Mondelēz International has partnered with Bosch Packaging Services to install five dosing units compatible with its existing four Bosch ML4 processing systems to produce and package cheese at its Namur factory in Belgium.
Prior to this, the company produced multi-taste packages of processed cheese, which contained segments of salami, herb, natural and ham flavored cheeses but the line was set-up with different tanks and pipes for each flavor.
As products changed over the years, Mondelēz decided to switch to single flavor packages of the same size (125 grams and 140 grams), but found it was losing in efficiency, producing single packs on a line designed and optimized for multi flavor packs and it needed extensive cleaning for redundant pipes.
Mauro Del Priore, technical project manager, Mondelēz, said some of the operators had been working on the previous lines for more than 20 years and were initially cautious about the changes.
“The project was a success and our operators were won over by the improved ergonomics and the training Bosch provided, with our lines back up and running in record time,” he said.
“Bosch understood our need for heightened efficiency and productivity and the new system has given our line the boost necessary to help us continue to meet public demand.”
The machinery is now closed, as opposed to the previous open design of the dosing units, to reduce contamination risks and increase accuracy, while reducing package weight.
Another factor was Mondelēz’s Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program, which ensures each operator is trained to “own” his machine and perform day-to-day maintenance tasks to decrease downtime.
Windows added to machinery
As the units are now closed, Bosch also added windows to the equipment for operators to inspect the quality of the cheese inside as well as dosing performance.
The installation of the dosing units was accompanied by modifications to the rest of the line to minimize bottle necks. This has seen a marked uptake in production line efficiency.
By integrating five dosing units for four production lines, all four processing machines can be in operation while one dosing unit is cleaned, cutting downtime on cleaning.
Changing consumer tastes
Del Priore added to keep brands relevant and enticing, manufacturers of consumer products must frequently consider changing tastes, sizes, shapes and packaging to place new and exciting products on the shelves.
“This may, in some cases, entail changes to processing and packaging lines, which need to be done quickly and efficiently to ensure a minimum of downtime, and a maximum return on investment,” he said.
“A hardworking production line is a profitable one, and in the current economic climate manufacturers are keen to keep their output high to protect their bottom line.”