Hauni’s new filter maker prepares cigarette manufacturers for the demands of tomorrow.
TR Staff Report
Hauni Maschinenbau has launched a new generation of basic filter makers, the KDF 5, featuring future-oriented functions and “intelligent flexibility.”
“With the KDF 5, we have developed a maker for acetate filter production that offers unprecedented performance even in its basic version,” says Klaus Masuch, Hauni’s group manager, product consulting.
Since discontinuing its KDF 2E a few years ago, Hauni has been serving the 500 meter-per-minute segment with rebuild machinery. “The KDF 5 now allows us to offer a future-proof machine with a highly attractive price-performance ratio, which can be adapted flexibly to the specific manufacturing needs of the customer,” says Masuch. “The wide range of optional extras available means it is already well-prepared to meet the future challenges associated with a rapidly expanding number of filter types.”
During the development phase, Hauni drew heavily on the innovations and know-how it has accumulated over 40 years of working on filter makers (see sidebar) as well as the extensive input of technicians, customers and trainers. These insights and technologies are reflected in new technical features that, when combined with components already used successfully in other machines, ensure the KDF 5 achieves new levels of performance, efficiency and operating comfort.
Filters of the future
The many adjustments Hauni made during the development phase to optimize its new product include the first-ever use of a directly driven knife carrier, easily adjustable glue guns and improved accessibility through a new, wide-opening door design.
“Above all, it is the many incremental improvements that have made the KDF 5 a standard machine capable of rising to the ever-greater challenges of future filter production,” says Arne Klisch, product consultant, engineering, at Hauni.
“Starting with the principle that less is more, we decided to focus on the core functions and make the machine design as operator-friendly as possible.” Thus far, the reaction from Hauni’s customers has been positive. A recent test, conducted at Japan Tobacco International’s (JTI) factory in Trier, Germany, suggests that Hauni has done its homework. The Trier factory field-tested the KDF 5 from September to November 2012. For JTI, flexibility was one of the key investment considerations. Changing the filter length in the basic version of the KDF 5 takes just 70 minutes, including the subsequent production approval. By comparison, this format change takes 120 minutes using the standard version of the KDF 4. “The whole production line can be converted in record time when combined with the corresponding Hauni tray logistics,” reports Klisch.
Flexport: one platform for every solution
Today, economically optimized filter production offers more than high machine availability and consistent quality in the manufactured products. “Naturally, the KDF 5 from Hauni meets these requirements just as effectively as all the machines we have brought to market over recent decades,” says Masuch. “But filter production is in a state of change. More and more variants are already required to satisfy the need for product differentiation, which in turn demands new manufacturing technologies.”
To ensure that its customers have a platform for this and all future solutions, Hauni’s development team has spent the past few years developing the Flexport concept. The name says it all: The machine concept consists of a basic and a functional module and aims to achieve the maximum degree of flexibility—particularly in relation to the special filters of the future. The basic module is placed between the tow processor and the rod maker, and the various functional modules are then integrated into this base module. Integrable modules are, for example, granule application, thread application or channel ventilation modules. The available interfaces have a universal design that offers scope for integrating existing and future developments.
At the same time, Flexport optimizes the convertibility of filter makers by permitting quick function changes. Gunnar Tons, head of product management, filters, at Hauni, has a clear answer when asked about the future direction of customer requirements in filter production: “They are looking for flexible solutions for use in the filter-rod manufacturing process. Flexport is our response to this challenge.”
The concept of an open portal, which has been realized through the development of Flexport, also reduces the time to market for new products. “During the development process, we focused very clearly on increasing the flexibility of the means of production,” explains Klaus Masuch. The time required for changes between a special and a mono filter specification has been cut dramatically compared to standard processes.
First modules in the starting blocks
The first functional modules for Flexport will be in operation in customer production lines this year. The Flexport modules enable the customer to give the cigarette a unique design and thus support brand identity. According to Klisch, the three modules completed so far are just the beginning. “With Flexport, we have created an open portal that offers many possibilities for the future. It reduces the time required for format changes while the machine is operating as well as the total investment costs compared to previous individual solutions. We will continue to consult closely with our customers in order to extend and tailor our range of modules to their needs.”
Hauni and filter manufacturing—a rich history
Hauni has a long tradition in the design, production and supply of filter-manufacturing equipment. Approximately 75 percent of all the filters used in cigarettes around the world are now manufactured using machines from Hauni. Below are some of the highlights.
1967: Hauni presents its first filter making line: the AF-KDF.
1974: Hauni develops the AC, a charcoal feeder for filters.
1975: Hauni presents its first multifilter maker.
1980s–1990s: Hauni continues to develop its machines, increasing production speed to a maximum of 600 m/min.
1990: Hauni offers the CU20, a machine for the production of crepe filters, through its subsidiary Decouflé.
2003: Hauni launches its Merlin multifilter maker, which can produce filters with between two and four segments plus recess.
2009: Market launch of the KDF-M double track filter rod production line with a speed of 1,000 m/min.
Basic model KDF 5: the functions at a glance
- Extended-length format
- Low format height
- Glue-gun spraying (optional)
- Above-garniture gluing/seam glue
- Quick length change
- Extended tow characteristic curve through U-style tow opener
- <77 dB(A) noise emission
- Thermoelectric sealer section chilling
- Single cooling circle
- ODM (optional)