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CRESCENDO: Compact High-Speed Cartoning Machine


The Next-Generation Cartoning Machine

While an intermittent cartoning machine can not meet your expectation and a continuous motion cartoner is beyond your budget and with such as high speed that surpasses what is sufficient for you.

So basically, when it comes to cartoning machines, you have basically two choices only:

  • The intermittent one
  • The continuous motion of one

The question is:

  • Can you still imagine an ideally balanced choice apart from these only two options you can find on the market?

While the intermittent cartoner can hardly surpass its physical limit of 120 cartons per minute due to the feature of intermittent motion, most continuous cartoning machines are designed for operation beyond 250 cartons per minute.

And further, a continuous cartoning machine is far more expensive and even extravagant, compared with an intermittent one. And the complex barrel cam loader system is one of the primary causes to blame.

From ELITER Packaging Machinery, we have brought to you now a unique THIRD CHOICE.

CRESCENDO Cartoner, is developed with ELITER Packaging Machinery’s Next-Generation Mindset, the most advanced state of the art, and made with concerns around

  • Compact footprint
  • Affordable high-speed application
  • Designed for large box application
  • Smart loader system as a replacement to the complex barrel cam loader
  • A balanced choice between intermittent and continuous motion cartoner
  • Quality and performance to fit the European market

is the unprecedented definition of how high-speed cartoner and cartoning automation of the future.

In this article, we will present to you:

  • detailed information around CRESCENDO Cartoner,
  • the edges it has over others on the market,
  • pros and cons of intermittent and continuous motion cartoning machines,
  • and why we decided to develop this model.

CRESCENDO Cartoner by ÉLITER Packaging Machinery

CRESCENDO Cartoner is a third choice we can opt for, other than a traditional intermittent cartoning machine and a continuous motion one. CRESCENDO Cartoner is joined by our patented smart loader system to replace the barrel cam loader that drives the high-speed cartoner machine’s price high, and to deliver performance and efficiency at still the same level.

CRESCENDO Cartoner is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 200 cartons/minute and is of compact size with a minimum footprint compared with the high-speed cartoning machines in the market.

Features and advantages:

  • Barrel cam loader replacement: Smart loader system that completes 2 insertions at a time
  • With the minimum footprint among high-speed cartoning machines on the market
  • Combined mechanical and servo-driven structure
  • Compatible with large box sizes
  • Maximum speed of 200 cartons per minute
  • Extended and powered carton hopper
  • Integrated embossing function with laser coding or inkjet as options
  • Optional washdown construction


A Basic Introduction to Intermittent Cartoning Machines

What is an intermittent cartoning machine? 

An intermittent cartoning machine, as the name suggests, follows an intermittent motion pattern to complete the procedures of production loading, carton blanks erection, insertion, closure of the loaded carton, and discharge.

cartoning machine | automatic cartoning machine manufacturer
Intermittent Cartoner by ELITER Packaging Machinery

The intermittent cartoner’s transmission system is typically joined by a cam divider that transfers the continuous driven force from the motor into an intermittent pattern. The transmission system is thus divided into two parts, the one that is driven directly by the motor and follows and continuous motion, typically the carton picker, and another part that follows an intermittent motion pattern.


What is the maximum speed of an intermittent cartoning machine?

Intermittent cartoning machines are inevitably restricted to a ceiling of 120 cartons per minute which is an inherent physical limitation that they can hardly ever surpass. This is determined by their pattern of motion, that is to say, the inertia brought by the intermittent movement. However, in certain circumstances of application, the actual operating speed is often between 40-~80 cartons per minute, now that with the maximum speed, we are talking about an ideal situation and in actual cases, the speed is product and size-dependent.

Intermittent Cartoning Machine
Courtesy of ELITER Packaging Machinery



Why intermittent cartoning machine is not ideal for large-size carton applications?

When it comes to the trade-off between speed and size, intermittent cartoning machines can be an awkward option in some cases. The cause to blame is the relationship between the intermittent motion, pitch, and travel distance.

Pitch is a concept frequently used to define the distance from a point to the next corresponding point on the next cycle. For example, chain pitch is the distance between any three consecutive rivets divided by two.

Travel Distance, in the context of an intermittent cartoning machine, for example, in the case of the insertion station, is the distance that the insertor or loader has to repetitively go through for each act of insertion.

When adapted to a larger carton size, chains with longer pitch are to be adapted, as well as the travel distance will increase. An inevitable result is that the cartoning machine as a whole loses its flexibility, gets more cumbersome, and thus will be limited to a slower speed.

The pattern of intermittent motion is another cause to blame for the slower speed, that is to say, the longer the pitch and each insertion travel, the larger the inertia will be for each intermittent cycle.

Let’s say a pizza box of 300*290*30mm, the expected speed on an intermittent cartoning machine will be approximately only 30 cpm.

In short, the intermittent motion cartoning machine is of extremely bad carton size tolerance!


A Basic Introduction to Continuous Cartoner

What is a continuous motion cartoning machine?

