In a move designed to increase efficiencies, reduce labour costs and ensure faster product changeover, Paramount Packaging has recently installed two additional Fuji Alpha VII box motion flow-wrapping systems at long-standing customer, The Village Bakery in Wrexham. The purpose-built horizontal form-fillseal lines, which feature extralong infeeds for use with robot handling technology, are being used for the high speed wrapping of pancakes and blinis.
Established in 1964, familyowned The Village Bakery CoedPoeth Ltd specialises in freshly crafted bread, rolls and a variety of morning goods. The company prides itself on service and the quality of its ingredients, all of which are sourced locally.
“We are a long-standing user of Fuji flow-wrappers with five systems already installed across all four production facilities for general bakery products and crumpets. We’ve even visited Fuji’s plant in Japan,” comments Christien Jones, Director at The Village Bakery. “When we needed to replace older style machines with bespoke units to cope with an increase in capacity and the introduction of robot handling technology, it made sense to choose Paramount Packaging and Fuji form-fill-seal models again. He adds: “The first wrapper installed was fully operational 40 minutes after being unloaded and ran for a complete shift with no issues. This and the subsequent Fuji flow-wrappers have proved ideal for our manufacturing process which encompasses multiple product lines, short runs and constant changeovers. The machines are easy to use with quick product changeover, reliable, and consistently perform.”
The two latest Fuji Alpha VII long dwell flow-wrappers have been customised to accept robot placed stacks of various sizes of pancakes and blinis and wrap the products with or without flat base or U cards. The system ensures maximum throughput efficiencies with minimum labour requirements.
The U cards are loaded in the stainless steel flighted infeed using a Fuji pick and place card feeder, which is mounted alongside the infeed and comprises a high capacity card magazine and low level sensor.
The card feeder users suction arms to pick the flat card from the magazine and positively place the card into the flighted infeed. Once the card is placed into the infeed the stacks of pancakes are placed onto the cards by The Village Bakery’s robot loading system. A rotary card bending device integrated in to the infeed directly after the card feeder ensures the sides of U cards are consistently and accurately ploughed up to form a U shape. The flighted infeed chain is multi pitched for handling the complete range of products.
The Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) packs comprise two transverse end seals and a longitudinal centre seal formed from a single web of gas tight heat sealable wrapping material. To ensure production of gas tight seals, Fuji’s long dwell end seal system was specified and packs are gas flushed using an adjustable gas flush kit with gas levels within the packs constantly monitored and controlled using a gas analyser. Any deviation outside of the preset limits results in an error and line stoppage.
Fuji’s B14 long dwell end seal unit offers increased sealing time for the production of short, neat packs. It has a kissing conveyor mechanism to close the gap through which the sealer retracts for smooth product transfer. Hinged guides on the infeed and easy access guards mean stops for size changes and cleaning are as short as possible.
Additional standard features include a fully adjustable forming box, tighten up device, no product no bag system, excess air purge, Fuji Vision System (FVS), automatic film splicer, discharge rejecter, product in jaw detection and gusseting device.
Christien concludes: “The new flow-wrapping lines have helped increase the efficiency of our handling and packaging process with quicker and more accurate product changeover. They have also improved the overall pack quality which has helped reduce product damage and waste.”
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