The BEUMER robotpac was installed to provide load stability and to handle different batches on different-sized pallets.
Barry Callebaut AG (a leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products), headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, masters nearly all steps from the sourcing of cocoa beans right up to the finished products sold on store shelves. The American subsidiary in Eddystone, PA fills bags with cocoa powder, palletizes and packages them. The bags are then loaded into containers or trucks and transported to distributors.
Barry Callebaut wanted a system that would increase automation and thus process reliability, improve the product presentation and use less packaging material. In addition, the packaging had to be able to protect the cocoa powder against high temperature and air humidity. Since the company utilizes both the Euro pallet and the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers of America) pallet, the packaging system must be customizable for different pallet sizes. Barry Callebaut reached out to BEUMER to develop an end-of-line packaging system to meet these specific requirements.
Multi-faceted system delivers multi-faceted results
As general contractor, BEUMER Corporation (www.beumergroup.com) in Somerset, NJ, installed a complete packaging system, various conveying systems, as well as a bagging system. With partner Behn + Bates America, a division of Haver Filling System, Inc., BEUMER equipped the line with the Integra system, a fully automated, completely premounted bagging system for bulk materials in the food industry. This system fills bags with cocoa powder and seals them. As part of the quality control process, the BEUMER belt conveyors transport the bags to a metal detector and a checkweigher. Here, bags containing metal or that are over- and underweight are rejected. After the palletizing process, the stack press removes residual air from the bags, thus increasing the stack stability. When designing the packaging line, the handling of different batches on different-sized pallets was one of the challenges and is why the high-capacity BEUMER robotpac was installed, providing excellent stack quality and load stability.
The BEUMER stretch hood high-capacity packaging system pulls a stretch hood over the palletized bag stack to protect the products against wind, rain and dust while providing safety during transport. The bag stack is completely packaged and transported to the take-away post. Thanks to the permanent tension force of the film in vertical and horizontal direction, the bag stack provides high stability - even if the cocoa powder settles in the bags, thus reducing the bag volume.
Sensors on the BEUMER stretch hood measure the height of the pallet. This automation allows for the calculation of different stacking heights as well as the optimization of film consumption. The film is then cut and sealed and the formed hood is pulled over the complete bag stack, forming a stable unit.
More safety and less film consumption
Since the installation, the Barry Callebaut facility runs without any problems. Besides the packaging capacity, the stretch hood technology provides improved visibility of the palletized products thanks to the smooth surface of the film hood. In addition, the material cost for packaging has been reduced since 5-10% less material is required, making this both a cost effective and an environmentally-conscious solution.
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