Axon will demonstrate the EZ-150SL and ThermoFlow heat tunnel combo for PVC, PETG, OPS, and PLA films. The duo illustrates the quality and productivity of Axon’s next generation shrink sleeve solutions. This mandrel-style applicator, rated at up to 150 units per minute, has a stainless-steel frame for long service life and the latest in computer-controlled adjustment for fast, accurate and trouble-free film feeding and cutting. Axon’s axial knife mechanism ensures long blade life, which lowers operating costs. An icon-based display makes Axon's next generation machines “EZ” to operate and maintain.
ThermoFlow is a compact, self-contained steam shrink tunnel featuring gentle even steam heat that promotes precise shrink. Its 15-PSI low pressure steam generator does not require the licensing or certification necessary with high pressure boilers. It is easy to set up, change over, clean and maintain. It is ideal for craft breweries and mobile canners.
Craft beer customers and retailers ask every day what’s hot and what’s next? The answer is often the seasonal brews and one offs that brew masters develop to satisfy the public’s craving for new and different, and the retailers' desire to bring customers into the store. The packaging problem for short-run brews comes from the economics of purchasing preprinted cans. It makes no sense to purchase a trailer sized volume of 200,000 cans – the minimum order for preprinted – when the brewery needs a fraction of that number.
Axon believes the ideal solution for short runs is shrink sleeve labels. Made of heat-sensitive printable film, shrink sleeves mold perfectly to the contours of the entire can. Shrink sleeves fool the eye into believing the can is printed. Film offers designers the widest possible color pallet to draw the attention of consumers. Shrink sleeve labels can be produced in less time than preprinted cans and in quantities suitable for short-run products.
Shrink sleeve applicators are sold in combination with a heat tunnel, which shrinks the film to the contour of the can. Tunnels are either electric or steam. For empty beer cans, both steam and electric tunnels work well to provide a high-quality shrink finish. Low-pressure steam tunnels, such as the ThermoFlow, consume less energy than high-pressure options.
Shrink sleeve applicators are designed to process and apply shrink sleeve labels that are provided in roll form. Applicators open and precisely cut individual labels along predetermined cut lines so that the registration of the label is perfect. The label is then applied to the can as it passes beneath the applicator on a conveyor. Long-service-life knives are moat suitable as they reduce the cost of ownership. A major difference between applicators is the ease of changeovers. Breweries and mobile canners benefit from easy, fast adjustment of the applicator. Easy and fast translates into quality labeling, greater uptime and lower operator involvement.