A radical departure from conventional end-of-line case packing machines, Versapack, has beaten off competition from traditional robots to automate end-of-line packaging at apetito.
Why were we needed?
In the drive to improve competitiveness and efficiency, apetito instigated a project to automate its two desserts hand packing lines. This was the company’s first venture into automated packing: a test-bed for future improvements across the whole business. The main requirement was to retain the general layout of the existing lines, where cases were erected by hand, packed, and then fed to a top-sealing machine. The nominal production rate for each line was 84 packs per minute. The project specification dictated product in two types of packaging: PET and foil. Both are variations of a tray with a lid.
What did we do?
We showed apetito a demonstration project running on the Versapack packaging machine with dummy product and actual cases. A further demonstration at Northern Foods’ Uttoxeter plant was all that was needed to move the project further. We invited apetito to our headquarters to see Versapack packing real frozen product into actual cases with the required overlap of lids. Each machine ran successfully for one hour without missing a beat.
How does it work?
Two Versapack machines were readily installed into the existing hand-packing area. Compared with conventional robotic solutions Versapack is simple to operate and set-up for different products and case sizes. Faster, with lower operating costs and maintenance requirements, it delivers an outstanding return on investment.