Beck Automation presents a high-precision IML solution for medical applications at Fakuma 2023

The new Beck Medical IML presented at the trade fair is a high-precision manufacturing system specially designed for the production of medical components. The application is part of a joint project with partners ARBURG, Intravis, KEBO and MCC Verstraete. The partners set themselves the goal of developing a system that enables high-precision IML in large quantities using the latest technologies.

"Our experience of more than 35 years in the IML sector is now also setting new standards in the production of medical components. Instead of complex and failure-prone production steps with large logistical efforts, we now have end-to-end production that can be used precisely, highly efficiently, hygienically and with repeat accuracy in the smallest of spaces," says Ralf Ziemer, sales manager for the Medical division at Beck Automation, introducing the new product.

A low-torsion, powder-coated steel profile frame forms the basis of the Beck Medical IML. The machine design is based on a modular structure, where each individual production step is assigned to a module. "Each module thus fulfills a specific task. The overall system is practically assembled on a modular principle," Ziemer continues. In this principle, production units for screwing, welding, printing or packaging can be added. All motion sequences are executed energy-efficiently by servo and stepper motors of the latest generation. "We distinguish the IML manufacturing area from the processing area. Both areas are stably connected and can be separated from each other at the push of a button, allowing optimal access," says Ziemer.

The IML area includes the label magazines, the label transport, the placement of the labels on the insertion cores and, for products that require the highest accuracy, the label adjustment. Label adjustment, which compensates for the print-to-cut tolerance resulting from production, is performed by Beck's high-precision label adjustment head. The label adjustment head measures each individual label using laser sensors and compensates for inaccuracies. For this purpose, the label is moved in two axes and one angle. In the medical field, where labels can be very small, the label adjustment heads are arranged in a centering plate and not on the moving main arm. This avoids disturbing vibrations. The readjusted label is placed on the insertion core by means of a transfer gripper and electrostatically charged. The label, which is thus optimally positioned, is vacuum-assisted into the cavity of the injection mold. The adjustable head technology ensures that the cut edges do not determine the position of the decoration or functional elements.

The processing area contains the central transport unit, around which various production modules can be arranged in modular ways. Label insertion and finished part removal can be performed in parallel or sequentially. The robot's intervention times of 1.0 - 1.4s (signal to signal) thus have no or only minimal influence on the cycle time. A fully integrated vision system ensures 100% quality control. All bad parts are automatically rejected. "Detecting defects in real time offers the possibility of immediate intervention in the process parameters and significantly reduces the reject rate," emphasizes Ziemer. The good parts are then fed to further processing or the packaging unit.

The new Beck Medical IML will be on display at Arburg's booth A3-3103. Beck is also exhibiting other IML systems at its booth A1-1519 and at Netstal's booth B3-3119 at Fakuma 2023 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from October 17 to 21.

Beck Automation takes part in Interplas 2023 in Birmingham

The Swiss specialist for IML solutions will be exhibiting at this year's Interplas from September 26 to 28 at the Plastik City joint booth in hall 4. Beck Automation will not only be presenting IML solutions for the non-food and food packaging industry, but will also be providing insights into the Medical-IML product and process area.

„We are looking forward to presenting our entire product range to trade visitors," says Jim Ward, UK Sales & Service at Beck Automation AG. The IML process is the focus of the trade show participation. “The application spectrum of our IML solutions ranges from very small packaging, such as coffee capsules, to silicone cartridges or yoghurt pots, to 30L paint pails. There is almost no type of packaging for which we have not already developed an IML decoration solution”, Ward explains.

In addition, Ward presents additional solutions from Beck Automation, like the BECK Flex, which enables to produce packaging such as lids or trays on the same line as cups or pails with minimum changeover time. Furthermore, trade visitors can also inform themselves about the following removal processes, like the BECK Take-out, which enter the injection moulding machine from the side and achieve cycle times of less than 2 seconds. BECK Down-Stream is a buffer system, which offers sufficient buffer space for full as well as empty cartons and thus guarantees maximum autonomy. The finished product stacks are placed horizontally into the boxes by means of special grippers. Beside these solutions, Beck also offers the BECK Bailer, a system which enables the fully automatic assembly of support handles on buckets with a diameter of 175mm to 380mm.

