Bosch Packaging Technology has launched a biscuit packaging line, which it claims is the first of its kind, capable of fast slug to pile changeovers, and vice versa, with the same feeding components.
Changeovers between both pile and slug packs can be completed in less than three minutes without changing parts and the system can produce multiple packaging variations, from smaller on-the-go packages to larger family packs.
Looking for customers
Speaking to FoodProductionDaily.com at Interpack 2014, Daniel Bossel, product manager, Bosch, said it wanted to launch the machine at the show because all its major customers were there and it was the ‘place to be’.
“We are launching the line now and looking to find new customers, we have some discussions with clients in Europe and in South Asia,” he said.
“The big difference between these two packaging types is that before you needed one machine to produce the pile packaging and one line to produce the slug packaging. With this two-in-one line you can change over from one to the other or do both at the same time.
“You can use the same feed and grouping to achieve pile and slug. It gives manufacturers more freedom.”
Bossel added the line is capable of handling different biscuit types and shapes and it has numerous count changes, for example, from 14 to eight biscuits per slug or from two-by-two to two-by-four piles, which can be realized in less than one minute.
“The versatility of the system is in its speed and flexibility,” he said.
“It’s all about the count, meaning we are reducing the changeover time, we are faster, you can produce more biscuits, we can reduce the cost per pack and instead of two lines you have one so you are reducing the production floor space.”
Products can be packaged into RSC or HSC cases (regular and half slotted containers) with retail-ready functionality. Various case closing options are available, from a tape or hot melt to unsealed cases for third-party closure.
The case erecting, robotic loading, and optional case closing units are integrated in the case packer.
The sealing process runs at film speeds up to 80 meters per minute for slug and pile packs and it has additional flow wrapper options like Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), as well as the No Gap/No Seal (NG/NS) function and gusset folding.
The system also features three-dimensional product inspection technology to reject broken biscuits.
“The biggest challenge for manufacturers today is to achieve the speed and the gentle product ending of biscuits to give the end user a good quality product in the packaging,” said Bossel.
“The pile is always used for smaller counts so if you have two biscuits or four biscuits you will use a pile, if you have more, for example, a family pack, you will use a slug type packaging.
“It’s important to have a machine which can react to seasonal fluctuations, you have some biscuits you eat in December in smaller packs and in some regions you have economical fluctuations so manufacturers who have started with slugs have changed to smaller packs which are less expensive.”
The machine is on display at Interpack 2014, Duesseldorf, Germany from now until May 14 in hall 6, booth A31-C58.