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Title:
APPARATUS FOR PACKING GROUPS OF PRODUCTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2023/099067
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus (1) for packing groups of products (A), which comprises an element (2) for supplying groups of products (A), a unit (3) for transferring groups of products (A), and at least one device (4) for the compaction of each group of products (A) for feeding a subsequent work station, which comprises at least one supporting element for the compaction device (4) which has a first portion that is at least partially aligned with the group transfer unit (3) and a second portion which is substantially aligned with the compaction device (4) in its operating configuration. The compaction device (4) is movable with respect to the respective at least one supporting element until it aligns with the first portion thereof and with at least one part of the unit (3) for the transfer of groups of products (A), at a deactivation configuration thereof. When the compaction device (4) is in the deactivation configuration, in the free space at the second portion of the supporting element and in alignment with the conveyance lines of the unit (3) for the transfer of groups of products (A), at least one stage (100) for the rotation of groups of products (A) can be accommodated and is designed to receive at least one individual group, rotate it by a predefined angle, and deliver to the work station each rotated group.

Inventors:
ACCORDI MARCO (IT)
GUIDI MANUEL (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2022/078552
Publication Date:
June 08, 2023
Filing Date:
October 13, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BUCCI AUTOMATIONS S P A (IT)
International Classes:
B65H31/30; B65H15/02
Foreign References:
US20140190132A12014-07-10
US5743374A1998-04-28
EP2165934A22010-03-24
EP1221410A22002-07-10
IT202100030194A2021-11-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MODIANO, Micaela Nadia (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An apparatus for packing groups of products (A) comprising an element (2) for supplying products (A), a unit (3) for transferring groups of products (A) and at least one device (4) for the compaction of each group of products (A) for feeding a subsequent work station, characterized in that it comprises at least one supporting element for said compaction device (4) which has a first portion that is at least partially aligned with said group transfer unit (3) and a second portion which is substantially aligned with said compaction device (4) in its operating configuration, said compaction device (4) being movable with respect to the respective said at least one supporting element until it aligns with said first portion thereof and with at least one part of said unit (3) for the transfer of groups of products (A), at a deactivation configuration thereof, when said compaction device (4) is in said deactivation configuration, in the free space at said second portion of said supporting element and in alignment with the conveyance lines of said unit (3) for the transfer of groups of products (A), at least one stage (100) for the rotation of groups of products (A) being accommodatable which is designed to receive at least one individual group, rotate it by a predefined angle and deliver to said work station each rotated group.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, characterized in that said compaction device (4) comprises respective movable walls (6), which are parallel to lateral conveyance shoulders (7) of said unit (3) for the transfer of said groups of products (A), said walls (6) being movable at right angles to their faces designed to abut against said products (A) with consequent mutual approach/spacing of said walls (6) for the compression and release of groups of products (A).

3. The apparatus according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that the movable walls (6) of said compaction device (4), when arranged in said deactivation configuration, are at a mutual distance that is greater than the distance between said lateral conveyance shoulders (7) of said unit (3) for the transfer of said groups of products (A), being external to them.

4. The apparatus according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said stage (100) for the rotation of groups of products (A) comprises two mutually opposite delimitation plates (103) for the lateral confinement of at least one said group of products (A), a delimitation panel (109) being arranged between said plates (103) and being perpendicular to said plates (103) and movable parallel to itself for the compaction of the at least one group of products (A).

5. The apparatus according to claim 4, characterized in that said stage (100) for the rotation of groups of products (A), in substantial alignment with a terminal edge of said mutually opposite delimitation plates (103), comprises a shoulder member (106) to prevent the exit of the at least one group of products (A) from the opening that is opposite the inlet opening of said at least one group between said plates (103).

6. A stage for the rotation of groups of products (A) for apparatuses for packing groups of products (A) comprising an element (2) for supplying products (A), and a unit (3) for the transfer of groups of products (A) for feeding a subsequent work station, characterized in that it further comprises a base slab (101) on which at least one carriage (102) can move, by virtue of the action of respective first movement means, said carriage supporting at least one pair of mutually opposite delimitation plates (103) for the at least lateral confinement of at least one said group of products (A), second movement means (104) being arranged between at least said carriage (102) and the respective plates (103) for the rotation of said pair of plates (103) according to a predefined angular stroke, said first means for the movement of said carriage (102) on said slab (101) and said second movement means (104) being mutually independent.

