The latest product handling equipment, cartoners, case erectors and packers, loaders and palletizers, are designed to meet the needs of bakery and snack producers as well as consumers in a fast-changing marketplace. These flexible systems can run a large array of SKUs and they feature quick-change capabilities.
New research and innovations in packaging materials are focused on sustainability, which is important for bakery and snack producers who strive to achieve green solutions in their everyday packaging operations. Sustainability also is a key concern for consumers who prefer materials made from recycled materials.
The latest trends in labeling for bakery and snack producers involve advances in printers, software, inks, and marking/coding technology.
The latest X-ray, metal detection, checkweighing, and vision systems feature multi-scanning capabilities, machine connectivity, and improved operator learning tools. These upgrades allow the equipment to better detect small foreign objects, reduce false rejects, and handle a wide range of products to ensure maximum food safety. Bakery and snack producers use inspection and detection equipment to improve their quality control and food safety programs.
The latest advances in convenience packaging options, single-serve, re-sealable, portion-controlled, on-the-go, offer retailers and consumers greater convenience, reliable containment, and sustained freshness. Increased recyclability and sustainability are other features. This is good news for bakery and snack producers who are striving to meet consumer demand.
Consumer trends are driving bakery/snack production in the areas that form/fill/seal (FFS) systems accommodate. The types of packaging formats being requested by retailers and consumers is a major factor. As a result, the latest FFS systems can produce single-serve, portion-controlled packs at high speeds while offering quick changeover.
Advances in packaging materials continue to extend shelf life, while adding convenience and freshness to bakery and snack goods. Innovations in modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP), microbial-inhibiting film, and the use of cellulose nanocrystals are helping to push the envelope.
The nature of snack and bakery operations poses challenges to manufacturers of robotics equipment. Space is an issue. Also, the equipment must be able to handle a wide range of products of different shapes and sizes at high speeds while not damaging the goods.
A desire for sustainability is one of the key factors driving the latest packaging innovations in baggers, closing equipment, twist ties, clips, zippers, resealable materials, heat sealing, and ultrasonic sealing.
Manufacturers and researchers worldwide are striving to develop new ways to keep snack and bakery products safe and fresh over the course of their intended shelf life.