In addition to the classic IML solutions, Beck Automation will also be presenting its ideas, concepts and solutions for medical applications at the trade fair. The company management knows that there are many automation possibilities in the medical and cosmetics industry. “With more than 36 years of experience in the field of automation the solutions of Beck Automation are very interesting for pharmaceutical companies, their manufacturers, but also for companies in the cosmetics industry. We offer excellent solution possibilities," says Ralf Ziemer, Sales Manager Medical. Beck Automation is aware that medical components are not standard parts. The products require very individual, customised solutions and this is where the company sees its core competence. "Our customers benefit from our highly efficient, customised systems that offer sustainable economic advantages. We set ourselves the highest standards in product and production reliability. We ensure this through solutions that are reproducible, validatable and hygienically flawless," Nino Zehnder, Head of Marketing and Sales, continues. Medical products must not pose any risks to patients and users, which is why they must be free of defects. "Our systems rule out mismanipulation, are modular in design and can be realised in a small space. Cost pressure is constantly increasing, and production space, especially in cleanrooms, is expensive. We have to take this into account," adds Ziemer.  Beck's solutions comply with the regulations of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are suitable for cleanrooms up to class ISO 7.

"At the next leading trade fairs, such as fakuma 2023, which will be held in Friedrichshafen in Germany in October, we will present detailed solutions that can be reliably used in the series production of medical consumables," Ziemer continues. Ward adds: “I can provide the first information at the Interplas 2023 about our medical applications. Trade show visitors will find us at the Plastik City pavilion in hall 4.” At this joint booth visitors will be able to connect with 20 exhibitors and have access to new products and services for UK companies.


Participation in Fakuma with our partners

Excited to share that we'll be at  Fakuma Messe in October to showcase IML application for the medical industry!

Shoutout to our partners  Arburg,  Kebo,  Beck Automation,  Intravis and  MCC Verstraete, for the great collaboration and making this all possible.

Keep an eye on our social media for more details to come about #fakuma2023.

IML goes Medical

Why In-Mould-Labeling can become a game changer in medical technology

In-Mould-Labeling (IML) is familiar from packaging and is now state-of-the-art. Five partners are developing an IML concept for medical technology. Will this bring about a change in technology?

Expanding North American Team

Beck Automation is pleased to announce that Taras Konowal has joined our North American team as the Director of Sales for North America.  Konowal brings decades of plastics industry experience to our team.  Having worked for injection molding machine companies Cincinnati Milacron, Netstal and Bucher, automation companies Waldorf Technik and Muller Technology, Konowal is knowledgeable in all aspects of plastics processing.  Beck Automation looks forward to the value Konowal will bring to our North America customers and continue our growth in this important market.

Beck Automation opened its own US subsidiary in 2021 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The US subsidiary was established to place Beck’s support and spare parts in closer proximity to the North American market.  Beck has hired four highly skilled technicians that operate in the same time zones, with the same holiday schedule as our North American customers. Providing timely support and minimizing any potential downtime.  Additionally, the facility in Greensboro has been set-up with an operational IML system to provide on-going training for our North American customer base. Courses will start in 2023.

Taras is based out of Fort Collins, Colorado.  He can be reached via email at or telephone at 847-612-6270.

Precise label positioning thanks to newly developed adjustment head

Labels are subject to manufacturing tolerances during production. The positioning of the labels in the injection mould must be as exact as possible, as more and more functional tasks are being performed.

The BECK adjustment head measures each label individually and corrects its position. This compensates for the print-to-cut tolerance. Precise insertion reduces the reject rate. As a result, material is saved and part costs are reduced.


Added value:

  • Optimum positioning accuracy of the label
  • Reduction of scrap
  • Lower parts costs

Fully automatic, cycle time optimised handle automation

Beck Automation AG will be presenting the newly developed Beck Bailer at K 2022, which will take place from 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf. The system enables the fully automatic assembly of metal handles on buckets with a diameter of 175mm to 380mm. The unit is a self-operating system that can be used autonomously thanks to its own control system.

"The Beck Bailer is a trade fair innovation that we will be presenting to the trade public for the first time at K 2022," explains Nino Zehnder, Marketing and Sales Manager at Beck Automation. The Beck Bailer can be operated autonomously thanks to its own control system and is particularly interesting for producers of industrial plastic buckets. With a cycle time of 3.5s per bucket, the system enables the quick assembly of metal handles on different bucket sizes.