7. The stage according to claim 6, characterized in that it comprises two mutually opposite delimitation plates (103) for the lateral confinement 18 of at least one said group of products (A), a delimitation panel (109) being arranged between said plates (103), being perpendicular to said plates (103) and movable parallel to itself for the compaction of the at least one group of products (A).

8. The stage according to claim 6, characterized in that it comprises, in substantial alignment with a terminal edge of said mutually opposite delimitation plates (103), a shoulder member (106) to prevent the exit of the at least one group of products (A) from the opening that is opposite the inlet opening of said at least one group between said plates (103).

9. The stage according to one or more of claims 6 to 8, characterized in that respective traction elements (107) are interposed between said base slab (101) and said at least one carriage (102) and are controlled by a respective motor (108) for the translation of said at least one carriage (102) between a first configuration, in which it is proximate to a respective end of said slab (101), and a second configuration, in which it is distant from said respective end.

10. The stage according to one or more of claims 6 to 9, characterized in that it comprises a base slab (101) on which two carriages (102) can move, by virtue of the action of respective first movement means, and support at least one respective pair of mutually opposite delimitation plates

(103), each pair of plates (103) for the at least lateral confinement of at least one respective group of products (A), respective second movement means

(104) being arranged between each carriage (102) and the respective plates (103) for the rotation of said pair of plates (103) according to a predefined angular stroke, said first means for the movement of said carriage (102) on said slab (101) and said second movement means (104) being mutually independent.

11. The stage according to one or more of claims 6 to 10, characterized in that respective traction elements (107) are interposed between said base slab (101) and said carriages (102) and are controlled by 19 respective motors (108) for the translation of each carriage (102) between a first configuration of proximity to a respective end of said slab (101) and of maximum distance from the additional carriage (102), and a second configuration of maximum distance from the respective end of said plate (101) and of minimum distance from the additional carriage (102).

12. The stage according to one or more of claims 6 to 11, characterized in that said motor (105) of said movement means (104) for the rotation of said pair of plates (103) and said motor (108) for said traction elements (107) are servomotors.

Description:
APPARATUS FOR PACKING GROUPS OF PRODUCTS

The present invention relates to an apparatus for packing groups of products.

In the packing and packaging industry, some types of products require specific machines and technologies. In particular, the class of products referred to generically as tissue, which includes paper handkerchiefs, diapers, sanitary towels, and other products with similar characteristics of compressibility, requires extremely specific dedicated machines.

The respective packaging lines generally comprise an initial stage of grouping and reordering of the individual products that arrive from the production line, which is followed by a series of stations dedicated to moving the groups of products obtained and adapted to group and orient them for correct pouching: in said machines the products are grouped into bundles of predefined dimensions, which undergo compaction before being inserted in a respective containment pouch that is then closed completely, confining the bundle itself.

In some cases, the products are grouped according to a specific spatial orientation thereof (generally a vertical orientation in which they rest on the surface of the machine with one of their lateral edges) and need to be pouched according to a different orientation (generally a horizontal orientation in which they rest on the surface of the machine with a planar face thereof). It is therefore necessary to provide a station in which to rotate the bundle and arrange it in the correct spatial configuration in order to be able to proceed with its packaging.

The cases in which it is necessary to proceed with the rotation of the bundle are a limited number, and therefore it is generally not convenient to have a machine uniquely designed for this type of packaging.

A machine in which a product bundle compaction device can be removed and replaced with a station designed to rotate the bundle is known from EP121410: in this case it is possible to use a single machine for different types of packaging simply by replacing some components.

The drawback of this technical solution resides mainly in fact that the compaction device is generally very bulky and very heavy and therefore its extraction from the machine is a complex operation, which also entails the adoption of numerous logistical arrangements. In fact, the extraction of the compaction device must be performed using fork lift trucks or other movement elements (the placement of the machine in the building must therefore provide for the necessary operating and maneuvering spaces for said means), and a specific space must be provided in the building for the temporary placement of the extracted device.

