5 benefits of packaging automation for the food processing industry

Monday, October 21, 2019

In today's global economy the food processing industry faces increased competition.
For Plant Managers & Production Managers it’s important to invest in automated process flows to reinforce their competitive strengths.

Whether you are looking to increase your production capacity, improve food safety, minimize your product giveaway or improve your packaging quality, automation plays a major role in making your plant more competitive. This article provides an overview of the benefits of industrial food packaging automation.

1. Increase labor efficiency and deal with demand peaks
New automated solutions are emerging in almost every part of the food packaging process, such as: automated quality and safety inspection, automated packaging & filling of industrial food products,…

When Plant Managers or Production Managers need to increase production or introduce new product lines, an automated packaging solution may be a better solution than hiring additional personnel. Especially when labor is scarce or when you need to automate simple packaging operations, such as manual forming, lining and packing boxes.

Dealing with an increased demand, because of a big order or seasonal peaks, requires a high level of flexibility which is almost impossible to cover by workforce. Being able to increase and decrease production with a "push of the button" of an automated packaging line is often the only solution.

2. Increase food processing capacity without plant expansion
Staying competitive in today's market means being able to run high volumes sometimes at short notice. A plant expansion is often required to increase the production capacity. However, scarcity, high price of building plots or legal permits may prevent you from taking this step.

Innovative food packaging equipment offering an increase in efficiency and capacity can be the answer. A fully automated line, especially using a combined case erector – bagmaker inserter, can be fitted and adjusted according to the available space. This results in a much better use of that space.

3. Improve your food safety
Food safety is an increasing concern and new regulations are being issued almost every year.

Eliminate the risk of contamination by reducing the human contact. Using an automated bagmaker inserter, making bags from a reel and opening the bag just-in-time before inserting, results in a hygienic packaging process.

Companies with higher hygiene processes enjoy a better competitive advantage. It allows them to differentiate themselves and bid for contracts with big food manufacturers, which all have their own specific food safety requirements.

In addition, hygienic food handling and heat sealing, including vacuum packing and gas flushing, results in longer shelf-life. This allows you to ship your products to customers in remote parts of the world.

4. Reduce food packaging cost
Analyzing your current food packaging cost is important when switching to an automated solution. It also makes you rethink your strategy about the way of packaging and packaging materials you use today.

There are various options to save on packaging material. The type of PE film and film thickness is one of them. Without compromising on quality, a thinner PE film or a different type of film can definitely reduce costs in the long run.

Optimizing the filling process is another option to save costs. With an automated & accurate semi-liquid filler or linear weigh filler you are able to minimize your product giveaway and provide the weight that’s requested by your end customer.

5. Improve the quality of your packaging
End customers are more and more demanding on the quality of the packed products they receive. With the automated process of case erecting, bag making & inserting, filling, bag closing, case closing and quality checks, you eliminate the “human error” factor and ensure a well packed product, ready to be transported.

There’s no doubt that automation will remain a major tool in making your plant more competitive in today's market. However, this important decision needs to be taken in the right context.

Do you want to discuss your packaging automation challenges? Contact us at info@pattyn.com.

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