The buckets are fed individually to the Bailer via a conveyor belt. They are then precisely positioned and aligned with the bracket hole. Optionally, the alignment can also take place on an additional feature. Via a magazine, the unshaped metal handles can be fed individually, automatically separated and provided with a handle roll. The grip rolls can be fed into the system as bulk material via a spiral conveyor. After the grip roll has been pushed on, the nubs are formed on the metal rod ends and the ends are bent off by 90°. Subsequently, a forming plate and forming rollers bring the metal rod into the desired handle shape. The shaping rollers can be moved and positioned as required via two servo axes, and the end position can be changed via the HMI while the system is running if necessary. All the individual steps for shaping the handle are carried out sequentially at separate stations. "Because the finished moulded handle has a high level of reproducibility as a result, the process stability of the next steps and the quality of the finished packaging product are increased," says Zehnder.

The fully formed handles are conveyed to the conjunction station for final assembly, where the bucket and the handle are precisely aligned and the ends of the handle are pressed into the holes. The position of the handle ends on the product is monitored. If there is no handle or if it is only pressed in correctly on one side, the bucket is not stacked and is conveyed individually to the exit conveyor. The products that are considered good are stacked after this step and conveyed out of the system via a conveyor belt, where the buckets are available for further processing purposes.

The Beck Bailer can handle a wide range of bucket shapes from round, rectangular, square to oval. It is possible to fit buckets with a diameter of 175mm to 380mm and a height of 100mm to 450mm with a metal handle and therefore cover a large bucket bandwidth of approx. 2L to 40L. The bail specifications that can be processed range from 370mm to 645mm in length and 2.7mm to 4.0mm in diameter. In total, the Beck Bailer can be loaded with 1500 metal rods and 500 grip rollers. " As a result, we enable cycle-time-optimised bailer loading. In the event of a production change, the system can be easily and quickly converted. This also applies to the adjustment of the conveyor belts, which do not have to be adjusted in height in the event of a bucket change. Furthermore, we have paid attention to efficient maintenance with simple and cost-effective wear parts," Zehner continues. Thanks to integrated rollers, the Bailer can also be quickly relocated within a production line and positioned at other lines.  After the market launch, the Beck Bailer can be delivered 10 to 12 weeks after the customer's order.

The Beck Bailer will be on public display for the first time at the Beck Automation booth in Hall 12 B36-05.

Bügelautomat der Beck Automation AG

BECK Automation with new solutions and new business unit at K 2022

The world's leading trade fair for plastics and synthetic material is casting its shadow ahead. From 19 to 26 October, the industry will meet at Messe Düsseldorf. Beck Automation will also be taking part in the trade fair and presenting a range of new products and innovative solutions for in-mould labelling (IML), efficient packaging automation and medical applications.

A new product from Beck Automation is the Beck Bailer. The Beck Bailer enables the fully automatic assembly of metal handles on buckets. The system can be operated autonomously thanks to its own PLC and should be of particular interest to producers of plastic industrial buckets. Buckets are fed into the system, precisely positioned and oriented with the bracket hole. A pre cut metal rod is then separated, the grip rollers are pushed on and the rod is given the desired handle shape. The finished handles are conveyed to a conjunction station where the bucket and the handle are precisely aligned and then the ends of the handle are pressed into the holes. Various bucket shapes from round, rectangular, square to oval can be processed. It is possible to process buckets with a diameter of 175mm to 380mm and a height of 100mm to 450mm. The system has been designed for a cycle of 3.5s per bucket. The Beck Bailer will be on public display for the first time at the Beck Automation stand in Hall 12 B36-05.

Another focus of the trade fair presentation at booth B36-05 is on applications in the medical sector. Beck Automation only actively entered this sector at the beginning of the business year. Since then, the medical business has developed extremely well. That's why Ralf Ziemer, Sales Manager Medical at Beck Automation, has high expectations for K 2022: "We convince our counterparts with our engineering and our understanding of the structural design of a medical system. As soon as we address this topic and show examples of what we understand by Swiss engineering, the customer's interest increases. K 2022 offers us the opportunity to present our solutions in the medical field to a large audience." In particular, the focus will be on the possible applications of IML for medical products. An area of application that opens up new possibilities in the functionality of a product and which in the meantime affects about 50% of all enquiries.

