Customers of ingredient handling equipment are focused on a wide mix of factors to come up with their optimal formulation. These include accuracy, traceability, food safety, automation, cleanability, efficiency, flexibility, batch quality and fire safety, manufacturers say.
The latest product handling equipment, cartoners, case erectors and packers, loaders and palletizers, features maximum flexibility in terms of product handling and packaging styles, which is good news for bakery and snack producers.
Snack and bakery industry customers want belts and conveyors that are fast and easy to clean, maximize energy efficiency, offer strength and durability, require as few tools as possible, and provide flexibility to either switch out products and/or run multiple products at once.
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.