Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 98

SNACK PACKAGING

Left: Robotics in
secondary packaging
can match the speeds
coming from primary
packaging and handle
smaller, more delicate
snack packs.
BluePrint Automation

Right: Today's snack
baggers need to run
smaller single-serve
packs as well as larger
family bags.
Heat and Control

side, that moves at the same rate as the product to reduce friction. For transitions or gaps leading into a bagger, Dorner makes sure all transfers are level, and if there
is a gap, it's filled with a transfer roller.
Matrix, a ProMach company, uses its SmartGate
technology to gently compact the charge of snacks as it
comes off the scale to prep it for a bag.
"It compacts the charge into a cylinder then drops it
into package," said Christine Duncan, marketing manager,
Matrix. "This allows machines to create those packages
quicker and with more accuracy to make sure you don't
have any stragglers coming down the chute from the scale."
Ms. Duncan said snack makers should match the bagging machine speed with the rates coming from the fryer
and scale. Building in the opportunity to increase those
speeds is also critical. If a product is bagged at 30 a minute
now, plan on ramping up packaging as business grows.
"As you increase your speed beyond your ability to fill
that scale, your bagger should be able to increase speed
to keep up with that," she said.
The challenge then becomes how to manage those
higher speeds when dealing with a wide selection of bag
sizes requiring variable feed rates.

Right speeding for size
When implementing a smaller or single-portion packet,
consider the processing capacity of other equipment on
the line. For example, Mr. Mitra said, the fryer is likely
to continue operating with the same capacity as before,
even with a faster bagger.
"This means the equipment in use is usually the biggest obstacle to overcome when changing package sizes,
so, investing in equipment with production flexibility
as well as processing and packaging equipment that can
complement each other's output is the key to success,"
Mr. Mitra said.
When implementing larger bag sizes like family packs,

98 Baking & Snack June 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

TNA recommends taking a holistic approach. Fryer
output must be aligned with packaging speeds to avoid
bottlenecks. With a fixed number of packaging lines, the
fryer output must be divided between these packaging
lines according to the required pack sizes.
Different bag formats require specific jaw systems. The
TNA robag 3ci comes with single, double, rotary double,
rotary triple and rotary flat jaws to provide the flexibility
to handle different sizes and formats. The rotary double
jaw configuration handles bag widths and lengths of up to
320 millimeters and 1,000 millimeters respectively while
maintaining throughputs of up to 150 bags per minute.
The rotary triple jaws are more suitable for smaller pack
sizes and can produce 250 bags per minute.
With its small footprint, the robag 3ci can also be installed near each other, meaning one fryer can feed several packaging systems to increase throughput rates.
Smaller bags require more machines running at higher speeds, and that means the potential for more waste
and more changeovers. Creating harmony between all
pieces of equipment on the line is especially critical for
these pack sizes.
Heat and Control designs its baggers to provide a turnkey option at the end of a line. Jeff Almond, snack food
packaging industry manager, Heat and Control, cited the
company's packaging cell as an example. It is comprised of
a scale, bagmaker, seal checker and automatic case packer.
It also controls important factors like proper bag air fill.
"We can monitor air fill in real time and feed information forward or backward to adjust in real time,"
Mr. Almond said. "The net effect is better line efficiency
and enables the operator to monitor more lines, reducing
labor. We can employ several strategies to maximize line efficiency, including smart product accumulation, segmented
recirculation, adaptive packaging and flexible automation."
The speed difference between small packs and large
ones varies drastically. For example, Ms. Duncan said a


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