Furthermore, Beck Automation is presenting an adjustment head for even more precise label alignment. "With today's IML systems, the positioning of the labels can change during operation. This can occur due to a magazine change, label change or within a label stack due to cutting tolerances," explains Nino Zehnder, Head of Marketing and Sales at Beck Automation AG. The adjustment head is part of the IML system. It picks up individual labels, measures and aligns them in the desired position. The new development is mounted on the transport unit, which loads the core dummy with labels. On the transport path between the magazine and the core dummy, the newly developed head precisely aligns the label, thus increasing positioning accuracy, ultimately reducing waste and manual fine adjustments. The application will be on display at the WITTMANN BATTENFELD stand in Hall 15, booth C06.

High demand for IML solutions in the medical sector

This spring, Beck Automation AG officially entered the international medical market. The focus was on automation solutions for producers of medical consumables manufactured by injection moulding. After three months, the first positive developments can already be summarized.

"At the beginning, we assumed that our market entry would be positively evaluated by medical companies. However, we did not expect so much positive feedback and requests," Ralf Ziemer, Sales Manager Medical at Beck Automation, recalls. It was not only the reactions to the market entry in the social networks that were extremely positive, but also the requests received in the following period. Beck Automation had to correct the estimates. It had been assumed that there would be less demand for in-mould-labelling applications, and we initially concentrated on applications in the area of high-speed take out and downstream.

However, IML solutions have also been in high demand until now, which is why Beck Automation has adapted its strategy. "We didn't necessarily want to push IML in the medical sector, but about 50% of all requests have to do with IML. Some of these are specific, high-precision applications. For example, we are currently working on a solution to insert an RFID label into components that will later be used with pre-filled syringes. We received the request for this future-oriented technology because we are the only automation company that can offer such precise solutions," says Ziemer. In addition, other promising projects were generated.

"We convince our business partners with our engineering and our understanding of the structural design of a medical system. As soon as we address this topic and show examples of what we understand by Swiss engineering, we call the customers attention. As a result, we receive mostly relate to functional and high-precision IML. This is very important, especially in the medical sector," Ziemer continues. For example, the Beck Automation engineering team is currently working on a solution to apply the scale of a centrifuge tube using IML. In this case, IML is to replace the printing technology used so far. Ziemer is aware that the IML process must be very precise, reliable and repeatable. To some extent, tolerances (print to cut) of the labels have to be compensated too.

"We are able to reproduce these very precise IML processes. In doing so, we combine our experience with the innovations we have developed. Moreover, we are already working on future technologies, such as high-precision positioning, which we will present this year during the K trade fair in Düsseldorf," Ziemer explains further.

Beck Automation participates in medical trade fair MD&M West 2022 in California

After entering the medical industry, the Swiss automation specialist is participating in a medical trade fair for the first time. MD&M West, which takes place from 12 to 14 April at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California, brings together medical technology engineers, business leaders, innovative companies and thought leaders to develop high-performance solutions and innovative, medical products.

"We are very excited about participating in the trade fair. Our announcement to enter the medical market has been met with an extremely positive response, so we are now very excited to further develop direct dialogue with interested parties and customers," explains Ralf Ziemer, Medical Sales Manager at Beck Automation. MD&M West is the largest US trade fair for medical technology, where suppliers and purchasers meet and innovative new products are presented. "Thus, the trade fair is the ideal platform for us to present ourselves to the industry," adds Ziemer.

The automation solutions of the Swiss family-owned company comply with the regulations of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are cleanroom compatible up to class ISO 8. Production steps such as oriented removal, scaling or labelling of hollow bodies by means of functional IML, the insertion of highly transparent films, membranes or functional components before injection moulding are carried out with complete precision and efficiency. Fully integrated modules for optical quality assurance and packaging solutions round off the entire manufacturing spectrum. Beck Medical offers complete solutions from the conceptual design of a system to acceptance. "Our specialists provide competent advice on all questions of automation and also optimise existing manufacturing processes. All implementations are subject to the Swiss Engineering seal of quality, which stands for well thought-out concepts, precision, clear structures and the use of state-of-the-art materials. The result is high-quality machines and systems ", says Ziemer.

Beck Automation will be presenting its automation solutions at MD&M West 2022 on stand 2966. For further information, please visit