Continuous motion cartoners are sometimes referred to also as the high-speed cartoning machine. The continuous cartoning machine makes it possible to pack hundreds of articles of packages of materials into carton boxes per minute, a speed that is significantly faster than what an intermittent cartoning machine can deliver. The reasons that companies employ a continuous motion cartoning machine are probably to ensure fast order delivery and shipping of large quantities of products within a short period of time.


How fast a continuous motion cartoning machine can be?

Intermittent Cartoning Machine & Continuous Cartoning Machine
Continuous Cartoner & Intermittent Cartoner
Courtesy of ELITER Packaging Machinery


An entry-level continuous motion cartoning machine, in a theoretically ideal state, can run up to a maximum speed of 260 cartons per minute. While for large carton boxes applications: typically pizza and frozen food, around 100 and 150 cartons per minute. For faster application, cartoners by companies such as IWK and R.A. JONES are now capable of reaching even 1000 cartons per minute.



Why continuous motion cartoning machines are faster than intermittent?

Very simple answer. Apart from the structure, this is deemed by the physical feature and difference between intermittent and continuous motion. The former is subject to less inertia than the intermittent cartoning machine does. This feature leads to an improved carton size tolerance than that of an intermittent cartoner.


Why is a continuous motion cartoning machine expensive and even extravagant?

The primary reason to blame, for which a continuous motion cartoning machine can be expensive, is the complex barrel cam loader system that comprises the insertion station.

A barrel cam loader system is an apparatus commonly used in a continuous cartoning system for inserting and loading articles into cartons. This is an integrated system that includes an endless confiner cam track, and an endless cam track, as usual features though, the structure may vary according to each manufacturer’s design. A series of pushers are continuously and endlessly driven through the cam track to follow an endless motion of repetitive and continuous insertion action.


Barrel Cam Loader System
Barrel Cam Loaders
Courtesy of US 5787680

Issues between Design, Application and Footprint

Striking a balance between the footprint and the range of carton size covered is a primary issue with continuous cartoning machines.

Based on the structure, continuous cartoner machines can be defined into two categories: Balcony Design and Drop-through Design. 

  • Balcony design

A balcony design cartoning machine is usually typical for non-food applications, for which the carton sizes are in general relatively small: refer to the size of a carton loaded with blister packs.

A balcony design cartoner can probably be of small footprint, yet it is usually not compatible with large size of cartons.

  • Drop-through design

A drop-through design cartoner is featured by the structure that is supported by two plates on the horizontal end that support the whole structure of the cartoning machine, leaving the main functional structures between these two ends, and the bottom empty or covered with stainless steel nets. This is done to facilitate the maintenance and cleaning, as well as for the ease of washdown construction so that machine can fit the environment at a food processing and manufacturing facility.

Balcony design cartoners are utilized for food applications where carton sizes are relatively large, for example, a carton box of pizza, the size of which can range to 300*290*30mm. For such a feature, drop-through cartoners come with a considerable footprint and stretch considerably long along this structure due to the long travel distance and long pitch to fit large carton boxes.


Pros and Cons of Intermittent and Continuous Cartoner

Based on the analysis above, a comparison can be made between the two types of cartoning machines

Intermittent Cartoning MachinesContinuous Cartoning Machines
Carton Size ToleranceLimited to small and medium cartons, mediocre for large size cartonsVariable and compatible to a wide range of carton sizes
FootprintAcceptable as it may beCan be large
StructureNot that muchComplex with barrel cam loader
CostAffordableExpensive and even extravagant


CRESCENDO Cartoner as the 3rd Choice

From our visions, the keys to giving a crack to the issue are:

  • Keep with a continuous motion pattern to eliminate the impact of inertia from intermittent motion
  • Simplify the barrel cam loader system so as to keep the structure simple, keep the footprint more compact, and control the overall cost

What is new with CRESCENDO Cartoner?

CRESCENDO Cartoner is installed with a smart loader system, simpler than barrel cam loader in terms of mechanical structure, and thus more affordable and with less footprint, while it doesn’t lag the performance and carton size tolerance.

In a brief analysis as the table shows below:

Intermittent Cartoning MachinesContinuous Cartoning MachinesCRESCENDO Cartoner
Carton Size ToleranceLimited to small and medium cartons, mediocre for large size cartonsVariable and compatible to a wide range of carton sizesCompatible with a wide range of carton sizes and especially for large cartons
FootprintAcceptable as it may beCan be largeCompact
StructureNot that muchComplex with barrel cam loaderSimplified
CostAffordableExpensive and even extravagantAffordable


Looking for more Innovative Packaging Machines?

CRESCENDO Cartoner is the 2nd model of our “Next-Generation” Transformation, following our previously launched ESTRENA Wrap-Around Sleever. 

ELITER Packaging Machinery is taking steps of reincarnation from a local business to a brand that offers advanced and innovative packaging machines and automation solutions with higher market positioning to fit those most challenging markets such as Europe and North America.

For more information or inquiry about our packaging automation solutions: from cartoning, wrap-around cardboard sleeving and film overwrapping, please get in contact with us without any hesitation.

Next-Generation Models by ELITER Packaging Machinery



CRESCENDO Compact High-Speed Cartoner

Think bigger think faster - crescendo cartoner

About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
Zhiwei Bao - LinkedIn

About the Company
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery