Servicing Dairy Packaging
By Joan Mantini, Editor
Over the past few years, the consumption of dairy products in the U.S. has increased. In fact, the dairy packaging market was valued at $20.472 billion in 2019 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 4.61 percent over the forecast period 2020-2025, according to a recent report from Mordor Intelligence. The growing culture of healthy snacking, higher consumption of ready-to-eat foods and the rise in online and mobile shopping is noted in altering the way food is being purchased and consumed.
It comes as no surprise that the primary factor behind the increase in sales for dairy products can be in part due to the various types of packaging available nowadays, which are adding further convenience for grab-and-go packaged dairy products as well as improving self-life. And the growing focus of the dairy manufacturers on capturing a share in the global dairy trade has indeed increased the demand for more innovative dairy-based packaging solutions, and several machine manufacturers are helping companies reach new heights with their own services and products in this market space, some of which include:
Liquid and food packaging companies in general are always looking for ways to improve efficiency. Spartan Parts was designed to specifically address the needs of these companies. The company offers an extensive parts replacement and machine rebuild program customized to each individual’s needs.
As part of the rebuild program, Spartan Parts evaluates what customers are looking to upgrade, such as valves, or electronics, to get the machine to achieve required production rates.
After the completion of the audit, Spartan Parts sends a quote listing what would be needed to make the customers filling line run at their required efficiency. Spartan Parts can then make the parts and ship them to the customers location and install them as needed.
If a full new machine is necessary, Spartan Parts now has a solution – the SP-63. This machine is a 6-valve filler with three capping heads in one compact, enclosed unit. SP-63 was designed to to better supply the demands of a quality machine with a short lead time, and can be the ideal machine for small businesses or start-ups in the filling industry. The gear-driven SP-63 can fill liquids up to 40 bottles per minute for a 250ml bottle.
The company has a custom engineering team to create or re-create any custom parts its customers may need for their machinery.
Ensuring product integrity and providing tamper evidence with induction cap sealing is growing around the globe and the dairy industry is no exception. New product formulations and the surge for single serve on-the-go meals are fueling the need for innovative packaging solutions. Packaging professionals recognize the many benefits of a hermetic induction seal including tamper evidence, leak prevention, and the preservation of product freshness, which extends a product’s shelf life.
Without the benefits of an induction seal, a brand’s reputation may suffer. Extended shelf life provides a competitive edge in the supply chain. Eliminating leakers opens up additional distribution channels. Moreover, tamper evidence instils consumer confidence in your product and brand.
In today’s competitive marketplace, packaging that protects product integrity and a brand’s reputation can mean the difference in success. In the UK, induction sealing has allowed dairies to reduce cap weight and eliminate the tear band on the closure and total pack weight. Dairies can hereby increase profit and preserve the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.
The use of induction sealing is spread across a wide range of dairy products and is suitable for fresh milk, UHT, flavored milk, cream, creamers, yogurt and drinkable yogurt.
Enercon Industries is responsible for sealing over 4 billion milk containers every year, a figure that continues to grow as more dairies choose to protect their products. Induction cap sealers are very easy to integrate into packaging lines. They are mounted over existing conveyor lines, take up very little space, require virtually no maintenance, and as a non-contact process are one of the simplest pieces of packaging equipment to operate.
Enercon’s full range of Super Seal™ Cap Sealers are available for all types of dairy production environments. The Super Seal Cap Sealer maximizes productivity for traditional production lines. The Super Seal Touch and Super Seal Max offer advanced integration for high-speed lines with an easy-to-use touchscreen control and optimal sealing head design.
MODERN MANUFACTURING SERVICES
Modern Manufacturing Services (Modern or MMS) has utilized its advanced technology and industry experience to develop a full range of dairy fitment applications. With its three standard stand-up pouching lines powered by the company’s inteliseal technology, and coupled with a standalone fitment insertion station, Modern is paving the way to the future of the dairy market and flexible packaging.
Introducing new technology and capabilities for the liquid pouch market, MMS offers a variety of production equipment for the manufacturing of fitment style pouches, each one designed with multiple levels of production capabilities depending on the need and growth of the manufacture. The company manufactures manual, semi- automatic and a fully automatic spout insertion lines. Allowing production of pouch and inserting fitment in one process. Creating packaging with dispensability, reclosability and extended shelf life.
The Manual fitment insertion machine offers built in sealing timers and temperature controls and the cycling process includes sealing then cooling the pouch. This machine was designed for short runs, sample processing and initial introduction into fitment pouch production. The manual sealer can be adapted to fit most flange or boat style fitment sizes and styles allowing endless possibilities for bag configurations.
The Offline semi-auto spout insertion runs at speeds up to 30 parts per minute. Designed with auto pouch feeding and manual or cartridge fed fitment capabilities to increase fitment pouch production. This standalone unit was designed to provide flexible pouch and fitment size production, with minor tool changes. The semi-auto fitment inserter provides high quality pouches with leak proof fitment with minimal handling.
The company’s three standard stand-up pouching machines can be ideal for stand-up pouches when it comes to sustainability and production efficiency. Achieving pouch styles such as fin-seal pouches for bricked cheese, Zipper stand-up pouches for shredded cheese, shaped pouches for capped stand-ups such drinkable dairy products, smoothies and yogurt’s, and more.
Modern Manufacturing Services is able to customize and design equipment for any converting project with a full staff of engineers. Modern maintains a full-size machining center and manufacturing in order to produce over 90 percent of the needed components in house. Modern can design and build quality equipment made in U.S. for production needs; whether a standard product or a customization is needed they can assist companies to be productive and economical in this manufacturing market.
Quest is a leading manufacturer of industrial automation equipment focusing on robotics and vision-guidance serving food, beverage, dairy and other industries needing to optimize floor space, expand operations with accuracy and consistency, and improve overall production line flexibility and efficiency. The company offers application-specific software products on its robotic products, including pick and place, case packing and palletizing systems, to simplify system setup and streamline configurability.
Quest is a FANUC Authorized System Integrator and Certified Vision Specialist and its systems are capable of direct food contact with USDA compliant and wash down designs. The diverse knowledge base of Quest engineers and programmers encompasses the entire manufacturing robotics process, allowing the company to solve nearly any customer challenge with the appropriate level of robotic automation.
In order to overcome the challenges of harsh cleaning solutions on the robot finish and keeping condensation and liquid away from the product, Quest has developed a proprietary robotic coating as well as specialized drip management solution.
Qleen Coat is a specialized coating, paired with the company’s suggested cleaning method, which not only protects the finish, but also gives the robot a bright, quality sheen. The end-user gains the advantage running a clean system.
Another Quest innovation to enable robotic automation in food safe areas is the use of robotic drip trays or “armor”. The trays catch any fluid or condensate and keep it contained and away from the food zones.