Natural raw pet food is the product of one company that was using very manual means to bring their product to man, or shall I say dog and cat. Now, if you are meat processor with a fortune 500 budget, the answer to that is easy. Sausage extruders are available in many sizes for a matter as fact, they used 2 of them that had small hoppers and small capacity. Accuracy was achieved by putting each pack onto a check weigher. Proper extruding equipment for this type of application from a food machine manufacturer would be close to a 6 figure pricing.
We looked at piston filling.
We needed to make sure that the product was viscos enough so it could slide down on a conical hopper. Well, hamburger patty with vegetable doesn’t do that very well so we needed to look at a paddle that turns in the hopper to keep the product from suspending itself on the side wall.
Sure enough with that addition, the product has no issue to get sucked into the product cylinder that is set-up for the desired weight.
Then the customer made some modifications to the paddle and subsequently was able to dispense even stiffer products giving this filler greater utilization.
So now this machine can dispense up to 1200 gram of raw pet food in one stroke, 10 times per minute with that weight, more often than that for smaller fills. Best of all, the check weigher is history giving a true production speed 3 times higher than what it used to be.
As an Indian Import company, a local customer is bringing in 50 pound and 100 pound sacks of just about anything from India to be packaged up in smaller packages.
We all need to start somewhere, so it was important for starters to get a machine that could be versatile in packaging many different products.
|The ME1095 net weigh filler did exactly that. From the smallest granular to the larger nuts, dried fruit and vegetables and many other imported items. This machine allowed the company to grow giving accurate weights and speeding up production.|
The SteelNor SS1500 band sealer was added to get away from the foot pedal crimp sealer, truly allowing the operator to reach maximum speeds
|2 years later, 20 pound sacks of lentils became a main stream seller. The MAX109 with bag clamp was the right fit for that. From floor hopper to cleat elevator to machine hopper. Loading the machine is easy. 20 pounds of lentils in the weigh bucket, the bag clamp holds the bag while the weigh bucket opens, dumping the load into the sack.|
An additional ME109CP powder weigh filler was purchased to take care of the powders that got packaged in 50 gram packages.
To date, this customer is using 3 net weigh fillers giving them the versatility to fill any dry product at just about any weight.
A Dog Treat Company in the interior of British Columbia had 2 single lane weigh fillers that would allow them to fill 6, maybe 7 pouches per minute with one operator. Accuracy wasn’t really there, 3, 4 up to 5% tolerance was the standard. What does that mean? That means that with every 1000kg batch they gave 50kg away for free.
We talked about upgrades for a long time, the expense however seemed burdensome. Till we had the opportunity this year of a customer pulling out from a purchase and suddenly a 4 lane weigh filler became available for a discount. They snapped it up along with a band sealer.
The same 2 operators are now able to fill between 20-22 pouches per minute each, the company is now able to package not only 1 batch per day but up to 3 batches.
The additional bonus of this system, it can be integrated with an inline poucher to get this operation fully automatic.
The typical set-up one would see for this is a combination scale with a rotary poucher. The drawback you would find with that system is that you have a single location product drop meaning, every pouch has to stop at a certain location to receive its product. The speed for this would top out at around 30 – 40 pouches per minute.
With this 4 lane system and an inline poucher, you can have 4 individual drop points, maximizing the fillers speed capability to up to 60 pouches per minute.
That is a lot of treats.
A coffee roaster in Wyoming had the dilemma of fast growth. (Don’t we all hate that)
They did all the right things to cope, from automatic pouching and filling and many other production improvements.
Yet, the application of labels onto the pouches remained to be a big labor consumer.
Some pouches were pre-printed but needed a small flavour label. Other pouches were plain metallic and received a larger decorative label. The application of labels onto pouches insofar is not that exiting for sure.
Making it efficient within a budget is more so.
|Watch this machine work|
Of course there are automatic feeders, one that works reliable is very expensive and it would only work with the pouch being dispensed in one direction.
Apart of setting up the roasting house with a labeling system that has a high friction belt conveyor for positive propulsion and an Avery Dennison label head that would be encoded with the conveyor speed, we needed to make sure that the loading of the bags was efficient, fast and accurate.
We designed a simple bag shelf with guide rails holding stacks of pouches.
The operator can now easily sheer off individual pouches sliding them onto the conveyor.
This simple attachment allows for speeds of 60, 80, maybe even up to 100 pouches per minute to be labeled.
A very economic idea for the medium sized business that doesn’t run the same product all day long.
Our systems have many customers that have a household name, everyone recognizes. As we all know however, the North American Economy is driven by small business, from the smallest, couple of people operation to a few dozen hands on deck.
So we made it to our business to be known as a reliable source for those companies.
Like this personal care product company that had to jump over the hump of making a business investment.
Filling body care products by hand, growing market share that way, it was time to ramp up the units per day to keep growing the business.
The ME109CP powder filler was the right fit as it not only can fill powders from free to non free flowing consistency, it can handle any kind of granular products the company needs to fill now. Especially being a small company, one never knows what products need to be produced to stay with market demands. This machine is versatile enough to stay with it. Its upgradeability is a superb fit for small business.