Keeping faith in the philosophy that requires to distribute high-end products on the Italian market with a particularly consultancy-oriented approach, the Lombard company ma.in.a. came in the business of plastic film sealing solutions through the solutions developed by the German manufacturer ROPEX. Based on impulse sealing technology, the RESISTRON and CIRUS systems are intended for the machine builders and users in the packaging field.
di Cesare Pizzorno
“I like to think that we are translators”, explains Marco Manueddu, BU Manager of ma.in.a. “Not in the purely linguistic sense, of course, but a sort of interpreter of the mentality, of the technical skills and also of the medium-long term vision of the German manufacturers in a market, like the Italian one, characterized by flexibility, presence of small and medium companies with the main focus on special machines on demand. To sum up, we act as a link between two different worlds: we propose ourselves as a partner focused on solutions with a technical approach that allows us to convey information and understand the requests that come from potential customers”.
It is at least reductive, therefore, to define ma.in.a. – a Lombard company founded in 1962 whose acronym stands for ‘industrial machines and accessories’ – as a distributor. Rather, the development of the company, especially in the last decade, has made it possible to diversify the areas of interest, acquiring the representation of products far from the original field, that is components for the motion transmission.
Thus, last year the joining with ROPEX, a German manufacturer specialized in the development of solutions for impulse sealing, came. “We have chosen each other”, summarizes Mr. Manueddu.
“We strongly believe in marketing, in the proper sense of the term – the BU Manager continues – and we put in place for companies that we represent actions that go beyond the sales: from the development of networks to promotion, to pricing in certain cases. This allows us to have a consultant approach towards both manufacturers and potential customers. It is an added value in which we believe a lot, to the point that we coin the concept of ‘marketing of the technical approach’”.
Precisely this philosophy, applicable to various sectors, has allowed ma.in.a. to venture on new grounds, represented in this case by ROPEX solutions for impulse sealing of plastic film for the packaging sector. “A sector that we are learning to know – adds Manueddu – and in which both machine manufacturers and end users have very precise needs, which concern the performance of the machine and issues such as safety or environmental impact, understood as reduction of plastic waste and energy saving”.
Benefits on all fronts
Impulse sealing, on which the packaging solutions developed by ROPEX are based, is a technology increasingly sought to speed up and better control the process and guarantee a high quality and performance sealing. “The electricity comes from the grid and the controller manages the energy needed to make the sealing in real time”, explains Manueddu. “The impulse transformer turns the energy of the network into the voltage necessary to make the sealing bar work. At the same time, on the basis of the real voltage measured at the sealing bar and with the aid of a current transformer and the calculations performed by the controller, it is possible to supply the exact amount of energy needed and at the right time, thus reducing the overall current consumption”. All this gives a lot of advantages. “The sealing speed, first of all, which translates into an increase in productivity as well as the achievement of the desired result already from the first cycle of the machine. Therefore, a better resistance, which is decisive in many cases, as well as the high quality of the welding itself, important both in products addressed to the consumer market where the aesthetic aspect takes on great value, but also fundamental for technical packaging. Other advantages range from the reduction of plastic waste to reduced machine start-up and maintenance times; from the reduction of the energy necessary for the packaging process up to the increased safety for the operators. There is also the possibility to customize both the size and the design of welding tools with 2D and 3D shapes in case of special requests”.
A laboratory for materials testing
The development of the various components of the RESISTRON and CIRUS sealing systems – from the controller to the sealing bars – is managed internally by ROPEX, which allocates about half of the entire workforce to engineering tasks. ROPEX is also equipped with a cleanroom used for the manufacturing of CIRUS sealing bars and sealing tools that have up to 27 layers of special materials on a stainless steel substrate. This exclusive ROPEX technology makes it possible to manufacture IP65 bars and tools also in special version with excellent resistance to corrosion. “There is a great engineering effort in the development of the entire sealing solution – concludes Marco Manueddu – which is configurable on the needs and constraints of the customers. The German ROPEX laboratory is also able to carry out tests on the types of material to be sealed, providing a very quick feedback on the feasibility of sealing”.
Both the RESISTRON and the CIRUS systems are based on impulse sealing technology. The first allows greater flexibility with respect to the materials to be sealed and is also suitable for 3D shapes. The second one, limited to 2D shapes, allows in the 2D shape a high grade of flexibility and makes it also possible to cut and seal even through liquids. It is used successfully also in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. It is important also to know that the impulse sealing is not used only for packaging, but also for special purposes like TNT tissue sealing, PVC plates bending and so on.