Delighted with boosting the output of bulk food packing by 10%, the Co-operative Group (The Co-op) recently placed their second order with Pacepacker Services for its newly launched Collator System. The first Collator System – which places pre-packed polybags of bulk food items, such as potatoes, into large outer sacks at a speed of 80 polybags per minute – was integrated into The Co-op’s UK food packing facility just under a year ago. Significantly, the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer reported a 10% rise in output and an overall improvement in efficiency since the prototype’s installation.
Pacepacker’s original Collator System was designed and built specifically for The Co-op. With over 4,500 stores nationwide, the retailer sought a solution to the labour intensive task of packing pre-packed polybags of goods into large outer sacks for ease of delivery. Fraser Tait, Operations Manager at the Co-op, comments: “The process of packing pre-packed polybags of products into an outer sack is used as a way to contain and display bulky foods, such as potatoes and other vegetables. However, manually packing these items was both an onerous and cost prohibitive process, and prior to our discussions with Pacepacker we found existing collator systems on the market were inefficient.”
Responding to the retailer’s brief, award winning automation specialist Pacepacker designed a standalone system that can be retrofitted to almost any existing sack placing and sealing equipment. The Collator specifically addresses drawbacks found in similar systems on the market explains Paul Wilkinson, Pacepacker’s Business Development Manager: “We found that many systems available did not control the fall of the product very well. Due to the weight and density of bulk food items, this often results in pre-packs breaking through the bottom of the outer sack. Our system uses motorised support arms to control the descent of the pre-packed polybags, eliminating damage and waste to both product and pack.”
Approaching 12-months since introducing the first Collator System, Fraser Tait concludes: “We are delighted with Pacepacker’s Collator solution. The standalone, compact build of the system has enabled us to effortlessly integrate it into our existing line and the overall success of the prototype has led us to commission a second system.”
While a freestanding unit, the Collator System can be combined with Pacepacker’s T Series sack placer and Total Bag Control (TBC) system to provide a turnkey system to achieve exceptional pack presentation.
Paul Wilkinson, Business Development Manager
Tel: 01371 811544