottom boxes (40-50 Million per year) or big formats.
👉 An Ergosa Packer is NOT the Right Fit IF:
An Ergosa (both Ergosa A & C) is not the right fit for you if you have small production runs of various, different box formats (5,000-10,000 boxes).
In this specific situation, a Collecting Table like IMPACK’s “Packing Help Station” or the other Collecting Tables on the market would be a much better choice. Some examples of the most popular Collecting Tables in western countries are Bobst’s Handypack GT, KBA Duran's Omega Pack Station and Tünkers' FAS 480.
Or you produce a large number of straight-line boxes with the same format per production run (several hundreds of thousands to millions) and your goal is to achieve the highest running speed available on the market.
In this case, an automatic packer like our Virtuo packer would be a better option if your production is one-row, one-layer packing.
And an Ergosa packer is not the best fit for you if you are exclusively doing banding/strapping.
This is because you would need a stacker such as IMPACK’s Everio stacker, or the many other stackers on the market, for the banding/strapping process.
Although we have developed a module on our Ergosa packer inspired by our PerPack Module that allows you to push batches of boxes into a banding/strapping machine so that they can be bundled together, the Ergosa packer is originally designed to pack boxes into cases and not to stack boxes for bundling needs.
Instead, an Everio stacker would be a better choice for banding/strapping.
Now if you are alternating between case packing and banding/strapping on the same folder-gluer, then the Ergosa could be a perfect fit. Otherwise, a custom project could be considered (especially if you have large production volumes).
Have You Made a Decision 🤔?
Do you have more questions about the Ergosa packer and how it can improve your case packing process?
Or prefer to talk to an expert and get to see the Ergosa LIVE in action?
We’re here to help! 📞 Give us a call today and we'll offer you a free productivity analysis to help you discover how you can boost your folder-gluer productivity 📈.
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