As a baked goods manufacturer of healthy bagged cereals and snack bar products for the North American market, the need for timely deliveries to market is extremely important.
Although successful for many years utilizing manual labour in various areas of its production line, the baked goods manufacturer was looking to improve its overall performance, including those areas of existing automation.
Sunny Crunch was already reaching high production wrapping speeds via automation, and found it was encountering a production line bottleneck regarding its manually end-loaded cartons on the snack bar line. Because of its labour intensive requirements of end load cartoning, and the fact that the human body can only work so fast without repetitive motion injuries negating the production line efficiencies, concerns were also raised regarding the company’s ability to meet customer demands for deliveries and even regarding its cost per case and profitability.
Seeking to alleviate these concerns, the company realized it needed to better automate its packaging line, seeking:
- to reduce labor costs;
- increase production line speeds;
- reduce downtime;
- add flexibility to handle new packaging carton sizes and format going forward.
Sunny Crunch chose the Propack LJ Dual robotic top loader as the solution that can accept products from two wrapping streams at rates of 400 bars per minute each, collate them into the required group and top load them into various size cartons and packing count formats.
To gain the increased production, Propack changed the automation process and carton style from an end-load design to a top-load design that provides more efficiency and flexibility when loading from the top—including large carton sizes and carton count formats for paperboard savings, not to mention cost savings from a reduction of manual labour.
The biggest impediment to companies looking at automation, is cost, but Propack notes that the ROI (return on investment) of their LJ Series Robotic Top Loading systems for the baked goods manufacturer is typically just two years or less.
For Sunny Crunch Foods, moving to a robotics solution has been significant, achieving all of the goals it sought at the beginning of the project.
There has been a significant reduction in labour costs that previously required several employees to manually pack small end-load carton sizes.
The Propack LJ Dual robotic top loader lugless carton management system allows the manufacturer the luxury to choose from numerous small to large carton sizes and formats including a large 60-count format.
“The LJ Dual is flexible and allowed for conversion from an 8-count to a 60-count format. The machine never breaks down; it’s reliable and easy to use. It is low maintenance and has a great HMI which makes it simple to train operators.”
Maintenance Manager, Sunny Crunch Foods Ltd.