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Endangered Species™ Chocolate expects more than a 230 percent boost in output by using Bosch’s Pack 401 horizontal flow wrapper, enabling it to meet increasing demand for its chocolate bars. As evidenced by its name, the premium chocolate company donates 10 percent of its net profits to species and habitat conservation efforts.
The company has been using Bosch machines since opening in 1993. As more and more consumers were craving its 0.35-ounce Organic Chocolate Squares, known as Chimp Mints and Bug Bites, Endangered Species needed to increase production capacity. The Pack 401 enabled production to jump from 120 pieces per minute to 400 pieces per minute.
“The Pack 401 wraps our products faster than we can currently produce them,” said Bryan Fuller, Director of Operations, Endangered Species. “This positions us for our anticipated growth over the next few years.”
Previously, defective packaging had to be manually sorted and discarded. The Pack 401 features sensors that automatically detect and reject inadequate products and packaging, such as empty packages, uncut packages, or packages with film splices, which increases efficiency and saves on labor costs.
“Our conservation mission is the core of our organization and we fully trust that Bosch’s technology will produce results,” Fuller added. “Higher profits and reduced waste mean more donations to our not-for-profit partners.”
As the company experienced tremendous growth in production, it needed a machine with simplified cleaning and maintenance to ensure product safety and remove all traces of allergy-causing ingredients. “The Pack 401 is an expertly planned machine – every section is easy to access and clean,” said Fuller.
“We always enjoy helping our customers reach their production goals and it’s even sweeter when this also benefits important causes,” said Paul Garms, Marketing Manager, Bosch Packaging Technology.
Endangered Species’ previous solution required that the chocolate squares be manually transferred from their molds to the primary packaging machine. The Pack 401 automatically directs the chocolates from the mold line to the flow wrapper without human intervention, allowing the company to redirect labor to higher skilled positions.
A new option for dry pet food manufacturers and pet treat operations looking to automate their packaging and reduce costs is the Bosch SVI series VFFS (vertical form fill seal) baggers. The Bosch SVI series VFFS baggers have the potential to reduce material costs by up to 40% verse pre-made bags.
New VFFS machines, like the Bosch SVI, are now able to make a wide range of bag styles and can even incorporate popular reclose features that traditionally were only available in pre-made bags. Reclose features have gained popularity, and are widely used in the pet treat market on doy style bags. Horizontal pouch machines, another alternative to pre-made bags, can produce high quality doy style pouches as well. However, they are significantly more expensive than VFFS machines and have a much larger footprint.
As a provider of both bag closers and VFFS machines, Bosch can help pet food operations decide which machine will help them best meet their packaging goals. For many operations, pre-made bags continue to be the best solution; especially where large package sizes and high speeds are needed. However, with the potential to reduce material costs by up to 40% over pre-made bags, vertical form fill seal baggers should be considered for those operations where they fit the requirements. For more information on the Bosch SVI and pet food packaging visit www.boschpackaging.com/nrd/petfood.
Solar powered IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) vegetable processing and packaging facility in the USA relies on efficient Bosch VFFS baggers to meet its quick changeover times and reliability demands.
Seabrook Brothers & Sons is a third generation family owned and operated business that processes and packages 150 million pounds of frozen vegetables per year. Located in the “Garden State” of southern New Jersey, they are ideally positioned to quickly supply the major metropolitan areas along the east coast of the U.S. with a wide range of frozen vegetables.
As a co-packer, the demands on their operation are diverse, with over 1,800 SKUs produced in their Seabrook, NJ facility. Seabrook runs two 10 hour shifts per day, six days a week and on average has 3 to 4 changeovers on each line per shift. That’s up to 288 changeovers per week across Seabrook’s 6 packaging lines. These changeovers affect their Vertical Form-Fill-Seal operations dramatically. It was the need for rapid changeovers, ability to handle a multitude of films with no tweaking or loss in speed, and basic reliable operation that lead Seabrook to purchase a Bosch SVE 2510 continuous motion bagger after trying two other VFFS bagger brands.
As William “Wes” Seabrook , Vice President Engineering, at Seabrook explained “Every machine you can make work if you have time to tinker with it. We don’t have time here. We need to set it up for the next product and run.” Just like their customers, Seabrook doesn’t carry a lot of stock, so if they are to meet their customer’s demands they need to package and ship without interruption and the Bosch machines give Wes the quick changeover and reliability he needs. “After we tried the first Bosch bagger we loved it,” notes Wes, “The ease of operation and reliability of the Bosch bagger lets us meet our customer’s demands.”
Seabrook Farms uses state-of-the-art equipment throughout their facility. The bagging lines primarily uses Gough Econ bucket elevators to feed Yamato scales above the Bosch baggers. Safeline metal detectors and check weighers on the take-away conveyor round out the bagging lines. Wes specifies this equipment to Bosch and then Bosch executes and integrates the entire line, including the scale platforms, for Seabrook. “This is a big help for us” notes Wes, “We don’t have to worry about the drop heights from the scales to the baggers, or anything else about the line integration. We know when we get it all from Bosch it will be optimized and running together smoothly.”
