Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 97

EQUIPMENT
Snack Packaging

SIZING

them
up

Single-serve packs run faster than large family bags, but the best lines do both.
by Nico Roesler

C

Consumer demand for different package styles is constantly evolving, and snack producers need the flexibility to react to the market. From on-the-go 100-calorie
packs to portable sleeves and large resealable family
packs, more is being asked of packaging lines than ever.
Packaging formats are often dictated by retail outlets,
and the ability to change counts or orientation is essential for snack makers, said Peter Fox, vice president of
sales for Somic America. What a consumer looks for at a
club store vs. a c-store is very different.
"Making these changes quickly is a challenge manufacturers must be able to overcome," Mr. Fox said. "Machine
uptime is essential to maximize overall productivity."
The evolution of snack packaging has diversified pack
sizes and the variety of presentations. New film types,
new printing techniques for smaller bags and other innovations create operational challenges.
"On a potato chip line, for instance, pack sizes can
range from 11-gram snack packs to jumbo and multipack options," said Anurag Mitra, product marketing
manager, TNA Solutions. "It is therefore imperative that
packaging equipment offers the flexibility to handle the
different film sizes required, as well as switch between
different formats quickly and easily to keep up with increasing demand."
And demand is rising. People are eating snacks more
often and at different points in the day. Snacks must be
packaged differently to reach a morning on-the-go consumer vs. late-night snackers at home binge-watching

their favorite show. According to 2019 IRI data, US
consumers are eating 2.6 snacks a day, with 42% reporting they consume more than three per day. And 44% of
consumers said they often ate snacks instead of meals at
home and at work.
"Today's retail and club store requirements, as well as
our customers' expanding product diversity, necessitate the
need for maximum flexibility with quick, seamless changeovers between production runs," said Joel Wiskochil, Great
Lakes regional sales manager, BluePrint Automation (BPA).

HMIs store recipes
for package size
requirements and
secondary packaging
orientation to
increase efficiency
and consistency.
Somic America

Delivering the goods
Well before a package is propped up on a shelf, snack makers must consider how to safely get their snacks to the bags.
John Kuhnz, vice-president of Dorner's engineering solution group, said focusing on grouping, routing,
guides and transitions provides opportunities to increase efficiencies.
"If you don't have your guiding or your transitions
right, those bags will jam, and before you know it, you'll
have 200 bags on the ground," Mr. Kuhnz said. "It's really
important that you've got a guiding product transfer and
a system in place that can handle them."
Delicate snacks like pretzels typically travel at slower
rates than vertical form/fill/seal (VFFS) machines and
baggers to minimize impact. Dorner installs high-sided
rails or curtains to reduce the opportunity for jamming,
twisting or jarring of the pretzels. They can also install
powered side guides, essentially a conveyor tilted on its

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