More bakers and snack food manufacturers are packing their products in shelf-ready packaging for retailers. This trend is fueling demand for automated product-handling solutions that can move physical product as well as manage order and inventory data. To meet these needs, equipment manufacturers have developed systems ranging from advanced robotics and sophisticated conveyor systems to multifunctional plastic pallets. All are designed to offer flexible solutions that address changes in the marketplace.
“Due to evolving market demands, in particular product packaged in flexible bags, we have seen further migration toward shelf-ready packaging where a shipping case easily transitions into a display used on the store shelf,” says Rocco Fucetola, northeast regional sales manager for BluePrint Automation Inc., Colonial Heights, Va. “The goal is to provide increased value in areas of product identification, easy-open features and disposal and a better shelf presence. Requirements for lower case counts with single-shelf facings have become more prevalent, in addition to initiatives to reduce corrugate waste.”