tna Solutions, a global supplier of integrated food processing and packaging solutions, has partnered with Mister Bee Potato Chips, an  American brand founded in 1951, to revolutionize its snack production and enable it to realize its ambitious goals going forward. tna completely redesigned and optimized the company’s manufacturing site in Parkersburg, West Virginia, achieving a 400% capacity increase. 

As the new owners of Mister Bee, the West Virginia Potato Chip Company recognized the need for a comprehensive upgrade to the existing frying and packaging machines, which were outdated and not suitable for meeting growing market demands. The vision was clear: to create a manufacturing environment that could accommodate expansion while delivering exceptional product quality. 

Working closely with Mister Bee's operations manager, tna's expert engineers identified critical process improvements and proposed a tailored solution. The collaboration began with the meticulous redesign of the manufacturing space leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as Microsoft’s Hololens. This step ensured that the revamped facility was optimized for efficiency and productivity ahead of integration by tna.

Once the space was mapped out, the company began the installation of the tna robag 3ci, a state-of-the-art vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) packaging system. Equipped with the rotary double jaw and patented stripper tube closer, the robag 3ci is capable of ultra-high speeds up to 150 bags per minute (bpm). The inclusion of tna's patented auto connect and unload assist technology streamlined operations, facilitating seamless changeovers with minimal manpower, further improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

The results of the collaboration were outstanding. Mister Bee's chip capacity output skyrocketed, allowing it to meet increasing demand without compromising on product quality. Mary Anne Ketelsen, president of Mister Bee, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “Previous machinery could only run 20-25 bpm, whereas now with my new tna machines, I can run 100-115 bpm. A very big upgrade.”

Furthermore, tna's turnkey, end-to-end, single source approach means the company stands by every element, and this was demonstrated by its swift action in rectifying a small design defect during the integration process. Welders were promptly dispatched at tna's expense to ensure the optimal functioning of the machinery, leaving Mary Anne Ketelsen and her team impressed by  tna's dedication to their success.

This successful partnership marked just the beginning of a long-term relationship between tna solutions and Mister Bee. In subsequent years, Mister Bee has invested in additional tna machinery, including a new fryer, further solidifying its trust in tna's outstanding service, superior machinery, and consistent results. Ketelsen expects this fruitful collaboration to continue driving their growth and innovation for years to come.

To read the full case study on how tna worked with Mister Bee, click here