snack-food industry

Case packer for snack-food industry

Is it worth it, to invest and install a case packer in a Snacks factory in Asia, Middle-east or Africa?

The simple answer is NO

High speed Case Packers are very expensive machines.
Since snack packs are automatically packed in cartons (cases), it is important to also install a Check-weigher and a Seal-checker machine along with the Case-packer, to be sure that only good packs are automatically fed into the Case-packer.

All of this means that the complete investment would cost over 120000 Euros per bag maker.
In almost all countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle east the cost of labour is very cheap. In most snack factories, on an average the cost of unskilled labour per person to manually pack snack pouches in a carton would be in the range of 100 to 300 Euros a month.

Considering the fact that a maximum of 3 people are required to comfortably pack snack pouches in cartons per bag maker, the overall cost of unskilled labour would be in the equivalent range of 300 to 900 Euros per month per bag maker.

Compare this with the very high cost of investing on automation for reducing 3 unskilled workers and replacing them with a high-speed Case packer with an additional operator required to operate and manage the case packer.

With the cost of investment on automation so high that these case packers would only make sense and be beneficial to a factory only if the overall cost of labour was more than 3000 Euros a month.

An extra operator would be required to operate and manage the case packer, the actual cost saved would be that of 2 workers per bag maker, that is a savings of an average equivalent of 200 to 600 Euros a month.

By the logic of this simple calculation,
For every Case packer installed in a factory in China, India or any country in the Middle east or Africa, the monthly loss to the factory owner, by simply installing a Case-packer to replace manual labour would be in the range approximately 2000 Euros per month.

To add to this loss, it also has to be understood that type of Cartons (cases) has to be of good quality, which is a must for most of the high-speed Case packers to run without any issues.

In most of the factories in these regions, an economic range of low-quality Cartons (cases) are used to pack snack pouches, to save on overall cost of the final product before it reaches the end consumer.

By installing a Case packer in this scenario would require these factories to upgrade their Carton (Case) to high quality, which would escalate the production cost substantially and would excessively increase the loss for the factory owner.

Automated high speed Case-Packers are an advantage, and only make sense for snack factories in countries where the cost of labour is excessively on the higher side. or in a country where availability of reliable manpower is a challenge.

The leading companies in the world manufacturing high speed Case-Packing machines, also commonly known as Cartoning machines for automatically packing snack packs in cartons (cases), are as follows:

BluePrint Automation (BPA)
BluePrint Automation (BPA) is a worldwide leader in packaging automation. their mission is to deliver solutions that offer true flexibility in real world production environments. With focus on combining the most reliable case forming and innovative case designs with the most versatile product handling and case packing!
> Vision Guided Robotics: Sophisticated vision-guided DELTA robots picking individual packaged and unpackaged items for loading into your container or Horizontal Form, Fill and Seal machines. (i.e. Stacking, Wrapper Loading, Variety Pack / Multipack, Dinner Tray Loading and Kit Assembly)
> Case and Tray Packing: Solutions for flexible and other tough-to-handle packages. BPA provide vertical and horizontal packing solutions; including end-load Cartoning and wrap-around case packing for your retail ready packaging.
> Turnkey Packaging Systems: Complete packaging solutions taking control of your packaging line from the end of processing through palletizing!

Backed by thousands of successful installations in over 30 countries, BPA has three full-service manufacturing facilities in the USA and Europe, two additional facilities in Hangzhou China and São Paulo Brazil and eight additional subsidiaries throughout the world for sales and service. BPA has clearly emerged as a global leader in the design and manufacturing of fully integrated turnkey packaging systems. BPA systems are constructed for around the clock operation and known worldwide for their quick change over, flexibility, speed and simple design.

With 35+ years serving the consumer goods industry, BPA have extensive experience in the following markets: Snack Food, Bakery, Dairy, Pet Food, Confectionery, Personal Care, Pharmaceutical, Frozen Food and Poultry, Beef and Seafood.

Ishida offers an all in one, innovative and fully automated Case Packer to fulfill the wants and needs of the snack food sector.

Ishidas industry-leading Case Packer can work on a broad range of sizes and can cover a variety of packing patterns with no extra parts required.

The ACP-700 Case Packer, is the product of Ishida’s understanding of customer’s needs; wanting exceptional quality case packing, along with minimal effort and fast results, all in one solution.

This compact Case Packing system offers excellent performance at high speeds for a wide range of bag sizes, case sizes and packing patterns.

The ACP-700 Case Packer also offers:
>       Fully automation, reducing the possibility of human error
>       An outstanding quality of packaging at a high speed
>       Case packing for a broad range of sizes from 108mm to 330mm in width
>       Easy operation and maintenance with wide opening doors to allow access to central features
>       The smallest footprint in the industry enables easy installation for your existing production line

On 26 April 2017, tna launched the tna ropac 5, a ground-breaking, ultra-high-speed case packer for flexible bags that is capable of industry-leading speeds of up to 300 bags per minute. Part of tna’s performance 5.0 packaging system, the new tna ropac 5 is the first and only side-load case packer in the world that uses tna’s unique, patented semi-rotary bag stacking technology to quickly and efficiently pack small to medium, pillow-style snack bags into secondary containers. With its innovative, highly compact design, the new tnaropac 5 takes a monumental leap in terms of performance by more than doubling the industry’s average case packing speeds, offering snack food manufacturers unprecedented levels of throughput, exceptional equipment reliability and one of the smallest machine footprints.

The world’s fastest case-packing system for flexible bags capable of packing up to 300 bags per minute. Using tna’s own patented semi-rotary technology, the tna ropac 5 case packer is designed to pack small-to-medium, pillow style snack bags. Most bag widths and lengths are handled with ease for packing various applications such as snacks, confectionery, pasta and cereal.

Focke & Co
The highly flexible packer combines gentle product handling with the highest flexibility in case packing. The concept of flexible packaging by creating multiple pack configurations that normally cannot be achieved with a typical case packer.
>       Clean machine design.
>       Gentle product handling.
>       Small footprint, fits perfectly the typical pitch of snack food packing lines.
>       Various case/tray styles possible.

>       Top or side load orientations on one machine possible.
>       Case/tray case closer, and lid applicator possible.

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Senior Consultant / Engineer
Food & Packaging Industry.

Peter D’sa is an independent senior consultant/engineer with over 33 years of specialized expertise in the packaging industry; having installed, commissioned and serviced a wide range top quality weighers and bag makers in the food and packaging industry worldwide.

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