Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 86

SNACK PACKAGING
Assembling multipacks
takes a lot of planning
and thought to get it right.
Heat and Control
" When they put them in a box and ship them to a
co-packer, those packages can get wrinkled, they get
stacked on top of each other and the ends get smooshed
in, " Mr. Gunnell said. " So when the co-packer goes to
package them, it's much harder to get them into a uniform
shape and put them into a nice package because of
the way they were handled three weeks ago. "
Flexibility and flow
Achieving optimal efficiency for lines feeding multipack
operations requires consistent machinery performance
and output.
" To build flexibility into conveyors and feed multiple
packaging lines, producers should consider installing a
combination of horizontal and vibratory motion conveyors, "
said Sagar Khandre, product marketing manager,
packaging, TNA Solutions. " Vibratory motion conveyors
use a smooth, natural frequency to deliver superior speed
and control. This allows producers to increase in-line storage
capacity and achieve optimal production continuity by
keeping products circulating within the production line. "
He added that intelligent communication between various
production components can improve overall efficiency
and return on investment.
Software system controls and highly effective and efficient
lines are key, said Michael Graf, director consulting,
Schubert.
" The lines need to be designed using the process philosophy
before adapting machines in the process flow, " he
said. " This means that you need to focus on a proper process
line design when planning a packaging system. "
Bill Kehrli, vice president of sales and marketing,
Cavanna Packaging USA, said building flexibility into
packaging lines requires flow regulation.
" Balancing the packaging lines requires accumulation
systems and consistent dosing of products, " he said. " This
86 Baking & Snack May 2023 / www.bakingbusiness.com
is a solution of product specific accumulators that take into
account the products' primary pack type and the fragility of
the baked goods. "
Robotic equipment that handles unpackaged product
must be gentle to ensure the snacks aren't damaged.
" If you have a variety pack of cookies in a clamshell with
four types of cookies, and the cookies are all pretty much
the same shape, robotic packaging will not experience
much of a challenge, " said Jamie Bobyk, marketing manager,
Apex Motion Control. " Where the challenge begins
is when different sizes, shapes and weights are introduced. "
He cited an example of Christmas cookies in the shape
of trees and Santas. Asking equipment to pick up varied
shapes would be very difficult, he added.
Managing changeovers can be tough as snack makers
make adjustments
to accommodate
customers'
preferences, said Matthias Thor, consultant at SchubertConsulting,
a unit of Schubert Packaging Systems. Snack
makers may need more changeover time to accommodate
smaller batch sizes.
Mr. Curcio said he doesn't see many snack producers
asking for partial automation in their packaging operations.
Going fully automated can be pricey but a piece
of automated equipment placed strategically can make
manually packing variety packs easier.
" You could just start with the feeders to lay out the
bags single file and get them in front of packers so they
can do their job better or erect the case automatically
and seal it automatically and have people standing along
to put them in, " he said. " You don't always have to go
fully automatic. You could do it in phases. "
Best case scenario
The type of cases can affect the way snacks are packaged.
Product orientation, for example, may or may not be a
primary concern depending on whether a case is shelf
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Baking & Snack - May 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2023

Baking & Snack - May 2023 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 3
Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 4
Baking & Snack - May 2023 - 5
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