Packaging systems help bakers achieve goals of increased throughput, less
product damage, labor savings and cost-effective solutions.
From baggers to bulk packers to carton sealers, packaging systems are working faster and offering more control and automation, allowing bakers to save on labor. Many packaging machines can be interfaced with a PLC to help operators track and control the machine's progress. Machines are more accessible for maintenance than in years past and require less downtime when problems do occur. Accuracy and gentle product handling also are being targeted by packaging machine developers to eliminate damage to product or packaging. In addition to maintenance-friendly design and increased automation, bakers are seeking cost-effective packaging solutions and versatility, so they can switch from product to product with little to no changeover time. Samples of packaging systems are as follows.
Kliklok-Woodman's Vari-Straight is a straight-line closer for tri-seal cartons that uses KW's patented Variable Pitch technology to provide a controlled carton turn without a change in direction. The unique turning bed features pop-up turning bars that take control of the cartons and guide them through a 90° turn and into the charlotte closing section. Kliklok-Woodman's patented Variable Pitch technology fires lugs only when a carton is present, providing the benefits of lugged carton control and random infeed timing. This transport system never lets go of the carton, allowing the Vari-Straight to provide superior final carton appearance at production speeds of more than 200 cartons per minute.
770 981 5200
Benda's Automatic Sheet Cake Loader replaces the manual process of loading a sheet cake into a carton. The cost reducing unit machine loads as many as three to six cakes per carton. It begins by pulling the cake inside the Sheet Cake Loader and positions it directly over the carton. A trap door opens and the cake falls evenly into the carton. Because of the perfect fit, the air acts as a cushion and loads the cake carefully without damage. Bakers can reduce damage, increase throughput and save labor on this meaningful task.
Benda Manufacturing Inc.
708 633 4600
Kwik Lok® 872XLS automatic bag closing machine allows the packager to close and imprint bagged packages using one machine at speeds up to 110 bags per minute. The machine requires less downtime and maintenance, fewer repair bills, and offers a reduced parts inventory, low replacement cost, low original cost, high production speeds and few crippled packages. It incorporates an electronic sensor that determines the width of the bag and then actuates the bag closing cycle. Bag recognition allows the 872XLS to close a wide range of bag widths without adjustments.
Kwik Lok Corp.
800 688 5945
Formost Packaging's GTS Bagger includes the latest computer and electronic systems. Built to operate at speeds of up to 90 packages per minute or faster, the GTS is ideal for bagging bread loaves. The GTS's innovative bag opening system provides greater tolerance to irregularities while assuring gentle product handling and tightly bagged products. The centrally located operator control panel features an illuminated display, and is interfaced with the PLC and encoder system, which controls the interrelated timing functions of the machine. Other features include quick and easy changeovers, smooth, quiet, dependable operation, and multi-pack, clusters, flat and penny pack product configurations.
Formost Fuji Corp.
425 483 9090
Heat and Control's Ishida's Gentle Slope multihead weigher is specifically designed for delicate baked products that are easily damaged during handling. Product hoppers feature a laid-back angle to eliminate harsh drops. Angled lips on the radial feeder pans, and double-opening dual-angle hopper doors all contribute to maintaining a gentle descent of product through the weigher.
Heat and Control Inc.
800 227 5980
LeMatic's Bulk Packer Model LS-132 offers a maintenance friendly design, allowing heaters to be quickly changed out, reducing downtime. The Hand-Wheel Adjustable Lane Guide System makes changeover quick and easy. Other features include moving side belts, on the fly moving regrouper, and a package vacuum system, which ensure a consistent and tight package. The LS-132 also offers advanced microprocessor control, slide-out and removable sealing bar assembly for ease of maintenance, a timing drive belt system and an enclosed air supply system. Advanced timing and control abilities are available to service or maintenance personnel via password protected control software. The design emphasizes safety and reliability, straightforward operation and complete accessibility for maintenance and sanitation.
517 787 3301
Advances in packaging include more efficient machines that offer increased automation and work directly with an operator interface system, so operators can exert more control over the process and eliminate snags on the line.
“Improvements in gentle product handling and easier sanitation are important advances,” says Brian Barr, packaging systems sales manager, Heat and Control Inc, Lititz, Pa. “Ishida weighers use proprietary technology to maintain a steady flow of product, be it dry, sticky or frozen. In addition to the use of product-specific contact surfaces and special configurations of feeders and hoppers, this improves weighing efficiency, reduces product damage and cuts the cost of sanitation.”
Cutting costs is a rising demand in this difficult economy. Bakers are turning to packagers that work with more automation, thus freeing up workers for more important tasks elsewhere. Machines that perform with increased accuracy and reduce product damage are especially an asset when every dollar counts.
Packaging equipment also needs to be more flexible these days because of shrinking packaging sizes. This means equipment has to be ready to quickly changover to accommodate different sizes.
In addition, vision systems are playing a role in counting, grouping and loading product for packaging. Vision systems can detect and remove product with undesirable characteristics to ensure only quality products make it to the end consumer.
Many equipment manufacturers allow processors to test their products on packaging equipment at test centers to ensure the best equipment configuration is selected.