Bosch Packaging Systems: Keeping your bar in line
DUNCAN, SC – With products in all shapes and sizes moving at dizzying speeds, the packaging of bars comprises one of the fastest and most efficient processes in the packaging world. However, while automated high-speed lines have seen continuous technological advances, there are factors that can significantly impair productivity. While some of these issues are common and have long been causing manufacturers headaches, others are less obvious which makes them an even greater, hidden threat to production efficiency.
Bar packaging is experiencing a surge of demand for increasingly complex product tastes and varieties. Products are sold as special editions, in dietetic varieties and are boasting new, different flavours. In addition, variations in product size from miniature to bite size, regular, large and king size, along with ever-evolving types of secondary packaging such as bags, multi-packs and cartons with different counts have made production
The high demand for variety along with shorter lead times and tight operating budgets has resulted in pressure on manufacturers to faster process greater volumes with fewer lines. This can result in a significant increase in changeovers, which are another major source of downtime. Key to minimizing changeover times is for the line to be designed with one operating philosophy in mind. Opting for a line that offers standardized tools, easy operating technology and accessibility enables operators to complete format changes quickly with minimal interference in the production process. A streamlined design also helps achieve higher levels of automation in format changeovers, such as control of the machine settings and change-over listings, which reduces operator errors and enables vertical start-up.
With highly automated systems such as bar lines, vast production volumes need to be processed and packaged with minimal human interference. While automation allows lines to keep up with high demand, one broken product can halt the entire production cycle and thus damage a multitude of good products. Systems need to be stopped and the broken products cleared, while product is wasted. This contributes to extended cleaning times and unnecessary cost.
It is easy to see how product breakage can seriously impair line effciency. Key to overcome this is a gentle product handling technology and smooth transfers. These prevent breakage and the accumulation of dirt in the first place and thus avoid unnecessary downtime. This can be achieved through advanced product distribution to eliminate back-up pressure. It is vital to consider not just individual machines but the entire system to ensure an even and reliable product flow. A production line designed as one system allows all elements to work in harmony. Thus, gaps are minimised, belts connect evenly and processes are smooth.
Be sure to visit Stäubli Robotics at Booth 5833, at PACK EXPO 2013 Las Vegas, September 23-25! Learn more about the event at www.packexpo.com
Stäubli is a mechatronics solutions provider with three dedicated divisions: Textile Machinery, Connectors and Robotics. With a workforce of 4000, Stäubli has a presence in 25 countries and agents in 50 countries around the world.