Fromm AP100

Management and control of Airpad packing machines

The Company

The Fromm group has been on the market since 1947, designing and manufacturing packing systems including strapping machines and plants and pallet stretch wrapping equipment, plus its patented Airpad packing system. The Switzerland-based Fromm group has production sites and offices all over the world and a workforce of more than 1000.

The group’s Italian facility handles new product development and production activities: operating 24 hours/day, with a highly skilled team of specialists that makes it possible to manufacture products capable of meeting the most exacting demands in terms of quality thanks to the use of computer controlled machining centres.


Years of business

> 1.200


> 320 ML Swiss Francs

Turnover 2019


The Fromm group uses its R&D activities to identify increasingly innovative technological solutions in the packaging sector. That’s why it introduced the new inflated pillow packing material system, offering a practical answer to demands for eco-friendly and low-cost packing solutions.

After having developed a series of successful products including the AP502, AP503, AP250 and AP250s, Fromm decided to introduce an even more compact machine: the AP100.

For more than twenty years Fromm Italiana has turned to Micro Systems to source electronic control systems for machines, developed in response to specific requirements and subsequently manufactured in series.

Also for the AP100 Fromm once again confirmed its trust in long-term partner Micro Systems, which benefits from intimate knowledge of the technical specifications of the Airpad control system.

Tools and methods

In 2014 Fromm Italiana developed model AP100 and then followed it up in 2016 with the evolved version 2 AP100: a compact, lightweight and portable machine for which Micro Systems was asked to develop the process control hardware and software for ultra-high-speed air pillows production.

The electronic control system manages production of various pillow sizes and shapes with different film widths, without requiring the use of compressed air.

The system is composed of three elements:

  • heating power controller for the adjustment of film sealing characteristics
  • feeder: a motor drives the film and controls the speed
  • pillows inflation by means of a fan

The film is fed into the machine and while it is driven forward the pillows are filled with air. Film sealing is carried out in accordance with the parameters of the currently loaded production program.

Two photocell sensors guarantee operator safety by automatically shutting down the machine when the beams are broken. An additional photocell sensor signals the film end condition, allowing the machine to terminate the process.

 The machine is equipped with a basket to collect the strips of Airpad pillows, and thanks to an automatic hopper system it stops when the airpad collection basket is full and then restarts automatically after the basket has been emptied.

Results and developments

Micro Systems created the hardware project and developed the process control software on the basis of specific requests.

The hardware is composed of a simple user interface with electromechanical keys and 7-segment LED display, allowing machine commands and operating programs set-up.

The sealing process controller is incorporated in the same PCB, with all functions managed by a single microprocessor.

Model AP100 version 2 was launched to improve the performance of the AP100 version 1 and is capable of managing wider films and producing more accurately sized pillows thanks to stepper motor based film feed control.