The aim of the present invention is to solve the problems described above, providing an apparatus for packing groups of products that allows to manage also groups of products that need a rotation before pouching.

Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products that does not require the use of external movement elements for the transition from a standard operating configuration to an operating configuration in which the groups of products undergo a rotation before pouching.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products in which the operations for changing operating configuration are simple and at least partially automated.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products that can operate also on multiple parallel lines.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products that has substantially small space occupations.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products that does not require specific provisions in the installation building and particularly does not require large perimetral free areas in its vicinity. A further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for packing groups of products that has low costs, is relatively easy to provide and is of assured application.

This aim and these and other objects which will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by an apparatus for packing groups of products which comprises an element for supplying products, a unit for transferring groups of products and at least one device for the compaction of each group of products for feeding a subsequent work station, characterized in that it comprises at least one supporting element for said compaction device which has a first portion that is at least partially aligned with said group transfer unit and a second portion which is substantially aligned with said compaction device in its operating configuration, said compaction device being movable with respect to the respective said at least one supporting element until it aligns with said first portion thereof and with at least one part of said unit for the transfer of groups of products, at a deactivation configuration thereof, when said compaction device is in said deactivation configuration, in the free space at said second portion of said supporting element, and in alignment with the conveyance lines of said unit for the transfer of groups of products, at least one stage for the rotation of groups of products being accommodatable which is designed to receive at least one individual group, rotate it by a predefined angle and deliver to said work station each rotated group.

This aim and these and other objects are also achieved by a stage for the rotation of groups of products for apparatuses for packing groups of products comprising an element for supplying products, a unit for the transfer of groups of products for feeding a subsequent work station, characterized in that it comprises a base slab on which at least one carriage can move, by virtue of the action of respective first movement means, said carriage supporting at least one pair of mutually opposite delimitation plates for the lateral confinement of at least one said group of products, second movement means being arranged between at least said carriage and the respective plates for the rotation of said pair of plates according to a predefined angular stroke, said first means for the movement of said carriage on said slab and said second movement means being mutually independent.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become better apparent from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the apparatus for packing groups of products, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a schematic perspective view of a possible embodiment of a stage for the rotation of groups of products according to the invention during the step of entry of a group of products therein;

Figure 2 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 1 during the rotation of the group of products contained therein;

Figure 3 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 1 after the rotation, ready for the delivery of the group of products;

Figure 4 is a schematic perspective view of an additional embodiment of a stage for the rotation of groups of products according to the invention in a configuration for the entry of two groups of products therein from two distinct lines;

Figure 5 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 4 after the rotation, ready for the delivery of the groups of products;

Figure 6 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 4 in a configuration for the entry of only one group of products therein;

Figure 7 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 6 after the rotation of the individual group, ready for the delivery thereof;

Figure 8 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 1 provided with the respective movement means;

Figure 9 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 4 provided with the respective movement means; Figure 10 is a schematic perspective view of the stage of Figure 6 provided with the respective movement means;

Figure 11 is a schematic perspective view of a possible embodiment of an apparatus for packing groups of products according to the invention, provided with a device for compaction in an active configuration in which it is operating;

Figure 12 is a schematic perspective view of a further embodiment of an apparatus for packing groups of products according to the invention, provided with a compaction device in an active configuration in which it is operating;

Figure 13 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure

11 provided with a compaction device during a first operation which is necessary in order to bring it to a passive configuration in which it is not operating;

Figure 14 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure

12 provided with a compaction device during a first operation which is necessary in order to bring it to a passive configuration in which it is not operating;

Figure 15 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure

11 provided with a compaction device during a second operation which is necessary in order to bring it to a passive configuration in which it is not operating;

Figure 16 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure

12 provided with a compaction device during a second operation which is necessary in order to bring it to a passive configuration in which it is not operating;

Figure 17 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure 11 provided with a compaction device in a passive configuration in which it is not operating and of a stage for the rotation of groups of products according to the invention in the active configuration; Figure 18 is a schematic perspective view of the apparatus of Figure 11 provided with a compaction device in a passive configuration in which it is not operating and a stage for the rotation of groups of products according to the invention in an active configuration.

With reference to the figures, an apparatus for packing groups of products A is generally designated by the reference numeral 1 and a stage for the rotation of groups of products according to the invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 100.

The apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A comprises an element 2 for supplying products A, a unit 3 for transferring groups of products A, and at least one device 4 for the compaction of each group of products A for feeding a subsequent work station (which is arranged downstream and in which only a possible entry lane 5 is shown in Figures 11 to 18).

The apparatus 1 according to the invention advantageously comprises at least one supporting element for the compaction device 4 which has a first portion that is at least partially aligned with the group transfer unit 3 and a second portion which is substantially aligned with the compaction device 4 when it is in its operating configuration (i.e., downstream of the outlet of the group transfer unit 3).

It is specified that the compaction device 4 is in turn associated with a respective bottom panel 4a, 4b: in the embodiment with a single line of groups of products (shown in Figures 11, 13, 15 and 17) that flow through the unit 3, the bottom panel 4a is constituted exclusively by a substantially laminar plate; in the embodiment with a double line of groups of products that flow through the unit 3 (shown in Figures 12, 14, 16 and 18) the bottom panel 4b will comprise, besides a substantially laminar base plate, also suitable walls (which define the internal walls of the lines for channeling the groups of products against which they abut during compaction).

Conveniently, the compaction device 4 is movable with respect to the respective at least one supporting element until it aligns with the first portion thereof and, therefore, with at least one part of the unit 3 for the transfer of groups of products A: this arrangement of the compaction device 4 (shown by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying Figures 15 to 18) identifies a deactivation configuration of said device 4.

It is specified that the arrangement of the compaction device 4 in a passive configuration (in which it is not operating) entails the prior disassembly of the base plate 9a, 9b of the unit 3. Particularly in the embodiment with a single line of groups of products (shown in Figures 11, 13, 15 and 17) flowing through the unit 3, it is necessary to remove the base plate 9a, which has a laminar shape; in the embodiment with a double line of groups of products running through the unit 3 (shown in Figures 12, 14, 16 and 17), the base plate 9b also comprises convenient partitions (which define the internal walls of the lines for channeling the groups of products that ensure their correct conveyance).

According to the invention, when the compaction device 4 is in the deactivation configuration (i.e., partially superimposed on the unit 3 and substantial unable to perform any operation on the products A) the presence of a free space between the terminal front of the unit 3 and the initial front of the entry lane 5 of the work station can be detected at the space previously occupied by the compaction device 4.

When the compaction device 4 is in the cited passive configuration in which it is not operating, the respective base panel 4a, 4b forms the bottom (and in the case of the panel 4b also the internal conveyance walls) of the unit 3 (since the plates 9a, 9b will have been removed).

In such free space, located at the second portion of said supporting element and in alignment with the conveyance lines of the unit 3 for the transfer of groups of products A, it is possible to accommodate at least one stage 100 for the rotation of groups of products A which is designed to receive at least one individual group, rotate it by a predefined angle and deliver each rotated group to the work station (in particular to its entry lane 5, with reference to the accompanying Figures 11 to 18).

In this manner, groups of products A that arrive at the stage 100 with a vertical arrangement (i.e., resting on one of their lateral edges), being therefore laterally mutually adjacent, may be rotated through 90° in order to deliver them to the work station with a horizontal arrangement (i.e., resting on a larger face thereof), being therefore mutually stacked and superimposed: in this manner, the work station may perform the correct pouching of said specific group of products A having a horizontal arrangement.

It is noted that the compaction device 4, in the use of the apparatus 1 with the stage 100 installed and operational, is inside the contour of said apparatus 1 , in a deactivation configuration, and does not cause any external space occupation or other logistic requirement, being therefore particularly convenient and easy to manage.

It is specified that the compaction device 4 comprises respective movable walls 6, which are parallel to lateral conveyance shoulders 7 of the unit 3 for the transfer of the groups of products A.

The walls 6 are movable in a direction at right angles to their faces designed to abut against the products A, leading to a mutual approach/spacing thereof for the compression and release of groups of products A. The mutual approach/spacing movement of the walls 6 may be obtained (with particular reference to the non-limiting example in the accompanying Figures 11 to 18) by using a pusher crank system 8 actuated by a respective rotary motor (not shown in the figure). The possibility to adopt other means for the movement of the walls 6, which allow to generate a mutual approach/spacing motion according to preset rules of motion, is not excluded.

It is noted that the lateral shoulders 7 may be arranged on the unit 3 according to a plurality of different configurations (in which they are arranged at different distances from each other) in order to adapt the unit 3 to the specific format of each individual group of products A based on the specific number of products A that constitutes it. The adjustment of the position of the lateral shoulders 7 may be manual (performed by the operators each time a change of format is necessary) or automatic (using respective actuators designed for the controlled movement of each individual shoulder 7).

As can be seen from the example of Figures 11 to 18 (which, however, must not be interpreted as limiting), the movable walls 6 of the compaction device 4, when said device is arranged in the deactivation configuration, may advantageously be at a mutual distance that is greater than the distance between the lateral conveyance shoulders 7 of the transfer unit 3, being external thereto.

It is specified that the apparatus 1 may advantageously ensure the packaging of groups of products A that undergo an operating flow in which they slide while maintaining their initial orientation (a case in which the compaction device 4 is arranged downstream of the unit 3 and upstream of the terminal work station) and also an operating flow in which said groups also undergo a rotation thereof through a preset angle (a case in which the compaction device is arranged in its deactivation configuration and in its place the stage 100 designed to rotate the groups of products A is inserted in the apparatus).

The stage 100 for the rotation of groups of products A may favorably comprise a base slab 101 on which at least one carriage 102 can move, by virtue of the action of respective first movement means, and supports at least one pair of delimitation plates 103.

Such plates 103 are mutually opposite and define a cavity suitable to accommodate a group of products A: in particular, the plates cause at least the lateral confinement of at least one group of products A that they must accommodate. Second movement means 104 for the rotation of the pair of plates 103 according to a preset angular stroke are advantageously arranged between the at least one carriage 102 and the respective plates 103.

Merely by way of non-limiting example, the first and second movement means may conveniently comprise a respective motor 108 and 105, although the use of any other type of actuator is not excluded.

According to the invention, the first means for the movement of the carriage 102 on the slab 101 and the second movement means 104 are advantageously mutually independent.

Between the two delimitation plates 103, which are mutually opposite for the lateral confinement of at least one group of products A, it is possible to arrange a delimitation panel 109 that can be movable (at least with a part thereof, even an auxiliary one) parallel to itself in a direction for the compaction of the group of products A that is delimited between said plates 103 (the delimitation panel 109 is actuated by means of a respective actuator 110).

It is specified that the stage 100 can moreover advantageously comprise, in substantial alignment with a terminal edge of the plates 103, a shoulder member 106, in order to prevent the exit of the at least one group of products A from the opening that is opposite to the entry opening of said group between the plates 103.

The shoulder member 106 may be fixed, since the rotation of the plates 103 is such as to bring them to a configuration in which the member 106 no longer interferes with the exit opening of the cavity delimited between said plates 103.

With particular reference to an embodiment of unquestionable interest in practice and in application, traction elements 107 may be conveniently interposed between the base slab 101 and the carriage 102 and are controlled by a respective motor 108 for the translation of the carriage 102 between a first configuration, in which it is proximate to a first end of the slab 101, and a second configuration, in which it is distant from such first end. In practice, the carriage 102 can move along the slab 101 according to a predefined stroke having a direction at right angles to the direction of the flow of the products A.

The use of traction elements 107 different from those illustrated merely by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying figures is not excluded: in fact, the belts can be replaced with toothed belts, chains, ropes, cables and the like; even the possibility to use linear actuators for the movement of the carriage 102 along the slab 101 is not excluded.

With particular reference to an embodiment that allows to operate on a greater number of products A per work cycle, the stage 100 may conveniently comprise a base slab 101 on which two carriages 102 can move, by virtue of the action of respective first movement means, and support at least one respective pair of mutually opposite delimitation plates 103. In this case, each pair of plates 103 is designed to confine at least laterally at least one respective group of products A.

In this particular embodiment, respective second movement means 104 for the rotation of a corresponding pair of plates 103 according to a preset angular stroke are advantageously arranged between each carriage 102 and the respective plates 103.

