Dispatches: Pack Expo 2014
Too fast and furious? Ditch speed for efficiency, says CT USA
The Italy-headquartered packaging firm supplies a range of integrated lines for snacks, cakes, bars and confectionery from feeding to case packing.
Alberto Bonazza, sales director at CT USA, said increased focus on high-speed packaging may not be the best direction for the snack sector to take.
“Keeping the speed on the safe side gives you a lot of advantages in increasing efficiency,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com at last week’s Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago.
He said lowering the linear speed of feeding and wrapping meant snack makers could reduce product breakages, decrease downtime caused by jams and ease the mechanical working of the machine.
“If you run slower speeds you have all the components less stressed,” he said, and so the overall life of the machine would increase.
While high-speed remained a big draw for many snack makers, Bonazza said it was CT USA’s job to convince them to “go the other way”.
Multi-line wrapping machines
These slower speeds – between 400-500 packs per minute compared to 1,500 for high-speed lines – still enabled high product numbers to be packed, he said, particularly if manufacturers opted for multiple lanes.
“We produce multi-lane wrapping machines which gives you the possibility of having a number of different lanes in a single machine, so you can slow the feeding and wrapping process because we’re multiplying the number of lanes,” he said.
For snack manufacturers with fragile products like snack cakes, biscuits or cookies, he said this slower speed was especially appealing.
“Especially with cookies and biscuits, it’s very challenging. These products are often very fragile and with products like biscuit sandwiches which have cream in the middle, there is more trouble with handling… Similarly with single-portion cakes that may be chocolate covered, these can damage easily.”