Dairy Expands Packaged Yogurt Offering with New A+F ModuLine
When Standard-Knapp joined EoL Packaging Experts in 2019, the Portland, CT-based manufacturer began handling domestic sales, parts and support for its German sister company, A+F Automation. For new and existing A+F customers based in North America, the presence of an American hub of support for A+F packaging machinery creates a valuable added benefit.
When a large dairy distributor in the Pacific Northwest recently decided to replace an A+F ModuLine case packer with a newer model, the international partnership of A+F and Standard-Knapp helped to facilitate a smooth machine upgrade at the factory. The dairy producer had operated A+F machines for many years and came to rely on their quality, robustness and reliability. Having become loyal A+F customers, they decided to purchase an updated case packer to handle new configurations for their yogurt variety packs.
The customer outlined their needs to A+F, who then set to work designing an innovative, tailor-made solution based on the specifications provided. A+F listened carefully to the customer and proposed an innovative, reliable solution designed to seamlessly integrate into their existing packaging line.
To increase the flexibility of their packaging line, the dairy wished to expand their offering of yogurt cup sizes, shapes and packing configurations. In the proposed system, three different flavors of yogurt would travel along three different conveyors to the new case packer. At this stage, they would be assembled and packed into cardboard variety packs containing four cups per flavor per layer.
Four different cup sizes ranging from 4 to 8 oz. would need to be accommodated, as well as four different cup shapes. Five different packing configurations were required, and three different yogurt flavors would need to be packed into a single layer. In addition to reliability and ease of maintenance, it was clear that the new case packer needed to provide a highly versatile product handling solution.
Additionally, A+F’s engineers would need to integrate the replacement packer into a busy plant. Pre-existing machine modules required adaptation to meet the customer’s new requirements and to work with the new packer in order to create a cohesive, updated packaging line. An existing A+F case stacker also needed to be integrated into the reconfigured system.
A+F’s team successfully met each of these challenges with its updated ModuLine case packer. The new ModuLine packs a combination of three different product flavors, with or without the inclusion of a corrugated interlayer sheet. The customer’s new ModuLine is able to pack into corrugated cardboard B-flute wraparound harness cases, and offers adjustment from one to four layers per case. The new ModuLine also accommodates both lateral and perpendicular product infeed configurations.
In addition to its improved flexibility, the dairy’s new ModuLine achieves a production speed of 300 cups per minute (100 cups per minute per lane), with a surge speed of 315 cups per minute. As with all A+F packaging machines of German origin, the ModuLine complies with CE and UL 508 A standards. It incorporates quality components from suppliers such as Rockwell, Festo, SEW, Nordson, Siemens and others who are internationally recognized for their outstanding parts quality, availability and service.
With Standard-Knapp’s assistance, A+F looks forward to many more successful installations in North America. A+F has installed more than 4000 machines at more than 400 customer sites. Together with Standard-Knapp, A+F’s service engineers and sales team offer unparalleled expertise in the industry.