Bakery and snack plants are moving away from manual cartoning and case packing to automated equipment.
When setting green/sustainability goals, consumer packaged goods companies are moving beyond a narrow focus to look holistically and collaboratively at products, packaging, and operations.
Innovation is prevalent in the area of closing and bagging equipment as well as twist ties, clips, zippers and package resealing. Thanks to product introductions and equipment upgrades, these systems run faster and are easier to use.
New developments in the creation of food labels is providing bakery and snack producers with flexibility to run a wide range of different product sizes and types. Advances have been made in the following areas: printers, software, inks, and marking/coding technology.
New and updated tray handing equipment that performs automated or semi-automated loading of bakery and snack products into trays and baskets, as well as handles bakery trays, baskets, and other reusable distribution containers for finished products, has grown increasingly sophisticated.
When it comes to new developments in inspection/detection equipment for the snack and bakery industry, consumer demand for variety is driving the need for equipment that is flexible enough to accommodate new product types, packaging materials, and package sizes.
Bakery and snack producers can choose from a wide range of convenience packaging solutions—single-serve, re-sealable, portion-controlled—to meet demands of retailers and consumers. The latest innovations offer reliable containment, product freshness, recyclability and sustainability, thus fitting the needs of on-the-go, convenience-oriented consumers.
Bakery trays and similar items such as pallets and baskets are an essential part of the supply chain for bakery and snack producers in transporting finished goods for direct-store delivery. They are sometimes enabled with tracking and traceability technology such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) to prevent tray and pallet theft.
New robotic technology is helping to streamline and improve bakery and snack operations in both primary and secondary packaging applications. Areas of innovation include end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), sanitation, and space optimization. Gripper technology also is advancing to handle delicate products such as soft bakery items.
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.