A fully integrated packaging line from Schubert is already operational at the crisp company's Leicester factory and further systems are due to be installed later in the year. PepsiCo-owned Walkers has extended its contract with Schubert to install more of the company's high-speed packing lines. The Schubert TLM-F44 line continuously places crisp bags into a series of horizontal flow wrappers. It is capable of handling up to three different varieties, a range of pack sizes and reaches packing speeds of up to 480 bags per minute. Bags are fed through from the storage hoppers via vibratory bowl feeders. They pass though a detection system to monitor quality and are then sorted robotically onto the in-feed chain carriers, passing eventually to the fill and seal machines. According to Schubert, the equipment also makes use of the company's patented 'counterflow principle' whereby two chains run against the flow of the conveyor to guarantee only fully-loaded chain divisions. Walkers is the UK's third largest grocery brand and holds around 46 per cent of the country's crisp market. Director of potato crisp production at the Leicester plant Mark Grover said: "It was important to find an innovative and efficient packaging solution as we focus on reducing costs and raising efficiencies every day. "It was a challenging proposition to find a viable technological solution for packing our multi-packs, which delivered high efficiency and flexibility."
The TLM-F44 is available from Schubert subsidiary IPS, which also provides for other food sectors such as dairy, confectionery and beverages.