Operating a state-of-the-art facility isn’t restricted to Seabrook’s packaging lines. Their approach to powering their facility is also state-of-the-art. IQF processing is an energy intensive operation, so Seabrook looked for new, environmentally friendly technologies to help with their energy needs. It started with purchasing generators so they could participate in peak shaving, synchronized reserve, and demand response programs with their local utility. Then they took their energy program to the next level and installed 21 acres of solar panels next to their processing facility in Seabrook, NJ. The solar farm generates about a third of Seabrook’s total electricity requirements and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 6, 989 tones per year.
To increase outputs or lower manufacturing costs, manufacturers are often challenged with the decision of selecting between robotics or product distribution conveyors when opting to automate their lines. As a supplier of robotics, conveying technologies and integrated packaging lines, Bosch discusses the criteria in selecting an optimal feeding solution in a new white paper – “Packaging Line Automation – Robotics or Product Distribution Conveyors?”, recently featured on Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery. The white paper provides unbiased advice for manufacturers and highlights key considerations for choosing between robotics and product distribution conveyors for feeding.
For example, the paper advises on different pack configurations, such as for a simple bar package or a more complicated cookie stack. For more information, click on the link above.
Manufacturers who automate their carton or tray forming operations can experience large productivity increases and labor savings. However, as with purchasing any piece of automation equipment, it’s important to understand how it will fit into your operation and what machine features you should look for when selecting a machine. The following list highlights a few of the criteria you should consider when purchasing a carton former or tray former.
1. Size Flexibility – Look for a carton former that will handle the widest range of carton sizes and formats that you can envision needing now and in the future. Different size cartons often require change parts to the machine, but this of course is a much less expensive option than purchasing a new machine. A carton former should also handle hot melt, simplex, or lock format cartons on the same machine. Likewise, the PLC controlling the carton former should store multiple recipes to speed changeovers.
2. Material Flexibility – The material used for carton or trays, often paperboard, can experience variances in size and thickness from the supplier. Your carton former needs to be able to tolerate these minor fluctuations. Look for features such as spring loaded forming cavities that can compensate for these variances and assure even compression and sealing of carton flaps even with minor material fluctuations.
3. Carton Blank Control – One of the key sources of jams in carton formers is when the carton blank becomes misaligned. Look for machines that provide positive carton blank control from magazine picking through forming head placement.
4. Accurate & Flexible Hot Melt Glue Placement – For cartons secured using hot melt, its application to the carton is critical. The carton former needs to accurately control the carton blank position, distance from the glue applicator, and velocity while applying the hot melt to achieve consistent results. The length the machine can apply this uninterrupted hot melt onto the carton impacts the possible carton size ranges and therefore also affects the overall flexibility of the machine.
Of course there are other factors to consider when selecting a carton former for your operation such as speed, safety features, documentation & support, as well as overall durability, but the 4 tips above should provide a starting point in selecting the right carton or tray former for your operation. The video below demonstrates how the Doboy Cobra carton former addresses some of these selection criteria.
The United Fresh 2012 show honored Bosch’s new Pack 301 IN inverted flow wrapper with the Best New Packaging/Processing Equipment award. The award was voted on by United Fresh, AMI, and FMI attendees at this year’s joint conference held in Dallas, TX May 1-3. As an inverted flow wrapper, the Pack 301 IN gently transports product by carrying it on top of the film from the former through the cutting head minimizing jams and ensuring superior package appearance. Due to this gentle handling, the machine is ideal for soft products, multi-packs, and other products that are difficult to handle using a traditional upright flow wrapper design, like fresh produce.
If you missed the Pack 301 IN at the United Fresh 2012 show you can see it in this short clip featured on United Fresh TV:
The Pack 301 IN features a unique modular film backstand that can be located in various positions relative to the infeed and wrapper This allows users to optimize the film path, avoiding unnecessary film path length, resulting in supreme package appearance, minimal film waste, and few rejects.
When manufacturers opt to automate their lines to achieve increased outputs or lower manufacturing costs, they often are challenged with the decision of selecting robotics or product distribution conveyors. Both technologies have their place in modern packaging lines. As a supplier of robotics, conveying technologies, and integrated packaging lines, Bosch understands the criteria needed to select an optimal feeding solution and can help manufacturers take a holistic and comprehensive view.
In a recent white paper, we identified three characteristics of your packaging line and product to evaluate when choosing between robotics and conveyors:
- pack configuration
- product characteristics
- operating environment
First, manufacturers must consider the complexity of their pack configuration, as well as the number and orientation of products within a package. Conveyors offer speed advantages for simpler pack configurations like single candy bars while robotics are better suited for more complex styles like multipacks. Next, product characteristics should be evaluated when investing in new automated feeding equipment, including whether the product is delicate and needs to be handled gently or more rugged and can withstand harsher conditions. Finally, the white paper discusses how sanitation, floor space and other environmental factors in the manufacturing facility affect the choice between robots and product distribution conveyors.
Download your copy of our new packaging automation white paper from the Bosch website: http://www.boschpackaging.com/nrd/automation.