Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 99

UNPACKING COVID-19
CONCERNS IN PACKAGING
care to avoid product jamming against the mouth of
the bag, which creates crumbs and waste. Niverplasts'
CombiPlast systems incorporate high-speed cameras to
inspect bakery products for quality prior to packaging to
increase efficiencies in bagging and limit crumbs.
" Our integrated system for machine cleaning uses
compressed air to maintain proper hygiene, " said Mark
Finneran, United States sales representative, Niverplast.
Compressed air avoids introducing water to areas where, when combined with crumbs, can quicken
the growth of bacteria mold. Whether wipe down, full
washdown or air-cleaned, packaging lines need to be
more pristine than ever.

Making it easy
To best ensure safe inline product packaging and avoid
contamination, sanitation personnel need easy access to
clean different parts of machines.
Formost Fuji uses a tool-free disassembly system on
its Alpha 8. A mechanic or sanitation worker doesn't
need a wrench or any other tools to remove any of the
wrapper's parts.
" It's designed in a way so that when you start removing parts, the rest of it starts coming apart easily, "
Mr. Gunnell said.
The chain rails of the Alpha 8 fit onto a takeaway shaft
that is ergonomic and easy to transport for cleaning. The
same goes for the end-seal section that's too heavy to
lift. Formost created a cart with matching rails that the
sealer can slide onto and away during cleaning.
The quick and easy breakdown of parts is part of an
overall strategy across the industry to increase the ease
of access to the interior of machines.
" It does not matter if the machine is stainless steel
washdown or painted mild steel non-washdown; if the
operators and sanitation crews cannot get to the tight areas, then there will be sanitation problems, " Mr. Rebollo
said.
BPA incorporates easy access concepts on all equipment, and it comes in different forms from frame and
safety door designs to conveyor designs. Mr. Rebollo
said everything varies depending on whether bakeries
prefer a wet vs. a dry cleaning process.
" For example, on washdown, we often incorporate
conveyor tilt tails, " Mr. Rebollo said. " For non-washdown, we have open-frame designs that allow good floor
access and operator access. "
Even inline detection devices should incorporate
easy-to-access features to guarantee their peak performance. Fortress Technology uses hatches and guards to
protect equipment and its users.
" Most of our systems are custom designed for application requirements and customer specifications, "

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention reports that the coronavirus (COVID-19)
isn't easily transmissible through contact surfaces or
food, consumers want to be 100% sure that they're
limiting their exposure. Packaging is one way they
are looking to protect themselves.
" With government food safety departments,
retailers and foodservice providers instituting
strict new hygiene requirements in the wake of
the pandemic, sanitary equipment design and
maintenance has never been a more pressing
concern for snack producers, " said Teri Johnson,
vice-president of TNA North America.
For TNA, seal integrity is one critical component of
food safety. If sugar or salt or another seasoning gets
trapped in a seal, that snack bag becomes susceptible
to foreign contaminants. Vacuum sealing solutions and
dust and sugar extraction units protect against this.
Consumers aren't the only people concerned about
contracting the virus. Operators want to limit the
risks posed to employees as well. Sanitary design
and automated systems further limit the number of
employees needed at the end of a line.
" Our designs allow for ease of cleaning, which
allows food manufacturers to have confidence
that their BluePrint Automation equipment can be
appropriately cleaned and sanitized for their employees
and customers, " said Mike Rebollo, southwest regional
sales manager, BluePrint Automation.
COVID-19 has shined new light on the importance
of automation in packaging. Manual processes create
opportunities for food to become contaminated.
" Handling bakery products manually contributes
to the spread of germs, " said Stephan Schuele,
Syntegon Technologies. " As a result, manufacturers
of baked goods are working overdrive to
automatically clean and sanitize equipment and
facilities in order to protect consumers and ensure
the safety of their products. "
Machines built for easy cleaning provide a big
advantage in this environment and solve the
problem of hygienic conditions by automating
manual processes.
" Our fully automatic high-speed camera inspection
system combined with our robotic case packing
eliminates the chance for production contamination
by in-plant personnel, " said Mark Finneran, United
States sales representative, Niverplast.
By working with packaging equipment suppliers to
customize forms of automation and provide sanitary
design, manufacturers can be confident in their
ability to ward off COVID-19 contamination concerns.

www.bakingbusiness.com / November 2020 Baking & Snack 99


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Baking & Snack - November 2020

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Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 1
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