In a manner similar to what has been described if a single carriage 102 is provided, in this case also the first means for the movement of two carriages 102 on the slab 101 and the second movement means 104 are mutually independent.

Within the scope of this embodiment, respective traction elements 107 can be favorably interposed between the base slab 101 and the two carriages 102 and are controlled by respective motors 108 for the translation of each carriage 102 between a first configuration of proximity to a respective end of the slab 101 and of maximum distance from the additional carriage 102, and a second configuration of maximum distance from the respective end of the plate 101 and of minimum distance from the additional carriage 102.

It is specified that the motor 105 of the movement means 104 for the rotation of the pair of plates 103 and the motor 108 for actuating the traction elements 107 are both servomotors. In particular, the accompanying figures show servomotors which comprise an actual motor (for example it might be a motor of the brushless type) associated with a reduction unit.

Analyzing the previous figures and description, it is clear that the stage 100 according to the invention, when inserted in an apparatus 1 according to the invention, receives a group of products and rotates it through 90°, compensating the lateral movement induced by this rotation with a translational motion in an opposite direction (it should be noted that the stage 100 comprises the movement means 104 for the rotation of the pair of plates 103 and the traction elements 107, so as to be able to make the group of products present between the plates 103 perform a combined rotation and translation). In this manner the group of products remains perfectly in axial alignment with the conveyance line defined by the unit 3 and with the entry lane 5 of a subsequent work station (arranged downstream). The groups of products therefore continue to move along the same direction even after their rotation and this entails numerous advantages in relation, particularly, to the simplicity of the operations necessary to pass from the operating configuration of the apparatus 1 shown in Figures 11 and 12 to the operating configuration of the apparatus 1 shown in Figures 17 and 18, in view of the fact that no adjustment of the position of the lane 5 of the successive work station (which is arranged downstream) will need to be made.

Advantageously, the present invention solves the problems described previously, providing an apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A that allows to manage even groups of products A that need to be rotated before pouching. Conveniently, the stage 100 is suitable to accommodate products A that arrive from a supplying and grouping element 2 arranged downstream of the production line and transferred by the unit 3 toward the final step for pouching, rotating them about an axis that is parallel to their advancement direction.

Advantageously, the apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A does not require the use of external movement elements for the transition from a standard operating configuration to an operating configuration in which the groups of products undergo a rotation before pouching, except for the insertion of the stage 100 into the space formed by the movement of the compaction device 4.

Currently, in packaging lines, the stages that provide for a change in orientation of the groups of products A handled are managed as optional modules that are not part of the standard process.

The implementation, in the background art, of a stage of this type in a packing and packaging apparatus of the known type requires the removal of at least one mechanical module that belongs to the standard packaging process, typically the pre-pouching pressing module.

This operation is particularly burdensome since it requires the use of dedicated equipment adapted to manage the large dimensions and mass of the module to be removed; furthermore, it is a rather complex operation for the operator and must be performed with particular care.

Favorably, the stage 100 according to the invention is particularly compact and capable of being inserted in the packaging process without removing the group compression device 4, obviating all the problems described above, to which the financial savings of not having to have special equipment are added.

Positively, the apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A according to the invention ensures that the operations for changing operating configuration are simple and at least partially automated. Usefully, the apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A according to the invention can also operate on multiple parallel lines.

Efficiently, the apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A according to the invention has substantially small space occupations.

Advantageously, the apparatus 1 for packing groups of products A according to the invention does not require specific arrangements in the installation building and in particular does not require large perimetral free areas in its vicinity (which in the background art are necessary in order to allow the passage of the fork lift trucks designed to extract the optional group compaction modules).

Validly, the apparatus 1 and the stage 100 according to the invention are relatively easy to provide and of low cost: these characteristics make the apparatus 1 and the stage 100 according to the invention innovations of assured application.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended claims; all the details may furthermore be replaced with other technically equivalent elements.

In the exemplary embodiments shown, individual characteristics, given in relation to specific examples, may actually be interchanged with other different characteristics that exist in other exemplary embodiments.

In practice, the materials used, as well as the dimensions, may be any according to the requirements and the state of the art.

The disclosures in Italian Patent Application No. 102021000030194 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein by reference.

Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified by way of example by such reference signs.