X-ray, metal detection, checkweighing and vision systems continue to advance, offering bakery and snack producers many ways to improve their quality control programs.
Different shapes, quicker changeovers, better sanitation, a smaller footprint, more automation, and a balance of speed and safety are among the top-of-mind criteria for customers of slicing and cutting machines in the snack and bakery industry, according to machine manufacturers.
Today’s form/fill/seal (FFS) systems accommodate a wide range of packaging options at high speeds, and provide packaging formats that bring convenience to shoppers. In effect, they have evolved to enable manufacturers to respond to market changes in package size and format.
New robotics technology is helping to improve primary and secondary packaging applications in snack food and wholesale bakery operations. Areas of innovation include end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), robot learning, sanitation and space optimization. Given the efficiency improvements robotics can bring to manufacturing—and the growing level of flexibility the technology now offers—its use is expanding.
Sanitation, automation, efficiency, speed, ease of cleaning, the ability to handle larger capacities, and the ability to produce clean label-foods are among the top priorities for snack food and baked goods makers seeking to purchase dividers, depositors and rounders.
Packaging equipment manufacturers are upgrading bagging and closing equipment to improve operational efficiency and hygienic design, while also adding touches of smart technology and sustainability.
Advances in labeling are happening at a rapid pace. Technological leaps in marking/coding technology, printers, and labeling software have improved printing speed, accuracy and flexibility to accommodate a wide range of labels in today’s snack and bakery market.
Snack food and bakery companies looking to purchase belts and conveyors are asking for larger capacity, quieter machinery, improved safety, greater energy efficiency the ability to reduce manpower—and, thus, costs. They’re also looking for easier and more-predictable cleaning and maintenance.
Shipping contamination-free food products to the public has always been business-critical, but today’s social-media landscape leaves virtually no room for error. A wider variety of products, along with a wide variety of packaging options, have increased the need for more flexible inspection and detection equipment. The good news: Manufacturers are answering the call with X-ray, metal detection, checkweighing and vision systems that help processors ensure food safety.
PACK EXPO recently took place at McCormick Place, Chicago, from October 14-17. IFT is presented by PMMI.